The Douglas and Ozark Counties Retired Teachers and Other School Personnel met Tuesday, August 11 at the Gainesville Senior Center for lunch. Those in attendance were Barbara Roberts, Ida Mae Huse, Marie Bristol, Norma Stillings, Ruth Evans, Julane Williams, Jenny Billings, Laura Waten, and Caryl Feiler.
The guest speaker was Lynn Bentele from the Ozark County Chamber of Commerce. Lynn talked about several of the events and projects that promote Gainesville and Ozark County. They work in cooperation with West Plains for festivals in both places. The annual “Hootin’ An’ Hollarin’” will begin September 17 with contests and a great tradition of fun. Late this spring Ozark County had its first “Home Grown, Home Made Festival.” There were several demonstrations of traditional Ozarks craft making. The festival was well received and will be planned as an annual event.
Ozark County is blessed with many old mills, lots of good fishing locations, and campgrounds. The people are friendly and have good reason to be proud of their county. Lynn laid out brochures and maps to promote the area.
During the business meeting that followed lunch, the minutes and treasurer’s report were accepted with no corrections offered. A Get-Well card was signed for Betty Moore who had gone through surgery recently. Marie also announced that she had turned in the paperwork nominating Betty Moore as our Distinguished Retiree of the Year. Marie announced that the Annual Fall MRTA Delegate Assembly and Meeting would be held September 16 and 17. She had purchased a book and other items from the Laura Ingalls Wilder Book Store at Rocky Ridge and put together a Silent Auction item.
Committee Reports were given. Public Relations, Chair Norma Stillings asked for help in getting meeting announcements and reports into the Ozark County Times. Ida Mae Huse said that if these were e-mailed to her, she would see that they got into the paper. Marie spoke on behalf of the Membership Committee and Retirement Education Committee. She had given information about MRTA Membership to Ava R-1 teachers at Teacher Orientation Day, Monday. That included telling them about the Liability Insurance was available to Associate Members. Marie reminded members to keep track of community service hours and also to collect Best Choice Labels, Box Top labels, etc and donate them to their schools. Norma Stillings, Informative and Protective Committee Chair, reminded the retirees to be on alert for scams and ID theft. There was a discussion about avoiding scams and frauds that are directed toward older adults. The users of credit cards and internet need to be especially watchful, but other people can be victims of scams and ID theft as well.
Marie had made contact with the graduating seniors who had won the RTA Scholarship. Savannah had just sent her letter of proof of enrollment and Audrey would be sending the letter of proof this week. Because Marie had been successful in raising additional funds by providing a Potato Bar in the High School Lounge last spring, she requested that the scholarship amount be increased from $200 each to $250 each. A motion was made to do so and passed with no opposition.
The next meeting will be held September 8 at Autumns’ Café in Ava.