I would like to open this article with a comment or two about the recent past. The comments deal with the recent passing of Missouri Retired Teachers Foundation President Jane Fullerton. What a tremendous loss this will be for MRTA and MRTF. Her knowledge, leadership, and inspiration will be very difficult to replace. The years of service and dedication she gave cannot be over stated. It was a sincere privilege to have known and worked with her the past several years. Jane was aware the MORTGAGE WOULD BE BURNED at the Annual Meeting last September and that she would be recognized as 2012 MRTA Distinguished Retiree of the Year. I am honored and humbled to have been asked by the MRT Foundation Board to accept Jane’s position of leadership with MRTF.
There is tremendous excitement in the air for MRTA and MRTF in the future. It is now time to “SHIFT GEARS”. MRTA President Mark Hargens will be explaining what that means for MRTA in Region meetings across the state in the next year. Let me take a few moments to explain what this means for MRTF. All MRTA/MRTF fundraising activity for the past several years has been for the building fund or paying off the mortgage. The Foundation will now be solely responsible for fundraising.
The Foundation needs to “SHIFT GEARS” in determining how the money is spent. Yes, WE WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE FUNDRAISERS AND ASK FOR MONEY. This will be our job as a Foundation Board.
There will be fourteen (14) $500 Classroom Grants available next year. This totals $7,000 and would be one grant for each MRTA region. It would be great to increase the number of classroom grants in the future. How about adding a continuing education scholarship for classroom teachers in the future? Maybe one for each region. Funds need to be available for major building improvements or maintenance. Such projects could include roof repair, heat and air problems, office expansion, elevator, etc. A fund has been created for this and it will be called the MRTF Building Improvement and Maintenance Fund. “SHIFTING GEARS” simply means a different focus on spending.
The MRT Foundation Board will continue some familiar fundraisers as well as looking at any new and worthwhile fundraisers that might surface. The Address Label Campaign will continue in 2013. The Silent Auction will continue at the Annual Meeting in September. We will maintain the Wall Tile on the Donor Wall of Fame in the office facility. You will be encouraged to raise your support from one level to another on the Wall. The ultimate goal would be to reach the Legacy level at the top. The PSRS Death Benefit and Endowment Fund would be another way to contribute. Bricks can still be purchased for the Patio around the flag pole. The year end “ASK” letters will be coming shortly to encourage businesses, corporations, and individuals to make a tax deductible contribution to MRTF.
The Foundation was organized in 2001 and is a tax-exempt 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit corporation devoted to raising funds to carry out certain charitable, educational, scientific, and literary purposes of MRTA. All contributions are tax deductible. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded $56,000 in scholarships and thirty-nine (39) $500 classroom grants to help active teachers with classroom projects. Don’t forget the money raised to BUILD THE BUILDING AND PAY OFF THE MORTGAGE.
I want to THANK YOU for your past generosity in all that you have given to MRTA and MRTF. A lot of this money was raised $10 to $50 at a time. MRTF ends the year 2012 with THANKS TO EVERYONE ACROSS THE STATE. Please continue your support to make tax deductible contributions to one of MRTF’s four fund choices: MRTF Building Improvement and Maintenance Fund, Scholarships/Grants, General and Endowment.
I am so excited for the future of MRTA and MRTF. Please accept my most sincere wishes for a happy and healthy 2013.
Walter Cochran — MRTF President