CFO and Commerce Trust Award $105,000 in Coover Grants

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks, in partnership with Commerce Trust Company, awarded $105,000 to 12 organizations serving rural poverty needs across southern Missouri.

The 2011 Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Regional Grantmaking Program has awarded a total of 194 grants worth $2.6 million for efforts to fight rural poverty since the program began in 2003. This year’s awards focus heavily on hunger and backpack programs to help ensure that kids and their families have enough nutritious food, particularly over weekends when school breakfast and lunch resources are not available. The grant committee reviewed more than $500,000 in requests for this competitive grant cycle.

“We had many strong requests, but the review panel felt that our highest priority should be working to defeat the chronic problems that affect kids across our region,” said Jill Reynolds, vice president at Commerce Trust and secretary of the CFO Board of Directors. “Kids can’t succeed at learning or at life if they are hungry, or need medical or dental care. All of these recipients honor the work Mrs. Coover wanted to support through her legacy gift.”

Mrs. Coover was a 30-year employee at Commerce Bank who established the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation in 1992 to honor her husband’s memory.

The following agencies received 2011 Coover Regional Grantmaking awards:

  • Southwest R-V School District: $13,000 for a backpack program.
  • Gift of Hope, Inc.: $6,000 for its Backpack Club program serving Taney County students.
  • Weaubleau, Wheatland and Hickory County school districts: $15,000 for a Back Snacks program run by teen volunteers.
  • Halfway R-III School District: $16,000 to provide Back Snacks for students in need.
  • Ozark County Community Foundation, Gainesville R-V School District and the Ozark County Ministerial Alliance: $14,000 for a weekend backpack program.
  • Carthage Crosslines Ministry: $2,500 to apply toward cost of a freezer to increase food-storage capacity.
  • West Plains Christian Clinic: $10,000 to renovate and equip a room in the clinic.
  • Children’s Smile Center: $6,000 to provide dental screenings for an additional 450 children in Christian and Stone counties.
  • Faith Community Health: $7,500 to provide for nearly 400 additional patient appointments for Stone and Taney County clients.
  • Cardinal Cares Program: $5,000 to provide food and clothing for children in the Clinton School District.
  • Newborns in Need, Inc., Southwest Missouri Chapter: $3,000 for services for sick and needy babies and their families in Douglas, Laclede, Ozark, Webster and Wright counties.
  • Sigma House of Springfield: $7,000 to help clients who suffer from treatable medical or dental conditions in Greene, Christian, Taney, Stone, Barry, Lawrence, Dade, Webster, Polk, Dallas and Douglas counties.