A groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday evening at Foster Adopt Connect’s newly renamed Cheri Carter Clark Resource Center on the Betty and Bobby Allison Campus.
The center is located at 509 S. Cavalier Ave.
The ceremony kicked off the public phase of Foster Adopt Connect’s fundraising campaign to renovate the building.
Cheri Carter Clark spent her career dedicated to the child welfare system and was killed in a car accident transporting a child in care in 1988.
Clark’s family, along with several major donors, participated in the ceremonial ground breaking.
Philanthropist Bobby Allison is known for making naming-level donations to worthy causes — such as Harmony House, the Springfield Dream Center and Missouri State University — and including his mother’s name, Betty.
Foster Adopt Connect is a nonprofit organization that offers several programs for foster and adoptive families, the children in care and youth who are aging out of the system. The resource center is also home to Sammy’s Window, a clothing and food bank for foster families.
Foster Adopt Connect Executive Director Allison Gregory said when renovations are complete next spring they will be able to hire more staff and add more programs.
Foster Adopt Connect of Southwest Missouri serves a 29 county region, Gregory said, but the Springfield office mostly focuses on three to four counties. The additional staff and programming will allow the nonprofit to offer more services throughout the 29 counties, including a mobile Sammy’s Window.
The cost of renovations is about $1.6 million. The fundraising campaign has raised about $1.2 million so far.
Marsha Johnson, capital campaign committee chair, thanked donors and spoke about her friend, Cheri Carter Clark.
“Every time a family or a child walks through these doors,” Johnson said, “Cheri’s spirit will help them along.”
More about Foster Adopt Connect
Foster Adopt Connect offers programs that work to ensure children are united with loving biological, relative/kinship, foster, and adoptive parents to begin the healing process such as Extreme Family Finding and 30 Days to Family.
Foster Adopt Connect works to equip families to provide loving, committed homes for foster and adopted children through programs like Sammy’s Window Clothing Closet and Food Pantry, licensing, training, advocacy, and the services of a behavioral interventionist.
The organization offers programs to support youth who are aging out of foster care like Community Youth Connections Project and Serving the Underserved Legal Advocacy.