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Come Together Ferguson Fund Supports Community Initiatives

ST. LOUIS, MO--(Marketwired - Jun 24, 2015) - With an eye toward nonprofit programs already based in the greater Ferguson community, while also welcoming new organizations, the Come Together Ferguson fund announced its first round of grant recipients.

Created last fall by an anonymous donor to the Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation, Come Together Ferguson provides a forum for a group of racially-diverse citizens with ties to Ferguson to fund initiatives that foster racial reconciliation and healing.

The donor stipulated that the advisory committee would be composed of educators, residents, members of the clergy, and business owners, all of whom have direct ties to Ferguson. In all, there are eight advisory board members who live or work in Ferguson. Notable among them is Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, a current resident of North County.

With the first round of grants announced today, Come Together Ferguson awarded $39,000 to 11 organizations. Individual grants ranged from $1,200 to $5,000, with four directed toward programs already in place in the Ferguson community, and seven to organizations that are bringing programs to Ferguson for the first time.

"We felt it was important to fund programs already doing good work here, but also wanted to support new initiatives that will help us promote racial and social equity in Ferguson and adjacent communities," said Felicia Pulliam, a Come Together Ferguson advisory board member, community resident, and volunteer. "We placed a strong emphasis on youth activities and outreach because it is absolutely essential that our young people be productively engaged -- especially during the summer months."

The anonymous donor who established the Come Together Ferguson fund resides in the St. Louis area, but not in Ferguson. "The individual wants to support the people of Ferguson as they move through the healing process," said Amelia Bond, president and CEO of the Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation. "However, the donor recognizes the importance of having community input, leadership, and ownership, and wanted our assistance in putting together an advisory committee to provide that guidance."

The advisory committee has complete discretion to allocate the donor's gift to meet community needs as they are identified and prioritized by Ferguson citizens, Bond added.

Tax-deductible donations by the general public can also be made to the Come Together Ferguson fund at the Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation by contacting the Foundation directly or through its website, STLGives.org.

"When people hear about this fund, they are really excited," Bond said. "The donor designed it so that it could accept contributions from throughout the region and beyond, but would be structured as a Ferguson-helping-Ferguson initiative. These first-round grants achieve that goal."

Out of 42 grant requests received and reviewed by the Come Together Ferguson grant committee, the following were awarded:

Organization

Amt.

Project

Earth Dance Farms

$5,000

YEAH! (Youth Exploring Agriculture & Health)

Challenger Learning Center

$5,000

Summer Camp Scholarship Program in science

Strings Attached

$4,200

Summer Music Instruction for youth 5-17 years

Ferguson Youth Initiative (FYI)

$5,000

Summer Teen Outreach Festival

Girls in the Know

$4,700

Griffith Elementary School Transition Camp

Health Protection & Education Services

$2,300

Young Physician Outreach Program - Ferguson

Circus Harmony

$4,500

Peace through Pyramids - Ferguson

COCA

$1,500

Summer camp activities with Herbert Hoover Boys & Girls Club

Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club

$3,000

Ferguson Middle School Club Summer Camp

Christ Community UMC

$1,200

Leadership & Life Skills Summer Camp Jennings/Ferguson

Camp Penuel

$3,500

Summer camp in Ironton, MO, for youth from Ferguson

TOTAL

$39,900

In addition to Pulliam and Johnson, the following individuals also serve on the Come Together Ferguson advisory committee:

Rev. F. Willis Johnson, Wellspring United Methodist Church, Ferguson
Rev. Steve Lawler, St. Stephens & The Vine Episcopal Church, Ferguson
Rahgib Muhammad, Ferguson-Florissant School District teacher
Carrie Pace, Ferguson-Florissant School District teacher
Michael Petlinsky, Missouri State Highway Patrol
Carolyn Randazzo, Ferguson resident

About the Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation

Since its founding in 1915 as one of the nation's first community foundations, the goal of the Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation is to increase charitable giving within the region and expand the impact charitable dollars have on improving the quality of life in the greater St. Louis area and beyond.

The Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity composed of more than 500 charitable funds with total assets of $320 million. Each fund represents a unique charitable-giving partnership between an individual, family, or business and designated nonprofit recipients. On behalf of its donors, the Community Foundation annually donates more than $20 million to organizations in St. Louis and around the world and has contributed $225 million over the last 25 years. For more information about the Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation, please visit stlgives.org.