In just two years, Lamar Gives 365 has grown to more than 200 members, giving more than $50,000 in grants to community organizations. This year’s Kickoff Event for Lamar Gives 365 will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25 at the Barnesville Civic Center, giving citizens the chance to make a difference in the community.’There will be refreshments served and the Kickoff is open to both members and nonmembers,’ said communications committee chairperson Lanie Long. ‘The Kickoff Event is an opportunity for members to renew membership and for nonmembers to learn about the program and how it benefits our community.’ Recent recipients of local grants will be featured during the short presentation as they share their story and how Lamar Gives 365 has benefited their efforts in the community.’I joined last year and to me two of the highlights of the program are first that all of the money that’s contributed stays within Lamar County and secondly that the membership gets to vote on how the money is spent,’ said Long.Since Lamar Gives 365 has grown so quickly since it was founded, members are getting involved in managing the program. Four committees were formed with Kathy Oxford leading the membership committee, Long leading the communications committee, Lisa Wallace leading the events committee and Diane Harvey leading the grants committee.A Close Out event will be held Thursday, Oct. 6 at the Lamar Arts Depot, giving citizens a last chance to sign up for the year. The goal is to have 225 members for the 2016-17 year. Last year, there were 205 members. They voted on distributing $27,000 in grants to 12 local organizations.2016 GRANT RECIPIENTS:Lamar Gives 365 members voted in February on how to distribute $27,000 in grants to local organizations. Grants were issued to Barnesville- Lamar County Library, Lamar Arts, Lamar County schools, Lamar County Parks and Recreation, Pike Lamar County Services and Rock Springs Clinic.HOW TO HELP:Members may make an annual gift of $365 at the opening or closing events or online at lamargives. org.Recurring contributions of $32 per month can also be set up online. Members can send a check made out to Community Foundation of Central Georgia with Lamar Gives 365 on the memo line. Payments may be mailed to Community Foundation of Central Georgia, 577 Mulberry St., Suite 1600, Macon GA 31201.