Endings and New Beginnings

Heather Johansen

We all know that aging is a process and as we age we evolve.

I think it is safe to say that most of us are not like we were 10, 20, even 30 years ago; changes within us, and around us, cause shifts of focus. Even though we shift, the core values that make up who we are remain.

Like us, Senior Foundation of the Ozarks has evolved since its inception thirty years ago. In November of 1989, the “Senior Citizens Foundation of Southwest Missouri” was created to serve as a fundraising partner to senior centers and the local Area Agency on Aging. Since that day, we have managed 25 golf tournaments, fearless health expos, 5ks and a host of other fundraisers. These efforts enabled us to donate over $920,000 to enhance the quality of life for persons over the age of 60.

A little over three years ago we changed our name to “Senior Foundation of the Ozarks”, created a new logo, a website, and hired our first Executive Director. Through all of the changes our vision that “all seniors should be nourished through food, activities, resources, and community support” remained.

We are proud of our legacy. 

Our Board of Directors must continually be looking forward. In order to be good stewards of the funds,they focus on long-range planning for growth and protection. Striving to do the most good with the assets available is imperative.

In an extremely crowded non-profit landscape it is easy to get lost. For an organization that exists on donations and fundraisers alone, this can be daunting. With event costs increasing and participation declining, the Board had to take a thoughtful look at where the Foundation is headed. With all of this in mind, the Board of Directors voted to dissolve Senior Foundation of the Ozarks by end of December 2019.

So, what does that mean?

Will the mission and vision of the Foundation continue or will it be extinguished?

Although Senior Foundation of the Ozarks in its current form will dissolve, the important work will live on. Foundation assets will be distributed to a new fund: The Hearld Ambler Fund for Senior Centers, which will be managed by Community Foundation of the Ozarks. 

 There are many steps and moving pieces involved with dissolving a foundation. With that in mind, the Executive Director will work closely with the Board of Directors during the dissolution process through the end of 2019. In addition to dissolution, the guidelines for the grantmaking will be established for the Hearld Ambler Fund for Senior Centers.

Beginning in January, you will be able to donate and support local seniors by giving to the Hearld Ambler Fund for Senior Centers. We will make the link available on our website once it is established.

Thank you for your support and kindness. We truly hope you continue to support and advocate for your most vulnerable neighbors…we are all in this together.

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