An official of a foundation that helps needy children says the future of his organization is threatened by Salt Lake County's refusal to grant it a permanent license to sell beer at the south shore of the Great Salt Lake.

County commissioners have denied a request by the Betterment of Children Foundation for a Class B beer license. Commissioners based their decision on recommendations by the sheriff's office and county business license section.Betterment of Children was granted a one-time license to sell beer at a July Fourth celebration on private property just east of the Great Salt Lake Beach State Park. The organization then requested a permanent license for beer sales at the same site.

But the sheriff's office and business license regulators objected to the request, saying the organization does not operate a bona fide restaurant as required by ordinance for the granting of a Class B license and a number of license violations were observed by deputies July 4.

Foundation representative Denny Moore told commissioners Betterment of Children operates food concessions at the beach that should be considered a restaurant and that the alleged violations never occurred.

Moore said the foundation has invested thousands of dollars in equipment and site improvements at the beach hoping to raise money through concession stand sales to Great Salt Lake visitors.

"We represent kids who are shortchanged at home," Moore said. "The Great Salt Lake is visited by 1.4 million people a year. We want money spent at the beach to go back to kids."

Moore said Betterment of Children fills voids in county and state social service programs by providing food, clothing and medical assistance to needy children whose parents do not qualify for assistance under government guidelines.

The private, non-profit corporation does not solicit donations, and beach concession sales are the foundation's major source of income, he said.

The organization has 10 days to appeal the decision to the county business license section. Moore said an appeal will be filed.