Eight Regional Agencies Receive $109,475 in Grants

CAPTION: Jill Reynolds, Vice President of Commerce Trust and CFO board member, along with Doug Thornsberry, CFO board member, present grant awards to representatives from the Ripley County Caring Community Partnership.

The Louis and Dorothy Coover Regional Grantmaking Program, a partnership between Community Foundation of the Ozarks and Commerce Trust Company, awarded $109,475.00 to 8 agencies serving the Missouri Ozarks in a grant presentation held on November 17th. This year’s Coover awards focused directly on solutions aimed at fighting rural poverty. The review panel received 35 applications representing $485,909.00 in requested funds. Organizations with regional service areas that are primarily outside of metropolitan Springfield and Greene County are encouraged to apply. Mrs. Coover, a 30 year employee of Commerce Bank, established the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation in 1992 to honor the memory of her husband.

Recipients of the 2009-2010 Coover Regional Awards are as follows:
Boys & Girls Club of the Ozarks – $14,000
This grant will allow the Boys & Girls Club of the Ozarks to assist additional children from rural Taney & Stone counties, ages 6-15 years, who fall at or below 125% of federal poverty guidelines. The children will have access to high-quality, day-long youth development programming opportunities & physical activities during the summer.

Cabool Development Foundation – $13,000
This grant seeks to make affordable primary health care available to 43,000 residents of a 4-county region in South Central Missouri. Cabool Development Foundation has partnered with a federally qualified Health Center (Southern Missouri Community Health Center in West Plains) to help realize that goal through medical, dental and mental health care services.

Care to Learn – Bolivar, Nixa and Ozark – $15,000
Funding available through this programming will address emergency hunger, health, and hygiene needs of students in each district through food backpacks, food vouchers, clothing vouchers, hygiene items, and financial assistance for medical needs. This project is based on the very successful model started through Mr. Doug Pitt’s “Care to Learn Foundation” in Springfield.

Hope’s Bridge – $14,500
This organization is dedicated to the temporary care of children whose families are in crisis in Polk, Dallas, Cedar, Hickory, Benton and Webster counties. Funding from this grant will provide for additional staff & operational needs and is intended to double the capacity to provide temporary care for the children; thus helping families remain intact while their needs are being met.

Ozarks Resource Group – $13,950
The programming and grant assistance provided through this grant will help provide a centralized, safe location for parents to access when they need assistance through the Family Resource Center; and, help assist students in Hickory County to make healthy and responsible choices.

Ripley County Caring Community Partnership – $9,025
The funding being made available to this program will provide impoverished students with evening meals, while participating in the Ripley County CASASTART Program — a community-based, after school program that provides Doniphan R-1 students ages 8-13 the opportunity to work with tutors and mentors.

Samaritan Outreach Center – $15,000
This center in West Plains provides emergency shelter and a viable means of support to homeless people in the South Central Ozarks who need assistance in re-entering society. The services available for individuals who access the facility include referral and placements for employment, housing, transportation, educational opportunities, mental health services, and a broad range of children’s services.

The Samaritan Center – $15,000
The Samaritan Center is the only food and clothing distribution center in Henry County and has provided services for clients in Henry, St. Clair and Benton County for 22 years. This grant will allow the center to increase its services to 100 additional families by providing 150,000 pounds of meat, fruits, and vegetables. This will increase their total service outreach to 800 families in the counties served.

To view and/or listen to the story on KSMU/National Public Radio about these grant awards, please click here