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 ecarea.org 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