CFO and Commerce Trust to Award $127,500 to Fight Rural Poverty

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks, in partnership with Commerce Trust Company, will present grants totaling $127,500 at 2:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 9. The grants will be awarded to 14 regional organizations that work on rural poverty issues across southern Missouri.

Media are invited to attend the 2012 Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Regional Grantmaking Program presentation, which will take place at Commerce Trust Company, 1345 E. Battlefield Road, Springfield. Each agency receiving a grant will make comments about the needs and services being provided in their communities that led to the grant requests.

This year’s grant awards will be used for a wide range of programs focusing on basic needs including hunger and nutritional food programs, homeless prevention, medical and dental care, child abuse resources and other human-services needs. The grant committee received more than $715,000 in requests for this year’s grant cycle, up from about $500,000 in requests for last year’s pool of $105,000.

These grants are made possible through the generosity of the late Julia Dorothy Coover, who worked for Commerce Bank for 30 years. She established the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation in 1992 to honor her husband’s memory. With this year’s awards, the Coover Charitable Foundation surpasses $1.5 million in grantmaking across the Ozarks since its founding.

The following agencies will receive 2012 Coover Regional Grantmaking awards:

  • Polk County Health Center: $10,000 to expand services at the Polk County Free Clinic.
  • Ozarks Resource Group, Buffalo: $5,000 for the “Bright Smiles” dental program and to develop a backpack program.
  • Care to Learn-Clever: $2,500 to support this new chapter of the organization to support health, hygiene and clothing needs of schoolchildren.
  • Care to Learn-Rogersville: $5,000 to support this new chapter.
  • Care to Learn-Willard: $5,000 to support this new chapter.
  • Least of These, Inc.: $10,000 for materials to support Care to Learn programs in Christian County.
  • The Kitchen, Inc.: $18,380 for staffing and lodging vouchers to replicate Greene County’s “One Door” homeless prevention program for Christian County.
  • ARC of the Ozarks: $5,000 for dental care for individuals with disabilities.
  • Ozarks Food Harvest: $11,420 to support regional school backpack programs.
  • The Child Advocacy Center: $20,000 to support 50 forensic interviews in the south-central region for possible child-abuse victims.
  • Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri: $16,000 to support office, equipment, and program expenses for an additional social worker.
  • Fordland Clinic, Inc.: $9,200 for dental root canal and crown supplies.
  • Delmina Woods Community Council, Forsyth: $5,000 for medical, hygiene and job-interview expenses for young women transitioning out of the facility.
  • Good Samaritan Care Center, Mountain View: $5,000 for construction, equipment and materials to provide free health care to uninsured and working poor residents in its service region.

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks and Commerce Trust also partner on a second Coover Grantmaking Program focused on place-based education in rural schools. The deadline for that program is March 2 and more information is available at


The CFO is a public charitable organization with assets totaling $177 million as of Dec. 31, 2011, which represent more than 2,000 funds, 44 affiliates, and more than 400 agency partners and schools.