The Missouri Retired Teachers Foundation (MRTF) is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) charitable corporation devoted to raising funds to carry out certain charitable, educational, scientific and literary purposes of the Missouri Retired Teachers Association and Public School Personnel (MRTA). Since being approved by the MRTA Board of Directors, the Internal Revenue Service and the Missouri Department of Revenue, the Foundation has had as its motto, “Honoring the Past and Giving to the Future.”
The Foundation is very young, established in 2001. The Foundation, partnering with MRTA, embarked on a major building campaign to provide a permanent office building/classroom for the Foundation and MRTA. Many fundraisers were organized to accomplish this goal. Some of them included selling patio bricks, entryway floor tiles, wall tiles, quilt raffles, Branson raffle tickets, mailing labels, silent auctions, year-end ask letters, and cumulative donor recognition levels.
The Building Committee worked for several years and finally engaged an Architect to begin drawing up plans. A few key dates follow. In a joint MRTA/MRTF Board meeting on August 19, 2008, a motion was made and accepted by unanimous vote to accept the bid of $636,400 from Huebert Builders for the office facility. Included in this vote was permission to apply for a loan of $400,000 for 5 years at 6% interest. The loan date was October 22, 2008. The Open House— Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the new facility was held on September 21, 2009. The Promissory Note was paid on July 11, 2012. The MORTGAGE was BURNED at the Annual Meeting on September 12, 2012.
The Foundation continues to maintain three major fundraising activities. They include: the Silent Auction, the Mailing Label Campaign, and the Year-End-Ask letters.
The year 2013 was very exciting for the Foundation. The Board of Directors voted in September to launch a special fundraising campaign to install an elevator in the Office Facility. The vote was unanimous. This fundraising campaign lasted into the middle of 2014. Total cost of the project was $107,000. The money was raised and the elevator was installed in May of 2014. No money had to be borrowed. The addition of the elevator will help MRTA meet the mobility needs of our membership statewide. Plans are being made to use the lower level CLASSROOM AREA of the Office Facility more and more in the future.
The CLASSROOM GRANT PROGRAM continues to be the major emphasis for our fundraising activity. Each grant ever given has been for $500. The number of grants awarded has increased significantly the last several years. (2009—5 grants, 2010—7 grants, 2011—14 grants, 2012—14 grants, 2013—42 grants, and 2014-42 grants). Funds are available for another 56 grants in 2015. To date, the Foundation has been able to award $56,000 in Scholarships and $69,500 in Classroom Grants for a total of $125,500. In addition, $107,000 was raised for the ELEVATOR in a few months.