The local effort to bring federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security (C.A.R.E.S.) Act money to the Seymour community reached a landmark last Thursday when the first Seymour assistance check was presented.
It was for $7,500.
And it was given to Andy Cook of Ozark Mountain Natural Health, located at 316 South Commercial Street, located just south of the city square.
Presenting the check to Cook was Terry Penner, who is the C.A.R.E.S. Act administrator for the city of Seymour.
During the height of COVID-19, Cook purchased equipment for teleconference visits by his patients. Cost of the equipment was $20,000.
Cook said Thursday that the $7,500 in C.A.R.E.S. Act funding was a blessing.
“This helps so much,” he said. “I had to take out a loan to buy the equipment. I’m just so thrilled ... we sweated bullets just to get the loan, so this help is a blessing.”
Cook’s new equipment assists his natural-medicine practice by scanning the human body field, taking multiple measurements to create the healing process.
He said the new machinery gives his business the ability to further help patients.
Thursday evening at the regular meeting of the Seymour Board of Aldermen, Penner briefed city officials on the progress of the C.A.R.E.S. Act program in Seymour.
“We handed out our first check today,” she told Mayor Richard Vinson and the aldermen.
“As of now, it appears we are the only city (in the county) giving out money.”
Penner was complimented by Vinson and each of the aldermen for her efforts with the federal program.
“You’ve been the perfect person to run this for us,” North Ward Alderman William Pogue said.
She said that as of last Thursday, four more Seymour applications for federal help had been turned in to the county. Requests for aid range from $1,400 to $3,500 and include A Cut Above, A+J Boutique, Norris Hardware and the city of Seymour.
This week, three more applications already have been received to go to the county, including ones from Hucklebucks, Pyle’s Smiles and the Seymour Area Arts Council.
Penner said several more, anywhere from three to five, also will be submitted by today (Wednesday).
“I’ve really enjoyed working with this program,” Penner told city officials. “I enjoy helping people and helping the community, so this work fits me very well.
“And when we have days like today, when I get to present a $7,500 check to a local business that really needed the help, it makes this work really rewarding.”
Penner maintains office hours at Seymour City Hall every Monday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
She also is available other days by appointment and can he reached at 417-425-9589.