Monett Area Community Foundation Hosts Evening to Celebrate Legacies

The Monett Area Community Foundation Board of Directors hosted about 40 community members at a  first-time “Celebrate a Legacy” event Saturday night to learn more about the impact charitable giving has had on Monett.

Founded in 1998, the MACF now holds about $1.3 million in charitable assets in about 35 funds.

Representatives of Camp Barnabas, the YMCA, The Den, and RockOn set up displays to show the impact of charitable gifts for their groups. The Monett Youth Empowerment Project chapter told its story through a Powerpoint and video presentation outlining its youth grantmaking efforts and having students describe what participating in YEP has meant to them.

Two MACF founding members also described their experiences with charitable gifts and planned giving.

Rod Anderson said he established the Howard and Dorothy Anderson Education Assistance Fund to honor his “working middle class” parents who both graduated from Monett High School in 1939. He designated the endowed scholarship fund for non-traditional students who have to work their way through college.

Frank Compton told the story of how he and other MACF founders worked to transfer a portion of an estate left by EFCO and Clark Industries founder Tom Clark and his wife, Mary Dell, who died in a motorcycle crash in Europe. Instead of ending up in probate court, estate proceeds established the Tom and Mary Dell Clark Memorial Fund through the Community Foundation of the Ozarks. That became the impetus to set up the Monett Area Community Foundation as an affiliate of the CFO. The fund now supports the Clark Community Mental Health Center, which provides crisis assistance and treatment services for residents in Barry and Lawrence counties with mental illness, substance-abuse problems and developmental disabilities.

CFO President Brian Fogle said such legacies are important to fill the gaps created by decreased public funding for education and human services.

“A Community Foundation is just a means of helping gather local resources for local challenges,” Fogle said, noting last week’s announcement of the CFO’s grantmaking milestone. “People like you are the reason we’ve been able to give out $100 million over the past 38 years.”

MACF President Mark Nelson summed up the challenge to the community members to consider charitable giving as part of their family financial and estate planning.

“What do you want your footprint to look like?” he asked.