Thursday, September 1, 2011

Eau Claire Area Retired Educators

ECAREA Unit Meeting
Grace Lutheran Church
Aug. 29, 2011
1:30 p.m.




The meeting began with Chris welcoming everyone and leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Visitors and first time attendees were introduced. 33 people were in attendance.

Business Meeting

A. Minutes: There was not a business meeting at the luncheon for our June Unit meeting in Mondovi, so no notes were submitted for acceptance. A brief summary was posted on our website.

B. Treasurer: Owen reported that we have a balance of $515.81 in the checking account and $1656.35 in the savings account at this time. Owen drew our attention to the fact that we were charged a monthly maintenance fee of $8.95 due to the fact that the bank moved our money into a different type of account. Chris and Owen visited US Bank, got the charge refunded and had our money moved back into a small business account where we would not be charged this fee in the future. A question was raised as to whether or not we could move the savings account into something that would earn us greater interest. Owen shared that the Board had discussed this and voted to keep it in an account where we would have immediate access to it and would not have to maintain a minimum balance.

C. Committee Reports:

Social: Loreen encouraged everyone to sign up on the clipboard for the brunch on October 3rd at First Baptist Church. The cost of the brunch will be $9.00 and reservations need to be made/cancelled by September 29th.

Membership: Kathy reported that 34 new members signed up as of today. She asked us to encourage newly retired friends/family to join. Kathy had forms available for joining/renewing the State, and informed members that the number above their name on the State newsletter is their membership number. Membership numbers are also available on-line at www.wrea.net. People who were “speedy” with their local membership response received a pen as a thank you.

Legislative: Joan reported that the legislative climate in Madison has tamed down since spring, but feels that things will heat up again this fall. She invited members to pick up a card which contained “talking points” and a flyer about the WREA Legislative Priorities, which are preserving our pension, health and education. Joan also shared information from the Aging and Disability Research Center pertaining to voter registration and the need for a photo ID at the polls. She said that by 2012 all voters will be required to have a photo ID. She encouraged everyone to not wait if we know of someone who does not have an active driver’s license or passport and will be planning to vote. She suggested we google Wisconsin Voter ID Law for the extensive list of requirements.

Past President: Cathy was absent.

Health and Education: Marlaine referred to her article in the newsletter and invited everyone to get involved with the 60 minutes of reading for WREA program. She encouraged us to read to children and the elderly and that the hours would count towards our volunteer hours that we turn in to Chris in December.

President:

Newsletter: Jeanette was absent.

Website: Cheryl encouraged all members to visit our website at www.ecarea.org. She asked that everyone submit a story about “What I did over the summer” so that we could connect with fellow members and share our latest adventures.

Bottle caps/labels: Carol thanked everyone for collecting milk bottle caps, Campbell soup labels, etc. There were 2287 articles collected this past year. Carol took the items to Manz School which is a Title 1 school. They were very appreciative of our help. Keep collecting!

D. Old Business

1. Due to the time, information from the State meeting was tabled to a future date.


E. New Business

1. Chris announced the Fall District III meeting in Stanley on Tuesday, October 25 and invited any members who were interested in attending to let a Board member know. Their registration fee will be covered by ECAREA.

2. Carla Pfund read a passage from The Death and Life of the Great American School. The author, Diane Rauitch had been the Assistant Secretary of Education under George W. Bush and was a supporter of the No Child Left Behind legislation. She has since “seen the light” and changed her views on the issue. Carla recommended the book.

3. Mike Lindsey shared information about the upcoming Labor Day picnic in Phoenix Park where Mike Huggins, Kathleen Vinehout and Ron Kind will be speaking. He also shared a pamphlet for the Oktoberfest in Chippewa Falls and drew our attention to an event being sponsored by the Chippewa Valley Museum at the Florian Gardens.


F. Raffle

Kathy conducted the drawing.


The business meeting was adjourned for the program.

G. Program

Bill Benson shared information and pictures of the 27 sculptures that are included in Sculpture Tour Eau Claire. They are situated up and down Barstow Street and in front of Luther Hospital. Ballots were available for members to cast their vote for the one they liked most.


Respectfully submitted by Sally Gordon, Secretary.

Enjoy Autumn in Wisconsin

Here are a couple of ideas for fall adventures.

Chippewa Falls Oktoberfest




The 9th annual Chippewa Falls Oktoberfest will be held at the Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds from Friday, September 16 through Sunday, September 18. The event actually begins at the nearby Leinenkugel Brewery at noon on Friday, with introductions and a kick-off parade — led by a horse-drawn beer wagon — to the Fairgrounds where the ceremonial tapping of the Golden Keg takes place at each of the 3 main outdoor stages.

The Oktoberfest grounds themselves are open Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.; Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.; and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Sunday starting time accommodates a Polka Ecumenical Celebration at 10:30 featuring the band Squeezebox.

Altogether, there are over 25 different performing groups from the Upper Midwest providing simultaneous entertainment on four stages, including one inside the Family Fun Building where German heritage displays are also located. In addition to a variety of musical performing groups, the entertainment includes demonstrations of traditional folk instruments, dance lessons and German dance groups, on-grounds parades Friday and Saturday, and a sheepshead and euchre tournament on Saturday.

A range of authentic German and German-American foods is available from 17 different vendors. In addition to the expected bratwurst and sauerkraut, there are numerous other items to feast upon, including sauerbraten, spanferkel (roast suckling pig), grilled chicken, other sausage and German meat dishes, larger potato dumplings and smaller spƤtzle (flour dumplings) with gravy, strudels and other desserts, large German pretzels, and other snacks such as roasted nuts and Oktoberfest ice cream. Beer, wine, flavored coffees, and other non-alcoholic beverages are also available.

This is a family-friendly event, with lots of activities for children, too. These include an ethnic costume contest, an outdoor jumping castle, clowns, jugglers, a kite-making workshop on Sunday, and other attractions. A Souvenir-Haus is also available for purchasing clothing, beersteins, and other collectables.

Sunday also features a German Auto Show with German vehicles from Wisconsin and Minnesota car clubs. Friday and Saturday novelties include the ever-popular sauerkraut-eating contests. There also opportunities to meet the Oktoberfest dignitaries from each year of the event.

Admission for all three days is $15 with a daily admission cost of $8. On Friday and Saturday all children under 12 are admitted free with a paid adult and on Sunday all kids are admitted free with a paid adult. Daily on-grounds parking is $5.

For more details and additional information, including photos from previous Chippewa Falls Oktoberfests, visit www.chippewachamber.org/oktoberfest.

Chippewa Valley Oompah-Palooza


[This information is from the flyer prepared by the Chippewa Valley Museum]

The Chippewa Valley Museum of Eau Claire is holding a fund-raising “Oompah-Palooza” celebration of German heritage from 5:30 - 10:00 p.m. at the Florian Gardens of Eau Claire on Thursday, September 29.

The flyer states, “Our first Chippewa Valley Museum Heritage Celebration honors our German heritage. Join us for a fun evening filled with music, and traditional food and drink. German attire admired but not required [so don’t put away your Dirndl or Lederhosen too quickly after our Oktoberfest!]. Proceeds from the festival support the museum’s cultural and historic exhibits and educational programs.”

The flyer also states that “At Oompah-Palooza you can ...

• Feast on a Taste of Germany buffet featuring Chicken Schnitzel, Bratwurst in Sauerkraut with Onions, Potato Pancakes with Onion and Applesauce, Spaetzle, Steamed Country Vegetables, Spinach Salad with Bacon Dressing, and German Chocolate Cake.

• Polka to oompah music provided by Klezmazel, an Eau Claire area band for all occasions.

• Try your luck at traditional German games, such as Hammerschlagen* and the German Hat Contest.

• Bid on baskets and silent auction items featuring the best of the Chippewa Valley.

• Sample a selection of German wines and beers*.

* additional minimal charge”

The cost for all of this is $40 per person before Thursday, 9/1 and $45 per person after 9/1, which is obviously approaching rapidly. The price includes dinner, music, and some of the games. $15 of the cost is tax deductible. As indicated regarding the selection of German wines and beers, it is a cash bar.

Chippewa Valley Oompah-Palooza


[This information is from the flyer prepared by the Chippewa Valley Museum]

The Chippewa Valley Museum of Eau Claire is holding a fund-raising “Oompah-Palooza” celebration of German heritage from 5:30 - 10:00 p.m. at the Florian Gardens of Eau Claire on Thursday, September 29.

The flyer states, “Our first Chippewa Valley Museum Heritage Celebration honors our German heritage. Join us for a fun evening filled with music, and traditional food and drink. German attire admired but not required [so don’t put away your Dirndl or Lederhosen too quickly after our Oktoberfest!]. Proceeds from the festival support the museum’s cultural and historic exhibits and educational programs.”

The flyer also states that “At Oompah-Palooza you can ...

• Feast on a Taste of Germany buffet featuring Chicken Schnitzel, Bratwurst in Sauerkraut with Onions, Potato Pancakes with Onion and Applesauce, Spaetzle, Steamed Country Vegetables, Spinach Salad with Bacon Dressing, and German Chocolate Cake.

• Polka to oompah music provided by Klezmazel, an Eau Claire area band for all occasions.

• Try your luck at traditional German games, such as Hammerschlagen* and the German Hat Contest.

• Bid on baskets and silent auction items featuring the best of the Chippewa Valley.

• Sample a selection of German wines and beers*.

* additional minimal charge”

The cost for all of this is $40 per person before Thursday, 9/1 and $45 per person after 9/1, which is obviously approaching rapidly. The price includes dinner, music, and some of the games. $15 of the cost is tax deductible. As indicated regarding the selection of German wines and beers, it is a cash bar.