The Tri-Lakes United Way awarded three grants totaling $10,100 to local non-profit agencies in recognition for the services they offered to tornado victims and the community following the February 29 EF-2 tornado that ripped through Taney and Stone Counties.
Tri-Lakes United Way was selected to receive a portion of the proceeds from "Branson’s Birthday Spectacular," which was held at RFD-TV The Theater in April 15, as part of the year-long Branson Centennial Celebration. The venue, which was completely donated for the event, brought together many of the top acts throughout Branson for an evening that was billed as "the Show of the Century." Patrick Haygood, who along with his talented family performed that evening, said, "It really was an honor to be a part of the event. We live here and have family and friends that were affected by the storm, too. We felt like it was important to come together as a community, as a family."
Additionally, second and fourth grade students from Branson Elementary School contributed $100 from the sale of the book they wrote documenting the history of Branson Public Schools in June. Both groups felt strongly that funds should go to help those non-profit agencies that were there to help friends and neighbors in need following the storm. Tri-Lakes United Way, through its grant review process, was able to facilitate the selection process and see to it that the gifts were reinvested in the community.
"Each of the grant recipients provided unique services and support to individuals and families affected by the storm, without hesitation and many times without resources budgeted to do such things," said David Cook, chairman of the Tri-Lakes United Way Advisory Board. "We are grateful that they were willing to step up when they were needed and know that these funds will help them to continue to meet basic needs right here in Taney and Stone Counties."
According to Alan Catron of Christian Associates of Table Rock Lake, "A tornado just wasn’t in our budget." Nonetheless Christian Associates was one of many local organizations that jumped into action to help those who had lost homes, personal belongings or just needed help cleaning up and getting life back to normal. Grant recipients include Christian Associates of Table Rock Lake, which received $4,000; Jesus Was Homeless, which received $4,000; and Salvation Army which received $2,100.
In addition to this one-time disaster response grant program, all donations made to Tri-Lakes United Way by businesses and individuals across Taney and Stone Counties are reinvested through semi-annual grants locally. The next round of grant applications are expected to be available in September. For more information about applying for Tri-Lakes United Way grant funds, about volunteering with Tri-Lakes United Way, or to make a tax-deductible gift, contact Autumn Porter at 417.496.9404 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org