A Blossoming Legacy in the Ozarks

RSC congratulates the Community Foundation of the Ozarks on their 50-year anniversary

May 25, 2023 |

This past spring, 50,000 daffodils bloomed in more than 40 rural communities across central and southern Missouri as part of an effort to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.

Rural community foundations are often places where caring people and organizations come together to support local needs, and develop local assets for local solutions. Since its inception in 1973, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO), our longtime partner and Missouri Ozarks Hub lead, has done just that by providing philanthropic leadership to build stronger communities in central and southern Missouri.

First supported by then-Springfield Mayor Jim Payne and businesswoman Anne Drummond, the CFO is now governed by community volunteers and run by a professional staff that serves a network of donors, regional affiliate foundations, nonprofit partners and professional advisors through approximately 3,500 charitable funds. 50 years later, CFO continues to support their community by helping individuals and organizations accomplish their goals by facilitating charitable giving, scholarships and grantmaking.

Many of the funds set up through the foundation have since outlasted their donors and continue to bloom, spread, and grow- which is why CFO President Brian Fogle believes planting daffodils was the perfect way to celebrate CFO’s 50 year anniversary.

CFO President Brian Fogle

He states, “When spring came…daffodils started coming up in a field next to us. Multitudes of them. [My roommate] explained that the field used to be a farm, and the homestead was formerly in that field. The daffodils outlasted the family that once lived there, and the abode where they resided. Despite the changing world all around, they just kept spreading, growing and blooming.

I can’t think of a better symbol for our 50th anniversary. Most of the original founders of our organization no longer walk this earth, but their legacy continues. Many of the funds set up have long outlasted their donors and continue to bloom, spread and grow — brightening our region with scholarships and grants to help others.”

Rural Schools Collaborative is privileged to have worked alongside the Foundation through collaborative work on sharing innovative place-based best practices and resources for asset development in rural communities, and is proud to have Brian Fogle serve on our Board of Directors.

RSC congratulates CFO on 50 years, and wishes the foundation many more years to come.

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