Aurora Area Community Foundation

The mission of the Aurora Area Community Foundation is to establish endowments that enhance the quality of life for current and future generations by reinvesting in the community. The unique role of a community foundation is to work with charitable donors to build a permanent source of charitable assets to meet the emerging, as well as the existing, needs of the community. The Aurora Area Community Foundation seeks to service the area by defining and meeting local needs through leadership and collaboration.


Contact Information:
P.O. Box 329
Aurora, MO  65605

Established Sept. 11, 2006

Board of Governors:
Jack Muench, President
James Ferguson, Secretary/Treasurer
Scott Pettit
Randy Howard
Joseph Woodcock
Debbie Stanley
Linda Cook

For additional information, contact Jack Muench at (417) 678-3333; or

Total Assets (as of June 30, 2019): $4,374,668

Community Grantmaking

The application period for AACF’s grantmaking program for health-related needs runs Aug. 30 to Oct. 31. 501(c)3 organizations or other IRS-approved entities (government entities, school districts and churches) serving the Aurora area are eligible to apply. Click here for more information (search for “Aurora”).

Aurora Area Community Foundation members receive a $10,000 grant for ROHI

AACF board members JP Lee, Debbie Stanley, Linda Cook, Scott Pettit, Melvey Hillhouse and board president Jack Muench.

Aurora Area Community Foundation receives $10,000 Rural Ozarks Health Initiative Grant

On March 26, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and Missouri Foundation for Health awarded a $10,000 grant to Aurora Area Community Foundation through the Rural Ozarks Health Initiative to address health issues in communities in the CFO’s rural service area. AACF will award the funds to support agencies targeting mental health in children and young adults.

“All of us at the Aurora Area Community Foundation are very pleased to receive this ROHI grant from the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and Missouri Foundation for Health,” said Jack Muench, President of AACF. “We are excited to offer a grant program to people in the communities of Aurora, Marionville and Verona that are working to identify mental-health and substance-abuse problems of our area youth.”

For the second year, the CFO has awarded $10,000 grants to 10 affiliate foundations to support community health programs and grantmaking. The grants are part of the Rural Ozarks Health Initiative, a program to address health issues in communities or regions served by the CFO’s affiliates. Other recipients for 2019 include affiliate foundations serving Alton, Dade County, Dent County, the Lake of the Ozarks area, the Marshfield area, the Meramec region, Nixa, the Ozark Foothills region and West Plains.

This grant program was developed by Missouri Foundation for Health and the CFO because of a disparity in health indicators between urban and rural areas of Missouri and the scarcity of grant resources available for rural issues in general.

“We know that our work as a changemaker cannot have its greatest impact if we are not collaborating with other regional and local funders that undoubtedly know their communities best,” said Bob Hughes, MFH president and CEO. “Going into round two of this funding program with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks demonstrates the power of partnership and how working together moves us toward the best outcomes for community health improvements.”

“The $10,000 grants reinforce our belief that local people know how to best address local needs,” said CFO President Brian Fogle. “While there are disparities between rural and urban community health, every small town or county has its own unique challenges. We trust these affiliate foundations will make the best decisions for their communities.”

A third grant round will be awarded in 2020. When complete, $750,000 in grant funding will be distributed to more than 30 communities served by CFO affiliate foundations. More information about ROHI is available at:


Funds and Grantmaking

Existing Funds:
Ackley Fund
Aurora Area Community Foundation Administrative Endowment Fund
Aurora Area Unrestricted Community Grantmaking Fund
Aurora Back to School Bash Fund
Aurora Beautification Co Fund
Aurora Community Theatre Memorial Scholarship Fund*
Aurora GRO 2.0 Fund
Aurora Hunger Challenge Fund
Aurora Park Board Fund
Aurora Police Department Support Fund
Houn Dawg Education Endowment Fund
Aurora Project Rise Fund
Aurora Trails Fund
Aurora Youth Empowerment Fund
Children’s Smile Center Fund: Aurora
Harvest Food Pantry Hunger Challenge Fund
Houn Dog Scholarship Fund
Randy and Melissa Howard Grantmaking Fund
J.K. Burney Scholarship Fund*
Ed Cook Memorial Scholarship Fund*
James D. and Mary L. Crafton Endowment Fund*
First Christian Church Endowment Fund
Freedom Foundation Fund
Laverta Arnhardt Jones Scholarship Fund
Ethel King Memorial Scholarship Sponsored by Donald K. King Trust Fund
Virgie King Memorial Scholarship Sponsored by Donald K. King Trust Fund
John J. Lee Memorial Fund
Greg Lewis Memorial Fund
John B. Mais Scholarship Fund
Miller High School FFA/Agriculture Department Fund
Carol R. Pettit Fund for the BCFO
JD and Carol Ann Pilkenton Fund
Tri County Pregnancy Resource Center Fund
United Commercial Travelers #632 of Aurora Missouri Fund*
Verona Baptist Church Hunger Challenge Fund

*established as at-large funds of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks

Legacy Society
Brian and Renee Fogle
Randy and Melissa Howard
Jack and Cyndy Muench

Community Grants for Fiscal Year 2016

Harvest Food Pantry, Hunger Challenge match, $1,000
New Veteran’s Memorial Project, $500
First Presbyterian Church, $1,000
Aurora R-8 School District, Bright Futures, $1,000
City of Aurora, White Park pool improvements, $600
Aurora R-8 School District, wood shop equipment, $2,000
Aurora R-8 School District, Dawgs on Target, $1,000
Verona R-VII Schools, Wildcat Packs, $1,500
Marionville School District, Chromebooks, $1,500
Hangout for Youth and Beyond, storage area, $500
Children’s Smile Center, $500
YEP Grant: Heifer International, $600
YEP Grant: Crowder College, $125
YEP Grant: Drury University, $1250
Aurora R-8 School District, classroom mini grants, $950
YEP Grant: Clark Community Mental Health Center, $240

Community Grants for Fiscal Year 2015

YEP Grant: Drury University, scholar program, $250
YEP Grant: The Writers’ Colony, youth program, $150
Verona R-VII Schools, early childhood programs, $500
City of Verona, sidewalk improvement, $380
Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, $220
Tri-County Pregnancy Resource Center, $250
First Presbyterian Church, $500
Aurora United Methodist Church, sack lunch program, $500
For the Kids, $500
Aurora R-8 School District, Bright Futures, $1,000
Children’s Smile Center, dental screenings for kids, $750
New Veteran’s Memorial, $500
City of Aurora, White Park pool improvements, $800