For its entire 30-year history, the Lawrence St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee has dedicated itself to benefiting local children's charities in Lawrence and Douglas County. The Committee has raised over $980,000 for a wide variety of institutions in the area, and it does so as a completely volunteer-driven organization.
For 2018, the Committee is pleased to announce this year's charitable beneficiaries:
Baby Jay's Legacy of Hope is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting families with a child diagnosed with cancer. They assist families with food, gas, utilities, rent, mortgage, etc. Anything that insurance doesn’t typically cover. Over the last 5 years, the organization has granted over $53,000 to 75 area families in need. Baby Jay's plans to use their parade donation to expand the overall reach of the organization, and the amount of assistance they provide to each family. "We would like to have a presence in every hospital and clinic in the area working with children," said Jason Souter, president of Baby Jay's Legacy. "These Kids deserve a chance to enjoy their childhood, and the parents deserve to focus on their child during this tough battle. We are looking forward to spreading our message through all of the events for the St Patricks Day Parade!"
Cooper's Cause Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance to families of pediatric heart patients. CCF was formed to pay forward the generosity shown to the Keefer Family by the Lawrence Community when their son, Cooper, was born with multiple heart defects. Their mission is to provide financial assistance to families of pediatric heart patients who do have health insurance and do live above the states defined level of poverty, but who feel the impact of the financial burdens not covered by their private health insurance or other organizations paying on their behalf. Cooper's Cause Foundation strives to make a bold impact on lives one family at a time.
The O'Connell Youth Ranch was established in 1975 through a generous land gift from Mrs. Elsie O'Connell and her late husband, Dan. The Ranch is located on 120 acres just south and east of Lawrence off O'Connell Road. The Ranch is a unique facility comprised of three residential homes for boys ages eight to eighteen. Children in need of care and children placed under the protection of the juvenile justice authority make O'Connell their home. The Ranch is designed to give young boys a second chance and a fresh start in life. The O'Connell staff incorporates a proven teaching family program preparing the boys for foster care, adoption, reintegration back into their families and for the time when they must support themselves. The funds provided by the St. Patrick's Day events will be used to furnish and equip an existing barn that is being repurposed on the Ranch for group events.
We've been donating to local Lawrence children's charities since 1988.