Supported by Our Partners at Nature Reliance School
Record Support for STA in 2016
Thanks to the support of each one of you, 2016 has been a record year for the STA. In 2016 we completed the Van Hook Falls staircase, our largest and most expensive project to date on the Trace. In 2016 we had the largest number of end to enders finish through the Hiker Challenge and on their own in the history of the Trace. In 5 years we have now had over 100 finish the Trace through the Hiker Challenge program. In 2016 we had a record number of individuals volunteer and donate over 2000 hours of their time in support of the work of the STA.
But success brings additional opportunites and more work to be done in 2017. With your end of year donations we can ensure we are in position to begin the new year, bristly stepping out on the Trace.
There are multiple ways you can contribute.
1. Become a new member or renew your membership in the STA. Your annual support underwrites the basic work of the Trace, supports the maintenance and operations of the Livingston Visitor and Training Center and keeps the lights on.
Here is a link to join or renew TODAY!
2. Consider making a gift to the Orndorff Legacy Fund to secure the future of the Trace as a National treasure. Details on this endowment can be found at this link. CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE LEGACY FUND PAGE!
3. Make an end of year tax deductible gift to the Leadership Fund. Your extra support to this Fund helps with the salary and expenses of our one paid staffer, the Executive Director.
The STA Board has embarked on a mission to raise, over the next 5 to 10 years the annual funds needed to support a full time executive director when Steve retires. Right now he makes $75.00 a week. That's not a lot but it is a start when you understand he took no salary for the first five years of the STA.
Support "A Day In the Life of the STA" Donate to the Leadership Fund
In 2016 the leadership of the STA made the decision to begin to pay the Executive Director $50.00 a week with the goal of each year raising that salary so when the time came to hire a full time Executive Director the funds would be available. In 2016 the ED's entire salary was raised in advance with donations from our members and friends.
In 2017 the Board of Director's has voted to raise the ED salary to $75.00 a week. Once again we are asking our members and friends to help us raise the funds to continue to pay the ED and provide funds to maintain the administration of the organization.
We have a small overhead at the present and in looking at the daily cost of running the STA, the Board recommended a fund raising campaign that would raise $20.00 a day toward a "Day in the Life of the STA" and the Leadership Fund.
This fund and the membership fees are our principal financial means for funding the work of the STA. With your help, by joining or renewing and helping us with an extra $20.00 we can continue our work moving the Trace off roads and into the woods. Together we can improve access to trail heads, and additional stairs, bridges, improvements to the trail experience.
To donate today, please click on the link below and you will be taken to our Go Fund Me site. This site is entirely secure and your gifts to the Leadership Fund are tax deductible.
Record Attendance at Gathering Tops Off Record Year for STA
The thru hiking season comes to an end with the 2016 Gathering. The 92 end to enders, friends, and family set a record for attendance in Livingston at the old High School gymnasium where the evening was filled with celebrations large and small.
It was an evening where we recognized a "record breaking year". First the hiker feed was amazing. A record number of dishes awaited the attendees of the annual pot-luck dinner.
Second, we celebrated a record number of "thru-hikers", 10, who completing the Trace in 2016. We celebrated the 6th End to End by Rick McQuerry who also set the record for fastest unsupported hike of the Trace. We celebrated the 3 who completed the Trace section by section on their own in 2016.
Third, we celebrated a record number of backpackers, 37, who earned their "end to ender" patch through the Hiker Challenge.
We celebrated our trail maintenance crews who put in close to 2,000 hours of work on the Trace. We honored our volunteers who completed the Van Hook stairs project.
Finally, we honored our Partners in Service, Ross Tarrant Architects for their help in getting the Van Hook project completed in record time.
The night ended with Jim Ross, founder of Ross Tarrant Architects
receiving the Verne Orndorff Award for his leadership in building the Van Hook stairs.
Thanks to the City of Livingston, the mayor, Jason Medley for the use of the old school gym. While a work still in progress we look forward to next year when the new floor will be down and the facility will be complete.
In lieu of flowers the family has asked that contributions be made to the Sheltowee Trace Association. To give a gift in memory and honor of Verne click this link.
ORNDORFF LEGACY FUND
Members of the Laurel Lake Chapter of the STA were out on Saturday, June 25th working on the Trace in the vicinity of Starr Shelter. Trace veterans will know that this is one of the worst areas for serious brush and briar growth. We thank them for their hardwork clearing the Trace and the area around the shelter.
The Laurel Lake Trail Crew will be back out in July, working on the Vanhook Falls stairs project. For more information on how you can join, visit the Chapter page here.