Sprawling across Greene, Christian and Webster county lines, Rogersville concurrently works to preserve its identity — which dates to the 1880s, and was launched by the railroad — while its growth brings it closer to Springfield with every passing year.
It’s a sense of community that led people like Jennifer Katzin, a lifelong local; Brian VanFosson, who has more than 25 years of connections with Rogersville; and Chuck Medley, who also has spent decades in the area, to work with other leaders to form the Community Foundation of Rogersville in 2015.
“I just feel like this is a great community, and I want to do everything I can to support it,” says Katzin.
While Rogersville has a number of touchpoints within the area, a major one is the school. Even the district’s name — Logan-Rogersville — speaks to unity, as it was formed in 1964 when the Logan and Rogersville districts consolidated.
“The school is the tie that binds the community together,” VanFosson says. “We’re so close to Springfield, that we rely on Springfield — for news, radio, paper, all the communication when it comes out of Springfield. The school is probably that one local tie that keeps the community tethered.”
The district and its students and staff, along with multiple other community organizations, have been beneficiaries of the CFR’s work. The affiliate holds more than 20 funds for a variety of local community endeavors, and its board focuses on a signature event: Rockin’ Rogersville, an annual music festival that has raised more than $250,000 since 2015 for community needs.
“At Rockin’ Rogersville, we do a presentation of our grants,” Katzin says. “They already have the grant, but that’s where we try to get out to the community, ‘This is what we’re doing with the funds we raise from the event.’”