LCRA and City of Giddings award $25,000 grant to Lee County Youth Center

New benches and sunshade will improve safety, comfort at ADA-accessible playground

Dec. 5, 2023

Lower Colorado River Authority representatives present a $25,000 grant to the Lee County Youth Center for playground upgrades. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Pamela Hutchinson, youth center board president; Matthew L. “Matt” Arthur and Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter, LCRA Board members; Jackie Handrick, youth center director; Kate Ramzinski, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Jo Ann Dibble, youth center board vice president; and Johanna Osborne, youth center assistant director.

GIDDINGS, Texas – The Lee County Youth Center will purchase benches and a shade awning for the center’s ADA-accessible playground, thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and the City of Giddings. The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $24,400 in matching funds from the center, will be used to add benches and a fabric sunshade to the center’s newly constructed playground. “We raised all of the money to build the structure and got that completed, and our next step was to add some seating and protection from the hot Texas summer,” said Jackie Handrick, director of the youth center. The Lee County Youth Center provides after-school pickup, a meal, supervised activities and homework assistance to local students. Although the center caters to low-income families, Handrick said anyone who would like to enroll is welcome. “When we opened our new building in September of last year, we had less than 30 kids enrolled,” she said. “This September, we had 97 kids. About one-third of our kids are new to the area, and others join because they see their friends having fun playing outside our center.” Handrick said the center hopes to continue growing, which the team kept in mind when designing the new playground. “The play structure and the shade awning we purchased are configured so that we can continue to add onto them,” Handrick said. “The benches will also be installed in a way so we can move them when we add on to the playground footprint.” The center’s on-site playground is the first ADA-accessible playscape in Giddings. The benches and shade awning will help create a comfortable environment where families can connect. “We want this playground for our kids so that they have an outlet after being cooped up in school all day, but we also want it to be a resource for all of the families in our community,” Handrick said. The community grant is one of 45 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. The City of Giddings is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in January. More information is available at

About LCRA

The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations.

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
[email protected]