An effort to raise money for north St. Louis County schools and businesses in the aftermath of the Ferguson unrest is now ending.
Members of the "Reinvest North County Fund" committee announced that the fund is closing at a press conference Wednesday held at the Centene Corporation – Ferguson Service Center.
The fund allocated $950,000 over the past two years.
Four school districts received assistance, including food pantries and transportation as well as college preparation and textbooks. Fifty-five businesses were given grants to repair and rebuild or for owners to attend business workshops. Fifty-one of those businesses remain in operation today.
Executive Director of the Regional Business Council, Kathy Osborne, helped start the fund. The RBC partnered with North County Incorporated and the Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation.
Osborne says the fund has been successful but it’s time for a change.
“We feel the funds now should go directly to organizations that are carrying out this important work,” said Osborne. “Let’s be very, very clear, there’s much work still to be done.”
Joshura Davis was one of the fund’s recipients. He and his wife Lisa own an insurance agency called Best Insurance in Ferguson.
He says he has confidence in the community’s future.
“We’re not going anywhere. This is our family, this is our business,” said Davis. “And as long as we’ve got the support of the community, we know that we’re going to be around.
Davis echoed Osborne’s call for continued action: “I want you guys to know, that we’ve got a long way to go.”