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–Photo by Miles Brite

Alice Wingo, Vice President of Affiliates, Community Foundation of the Ozarks, explains financial holdings and different fund options which the CFO uses to offer grants throughout the Missouri Ozarks.

With a full agenda at hand and a busy summer ahead, the Stockton Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a well-attended July meeting at the Cedar County Library, Stockton.

After an invocation from Brian Hammons, SACC executive director Bill Crabtree opened the event with an introduction to the monthly luncheon's guest speaker, Alice Wingo, Vice President of Affiliates for Community Foundation of the Ozarks.

Wingo spent almost an hour conveying the operational structure, purpose and local functionalities and benefits of all the opportunities and funding provide by the CFO.

The foundation, founded in 1973, offers diverse expertise, strategic long-term planning and funding for community betterment projects and provides access to community-centered grants through endowment funds and secure holdings managed for stable growth.

CFO also provides strategic planning and placement of non-cash gifts, like stocks, bonds and/or real estate a party would wish to bequeath via an estate.

Wingo said area schools, churches, non-profits, communities and public facilities can all benefit from the foundation's resources and efforts through grants and affiliate foundations.

The CFO currently has 49 affiliate foundations spanning an area which covers 56 counties with more the $293 million under management.

To date, the CFO has provided more than $400 million in grants to its operating area since its inception almost 50 years ago.

Wingo strongly encouraged interested parties seeking additional information or donation opportunities to contact the CFO by calling (417) 864-6199 or visit the foundation's website at www.cfoarks.org.

Stockton's own affiliate foundation has more than $850,000 under management and has provided more than $722,000 in grants throughout the Stockton area.

Marilyn Ellis, President, Stockton Community Foundation, and Stacey Picard were both present on the Stockton foundation's behalf in support of the informative presentation.

Crabtree thanked Wingo for the informative presentation and encouraged all in attendance to get further involved with the CFO as well as the local Stockton foundation at any level.

Crabtree also thanked Jeff Witt, Hillbilly Express, for providing the July luncheon's catered barbecue meal.

A noteworthy mention were the desserts present which were made with a new gluten-free walnut flour developed by Hammons Products Company's research and development department.

Brian Hammons, Chiefe Executive Officer, Hammons Products Company, said the new product is an exciting new offering from the local staple. While the new product is still being finalized, Hammons said it will likely be brought to market in the near future.

In closing, Crabtree also shared announcements, namely the chamber's upcoming annual car show in the city park on Sat., Sep. 7. SACC still is seeking vendors for the event as well as community and business sponsors and volunteers.

New Stockton Chamber of Commerce t-shirts also are available for summer and can be picked up at the SACC office for $10.

For business memberships, additional opportunities or general inquiries regarding chamber services, interested parties are encouraged to call the chamber at 276-5213, or visit the chamber's Facebook page.

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