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 March Newsletter

Luncheon reservations for March 13: Call Sherilee Wallerman at 715 344 003
Please call by noon on Thursday, March 9

Oh, Spring! I want to go out and feel you and get inspiration. 
My old things seem dead. I want fresh contacts, more vital searching. -Emily Carr


Monday, March 13, 2017
President: Santha Bickford                                             Vice President: Open
Co-Secretaries: David Blado, Laure Isberner                Co-Treasurers: Janet Langton, Arvalea Crawford
Immediate Past President: Joyce Chekouras
11:00 Socialize; 11:30 Business meeting called to order and lunch; 12:20 Program; 12:50 Business continued
Call to order; Pledge of Allegiance; Time of reflection; Guests and New Members Introductions; Drawing for door prize.
Consent Agenda/ Officers’ Reports: Minutes of previous meeting as written on the final page (automatically approved unless corrected);
Treasurer’s Report:           January, February Finances
Speaker stipend             100.00 
Supplies                             21.66
Foundation                  3,500.00  
Meals                                 60.00
Printer                                67.00
TOTAL                        $ 3,748.66

Dues                                    24.00
Bank fee refund                   4.94
TOTAL:                              $ 28.94

Flow-through: in
T-shirts                           $ 288 .00

Flow-through: out
Fireside trip                      $ 40.00

Checking Balance:    $18,550.15                                                                          
Image removed by sender. AttachmentsProgram: What’s Going On At Linwood Springs by Gene Jacobs. Gene, working on his own and with UW/SP, is involved in projects with owls! He has been involved in research, teaching, and writing about them for many years. Several of us have had the pleasure of working with his sons, Rick and Jim, who are both graduates of SPASH. His wife Lorraine worked with many of us as an educational assistant.
Ongoing Business:
1. Committee Updates:
Legislative: Joyce Chekouras; handouts WREA Legislative Priorities 2017-2018.
Program: Santha Bickford. We need new members and fresh ideas for 2017-18!
Sunshine: Mary Beth Anday (Apr-Dec), Suzanne Fee(Jan-Mar) 
Social: Eileen Payne: Fireside trip has been scheduled for Thursday, June 15, 2017. 
Grants: Janet Swiston led the committee meeting on Feb. 21. See on-going business.
Book: Nancy Kemmeter, Janeen Kwarciany: Spring sale will be held in May. Intake days will be  from Feb 27, Mar.27, Apr 24,and May 22. The book committee has also been exploring additional space needs, particularly for the future. 
Ad Hoc T- Shirt Committee: T-shirts are available for pick up. Members are encouraged to wear them when they are doing volunteer work, especially at book sales and collections. Many thanks to Judy Zimmerman and Eileen Payne, and also to Jan Langton for handling the orders and money.
Scholarship: Mary Ann Krems has collected the scholarship applications and distributed them to committee members. Joyce Chekouras has resigned from this committee and Jim Krems has volunteered to take her place.
Health: Jerry Kasdorf, see article after New Business
2. News from WREA 
WREA Seminar with workshops focusing on Legislative Issues and Membership. These sessions are at the WPS Office in Wausau on Monday, Mar 27, from 9-3. Presently Santha Bickford, Jan Langton, and Mary Anne Krems are scheduled to attend.
District III Spring Meeting, hosted by the Marshfield Area Retired Education Association, will be held at Country Aire in Stratford, on Thursday, April 20, from 9-3. 
WREA has been contacted regarding scheduling a retirement meeting in late September/early October. They are in the process of training new presenters. This training was scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 22, and they promised to get back to us following the training.
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. Report on our Web-site
4. Community Foundation Scholarship Fund 
 5. Members dealing with health/driving issues:
Betty Ermatinger, Dorothy Helmrick, Melva Kleist, Mary Ann Powell, Ruth Steffen, Kathleen Zimdars.  Do members know of others? Could we do “adoptions”? Information about emeritus membership has been received. 
6. Volunteer Hours
Remember to record your volunteer hours each month to be turned in September, 2017. Forms are available for those who haven’t yet picked one up.
  1. Report from meeting with parties interested in the future of the Emerson School site.
  2. School Funding Reform for WI (SFRW) Report by Mary Ann Krems: WI Public Education Network will be hosting a spring meeting featuring a presentation on funding for education at the PC Library on April 7 from 10:00-12:00, and all SPARTA members are invited to attend. Due to space limitations, rsvp’s will be required. At 12:30 (following the information on school funding) there will be a meeting of a group WEAC has formed a entitled Central WI Retired School Advocates. SPARTA members are invited to attend this meeting and learn how we unite in a joint effort to advocate for public schools. Flyers on both will be coming to SPARTA Members. Current school personnel will also be involved in this collaborative effort. There are also plans to host an Editorial Writing Workshop in April in conjunction with League of Women Voters. More details will follow.
  3. President’s initiative to increase current membership and participation.
  4. Identifying site(s) for future meetings. At the end of our regular January meeting, the Sky Club waitress handed us a note stating that they would be raising the cost of our meal and room to $17 (from our current $15.) Since some members have been expressing a desire to try other venues, this seems like a good opportunity to explore other options. As we go forward with this, it is important to remember that Sky Club has provided well for us for many years, and we don’t want to leave with hard feelings. Please express your gratitude and continue to support their business in whatever way you can. We have several factors to consider as we choose/try alternatives. Of course, the first is a place to conduct our business meetings and programs. (The rule at Sky Club has been that we pay for at least 30 meals, and we’ve sometimes been shy of that and had to chip in.) The food is very important, both quality and choices.  The price needs to be reasonable, and plentiful parking with easy access is essential. Considering that we are an organization of senior citizens, handicapped accessibility is important. With these considerations in mind, here are some of the places our members have checked out:
  • Kristen’s Square Wheel
Kristin’s does have a meeting room available.  Her cost would be $11 per person which would include the meal and gratuity. There is not a minimum number to be paid, but we must pay for the number of reservations made. There is no information on menu choices, whether drinks and dessert are included, etc. Parking and walking distance to enter are a concern.

  • Tommy’s American Grill
Tommy’s has a private area separated by portable dividers. Six choices of lunch buffets are listed at a cost of $10.99 per person. There is also a list of plated menus available and prices for that vary according to the choice of meat. (Fried fish is the cheapest; smoked prime rib the most expensive.) This does not include gratuity or tax. Water, coffee, and dessert bars or cookies are included. Bottled beverages such as soda or tea are $1.80. We must have (pay for) 25 people. Parking and handicapped access are sufficient.

  • Golden Corral
There is a meeting room in the back near the restrooms. The lunch special is $8.69 and beverages other than water and coffee are an additional $2.39. There is no charge for the room, and Mondays are a slow day. Parking and handicapped access are not a problem. There is no minimum number that we have to pay for. 

  • Smiley’s 
Smileys would open especially for us, like the arrangement at Sky Club. Their cost would be $12.99 which includes coffee, water, and milk. Dessert would be an additional $1.50 and this would be bars. Parking and handicapped access are not a problem but it is quite far out. They did not offer a choice of menu items, indicating they would be willing to work with us. They also did not ask for a minimum number.
Amber Grill and the Moose Club are being investigated. Can you think of others? Would you be willing to check them out and report back?


Jerry Kasdorf, chair of Health Committee, submits this article for our consideration. It was originally published in Berkeley Health Newsletter
Trans Fat: Going, Going, But Not Gone
It has been ten years since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began requiring packaged foods to list trans fats on the label. Though animal foods like butter contain tiny amounts of natural trans fats, most trans fats in our food supply are synthetic, created when unsaturated vegetable oils are partially hydrogenated. This gives the oils a semisolid consistency that’s more suitable for many processed foods. Synthetic trans fats raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and have other adverse effects that increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
In response to the labeling law, many manufacturers voluntarily reduced or eliminated partially hydrogenated oils—and thus trans fats—from their margarines, baked goods, snacks and other foods.
That’s good news, but don’t let down your guard. Some supermarket and restaurant foods still contain trans fats, sometimes at very high levels. Here are some examples, cited by the Center for Science in the Public Interest:
•             Jolly Time Microwave Popcorn (some flavors), 4 grams of trans fat per serving
•             Marie Callender’s Lattice Apple Pie, 5 grams
•             Long John Silver’s Clam Strips, 7 grams
•             White Castle donuts, as much as 9 grams
Other companies cited include Celeste Pizza, Jimmy Dean, Pepperidge Farm, Giant, DiGiorno, and Betty Crocker. The American Heart Association advises that trans fats provide no more than 1 percent of your total daily calories (that’s less than 2 grams a day for someone eating 2,000 calories a day).
Bottom line: Check nutrition labels for trans fats, but you have to read between the lines. Because of a labeling loophole, manufacturers can say their products have 0 grams of trans fat if they contain less than 0.5 grams per serving. That may not sound like a lot, but the numbers add up if you eat several servings. To avoid synthetic trans fats in packaged foods, make sure that partially hydrogenated oil is not in the ingredients list. If you use margarine, soft (tub) margarines are much less likely to contain trans fats, or at least much less of them, than hard margarines. Keep in mind that products that contain trans fats tend to be junk foods anyway, often high in calories, fat, and sodium.

                       JANUARY MINUTES STEVENS POINT AREA RETIRED TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION   Respectfully Submitted by Lauren Isberner
REGULAR MEETING:  On Monday, January 9th, SPARTA met at the Sky Club with 26 present.  Attending was guest speaker Craig Gerlach.  The door prize was won by David Blado.  Congratulations!
OFFICERS' REPORTS:  A motion by Charlene Laurent to correct the misspelling of "Multhauf" in the minutes was seconded by David Blado.  Minutes were then accepted as printed. 
The Treasurer reported a balance of $2,975.39 in the check book.
ONGOING BUSINESS:  Committee Reports;
BOOK:  Santha Bickford gave a huge thank you to all those that help make the book sales a success.  This spring's sale will be held May 3rd through May 6th.  Mark your calendars!
GRANT:  Janet Swiston let members know about the informative display showing grant recipients as well as thank you notes from recipients.
HEALTH:  Jerry Kasdorf, Health Committee chair,  submitted a very informative article about beets and our health.
LEGISLATIVE:  A Wisconsin Retired Educators' Association brochure with Legislative Priorities listed was available for all interested.
PROGRAM:  One of our 2017 programs (September 11) will host a new venue;  "Speed Learning".  Come check it out!
SOCIAL:  Eileen Payne circulated a sign up sheet for the spring bus trip to the Fireside Theater to see the play "Back to the 50's".  More people will help keep the cost under $100 (includes everything).  Think about bringing a friend!
VOLUNTEER HOURS RECORDER:  Another friendly reminder to record your volunteer hours every month so you will be ready to turn them into Joyce Chekouras in September.  Thank you!
The SPARTA T-shirt idea is a go! Thank you to Judy Zimmerman for this suggestion.  Please let members know by the end of the month what size you would like to order.
Jan Langton shared the website she created for SPARTA.  A big thank you to her for devoting so much effort into putting this together.
A huge thank you to Eileen Payne and David Blado for giving of their time to help Jan Langton input information to the computer.
Thank you so much to Sherrilee Wallerman for taking over the meal reservation responsibilities of Mary Ann Krems.
Members who know of members passing or moving from their homes to a different living environment please let Jan Langton and Santha Bickford know.  We would like to keep in touch.
Attention!  Volunteer opportunity....Consider the SPARTA Vice Presidency.  If interested please let Santha Bickford know.
All those working at the Academic Decatholon were thanked for all their time.
Elbert Rackow made a motion to pay up the Community Foundation account for SPARTA scholarships.  The motion was seconded by Barbara Clementi and unanimously passed.
FORMAL PROGRAM:  Craig Gerlach, superintendant of the Stevens Point Public Schools, informed members about various issues being addressed within the school system.
NEXT MEETING:  The next meeting will be Monday, March 14, 2017, at the Sky Club.  The speaker will be Gene Jacobs.
A motion by Frances Vollrath to adjourn was passed.

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