Skaggs Foundation Awards Local Grants

Branson Police Department receives one of 25 grants awarded this week by the Skaggs Foundation. (Photo courtesy Skaggs Foundation)

Press Release

The annual Skaggs Legacy Endowment Grant awards event looked much different this year and many of the projects funded by these grants are adjusting to a “new normal,” but one thing remains the same – a commitment to helping the people of Stone and Taney counties.

This week, Skaggs Foundation awarded 25 grants totaling more than $589,000 to organizations working to improve health and wellness in Stone and Taney counties. These projects are estimated to impact 34,864 lives over the next 12 months.

“Things look a lot different this year but we continue to be inspired by the great work these organizations are doing, their compassion for our community and their dedication to find new ways to help people in need,” said Nita Jane Ayres, chairwoman of Skaggs Legacy Endowment Grants Committee. “In a year full of challenges, these organizations are stepping up, identifying vital needs and finding ways to meet those needs.”

Among the 25 grants awarded several focus on mental health.

Branson Police Department was awarded a two-year, $20,000 grant to launch a Regional Peer Support Team to help first responders process personal issues and struggles associated with the traumatic events they respond to and manage throughout their careers. This grant will help address mental health needs for first responders in both Stone and Taney counties and supports a great partnership between local police, fire and emergency medical services.

Branson Police Chief Jeff Matthews said he’s grateful for his department to be a 2020 Skaggs Legacy Endowment grantee.

“Our first responders often experience high trauma and crisis situations when they help our citizens in need,” Matthews said. “We don’t think about the effects this kind of repeated trauma can have on our emergency personnel. This Regional Peer Support Team is a vital resource to those on the front lines who need help managing a past emergency response or a stressful incident. This is truly a blessing for all first responders in Taney and Stone Counties including police, sheriffs, fire, and EMS.”

“We are honored to be able to provide funds to this and many other organizations serving as the hands and feet making a difference in our community,” Ayres said.

Grant awards by category:
Access to Care: Faith Community Health – FaithCare Community Partnership to Provide Healthcare Services for Uninsured Employees; Cox College – Recruiting Nurses to Branson through Scholarships 2021; Cox Medical Center Branson – Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Scholarships; SeniorAge – Rides for Seniors; Cox Medical Center Branson – Transportation Fund; Hollister School District – Enhancing Vision Test Results for Infants through 12th Grade.
Child and Family Safety: Boys and Girls Club of the Ozarks – Summer Enrichment Scholarships; Branson School District – Branson High School Cents of Pride; Gift of Hope, Inc. – Cents of Pride Store.
Dental Health: Fordland Clinic, Inc. – School Based Dental Services; Children’s Smile Center – Supplies for Hygiene Visits. Healthy Lifestyles: Branson Hollister Senior Center – Sunny Side; Galena Abesville Elementary School – Bear Focus; Boy Scouts of America – New Member Assistance for Individuals and At-Risk Youth; Forsyth School District – Parents As Teachers; Taneyville School District – Parents As Teachers.
Mental Health: Branson School District – Mental Health and Wellness; Cox Medical Center Branson – Healthier Mothers, Healthier Babies; Burrell Behavioral Health – Sources of Strength Suicide Prevention; Branson Police Department – Regional Peer Support Program; Faith Community Health – Mental Health Counseling; Elevate Branson – Elevate Kids Sensory Programming Needs.
Substance Use: Cox Medical Center Branson – Substance Use Initiative; 39th Circuit Treatment Courts – Stone County Treatment Courts; and Cox Medical Center Branson – Tobacco Cessation.

Skaggs Legacy Endowment is a restricted endowment fund made possible by a generous gift from CoxHealth in 2013. Since that time, Skaggs Foundation has awarded more than $5.9 million to organizations dedicated to improving lives in our community.


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