Two local businesses were recognized recently for their efforts in helping to raise funds for the Freedom Foundation, an Aurora-based charity whose goal is to support area charities that do not receive the strong financial assistance of other, more well-known organizations.

Thrasher Fence Company and the Aurora Agri Center each received a $500 cash prize from the Freedom Foundation as part of a prize drawing for businesses that worked to raise funds by selling the charity's coupon booklets to local residents. Each $10 booklet they sold entered them to one entry into the prize drawing, which was held earlier this month.

The non-winning tickets from that drawing will be placed into the grand prize drawing for $5,000 cash and a second place prize trip to Branson. The drawing will be held on September 30 and is open to both businesses and individuals.

The Freedom Foundation was founded this year by Aurora resident Clarence Lechner, who serves as the chairman. It is an affiliate of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and is a non-profit organization. Ninety percent of all funds raised go to the charities they support, including The Ozark Center (Joplin), St. Suzanne Food Center (Mt. Vernon), Christian Service Center, Kids for Christmas, Tri-County Pregnancy Center, Loaves & Fishes (Monett), the Smile Center, Crosslines (Monett) and the Veteran's Memorial in Aurora.