The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

October 19, 2012

Steadley Foundation planning for future Carthage area needs

CARTHAGE, Mo. — The Steadley Memorial Trust, which has had a substantial impact on Carthage organizations in the past, is planning for future needs to be addressed by the foundation.

A consultant hired by foundation directors is talking with officials of organizations that have received Steadley funding and will open the discussion to the public in meetings set for the next few weeks.

The goal is to develop a strategic plan for future funding decisions that can fulfill the trust’s mission in coming years, according to Ralph Ochsner, a Kansas City-based consultant who is overseeing the effort.

Funding from the trust given to Carthage area organizations has topped $13.3 million since 1999. In reviewing those grants, fund directors “concluded that in recent years, they essentially had been simply deciding ‘yes or no’ on requests they had received,” Ochsner said. “They decided it would be useful to do a process to try to develop some longer-range, more strategic plans about how to make future funding decisions. That’s really the purpose of our involvement.”

Ochsner said he has met with city officials and other community leaders, and is in the midst of scheduling meetings with organizations that have received Steadley funding in recent years.

Those officials also will be invited to workshops in which local residents will be asked to get involved in the planning. The two, daylong workshops will start at 9 a.m. on Oct. 26 and Nov. 2 at Carthage Memorial Hall.

That effort, he said, is to encourage making a “wish list” for Carthage, with no limits on ideas, cost or time frame. Results will be analyzed and potential projects will be forwarded to Steadley trustees for future consideration of projects that fall within the mission of the trust.

The firm helped trust advisors through a similar process more than 25 years ago, the consultant said.

In recent years the funding from the foundation established by Kent D. and Mary L. Steadley has helped support the Carthage Golf Course, Fair Acres Sports Complex, the  Fair Acres YMCA, the Carthage School District, Mercy McCune-Brooks Hospital, the Carthage Public Library and organizations that are involved in animal welfare, historic preservation, human services and the arts.

Want to go?

Those interested in attending a planning workshop are asked to contact Ralph Ochsner at 816-843-8844 or via email at Reservations are needed because a midday lunch will be provided, he said.


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