2019 FY Development Report

Welcome! Thank you for reviewing our Fiscal Year 2019 Development Report.

We publish a digital-only Development Report to save both natural resources and those contributed to TRMF by amazing supporters like you. The information below is FY2019, ended January 31, 2019, but may include narrative on projects still underway.

Now, on to a celebration of one of the best years of TRMF's history!

About the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation

The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation (TRMF) is a public non-profit organization that was formed by a multi-million dollar gift from Harold and Sheila Schafer and their family -- who, beginning in 1962, dedicated much of their lives to preserve Medora for generations to come.

Today, we at TRMF operate history, education, entertainment businesses that allow the traveling public to enjoy the beautiful, North Dakota Badlands that the Schafers, like Roosevelt before them, loved so much.

Through the contributions and teamwork of a volunteer board of directors, a full-time staff of 45, 300+ seasonal employees, over 500 seasonal volunteers, and financial backing from generous supporters, we connect people to Medora for positive, life-changing experiences.

For more about our history, vision, mission, and values, click here.


Highlights of the Last Year

-$3.7 Million in contributions raised by TRMF
-One of the most attended season of the Medora Musical of all time -- 117,580 visits
-Over 48,000 steaks served at the Food Network recognized Pitchfork Steak Fondue
-Nearly 17,000 rounds of golf played at Bully Pulpit
-Over 9,000 attendees at the Medora Gospel Brunch
-17,519 attendees at our Old Town Hall Theater shows 
-Completed final updates and work on the Elkhorn Quarters Lodging property
-Support from 902 annual members and 92 business members! Read about the success Railway Credit Union saw with their business membership!
-NEW: Medora Wish Endowment raised more than $700,000 and has since surpassed the $1 Million mark!

First Ever Medora Wish Recipient, John Wright


Here are Some of the Amazing People Who Help Make it Happen

None of this would have been possible without the support of amazing donors, supporters, and volunteers. Below are some of the most important folks to TRMF, those whose support helps make North Dakota's #1 Vacation, a family tradition.

Annual Giving & Annual Members of TRMF
The supporters listed are those who made new gifts or became Annual Members of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation last year. Thank you to all of you! We could not do what we do in Medora without our generous contributors. See the full list here.

Cumulative Giving List
These contributions represent cumulative gifts to the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation as of January 31, 2019. All gifts made on or before that date are recognized. Gifts to the Foundation since its inception in 1986 have now reached nearly $50 Million. See the full list here.

TRMF Volunteers 
We could not do what we do in Medora without our volunteers. From inventory and painting to planting flowers, greeting guests at the Medora Musical and more, volunteers help us accomplish so much -- and their smiles are just contagious! Many come back time and again and most even become Annual Members of TRMF. Thank you. See the full list here. 

TRMF's All-Volunteer Board of Directors

Our volunteer board of directors sets the direction for TRMF. They guide our team, they help the organization operationally in many different ways, and they help TRMF to constantly innovate while staying true to our vision, mission, and values. Along with our staff, donors, and volunteers, they carry on the legacy of Harold and Sheila Schafer.

Harold Schafer, Founder (1912 - 2001)

Ed Schafer, Chairman
Greg Tschetter, Vice Chairman
Gretchen Stenehjem, Secretary
Mike Zaun, Treasurer

Bill Altringer
Claudia Anderson
Levi Andrist
Rich Becker
Twylah Blotsky
Al Christianson
Bruce Furnace
Marlene Hoffart
Karen Krebsbach
Tracy Martin
Tim O'Keefe
Barry Schafer
Medora Sletten

Keep reading. There's a lot more great info below..

Where we have come from, where we're going...

Big Things and Beyond

The last year in Medora has been a big one -- near record attendance at numerous attractions, amazing support from the community of Medora backers, and great growth as an organization. Here are some of the highlighted projects, from the year, and a glance at where we are headed -- because even when we have some of the best years in our history, we will always continue to look ahead to plan for the next generation.


Medora Wish Endowment Surpassed $1 Million Within First Month Of Current Fiscal Year

This brand-new initiative driven by our all-volunteer-board, the Medora Wish Endowment was created based off of a simple yet powerful desire of our founder, who not only wanted to provide amazing entertainment for folks in Medora, but to also allow as many people as possible to be inspired by the Badlands. Learn more about the endowment here. 

After the first Medora Wish recipient visited in 2018, we look ahead to the first-ever Kids Free Week, June 28 through July 4, funded in whole by this endowment! Learn about all of the Kids Free Week activities here!

Point to Point Park 

$5 - $7 Million - An ode to Theodore Roosevelt's favorite game + a brand new place for families to enjoy the Badlands together!

This new addition to Medora will be the perfect downtown destination for adventurers of all ages! Little buckaroos can enjoy all kinds of new activities and there is plenty for our older buckaroos to do too! Learn more and get involved with Point to Point Park here.

Teddy's CubHouse

PLUS, a project that will impact our employees most, a daycare. Previously there was no, full-time child care in Medora or Billings County - and it was making it harder for young families to build a fulfilling life here. The lack of child care impacts the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation's staff turnover and recruitment therefore, establishing this child care center will help improve both. Learn more about Teddy's CubHouse here!


We are working together on SO MUCH more than the sample above, too. For more Projects for the Future, click here to learn more.

Plus, you can see our past Newsletters and Development Reports right here. 

Read on for more from the Development Report -- Medora Musical Sponsors, Scholarships, and Financials!


TRMF and the Rod Tjaden Memorial Golf Tournament supporters contributed $28,000 in scholarship awards to Medora summer, student workers, from 14 different states and 7 different countries. Read the news and see the full list here. 


Thank you to the Major Sponsors of the Medora Musical!

Thank you to our major patrons for making the Medora Musical the "Greatest Show in the West." Gifts range from $5,000 to $25,000

Thank you so much to everyone who was a part of one of our best years ever. It was absolutely wonderful. :)

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