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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Harmony Happenings

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rosanne Aker called to say that the new playground equipment for the Harmony Parkwas arriving. They have planned an all-day work session for Oct.15, starting at 9 a.m.

Workers are needed to help put things together, and set the equipment in concrete,to make it secure for the kids. A representative from the Anderson company will be there to assist and give directions.

Marine Pfc. Levi W.D. Pollard was home from Camp Pendleton for a week. Levi graduated from Northview. He and his friends got together at Hardees one day and had some cook-outs during the few days he was at home. The whole family had a going away party for him at Ryan's Steakhouse in Terre Haute. Levi is the son of Elmer Jr. and Mary Harrison. He has a sister Emily. Proud grandparents Elmer Sr. and Mary Pollard were so glad to see him. Mary tells me that he will be heading to North Carolina or Missouri. Levi's other grandparents are Dick and Nancy Rutledge, Staunton. Always remember to say a prayer for Levi and our military folks.

I had promised to pass along more information about the Indiana Retired Teachers Association Fall Workshop at Covington. Odena Harper, Carolyn Tausig, Mary Ann Froderman, and I attended. We each received a booklet full of ideas to benefit our local CCRTA.

The booklets listed suggestions for better programs, ways to recruit new members, ways to help with retirement seminars for those considering retirement. They reminded us that we are the experts on retirement, and that those who are nearing that age might want to ask us some questions. They encouraged us to stay in touch with our legislators.

We will have the Big Three at our CCRTA Fall Social on Oct. 25. This workshop gave us a chance to hear some of the things that they may say to our group. Andy Thomas, Executive Director of IRTA, Bob Kraft, President of IRTA, and Don Metzger, Area 4 President, were all on the program.

I am not an expert in understanding all that goes on at the state level but will try to pass along some of what I learned. Retired Teachers in Indiana do not get an automatic cost of living increase in their pensions. Each year it has to be renegotiated with the legislature.

For the last couple of years, we have gotten what is called the 13th check. It depends on the number of years of teaching but the highest one is $450 for the year. It is included in one of our fall pension checks. We get one per month based on our service.

Basically, pension checks stay the same each month year after year. The bill that included the 13th check died. Our leader Andy Thomas had campaigned tirelessly to get that money for us. Other statehouse folks joked that he had loitered outside every restroom trying to talk to various legislators. When it seemed all was lost, an amendment to another bill was added and passed. Our thanks to Andy and our elected officials.

Nancy Tolson, Past-President of IRTA told of some retired teachers that were in the 80 to 100 age bracket. Some draw only $400-$500 per month. After a lifetime of teaching that is a very small pension. It may have seemed large when they retired. That extra once-a-year payment of $450 makes a big difference to them. One of the elderly retirees still volunteers 30 hours a week. She probably spends her whole pension on gas to get to her "job".

Not all retired teachers belong to the local CCRTA or to Indiana Retired Teachers Association. Some say it is too expensive but it really is not. IRTA dues are $30 and CCRTA dues are $5 per year. Membership in the state organization comes with discounts.

For instance, I get a $5 discount on Frontier per month. That equals $60 per year. I can pay my state dues and still pocket $30. For the $5 local membership, I get two free meals and lots of good fellowship. Those are not the only reasons for belonging to the organizations but it helps. Retired teachers get discounts on computers, rental cars, books, flowers, and several other items.

It is time to start a new year. Dues are due. CCRTA Payments of $5 can be sent to Rachel Fagg at 14865 N. Co. Rd. 200 E., Carbon, Indiana 47837-8033. Many folks wait to join at the Fall Social. That is fine, too.

Any teacher who is thinking of retiring in a few years can join as an associate member. Local dues are $3. I am not sure about state associate dues but I think it is $5. Associates get the same benefits as retired teachers. Spouses of retired teachers can also join as associates. All associates and possible associates are invited to our Fall Social.

You can go online to info@retiredteachers.org for IRTA information. The address is 2629 Waterfront Parkway East Dr., Ste105, Indianapolis, IN 46214. You can contact Andy Thomas and he will forward membership requests to the right person: athomas@ retiredteachers.org.

Some teachers get confused because there is also an organization of retired teachers that is from the ISTA. That is not the same organization as IRTA. I don't have information about the other group.

Happy Birthday to Eva Latham (1st), Keith Bowen (2nd), Siddalee Clark (3rd), Tre Higgenbotham (4th), Adam Evinger & Nick Pell & Bruce Thompson (5th), Jane Osborn (6th), John K. Clark (9th), Heather Pell (10th), Allison Butts (12th), Pam Hood (14th), Adam Termeer & Greg Jones & Susan Maurer (19th), Carson Lawrence & Jimmy Pell (20th), Betty Julbert (21st), Alisha McCoy & Ryan London & Sheila Termeer (23rd), Kelly Sparks (24th), Trent Pell (28th) Happy October Anniversaries to Dan & Kenda Dierdorf (6th), David & Cheryl Brinson (11th), Heidi & A.J. Babkowski (15th), Carole & Gail Weaver (22nd).

Harmony United Methodist Calendar

October 2 -- Worship Service 9 a.m., Sunday School 10:30

October 4 -- Bowling 6:30 at Brazilian Lanes

October 5 - Bible Study 9 a.m., Quilting 10 AM-3 p.m.