For immediate release
Belle Community Betterment Association receives $500 MRCF community grant
BELLE—Meramec Regional Community Foundation (MRCF) awarded the Belle Community Betterment Assocaiton (BCBA) with a $500 grant for its Welcome to Belle sign landscaping project. The checks were presented at MRCF’s March meeting at MRPC in St. James. This year, the MRCF board reviewed a total of 19 grant applications, requesting a total of $9,500 and representing projects in Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties. The Belle Community Betterment Association was one of three projects selected for funding.
The funds will be used to purchase landscape matting, edging, decorative rock and bushes in order to complete landscaping around the new Welcome to Belle sign. The labor is being provided by members of the BCBA. This is the final component to completion of this project.
“We are very excited and thankful that the Belle Community Betterment Association was awarded this grant,” said BCBA members Barb Schaller and Vicki Nelson via email. “One of the missions of our group is to complete beautification projects in our Belle community. This grant will definitely help us complete the landscaping around the Welcome to Belle sign this summer. We are so grateful these grant opportunities exists through the Meramec Regional Community Foundation for communities and organizations in this region.”
The other recipients were Hope Alliance of Missouri for direct cost support and the Salvation Army of Pulaski County for its Helping Hands for Those in Need 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. Jared Niederer of Gasconade County serves as chairman of MRCF.
Currently, MRCF has 50 funds totaling over $4.1 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 53 affiliate community foundations and more than 3,500 charitable funds totaling approximately $375 million in assets, as of June 30, 2022.
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. Steve Vogt, representing the city of Belle, 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.
Cutline: Belle Community Betterment Association members Vicki Nelson (left), Ashley Harris and Barb Schaller pose for a picture at the Welcome to Belle Sign with the $500 Meramec Regional Community Foundation “check” for the BCBA’s landscaping project. The Belle Community Betterment Association is one of three organizations to receive a 2023 community grant from MRCF.