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Washington County Gaming Commission announces gaming fund distribution

August 06, 2013|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • James B. Hovis, left, director of the Office of Community Grant Management, and Paul N. Crampton III, chairman of the Washington County Gaming Commission, address the Washington County Board of Commissioners Tuesday morning regarding the allocation of gaming monies to local charitable organizations.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

WASHINGTON COUNTY — The Washington County Gaming Commission on Tuesday announced a funding distribution for fiscal 2013 of more than $1.9 million to the Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association and to 99 local charitable organizations.

The fire and rescue association received $545,229.54 in this week’s distribution, after collecting the first half of its allocation, $404,900, in January, according to a report submitted to the Washington County Board of Commissioners.

Under state law, the fire and rescue association receives half of the county’s gaming funds available for distribution, the report said.

The remaining $950,000 was divided among 99 nonprofit organizations that successfully applied for funding this year through the gaming commission, James B. Hovis, director of the Office of Community Grant Management, told the commissioners.

Among the nonprofit groups, The Community Free Clinic received the largest award of $175,000, followed by Safe Place Child Advocacy Center with $64,740. REACH received $60,000.

Robin Roberson, executive director of the free clinic, said the money “will be applied to direct patient care,” and will be used for testing costs and prescription medications. 

The clinic has about 15,000 patient visits a year, said Roberson, noting that the allocation represents about 25 percent of the clinic’s budget. The rest comes from grants, donations and fundraisers, she said.

“Without rent (money), of course, we would not be able to exist,” Mooch Mutchler, director of Safe Place Child Advocacy Center, said of his organization’s allocation.

The advocacy center provides or arranges services, including forensic interviews, medical and mental health treatment, for victims of child sexual abuse.

“We’re very grateful we received $2,000,” said Assistant State’s Attorney Leon Debes, who was representing the Hagerstown Area Police Athletic League.

“We provide a lot of programs for youths in the area,” such as wrestling, running, karate, Zumba and other activities, Debes said.

The commission funded 107 of the 119 applications it received, with 20 organizations receiving the full amount they requested, Hovis said.

Another 87 organizations received partial funding, and 12 were denied funding, the report said.

The total amount of funding requested by the applicants was $2,475,057.88, the report said.

The more than $1.9 million raised through gaming in fiscal 2013 was a 2.2 percent increase over 2012 and the most since 2009, Hovis told the commissioners.

That money came from more than 100 taverns, restaurants, clubs and other entities licensed to operate small games of chance, he said.

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