Dear LTEF Board Members,

It’s been quite a ride! Looking back 23 years ago to the February 1996 monthly meeting, during Phil Dame’s year as Commodore, when the TSC originally voted to proceed with the development of a Lake Thunderbird Sailing Center. The idea came about at the 25th TSC Anniversary Meeting held on February 25, 1995.

When we started the discussions with the State and BOR, the TSC had less than $300 in the treasury. The original Lake Thunderbird Sailing Center Steering Committee members were as follows: Les Cummings, Chairman and State Liaison, Les had also been appointed as a member of the Oklahoma State Parks Advisory Committee, J. B. Messer, Building and Equipment Chair (replaced by Roger Elliott due to health issues)Howard Haines, Program Committee, Alan Aikins, Development Committee (replaced by Les Cummings when Alan moved away) Walter Hedrick, Non-profit Advisory Committee, Jahn Dame, Secretary.

It became obvious early on that we needed to form an IRS approved not-for-profit and the LTEF’s IRS Letter of Non-profit determination was dated April 1998 thanks to the good work of Walter Hedrick, the first President of the Lake Thunderbird Educational Foundation. Our first major grant was $40,000 from the Noble Foundation.

The original plans were for a 200 square feet A-frame which was quickly turned down by the state and BOR. The approved plan was developed, at no cost, by the architectural firm of Miles Associates in Oklahoma City working with the committee. The architect assigned to the project was Mr. Mark Gandy of Edmond. The facility exterior was completed in 2001 and the interior was completed in early 2002 and the grand opening was in April 2002 with a full house of visitors and torrential rains. The emcee was Ron Stahl of Discover Oklahoma, speakers included Les, Howard, John Ressmeyer from Tourism and the featured speaker was David Rosecrans, President of the United States Sailing Association. The facility was completed with no debt service!

We should be so pleased for the success we’ve had as an organization in partnership with the TSC and Boat-House and of course, our other program partners as well as Thunderbird State Park, State of Oklahoma, U.S. BOR and the Central Oklahoma Master Water Conservancy.

In the past five years the LTEF has had over $170, 300 in income, the Endowment has grown from approximately $50,000 to over $62,000. The net assets have grown from $219,861 to over $253,000 in 2017.

It has been an honor to serve with each of our board members and the leadership of the TSC, BoatHouse and partnering organizations. Due to my advancing age, declining health and plans for more travel in the future, I hereby resign as Executive Director of the Lake Thunderbird Educational Foundation having served the board since its inception in 1997. I would be honored to continue to serve as a board member.

I thank each of you, the LTEF board, for your continued dedication and contributions of time and financial sup-port over the years!

Lester R. Cummings, Executive Director