Meramec Regional Community Foundation (MRCF) awarded Gasconade County Health Department a $250 grant for its Car Seats for Kids. The check was presented at MRCF’s invite-a-friend luncheon March 12 at MRPC in St. James. This year, the MRCF board reviewed a total of 16 grant applications, requesting a total of $4,000 and representing projects in Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties. Gasconade County Health Department was one of six projects selected for funding.
The Gasconade County Health Department is using grant funds to purchase new car seats for low-income families in the county. Many families who cannot afford to purchase a new car seat are using expired and unsafe seats for their children and infants. The goal of the health department is to make sure that every child and infant is safely secured in a vehicle.
Other recipients, receiving $250, include:
• Crawford R-1 Schools for its Caring Closet project,
• St. James Park and Recreation Department for its Little Tigers Sports and Games program,
• Richwoods R-VII Schools for its Project Safety First,
• Phelps County Historical Society for lighting and security of the blacksmith shop addition of the Dillion Log House, and
• Osage County R-1 School for its Pirate Care Closet.
MRCF is an outgrowth of the Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) and is an affiliate of Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO) in Springfield. The regional affiliate was formed in 2010. Its 12-member board includes representation from each of the eight Meramec counties and from MRPC. Vicki Lange of Osage County serves as president of MRCF.
Currently, MRCF has 50 funds totaling over $2.64 million.
CFO is a public foundation serving the Missouri Ozarks. The foundation’s mission is to enhance the quality of life in the region through resource development, community grant-making, collaborations and public leadership. Formed in 1973, CFO has since grown to include 49 affiliate community foundations and more than 3,200 charitable funds totaling approximately $300 million in assets, as of June 30, 2019.
MRPC, in addition to establishing the regional foundation and providing the initial investment to create a grant program, provides staff support to MRCF.
Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. Gasconade County Presiding Commissioner Larry Miskel serves as chairman of the board. A professional staff of 33 offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.