Kirbo Charitable Foundation earns state award

Published 8:09 am Friday, June 28, 2013

Special to The Post-Searchlight

The Thomas M. Kirbo and Irene B. Kirbo Charitable Foundation has been selected as the recipient of the Georgia Cities Foundation’s 2013 Renaissance Award, according to a press release from the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA).

Kirbo Charitable Foundation representative Lillian Kirbo Ansley, of Atlanta, Ga., accepted the award at the GMA’s Annual Convention in Savannah on Sunday, June 23.

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The Renaissance Award recognizes an individual or organization that has made a significant contribution to the revitalization of one or more of Georgia’s cities.

The Kirbo Charitable Foundation has played a leading role in the ongoing story of downtown Bainbridge redevelopment. It has contributed approximately $800,000 to downtown Bainbridge projects, an investment that has spurred job growth, sustained the integrity of historic buildings and helped to create a vision for future projects.

The Foundation’s involvement in downtown Bainbridge includes providing a $125,000 matching grant for the restoration of the former Bainbridge City Hall and Firehouse, which now serves as Bainbridge’s culture center.

The Foundation also contributed $200,000 to the Water Street redevelopment project, creating a revolving fund that allows the Downtown Development Authority to purchase, rehabilitate and then sell Water Street properties as they become available.

Additionally, the Foundation has donated funds to the Bainbridge Connectivity Project and the Bainbridge Little Theatre and provided for a $50,000 grant to the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, specifically to help spur the redevelopment of downtown Bainbridge’s Broad Street Corridor.

“Without question, The Thomas M. Kirbo and Irene B. Kirbo Charitable Foundation has been an instrumental player in turning downtown Bainbridge into a vibrant place to live, work, dine and play,” said Georgia Cities Foundation President Mike Starr. “They have also been financial and personal supporters of the work of the Georgia Cities Foundation, extending their reach well beyond Bainbridge.”

The Georgia Cities Foundation was originally established as a 501(c)(3) in 1999 by GMA. The Georgia Cities Foundation’s primary mission is to assist cities in their efforts to revitalize and enhance downtown areas through a revolving loan fund.