Established in 1988 by the late J.W. “Stan” Stafford and Lois Smith Stafford, the Stafford Family Charitable Trust has generously distributed over $1.5 million in gifts to local charitable organizations that benefit the Central Missouri community.
The Stafford’s owned and operated the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Columbia, Inc. for over 60 years until they sold the company in 1986. Following the sale of the business, the Stafford’s established the trust as a way to express appreciation for support they received from the community over the years. “We had a lot to be thankful for,” Stan Stafford said. “We decided to give some of it back.”
The Stafford’s philanthropy has touched all three local college campuses, including funding for the Columbia College Library, Stephens College restoration of its parlors, and University of Missouri School of Medicine. Gifts have also been made to numerous children’s/family-oriented organizations, such as Camp Hickory Hill, Rainbow House and Salvation Army. Lois Stafford would say, “We made all our money in the community. We need to help the people here.”
In general, the trust distributes almost $100,000 each year via the Selection Committee which meets every February and August. The Selection Committee consists of family members John Stafford (son), Brenda Stafford (daughter-in-law), Gene Koepke (son-in-law) and Laura Koepke (granddaughter). Also on the committee is Robert C. Smith. Mr. Smith has been on the committee since its inception and was elected to Missouri’s State House of Representatives in 1954. He co-founded the law firm of Smith Lewis, LLC in 1959, served as Mayor of Columbia from 1961-63, and has held numerous board positions amongst various organizations.
- Contributions will be limited to those charitable causes and institutions servicing the Central Missouri area. (Audrain, Boone, Callaway, Cole, Cooper, Howard, Miller, Moniteau, Monroe, Randolph & Osage counties)
- Contributions are limited to organizations that are exempt from federal income tax.
- Requests for capital funds will receive primary consideration.
- Applications shall be in writing & may be submitted at any time to the Trustee, Landmark Bank. NOTE: Proposals must be submitted by December 31st in order to be considered at the February meeting and by June 30th to be considered at the August meeting.
The Stafford Family Charitable Trust
c/o Trust Department
801 East Broadway
P.O. Box 1867
Columbia, MO 65205-1867