During a press conference at the Ashland Plaza Hotel on December 20th, Ron Cyrus, chairman of the Billy Ray Cyrus Charities Foundation, announced the latest grant recipients.
"Thanks to support from fans, friends and the community, we have been able to give away more than one half million dollars to those in need since 1993," Cyrus said.
Singer Billy Ray Cyrus added to his father's comments: "Of course it is important that anyone who can help the less fortunate do so all year long. But, especially at this time of the year, I think we should all try to give a little more."
This year's grant recipients include:
- $2,500 to the Savannah Woody Trust Fund. She is the daughter of Allen Woody, a Nashville musician who was a member of the Allman Brothers Band who unexpectedly passed away in August.
- $2,500 matching grant to Fun Quest, a summer day camp for children with diabetes and asthma, serving Eastern Kentucky.
- $2,500 to purchase gifts for a party held my Billy Ray and Laticia Cyrus at the Crippled Children's Unit at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville, Tenn.
- $1,000 to Shop With A Cop, a program in which the Russell, KY police officers take needy children shopping for Christmas gifts.
- $1,000 to Partners in Pride, an organization within the Russell (KY) School System, which takes disadvantaged children shopping for clothing they need and would be proud to wear. The greatest need at the current time is coats for about 70 children.
- $1,000 for Christmas gifts for patients of Oak Ridge Treatment Center in Pedro, Ohio, a facility for emotionally disturbed boys between the ages of 12 and 18.
- $1,000 to Shelly Ragsdale, widow of Alan M. Ragsdale, a police officer killed in the line of duty November 27, 2000 in Hohenwald, Tenn.
- $500 to N.I.E., a charitable project of the Daily Independent in Ashland, KY.
- $764 to transport Gloria Butler of Carter County home from The Mayo Clinic after emergency treatment of a rare tissue disease. Through an almost miraculous set of events, the parents of Gloria were at the Mt. Sterling, KY airport, desperately trying to arrange transportation to the Mayo Clinic for their daughter, when the plane belonging to Oprah Winfrey's Angel Project made an emergency landing to refuel. The pilot immediately agreed to transport the family to Mayo Clinic at no cost. However, the family would be responsible for the return trip. Also at the airport were Ron Cyrus and close friend Jerry Ravenscraft, an assistant to Kentucky Governor Paul Patton. Ravenscraft charged the Butlers' return tickets on his personal credit card, with no request for reimbursement. The Billy Ray Cyrus Charities Foundation felt the transportation cost was something they should cover, and subsequently reimbursed Ravenscraft.
The total of the grants is $12, 764.00.