Eldon Community Foundation was established in February 2005 for much the same reason other community foundations have been established – to re-invest local monies into community charitable projects for perpetuity. But a little over a year later, Eldon Community Foundation is buzzing with activity.
That activity, the “Kent Kehr Challenge,” has the potential to make a big difference in the lives of Eldon citizens for years to come. Kent Kehr, a 1949 graduate of Eldon High School, has pledged to match donations made to the Eldon Community Foundation up to $500,000.
Kehr, a 1953 graduate of Colgate University, finished his doctorate of law degree in 1956 and now practices law at Kehr & Associates, PC in St. Louis, Mo. An educator in the Eldon R-1 District made such an impact on Kehr’s life that he wants to give back to the Eldon community.
The kickoff event for the “Kent Kehr Challenge” will be held June 24 at the home of Eldon Community Foundation’s board president, Dennis Bond. The annual donor appreciation event will include music, a catered dinner and a short speech from Kehr. After this inaugural evening, the Eldon Community Foundation will begin what Bond calls “regular fundraising.” Eldon Community Foundation board members will speak to individuals and nonprofit organizations about the matching opportunity. Local groups like the Friends of the Animals and the Boy Scouts have already expressed an interest in partnering with the Eldon Community Foundation.
“We’re asking individuals to give $100 a year for 10 years for non-restricted grant money, but right now we hope they will give as much up front as possible for the match,” said Bond.
With a population of 5,000, the “Kent Kehr Challenge” will make a difference in the Eldon community. Programs often go unfunded because of a lack of matching dollars from the community, but future grants from the Eldon Community Foundation could change all that.
“The impact will be huge,” said Bond. “The school board had to cancel the gifted program because of no matching monies. The city tells me they don’t apply for improvement grants because there has to be matching money. That will be over. We’ll be able to do that.”