2017 MNRC Club Foundation Report

On Friday, October 13, Mr. Bill Teague presented this report before the MNRC Annual Meeting. It is a status report on the MNRCF.
We open this report with a saddened heart as we mourn the loss of a dear friend, a huge asset to the Retriever Sport and very productive member of this board, John Blackbird. Our prayers are with Karen and the rest of his family and while he’ll be missed, we will remember him for all he has done for this Foundation and our sport.
As reported last year at this meeting, the establishment of the Foundation that functions as a totally separate, IRS 501 (c) (3) organization from the MNRC was approved by the MNRC board July 7, 2013 and chartered in the state of Tennessee, December 20, 2013. Its EIN is 46-3114401. The purpose of the Foundation is primarily, but not exclusively, to support the programs and projects of the MNRC. The Foundation received its Determination Letter from IRS stating the Foundation was granted a 501 (c) (3) code designation on September 17, 2014 in record time thru a newly approved IRS “online” application process. As such, the Foundation can receive Charitable Contributions and the donor can receive all the benefits allowed by that IRS Code. The MNRC is an IRS Code 501 (c) (7) and contributions to it are not a Charitable Contribution.
Since the last report to this body, October 16, 2016, in St. Louis, Missouri, the Foundation has completed nearly all organizational efforts and is fully operational under the Code determination. The Foundation has approved Bylaws, Conflict of Interest Policy, Gift Policy, and other organizational efforts.
The establishment of the Foundation was suggested by an active supporter of the annual Retriever Hunting Test by MNRC who wishes to remain anonymous. No, it wasn’t me or any other member of the board; wish I’d thought of it and had funds to give. This donor has provided a generous contribution that has enabled the Foundation to become effective quickly and we are deeply indebted to them. Many people ‘talk’ a lot about providing this type of support, this individuals’ actions speak louder than words. While the donor’s gift was originally restricted to Awards, you’ll hear about a little later in this report, they have generously agreed to allow some of the contribution to cover establishment costs and some grants you’ll also hear about later in this report. I think it’s appropriate to acknowledge this anonymous support with an enthusiastic & appreciative round of applause! We would encourage each of you to consider making a contribution to the Foundation; I know the original, anonymous donor would encourage you to do that. It’s easy, just make a check payable to MNRCF and provide to me or any MNRCF board member.
The Foundation “hit” the ground running and has responded favorably to several MNRC requests for financial support and the Foundation has provided almost $2,000 to support AKC Advanced Judges’ Seminars hosted by MNRC member Retriever Clubs. If your club is interested in receiving this type support, the request should come thru the MNRC.
Two years ago the Foundation announced they had approved supporting three, new Awards developed by the Foundation and suggested by the original donor. The Foundation has carefully followed the donor’s request. Hard copies of the details of each of the three awards are available at the check in table and this info was shared with other organizations for publication in their venues!
The Awards are:
✓ Youth Handler of the Year Awards: There are two, separate Awards that represent handlers aged 12 & under and 13-17. Details on the Awards, including criteria reviewed, are available at the check in table. Nominees for this Award must be received by the Foundation within 30 days of the conclusion of this event. Each Award consists of a plaque and a check for $1,000.
This next award is personally embarrassing but very humbling and is in complete compliance with the donor’s request. ✓ Bill T. Teague Handler of the Year Award: Details on this Award are also available at the check in table. Nominees must be received by the Foundation within 30 days of the completion of this event. This Award also consists of a plaque and a check for $1,000.
In addition to the individual plaques received for each award, there is a “Perpetual Plaque” for each award that displays the individual’s name and year of the award; the “Handler of the Year” plaque is on display here.
No nominations for the “Youth Handler of the Year Awards” were received last year; we hope to receive some this year. However, the Foundation board is exploring ways to financially assist youth handlers at weekend tests. The AKC regulations currently include an option for the club conducting the test to reduce, or eliminate, an entry fee for youth handlers and some clubs are offering seminars to youth without charge. The Foundation has begun a feasibility study to determine how it might assist youth handlers at weekend events to encourage new entry’s in the sport If you have ideas on how these youth handlers could be supported at weekend tests, please let any of the board members know, we’d love to hear from you.
The 2015  (the first) “Handler of the Year” Award was presented to Ken Vidrine on March 17, 2016 at the monthly meeting of his home club, the Lake Charles Retriever Club in Lake Charles, Louisiana by Foundation board members John Blackbird & Bill Teague. Ken was nominated by his son, Chad and cited for his perseverance in overcoming physical ailments, his dedication to the sport, his success at the MNRHT and his ‘can do’ attitude among other things.
The second “2016, Handler of the Year Award” was presented to Bill Autrey at his kennels outside Bentley, Louisiana on January 17, 2017. About a hundred friends, colleagues and other supporters attended the event. Bill was recognized by the foundation which was represented by Foundation board members John Blackbird & Bill Teague who presented the award to Bill.

John Blackbird (left), Bill Teague Bill Autrey & Geri Autrey

Bill successfully met the criteria for the second annual Bill T. Teague Handler of the Year Award and was nominated by several retriever enthusiasts, including his daughter, Polly Autrey Smithye from Minnesota. He was cited for his ability to overcome major health obstacles, including cancer of the throat to produce well trained retrievers who excelled at the local, state and national level. One of his recent treatments included removal of his larynx rendering him unable to talk. While clearly a challenge, he overcame this obstacle by talking to judges & colleagues at tests mostly thru writing on a pad & hand signals. The AKC approved a special ‘mechanical whistle’ Mr. Autrey used by pushing a button resulting in the whistle being ‘blown’ to handle his dogs.  Mr. Autrey is a very competent dog trainer that has resulted in numerous AKC Master Hunter titles and successful qualifications of dogs at the Master National Retriever Club events, the most recent being outside St. Louis, Missouri, last year. He is an inspiration to many, a mentor to both young and more seasoned trainers & handlers and is a wonderful asset to the retriever sport.
Presentation of the Award to Bill: Bill, please step forward so we can re-create the presentation; ladies & gentlemen, the 2016 Bill T. Teague Handler of the Year Award, Mr. Bill Autrey!
We commend the MNRC for authorizing the establishment of this totally separately functional organization and the anonymous donor who conceived the idea of establishing the Foundation and the concept of the Awards. We hope you’ll make a charitable contribution to the Foundation while you’re here and send your nominations for this year’s awardees.
We are pleased to advise you that on September 6, 2017, the MNRC board of directors unanimously approved a request from the Foundation to offer its members, participants, guests and any other interested party to meet a challenge gift from an anonymous donor by the end of this year’s annual event. Hopefully, you’ve seen or learned about it on the MNRC Blog and other MNRC publication.
The challenge will match, dollar for dollar, all gifts to the MNRCF up to $10,000 making it possible for the retriever community, led by the MNRC who committed $1,000 to the challenge, to generate a total of $20,000 restricted for the AKC Canine Relief Fund to help animals and their owners impacted by Hurricane Harvey in the Greater Houston area. Since the original announcement, a total of $_________ has been committed. This challenge was issued in response to the many professional & amateur owners/trainers/handlers that jumped in to help these animals and the AKC’s stalwart efforts to help them. If you’d like to support this cause, please make your charitable contribution check to the MNRCF, indicate it’s restricted for AKC Canine Relief and either give it to any MNRCF board member or mail it to MNRCF, PO Box 444, Columbia, TN 38402-0444.
We also commend members of the Foundation’s board of directors for their dedication, expertise and strong support; it’s clearly exciting but very challenging to get such an organization established and functional & each member of the board has done an exemplary job!
The members of the Foundation board are, and I ask each of you to stand when you are recognized and remain standing until all are introduced.  • Jimmy Hughes, Secretary/Treasurer • Gloria Mundell, Director • John Blackbird, Director (Deceased September 9, 2017) • Larry Kimble, Ex-Officio Director (bylaws are designed to include each MNRC President for their term in an attempt to insure close coordination & effective communications of the Foundation’s activity to the MNRC board) • Bill Teague, President
President Larry, thank you again for allowing us to give this report & Bill Autrey congratulations on your well-deserved award. If there are any questions, we’ll address them at the next break or after this meeting.
Good luck with your dogs and have a safe trip home. Many thanks!
Bill Teague, President MNRC

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