Charitable Group Rebrands as Jackson Community Foundation

Charitable Group Rebrands as Jackson Community Foundation

Jackson dentist T. Wayne Lewis, left, joins Alliance Bank president/CEO Wade Bartels for a Kentucky Derby awareness party Saturday, May 6, at Jackson Civic Center in Jackson.

Southeast Missouri Medical Center Inc., which provided $4.2 million to help build Jackson Civic Center in 2016, as well as other projects since the mid-1960s, has changed its name to Jackson Community Foundation.

JCF used the running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 6, as an awareness party to remind citizens of the foundation’s work and contributions.

“Our new name reflects the (revised) mission we adopted in 2006,” said Steve Elefson, president of JCF’s board of directors. “We changed from a primary focus on the availability and quality of health care in Jackson to trying to improve the overall qualify of life in the community.”

Of the $5.5 million price tag, JCF provided more than 76% of the funding to build the 23,300-square-foot civic center, which includes a safe room — its largest project to date at 381 E. Deerwood Drive.

The IRS granted the former SMMC 501(c)(3) status as a public charity in 2006.

“(JCF) seeks to continue to fund projects which will improve the quality of life and add permanent value to Jackson and its surrounding communities within Cape Girardeau County,” said Elefson, who has led JCF’s board since 2011.

“We were founded with $180,000 raised from individuals and businesses in the Jackson community,” noted Elefson, adding that since its 1965 inception, in addition to the civic center, SMMC/JCF has donated $2.8 million to fund other Jackson causes and projects.

Among them is the transformation of tennis courts at Litz Park into pickleball courts.