Eight counties | 36 cities | one region

a voluntary council of local governments
serving the missouri meramec area.

CASA receives $250 for volunteer recruitment in Maries County

For immediate release

For more information, contact
Maria Bancroft

ST. JAMES—Meramec Regional Community Foundation (MRCF) awarded Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of South Central Missouri a $250 grant for its volunteer recruitment needs in Maries County. The check was presented at the MRCF invite-a-friend luncheon March 7 at MRPC in St. James. This year the MRCF board reviewed a total of 21 grant applications requesting a total of $5,500 and representing projects in Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties. CASA was one of six projects selected for funding.

CASA of South Central Missouri strives to provide abused and neglected children that are in the foster care system with the opportunity to have a voice. These troubled children come from dysfunctional homes, and the CASA volunteers work hard to make sure these children are in safe environments. The grant funds are going to help CASA fund a volunteer recruitment fair in Maries County and purchase specific recruitment materials, specifically a tri-panel display board.

“The MRCF grant will allow CASA to reach out to several different communities in Maries County,” CASA Assistant Director Brock Whisler said. “Maries County has around 25 children in foster care at any given time, due to abuse and/or neglect, and we would like to be able to recruit and train volunteers from Maries County to speak out for these kids. We want the folks in Maries County to see that our program is here to help children – even the children close to home. We always need volunteers to speak out for abused and neglected children.”

Other recipients, receiving $250, include:

  • Art Works on Main Gallery in Owensville for an art room renovation,
  • Caledonia Community Foundation in Washington County for village park improvements,
  • Dent County Community Foundation for clean-up and beautification projects,
  • University of Missouri Extension – Crawford County for an artist and farmer rendezvous project, and
  • The Ya Ya’s of Belle in Maries County for park and arena renovations.

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 59 funds totaling over $1.39 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 $285 million in assets, as of June 30, 2017.

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. A professional staff of 23, directed by the MRPC board, 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.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to MRCF for its grant making efforts or interested in establishing their own fund can contact Maria Bancroft at MRCF at mbancroft@meramecregion.org or by phone at 573-265-2993 Ext. 114.

To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at www.meramecregion.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion/.

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Photo: Brock Whisler (left), assistant director, and Becky Smith, board president, with CASA of South Central Missouri accept the ‘big’ check and the real check from MRCF Chair Vicki Lange.