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.

2017 May Newsletter

Monday, May 8, 2017 
President: Santha Bickford Vice President: Open 
Co-Secretaries: David Blado, Lauren Isberner Co-Treasurers: Janet Langton, Arvalea Crawford 
Immediate Past President: Joyce Chekouras 
Arrive by 11:30 to pick up lunch on the buffet. Pay as you enter ($8.69 for the meal and $2.39 for drinks, not including tax). The business meeting will be called to order at approximately 12:15 with the program at approximately 12:30. Business will be continued and concluded following the program. 
Note: Golden Corral is our first “new venue” to try. We will have to work out the logistics of the buffet: timing, managing our own trays, etc. We know many members have been wanting to branch out and try new places! As we begin this exciting venture, be patient, positive, and keep your sense of humor! 
Call to order: Pledge of Allegiance; Guests and New Members Introductions;Time of Reflection. 
From Anecdotes and Impressions of the Stevens Point Area Retired Teachers Ass’n published by SPARTA for the Bicentennial in 1976 “Happy Memories” by Mrs. Julia Wolney. “Looking back to the days when, as a pupil, I sat in a school room in Milwaukee listening with rapt attention to my teacher and dreaming that I too might hold this enviable position, I marvel that the dream became a reality far beyond expectations.” 
This month we have lost Ramona Weisbrod and Gladys Wentworth, former colleagues. 
Drawing for door prize: 
Consent Agenda/ Officers’ Reports: Minutes of previous meeting as written on the final page (automatically approved if there are no corrections). 
Treasurer’s Report: March, April Finances 
Program: Dr. Ray Reser UW/SP History and Future of Native Americans 
1. Committee Updates: 

Legislative: Jack Allgaier. Handouts WREA Legislative Priorities 2017-2018. 
Program: Santha Bickford 
Sunshine: Mary Beth Anday (Apr-Dec), Suzanne Fee (Jan-Mar). Please remember to contact them if you hear of someone we may want to remember with a card. Numbers and email addresses are in the 
Social: Eileen Payne: Fireside trip has been scheduled for Thursday, June 15, 2017. 
Grants: Inactive until the fall. 
Book Committee: Nancy Kemmeter, Janeen Kwarciany: Spring sale will be held May 3-6. Please call Nancy Mezyk at 715 341 5905 to sign up to help where needed. Book collections will continue through the summer on the fourth Monday of each month between 10am and 3pm. 
Ad Hoc Tee Shirt Committee: A few people who had not originally ordered shirts expressed an interest in doing so. Jan Langton took charge of ordering additional shirts which have been promised in time for the book sale. There are a few extra if you still haven’t ordered one! 
Coordinator for Power of Attorney for Health Care: Joan Gilles. A session was scheduled for April, but it was cancelled for lack of participants. 
Scholarship: Mary Ann Krems hosted a meeting of the Scholarship Committee on March 22. A recipient and alternate were selected and approved by the Community Foundation. 
Health: Jerry Kasdorf, see article on Sleep Aids. 
Membership: Mary Ann Krems. Although we can get names of retirees from WREA, would members who contacted individual schools for Education Week be willing to find out names of teachers retiring this spring and deliver information and invitations to SPARTA? The Membership Committee is exploring more options and plan to send letters later in the summer to those who retired in the last five years? Are there other suggestions? 
Retirement Planning: Judy Zimmerman. The WREA presenter from recent years has retired. We hope his replacement can be scheduled for late September or early October. 
Volunteer Hours Recorder: Joyce Chekouras. Please remember to pick up a form and track your hours each month to turn in at the September meeting. Forms are available if you haven’t picked yours up. 
2. News from WREA : 

WREA Seminar with workshops focusing on Legislative Issues and Membership were held in Wausau on Monday, Mar 27, from 9-3. Mary Anne Krems attended the session on membership and Jan Langton and Santha Bickford attended the legislative sessions. The attendees felt the material covered was relevant and valuable to our membership. 
District III Spring Meeting, hosted by the Marshfield Area Retired Education Association, was held at Country Aire in Stratford, on Thursday, April 20. SPARTA sent Mary Ann Krems, Sherrilee Wallerman, Jan Langton, and Santha Bickford. There is a state initiative to purchase school supplies for needy students when items are on sale this summer. WREA is giving grants of $100 to each local unit to be used for this purpose. We will plan to add to this with our own collection of items donated by members at the September meeting. Materials were distributed to give first and second year teachers in each school in our respective units to introduce them to WREA and the benefits available for non-retired teachers. It is part of an initiative to introduce ourselves to them and to partner with them. 
New volunteer forms have been developed for the 2017-18 year and will be available at the September meeting. Last year our members reported a total of 8,835 hours serving more than 63 organizations. It is impossible to truly measure the value of this contribution, but it is estimated that if we received pay for this time it would be worth approximately $199,229.25. We received a “check” and a news release for our local papers with this information. 
Emergency health envelopes were prepared by the Community Services/Health Issues Committee. They will be distributed to any members who would like to use them. 
A contact from AMBA solicited opportunities to present new benefits and educate members at unit meetings. This has been scheduled for September as part of our Speed Learning program. 
3. Process for evaluating meeting sites: 
Evaluation sheets have been distributed. These will be saved and used to decide on a permanent meeting place after we have “visited” several. The September meeting will be at Springville Wharf on Monday, September 11. Reservations will need to be called in. Details will follow. 
4. Report on our Web-site by Jan Langton 
1. Letter from new local group: Classroom Supply Closet, Inc. 
2. Reminder that even though we love SPARTA and are enthusiastic about it, none of us can officially speak for the entire group ! If you are approached by an organization or a cause you endorse, please bring it to the executive committee or ask to have it put on the agenda for a regular meeting. Thanks! 

March Minutes for Stevens Point Area Retired Teachers Association 
Regular Meeting: On Monday March 13 SPARTA met at the Sky Club with 33 present. Special guests were our speaker Gene Jacobs, and his wife Lorraine. The door prize was won by Nancy Kemmeter. 
OFFICERS’ REPORT: Minutes of the January meeting were accepted with the following corrections: the next meeting date was amended from March 14 to March 13 and the name of the local restaurant listed as Kristen’s Square Wheel was changed to reflect their correct name: Kristen’s River Walk. A motion to accept the corrected minutes was made by Judy Zimmerman, with a second by Jan Langton. The treasurer reported a balance of $xxxxxx. 
AD HOC TEE SHIRT COMMITTEE: The shirts had arrived and members were asked to pick them up. A big thank you was extended to Judy Zimmerman, Eileen Payne, and Janet Langton for assisting the president in completing this project. 
BOOK COMMITTEE: Nancy Kemmeter reminded members that books may now be dropped off at the site (Children”s Museum) the fourth Monday of the monthe from 10am-3pm. Nancy Mezyk prepared a schedule for setting up for the next book sale, and it was passed to members to choose a time. The book sale will be held May 3rd through May 6. 
GRANTS COMMITTEE: Janet Swiston shared the recommended grant recipients along with the amounts allocated to each. Mary Ann Krems moved to approve the recommendations of the committee and to send the grants. Sally Dehlinger seconded the motion. The total number of local organizations who submitted applications and received grants this year is 23. 
HEALTH: Jerry Kasdorf contributed an interesting article about foods containing trans fats. 
LEGISLATIVE: In the absence of Joyce Chekouras, Mary Ann Krems reminded members to be aware of bills in the legislature impacting education. Bill 610 is currently being discussed. Information will be posted on the SPARTA website. 
PROGRAM: The president requested help with the Program Committee. Since the office of vice-president is currently vacant, we are in need of a new chairperson. Members are also asked to contribute suggestions for programs for next year (2017-18) 
SOCIAL: Eileen Payne reminded members to sign up for this spring’s bus trip to the Fireside Theater in June. Sign up soon as there are not many seats left. 
SUNSHINE: Well wishes cards were signed and sent to members and other retired teachers experiencing issues with health/driving. 
SCHOLARSHIP: The Scholarship Committee has received the applications for this year’s scholarship. They will meet soon to discuss the applications and make a decision on the recipient. Community Foundation scholarship applications can now be completed online. 
The president reminded members of the District III Spring Meeting which will be held in Stratford on April 20. If interested in attending, please let her know. 
Janet Langton continues to up-date our SPARTA website. SPARTA website cards were distributed. 
President Santha Bickford has been representing SPARTA at meetings dealing with the future of the Emerson School site. The plan is to work with the Stevens Point School District to develop a simple neighborhood park. 
Mary Ann Krems noted that the League of Women Voters is hosting a forum at UW/SP on March 30 with alderpersons discussing current issues. There will also be a meeting on March 29 to discuss the future of the Portage County Health Care Center commonly known as the Portage County Home. 
There was some discussion about sites for future meetings. Several members have investigated places and additional suggestions were invited. Members were asked to be patient and to keep open minds as we pursue this. The president displayed a copy of the notice given to Sky Club announcing our intention to explore other meeting options. 
Anton Anday reminded members that teachers are needed for the school at Heritage Park in Plover for school field trips this spring. Classes are scheduled from April 10-May 12. Members should contact Anton or Mary Beth if they would like to volunteer or for more information. 
Gene Jacobs showed a screen presentation of activities in banding saw whet owls and presenting classes in raptor education and protection held at Linwood Springs. He responded to many questions and concerns from members and introduced Sassy, an injured owl who resides and enriches the program there. 
The next meeting will be held on Monday, May 8, 2017. The temporary meeting site will be announced in the notice for the May meeting. The speaker will be Dr. Ray Reser, respected archeologist and director of the Museum of Natural History at UW/SP. He will teach us about the history and future of Native Americans. 

A motion to adjourn was made by Jan Langton and seconded by Nancy Kemmeter. It was unanimously approved 

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