Major gift from Ameren powers new Lake Area COVID-19 grant program

Chip Webb, Director - Central Missouri Division for Ameren Corporation, presents the $111,000 gift to Brian Fogle, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.

A major gift from St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation to the Community Foundation of the Ozarks’ COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund will power two new grant programs, one of which is open to nonprofit agencies in the Lake of the Ozarks area.

Through the Lake Area COVID-19 Relief Fund powered by AmerenCares, a total of $48,000 is available, with awards capped at $10,000, to agencies based in Camden, Miller and Morgan counties. Recipients will be selected by the Community Foundation of the Lake’s grant selection committee. The Community Foundation of the Lake is a regional affiliate foundation of the CFO.

Agencies can begin the application process at A second grant program totaling $63,000 will be available to agencies based in Benton, Cape Girardeau, Gasconade and Howell counties. The new grant programs are open to agencies providing meal programs, transportation, childcare and mental health services related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both programs will close Nov. 15. Grant recipients for the two programs will be announced in early January.

Ameren made the $111,000 donation through the AmerenCares Power of Giving COVID-19 Relief Fund, held at the St. Louis Community Foundation, to support agencies in the shared service area of Ameren and the CFO. Ameren employees and its board of directors contributed more than $800,000 to the fund, which also is supporting agencies in Illinois and the St. Louis region.

“COVID-19 has significantly impacted our customers and families in the communities we serve,” said Warner Baxter, chairman, president and CEO of Ameren Corporation. “In keeping with our mission to power the quality of life, our co-workers and board members chose to step up in a big way and personally make an impact in the communities where we serve. These funds will help those with significant needs during this unprecedented period of time.”

With 50 regional affiliate foundations, the CFO provides a philanthropic network that connects donors like Ameren and funding organizations to rural communities across central and southern Missouri. These grant programs will support nonprofit agencies in areas served by the Community Foundation of the Lake, the Benton County Community Foundation, the Cape Area Community Foundation, the Eldon Community Foundation, the Community Foundation of the Hermann Area Inc., the Owensville Area Community Foundation, the Community Foundation of West Plains Inc., the Willow Springs Community Foundation and the Jacks Fork Community Foundation.

Ameren Corporation is a Fortune 500 company providing electric power to 2.4 million customers and natural gas service to more than 900,000 customers across 64,000 square miles in Missouri and Illinois. Ameren Missouri and Ameren Transmission Company are both based in St. Louis.

This donation is one of the largest single gifts to the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, which has received nearly $850,000 since the fund was seeded in March with a million-dollar commitment by Missouri Foundation for Health, the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation managed by Commerce Trust Company, the CFO and its 50 regional affiliate foundations. Other major donors include the Sunderland Foundation, White River Valley Electric Cooperative, the Hulston Family Foundation, Delta Dental of Missouri and the Darr Family Foundation.

With this support, the CFO has granted more than $1.8 million through various discretionary programs. Total COVID-related grantmaking by the CFO, including grants from donor-advised and employee benevolence funds, is more than $2.8 million.

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks is a regional public charitable foundation serving 58 counties across central and southern Missouri through a network of donors, nonprofit partners and 50 regional affiliate foundations. The CFO holds assets of $310 million as of June 30, 2020.