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April 7, 2009
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June 1, 2007
By Kenneth W. Breher, P.E.,
Treasurer, LSRHA

Among the key essentials for the on-going success of corporations like the Lake States Railway Historical Association include establishing tax exempt status and the ability to establish a firm financial foundation which will fund its operations into the future.

In Fiscal Year 2007, LSRHA achieved the first significant cornerstone by obtaining our status as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. This status enables donors and supporters who contribute to LSRHA to take advantage of Internal Revenue Service regulations which allow them to deduct the value of their contributions from their annual income.

The second cornerstone to be placed provides for long-term financial stability through the establishment of an endowment. In 2007, our first year as a non-profit, we were blessed with an anonymous contribution which was earmarked for the creation of the Lake States Railway Historical Association Trust. The LSRHA Trust is structured to provide a continuing income stream to help defray the operating costs of the Archives. Contributions to the LSRHA Trust are treated as the "principal" of the Trust, and are invested in various financial instruments in order to generate either "interest" or "dividends". Only the proceeds generated as interest or dividend are allowed to be withdrawn, with the principal remaining intact.

Today the Trust is able to generate approximately 10% of the operating expense of the Archives. These operating expenses include rent, insurance, telephone, website, office equipment and routine office expenses. The generosity of our Donors and Trustees currently cover the operating expenses and allows us to add the interest or dividends to the principal of the Trust.

In 2008, our second year, we have been issued a challenge to increase the LSRHA Trust. Through the generosity of an anonymous donor, we have been challenged to increase the Trust by $50,000 or more. For each dollar contributed to the LSRHA Trust, up to a limit of $25,000, the donor will contribute an additional dollar. The LSRHA challenge for 2008 will run through December 31, 2008.

Those wishing to support the Lake States Railway Historical Association through monetary contribution to the 2008 LSRHA Trust Challenge may send their tax deductible contributions to:

LSRHA 2008 Trust Challenge
319 Water Street
Suite 800
Baraboo, WI 53913

Your generosity is deeply appreciated.