Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Monday, December 7, 2015

Florian Gardens
2340 Lorch Avenue - Eau Claire, WI
Cost: $23.00

 Menu:Mandarin Orange Chicken with Rice Pilaf, Vegetable Du Jour and Raspberry Sherbet

Program: Music by Local Musicians

Contact Loreen by Wednesday, December 2nd
Loreen Yager 715-836-7801   e-mail:

Please bring an indoor recess game;
will be donated to area school.
Bring your volunteer hours.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Monday, December 7, 2015
Florian Gardens
2340 Lorch Avenue - Eau Claire, WI
Cost: $23.00
Program: Music by Local Musicians
Contact Loreen by Wednesday, December 2nd
Loreen Yager 715-836-7801   e-mail:

Please bring an indoor recess game;
will be donated to area school.
Bring your volunteer hours.

Bring a friend!

Reservation must be made by Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015
Once you reserve a seat, you are responsible
for paying the $23.00 for the meal
whether you are able to attend or not. 
you may cancel until December 2nd.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Eau Claire Area Retired Educators Association 

The meeting was called to order at 1pm and opened with the pledge. Chris welcomed all. Guest, …, introduced herself.
Judy reported a balance of $2129.77 in the checking account and $1656.83 in the savings account.
Ruth added that we have 76 members. We are all encouraged to bring a friend to the meetings with the “Each one, reach one” slogan for WREA.
Loreen passed around a sign-up sheet for the December lunch at Florian Gardens on Dec. 7. Chris reminded members to bring games or donations for games, as well as volunteer hours to that meeting. We will provide volunteer hour sheets on the tables. Chris added that the reporting of volunteer hours is changing to the spring.
Owen had a Legislative report hand-out.
Marlaine talked about diet and healthy foods for easy digestion. We were reminded to get flu shots.
Carla spoke about educational issues for the state, one being the issue of school district referenda, and of course testing.
Carol reminded members of label and boxtop collections, as well as used print cartridges.
Jeanette introduced our speaker, Cheryl Gullicksrud, former Mondovi superintendent and now a director at CESA 4.
Respectfully submitted for Sally,
Chris Kondrasuk

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Below is a reminder notice in regards to a Nov 2 meeting of the ECAREA. Eau Claire Area Retired Educator's Association  (ECAREA) is a local Retired Educators's group that is connected to Wisconsin Retired Educator's Association (WREA) in Madison. This summer, when emails were going around about contacting your State Legislators about changes to our pensions, the WREA was already actively and directly lobbying on our behalf with success. With all the assaults on Public Education, one wonders what the next proposal will be.

So we really do need a watchdog organization to look out for our interests and the interests of kids in Public Schools. I am not a very active member of the local ECAREA, but I know my dues help keep me informed and combined voices on our behalf is stronger than just one voice in Madison. There also are some discount benefits of being a member. There are brochures that detail those available at meetings. 

This group usually meets on the first Monday of the month. Some other programs coming up include "Music of the Vietnam Era," Children's Dyslexia Center at Masonic Lodge, and local author and retired teacher Jill Lehman talking about her published children's books.

Please consider joining. You can get more information by emailing Cathy Hoffman who originally sent this message.

Monday, November 2, 2015 at 1:30 PM at Chapel Height United Methodist Church - 300 Hamilton Avenue - Eau Claire, WI.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Chippewa Valley Museum at Carson Park was our meeting place.

Dor Smith's, Eau Claire, Wisconsin

j0406066[1]     ECAREA      Eau Claire Area Retired Educators
ECAREA Unit Meeting
Chippewa Valley Museum
August 31, 2015
1:30 p.m.

The meeting began with Cathy Hoffman welcoming everyone and leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Visitors and first time attendees were introduced.  37 people were in attendance.  Cathy introduced the Board as their turns came up to report and asked each of them to tell a bit about their past teaching experience.

Business Meeting

A. Minutes:  The minutes from the May Unit meeting were approved and will be recorded as submitted. Sally shared that copies of the minutes will now be sent to all members who have registered their email address with ECAREA. 

B.  Treasurer: Judy reported that as of today we have a balance of $1448.14 in the checking account and $1656.81 in the savings account. 

C. Committee Reports:

Social: Loreen announced our next meeting will be a brunch at Chapel Heights church at 10:00 a.m. on October 5th.  She sent around a clipboard for members to place their reservations and reminded them to be sure to contact her by the Thursday before if they are unable to attend or they will be charged the price of their meal.  Loreen also asked for volunteers to serve at the November, February and March meetings.  Cathy said that servers can be reimbursed up to $35 for their cost should they wish to turn it a request for the food, and all other supplies are furnished by ECAREA. 

Membership: Ruth shared that we have 47 members as of today.  She welcomed everyone and encouraged them to invite other retired educators to join ECAREA and also the WREA. She had forms at the table for members to fill out and send in their WREA memberships if they desired.

Legislative:  Owen thanked everyone who contacted their legislators in opposition to the Joint Finance Committee Motion #999 which resulted in it failing to pass.  Other concerning issues that did remain in the budget that was signed by Governor Walker were a cut to the UW funding, elimination of the college tenure law, an increase in the voucher system, expansion of the charter school system, questionable changes to the state testing program, and a weakening of teacher licensure requirements.  Owen shared there are no legislative alerts at the present time from WREA, and he also provided an updated performance report on the WRS as of July 31. 
Mike Lindsay informed the members of a “Teach-In” to be held at UW-Eau Claire on September 17 at Centennial Hall from 3-8 p.m.  This will be a public forum addressing the issue of the UW budget crisis.  It will be free and open to the public.  Mike offered to send information to Cathy to forward on to all of our members.

Past President:  Cathy chaired the meeting today due to Chris’s recovery from a recent heart attack.  We all wish her well.

Program:  Maureen Opper was introduced as the most recent member of the Board.  She will be in charge of making final scheduling communications with our speakers and introducing them at our meetings.

Health:  Marlaine talked a bit about the cost of a Lifetime Membership to the WREA.  She also shared about an important drug disposal program that a long time member, Virginia Hansis, who just recently passed away at the age of 100, had been very involved with. 

Education:  Carla shared highlights from her article in the August newsletter about testing.     

President:  Chris was absent.

Newsletter:  Jeanette shared the cost of the newsletter with the members and encouraged them all to read it.  She asked for a volunteer/s to take over the responsibility of the newsletter in the future. She also asked for volunteers to help with the phone tree by calling 3 or 4 members who do not have computers to remind them of our meetings.  

Bottle caps/labels:  Carol asked everyone to save and bring their boxtops, labels and milk caps to the meetings.  She shared the amount that was collected last year and then given to Northwoods Elementary School.  She also reminded members to bring in their empty computer cartridges and toner containers.  She would appreciate it if the toner containers were wrapped in a plastic bag so as not to ruin the cartridges. 

D.  Old Business
1.       Members were encouraged to visit to read meeting notes and any other information that Cheryl includes.

2.       Cathy asked if anyone knows of a member who is now in a situation where they can no longer attend meetings to please let a Board member know so they can be placed on an emeritus membership.   

E.  New Business

            1.   Cathy announced that Chris had received a facsimile of a check valued at $104,995.00 from the WREA for the 4818 ½ hours of volunteer work our members had submitted for the past year.  Cathy encouraged all members to keep track of the hours they spend doing volunteer work in the community and turn it in to Chris in December.

2.       Cathy asked if there were any members who would like to attend the State Convention in Manitowoc on September 29-30.  There were no volunteers.
3.       A member shared that Amy Traynor, a teacher from DeLong Middle School who presented the criteria for her State Teacher Award at one of our programs last year is now being nominated for a National Teacher Award.   

F.  Raffle

Kathy conducted the drawing and explained to 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.

G.  Program

            Maureen introduced Karen Jacobson who explained several programs being offered at the CV Museum and an update of the new exhibits. 
            $114.00 was presented to Karen when she was finished from the donations members had made when they registered today.

Minutes respectfully submitted by Sally Gordon, Secretary.

Friday, August 28, 2015

What have you been reading?
     All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr
      The Uninvited - Cat Winters
       March - Geraldine Brooks
       Boys in the Boat - Daniel James Brown
       The Help - Kathryn Stockett
       The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern
       The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot
        In the Garden of Beasts - Erik Larson
        Cutting for Stone - Abraham Verghese
        Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradberry
            Unbroken - Laura Hillenbrand
        Silver Sparrow - Tayari Jones
        The Life We Bury - Allen Eskens
        To Kill a Mocking Bird - Harper Lee
         Me Talk Pretty One Day - David Sedaris

What are you reading? Share at

Monday, August 24, 2015

            PLEASE JOIN US! 
Monday,August 31, 2015
1:30pm Chippewa Valley Museum

Look forward to seeing old friends and new!
Bring a friend!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

            Final Unit meeting of the year will be on May 11 at noon at the Eau Claire Country Club on 828 Country Club Lane in Altoona.  The luncheon will be slow roasted pork loin and apricot wild rice.  The cost is $15.00.  Reservations need to be made/cancelled with her by May 6th.  Miriam Carr will be speaking about her involvement with the Manhattan Project.  
Contact: for reservations. Let her know this is your first.





j0406066[1]     ECAREA      Eau Claire Area Retired Educators
ECAREA Unit Meeting
Lake Street Methodist
April 13, 2015
10:00 a.m.

In Chris’s absence Sally welcomed everyone and led us in a table prayer before the brunch was served.  She also shared that Virginia Hansis has celebrated her 100th birthday.  Everyone sang Happy Birthday to her.  As the business meeting started Sally led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, welcomed visitors, and first time attendees were introduced. 

Business Meeting
1.      and a pin.

F.  Raffle

The business meeting was adjourned.  Kathy conducted the raffle drawing where half of the money will go to the Foundation at the Fall State meeting. 
A. Minutes:  The minutes from the March Unit meeting were approved and will be recorded as submitted by Sally.

B.  Treasurer: Judy reported that as of today we have a balance of $1364.20 in the checking account and $1656.78 in the savings account.  She shared the money we were awarded from the State went to pay for the Thank You ad in the June Leader Telegram.

C. Committee Reports:

Social:   Loreen announced that the May 4th luncheon will take place at the Eau Claire Country Club at noon. Reservations/cancellations need to be made by May 2nd.  She gave directions which are:  Take the River Prairie exit off of the bypass.  Turn right on 10th Street and go past Oak Leaf Hospital.  Take a right on Wilson and right again on Fairway Drive.  Look for the EC Country Club sign.   

Membership:  Ruth thanked all of the members for joining this year and attending the meetings.  She encouraged everyone to bring a friend next year and to talk to newly retired teachers about ECAREA.

Legislative:  Owen shared there are no legislative alerts on the WREA website at this time.  He announced that the EFT adjustments will be effective in May and those increases are 2.9% for the Core and 2% for the Variable. Owen informed us about the proposed Wisconsin Biennium Budget, which if passed will have a $150 per pupil cut on K-12 public school funding, taxpayer subsidies for private school vouchers, $300 million cut to the UW system, $5 million cut to public broadcasting, and changes to SeniorCare, long-term care programs, and the Aging and Disability Resource Centers.  He encouraged all members to find the links to their legislators on the WREA website to voice your opposition or support for these proposed changes.  He shared the WREA opposes the proposed cuts which could lead to college tuition increases and potential closing of several rural schools throughout the state.

Health: Marlaine shared information about a new non-recyclable item collection program.  A handout will be available at the May listing the items that qualify.   

Education:  Carla was absent.  

President:  Chris was absent.

Newsletter:  Jeanette was absent.

Website: Cheryl reminded members that if you miss a meeting you can read the notes on the ECAREA website.  

Bottle caps/labels:  Carol was absent.

D.  Old Business
1.       Sally announced the Board is still looking for a Program Coordinator to help make contacts prior to meeting dates.  The programs are all set up for next year.  After the meeting Maureen Opper volunteered to do this.     

E.  New Business

1.   Sally announced that the May 12th District meeting will be held in Sparta.  She    encouraged anyone interested in attending to talk to one of the Board members.

Kathy Berkey was introduced as our 2014 Honored Volunteer.  Sally presented her with a certificate
G.  Program

            Loreen introduced Mark Harden who presented a program on Wisconsin wild flowers.

Minutes respectfully submitted by Sally Gordon, Secretary.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Spring is here!


If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze

that it made you want to throw
open all the windows in the house

and unlatch the door to the canary's cage,
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,

a day when the cool brick paths
and the garden bursting with peonies

seemed so etched in sunlight
that you felt like taking

a hammer to the glass paperweight
on the living room end table,

releasing the inhabitants
from their snow-covered cottage

so they could walk out,
holding hands and squinting

into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day.

Billy Collins - US Poet Laureate

Happy Spring to you all!  It's always such a wonderful time of the year - it's the time when we want time to slow down so we can enjoy the wonderful months between now and next winter.

Our April meeting will not be on the first Monday of the month as usual because that is the day after Easter and it was very difficult for the church ladies to serve a brunch that day. 

 The brunch meeting will be on Monday, April 13, at 10AM at Lake St. Methodist Church. The cost is $10 and reservations must be made or cancelled by Thurs., April 9.  Reservations go to Loreen Yager - 715-836-7801,
Mike Harden will present a program on wild flowers.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

ECAREA Unit Meeting
March 2, 2015, 1:30PM
Prairie Ridge Early Learning School
President Chris Kondrasuk called the meeting to order and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.  Visitors and new members were introduced:  Amy Benson, Carol Peterson, Barb Thompson, Wendy Torseth-Masel.
The minutes of the last meeting were accepted.
Treasurer Judy Fadness reported $1656.76 in savings and $1364.20 in checking.
Committee Reports
Membership Chair Ruth Hofland thanked new members for joining.
Legislative Chair sub Chris Hambuch-Boyle answered some questions from the members re. vouchers and possible effects of the proposed university budget cuts on the training of future teachers.
Health Chair Marlaine White reported on an Eau Claire County exercise class.
Education Chair Carla Pfund will report in the future on a book she ordered.
Website moderator Cheryl Poss asked everyone to check out the website:
Newsletter editor Jeanette Scheuermann asked that anyone who didn’t receive the winter newsletter and wishes to have one to notify her.
Past President Cathy Hoffman reported on a listening session sponsored by WEAC-R concerning promoting public education.  She stated that ECAREA will keep members updated on any possible actions being considered and encouraged member support.
Social Chair Loreen Yager announced that the April unit meeting will be a 10:30 brunch on the 13th.  Mike Hardin will present a program on wildflowers.  Our May 11 unit meeting will be a luncheon held at the Eau Claire Country Club. Miriam Carr will present a program on the role of women working on the Manhattan Project during WWII.
Old Business
1. Chris K. requested once again for someone to volunteer to be on the Board as chair of the Program Committee.  This would involve attending one Board meeting a month.
New Business
The WREA District 3 meeting will be held in Sparta onMay 12.  If any one is interested in attending, please speak to a Board member.
Bill Benson mentioned that the Empty Bowls event will be held on Thurs., March 5, from 11-7 at Florian Gardens.
The meeting was adjourned.
County Supervisor Colleen Bates spoke on the importance of early childhood education.  Prairie School Principal Heidi White and Jill Elliot, Parent/Childhood Coordinator spoke of the program at Prairie Ridge.  A video (available on Youtube) was shown and a tour of school was provided.  There are many opportunities to volunteer and become involved in their programs.
Treats were served by Barb Field.
Respectfully submitted,
Cathy Hoffman
(in the absence of Secretary Sally Gordon)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

February ECAREA Unit Meeting
Monday, February 2, 2015
1:30 PM
Chapel Heights Methodist Church

You won’t want to miss our February meeting! We will learning about the National Board Teacher Certification program from two Eau Claire retired teachers.  

Cathy Anderson and Chris Hambuch Boyle will discuss the process of becoming board certified and the impact that this certification program is having on our educational system. Cathy was the first teacher in our district to become Board Certified and she is currently serving on the national board for teacher certification.  Chris Hambuch Boyle is an Eau Claire School Board member and is very knowledgeable about the current politics in education in Wisconsin.
The meeting will be held at Chapel Heights Methodist Church on Hamilton Avenue in Eau Claire.  No reservations and no charge.  Bring a friend or two – all are welcome.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Garrison Keillor on Winter

Life is like a winter highway
Through the hills and dales it winds
Snow is falling and its icy,
Still you try to make good time.
Watch the curves, the narrow bridges
Take the downhill nice and slow
Keep your hands upon the gearshift
An' your eye upon the road
Blessed Saviour who created
Laws of physics we obey
May our car not meet another
Coming toward us, Lord we pray
As you head into the snowstorm
At a steady fifty-five
Let reality direct you
Let it guide you as you drive.
See the S.U.V.s who wound up
In the ditches as you pass
Keep your hands upon the gearshift
Lift your foot up from the gas.
Blessed Saviour who created
Laws of physics we obey
May Newton's First Law of Motion
Not put us in the ditch today.
We cannot do all we wish to
Sometimes nature is contrary
And its rules must be respected
This we learn in January.
And sometimes the trip is cancelled
And the plane stays on the ground
You'll spend the night in Minnesota
Where amusement must be found
Blessed Saviour who created
Laws of physics we obey
Teach us to enjoy inertia
Here in St. Paul for today.
Shared from               
Winter, January 21, 2012
The Fitzgerald Theater
Saint Paul, MN