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2012 40 Under 40 Honoree: Winter Skelton

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As development operations officer for Community Foundation of the Ozarks, Winter Skelton can provide an extensive list of professional achievements to look back on with pride. Her proudest moment, however, is related to her personal volunteer commitment to the Child Advocacy Center.

An idea for the Young Advocates Council for CAC began during coffee with a fellow volunteer. A year later, the concept had blossomed into a committee of 21 committed individuals with a passion for the organization’s mission to assist abused children. The group staged the Burgers & Cheers fundraiser with a $5,000 goal. The sellout event netted more than $15,000.

“I am proud to serve as the first official president of the Young Advocates Council and lead this group of dedicated volunteers,” Skelton says. “My greatest hope is that we can serve as a model for other nonprofits in the Springfield community.

Skelton brings the same pride and passion to her work at CFO, where she works with affiliate community foundations, volunteers and donor advisers to organize all facets of charitable giving.

 “Giving the CFO’s volunteer leadership the necessary tools to be successful as they work to increase philanthropic activity in their communities is one of the best parts of my job,” Skelton says.

Donor-advised funds are a key group for CFO, and each set of advisers is different. A call for assistance last fall was especially meaningful for her.

“This past holiday season, a donor contacted me telling me she was sending in an additional gift,” Skelton says. “She asked that I make recommendations of what agencies needed funds for their holiday programming. It ... but meant the world to me. She trusted me to see that her charitable contribution was successful in helping people, and that the organization that received it would ultimately help others to have a better holiday.”

Skelton credits area professional advisers with being the greatest advocates for CFO in this community.

“Without their tireless support, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks would not have the wherewithal to support so many charitable projects and programs throughout southern Missouri.”

Skelton recently was named to Drury University’s presidential search committee which is tasked with finding a successor for Todd Parnell. The committee will work through 2012 to present candidates to the university’s board of trustees.

“I am humbled to have been chosen and represent such an important constituency,” she says. “I have already learned so much from the process and anticipate that the professional development and the connections I create will make this a tremendous experience.”

Click here for full coverage of the 2012 40 Under 40.

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