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Brown-Forman grants $50,000 to Family & Children’s Place

September 21, 2015

Funds will help at-risk students overcome barriers to achieving social, academic success

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Sept. 21, 2015) – The Brown-Forman Corp., has awarded a $50,000 grant to Family & Children’s Place, raising to nearly $700,000 the total the spirits and wine business has contributed to the agency since 1997 for its work with families and children affected by violence and abuse.

Family & Children’s Place will use the grant for its Family & School Services (FASS) program, which provides after-school activities that help at-risk students improve academic and social success and increase school and parent engagement.

download“This is such a powerful and important gift,” said Pam Darnall, president and CEO of Family & Children’s Place. “Brown-Forman has long been a favored friend to the agency, and we appreciate everything everyone there does for us. But we are especially pleased with this award, which will go a long way toward helping smart, talented and hard-working students overcome obstacles such as neighborhood poverty, violence and substance abuse to reach their personal and academic potential.”

Louisville-based Brown-Forman is one of the largest American-owned wine and spirits companies, with brands including Old Forester, Woodford Reserve, Korbel and Jack Daniel’s. The company supports agencies and organizations that help and improve the lives of individuals and contribute to the vitality of communities where it works and serves.

The Brown-Forman grant will support programs with students from Meyzeek Middle School, located in the Smoketown neighborhood of Louisville, where 97 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced lunches, 46 percent live at or below the poverty level and, according to the FBI, is the 14th most dangerous community in the country.

“These are students that are disadvantaged by their surroundings,” said JT Henderson, Family & Children’s Place vice president of Development. “This grant will help level the playing field for them, bringing the student together with trained and licensed educators, social workers, teachers, administrators and family to help the student set and reach realistic goals.”

There is no shortage of success in the program, which is “why this grant is so important for this year,” said Henderson. Last year:

  • Report cards showed that 84 percent of student participants improved their grades,
  • 89 percent of participating students missed fewer than 10 days of school,
  • 90 percent of parents/caregivers said their children were making better and healthier choices,
  • 86 percent of participating students are involved in community service or service-learning projects.

The program is structured and family centered, and provides after-school programs that emphasize character building, learning, social competencies and depend on a core support team comprising the student, his or her parents/caregivers and school personnel.

“The benefits are clear,” said Darnall. “By involving partners in the student’s success, and providing the student opportunities, through art, reproductive health education, classroom support and community activities, progress is being made, proving that with help and hard work, at-risk children can overcome environment.

“We see that success every day with these students.”

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About Family & Children’s Place
Family & Children’s Place protects Kentuckiana children, families and communities from abuse, neglect and exploitation, and helps move them from hurting to healing.  We serve nearly 5,000 children and families annually through trauma-informed and impact-evident services.  For more information about Family and Children’s Place, visit or call 502-893-3900.