Joplin Tomorrow Fund
On May 27, 1896, an F-4 tornado blasted through downtown St. Louis and East St. Louis as well. That twister killed at least 255 people and destroyed the mill, at 12th and Gratiot, of the Robinson-Danforth Commission Company. The majority owner of the two-year- old company, which produced feed for farm animals, was 25-year old William H. Danforth. He had acquired his majority stake on May 25.
There was no tornado insurance at the time; Danforth was ruined. He sought help from a St. Louis banker, Walker Hill, who knew and trusted him. Hill loaned the young man $25,000.
From that loan sprang the Ralston Purina Company, an international corporate giant in the animal and pet food business. And from the Ralston Purina Company came the Danforth Foundation, which was established with company stock in 1927.
Joplin Tomorrow aims to provide that kind of help to the entrepreneurs of today in Joplin. It will be administered by a board of five Joplin citizens, all from the private sector, who, like Walker Hill, may well know the applicants for assistance.
Paula and her husband Franson own Chef Point Cafe. Paula is from Joplin and her family and friends were affected by the tornado this year. When it came time to plan the regrand opening events, Paula and Franson wanted to use their restaurant to help the business community in Joplin. They are asking their fans and friends to donate to the Joplin Tomorrow Fund. The Ft. Worth restaurant will host two ticketed events in November benefitting the fund. Customer and fans can purchase tickets to the events or make a donation.
For more information on the Joplin Tomorrow Fund visit http://joplintomorrow.org/why-we-need.php.