Our History

Serving the Community Since 1965

The Jackson Community Foundation (formerly “Southeast MO Medical Center, Inc” or the “SMMC”) was humbly formed in 1965, in the kitchen of the Jackson home of Clarence Brennecke. Clarence’s brother, Dr. Marvin Brennecke, pledged a $10,000 gift as seed money for the purpose of improving the medical community in Jackson. The organization was incorporated in 1965 and focused on the challenge of Improving healthcare in the community.

By 1969, $180,000 was donated by local Jackson business leaders towards this goal. Over the subsequent years doctors were recruited to Jackson, and in 1978 a skilled nursing home was built in Jackson. SMMC owned this nursing home for nearly 30 years with outside professional management running the day to day operations. 

Feeling the nursing home would prosper and operate better under private ownership, the “Manor” was sold in 2004. It was concluded by the Board of Directors of SMMC that the medical mission of SMMC had run its course. 

SMMC projects always shared a common theme of Improving the community without competing with local private enterprise. Realizing Jackson’s need for a Civic Center and inspired to enhance the community of Jackson further, the SMMC Board of Directors, in August of 2004, adopted the Civic Center as their main future project. 

SMMC was the major advocate for the construction of the Jackson Civic Center. SMMC donated all of the private funds, $4.2 million, to complete this project. Additionally, a federal grant of $2.8 million allowed for the construction of the FEMA safe room.

It was unanimously believed that the funds originally raised in 1969, which had grown into several million dollars because of sound leadership and successful projects, should be returned to the Community. Partnering with the City of Jackson on 8 acres of land donated by the Clark family, the construction plans and grant process began in 2012.

In addition to funding the Jackson Civic Center, over the years SMMC has proudly donated over $2.8 million to fund various Jackson causes and projects.