MRPC News Release

For immediate release
March 20, 2017

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

Debby Bust and Kim Massie of Washington County Community Partnership accepted the ‘big’ check and the real check from MRCF Chair Vicki Nelson.

MRCF awards six community grants
Washington County Community Partnership receives $250 for bathroom renovation

ST. JAMES—Meramec Regional Community Foundation (MRCF) awarded the Washington County Community Partnership of Potosi $250 for bathroom renovations 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.

After realizing high rates of incarceration, juvenile court referrals and drug overdoses, the Washington County Community Partnership decided to sponsor the Ten Six Art Gallery, a creative space aimed at being welcoming to at-risk individuals who want to learn, sell or teach art or just hang out in a safe space. The county commission gave the partnership use of a county building for the Ten Six Art Cooperative in exchange for fixing up the interior. Currently, the building doesn’t have any plumbing. Grant funds received from MRCF will be used to plumb the building for a restroom and hooking it up to city water. With the working restroom and running water, they will be able to begin art classes and fundraising events in the gallery space.

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,
• Owensville Chamber of Commerce in Gasconade County for downtown benches, and
• Salvation Army of Pulaski County for their food and shelter program.

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 Branch, 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.

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