Clay County Retired Teachers had a Game Night and meeting at the Kennedy Crossing Center on Tuesday evening. President Odena Harper conducted the meeting and welcomed our new retirees: Sally Maurer, Beth Buell, and Bev Ford.
She went on to introduce our two special guests: Andy Thomas, Executive Director of Indiana Retired Teachers Association and Dewayne Rater, the Area 4 Director of Indiana Retired Teachers Association.
One of the main jobs of Andy Thomas is to get the COLA (cost of living allowance) through the legislature. Indiana is one of two states that don't have automatic increases to teachers' pensions as the cost of living rises. Although the increases were around nine percent in 1999 (the highest), they have usually been only one to two percent, when awarded, for the last 26 years.
The legislature votes whether or not any raises are granted. With the COLA increases, some older teacher pensions are still less than $500 a month. Thomas wants to insure that every retired teacher pension is at least $500 each month.
Thomas also talked about various benefits of belonging to the IRTA: insurance, annuities, Medicare supplements, discounts on hotels, travel, rentals, books, and flowers. He said they had just negotiated an eight percent discount on monthly cell phone service that would go into effect very soon.
Membership cards were being printed at A+ Printing in Brazil and will be mailed out soon. Brochures were available on Mayflower travel packages in the USA and abroad.
Pat Wilkinson announced two upcoming events. The REIN Center Community Library at Clay City is hosting a scrapbooking event on Oct. 24. The activity will run from 5 p.m.-midnight.
A light supper, snacks and beverages will be provided. There will be door prizes and some scrapbooking supplies available. Contact Kae Smith if interested at email@example.com (there is an underscore between kae and smith) or call (812) 859-4553 or 236-2722.
Wilkinson also reminded everyone of the Harvest Hoedown at the Clay County 4-H Fairgrounds scheduled for this Saturday, Oct. 25.
Pappy's Bar-B-Q, country music, dancing, silent auction, horseshoes, and cornhole will provide lots of good fun and good eating, too. Tickets for the event are $15 for adults and $5 for children under 12. Tickets are available at most area banks.
Tommy Dale Thompson reported that we had $522 as our treasury balance. Money was collected through dues and from the spring chili supper that was held at Riddell Bank. He had sent $20 to the state organization in memory of local teachers who had passed away. He will be making additional donations for those who have passed since the spring meeting.
Denzil Adams gave a little pep talk about continuing to encourage other retired teachers to join our group. After all those years of meetings, some retirees are reluctant to join another group. We should spread the word that our get-togethers are more fun than just having meetings.
Seventeen teachers retired this year. We should encourage them to join us. Our participation rate is 52%. Some associations have 80% of their retired teachers joining the group. Those nearing retirement (or non teachers) can join as associates.
Two awards were presented to two former teachers for their involvement in Community Service. Carolyn Tausig presented award certificates to Jerry Penry and Denzil Adams.
Retirees in Clay County did over 7000 hours of volunteer service to the community. These hours are reported to the legislature when asking for pension increases. Please report your yearly volunteer hours to Carolyn before Dec. 15.
Some retired teachers help with church work, others volunteer at nursing homes, several tutor children or work in other child related activities. Many are involved in civic activities, too.
Five retired teachers donated an item (or ask a business for a donation) for the evening raffle. The Craftsman drill was won by Dave Meuser. Other winners were: Carolyn Ledgerwood - Clay City Pottery bowl, Tommy Dale Thompson -- cookbook, Hazel Miller -- soy products from Eel River Products, Betty Adamson -- mystery gift (crystal vase).
Door prizes were also awarded. Chaney's Diner and Deli at Harmony donated $25 in certificates. Jane Penry, Cheryl Boyce, and Hazel Miller won the $5 ones and I forgot to write down who won the $10 certificate. Betty Adamson won a $25 card that is good at Olive Garden or Red Lobster.
Celebration Christian Center is planning a Halloween alternative at Fairbanks Park in Terre Haute on Halloween night. Harvest Party will run from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Costumes (no scary ones) are encouraged for children (ages 12 and under) with a parade at 8:30 p.m. The event is free.
The party will have hot dogs, drinks, lots of candy, and fun, fun, fun. Fire trucks and Sparky, the firedog, will be there to remind everyone of "Safety First." Wagon rides will also be available.
Harmony United Methodist Church will hold a Homecoming Celebration and Fish Fry on Sunday, Nov. 9 at the church. Serving will start at noon and run until 3 p.m. Worship Service will start at 4 p.m. with Rev. Myron James preparing the message.
Because the worship service will be held in the evening, there will be no service on Sunday morning at the regular time. Everyone will be busy cooking fish and all the trimmings. The public is invited to join us for good food and especially to stay for the service in late afternoon.
Oops! Did anyone catch that I said Leanne Grey instead of Luann Grey last week? Just call it a senior moment. Sorry, Luann. I do know better. It was good to talk to you even if I goofed.
Good neighbor Patty Escott said the earth moved. No it wasn't an earthquake. With the help of her son Steve and good neighbor Rick Hester, she has started numerous home improvement projects at her house and rental property.
A mountain of dirt has helped to level the uneven front and back yard. The old concrete patio is gone and a new porch is much anticipated. The rental house has a new front. I am sure that it will look really nice when everything is finished. Patty always keeps her place looking good.
Happy Anniversary to Mr. & Mrs. Luther Julbert (24th).
Harmony United Methodist Calendar:
Oct. 26 -- Worship Service 9 a.m., Sunday School 10:45 a.m.
Oct. 27 -- United Methodist Women 7 p.m.
Oct. 28 -- Bowling Leagues at Brazilian Lanes
Oct. 29 -- Clay County Quilters 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Bible Study 9 a.m.
Nov. 9 -- Homecoming Celebration and Fish Fry. p.m.
Worship and Celebration Service 4 p.m.