May 2017 – MRTF President’s Message

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!!! I can’t say it enough! Our latest Missouri Retired Teacher Foundation fundraiser, Give Ozarks, was a huge success because of our dedicated and generous members, and units.

Give Ozarks was a 24 hour, online fundraising opportunity offered to the non-profit Agency Partners of Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO). CFO holds MRTF’s endowment funds so we were eligible to participate. We did participate in 2016, but we only made $537. This year, 240 agencies participated in Give Ozarks and all were offered the opportunity to apply for a $5,000 matching grant from CFO. MRTF applied and was fortunate to be one of the 20 agencies selected. So the pressure mounted to make this project successful.

In March, at the Presidents’ Summit, I challenged all of our local units to raise at least $50 and donate it to MRTF on May 9, through Give Ozarks. I also challenged each of the MRTA and MRTF board members to make a $25 donation, which MRTF Past President, Walt Cochran immediately “upped” to a $100 challenge.

The issue for MRTF was to make sure that we “got the word out.” The MRTA office and I sent multiple email reminders to board members and Unit Presidents. We made a lot of Facebook posts. Videos sent in by last year’s Classroom Grant winners were posted. We worked to spread the word at multiple MRTA Region meetings. Well, thank goodness we did because it worked!!! Before noon on May 9, we had met our $5,000 goal to receive a $5,000 match. But the fun wasn’t over; MRTF received an hourly prize for the 6 -7 p.m. hour of $1,500! Thanks to those of you who donated during that hour, our name was put in the “hat” and drawn for the hourly prize! We ended the 24 hours with a grand total of $14,623.91!!!

But, wait there’s more! A week later we found out that one of the agencies selected for the matching grant wasn’t able to complete their match so the extra money was split among the other 19 eligible agencies and additional donations were matched at $433.61!! (Boy, am I glad we didn’t stop donating when we reach our goal!) I am so very proud to announce that our total raised was $15,057.52!!! MRTF had around 110 donations during the 24 hours and we ended up having the 19th (out of 240 – aren’t you proud? I certainly am!!!) highest dollar total for the day. This money is going into a permanent endowment fund – permanent money for classroom grants for Missouri public school classroom teachers!!!

Speaking of classroom grants, have you received your new MRTA/MRTF mailing labels and notepad? This fundraiser is our individual members’ chance to make a donation directly to the Classroom Grant Fund, the Endowment Fund or the Building Improvement/Maintenance Fund – it’s your choice. In December, your MRTF board voted to award 84 – $500 classroom grants in 2017, that is six grants in each of our 14 regions of the state. Which is a total of $42,000 that MRTF will award to current classroom teachers in August. Our Classroom Grants program is MRTA and MRTF’s biggest and best public relations tool! Won’t you please help us again by making a donation AND by sharing the grant application that came in that mailing?

I need to end like I started – thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!!! I REALLY can’t say it enough! It is an honor and a privilege to work with such generous and dedicated people.


Karen Miller
MRTF President


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