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Community Foundations Turn 100

PHOTO: The Legacy Trail in Lexington is one example of how the Blue Grass Community Foundation is playing a role in charitable giving across the state. Photo credit: LexingtonKY.gov.
PHOTO: The Legacy Trail in Lexington is one example of how the Blue Grass Community Foundation is playing a role in charitable giving across the state. Photo credit: LexingtonKY.gov.
December 10, 2014

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Community foundations in Kentucky and across the nation have been helping their communities since the first one was founded a century ago in Cleveland. The Blue Grass Community Foundation, the first in Kentucky, was started in Lexington in 1967.

The foundation's president, Lisa Adkins, said the mission is to grow charitable giving, "making philanthropy and giving a more dynamic, stronger part of our culture - sort of bringing that into everyday activity and really making giving accessible to the entire community."

Adkins said the Blue Grass Community Foundation is the steward of $72 million in assets from 428 charitable funds. Those funds come from individuals, families, businesses and nonprofits in a variety of forms, including endowments and scholarships.

In the past year, the foundation distributed $16.8 million to a wide variety of nonprofits. Adkins said the foundation's other role is to ignite community engagement.

"Community foundations can lead and convene and facilitate on a variety of either unique or critical community issues and needs," she said.

The Legacy Trail in Lexington is one example, Adkins said. The Blue Grass Community Foundation took a leading role in development of the recreational path that now is popular with walkers, runners and bikers.

More information is available at the foundation's website, bgcf.org.

Greg Stotelmyer , Public News Service - KY