CFO, Commerce Trust Partner on Coover Regional Poverty Grants

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks, in partnership with Commerce Trust Company, awarded $200,000 in grants to 16 agencies that tackle regional poverty issues across southern Missouri.

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 $3.6 million in grantmaking across the Ozarks since its founding.

“These 2013 Coover awards support hunger and nutritional program training, housing and shelter needs, medical prescription and dental services, children-centered needs and human services program strategies across the region,” CFO Board Chair and Commerce Trust Vice President Jill Reynolds said.

“This program is very near and dear to us here at Commerce Trust because Mrs. Coover was a 30-year employee of Commerce Bank,” Reynolds added at Friday’s ceremony. “We’re very proud of her and what she established, we’re proud to manage it and we are proud to hand it out to you all here today.”

The Coover Regional Grant Panel, which is comprised of the CFO’s regional board members, had to consider  more than $498,000 in requests to make its selections.

The following agencies received the 2013 Coover Regional Grantmaking awards:

  • Gift of Hope: $10,000 for the purchase of groceries to increase independence for Taney County families.
  • Sustainable Communities/Small Farms Network: $14,150 for construction materials for ramps, cabinets, plumbing, electrical work, plus labor costs and utility coverage for rural residents.
  • Skaggs Foundation: $14,500 for operational expenses, room rentals, food, YMCA memberships and medical lab costs for Taney and Stone County residents.
  • The Independent Living Center, Inc.: $9,500 for a commercial freezer, one year of food expenses, cleaning supplies and toiletries for the organization’s service region.
  • Boys and Girls Club of the Ozarks: $19,950 for scholarships for 133 free/reduced lunch-qualified children at the Club’s Branson unit.
  • Ozarks Food Harvest: $20,000 for food and operational expenses, delivery/storage costs and administrative expenses to help rural residents in need.
  • South Central Child Advocacy Center: $15,200 for employee travel expenses between locations, operational expenses and utilities.
  • MERS/Missouri Goodwill Industries: $17,500 for food costs, operational expenses, delivery/storage expenses and a nutritional specialist and materials to help rural residents with barriers to employment find jobs.
  • Healthy Community Jordan Valley: $8,850 for hygiene kits for children, educational materials, medical supplies and mobile training units.
  • Hickory County Community Action Education: $10,000 for operational expenses, food costs and utilities to help Hickory County residents with nutritional, educational and financial needs.
  • OACAC: $12,000 for training materials and supplies for the REALL simulation experience to support graduation persistence in Christian, Dade, Dallas, Lawrence, Polk and Webster counties.
  • Least of These, Inc.: $20,000 to support food and hygiene programs for residents in need in Christian County.
  • Protect Every Pet, Inc.: $1,000 to reduce the number of unwanted kittens and puppies through low-cost neutering for low- or no-income families.
  • Dade County Health Department: $8,000 for lab costs and prescription assistance to support public health and safety programs in Dade County.
  • Ozarks Resource Group: $8,000 for lab costs and prescription assistance for medically underserved families.
  • Ozarks Family YMCA: $11,350 for computer equipment and materials to train high-quality teen workers in high-need counties.

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 8 and more information is available at