Monday, November 17, 2014

Celebrate the Season

Date and Time:  Monday, December 1, at noon

Place:  Florian Gardens on Lorch Avenue in Eau Claire

Menu - Choice of vegetarian Pasta Primavera or Champagne Chicken

Program - String musical program

Cost - $23

Reservations - required no later than Wednesday, November 25 to Loreen Yager or 715-836-7801

As usual we will be collecting recess-appropriate games or donations to be used to buy games.  This year the games will be given to Northwoods Elementary School and to the Mondovi Elementary School.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

November Unit Meeting

ECAREA Meeting Minutes
Chapel Heights Methodist Church
November 3, 2014

President Chris Kondrasuk called the meeting to order at 1:30PM.   The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.  New members and guests were introduced and welcomed.

Members were informed that the minutes of the last meeting are posted on the website.

Treasurer – Judy Fadness stated that our checking account has a balance of $1476.92 and the savings has a balance of $1656.72.

Legislative Committee – Owen Moyer  told us that there are no legislative alerts.  There is no WRS update since Sept. 30.  He reminded us all to vote and that no voter ID is required at this time. 

Social Committee – Loreen Yager  told us that the December unit meeting will be our Christmas luncheon on Dec. 1 at Florian Gardens.  The cost is $23 and reservations must be made or cancelled by Thurs November 25.
            Our final meeting of the year will be held May 11 (note date change) at the Eau Claire Country Club.
            Cindy Lewis served for our meeting today.

Health – Marlaine told us that the Eau Claire County Dept. of Aging is running a Strong Bones/Strong Women program beginning this week.  If you are interested you should contact the department.  She also reminded us to get our flu shots – November is the recommended month.

Education – Carla Pfund reported on the $10 million taken from the state’s public schools and given to the voucher program.  48% of the public schools had reduced state aid – Eau Claire schools had the largest decrease in the state.  This information was part of DPI records.

Membership – Ruth Hofland reported that we have several new memberships since our last meeting.

Box tops/milk labels, etc.  – Please continue to save these.  Carol Friday, the person in charge of these collections, has had surgery but she is recovering and plans on continuing her responsibilities.

New Business
Challenge Grants – These grants in the amount of $2000 will be assigned to 5 elementary schools in the state this year.  They are awarded to schools that have an outstanding program in existence.  Chris and Loreen will be visiting all of the Eau Claire elementary schools to give them the application.

Christmas Game Donation – Games and/or money for games appropriate for in-school recess will be accepted at our Christmas luncheon.

Volunteer Hours – Please notify Chris of your volunteer hours for 2014.  You may report a total number or break them down into:  Community, Education, and Health.  The hours can be emailed to Chris or handed in at the Christmas luncheon.  These hours are reported to WREA to add to the state total.

There were questions on the referendum on the ballot concerning transportation funds.  There were several opinions given on this.
The meeting was adjourned.

David Bennett, WREA Executive Director, was introduced.  A few of the highlights of his presentation and question and answer session are as follows:
A new membership drive, Each One Reach One, is beginning.  The best way to get new members is through direct contact.  He suggested using the Top 10 Key Facts card for ideas on what to stress to possible members.
Anyone who is part of WRS is eligible to become a member – school aides, cooks, bus drivers, maintenance, etc. Dave mentioned that at present district superintendents and principals are doing the major work in trying to protect our public schools from political proposals actions.
We need strong local support to be effective politically.  We should start a dialog with legislators.  Volunteerism is very important – not only for PR purposes but to help our schools which desperately need support. Also the legislative alert program which was active in the past is going to be reinstated – this is another way to dialog with legislators.
Respectfully submitted by

Cathy Hoffman in the absence of Secretary Sally Gordon

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

October Brunch!
Sign-up now and invite a guest.

Our October unit meeting is coming up and it's a brunch so reservations are needed.  Here is all of the info concerning the meeting.  

Date and Time:  Monday, Oct. 6 at 10AM

Place:  First Baptist Church, 416 Niagra St., Eau Claire

Program:  Toni Mattson, Trinity Equestrian Center, will speak about their programming.  The center provides therapy using horses for all mental health and human development needs.  The center does work with US veterans as well as with others.

Cost:  $12 for the brunch.  Newly retired teachers are invited to attend free of cost.  If you know of a newly retired teacher, please invite them to attend. We do need to be informed that they will be attending.

RSVP: Required for the brunch.  No later than Thurs., Oct. 2 to Loreen Yager (715-836-7801 or
Bo Ryan is the current head coach of the University of Wisconsin–Madison Badgers men's basketball team, a position he has held since 2001. He was the keynote speaker today at the WREA Convention in Middleton.

Monday, September 15, 2014

j0406066[1]     ECAREA      Eau Claire Area Retired Educators
ECAREA Unit Meeting
Paul Bunyan Camp at CV Museum
                                            8/25/2014 at 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.  ____ people were in attendance. 

Business Meeting

A.  Treasurer: Judy reported that as of today we have a balance of $1296.54 in the checking account and $1656.70 in the savings account. 

B. Committee Reports:

Social:  Loreen passed around a sign-up sheet for the brunch meeting on October 6th.  She will need reservations/cancellations to be made no later than October 2nd.  The cost will be $12.00.  Chris shared that Dave Bennett will be our speaker that day.   

Membership:  Ruth thanked everyone who sent their membership registration to her earlier in the mail.  She announced that as of today we have 47 members.  She encouraged everyone to invite newly retired or past retired teachers to join.

Legislative:  Owen shared that there are no legislative alerts due to their adjournment.  He also addressed the performance of the W.R.S. and the upcoming elections in the fall.  He encouraged all members to join the WREA to support their watch-dog efforts of our retirement fund.  He also asked for help in this committee, especially during the months of Jan., Feb, and March when he travels south. Owen’s notes are attached.
Chris Hambuch-Boyle shared that lists all of the candidates and information about each of them.  The League of Women voters also provides this information at the public library. Chris invited everyone to attend the ECAE meeting on September 11th at the Senior Center where Dan Van De Water will talk about the Eau Claire school budget.

Past President:  Cathy encouraged everyone to write legibly on their membership form to insure that she can read their email address and thus receive her monthly email to them.  She also reminded members of the sign-up for the Chippewa Valley Learning in Retirement workshops taking place a Peace Lutheran Church on 8/26/14. 

Health: Marlaine shared information from the June issue of Prevention magazine on the benefits of yoga.

Education: Carla made reference to her article in the newsletter in relation to Governor Walker wanting to repeal the Core Curriculum State Standards.  She also mentioned an article in Time magazine where other states are voicing problems as well.      

Newsletter:  Jeanette was absent but extra newsletters were passed around to anyone who didn’t receive one in the mail.

Website:  Cheryl was absent.  Chris reminded everyone of the website and encouraged members to look there. 

Bottle caps/labels:  Carol shared that she delivered 1621 items to the 1t grade at Sherman Elementary.  She thanked members for contributing and encouraged everyone to bring in the boxtops in a timely manner as some of them expire.  Chris stated that Eau Claire was mentioned in the WREA newsletter for conducting this project.

C.  New Business

            1. Chris shared that she and Loreen will be attending the State WREA convention in Middleton on September 23-24.

            2.  Chris encouraged everyone to pick up the half-sheet program slip that outlines our meeting dates, locations and presenters for the year.

            3.  Chris stated that the Challenge Award Program will focus on elementary schools this year.  She encouraged members to notify elementary teachers of the Nov. 1-Feb. 1 application window.  $2000.00 will be awarded to five elementary schools in the State in April 2015.

D.  Raffle

Kathy conducted the drawing and reminded members that half of the money goes to the WREA Foundation to provide for scholarships and grants.

The business meeting was adjourned for the program.

E.  Program

Greg Devine, a volunteer at the Chippewa Valley Museum gave a presentation and a tour of the Paul Bunyan Logging Camp.


Minutes respectfully submitted by Sally Gordon, Secretary.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


APRIL 7, 2014


Chris welcomed everyone, invited any first time attendees to introduce themselves and led us in a table prayer before we enjoyed the brunch.

A. The minutes from the March Unit meeting were approved as submitted by Sally.

B. Treasurer's Report:  Judy reported that we have $1301.65 in the checking account and $1656.65 in the savings account.

C. Committee Reports:

·         Social – Loreen thanked the servers for today’s brunch and reminded members of the luncheon on May 19th at UW-EC in the Delaney Room at the Davis Center.  Reservations need to be made/cancelled by Wednesday, May 14th.  Loreen provided parking passes for that day and said passes would also be available in the lot on the day of the meeting.  Chris advised people who are carpooling to have the driver drop off the riders at Davis Center and then park at the designated lot west of the Fine Arts building. There will be people shuttling members from that lot to the Davis Center.

·         Membership –Ruth asked if people were aware of any members who now resided in a nursing home to let her know so they could be placed on an emeritus member list.

·         Legislative –Owen thanked Carla and Chris for keeping members informed of legislative issues while he was in Florida over the winter.  He reported that he checked for Legislative Alerts from WREA and there were none at this time.  He shared the ETF core fund is up 4.7% and the variable fund is up 25%.  Our May statements should reflect those increases.

·         Health – Marlaine encouraged everyone to keep exercising.

·         Education –Carla had detailed reports for members to pick up at the table from March and April. Her April report informed members that the Common Core Standards have become buried in committee due to lack of support.  She also shared information about the struggles faced by rural districts and the possibility of changing how State aid is provided, hoping to promote an equal education for all Wisconsin children. Her final issue dealt with school accountability whereby all publicly funded schools, including public schools, charter schools and voucher schools being graded on a 1-100 point scale.  


·         Newsletter/Phone Tree—Jeanette had nothing new to share.

·         Past President – Cathy had nothing new to share.

·         President-Chris shared information about Project 13 where people are voluntarily giving back the $13 they received from State taxes to the Eau Claire School District.  The checks will be presented to the School Board atnext Monday night’s meeting.  She also announced that there will be a meeting at CVTC on April 10th at 7:00 p.m. which is  addressing the State of Education in Wisconsin. There will be State legislators and school administrators presenting.  This meeting is free.

·         Website – Cheryl encouraged member to go to the website.

·         Box tops/Labels – Carol announced that she collected many box tops and moola strips today.  She encouraged members to be timely in bringing these items to meetings as they do expire.

D. Old Business:  There was no old business.                                                                                                                           

E. New Business

·         Chris announced the District III Regional Meeting to be held May 6th at Stratford.  She asked that anyone interested in attending to let her know.  We would like to send two or three delegates to the meeting that would come back and share what they learned.

·         8 member in attendance who are 80 years or older and have been active members for 15 years were honored with a certificate.  Several other members not attending today’s meeting had their names read off and will receive their certificates by personal delivery or in the mail.

F. The business meeting was adjourned and the raffle ticket was drawn.

G. Chris introduced Betty Cowley who spoke to us today about the 38 Prisoner of War   Camps in Wisconsin during WWII.
Minutes respectfully submitted by Sally Gordon, secretary.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

ECAREA March Meeting

We had a wonderful meeting at Delong yesterday with Amy Traynor presenting about her Middle School Teacher of the Year award. Then we had a tour of the school to see the new remodeling. One of the teachers we ran into was Kathy Bareis with her Prime Product students. She thanked us again for the WREA's Challenge Award and updated us on what her students were doing. What a positive note for all of us! 
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