“We believe all seniors should be nourished through food, resources, activities, and community support”
Winston Bledsoe was a man with a vision. He believed seniors in the Ozarks deserve a better quality of life and to have their basic needs met. As Executive Director for the Office on Aging, he worked tirelessly to establish new programs and Senior Centers throughout the 17-county territory.
He was successful, but as services grew, so did the need. Funding levels remained stagnant while more and more seniors were living in poverty. Winston needed a partner, an organization with innovative leadership that would produce additional funds to support the increasing needs of seniors.
On November 16, 1989, the Senior Citizens Foundation of Southwest Missouri was created. The Foundation would serve as a fundraising partner to the Area Agency on Aging and increase funding to enhance the quality of life for persons 60 and older. By awarding grants to the Area Agency on Aging and senior centers, programs were expanded, more seniors were fed, and lives were forever changed. An annual golf tournament was established and opportunities to collaborate with businesses and donors increased.
Since inception, we have undergone some name changes, from Southwest Missouri Office on Aging Foundation to, now, Senior Foundation of the Ozarks. The name reflects our dedication to seniors right here in the Ozarks. The name may have changed, but our mission remains the same. We are funding help and hope for seniors.
Founder of Senior Foundation of the Ozarks