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St. John's donates $88K to local charities

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St. John's Clinic yesterday presented about $88,000 in donations to Ozarks Food Harvest, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ozarks, Bridges for Youth, the Good Samaritan Boys Ranch and the Don't Meth With MO program.

Clinic co-workers and physicians raised funds and made donations during the clinic's semiannual Force for Good campaign, which ran under the theme Every Kid Counts, according to a news release.

“We set an ambitious goal this time and still made it,” Force for Good Chairman Dr. Robert Mahnken said of the $80,000 goal in the release. “I’m proud of all our co-workers.”

Ozarks Food Harvest received the largest portion of the funding, $40,000, which will go toward the nonprofit's Weekend Backpack Program. The donation will provide 96 backpacks each week, or 3,400 backpacks during the school year, giving at-risk children in 16 southwest Missouri communities more than 20,000 meals.

The clinic presented a $30,000 check to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ozarks, which will help fund kitchen facilities in the 8,000-square-foot Ronald McDonald House under construction on the sixth floor of St. John's Hospital.

Bridges for Youth - which provides youth centers for children in low-income families - received $4,500 to purchase equipment for its center at 1230 W. Madison St., near McGregor Elementary School.

The Good Samaritan Boys Ranch was given $6,069 to help provide outdoor recreational opportunities for resident's of the ranch's Footsteps Transitional Living project.

A $7,500 donation was given to the Don't Meth With MO program, a project of the Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast. The funding will help the club present students in Springfield and outlying communities a presentation on the consequences of using methamphetamine, according to the release.

The Force for Good, the charitable arm of St. John's Clinic, has raised more than $1 million for local charities since its 2003 inception, according to its Web site.
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