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MACF awards grant to Big Brothers, Big Sisters

Monday, April 16, 2012

Suzette Huntress, Vice President of Operations, Clark Community Mental Health Center, presents the $3,000 grant award to Don Tuck, Big Brothers Big Sisters Monett Site Coordinator for the Monett school-based Program. Behind them are MACF board members Don Weber, Jeff Scott, Regina Bowsher, Mike Brownsberger, Phyllis Garrett, Jane Rogers, Robin Walker, John Jungmann, and Mike Gollhofer.
Monett's Big Brothers Big Sisters program is the beneficiary of a $3,000 grant from the Monett Area Community Foundation (MACF). The funding will be used to increase the size and scope of the afterschool mentoring program at two schools in Monett.

The grant was made possible through the Tom and Mary Del Clark Fund, a component fund of the MACF, which is an affiliate of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.

The Clark Community Mental Health Center, which was established and substantially funded by the estate of Tom and Mary Del Clark, will track the grant project's progress. Its mission is community outreach for child advocacy, drug and alcohol abuse and adult and child mental health.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monett, which is currently in its second year of operation, plans to use the $3,000 grant to grow its after-school mentoring program at Monett Middle School and expand into it to serve Monett Intermediate School students. The organization currently serves 14 at-risk youth at the middle school with a goal to serve at least 30 children between the two facilities beginning with the fall 2012 semester. Funds will help provide site supervision, background checks, supplies, activities and snacks for the 40 children and their matching big sister or big brother.

"We believe, and data seems to support, the positive influence that is provided to these at-risk students will have a lasting effect on their behavior and future success," said Don Tuck, site coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters in Monett.

According to Big Brother Big Sister statistics, mentoring has a strong impact on students. Of those involved in the program, 52 percent were less likely to skip school, 46 percent were less likely to begin using drugs, 33 percent were less likely to hit someone or start a fight at school and 27 percent were less likely to use alcohol.

The Tom and Mary Del Clark Fund was established a number of years ago at the couple's direction through their estate, as Tom and Mary Del were killed in a motorcycle accident in 1989 while on a touring vacation in Switzerland. The estate transferred grantmaking authority to the Monett Area Community Foundation, which awards grants on a semi-annual basis to area organizations.

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks is a regional public foundation established in 1973 with assets of about $185 million in more than 2,000 funds. Its network includes 44 affiliate foundations, including the Monett Area Community Foundation, which was established in 1998 and now has assets of more than $1.26 million in 41 funds. Since its inception, the MACF has distributed more than $1 million back into area communities.

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