May 2015 President’s Message
Greetings to the entire MRTA family from the Missouri Retired Teachers Foundation (MRTF). We hope you are well and in good health. What a wonderful time of the year. Things look so much better with green leaves, green grass, and blooming flowers.
The Address Label Campaign has been a major part of fundraising for the Foundation the past several years. The labels were mailed April 15 and you should have received them by now. I would like to remind everyone of HB 444 passed in 2007. The law was phased in over 6 years. As of 2012, you can deduct, on your state income tax, up to $35,000 of your retirement income. This is a tremendous savings to education retirees in Missouri. Director Kreider, and MRTA, was responsible for the passage of HB 444. Please consider using a portion of these savings for a generous donation to help support activities of the Foundation.
This is a busy time of the year for Foundation activities and fundraisers. The Classroom Grant Program continues to be a major activity of the Foundation. Applications for Classroom Grants have been available since the middle of March and were available at the Presidents Summit in Jefferson City. Contact the MRTA office or check the Foundation website if you need more applications. Applications must be postmarked no later than midnight on June 30. Local Unit Presidents are a vital link in getting applications out to the school buildings in their communities. A SPECIAL THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND EFFORT WITH THE APPLICATIONS. Last year, the Foundation awarded $500 classroom grants to 42 teachers across the state of Missouri. In 2015 the Foundation will award 56 classroom grants! Teachers welcome this assistance for many purposes; for example, to purchase books, iPads, reading and math aides, “Baby-Think-It Over” kits, science project aids, and many, many others. All of these classrooms are deserving; however, one we found most heartwarming was a middle school special education teacher who wanted her students to experience and develop life skills in the “real” world.
This is a good time of the year to remind Local Units and Local Unit Presidents of the Annual Silent Auction to be held at the Annual Meeting in September. They need to begin preparations now. The Auction last year was the most successful ever. The number of items and money raised ($9,000) was a record. Karen Miller and Jan Powers will Co-Chair the Auction this year. Please start your preparations now and let’s set another record in 2015. All proceeds at the Silent Auction will go toward Classroom Grants.
The Board of Directors voted in December to update the MRTF website. The design is more aesthetic, easier to use, and is expected to increase member interest in the MRTF arm of the Association. A wealth of information is available about the Foundation. Included is information about the history of MRTF, donor wall levels of giving, grant applications, ways to donate, scholarship and grant winners, donors, etc. Please spend some time on the website. We are really proud of the new look. Many thanks to Jim, Patti, Sarah, Lisa, and Joyce for all their time and effort with this project. www.mortf.org
On behalf of the Foundation Board of Directors, THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR YOUR GENEROSITY in supporting our activities and fundraisers. We look forward to another successful year in 2015.