CFO to Award Metro Springfield Community Response Challenge Grants

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks will host a celebration at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012, to award matching funds for the Metropolitan Springfield Community Response Challenge Grants.

The event will take place at the CFO’s Community Room, 425 E. Trafficway, in Springfield. As part of the ceremony, each receiving agency will have a chance to share a few words about the projects and initiatives these grant monies will help fund.

The event will recognize the successful efforts of 13 non-profit agencies that will receive $125,000 in matching funds for a total of $250,000 raised to support programs representing early childhood development, hunger, health and human services, education, and housing stabilization.

This is the third year the CFO has offered the competitive matching grants tied to the Community Focus Report, which released its 5th edition in Fall 2011. The CFO is a partner in producing the report, along with the United Way of the Ozarks, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Springfield-Greene County Library District and the Junior League of Springfield, to develop a broad-based consensus on the community’s strengths and challenges. You can read the current and past Community Focus Reports at

“We are very pleased that these agencies responded to the challenge, allowing us to match this $125,000 and help these agencies continue to make a real difference in Springfield and Greene County,” said Community Foundation of the Ozarks Board Chair Cliff Brown. “We appreciate the hard work of our grant panel and all of the agencies working to address these red flags in our community.”

The agencies and projects that will be receiving challenge grant awards are:

  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters: $7,100 for salaries, training materials and supplies to enhance children’s self-esteem through relationships with positive adult role models.
  • CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates): $10,000 for volunteer training and recruitment to improve outcomes for children placed in the child-protective system.
  • Child Advocacy Center: $8,800 to fund additional forensic interviewers, child advocates, technology and legal costs to help children who may be victims of abuse.
  • Community Partnership of the Ozarks: $6,700 for expenses for facilitator training and evaluation tool development to promote resilient children and healthy families.
  • Crosslines: $8,800 to purchase food for the food pantry.
  • Connections Handyman Services: $8,800 for building materials, labor costs and material delivery to provide home repairs for low-income seniors and people with disabilities.
  • Harmony House: $8,800 for materials and services for emergency shelter services.
  • The Kitchen: $12,500 for salary costs for office supervision, patient, pharmacy and medical assistants at the medical clinic.
  • Lighthouse Child and Family Development Center: $9,000 to support scholarships, a family coordinator, childcare and materials for intensive family case management services.
  • Ozarks Food Harvest: $7,000 for food, materials and support for children’s weekend backpack programs.
  • Ozarks Regional YMCA: $12,500 for staff, supplies, facility and school rental costs for quality after-school opportunities for families who cannot afford certified childcare services.
  • Ronald McDonald House Tooth Truck: $12,500 for supplies for “pilot brushing” program to provide preventative dental services to at-risk children.
  • The Victim Center: $12,500 for services, supplies and professional development to provide prevention education, crisis intervention, counseling and assistance to crime victims.

The CFO received nearly $240,000 in requests for the $125,000 available for the challenge grants, which were reviewed by a community grant panel. Each agency had until Feb. 3, 2012 to raise at least the amount of the grant recommendation in order to receive the matching funds. The CFO expresses its appreciation to the volunteer grant committee comprised of: Dr. Gloria Galanes (Co-Chair), Dr. Tom Prater (Co-Chair), David Yaktine, Misty Jordan, Ferba Lofton, Tom DenOuden, Debbie Shantz, Carol Cruise and Randy Russell (CFO staff representative).

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks includes 44 affiliate community foundations; more than 400 non-profit and school partners; more than 2,000 funds; and assets of $177 million as of Dec. 31, 2011.