Buying vegetables at one of Columbia’s farmers’ markets
The people and institutions that influence a city aren’t all found in its government buildings or big businesses. Other organizations and individuals can affect the course of a community almost as much. This section details some of the key “quasi-official” parts of Columbia, though you shouldn’t consider it exhaustive. Once again, specific names and numbers are found on the People page.
- KFRU Radio–1400 AM (www.kfru.com)
- If you listen to it often enough, this radio station can give you a good picture of what’s being talked about in Columbia. The station has strong local news segments and talk shows centering on local issues (in addition to popular national programs like Rush Limbaugh and Paul Harvey).
- KOPN Radio–89.5 FM (www.kopn.org)
- Columbia’s community radio station
- Columbia Daily Tribune (www.showmenews.com)
- Your competition! Not only should you read the news stories to keep ahead, but you should read the columnists and special sections, including publisher Hank Waters’ editorials, to stay aware of what “the buzz” in the city is. Also, when you’re new, the Trib’s “Our Town” is a helpful introduction to Columbia; copies of it are in the library.
This list does not contain the names of every charity and religious organization in Columbia. It tries to highlight some of the more notable ones. To locate an organization, try searching MU Extension’s Community Connection Web site at www.communityconnection.org/index.jsp, limiting your search to Boone County.
- Alternative Community Training (www.actservices.org)
- Provides support services for the developmentally disabled.
- Assistance League of Mid-Missouri
- A volunteer organization that organizes projects of various kinds.
- Boone County Council on Aging (http://www.booneaging.org/)
- Support services for senior citizens.
- Central Missouri Community Action (www.ShowMeAction.org)
- Central Missouri Community Action (CMCA), a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, has served mid-Missouri since 1965 as a Community Action Agency. The scope of the Agency includes Head Start and Early Head Start, employment education, job training, affordable housing and family development support to individuals and families in Audrain, Boone, Callaway, Cole, Cooper, Howard, Moniteau and Osage counties. CMCA’s mission is to end poverty by empowering individuals and families to achieve self-reliance.
- Central Missouri Food Bank (www.centralmofoodbank.org)
- This hunger charity distributes food through a network of 129 agencies in 31 counties of central and northeast Missouri. More than 94,000 people in that area are eligible for aid from those agencies, according to the Web site. Its base is in Columbia, at 2101 Vandiver Drive.
- Centro Latino de Salud, Educacion y Cultura
- Serves local Latino families and individuals needing help on health, education, cultural and legal issues.
- Columbia Area United Way (www.unitedway-columbia.org)
- Local volunteers and professional staff work on health and human services projects.
- First Ward Ambassadors
- A group of local African-American men committed to mentoring kids
- FUN CITY Youth Academy’s Community Playground of Columbia, Inc. (http://funcity.missouri.org/)
- Provides childcare, emphasizing academic, socialization and entrepreneurial enrichment classes.
- Islamic Center of Central Missouri (http://www.theiccm.org/)
- Thanks to the university, Columbia has a large Muslim population. The Islamic Center includes a mosque and a school and has become an important part of the community. Easily recognizable thanks to its gold turrets, it is located at 201 S. 5th St. downtown, with the school next door at 408 Locust St.
- JobPoint (www.jobpointmo.org)
- Provides job placement support and vocational advice, among other services. Founded in Columbia, JobPoint now serves other parts of Missouri and southern Iowa.
- Lakes of Missouri
- Volunteer organization for assessing the quality of Missouri’s lakes
- Literacy Action Corps of Columbia
- Teaches the illiterate to read.
- St. Francis House
- Located at 901 Rangeline St., this is a temporary shelter for men, including the homeless, ex-convicts and the terminally ill. The men’s needs dictate the length of their stay.
- USDA Rural Development (www.rurdev.usda.gov/mo/)
- This federal agency, among other things, had programs for low-income first-time homebuyers.
- Voluntary Action Center (www.vacmo.org)
- Provides information and referral to the social services community and providing emergency assistance to families when local programs are unable to meet critical needs and coordinates local volunteer services.
- Farmers’ Markets
Why does Boone County have two farmers’ markets? A dispute over plans for a permanent market led to the split in 2003. In mid-2005, with the city considering extending a sales tax to pay for a permanent market, officials with both markets were talking about coming together again. Until that happens, the two markets are:
- Columbia Farmers’ Market (1701 W. Ash) (farmersmarket.missouri.org): Open Saturdays from 8 am to noon from mid-March to November; open Mondays and Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. from May to October
- Boone County Farmers’ Market (located in the parking lot of The Market Place, 1100 Business Loop 70 West) (www.boonecountyfarmers.com): Open Mondays and Wednesdays from 4 to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Boone County Fair (www.boonecountyfairgrounds.com)
- The fair is held in late July and features exhibitions and entertainment with a country flavor. Think livestock, country music and talent shows of various kinds. The fair is one of the oldest institutions in the county; the first was held in 1835. The Web site talks about this and other interesting trivia. To get to the fairgrounds, head north on Highway 63, past Interstate 70, and take the Oakland Gravel Road exit.
- The Missouri Symphony Society (www.mosymphony.org)
- This group, which operates out of the 1,209-seat Missouri Theatre on Ninth Street, not only runs an orchestra and classical music performances but also hosts other arts-related events, including a film series and a ragtime festival. Check the “About MOSS” link on the Web site for information about its board of directors and history.
- Health and Sports Related Facilities and Organizations
- Activity and Recreation Center (ARC) (1701 W. Ash): This relatively new center offers fitness activities (including a weight room, cardio machines and pool) as well as “life-enhancement activities”
- Armory Sports and Community Center (701 E. Ash): A congregating spot for kids, this downtown center hosts numerous activities
- Columbia Track Club (ctc.coin.org): Organizes running events, including the Heart of America Marathon (every Labor Day) and summer track programs for kids
- Columbia Art League (111 S. 9th St., Suite 140) (cal.missouri.org)
- Promotes the visual arts
- RagTag CinemaCafe (23 N. 10th St.; www.ragtagfilm.com)
- Columbia’s resident art-house movie theater (and cafÃƒÂ© and bar). The RagTag also sponsors a popular documentary film festival, the True/False Film Festival, held in February (www.truefalse.org).
These groups, which lobby local government on development and other issues affecting their neighborhoods, are chartered by the City Council. This link (http://www.gocolumbiamo.com/Neighborhoods/Neighborhood_Associations/index.php) will give you contact names and numbers, where available, along with maps showing each neighborhood’s location.
- Columbia Prism (columbiaprism.missouri.org)
- An organization for gay/lesbian/transgender youth and their straight friends; the group meets Monday nights at 6:30 pm in the Armory gym
- Columbia Special Business District (discoverthedistrict.com/index.html)
- An advocacy group for downtown Columbia
- Mid-Missouri Fellowship of Reconciliation (members.tripod.com/midmo_for/)
- Anti-death-penalty group
- Mid-Missouri LGBT Coalition (www.midmolgbtcoalition.org)
- Check out their newsletter online; their site also has a directory of other local gay/lesbian advocacy groups
- PedNet (www.pednet.org)
- Seeking to expand Columbia’s network of pedestrian and biking trails
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