www.winnebagocountyrta.org August 2021
President’s Message – Gayle Haab
I hope our fall newsletter finds you doing well and ready for some cooler temperatures! The WCRTA Board is excited to meet in person with you for some wonderful programs that you will find both interesting and informative. We hope you will be able to join us for our General Membership Meetings in September and November that are described in detail in this newsletter.
There are several events WCRTA has been involved in with the IRTA that we would like to share with you! We tried to keep you informed of these events and encouraged you to take part. Please continue to check our website www.winnebagocountyrta.org and Member Planet (for those of you who supplied us with your current email and opted to receive your newsletter through Member Planet) for further news.
Area 1 Conference. WCRTA President Gayle Haab and Newsletter Editor
Sharon Vinson attended the Area 1 Conference through an online platform. The following is news from the IRTA Conference:
John Flaherty reported at the Area 1 meeting that IRTA membership is 39,000+. We have outperformed peer groups in membership over the last year with a 7% growth in membership. The IRTA renewal rate is 96%, and IRTA is financially strong.
There is currently $153,000 in the Legal Defense Fund, and 5526 members are in the PAC $1-a- month deduct plan. They would like to encourage more members to take part in the PAC contribution.
Andrew Bodewes, lobbyist, reported that the legislation to refund overpayment to CMS did not move in the last session, but now SB1056 is on the Consent Calendar. Extended work bill for retirees is also up for consideration. The state fully funded TRIP/TRAIL. Courtney Hayes will be sending out lists of legislators throughout the state to members, asking them to reach out to these legislators before the 2022 election. Jim Bachman emphasized the importance of signing up for VoterVoice should it become necessary for members to contact legislators.
Come to the Convention! IRTA hosts a bi-annual convention at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield, IL. You get to experience the speeches, floor debate, legislative highlights, silent auctions, banquets, buffets, social interactions, and honoring colleagues.
WCRTA is entitled to 28 delegates based on our state membership. The convention will be held October 18 -19, 2021. All convention sessions and meals are held at the Crowne Plaza. We currently have the following members that plan to attend to convention: Dave and Betty Davison, Jo Sullons, Dale and Gayle Haab.
One of the many highlights of the IRTA Convention is the silent auction. Every local unit is asked to either contribute money towards the silent auction fund or make a basket that represents our county. We are currently working on our basket “All Things Winnebago County.” At the 2017 convention, we set a record for the highest bid at slightly over $1,000 for our WCRTA basket!
If you have any ideas or know of a business or acquaintance who would be willing to donate items for our “All Things Winnebago” basket, please let Gayle Haab know as soon as possible (815-742-1331). We also may have some members who are creative and make jewelry, artwork, hand-made cards, woodworking, ornaments, and much more! If you are one of those talented and creative individuals and have something you would be able to contribute to our basket, it would be greatly appreciated!
If you are interested in attending the convention, please let me know no later than September 6. You can email me at email@example.com or call Gayle at 815-742-1331. The convention rate for the Crowne Plaza is $112 plus tax per night. The registration fee is $45, and meals are an additional cost. Some of these costs will be subsidized by our WCRTA unit.
During the convention this year, we are going to be debating changes to our constitution that will offer increased voting rights, streamlining our organizational structure, and the election of officers and area representatives. I had the pleasure of serving on the Constitution Committee this year and found it very informative.
Each unit may nominate a member from their membership as their honoree.
The honoree is recognized during the banquet, his/her photo is projected onto several large screens, and he/she come up onto the stage are to receive their award.
Winnebago County Retired Teachers Association -- Unit Honoree
Scholarship Awards from the Winnebago County Retired Teachers Association
The Winnebago County Retired Teachers Association is proud to announce its latest scholarship awards of $8,000 to students going into the field of education. A Zoom scholarship presentation occurred July 14, 2021, with the WCRTA Board, general members, and scholarship winners including their families and guests.
The Blanche J. Martin Scholarship is awarded to students pursuing a path to a degree in Elementary Education. Since the inception of this scholarship, the WCRTA has awarded over $95,000. Blanche is remembered for her lifelong dedication to education. She served as a grade school teacher, elementary principal, Assistant Superintendent in charge of Elementary Education, and Regional
It is our pleasure to announce that the 2021 WCRTA Unit Honoree is our treasurer, Dorothy
Schoonover. Dorothy will be honored at the IRTA Convention at the Crowne
Plaza in Springfield, IL on October 18-19. Dorothy retired from the Rockford
Public School District in 1999. She joined WCRTA in 2000 and served as Co-
Chair of Retirement Education in 2001. Dorothy has served as our treasurer for
the last 19 years. Three words that I would use to describe Dorothy are
dedicated, detailed, and determined. Dorothy has done a phenomenal job as
our treasurer, and I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award. Thank
you, Dorothy, for serving as our treasurer for the Winnebago County Retired
Superintendent of Boone and Winnebago Counties. Blanche was a member of WCRTA and served on the board as a financial advisor for many years.
The 2021 Blanche J. Martin Scholarship winners will each receive scholarship money to use towards their educational expenses in Elementary Education. Congratulations to:
Chloe Baxter (Hononegah graduate) currently attending Rockford University
McKenzie Brown (Boylan graduate) currently attending Newman University, Wichita, KS Brianna Meyer (Pecatonica graduate) currently attending Rockford University
Kylee Semenchuk (Harlem graduate) currently attending Marion University, Fond du Lac, WI
The Fred Kunz Memorial Scholarship is a generous endowment for the second year in a row from the family of the late Fred Kunz. The scholarship money is to be given to students committed to attaining a college degree with teacher certification. Volunteerism, strong personal characteristics, and academic success were important to Fred, because he believed students should give back to others and the community. Fred Kunz was a long-time teacher in public education, member of WCRTA, and served as president of this association. A special thank you to Judy Kunz and her family for making this scholarship possible and continuing Fred’s legacy.
The 2021 Fred Kunz Memorial Scholarship winners will each receive scholarship money to use towards their expenses as future educators. Congratulations to:
Holly Janowski (Hononegah graduate) currently attending Western Illinois University
Avery Williams (Winnebago graduate) currently attending University of Wisconsin-Platteville
For more information about the Winnebago County Retired Teachers Association, please visit our website: www.winnebagocountyrta.org
Upcoming General Membership Meetings and Programs:
Date: Thursday, September 16, 2021
Location: Stockholm Inn, 2420 Charles St., Rockford, IL 61108
Time: Registration 11:30 a.m. Lunch at noon (order off the menu, individual checks.)
Guest Speaker: Dr. John Ulferts
Title of Presentation: His presentation will be based on a book he wrote, “Always Remember-- World War II through Veterans’ Eyes.”
Dr. Ulferts graduated from Hononegah High School in 1983. He is now in his 34th year in education. Twenty-one of these years were in Illinois with eleven being in Colorado and one with the Department of Defense. He was a Principal in the Rockford Public Schools for ten years. Dr. Ulferts is now the Superintendent-Principal of Shirland School District 134 where he has held the position for 12 years.
Please reply to Gayle Haab no later than September 8 if you plan to attend so that we can notify the Stockholm Inn of how many to expect. The restaurant requests advance notice in order to efficiently arrange for the room and waitstaff. You can reply by email, firstname.lastname@example.org, in order to supply me with your current email address. If for some reason we are unable to meet in person due to the status of COVID or the Delta Variant, our backup plan will be to host the meeting by ZOOM. Feel free to text or call me at 815-742-1331. Please include your name if you text because I may not recognize your phone number. Thank you!
Date: Thursday, November 18, 2021 Location: Machine Shed, 7475 E State St, Rockford, IL 61108
Time: Registration 8:30 a.m. Breakfast at 9:00 a.m. (order off the menu, individual checks.) Name of Presenter: Taleesha Pinson, Outreach and Diversity Associate for Beloit Regional
Title of Presentation: “Hospice Philosophy of Care 101.” The presentation will distinguish betweenPalliative Care and Hospice Care.
Taleesha has more than 20 years’ experience working at Beloit Regional Hospice. She is a life-long resident of Beloit. She has experience with Hospice Care both from the viewpoint of receiving it and helping provide it.
Please reply to Gayle Haab by email email@example.com no later than November 10 if you plan to attend so that we can notify the Machine Shed how many to expect. They request advance notice in order to make arrangements for the room and waitstaff.
If you have any questions, feel free text or call me at 815-742-1331, making sure to leave your name if you text because I may not recognize your phone number. If for some reason we are unable to meet in person due to COVID or the Delta Variant, we will host the meeting by Zoom as our backup plan.
The WCRTA Planning Committee met on August 5 to begin to plan programs, meetings, and events for 2022. Please mark your calendar for our first event of 2022 on February 17 when we will have a presentation by the Center for Learning in Retirement (CLR.) More details will follow in our next newsletter in terms of location of the venue and the time of day. In the meantime, if you are interested in the Fall 2021 CLR class schedule, please click on the link to view the classes.https://www.rockvalleycollege.edu/Community/CLR/index.cfm
Retirement doesn’t have to be an ending. Make it a new beginning. Take advantage of the many exciting lifelong learning opportunities the Center for Learning in Retirement has to offer! For members, they offer over 350 classes each year, bus trips, extended trips, social events, a fitness program, special interest groups, and many volunteer opportunities. Meet new people. Develop new friendships. Find a purpose in retirement. It’s all waiting for you at CLR.
Welcome New Members
Welcome to our newest members to WCRTA. Carri Lindblom-Borisch and Diana Singletary are both 2021 retirees from the Rockford Public School District. Nancy Shouler joined our association recently
after retiring from the Rockton School District in 2015. Harold Sweeney recently joined us as well and
served with multiple responsibilities with the Boone-Winnebago Regional Office of Education.
Congratulations on your retirement, everyone. We look forward to seeing you at our WCRTA events!
Group Trips Are Back!
We are planning several group trips in 2021. Please refer to the flyer in the newsletter. Contact George Whinna 815-877-1518 or Gayle Haab 815-742-1331 for questions.
NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE
Please check the label on the newsletter to see if you have paid your 2021 dues. Above your name on the label, you will find two codes. The one to the left is the year through which you have paid your WCRTA dues (or LL local life). The one to the right is the year through which you have paid our IRTA
We need you! Please consider rejoining by sending $10 to our treasurer for your annual dues.
4143 Catalpa Woods Drive. Rockford, IL 61101
Enjoy Your New Membership Card from the WCRTA Board!
We thought you might enjoy a membership card to carry with you in your purse or billfold. It is a nice form of identification and signifies your WCRTA membership either as a Life or Annual Member. The WCRTA BOARD appreciates your being part of our local unit and hope you find our future meetings, events, and group trips enjoyable and informative.