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August 2017 – MRTF President’s Message

MRTA’s BEST Public Relations Tool

Hey, want to get the word out? Ask retired school personnel to help!!!

In 2016, MRTF received 251 applications for our 70 available $500 grants. This year, we received 461 applications for our 84 available $500 grants. WOW!!!! We REALLY got the word out!! That means more active Missouri school personnel know about us and they are learning what we can do for them and education in our state.

The 14 regional grant committees will be meeting soon (if they haven’t met already). We’ll soon be making 84 teachers around the state very happy with a $500 MRTF grant check. But what about the 377 that don’t receive a grant? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could make ALL of them happy, too? To do that we would obviously need more money. One source for that money is coming up at the MRTA Annual Meeting, September 12 & 13 – the MRTF Silent Auction! Please participate as a donor AND as a bidder. The money raised ALL goes to the MRTF Classroom Grant program and moves us closer to funding all of the grant requests we get – making a lot more Missouri educators very happy.

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


January 2017 – MRTF President’s Message

Greetings to the entire “MRTA/MRTF Family”. CHRISTMAS will be over and we will be well into the NEW YEAR OF 2017 by the time you receive this edition of “MRTA In Motion”. The Missouri Retired Teachers Foundation Board of Directors would like to wish everyone a HAPPY, HEALTHY, AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR.

I would like to begin by saying this will be my last article as Foundation Board President. I stepped down as President of the MRTF Board, Board Member, and MRTA Board Member on December 13, 2016. Please allow me a few moments to talk about this decision. I retired from the Nevada R-5 School System in 1999, joined the Vernon County Retired Educators in Nevada, and joined MRTA. Gail and I attended a few MRTA State Meetings over 4-5 years. These meetings were a wonderful learning experience as to what MRTA was all about and the progress being made for retired educators across the state. What a pleasure it was to watch the leadership of Rosemary Bane, Jane Fullerton, Ron Marsch, Fred Price, Veronica Hambacker, Eleanor Howell, Larry Beal, Maggie Elder, Jan Powers, Garland Hamilton, Owen Jackson, Betty Beal, Ron Schlimme, Don Wyss, and SO MANY MORE over those years. Remember it was 2003 that the MRTA Board of Directors hired the first full-time Executive Director, Jim Kreider. ONE OF THE BEST DECISIONS MADE SINCE I RETIRED, IF NOT THE BEST, WAS IN 2005. I decided to try and get involved at the leadership level with MRTA. (2006-Region 6 VP)(2010-MRTA State President)(2011-Foundation Board member)(2012-Foundation Board President).

I mentioned this involvement for one simple reason. MRTA/MRTF gave Gail and me the opportunity to drive many miles across the state—see places we had never seen—make many trips to Jefferson City—attend many MRTA Region meetings on behalf of MRTA and MRTF—and attend many Local Unit meetings. Here is the best part. THE ACQUAINTANCES AND FRIENDSHIPS MADE HAVE TRULY BEEN A BLESSING TO BOTH OF US. WHAT A WONDERFUL AND FANTASTIC GROUP OF PEOPLE RETIRED EDUCATORS ARE IN THE STATE OF MISSOURI.

A few remarks about the Missouri Retired Teachers Foundation (MRTF). First, A BIG THANK YOU to the Office Staff and Jim Kreider for their help over the years, Second, A BIG THANK YOU to the Foundation Board of Directors for their support of Foundation activities the past several years. Third, A BIG THANK YOU to the MRTA Family across the state for their financial support of Foundation activities (the Office Facility, the Elevator, Silent Auction, Year End Letters, and the Classroom Grant Program). Hats off to everyone who has given to these efforts. Fourth, A BIG THANK YOU to KAREN MILLER and JACK POSTON for stepping up to Leadership positions on the Foundation Board of Directors. The Foundation Board and Leadership will be in very good hands. Karen will do a super job as Foundation President and Jack as Vice President. Fifth, AGAIN THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH AND PLEASE CONTINUE TO SUPPORT the fundraising activities of the Foundation. The Classroom Grant Program is growing in awareness and popularity across the state. The program does so much good for teachers and hundreds of students across the state. The program will also pay huge benefits to MRTA in membership for years to come.

Finally, it is time to step down and for Gail and me to direct our full time attention to other things. I will continue to support MRTA/MRTF to the fullest and LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING EVERYONE IN THE FUTURE at Annual Meetings. REMEMBER, the battle will continue and it will take all of us to fight the “Bad Folks” in the state legislature.



Walter Cochran
MRTF President

January 2016 – MRTF President’s Message

Greetings to the “MRTA/MRTF FAMILY.” The Missouri Retired Teachers Foundation Board of Directors would like to wish everyone a HAPPY, HEALTHY, AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR! May 2016 be the very best for you and your families.

I would like to begin by remembering the loss of a Foundation Board member. Jim Orr passed away on December 18, 2015. He represented Region 9 on the Foundation Board of Directors. Jim’s wife, Vicki, is MRTA Region 9 Vice President. Jim was in his third term as Mayor of Monett and was preparing to run for a fourth term. Jim Orr will be missed by the Foundation Board, the city of Monett, and the vocational and technical education areas statewide and nationally. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Vicki and the entire Orr family.

The Foundation Board of Directors would like to inform you of a few results of the Annual Meeting last December.

New Foundation Board officers were elected for 2016. These include:
Walt Cochran – President
Karen Miller – Vice President
Jenifer Young – Secretary
Jim Kreider – Treasurer

It is my pleasure to announce two new members to the Missouri Retired Teachers Foundation Board. Mary Jo Tweedie and Jack Poston will represent Region 11. Welcome Mary Jo and Jack!

Much of our December meeting is always concerned with fundraising activities. 2015 was a very good year for the Foundation. The Silent Auction last September was the best ever with a little over $10,000 raised. The Year End Campaign and the Mailing Label Campaign were very successful for 2015. Also, more and more people are designating their PSRS Death Benefit to the Foundation. Finally, we really appreciate MRTA members donating their meeting expenses to the Foundation.

Remember the days of the Jerry Lewis Telethons? Each one was a 24 hour call-in-driven “Giving Day”. The telethons were very successful in raising money. The Missouri Retired Teachers Foundation has been given the opportunity to participate in the 21st Century version of a “Giving Day”. This version is a 24-hour online fundraising competition sponsored by MRTF’s Endowment Fund manager, Community Foundation of the Ozarks. The day is called Give Ozarks. We will spend a 24-hour period on May 3, 2016, working to build MRTF’s Endowment Fund. Remember the Endowment Fund is “permanent” money that can be used to support MRTF’s fundraising goals. Those goals include Classroom Grants, Building Maintenance/Improvements, and the Endowment Fund. Stay tuned for details coming in the future.

Finally, the Foundation Board discussed the number of CLASSROOM GRANTS for 2016. The Foundation Board of Directors is very proud of this program. The number of grants has increased significantly the last several years (2009-5, 2010-7, 2011-14, 2012-14, 2013-44, 2014-44, and 2015-56). Each grant is for the amount of five hundred dollars ($500). Last year each of the 14 MRTA Regions received 4 grants. I am pleased to announce the Board voted to give 5 grants to each of the 14 Regions in 2016. This will be a total of seventy (70) five hundred dollar ($500) grants.

On behalf of the Foundation Board of Directors, THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR YOUR GENEROSITY in supporting the fundraising activities of the Foundation. We look forward to your continued support in the future. The next fundraising activity will be the Mailing Label Campaign in April. Please support us in this effort as we work toward MRTF Classroom Grants, MRTF Building Improvement/Maintenance Fund and the MRTF Endowment Fund.

Walter Cochran
MRTF President

August 2015 MRTF President’s Message

Greetings to the “MRTA FAMILY” from the Missouri Retired Teachers Foundation (MRTF). In the May edition, I mentioned green leaves, green grass, and blooming flowers. Guess what? Things are still very green with lots of rain. We should enjoy because it is unusual for this time of the year. Yards are not burned up yet, but it is getting very warm.

I would like to touch briefly on two quick items in this edition of MRTA In Motion. First is the status of the 2015 Classroom Grants. The fourteen MRTA Region Vice Presidents are very busy organizing the selection committees in their regions for the grants. Some regions have already made their selections. The due date for grant applications was June 30. The goal is to have the checks in the hands of winners by the time school starts. The Foundation Board of Directors is very proud of this program. 2015 will be the BEST YEAR EVER with the number of grants available. Each of the fourteen (14) MRTA regions will receive four (4) grants for a total of fifty-six (56) CLASSROOM GRANTS in 2015. Each grant will be in the amount of five hundred dollars ($500). The number of grants has increased significantly the last several years (2009-5, 2010-7, 2011-14, 2012-14, 2013-44, 2014-44, and 2015-56). The continuing and generous support of the (MRTA FAMILY) makes this wonderful program possible. THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH.

The second item to mention is the upcoming SILENT AUCTION to be held in conjunction with the MRTA ANNUAL MEETING. The annual meeting will be held at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City on Wednesday/Thursday, September 16-17, 2015. The flyer below as well as a bid sheet was included in the packet of information about the annual meeting and was sent to Local Unit Presidents earlier. Last year’s Auction was the most successful ever. The number of items and money received ($9,000) was a record. Karen Miller and Jan Powers will Co-Chair the auction this year. We really appreciate the wonderful support of INDIVIDUALS AND LOCAL UNITS in this event. Let’s make 2015 a BIGGER and BETTER result than last year. All proceeds to the Silent Auction will go toward the CLASSROOM GRANT PROGRAM.


Walter Cochran
MRTF President