Eight counties | 36 cities | one region

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

Bourbon Economic Development Group receives $750 MRCF community grant

For immediate release

For more information, contact
Bonnie Prigge or Caitlin Jones

BOURBON—Meramec Regional Community Foundation (MRCF) awarded Bourbon Economic Development Group with a $750 grant for its Route 66 Business, Education and Tourism Center. The checks were presented at MRCF’s Invite-a-Friend luncheon March 12 at MRPC in St. James. Bourbon Economic Development Group was one of two projects selected for funding.

Bourbon Economic Development Group intends to use these funds to purchase the initial technology needed for the Route 66 Business, Education and Tourism center. This will include both hardware and software to be utilized for technical assistance to other groups and organizations throughout the community, as well as to provide visitors to the center with assistance. Upon completion of the center, the goal is to enhance technical education, develop tourism opportunities and develop multiple streams of business opportunities for the city of Bourbon. 

“To operate our Route 66 Welcome Center without computer technology would be impossible in today’s world, said Chuck Ray, President of the Bourbon Economic Development Group, via email. “We are so appreciative that the Meramec Regional Community Foundation/Meramec Regional Planning Commission has joined our efforts by providing the funds to purchase our computer systems.”

For more information on Bourbon Economic Development Group, please visit bourbonmo.org or find them on Facebook.  

The other recipient was the Hope Alliance of Missouri for its Friday backpack 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 59 funds totaling over $4.8 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 55 affiliate community foundations and more than 3,500 charitable funds totaling approximately $427 million in assets, as of March 2024. 

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. Mary Heywood, representing individuals with disabilities, serves as chair of the board. A professional staff of 28 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.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion/.


Cutline: Meramec Regional Community Foundation Chairman (MRCF) Jared Niederer (left) presents a $750 community grant to Erich Jett and Chuck Ray with the Bourbon Economic Development Group for its Route 66 Business, Education and Tourism Center. Bourbon Economic Development Group is one of two organizations to receive a 2024 community grant from MRCF.