Keeneland distributed a record $755,181 to 91 charitable, educational and research organizations Tuesday, increasing its contributions through the years to more than $10 million.The Chrysalis House, YMCA of Central Kentucky and the McDowell Cancer Research Foundation each received $50,000, marking the largest single grants distributed during a brief program in the racecourse clubhouse."Sharing our success with the community is the highlight of the year," said Keeneland President Nick Nicholson. "Strong Thoroughbred sales along with successful race meetings and simulcasting enabled us to contribute a record amount in 2000."Keeneland pledged $100,000 over two years to the Chrysalis House. The money will be used for the construction of an educational and job training center. The YMCA grant is the third installment of a $350,000 contribution. The McDowell Cancer Research Foundation received the fourth payment of a five-year, $250,000 commitmentOther large grants included $42,150 to the United Way of the Bluegrass, $35,000 to the Race Track Chaplaincy and $30,000 to the Boy Scouts of America. The Boy Scouts will receive $90,000 over three years for the renovation of the kitchen and dining facility, "Keeneland Hall," at Camp Grants from Keeneland will fund programs for the disabled, seniors, "at-risk" youth, the Hispanic community, literacy, historical preservation, education, animal welfare, equine research, and general health and welfare.Major gifts also were distributed to the Hispanic Initiative ($25,000), Transylvania University ($25,000), Bluegrass Conservancy, Inc. ($20,000) and the Kentucky Independent College Foundation ($18,000). Twenty-one first-time recipients shared nearly $100,000 from Keeneland. Among them were the Blue Grass Community Foundation ($20,000), YMCA of Winchester ($10,000), Young Life Lexington ($10,000), and Lexington Children's Museum ($7,500).
Video vignettes featuring three recipient organizations -- The Blue Grass Conservancy, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation -- highlighted the program.Keeneland annually donates a share of its profits from Thoroughbred racing, auction sales and simulcasting to charitable, educational and research organizations. Contributions to date now total $10,045,689.