Monday, January 21, 2013


Eau Claire Area Retired Educators' Association
ECAREA is a unit of Wisconsin Retired Educators' Association
“Your Voice, Your Choice”
Greetings from your President     By Chris Kondrasuk, President
Happy 2013!  It is hard to believe that we are starting on the second half of our membership/programming year.  I hope you were able to attend some of our fall programs, ending with our lovely holiday lunch at Florian Gardens.  Our 2013 program will start with a program on education.  We will watch some of the video American Teacher hosted by Matt Damon and have a round table discussion following.  I'm really looking forward to that!

As we begin the second half of our year, I would like to thank all of the board members who do so much for our organization.  Where would we be without a treasurer, a legislative chair, hospitality, newsletter, health, education, and membership chairs?  They help keep our ECAREA functioning so well.

Also thanks to all of you who turned in Volunteer hours which totaled over 6000 hours for this past year!  Carol Friday has been nominated as our Volunteer of the Year.  She works at the Chippewa Valley Museum and the Food Pantry, as well as collecting labels for us.

As always our group will continue to be vigilant in regard to our pension.  Perhaps you signed up for the Legislative Alert network at our December meeting.  You must belong to the state WREA to be included on that list and get any alerts that are sent out.

Once again, I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year!  I also ask you to consider becoming more active in our local group.  On one hand I find it very rewarding, but on the other I am somewhat discouraged that we can't find some new members to step up and take their turn in a leadership role.  Thanks to those who have!

Membership Update    By Ruth Hofland
Happy New Year to all of you!  We certainly hope 2013 will be a year of health, happiness, peace and prosperity for  all.

We appreciate all of the members who have joined us this year, and those who have faithfully renewed their membership as well.  However, to date we only have 88  members.  As the old saying goes, “There is strength in numbers,” so if any of you are aware of either new or veteran retirees who would like to be a part of our ECAREA Unit, please encourage them to join.  We welcome new members to come to our meetings at any time.

Thank you again for being a ECAREA member, and the best to you for the New Year.

Legislative Report        By Owen Moyer, Chairperson
Election's over, what's next?
I'm sure you all know how the recent national, state and local election contests turned out!  So, with continued divided government in Washington and total Republican control in Madison, ECAREA members can feel confident that WREA and AARP/NRTA will be carefully monitoring and intervening on our behalf with respect to proposed changes to the Wisconsin Retirement System and to Social Security and Medicare.

ECAREA members will also need to be vigilant with respect to all proposed changes relating to schools, universities, and educational funding, as well as pensions.  We need to continue supporting our parent organizations with our memberships and money. 

We should also register our opinions with our representatives on any controversial legislative proposals that may arise as they return to work in the new year.  (An example,  are you aware of the possible impact of going over the so-called “fiscal cliff” and  how any legislation will impact your personal finances and entitlements.)

You can respond to all such legislation by signing up for legislative alerts from WREA and following up as necessary by contacting your representatives in Madison or Washington.  You will need a computer and/or help from me (Owen Moyer) or one of our officers while I am in Florida (January/February).

We are all hopeful for a good new year.

Treasurer's Report     By Judy Fadness, Treasurer
The financial report is as of December 31, 2012 includes a balance in the checking account  of $1415.66 and  a balance in the savings account of $1656.50.

The Christmas donation was $161.00 plus games brought to the Christmas luncheon.  A total of 22 games was given to Locust Lane School.  Mondovi retirees gave their games to the Mondovi Elementary School.

Bottle Caps, Boxtops for Educ., Moola Strips, Campbell Labels
And Used Computer Cartridges           By Carol Friday
Are YOU saving  1)Land O Lakes 5   milk bottle caps, 2)General Mills “Box tops for Education” coupons, 3)Campbell's “Labels for Education, 4)milk Moola strips and your  5)used computer and printer ink cartridges?   Every year we donate them to different school (usually a Title One school).  With the revenue from these collections, they are able to purchase many valuable resources for their classrooms or media room.

So far this year, we have collected close to 1000.  Let's try to break our record.  The schools are very appreciative or our efforts.
Hospitality/Social Activities Report    By Loreen Yager
        February 4th, and March 4th  2013 are two regular meetings at 1:30 PM scheduled at
 Grace Lutheran Church Hall.  Servers for those meetings are:
                    February  Donna Kraemer and Maureen Opper
                   March  Jeanette Scheuermann, Bonnie Miles, and Janet Bethke
We would like to thank our servers ahead of time for volunteering.

     April 1st  Brunch 10:00 AM at Lake Street Methodist Church Hall     337 Lake Street
      **Reservations  due by Thursday, March 28th            Cost is $9.00
                   to Loreen 715-836-7801  or email

     May 6th Luncheon  12 Noon at Avalon Hotel and Conference Center (Bridgewater)
                                                        1009 West Park Avenue, Chippewa Falls
     *Reservations due by Wednesday, May 1st          Cost is $15.00
              to Loreen 715-836-7801  or email

Remember:Reservations or cancellations for the April Brunch and May Luncheon must be given to Loreen by the deadline dates above or you are responsible for the cost of the meal.

Cancellations of Meetings
The afternoon 1:30 PM meetings will be canceled if the Eau Claire Public School System is closed.   Brunches and luncheons will not be canceled because of food preparation.

ECAREA Programs for February-May 2013
February 4 1:30 pm     American Teacher DVD/Discuss         Grace Lutheran Church Hall
March 4  1:30 pm      Justice Program on cutting prison population     Grace Lutheran Church Hall
April  1 10:00 Brunch  Steve Betchkal (TV 18) on Wisconsin Birds     Lake St. Methodist Church Hall
May 6  Noon luncheon        Director of Irvine Park Zoo            Avalon Hotel (Bridgewater)
                                                                                                    1009 West Park Ave. Chippewa Falls
As you can see we have many interesting programs on our schedule.  Invite a friend and make time to join us the first Monday of each month.

Officers/Board Membership
President—Chris Kondrasuk  715-835-1683               Treasurer—Judy Fadness 715-834-6772                                                 
Vice President—Vacant                                                 Health/Education—Marlaine White
Secreatary—Sally Gordon 715-834-6140                              715-832-3173
                                    Website—Cheryl Poss 715-286-9413
Past Pres./Communication—Cathy Hoffman             Hospitality—Loreen Yager 715-836-7801
Membership—Ruth Hofland 715-835-5054     Legislative—Owen Moyer 715-831-0609                                           Collector of coupons/boxtops for Educ.
Newsletter/Phone Tree-Jeanette Scheuermann                   Carol Friday  715-835-0817

In Memory of
The Eau Claire Area Retired Educators Association want to remember a faithful past member who has passed away in the last six months

Paul Nagel

Paul spent 43 years in the field of education as a teacher, principal and professor of UWEC.  Dr. Nagel wrote several books, some of which are used in textbooks.
A  donation in Paul's memory has been sent to the WREA Foundation.

Health and Education are always in the news, especially at this time of year.  Have you gotten your flu shots?  It's not too late and no, there is no shortage locally.  It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to fully activate.  To help prevent the flu, wash your hands often and refrain from touching your face and mouth.  Exercise is another very important item for us to stay healthy.  Our bodies need to move and walking is one of the best exercise. Stretching and minimal weight lifting is also needed.  Reading, doing puzzles or word finds, playing cards and games all help to keep our minds  alert.  Eating lots  of fruits and vegetables and drinking water and juices are important in the winter, especially as we get older.

                                 Education            By Chris Kondrasuk
On the education front there is always something new.  WREA encourages us to volunteer at all schools and from elementary through high school, classrooms can use our help!  The middle schools have been participating in National History Day in late February for some years now, and are always looking for teachers to serve as judges for the students' projects.  I have done this for a few years and thoroughly enjoyed it.  This year's topic is Turning Points in History: People, Ideas, Events.  Even if you can't judge, watch for the dates at each of the schools and take some time to visit and see the excellent work these students produce.  It is very uplifting  to have this contact with students and see their excitement about the learning process!

              On a lighter note...

A Prayer from Tweety Bird:
Dear Lord,
So far today, I'm doing all right.  I have not gossiped, lost my temper, been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or self-indulgent.  I have not whined, complained, cursed, or eaten any chocolate.  I have charged nothing on my credit card.   But I will be getting out of bed in a minute, and I think that I will really need your help then !
       (Isn't that true?)

Do you think you're forgetful?  Read this latest study!
     The Door
Ever walk into a room with some purpose in mind, only to completely forget what that purpose was? Turns out, doors themselves are to blame for these strange memory lapses.  Psychologists at the University of Notre Dame have discovered that passing through a doorway triggers what's known as an Event Boundary in the mind, separating one set of thoughts and memories from the next. Your brain files away the thoughts you had in the previous room and prepares a blank slate for the new locale.
Thank goodness for studies like this.  It's not our age, it's that doggone door! 
Hmmmm? I just walk through the door...Did I write this once before in a newsletter???

         What's it like to be “old”?
My granddaughter asked me what it was like to be old.  So I told her  “Put cotton in  your ears and pebbles in your shoes.  Pull on rubber gloves.  Smear vaseline over your glasses.  AND there you have it: instant OLD AGE!

     Helpful Hints:
To help cure a burn, after it area is cooled, cover with whipped egg whites. It helps healing.

To clean that scallop potato casserole pan, fill with water and put in a dryer sheet,let set awhile and the pan will wash clean.   

   Cut the program/meeting dates, times and places list below and post by your calendar.
February 4th  1:30 Grace Lutheran Church Hall   American Teacher DVD/discuss
March 4th  1:30 Grace Lutheran Church Hall Justice Program on cutting prison population
April 1st  10:00 Brunch at Lake Street Methodist   Steve Betchkal (Ch.18) on Wisconsin birds
May 6th  Noon  luncheon at Avalon Hotel/Bridgewater  1009 West Park Ave, Chippewa Falls
                            Program by Director of Irvine Park Zoo

ECAREA Newsletter
3163 Craig Road
Eau Claire, WI 54701