Fourteen nonprofit organizations received grants totaling $18,000 Monday morning as part of the annual Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund.
Students at Washington Elementary School friends and family of Samantha Otte along with the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area awarded the grants Monday morning.
The grants have been awarded each year to honor the memory of Samantha Otte, who died in March 2000 at age 10 after a liver transplant necessitated by cystic fibrosis. Since the grant program began, nearly $215,000 has been awarded to local organizations.
One of those organizations was the YWCA, who say this grant is crucial to the A Girl Like Me" program.
"Our focus is to get girls from different races, different cultures together help them pick out a career and help them learn what they need to achieve that career. And that means staying in school, staying out of the juvenile justice system. And it means getting along with everybody in the community, regardless or race, color, religion. This grant makes that possible," said YWCA Executive Director Mary Muehlenfeld.
The Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund is supported by monies raised during the annual Sammy Fund weekend. The event is organized by the Sammy Fund, a group of volunteers that raise money to support youth activities in Sammy's memory.
"The Sammy Event and its continued success would not be possible without the generous donations of time and resources from a core group of dedicated volunteers and many local businesses," said Chuck Otte, Sam's dad. "Hundreds more people support the Sammy Event by participating in the run/walk, golf tournament, gift sale and other activities held in October each year."
The major sponsors of the 2012 Sammy Fund weekend were County Market, Refreshment Services Pepsi, Quincy Herald-Whig and WGEM.
Grants are being awarded to the following organizations:
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