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State dissolves Shawn Hornbeck Foundation

After the Shawn Hornbeck Foundation failed to file its annual report at the end of August, the state administratively dissolved the nonprofit organization that helps find missing children, a spokesman for the Missouri Secretary of State’s office said on Wednesday.

That meant that the Foundation was no longer allowed to do business, other than to liquidate assets and dissolve the organization. About a week ago, however, the office received reports that the Foundation had not followed the law and still was doing business, Secretary of State spokesman Ryan Hobart said.

The office contacted the Foundation through its registered agent, Randall Sherman of Hillsboro, to see if the organization wanted to re-register or had disbanded. The state was told that the Foundation would fill out the required form and get it to the state along with the filing fee, Hobart added.

“We try to work with people who want to get back in good standing,” Hobart explained. “Now that we know they plan to provide the annual report, we are just waiting for the paperwork. Once we get that, they will be back in good standing.”

Craig Akers, CEO and president of the Hornbeck Foundation, issued a statement this morning, explaining that an administrative oversight had led to the Foundation missing the August date and a second deadline from the state in December.

“We regret having missed the deadline for the filing of this report and will take the steps necessary to improve our administrative accountability,” Akers said. “We look forward to continuing to provide our vital services to the families of our community.”

The annual report is a simple form that updates the list of officers and board members, he added.

“Nonprofit organizations are required by law to file an annual report by Aug. 31 every year,” Hobart noted. “We administratively dissolved them Dec. 27.”

The Hornbeck Foundation was one of about 3,000 nonprofit organizations that did not file an annual report in 2007. This was the second time the Foundation has not filed its annual report on time. On the previous occasion, two years ago, they filed late and were reinstated, according to the state office.

“It happens often, especially with nonprofits,” Hobart explained. “When people have jobs and work at the nonprofit in their free time, the report can slip through the cracks.”

In order to fill out and file the form, the Foundation needs to gather papers such as a tax clearance from the Missouri Department of Revenue.

The Foundation was formed after the October 2002 kidnapping of then-11-year-old Shawn in Richwoods. Police found Shawn more than a year ago in the home of Michael Devlin in Kirkwood while they were searching for a second missing boy, Ben Ownby of Franklin County.

Devlin is serving multiple life terms in prison. Shawn helps the foundation in its mission to find missing children, educate parents, and provide child identification kids to families.

Paula Barr is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 172 or at

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