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Missouri Military Partnership Formed to Save Bases
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), January 12, 2014 - Governor Jay Nixon has announced a coordinated effort between the state and local communities and businesses to retain and enhance Missouri's military bases, force strength and federal defense spending.
The Missouri Military Partnership has been created by executive order to protect, retain and enhance Department of Defense activities in the state. Gov. Nixon has appointed Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel to lead the partnership, which will include gathering input from local communities.
The Governor cited the vital economic impact - estimated at well over $3 billion - and community impact of the bases, not only on military employment but on civilian support personnel, businesses, local schools and neighborhoods. Total U.S. Department of Defense spending in Missouri is estimated at almost $15 billion, according to a study funded in part by the state.
"Missouri's military bases and service members are not only vital to this nation's safety and security, they put billions of dollars into the state's economy, create jobs, fuel local businesses and are essential parts of their local communities," Gov. Nixon said. "Recognizing the crucial importance of military facilities to the future of Missouri, we will continue to work with local community leaders, businesses and our active and retired military families to retain and enhance the military footprint in the Show-Me State. By providing the U.S. military with the full picture of Missouri's advantages, we will compete to win."
"As Treasurer I see firsthand the military's impact on Missouri's economy and look forward to creating long-term solutions that ensure our leaders in Jefferson City and Washington, D.C. understand the important role our state plays in national security," Treasurer Zweifel said. "There is no doubt we face a changing budgetary climate, but Missouri's continued dedication to excellence and cost effectiveness must not be overlooked. I am committed to working with local and state officials, the business community and our military families to make sure Missouri's invaluable advantages are recognized. I thank Gov. Nixon for the opportunity to serve in this important mission for Missouri's future."
The Governor said the state has helped fund an in-depth economic impact study of the impact of Missouri National Guard, Whiteman Air Force Base, Fort Leonard Wood and all U.S. Department of Defense spending in Missouri. According to the study, the Department of Defense spends about $14.9 billion annually in Missouri to operate all military installations, pay personnel, and purchase goods and services from private firms, including defense contractors. That spending support approximately 275,000 direct and indirect jobs and has a total direct and indirect economic impact of more than $39 billion.
The study shows that statewide the Missouri National Guard supports approximately 18,250 direct and indirect jobs, and its payroll, expenditures and indirect impact is more than $943 million. Whiteman supports about 10,850 direct and indirect jobs, and its payroll, expenditures and indirect economic impact is more than $600 million annually. Fort Leonard Wood supports more than 36,400 direct and indirect jobs, and its payroll, expenditures and indirect impact is more than $2 billion.
The Muny Receives $1 Million Endowment Gift
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), January 12, 2014 - Audiences at The Muny in Forest Park will be able to experience outstanding productions far into the future thanks to a very generous $1 million pledge from the William R. Orthwein, Jr. and Laura Rand Orthwein Foundation.
This gift allows The Muny to plan for significant capital improvements to the buildings and grounds in addition to providing for significant annual operating needs of the historic, 95-year-old outdoor musical theatre, America's oldest and largest.
Mark Weaver, Orthwein foundation representative, announced that "the trustees are thrilled to support The Muny and its mission of enriching lives by presenting world-class musical theatre accessible for everyone in our community. Generations of the Orthwein family have loved spending summers at The Muny and know that this gift to the endowment will make a visit to The Muny possible for generations to come."
In recognition of this significant gift, The Muny Orchestra Concertmaster will now be known as the William R. Orthwein, Jr. and Laura Rand Orthwein Concertmaster. "I'm truly honored and delighted to be named as the first Orthwein Concertmaster in Muny history," said Ms. Tova Braitberg upon learning the news.
"We continue to be humbled by this outstanding family and their amazing support," remarked Dennis Reagan, President and CEO of The Muny. "Endowment funding is vital for The Muny to address unforeseen circumstances that may impact our success such as a challenging economy or severe weather. An endowment also allows us to plan for the future while continuing to produce world-class musical theatre for our audiences of today."
"The Muny continues to be a valued civic and cultural asset in the St. Louis region and with this incredible support we will build on and strengthen our role in preparation for our 100th anniversary celebrations scheduled for 2018-2019."
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