The purposes of this Association are to:

  • The purposes of this Association are to:
  • A. Promote and protect the interests, rights, and welfare of the retired educators of the Stevens Point area in conjunction with the Wisconsin Retired Educators’ Association (WREA).
  • B. Monitor and work to improve the benefits for retired educators and other members of the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS).
  • C. Encourage Association members to maintain membership in the Wisconsin Retired Educators’ Association (WREA).
  • D. Develop working relationships with local service organizations whose main emphasis is on aging groups and with organizations sharing goals similar to those of the Association.
  • E. Inform Association members about and advocate for educational and other relevant societal issues.
  • F. Inform members of activities in the area provided for senior citizens.
  • G. Encourage Association members to be active participants in community affairs on an individual basis.

Saturday, June 29, 2024

07 2024 SPARTA newsletter

 

 


Stevens Point Area Retired Teachers’

Association

 

July 2024 Newsletter

 

 

Sorry, no pictures.  The word document won't transfer the visuals.

 

 



July 8, 2024

Zenoff Park

1001 2nd N. St.

Stevens Point, WI 54481

 

11:00 Socialize

11:15 Box Lunches

11:30 Business Meeting

12:15 Guest Speaker

Optional Tour of the Sculpture Park after the Meeting

*****************************************************

All current and prospective SPARTA members are invited to our luncheon and business meeting.

 

****************************************************

Guest Speaker

 

Dan Kremer Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry for the City of Stevens Point

 

 

 

 

Dan Kremer, Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry for the City of Stevens Point, will join us on July 8 for a conversation about the park system in Stevens Point. He will talk about updates and his goals for the department.

Dan is an Auburndale native who attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a Bachelor of Science degree specializing in Recreation Management. Dan is currently completing his Master of Public Administration Degree through the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and has been employed with the City of Stevens Point for five years.

 

Before Dan's time in Stevens Point, he served as the Director of Parks for the City of Portage and the Recreation Supervisor for the City of Ashwaubenon.

 

Dan's goals for the Stevens Point Parks Department are to become more user friendly, making all paper processes for registration and reservations digital and making the parks department more accessible to the community.

Additional focuses for Dan have been to increase energy efficiency and to upgrade outdated facilities and park spaces within the community. Two large projects taking place in 2025 will be presented which include solar energy upgrades and new construction projects for Seramur and Groholski Parks in 2024. Several other exciting park projects will be presented and discussed.

 

Dan lives in Stevens Point in the Whitetail subdivision near the airport in Stevens Point with his amazing wife, Molly, and their one-year-old daughter, Whitley.

 

In his free time, he enjoys running, touring state and local parks with his family and hunting when time allows. Dan has coached high school sports in Portage and previous volunteer experience includes Big Brothers, Big Sisters and the Kiwanis Club.

 

Dan and his family love Stevens Point and is excited to speak with all the educators on July 8th. 

 

SPARTA OFFICERS

President: Carol Colby

Vice President: Ginny Williams

Treasurer: Janet Langton                                 Secretary: Christine Neidlein

Data Manager: Sherrilee Wallerman                                                     Immediate Past President: Santha Bickford

 

Meeting Minutes

STEVENS POINT AREA RETIRED TEACHERS’ ASSOCIATION

March 2024 Meeting

Park Ridge Family Restaurant

March 13, 2024

Ginny Williams, President Elect, called the meeting to order at 11:12 a.m.

 

Thirty-one members attended the meeting including new member, Holly Rasmussen.

 

Motion to approve the minutes of the last meeting made by Jenny Burton, seconded by Chris Schilcher.  Motion carried.

 

Treasurer’s Report - Jan Langton

Expenses:

WI/Nic Project, speaker stipend                $100

Park Ridge Family Restaurant, speakers lunch                                                               $40

Storage Unlimited, book storage April, May, & June                                                               $405

Dolce                                                              $48.53

                                                                                                                                    TOTAL        $228.53

Income:

Dues                                                               $15

                                                TOTAL           $15

 

Regional meeting – Notes from the WREA speaker who attended the last Executive Committee meeting –

There are 5 regions and many are having challenges getting members to step into director positions. Other ideas clustering.  

 

New organization ideas “Try clustering “.  An example might be combining with Wisconsin Rapids for a speaker.  WREA is still trying to retire the mortgage for their headquarters.

 We will be passing the piggybank at each meeting.

 

The State Convention will be Sept. 24-26 in Lac du Flambeau. 

 

Please turn in volunteer hours to Joyce Chekouras.     

5232 volunteer hours translate to $156,000+

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS:  

Lynne Kagelman, Membership – Please consider joining WREA. Membership is $60.

Put money in the “Red Box “as it is passed around. 

 

Jan Langton, reporting for the Grants Committee - They will meet Thursday, May 16th. There were 17 Grant applicants and there is $3000 to disperse.

 

Social Committee, Eileen Payne – There was an ADRC Senior Prom at the YMCA and it was a fun event.  SPARTA members might want to consider attending next year.   

 

Those who planted flowers at the Antiquity Acres event should pick them up if they have not already picked them up.   When planning

a trip – ask if there might be a WREA discount. 

 

Book Committee, Janeen Kwarciany - August 13 – 17th are the dates of this summer’s book sale. A sign-up sheet for volunteers was passed around.  Let the committee know if you have boxes of books stored at your home and how many. It is okay to bring donated books to the July 8th picnic. The book committee will meet after the general meeting is over today.

 

Program Committee, Deb Kluz Baker

Deb encouraged all SPARTA members to share ideas for programs. They will meet again in July at Zenoff.

 

NEW BYLAWS - Ginny Williams and Sherrilee Wallerman – Bylaws were last updated five years ago.

 

Units are now referred to as chapters. President-elect will be Vice President. A handout regarding bylaw changes as approved by the Executive Committee was passed around and Sherrilee went over this with members present. The Executive Committee made a recommendation to approve the SPARTA Bylaws as presented by the Bylaws committee.  The motion was seconded by Laurel Hoeth. Motion carried unanimously.

 

Dates to Remember:

June 10th – Happy Hour at Amber Grill, 4 – 6 p.m.

Newsletter deadline - June 15th

Executive Committee will meet June 24th at the public library

July 8th - Membership picnic at Zenoff Park, invite potential members as guests

 

The meeting was adjourned at 11:45.

 

Deb Kluz Baker introduced our speaker, Dr. Thomas Gibson, chancellor at UW-Stevens Point.

This is his 27th year in higher education. His journey brought him to UW-SP via Connecticut,

CUNY in New York, Ball State in Indiana & Bowling Green University arriving in Stevens Point in the midst of the pandemic in 2021. Everything was taught remotely when he began. He met students, future colleagues and community members and was sold on the pride they felt about the institution.

 

He had to devise a plan with health professionals and law enforcement to return to in person education. They phased in the transition with safety measures in place

 

Current Updates: The Albertson Hall replacement building will include Academic Support and Financial Services offices.

 

A Health and Wellness Center building project is also in progress this summer. 

 

A 10 million dollar gift was received from Sentry for the School of Business and Economics building. The construction of that facility will begin in 2026 and should be done by 2028.

 

New degree programs will expand access to the institution.  Adult learners will actively be recruited. Two online programs: Master of Social Work and Masters in Business Administration. A Doctorate of Occupational Therapy is also being initiated. Certificate

programs are also being added for example – Cannabis Science. 

 

Challenges - Enrollments at Wausau and Marshfield continue to be challenges.   The population at UW-Stevens Point has grown in the last seven years.  No programs are being phased out at this time, but evaluations are ongoing. Environmental Education and Natural Resources are still thriving programs.

An ongoing goal is to spread the word that UW-SP is a dynamic community within a diverse local community.

 

The presentation ended at 12:25 Monday, May 13, 2024.

 

Treasurer’s Report

Jan Langton gave the treasurer’s report.

 

Treasurer’s Report, March-April 2024

Expenses:

Stipend, UWSP Cupboard             100.00

Speaker meal                                      12.00

Memorial to Community Foundation, Betty Ermatinger                                    100.00

Grants                                             3,100.00

Printing                                                 94.95      Total                          3,406.95

 

Income:

Donation for grants                            100.00

Dues                                                      30.00

                                    Total.              130.00

 

Flow-through:

WREA Penny Challenge                    51.57

 

Book Sale Coming Up

August 14-17th
Holiday Inn – Stevens Point

 

Please check your calendars to see when you might be able to help at our Book Sale!

We need more people on set up day, Tuesday, August 13th.  The SPASH Trap Shoot Club will again be helping us haul books, but people will be needed at the Holiday Inn to get the boxes set up on tables.

Shifts during the sale are still open:
Wednesday, August 14th, 3:15 - 7:00 p.m.,

2 talliers
(A “tallier” counts the books, and calculates the price, which is written on a slip of paper that the customer gives to the cashier)

Thursday, August 15th, 8:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.,

1 cashier, and 2 talliers

Friday, August 16th, 8:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.,

1 cashier
3:30 - 7:00 p.m., 1 tallier

Saturday, August 17th, 8:45 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.,

1 cashier, 2 talliers

Saturday after 1:00 p.m., volunteers to help pack up boxes.  The Trap Shoot Club will come at 2:00 p.m. to help haul boxes.
If you see a spot that works for you, email Janeen at janeenkwarciany@gmail.com, or sign up at the picnic.

Thanks for helping with our yearly fundraiser!

Members who have books for our book sale, can bring them to the July picnic.

Grant Article that Appeared in the Gazette

2024 Community Grants Awarded

The Stevens Point Area Retired Teachers’ Association (SPARTA) community grant program recently distributed funds to 15 area groups.

 

This year’s recipients were Creative Community Living Services, Inc., Jefferson Elementary art program, Jefferson Elementary incentive program, Laundry Love, Lexie’s Love, McKinley Elementary BEST program, McKinley Elementary Lego Club, Playhouse Theater Group, Portage County Home and Community Education, Portage County Senior Center Aging and Disability Resource Center, Project Fresh Clothes, Roosevelt Running Club, Rosholt schools music program, Stevens Point Sculpture Park, and Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the Americas.

 

Grant Committee chairperson pro tempore, Jan Langton, stated,” It was inspiring to see the many creative projects that are being carried out in our area.  It’s difficult to choose between such great, innovative programs, and the Committee only wishes we could support each and every applicant fully.  Our thanks to all those who donate books for our sale, and all credit goes to our Book Committee for working so hard on collecting, sorting, and running the book sale.  They do all the work, and the Grant Committee gets to give it away.” 

 

Grants support local non-profit groups and organizations that directly benefit area children, seniors and families. Local service organizations with limited resources which support educational activities or cultural and enrichment events were encouraged to apply.

This grant program is funded by the annual SPARTA sponsored book sale.

 

“This highly successful fundraiser continues to be a hallmark event. We are so grateful for all the people who donate and buy the books. It has a really, subtle wonderful ripple effect,” SPARTA president Carol Colby said.


She added, “Many thanks go to the SPARTA Book and Grants Committees who make this endeavor possible: Lynne Kagelmann, Nancy Kemmeter, Lynn Koresh, Charlene Laurent, Mary Marks, Christine Neidlein, Janeen Kwarciany, Jan Langton, Nancy Mezyk, Eileen Payne, Chris Schlicher, and Fran Vollrath.”

 

LEGISLATIVE ARTICLES

The Biden administration has watched the increased costs of medications for citizens in Medicare, Medicaid and Medicare Advantage programs and has asked for oversight of these areas to be more engaged since he began his presidency. His agency has alerted those who are showing no action to lower costs to comply with requests voluntarily. 

 

Unfortunately, concerns remained with PBMs (pharmacy benefit managers) practices that threaten the sustainability of many pharmacies, stifle access to care and put additional burdens on health care providers. The health insurers and PBMs, or “the middlemen” are the entities who profit the most by controlling accessibility of pharmaceuticals to drug stores. These issues have been very concerning regarding vaccines and treatments that prevent and treat flu, COVID-19, RSV, etc.  Consequently, starting 1-1-2024 a new provision was established requiring the application of all pharmacy price concessions to the negotiated price at the point of sale under government rules for reimbursement.

 

Concerns continue necessitating PBMs to engage in sustainable and fair practices with all pharmacies and not just pharmacies owned by PBMs. As these entities are slowly being brought into compliance through federal law, states are now bringing suit against pharmacies and winning as the Supreme Court has sent these cases back to the states indicating that the pharmacies are not compliant with ESIRA legislation and must be held accountable to federal law.

Incidentally, the US Senate has renamed the key oversight department addressing the above. It is named the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) and the Chairman is Senator Sanders.  Under Senator Sanders we are now seeing some medications be lowered in cost, such as the price of inhalers. (See more information at healthcaredive.com)

 

State of Wisconsin

As many of you know Governor Evers signed into law the new legislative district lines maps for the 2024 fall elections. They were the same maps our Governor had submitted to our state Supreme Court. These new Assembly and Senate district maps are more equal in the distribution of both parties – a much better representation than of the previous one considered as the most Gerrymandered state map in the USA. It is important that all of you find out what districts you are in. The lines have affected our local communities. You will need that information so you can vote in the November election. Go to: wispolitics.com to see how maps have changed.

 

We are a group who cares!

The proof is in the numbers

By Carol Colby

What do these have in common?

·      60 percent of a year

·      218 days

·      5234 hours

·      314,040 minutes

That’s the amount of volunteer time SPARTA members documented last year!

 

We do it for others, but we also need to take pride in the amount of service we unselfishly provide.

 

Of those hours, 713 were related to work with the Wisconsin Retired Educators’ Association, 1332 were devoted to helping our youth, and 3189 hours were spent helping various community organizations.

 

In total, 30 different agencies benefited from our time and talent, and that equals quite the monetary value. The WREA equates that time to nearly $156,863. An April 2024 IRS report places a value of $33.49 per hour so we contributed $175,287.

 

 

I’m very proud of these accomplishments by each and every one of you. I know that we totally surpass this number as many of you are too humble to report your hours. It’s certainly your choice but I hope you will consider tracking your time and keeping Joyce Chekouras apprised of your generosity.

 

Feed the Hungry Red Box

The purpose of the Red Box is to collect donations for the Challenge Award fund. The Wisconsin Retired Educators’ Association annually distributes $19,500 to public school instructors who apply for the monies. The funds are used to support innovative educational achievements.

 

So, bring that spare change or those extra bills cluttering your wallet and drop them in the box at our next meeting. A lot of “littles” add up to a very substantial “biggie.” Thank you in advance.

 

 

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

WREA 73rd Annual Convention 

September 23-25, 2024

Lake of the Torches Resort Casino

Lac du Flambeau, WI

 

Help WREA Burn the Mortgage

I hope you have experienced the thrill of paying off your home mortgage.  Our state organization is asking for your help to do the same.

 

We will collect spare change at our upcoming meetings to contribute to the “15 Million Pennies” campaign. Freeing up those funds will enable them/us to redirect more toward pension protection and other worthy projects.

Please watch for and consider contributing to this cause. Thank you!

 

Planning for Your Next Leadership Team

Don’t all divert your eyes now….

The two-year terms for your current officers end in September of 2024 so it’s time to start thinking of how you can serve on one of the coolest teams in the region.

 

Current and 2024 leaders are

Office                 2022-24             2024-26

President           Carol Colby        Open

Vice President Ginny Williams    Open

Secretary        Christine Neidlein  Open

Office                 2022-24             2024-26

Treasurer        Janet Langton       Lynn Koresh

Past president Santha Bickford  Carol Colby

 

Now is a great time to consider how you can help. The role is rewarding, very manageable,

and just downright awesome.

 

You all have what it takes so speak to any of us about details and take a swing at it!

 

2024 MEETING DATES

General Membership, 11:00

July 8

September 9

November 11

Executive Council

(Officers and committee chairs), 11:30

August 19

October 21

 

Committee Members 2023-2024

 *indicates chair

Book Committee: *Janeen Kwarciany, Lynne Kagelmann, Nancy Kemmeter, Charlene Laurent, Mary Marks, Nancy Mezyk, Christine Neidlein, Chris Schlicher, Janet Swiston, Fran Vollrath

Data Committee: *Sherrilee Wallerman, Jack Allgaier, Janet Langton, Judy Zimmerman

Grants Committee: Lynne Kagelmann, Nancy Kemmeter, Janeen Kwarciany, Charlene Laurent, Nancy Mezyk, Eileen Payne, Fran Vollrath

Health and Well-Being Committee: *Jerry Kasdorf, Santha Bickford, Bob Bowen

Historical Committee: *Eileen Payne, Santha Bickford

Legislative Committee/Liaison To Coalition of WI Aging Groups: Joyce Chekouras, Christine Neidlein 

Membership Committee:  *Lynne Kagelmann, Santha Bickford, Carol Colby, Jennifer Graboski, Jan Langton

Program Committee: *Deb Kluz Baker, Eileen Payne, Mary Zinda, David Blado, Carol Colby

 

Retirement Planning: Santha Bickford, Judy Zimmerman

Social Committee: *Eileen Payne, Barb Clementi, Mary Moore, Sherrilee Wallerman 

Sunshine Committee: *Mary Beth Anday, Sally Dehlinger, Suzanne Fee

Volunteer Hours Recorder: *Joyce Chekouras

 

 

SPARTA WEBSITE

www.spartanewsandnotes.com

-       Meeting agendas

-       Meeting minutes

-       SPARTA updates

-       SPARTA newsletters

-       Bylaws

-       Grant Application Form

-       Membership Form   

 

Send website information to our webmaster:

Janet Langton – jlangton@charter.net

SPARTA Picnic

July 8, 2024

Zenoff Park

1001 2nd St. N.

Steven Point, WI 54481

 

Reservations Required by June 30th

State meal choice

(Billy, Country Club, or Veggie)

Sherrilee Wallerman

sherrileewallerman@gmail.com

 

Menu

Jimmy John’s Boxed Lunch

Regular sandwich, chips, pickle spear, and cookie

 

Billy Club – roast beef, ham, provolone, lettuce, and tomato – add your own condiments

 

Country Club - turkey, ham, provolone, lettuce, and tomato – add your own condiments

 

The Veggie - provolone, avocado spread, cucumber, lettuce, and tomato – add your own condiments

 

Condiments: mustard, mayo

 

Water supplied by SPARTA

$15.00 per person

Includes tax and tip

Bring a Friend

Guests’ meals are FREE

(but MUST sign-up)

Let’s Increase Our Membership!

 

Our next meeting in 2024 will be:

Monday, September 9, 2024

11:00 AM

Park Ridge Family Restaurant

 

 

 

Collection of Dues for 2024-2025

Dues can be paid now and should be paid by Oct. 1.  Dues remain the same at $15.  Attached to this newsletter is the 2024-2025 membership form. Dues will be collected at the July picnic.

 

Payment of WREA Dues

WREA dues are paid directly to the WREA.  The easiest way is to go to wrea.net and pay with a credit or debit card.  For our members there will be envelopes and applications at the July meeting for you to write a check, stick a stamp on it and mail it in.  Everyone’s due date for the state dues are valid for one year from your payment of last year’s dues.  You can check your membership date online on their website.

 

 

WREA New Member

Campaign Contest

 

Win $100.00 for your Local Chapter

WREA New Member Campaign

May 8, 2024 – May 8, 2025

 

How It Works:

Your local WREA Chapter will be awarded one (1) entry for each NEW WREA member you add for period of May 8, 2024 – May 8, 2025. The entry(s) will be placed in a drawing for $100.00 after May 8, 2025. The award may be used by the chapter as they choose.

 

Note: Former WREA members who rejoin and have not paid their dues for two consecutive years prior to their current membership year will be considered new members.

 

The WREA office will track the NEW WREA member entries in their database.  There is no need for chapters to do anything except Recruit using the New Member Campaign Membership Form (see page 11) and payments by May 8, 2025 to the WREA Office.

 


SPARTA Membership 2024-2025

Oct. 1, 2024-Sept. 30, 2025

Return this application and your dues to

Lynn Koresh, 2183 Hwy 13/34, Junction City, WI 5444

 

Name _________________________________________________________________________________

 

Address _______________________________________________________________________________

 

City, State, Zip _________________________________________________________________________

 

District and school from which you retired ___________________________________________________

 

Preferred phone number __________________________________________________________________

 

Email  ________________________________________________________________________________

 

  Our default method of communication is through email.  If you wish to receive a paper copy of the newsletter, check this box.

SPARTA Dues

    I’m a new member.  My first year is free!

    $15 annual

    $15 Associate annual

        $200 Life

                                                                                                                                                                                                 

WREA Membership

You will need to pay your state dues directly to WREA.

You can pay dues online at wrea.net or mail them to:

WREA, 6405 Century Ave, Suite 201, Middleton, WI 53562.

 

WREA Dues for your reference  

 

Regular membership (retired teachers, current teachers, support staff, k-12, administrators, technical college and university.) 

            $60 annual      $165 three-year           $1,000 life

 

Associate membership (spouses of members, other annuitants in the Wisconsin Retirement System, friends of education.) 

            $40 annual      $105 three-year

WREA and WEAC are NOT the same organization. WREA’s main purpose is to protect the pension system and support public education.   WEAC is the educational union.  Being a member of one doesn’t equate to being a member of the other.  Many of us are life members of both.

 

Regular Member
-Any educator, support staff, or administrator currently employed or retired from a public EC-12 school, Cooperative Education Service Agency (CESA), technical college, university or the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) becomes an annual or three-year member upon payment of dues.

Regular One Year Member
-Any Regular member who pays dues for one year at $60.00

Regular Three-Year Member
-Any Regular member who pays dues for three years at $165.00.

Life Member
-
Available to Regular members for a one-time payment of $1000.

Associate Member
-Spouses of regular members who are not involved in public education, other Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) annuitants, or friends of public education become associate members upon payment of dues. Retired teachers, administrators, and other school employees may not join as associate members.

Associate One Year Member
-
Any Associate member who pays dues for one year at $40.00

Associate Three Year Member
-
Any Associate member who pays dues for three years at $105.00.

 

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