Community Foundation of the Lake will once again be granting thousands of dollars to local non-profit organizations through the generosity of Lake area business professionals and philanthropists.

The Champagne Campaign, held September 25th at La Roca Club Event Venue & Cocktail Club featured Honorary chairs Mike & Sandy Waggett and raised nearly $50,000 to be distributed to lake area charities in 2022. The grant process for these funds will open in a few short months. Chris “Pappo” & Melissa Galloway of Mama Cita’s & Pappo’s Pizzeria provided a delicious buffet. The M-Dock Band entertained the crowd and popular games were played, such as Wine Toss, Cornhole, & Pin the Tail on the Magic Dragon. There were many silent auction items to choose from plus a live auction led by Rick Bryant who stepped in & donated his time at the last minute.

A major announcement was made at the event with introduction of the Magic Dragon Trails Project. This is an economic development project CFL is spearheading to develop a system of World-Class recreational trails across the Lake area for biking, hiking, jogging, trail running and mountain biking. Stacy Pyrtle, CFL Magic Dragon Trails sub-committee co-chair shared “Following extensive research we believe a hard and soft surface trail system with hubs around the Lake will provide an opportunity to increase year-round tourism to the area, offer additional options for family-friendly activities, and promote improved community health. We looked to our neighbors in Northwest Arkansas where a 2018 study showed their trail system generated a direct economic impact of $51 million with $27 million of that coming from out-of-state visitors. We believe a trail system here at the lake is just another opportunity to showcase the natural beauty of the area.” CFL has a Legacy Master fund established with current pledges of $70,000.00 to develop a master plan to begin the development process and are also partnering with the Tri-County YMCA to build a bike skills park on their property along with a beginner mountain-biking trail. For additional information about the Magic Dragon Trail project you can visit CFL’s website (www.communityfoundationofthelake.com) or visit the Magic Dragon Trails Facebook page.

“We are grateful for the support of our community. This year’s Champagne Campaign was our best event yet,” CFL President Amy Hernandez said. “We look forward to helping our community non-profits and forging forward in developing our Trail Initiative project to be something the entire Lake Area can enjoy!”

Since its inception, the Champagne Campaign has funded more than $500,000 in grants to Wonderland Camp, the Camdenton School Foundation, the Children’s Learning Center, Citizens Against Domestic Violence, Kids' Harbor, Medical Missions for Christ, Share the Harvest Food Pantry, Lamb House, Buddy Packs, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Westlake Aquatic Center, Lake Arts Council Children's Theater, the School of the Osage School Art Department, lake area senior centers, and many more.

All proceeds from CFL’s Champagne Campaign, stay local and are distributed as grants to non-profit organizations in Camden, Miller, & Morgan counties.

Many local businesses and families supported the cause this year. The Event Sponsor was Farmers Insurance. Gold Sponsors were Scott’s Concrete, FASS Fuel Systems, Re/Max Lake of the Ozarks Charitable Foundation, & Shawnee Bluff Winery, as well as many Silver & Bronze sponsors.

Donations can be given in any amount at any time, to benefit community needs identified by the CFL Board of Directors or directed by donors for a specific program or purpose.

CFL’s mission is to build the educational, cultural, health and economic development of the Lake community. CFL was created and exists to be the focus of charitable giving in Miller, Morgan, and Camden counties. 

For more information about giving to CFL, setting up a charitable fund or foundation, or becoming a non-profit agency partner, visit CommunityFoundationoftheLake.com. Groups, individuals and businesses can participate in the Community Foundation of the Lake by contacting President Amy Hernandez at (573) 480-9973 or by mailing requests or contributions to Community Foundation of the Lake, PO Box 1413, Lake Ozark, MO, 65049. 

This article originally appeared on Lake Sun Leader: Champagne Campaign raised nearly $50K for lake charities