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 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.


Newsletter: Jeanette was absent.

Website: Cheryl encouraged all members to visit our website at 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.