The United Way of Story County (UWSC) board of directors has approved grants to be funded through the proceeds of the 2018 UWSC Golf Fore Kids event, held in August. Over $21,000 was dispersed to Story County nonprofit agencies to benefit children and family programs.

“We are so grateful for the support and generosity of the golfers, business sponsors and volunteers,” said Allie Prusa, staff coordinator of the Golf Fore Kids event. “This year was the 19th annual event, and we’re thrilled to continue to offer support to programs that help improve the quality of life for children and families in Story County.”

One local need that the event helped to support is child health and development through ChildServe. The UWSC Golf Fore Kids grant will be used to purchase six Q pads that will be utilized as a treatment tool to support balance training, development skill acquisition and hand/eye coordination. These tools will help serve approximately 50 children with disabilities.

According to the Iowa Department of Human Services, 244 children were abused in Story County in 2017; a significant increase from the previous year (177 children). Implementing effective prevention strategies is often the best hope to reduce child abuse and neglect and improve the lives of children and families. Golf grant funds will allow Lutheran Services in Iowa to continue the Parent Café pilot project aimed at increasing parent knowledge and awareness of the protective factors (Parent resilience, Social Connections, Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development, Concrete Support in Times of Need, and Social/Emotional Competence of Children) and continue to strengthen families to reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect. The goal is to create an intimate environment where parents, caregivers, and community members can share and support each other.

The recipients of the grants also include the following:

• Boys & Girls Clubs of Story County: provide programming specifically for girls age 12-18 including speakers, activities and outings

• Camp Fire Heart of Iowa: Camp Canwita literacy counselor for the summer months

• Central Iowa RSVP: Speak Up! – fifth-graders learning the art of public speaking

• Colo-NESCO schools: School garden program with a year round greenhouse to help families in need

• Legal Aid Society of Story County: Assistance to parents involved in child custody cases to attend classes on how to keep children out of the relationship and custody conflicts

• Primary Health Care: Centering Pregnancy: Funds to cover staff training for pregnancy program that covers nutrition, common discomforts, stress management, labor and delivery, breastfeeding and infant care.

• Raising Readers in Story County: Super K Transition to Kindergarten- expansion of the two-week program that eases the transition to school for both parents and children

• Threshold Learning Center: After-School Kids Club for youth in southeastern Story County (Colo, McCallsburg, Zearing, etc.)

Planning for the 2019 Golf Fore Kids event will begin early next year. If you are interested in receiving information about sponsorships, golfing or the grants process, contact United Way of Story County at 515-268-5142.