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.