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Passport funds awarded to charities
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The Clerk of Courts recently awarded charitable grants from the passport fees funds Wednesday to four local nonprofits and agencies:

• Barskdale Boys and Girls Club received $2,500

• Family Promise of NewRock (interchurch network hosting homeless families) received $5,000

• Rockdale County Juvenile Court received $5,000 for incarceration alternative programs

• Prevent Child Abuse Rockdale received $2,500 to help the First Steps program to reach new young parents

The grants are drawn from passport fees collected by the Clerk of Courts office, which processed 1,144 passports and collected about $10,000 year to date as of April, as posted on the Clerk of Courts website, A quarter of that is set aside for local charities, another quarter for employee bonuses, another quarter given back to the county general fund, and another quarter used at the discretion of the Clerk of Courts. A review panel decides the grant recipients and is composed of Copy Central owner Dotti Bala, attorney Thua Barlay, Earl Wise of the Bank of North Georgia, Rockdale News Publisher Pat Cavanaugh and First Shady Grove Baptist Pastor J. Phillip Baker.

In addition, Family Law Center Attorney of the Year Russ Moore presented $1,000 to the Rockdale Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and to Rockdale Department of Family and Children's Services. For more, go to