Sunday, November 15, 2009

This is the season of memories. If you would like to share a holiday memory sent it to We will publish it on our ECAREA website.

Holiday Season

As we approach the holiday season, we will be connecting with family and friends. For those who will be entertaining overnight guest, we have a new recipe for French Toast. ECAREA members taste tested this wonderful recipe at our October meeting. See below.

We will be having a great time at our December Unit Meeting with a Holiday Luncheon beginning at noon at Holiday Inn on Craig Road. The cost will be $15.00. The Regis Choir will entertain the group at 12:45PM. Reservation can be made until November 30 with Loreen Yager at

We will also be collecting board and other games to be distributed to a local school. Many teachers will remember keeping kids engaged during inclement weather.

Join us for the lunch. Join us as a member of ECAREA and WREA to help protect our pension fund.
Peach French Toast A La Garth
presented by Garth Woodside Mansion Bed & Breakfast Country Inn
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter or margarine
2 Tbsps. water
1 29oz. can sliced peaches
5 eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 loaf French Toast Bread (12-14 slices)

Drain peaches and reserve syrup. Heat sugar and butter on medium-low heat until melted. Add water and continue cooking
until sauce becomes thick and foamy. Pour into 9x13" baking dish and cool 10 minutes.

Place peaches on cooled caramel sauce and cover with slices of bread placed close together. In blender add eggs, milk and vanilla until mixed. Pour over bread, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Loosely cover with foil the last 10-15 minutes if browning too fast. Serve with warmed peach syrup. 12-14 servings.
Eau Claire Area Retired Educators

ECAREA Unit Meeting

Grace Lutheran Church

November 2, 2009

1:30 p.m.

Chris welcomed everyone and invited the members to join her in saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Visitors and first-time attendees were introduced.

Business meeting

The minutes of the October were approved as printed. Sally invited members to take a copy of the minutes from the sign-in table if they are interested in reading/having a copy.

Owen shared the Treasurer’s report and stated that there was a balance of $2066.11 in the checking account, and $1353.13 in the savings account.

Committee Reports

Social: Loreen encouraged everyone to sign up for the Christmas Luncheon that will be on December 7th at noon at the Holiday Inn on Craig Road. The deadline for making/canceling reservations is December 3rd in the evening. The charge for the luncheon is $15.00.

Membership: Kathy said that the number of members is close to what it was last year. She encouraged everyone to fill out a form so that there is a record at the local level of their membership. She will have available at the next meeting a complete list of members for this year.

Program: Attention was drawn to the card that lists all of the meetings for the year. This card has been available to members at the sign-in table at all meetings this year.

Games or monetary donations should be brought to the December meeting. Make sure that the games are unwrapped. The games will go to one Eau Claire elementary school and the Elementary School in Mondovi this year.

President: Chris showed a check that was presented to ECAREA at the District Meeting in Rice Lake showing that our Unit volunteered a total of 7072 hours last year. This was equal to more than $143,000.00 of time/services to the community. Chris urged all members to total the hours they volunteered in the areas of health, community, education, or helping friends and neighbors over this past year and bring it to the December meeting.

Legislative: Our Unit is still looking for a member to fill this position. Please contact a Board Member if you are at all interested.

Chris informed us that there is one Legislative Alert on the website urging us to support AB482 involving the lowering of prescription drug prices. They are hoping to get this Bill passed by November 5th.

Health/Education: Marlaine invited members to bring used hearing aid batteries to out meetings and she will take them to her audiologist to be recycled. She also brought a gas cap turner to show that is available through the Arthritis Association of Wisconsin 1-800-242-9945, or from The Wright Stuff 1-877-750-0376. The cost of this device is around $20.00.

Marlaine told members to watch for signs in their pharmacy telling them what to do with old/unused prescription drugs.

Bottle tops/labels, etc: Cherry said that the collections are going well and urged members to keep up the good work.

Old Business

Rice Lake District Meeting Tuesday October 20: Sally shared her interpretation of the meeting as a first time attendee. She felt that the day was well spent and was very impressed with the hard work and dedication put forth by the members of this organization. She encouraged everyone to consider attending the State meeting in Stevens Point in May of 2010.

Cathy shared a vast amount of information concerning the WRS (Wisconsin Retirement System), ETF (Employee Trust Fund), and SWIB (State of Wisconsin Investment Board). She informed members that they will receive a new statement in the mail whenever there is a change made and that their “regular core” or “core floor” is listed on that statement. This is the lowest amount that your monthly payment should ever reach. When you receive a new statement your old one can be discarded. She advised anyone who might be thinking of canceling their Variable Fund to watch a video on the WREA website and to call Madison to talk with them about doing so before they act.

She told members that the best way to contact Legislators is by phone or email, not in writing as letters are held for up to two weeks due to security procedures. There is a link on the WREA website that will put you in contact with your Legislator.

She encouraged everyone to carefully read mail that comes from Medicare or Medicare Supplement programs as it is time for open enrollment and you may be dropped if your program is no longer available to you. Informed Choice is a resource that will advise you, or go to for more information.

Also, keep your address changes current as the US Mail will no longer be forwarding mail.

The meeting was adjourned for the program.


Terry Sheridan began by thanking everyone for the pin and recognition awarded him for being the top volunteer for ECAREA in 2008.

Terry spoke to the group about Clear Vision Eau Claire. He said that this group is a Strategic Planning Committee of about 180 members representing a broad section of Eau Claire. It was established in 2007, and is forming a plan for what Eau Claire might look/operate like in 2020. Terry shared information about each of the six key performance areas of Economics, Transportation, Health, Quality of Life, Education and Civic Engagement.

Terry requested that the honorarium he received from his talk today be added to the money being collected at the December meeting for the games.
Eau Claire Area Retired Educators

ECAREA Unit Meeting

First Baptist Church

October 5, 2009

Chris welcomed everyone and said grace before inviting everyone to enjoy the delicious brunch that was prepared and served by the ladies at First Baptist Church.

Business meeting:

Chris welcomed everyone to the meeting. New members were introduced and welcomed by the group.

The minutes from the August meeting were accepted as printed.

Owen shared the Treasurer’s report and noted that there is a balance of $1680.11 in the checking account and $1656.12 in the savings account.

Committee reports:

Social/Program: Loreen thanked Margo Giles for organizing the luncheon for today and the ladies who helped to serve it. She reminded everyone that our next meeting will be held on November 2nd at Grace Lutheran Church, with the speaker being Terry Sheridan about the educational component of Clear Vision Eau Claire.

Membership: Kathy was pleased to announce that 12 new members joined today, bringing our membership up to 115. She reminded current members that our membership cards were on the front table and that we should be sure to pick them up. Kathy asked that everyone be sure to fill out the information on the member form because several committees use that information to help them contact people.

Health/Education: Marlene encouraged everyone to be sure to get a flu shot, and to have plenty of clear liquids such as apple juice, broth/bullion, or jello on hand at home should we come down with the flu. She shared that she and Loreen had participated in the Buckshot Run and that she had been awarded a prize for her age group, coming in at 499 out of about 800. Congratulations Marlene and keep it up.

Website: Cheryl informed us that there is new information on the website with pictures and links to the State organization. Be sure to go to to check it out.

Newsletter: Jeanette asked that if there is anyone who did not receive a newsletter to let her know. There were copies of the newsletter available on the table with information about upcoming meetings for the year.

Collections: Cherry encouraged members to save all milk caps, not just Kemps, along with Campbell’s soup labels, Milk Moola strips and Box Tops for Education. She also asked that we save and bring in the used ink cartridges from our computers so that she can take them to One Source Imaging and receive money for them. All of the totals we take in from these efforts were shared in the newsletter.


Old Business: none

New Business: Chris drew out attention to the brochures on the front table about the Friends of the Library. She shared many ways that a person could get involved at the public library such as helping with book sales and delivering books to shut-ins. She encouraged us to learn more about the organization.

We closed our meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and adjourned for the program.


Carol Hauser spoke to us about her involvement with the Red Cross. She shared pictures and an account of her experiences helping in Louisiana after hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008. Carol asked us to inform other elementary teachers about a program called Masters of Disaster. This is a 45 minute presentation for a classroom size of about 30 to help students acquire the skills and knowledge they need to recognize and recover from hazards and disasters in their home, school and community.

Respectfully submitted by Sally Gordon, Secretary.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Eau Claire Area Retired Educators Association
Meeting Programs
August 2009-June 2010
August 31@1:30PM Pete Roller/Voyageur Presentation Beaver Creek Reserve
October 5@10AM Carole Hauser/Relief Work First Baptist-Brunch
November 2@1:30 Terry Sheridan/Clear Vision EC Grace Lutheran
December 7@ Noon Christmas Luncheon Holiday Inn/Craig Road
NO Meeting in January
February 1@1:30 John/Alice Ridge/Yellowstone Trail Grace Lutheran
March 1@1:30 Dave Carlson Grace Lutheran
April 10@10AM Jim Alf/Caryville Ferry-Brunch Lake St Methodist
May 3@1:30 Globe University Tour Globe University
June ? Meeting/Chippewa Falls Unit TBD
Eau Claire Area Retired Educators

ECAREA Unit Meeting
Beaver Creek Reserve
August 31, 2009

Chris welcomed everyone to the meeting. We recited the Pledge of Allegiance and new members were introduced.

The minutes from the July meeting were accepted.

Owen shared the Treasurer’s report noting that there is a good balance in the checking account and a better balance in the savings account.

Committee Reports:

Social/Program: Loreen and Carol reminded everyone of the brunch to be held on October 5th at 10:00 a.m. at First Baptist Church. Carol Hauser will be the speaker. They requested that if you have signed up but can not attend to let Loreen know by October 1st.

Membership: Kathy thanked everyone who sent in their membership registration in advance. She awarded prizes (an ECAREA pen) to the first four members that replied. She asked that if anyone knew of a recent retiree who hadn’t received a newsletter to let her know. Kathy encouraged members to become involved by serving on the Board. There is a current vacancy in the Legislative position. Kathy alerted members to fill in the location for the May meeting on the cards she had printed. It will be at Globe University.

Health/Education: Marlene encouraged everyone to start/keep walking to benefit our health. She also shared information about the Buckshot Run. She spoke to the fact that the Swine Flu vaccine will first be made available to children. On the topic of education she shared that there will be significant changes made to the No Child Left Behind testing and that there is a local group working to raise funds to support field trips and to help pay fees for children who can not afford to participate in sports.

Website: Cheryl encouraged all members to visit the page and to share stories about our summer activities and any other information that would help us to get to know each other better.

Newsletter: Jeanette informed the group that the current newsletter cost $128.87 to copy and $90.30 for postage, and that there will be another newsletter going out in January.


Old Business: Chris reminded everyone about the October 1st deadline for the WREA Foundation application. She asked that if we are going to any of the elementary schools that we take a flyer and encourage them to apply. The State organization is stressing the need to get the word out.
Chris also drew our attention to the Literacy Volunteer information on the table that had information about how to sign up and get trained.

New Business: Chris talked about the Fall District meeting to be held in Rice Lake on October 20th and referred us to the article in the newsletter.

Meeting adjourned.


Chris shared the fact that the program for today had to be changed because Pete Roller, who was scheduled to speak, had to make an unexpected trip to Washington. Jim, a representative from Beaver Creek was kind enough to fill in with an interesting and informative presentation and slides on butterflies in Wisconsin. He invited everyone to visit the Butterfly House between 11:00-3:00 from July 5th through Labor Day.

Respectfully submitted by Sally Gordon, Secretary.
Dear Friends, A new year of ECAREA is beginning and we hope to keep our organization vibrant and strong in 2009-2010. The board has planned some excellent programs for the coming year and we hope to see many of you at our monthly meetings.

I also want to encourage you to talk to other retired educator friends and invite them to attend a meeting with you. Whether they are newly retired or have been retired for a number of years, we have something for everyone. Our new state president Berland Meyer is from Wausau, and in his recent letter to unit presidents he reminded us of how WREA has been representing the interests of retired educators for almost 60 years. WREA does through its work on overseeing the pension fund, promoting public education and working on legislative advocacy. For those of you who were at our June meeting and had the opportunity to hear our director Jane Elmer speak, you know what a great organization it is.

Once again I extend an invitation to get involved with the Board. We are always looking for new people to help out behind the scenes. Our long-time board member Joan Cook has had to take some time off to help a sick daughter, so the legislative area is one where we could use a helping hand.

I am looking forward to seeing you at our August meeting.

Chris Kondrasuk

Saturday, June 6, 2009

ECAREA Unit Meeting

Joined by Chippewa Retired Educators

Luncheon meeting at Eau Claire Children’s Theater

12:00, June 1, 2009

President Chris Kondrasuk welcomed everyone and shared a thank you note sent by Locust Lane for the milk caps, soup labels and box tops that were given to them from the ECAREA. Jeanette Scheuermann had gotten from Cherry Larson the actual amount that we had saved over the year: bottle caps – 1,462, Milk Moola strips – 146, Campbell labels – 263 and General Mills box tops – 260.

Chris introduced Wayne Merek, the director of the Eau Claire Children’s Theater. He welcomed us, showed us the plans for the new addition and offered to give tours of the practice rooms, set construction area, and wardrobe storage after our lunch and speaker.

Lunch was served.

Jane Elmer, the Executive Director of WREA was the speaker for today. She started by presenting Chris with the $1500 raffle drawing prize from the State Convention. She then went on to share valuable information about the pension fund and offered us many handouts/brochures ranging from the mission statement to member benefits. She also explained the difference between the WEAC Retired and the WREA. Jane warned us of possible changes in the future and emphasized the importance of having the WREA Board and all of its members watch what happens in the legislature. She ended by taking questions from the group.

Vesta Buelow, the President of the Chippewa Falls Unit thanked us for inviting them to join us and shared some stories about past students with the group.

The meeting was adjourned and the tour of the theater followed.

Respectfully submitted by Sally Gordon, Secretary