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Gaming proceeds allocated

August 14, 2002|by MARLO BARNHART

By MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

With requests for crisis care, a shelter building and funds to operate the cold weather shelter, REACH received the biggest chunk of change Tuesday when the Washington County Gaming Commission distributed nearly $800,000 in tip jar gambling proceeds to 87 nonprofit organizations.

The total amount of money handed out from the last six-month period of gambling proceeds in Washington County was a record $1,569,515, with roughly half going to the Washington County Fire and Rescue Association.

Mandated by law, the Fire and Rescue Association received $778,507 while the nonprofits shared $791,008.

REACH, which stands for Religious Effort To Assist and Care For The Homeless, had asked for $48,753.20 for the traveling cold weather shelter, $50,000 for crisis care and $33,169.16 for a shelter building project, according to figures released Tuesday.

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The agency received $20,000 each for the cold weather shelter and crisis care and an additional $15,000 for the building project, the figures showed.

Efforts to reach Terri Baker, REACH director, were unsuccessful.

The United Way of Washington County, which doesn't make a request, received an automatic 1.5 percent of the distribution to charities, which amounted to $11,865.12.

The level of funding during this latest round of distribution surprised Gaming Commission Director Lisa Kalkbrenner.

"We had projections which we believed would result in a slightly lower total than last February," Kalkbrenner said. But the amount of gambling done in June exceeded all of those figures, she said.

"The June 2002 figure was an unbelievable $330,000," Kalkbrenner said. In comparison, the July 2002 figure was $233,223.75 - up more than $56,000 from July 2001.

The Community Free Clinic requested a total of $102,916.65 and received $52,916.65, the second-highest agency amount, according to figures released Tuesday afternoon.

From now on, the money will be distributed to nonprofits once a year instead of twice. Starting in 2003, the money will be given out each August.

The Fire and Rescue Association will continue to receive money twice a year. The association does not have to apply for the money as nonprofits do.

At Tuesday's announcement, Rochelle Morrell, director of development for Children's Village of Washington County, attended and thanked the commission members for the $14,000.

"It's money well spent for the children of Washington County," Morrell said.

The election of a successor to Deborah Murphy as chairman of the gaming commission was postponed until the Sept. 10 meeting.

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