City, social service agencies ask donors to help offset shortfall

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Mayor Linda Gorton is spearheading a fund-raising effort to support several key social service agencies that provide critical services to the most vulnerable individuals, families and children in Lexington.

Lexington businesswoman Ann Bakhaus and the Blue Grass Community Foundation will assist in raising much-needed funds for the community.

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“Lexington’s budget for next year has been crippled by a $40 million shortfall because of fallout from COVID-19. Although we provided considerable funding in the budget that helps citizens who are most in need of assistance, we could not fund an additional $2.1 million in extra grants to social service agencies,” Gorton said.

“As I said in my budget address just last week, this is an important opportunity for citizens who can afford to help these agencies and the people who depend upon them. Our citizens are already stepping forward, beginning with funding for Arbor Youth Services! A generous, anonymous donor contacted me and pledged $237,000. I’m not surprised … our city is just a great place and our citizens are generous. We take care of each other.”

Gorton said the fund-raising effort will focus on the following agencies because they offer critical services to the most vulnerable individuals, families and children: Greenhouse 17, the Children’s Advocacy Center of the Bluegrass, Arbor Youth Services, The Salvation Army, AVOL Kentucky and NAMI Lexington.

Right now, the City needs to use limited resources where they are needed the most, the Mayor said.

“We can do this,” Bakhaus said. “We have many generous citizens and a business community that wants to help.”

Gorton said she will announce details on how to give to the new fund this week.

“We are moving quickly to get the word out, and to build on our first gift,” Gorton said