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CFO establishes foundation for Neosho area

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The Community Foundation of the Ozarks has created a new foundation to serve Newton County. The Neosho Area Community Foundation will become CFO's 43rd affiliate, serving alongside Joplin-based Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri, which was established in 1999 as CFO's Joplin-Carthage area affiliate.

NACF's board of directors consists of Mike Franks, president; Blake Hierholzer, vice president; Jason Stipp, treasurer; Debbie Werneke, secretary; and members Deanna McClelland and Michael Compton, according to a CFO news release.

Hierholzer previously served on the board of directors for Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri, along with Bill Lee, community president of Arvest Bank for Neosho and Carthage.

Hierholzer and Lee approached the other board members individually, and the group agreed to participate in the creation of the NACF. To become an affiliate foundation of the CFO, the founders needed to raise $30,000 to start an endowment, which would create an annual distribution of funds for the board's operating and grantmaking work in its community. Rudy Farber, chairman of the board for Neosho-based Community Bank & Trust, donated the $30,000 needed to seed the group, according to the release.

"All of these board members have a common goal to commit to our community through this valuable foundation," Hierholzer said in the release.

The newly formed foundation is now working to develop its initial grantmaking process and project goals. The board will receive support and assistance from Michelle Ducre, CFO's staff associate based in Joplin, as well as from CFO's Springfield staff.

"We are delighted to welcome Neosho to the network of CFO affiliates across southern Missouri," CFO president Brian Fogle said in the release. "The creation of an affiliate foundation is a true commitment on the part of these Neosho leaders to develop charitable resources to serve a variety of nonprofit groups and community betterment projects that will help sustain Neosho in the future."[[In-content Ad]]

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