The Southern Oklahoma Memorial Foundation was organized as a charitable trust in May of 1950, for the purpose of constructing and supporting a new hospital. Contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations within Ardmore and surrounding communities along with a federal grant provided the necessary funds to build and equip the new facility, which opened in the spring of 1955.

After serving the community for more than four decades, a number of factors led to the sale of the hospital to Mercy Health Systems in 1996.  The Foundation became the recipient of the net proceeds of this sale, which were added to an existing endowment.

Following the sale, Southern Oklahoma Memorial Foundation assumed the role of a granting organization. The nine member Board of Trustees established granting guidelines and awarded the first series of grants to southern Oklahoma organizations in January 1997.

Since that time, the Foundation has awarded grants totaling more than $95 million to charitable institutions within Ardmore and the surrounding area.



Today, the Southern Oklahoma Memorial Foundation continues to honor the intent of its original donors by giving priority to grant requests that support medical or health-related issues and education. Other areas considered for grants include education, social services, and civic/cultural activities that contribute to the quality of life in Ardmore and the surrounding areas.

To be considered for a grant, an organization must be headquartered, or have a physical presence, in Oklahoma within 50 miles of Ardmore and provide services within this area. A successful applicant must be an IRS-designated 501(c)(3) organization, other than a church or religious organization, or a municipality or other subdivision of government.

Applicants should write a brief introductory letter to the Foundation describing their organization and the project for which they are seeking funding.  Foundation staff will respond with either an application form, indicating that the request will be considered, or a letter stating why the applicant does not meet granting parameters.

Trustees consider grant applications quarterly. Deadlines for receiving the completed application, not the initial letter request, are December 1, March 1, June 1, and September 1.  Board meetings are held in February, May, August, and November.  Applicants will be notified of the status of their applications within two weeks of the meeting.

For more information regarding the granting process, call the Foundation offices at (580) 226-0700 or email Mary Kate Wilson (mkwilson@sbcglobal.net).

Southern Oklahoma Memorial Foundation
Post Office Box 1409
Ardmore, Oklahoma  73402