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NANPA Foundation History

February-May 1996 - NANPA approves creation of the NANPA Infinity Foundation as a non-profit, 501(c)3, tax-free foundation to advance awareness and appreciation of the environment through photography and education. NANPA Board members Mark Lukes, Rick Zuegel and Karen Hollingsworth volunteer to serve as the founding Board of Trustees, and Mark Lukes is elected president. Jerry Bowman and Francine Butler are named Executive Directors.

January 16-19, 1997 - The first High School Student Scholarship Program to be sponsored by the Foundation, rather than NANPA directly, occurs at NANPA's third Annual Summit, titled "Partnerships," in Corpus Christi, Texas. Selected students attend the Summit, meet and learn from established pros in the industry and show their images to attendees. The Foundation initiates a Silent Auction at the Summit to raise funds for this program.

May 1997 - The scholarship students publish their first newsletter, Riptide, written and designed by them and funded by the Foundation. The Foundation reviews completed Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws for filing of (c)3 status.

July 17, 1997 - A program to install photo blinds at selected National Wildlife Refuges is proposed by Jane S. Kinne, NANPA President, with funding to come from the Foundation.

October 8, 1997 - At the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), NANPA President Jane S. Kinne discusses the Foundation's photo blind project with Jamie Rappaport Clark, director of the FWS. FWS agrees to fund part of the cost of construction.

January 13-18, 1998 - At NANPA's fourth Annual Summit, "Photography to the Extreme" near Haines City, Florida, ten high school students spend a day learning from Art Wolfe at Walt Disney World's new Animal Kingdom. As in earlier years, the results of their week of shooting are put into a slide program with music for the Saturday evening banquet. The Foundation Awards are presented.

March 1998 - The Foundation Board selects the first four national wildlife refuges for installation of photo blinds: Bear River, Utah; Cameron Prairie, Louisiana; Ruby Lake, Nevada; and Sonny Bono-Salton Sea, California. The Foundation is granted 501(c)3 status allowing all donations to be fully tax-deductible.

October 1998 - The Foundation's 1998 scholarship students are featured on an episode of the television series, "Nature's Best Photography," a 13-part series sponsored by Nikon and the National Wildlife Federation on the Outdoor Life Network.

February 2-7, 1999 - "Creativity 2000" in San Diego, the fifth NANPA Annual Summit, hosts another group of NANPA Infinity Foundation scholarship students. Additional hands-on learning activities with pro photographers are added before and during the Summit. Again, their photographic efforts during the week are presented at the banquet to a standing ovation. The Foundation's awards are presented. Jane S. Kinne is elected President of the Foundation.

January 12-16, 2000 - At NANPA's sixth Annual Summit in Austin, Texas, named "Biodiversity 2000," the Foundation's Silent Auction raises thousands of dollars for nature photography education and the Student Scholarship Program. For the first time, the Foundation sponsors a successful Live Auction, in which time with pro photographers and editors is auctioned off. Once more, the attending scholarship students interact and learn from industry pros and present their best work at the banquet to much acclaim. The National Wildlife Refuge Photo Blind Program is officially unveiled with a display of the project. Awards are presented by the Foundation.

April 2000 - Criteria for building blinds and administering grant monies for photo blind program are promulgated.

October 2000 - Construction is finished on a photo blind in Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Utah, sponsored by the NANPA Infinity Foundation.

January 17-21, 2001 - Selected students sponsored by the Foundation attend "Odyssey 2001" in Las Vegas, NANPA's seventh Annual Summit, for a week of hands-on learning from pro photographers and editors. The Foundation's Silent and Live Auctions are expanded, with a resulting increase in donations. The Foundation's awards and Fellows pins are presented. The Foundation Board of Trustees greatly expands with the addition of five new trustees. By mutual agreement, the Foundation assumes management of the student scholarship program as well as the funding.

July 2001 - Construction is finished on photo blinds in two more refuges - Cameron Prairie in Louisiana and Sonny Bono-Salton Sea in California. Work nears completion on two other refuges: Ruby Lake in Nevada and Buenos Aires in Arizona. Also, plans are made for blinds in 11 more refuges.

January 16-20, 2002 - The Foundation sponsors ten more high school students to attend "Alternatives 2002" in Jacksonville, NANPA's eighth Annual Summit, where they enjoy educational seminars and one-on-one instruction from top professional photographers. The Foundation presents its awards, and the auctions once more bring in needed funds. The Foundation sets up Honorary members of Board of Trustees; the first Honorary members are Dr. Jane Goodall, Dewitt Jones and Tom Lovejoy.

February 19-23, 2003 - Another eager group of high school scholarship students sponsored by the Foundation come to Albuquerque for NANPA's ninth Annual Summit, called "Legacy 2003." For three days prior to the Summit, the students receive hands-on instruction in the field from top photo professionals, and then show what they've learned to Summit attendees. The Foundation's silent and live auctions are once again successful, and the Foundation's awards are presented.

April 2003 - The Foundation initiates a new student scholarship program for college students, to be implemented at the 2004 NANPA Annual Summit.

June 2003 - Construction begins at two more national wildlife refuges: St. Catherine Creek in Mississippi and Willapa in Washington.

July 2003 - The Foundation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service renew their contract to continue FWS funding for new refuge blind construction through December 2004. The Foundation turns over the operation of the High School Student Scholarship Program to NANPA, and the two groups sign a Memorandum of Understanding outlining the operation of the program. Management of the program reverts to the NANPA.

November 2003 - The NANPA Infinity Foundation issues funds for blind construction at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa and the Fort Niobrara-Valentine refuge in Nebraska.

January 21-25, 2004 - The Foundation's College Student Scholarship Program debuts at "Discovery 2004" in Portland, Oregon, NANPA's 10th Anniversary Annual Summit. The Foundation sponsors eight college students, as well as ten students in the traditional High School Student Scholarship Program. The Foundation holds its most successful auction to date to raise money for the student programs. The Board of Trustees elects John Nuhn as President, and Past President Jane Kinne takes on the additional role of Development Director. Foundation Awards are presented.

June 2004 - Construction is completed on refuge blinds at St. Catherine Creek in Mississippi, Willapa in Washington, DeSoto in Iowa, Fort Niobrara-Valentine in Nebraska, and Edwards Waterfowl Production Area in Minnesota.

July 2004 - The presidents of NANPA and the Foundation sign a Memorandum of Understanding to solidify and strengthen their relationship. The Foundation drops "Infinity" from its name. An Adopt-a-Student Program is set up to allow donors to fully sponsor a student to attend a Summit. A second blind at the Fort Niobrara-Valentine refuge is completed.

January 19-23, 2005 - Ten high school and eight college students are sponsored by the Foundation to attend "Traditions" in Charlotte, North Carolina, NANPA's 11th Annual Summit. A successful auction and on-site donations from Summit attendees complete the needed funding for the students, which until then had been in doubt. Foundation awards and grants are presented.

February 2005 - Blinds are completed in four more refuges: Black Bayou Lake in Louisiana, Humboldt Bay in California, Cibola in Arizona and Tishomingo in Oklahoma. Thus far, the Foundation has sponsored construction of 24 photo blinds across the U.S.

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