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Community development group gets donations

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A countywide effort to enhance communities from Greenwood to Edinburgh has received two key donations.

Aspire Johnson County will be one of the agencies supported by this year’s Pay it Forward Johnson County golf tournament on Sept. 11. Last year’s event brought in $28,550, split among six county groups.

The organization also has secured a financial commitment from the Johnson County Community Foundation. Whatever Aspire Johnson County can bring in through donations, the foundation will match with a grant up to $15,000.

Aspire Johnson County is an initiative of the Johnson County Development Corp., which focuses on economic development in the county. The idea was to gather community leaders to brainstorm, research and put into action ways to make the county more attractive.

“Aspire’s mission is to move Johnson County from ‘good’ to ‘great,’” Cheryl Morphew, chief executive officer of the Johnson County Development Corp., said in a news release. “This funding will provide the support our community leaders and volunteers need to keep the momentum going.”

The community foundation initially funded the effort with a $5,333 grant in 2013. Since then, Aspire Johnson County has met with a facilitator and formed committees to discuss key county issues. Focus areas include creating quality-of-life benefits such as trails, retaining talent for local employers and better marketing the county.

The next step is to put those ideas into action, Morphew said.

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