Sunday, April 4, 2010

ECAREA Eau Claire Area Retired Educators

ECAREA Unit Meeting

Grace Lutheran Church

March 1, 2010

1:30 p.m.

The meeting began with Chris welcoming everyone and leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance. There were no visitors or first time attendees today. 28 people were in attendance.

Business Meeting

A. Secretary: The minutes from the February meeting were approved and will be recorded as submitted by Sally. Copies of the minutes were available for those who do not have access to a computer.

B. Treasurer: Welcome back Owen from your winter travels. Due to his late return he did not have time to prepare a complete budget report. He simply shared that we have a balance of $1191.77 in the checking account.

C. Committee Reports:

Social: Loreen thanked the servers for today. A sign up sheet was sent around for people to register for the brunch at the April meeting. Registration must be in by April 1 in order to attend. Loreen announced that the May meeting will be at Globe University and the June meeting will be sponsored by the Chippewa Falls Area Educators at the Bohemian Hall in Cadott.

Membership: Kathy was absent.

Legislative: Joan had no legislative alerts for us today, but shared some positive comments written by the United Press stating that Wisconsin is one of only four states that have a fully funded retirement for their teachers. She also shared some important history of how the funds at one time were in jeopardy, and upon being restored were in danger of having 20% (millions of dollars) go to the lawyers who were hired by WREA, WEAC, and an engineers group to fight that battle. Things ended up in a class action suit and it was the WREA alone who fought to prevent that from happening. Due to their hard work the payment was reduced to 4%. Her point in sharing this was to let us know how hard WREA fought and continues to fight to protect our retirement funds.

Past President: Cathy shared her enjoyable experience of volunteering at Sam Davey School for the free book distribution that was sponsored by Clear Vision Eau Claire.

Health and Education: Marlaine talked about the importance of keeping our bodies hydrated during the winter months. She stressed how physical exercise such as cross country skiing and shoveling can deplete our bodies of the necessary water it needs.

President: Chris informed us that she had received a note from Linda Stelter addressing the need in the schools for volunteer help. With cutbacks in the budget resulting in many of the aide positions being reduced/eliminated they are looking for help. Chris passed a schedule around for people to sign up for a time when they could be of assistance.

Newsletter: Jeanette was absent.

Website: Cheryl was absent.

D. Old Business

1. There is a retirement planning session scheduled for March 9 from 4-5:30 p.m. at Memorial High School. At present there are about 30 people registered from Eau Claire and surrounding districts. Chris asked if a few members could volunteer to help greet, hand out information, etc.

2. The State WREA meeting will be help in Stevens Point on May 4-5. Chris stated that we are hoping to send several delegates, so if anyone is interested in attending they should let Chris or one of the Board Members know.

E. New Business

1. In May the Excellence in Education Banquet will be held to spotlight excellent students and a teacher of their choice. If anyone is interested in representing the ECAREA at that banquet please notify Chris or another Board Member.

2. If anyone is aware of a member going into a nursing home please share their address with us so that they don’t miss out on any of our mailings.

F. Raffle

Kathy conducted the drawing for the raffle with half of the money being placed in the Foundation Box.

The meeting was adjourned for the program.

G. Program

Joe Knight, the outdoor writer for the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram read excerpts from his book entitled Frozen Assets: Reflections on Winters in Northern Wisconsin. He also shared a few comments about global warming and the expansion of the Hickory Hills cross country ski trails in Chippewa Falls. He encouraged everyone to get out and enjoy the beauty of our Wisconsin winters. He said that, “Living in the Chippewa Valley and not getting out to enjoy it is like living in a library and not being able to read.”