MRPC News Release

For immediate release
March 20, 2017

For more information, contact
Maria Bancroft at (573) 265-2993

Robert Niebruegge (left), Doug Dunlap, Sal Parker, Amy Baumhoegger and Gerri Kellmann with the Owensville Chamber of Commerce accepted the ‘big’ check and the real check from MRCF Chair Vicki Nelson (right). 

MRCF awards six community grants
Owensville Chamber of Commerce receives $250 for downtown benches

ST. JAMES—Meramec Regional Community Foundation (MRCF) awarded the Owensville Chamber of Commerce of Owensville in Gasconade County $250 for downtown benches at the MRCF invite-a-friend luncheon March 7 at #4 Industrial Drive, St. James. This year the MRCF board reviewed a total of 17 grant applications requesting a total of $4,250 and representing projects in Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties.

The Owensville Chamber of Commerce’s primary goal by placing benches in the downtown business area is to attract visitors to the business district and provide areas for them to rest. The project is especially important as the community is preparing for a large influx of visitors for the Aug. 21, 2017 total eclipse. Bull Moose Tube Company in Gerald donated materials for the benches, and the vocational agriculture classes at the Gasconade County R-2 High School are doing the construction. Grant funds will be utilized to have the benches powder coated to preserve their beauty and functionality.

Other recipients, each receiving $250, include:

  • Bonebrake Center of Nature and History in Dent County for public bathroom renovation,
  • Esther’s House of Redemption in Maries County for the Freedom Outreach Project,
  • Newburg Community Revitalization Program Group in Phelps County for the community park,
  • Salvation Army of Pulaski County for their food and shelter program, and
  • Washington County Community Partnership for a bathroom renovation.

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 Nelson, a representative of Mid America Bank’s Belle Banch, serves as MRCF’s chairman. Currently, MRCF has 52 funds totaling nearly $767,576.

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, collaboration and public leadership. Formed in 1973, CFO has since grown to include 49 affiliate community foundations and more than 2,600 charitable funds totaling approximately $253 million in assets.

MRPC, in addition to establishing the regional foundation, 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 25, 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.

To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at www.meramecregion.orgor on Facebook at


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