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CFO, Coover Foundation grant $220,000 for ‘Vibrant Communities’

April 30, 2024

Projects will address ‘epidemic of loneliness’ in rural communities

Coover 2024 group 16x 9 1

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks, in partnership with the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation and Commerce Trust, granted a total of $220,000 to 14 nonprofits to address the epidemic of loneliness and social isolation by creating meaningful ways to connect people with their communities.

The recipients of the Coover Regional Vibrant Communities Grants are:

  • Aurora Youth Empowerment Project: $14,000 to host workshops that encourage growth in literacy and purchase outdoor recreational equipment.
  • Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks: $13,017 to partner with Burrell Behavioral Health’s Be Well Initiatives to provide wellness events for breast cancer survivors and their caregivers in the Branson and Joplin areas.
  • City of Cassville: $20,000 to resurface and repurpose the city park’s tennis courts into four pickleball courts.
  • Code 1 Wellness: $20,000 to create the Rural Unity Initiative, a collaboration with Bates County Memorial Hospital that will close the gap in mental health services for rural communities in Cass, Bates and Henry counties.
  • The Community Betterment Foundation Inc.: $20,000 to expand the classroom used by students completing the Hi-Set and accessing after-school mentoring and to create a new community meeting space in Hartville.
  • Community Senior Citizens Inc.: $17,236 to purchase a dishwasher and ice machine at the Qulin Nutrition Center to continue serving seniors in the Butler County.
  • Elkland Lions Club: $15,000 to purchase new, safe bleachers and lights for its arena.
  • Glenwood Elementary: $20,000 to support an early childhood preschool playground at the school near West Plains.
  • Heart of the Ozarks United Way: $14,107 to support the Conversation Starters Program, a collaboration of West Plains’ art and therapy communities to provide mental health workshops and public art events at the Yellow House.
  • Historical Association of Greater Cape Girardeau: $10,000 to support community engagement and connection through live music performances on historic porches and other accessible venues.
  • It Takes a Village – SEMO: $15,000 to connect mothers across southeast Missouri through monthly classes, online support and in-person social events.
  • Ozarks Regional YMCA: $10,000 to support the Dallas County Senior Connection Program and the Senior Formal project.
  • Sarcoxie R-II School District: $20,000 to purchase a sound system for the archery/multi-purpose building.
  • SingerHill Music & Arts Inc.: $11,640 to expand the Miracle of Music home concert series to provide monthly concerts local nursing homes and public schools in Dade and Barton counties.

“We’re grateful to fund these grants that will bring residents of rural communities closer together,” said Jill Reynolds, senior vice president at Commerce Trust and chair of the Coover Foundation grant selection committee. “We congratulate these agencies for their innovative approaches to building community.”

Julia Dorothy Coover, a 30-year Commerce employee, founded the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation in 1992 to honor her husband’s memory. The private foundation, managed by Commerce Trust, has funded about $8 million in grants to benefit rural communities across the CFO’s service area since the partnership began in 2001. Earlier in April, the Coover Foundation, Commerce Trust and the CFO granted $80,000 to 18 rural school districts in the Coover/Rural Schools Partnership Grant Program.

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