The not-for-profit North East Community Action Corporation (NECAC) observed its 50th anniversary during the agency’s Annual Meeting and Installation of Officers and Directors Dinner on Oct. 27 at the Church of the Nazarene Fellowship Hall in Bowling Green.

The not-for-profit North East Community Action Corporation (NECAC) observed its 50th anniversary during the agency’s Annual Meeting and Installation of Officers and Directors Dinner on Oct. 27 at the Church of the Nazarene Fellowship Hall in Bowling Green.

NECAC is a 12-county area social service, community health and public housing Community Action Agency that contracts with federal, state and local governments, private businesses and other not-for profit organizations to operate and administer self-sufficiency service programs for the low-income, elderly, youth, disabled and disadvantaged population. The agency’s Central Administration Offices are located in Bowling Green, with NECAC Service Centers operated in each county.

NECAC is one of 19 non-profit Community Action Agencies in Missouri and part of a national network of 980 agencies.

Special guest speaker was David Bradley, co-founder and chief executive officer of the National Community Action Foundation in Washington, D.C. NCAF is the chief lobbying organization for NECAC and the other 1,000 Community Action Agencies in the nation. Bradley praised NECAC for playing an integral role in making a world of difference for those who are struggling.

“I’m proud to be here today with absolutely one of the best Community Action Agencies I’ve ever encountered,” he said. “NECAC is important, not only to the 12 counties you serve, but it’s that important to Missouri and it’s that important around the country.”

Bradley also said NECAC had been an important part of Community Action’s storied history.

“If you look back through 50 years, think about how many hundreds of thousands of individuals and tens of thousands of families you’ve helped break the chain of poverty,” he said. “You’ve helped them have a chance to succeed in life. You’ve leveled the playing field for them, all because of this agency’s dedication, its mission, its soul.”

In his annual report, NECAC President and Chief Executive Officer Don Patrick offered praise to board members, staff and volunteers who helped make 2014-2015 another successful year for serving the disadvantaged despite difficulties.

“As part of NECAC and Community Action, we all – as board members, employees and volunteers – play a needed and vital role in helping our neighbors in need, helping them become self-sufficient to build better lives for themselves and for their families,” he said. “After all, isn’t that what we do at NECAC and Community Action? It’s called helping people and changing lives.”

After being sworn in as chairman of the board, Lyndon Bode of Palmyra offered his remarks.

“We all believe in trying to help give people a step up during times of need,” he said. “That’s the whole purpose. That’s where our heart is.”

Charles McCann of St. Joseph, former director of the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) with the Missouri Department of Social Services and a Certified Community Action Professional (CCAP) with the National Community Action Partnership, performed the installation ceremony.

Following are the other officers McCann installed for 2015-2016: Vice-Chairman: Fred Vahle of Warrenton, Warren County; Secretary: D. Randall Cone of Louisiana, Pike County; Trustees: Troy Dawkins of Shelbina, Shelby County; John Bracey of Canton, Lewis County; and Leroy Braungardt of Moscow Mills, Lincoln County. NECAC President and Chief Executive Officer Don Patrick also took the oath of office. The seven make up the board’s Executive Committee.

Also sworn in were the following Directors:

MARION COUNTY: Paul Maddox and Roy Hark, both of Hannibal.

PIKE COUNTY: Curt Mitchell of Clarksville and Bette Maxwell of Louisiana.

RALLS COUNTY: Wiley Hibbard of Perry, Charles Strode of Hannibal and Judith Statler of New London.