Sunday, November 15, 2009

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.