Cutters Helping Cutters
Three decades of helping cutters and building for the future.
By: Joey Milner
Think back to 1982…Nearly 30 years ago, a group of cutters came together to form a charitable foundation entitled the NCHA Charities Foundation to support the goals and values of the National Cutting Horse Association. Now fast forward to today, 2011.
Through the hard work, financial support and selfless service of countless cutters, that foundation has provided over $2 million in scholarship funding for over 500 different youth involved with the sport of cutting, and also supported cutters with financial assistance in times of crisis.
The work of the individuals who started and grew the NCHA Foundation has been invaluable throughout the past 28 years, and in the coming years there is, even more, the Foundation can do.
The Foundation’s current Articles of Incorporation, which have been in place since 1999, spell out that the foundation is to “be operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes . . . to support and benefit (NCHA, which is) operated to encourage, promote, advertise and develop the cutting horse as a unique and excellent equine athlete.”
Joey Milner has been involved with the NCHA Charities Foundation since 1982.
The NCHA Charities Foundation will continue its long-standing support of youth scholarships and crisis funding, and we hope to increase that support going forward. And like similar charitable foundations, we have the opportunity for our fund-raising initiatives to help support additional initiatives that will allow our children, our grandchildren, and our grandchildren’s children to enjoy the cutting horse and the way of life that we all value. That is what good stewardship is all about.
Recently, the Board of the NCHA Charities Foundation and the NCHA Executive Committee voted to launch a major fund-raising and awareness campaign to enable the Foundation to help NCHA meet challenges, seize opportunities, and change lives for many generations to come. We hope that new educational, cultural and outreach projects will broaden our donor base to not only fund the new initiatives but also to supplement our traditional scholarship and crisis programs.
Over the years, many donations to the NCHA Charities Foundation have been designated for a specific scholarship fund, or for another particular purpose. Obviously, the wishes of those donors will be honored in perpetuity. As stated by Foundation Secretary, Judy Morris, “We can assure all members that the existing funds of the Foundation will not be used for the new initiatives of the Foundation but will be held for their originally intended purpose.” All new programs will be funded by new donations, either designated for those programs, or new, undesignated contributions to the Foundation.
The reasons that donors have given us for supporting the NCHA Foundation are as numerous and diverse as the donors themselves. For many, philanthropic support is a way to accomplish personal goals and express deep personal values. Others view it as a smart strategic investment. Whether their motivation is humanitarian, heartfelt, or financial, the NCHA Foundation has always worked closely with donors to ensure that their generosity brings with it a satisfying experience. Whether a donation is $5 or a major endowment, it is deeply appreciated by the NCHA Foundation and the people it serves.
In keeping with our history with the foundation, we will work with potential donors to ensure their gifts are directed to the activities of the donor’s request. Supporting educational programs like Grassroots Cutting Clinics, Judges Seminars and Youth Activities are examples of projects that will appeal to various donors. At the same time, projects that help us give recognition to the donors we depend on are valuable tools.
New projects that are currently being advanced that can be funded with new donations to the foundation include a life-size bronze of long-time NCHA Executive Director Zack Wood Jr., honoring his years of service in shaping and growing the NCHA into the organization we all enjoy today.
To participate as a foundation supporter, there are numerous options for you to consider. These include:
- Leave a legacy: Donors can leave a lasting legacy by naming their endowed gift after themselves, another individual or a horse.
- Promote education: Extend the gift of knowledge through scholarships, grants, and awards to the next generation of leaders in the cutting industry.
- Support research: Help develop facilities and programs at universities and research laboratories to pursue advancements and discoveries that contribute to the overall health, longevity, and vitality of cutting horses.
- Spread the word: Promote awareness of and interest in cutting horses through 4-H and FFA outreach programs, demonstrations, clinics, youth leadership development and more.
- Keep the fire burning: Contribute to a special reserve that provides funds to ensure that the NCHA Foundation has the resources it needs to meet unforeseen challenges and opportunities.
- Receive tax benefits: Depending on your circumstances, donations may reduce your taxes through charitable deductions, or avoiding capital gains tax on contributions.
As we move into the New Year, we hope that you will join us with your financial support to the NCHA Charities Foundation. Your support and the support of your fellow cutters will enable the NCHA the means to shape a strong, bright future, and change lives.
Together, we can make a real difference in providing for the humanity and welfare of the cutting horse, making dreams come true for generations of youth aspiring to a better life, easing pain and creating hope for those in crisis, and building awareness, understanding and providing for more and more people to experience the thrill of being on a cutting horse.
Joey Milner is the President of the NCHA Charities Foundation. Joey is a lifelong cutter and a member of the NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame and the NYCHA Hall of Fame. The Milner Family has been involved in the development, governance, and administration of the NCHA Charities Foundation since its inception in 1982.