Presidents Message March 2019
I am not sure where the last two months have gone but it is not difficult to see that spring is right around the corner as the grass is beginning not only to turn green but to grow. Our Board of Directors met following our lunch meeting last month and we are well on our way to finalizing plans for our first half of 2019. This year our chapter is responsible for the Annual Joint Meeting with South Alabama Chapter (Mobile) on June 20th. That dinner will be held in the hanger at the Alabama Memorial Battleship Park. Please mark your calendars and be looking for additional information as it becomes available.
Our February lunch was attended by 65 members, spouses, and guests, the largest number we have hosted for any previous lunch. Thanks to Susan Stein for an excellent presentation on the history of The Grand Hotel and especially its involvement in a secret WWII operation. This month’s meeting will be back at the Blue Marlin Restaurant for a dinner on March 21st where our speaker will be Alex Doleac the Project Manager for the Baldwin County Development Alliance. Come see what is new in and around Baldwin County as well as what is coming in the near future.
Your Board of Directors continues to make minor changes to our young Chapter’s operations as we identify needed improvements. One such change was made at our Board meeting in February where we determined the responsibilities for the 1st Vice President, as outlined in the by-laws, involved too much responsibility for one person. At that meeting we decided to remove the responsibilities for managing our speakers from the 1st VP and have that responsibility go to one of our Directors. Effective immediately Rob Fields will be responsible for all aspects of identifying and coordinating speakers for all BCMOAA meetings. The great speakers we have experienced recently are the result of recommendations provided by you, our members, so when you hear a good speaker or hear of one you believe would be appropriate for our Chapter please contact Rob or any of our officers or directors as they will forward that information to Rob.
I thank each of you for your continued support of MOAA and especially our chapter. Without each of you and your regular attendance at meetings, prospective members who visit our meetings would not be interested in joining as you, our membership, make our Chapter what it has been and you are responsible for our continued improvement.
I am very proud to serve with each of you! May God bless you and your loved ones and may God continue to bless America.
Presidents Message December 2018
Merry Christmas to everyone and I hope you will have many opportunities to be with your families and friends during this holiday season. I sincerely miss the opportunity to greet each of you this month but I look forward to starting 2019 with many of you at our first meeting of 2019 at the Gift Horse Restaurant in Foley on January 17th for dinner. In addition to having Chris Elliot, the newly elected state senator from District 32 (mostly Baldwin County) as our guest speaker, our newly elected 2019 Board of Directors for our chapter will be installed by LTC Dave Jensen the President of the Alabama Council of MOAA Chapters. The Gift Horse always has great food and is a good venue for visiting with other MOAA members and spouses.
As we conclude 2018, we can look forward to new opportunities for our chapter in the coming year. Our goal for 2019 is to improve our communication to current and potential MOAA members keeping them informed of active and retired military life issues, and to experience good camaraderie with fellow members.
I recently notified you that our chapter was named as a defendant in a claim resulting from injuries sustained in the February 28, 2017 Mardi Gras Parade accident in Gulf Shores. Again, I want to reassure you that it is the Baldwin County MOAA Chapter that is named in this suit and not individual members. In addition, the BC/MOAA Chapter is registered with the Internal Revenue Service and the State of Alabama as a non-profit corporation, which limits individual liability, including Board members. Our legal counsel feels confident the case against our chapter will eventually be dismissed, but the legal process is slow and may take many months to conclude.
As new information is available, you will be kept informed.
We owe much gratitude to Ken Cooper our webmaster for his diligent work and continued improvements to our award-winning website, bcmoaa.org.
A big salute is also due Frank Connell, our chapter’s 1st Vice President, who was selected as Fairhope’s Veteran of the Year, a very well deserved selection. Frank is a true soldier.
Most of all, I thank each of you for your continued support of MOAA and especially our chapter. I am proud to serve with you! May God bless you and your loved ones and may God continue to bless America.
Presidents Message October 2018
I cannot begin to express my gratitude to the members of our Chapter who have stepped up to become Board members or support the work of the Board in making sure all the work that has progressed these past 6+ years did not disappear. Since our reorganization efforts in May began we have continued to move forward and make improvements in our Chapter.
Please take a look at our entire web site as many areas have been updated or completely changed. Most new information is posted in the “Chapter Highlights” section. We value your input to recommend changes in the website, newsletter, and monthly meetings and also to let us know what we are doing right. If you do not want to put it in writing please feel free to call me [251 517-7950] and I would be pleased to discuss any topic relating to improving our Chapter.
Please note the new article in this website on Name Tags [in Chapter Highlights] and how to request new or lost name tags, selecting from the two types that are available.
Our next meeting will be October 25th at the Blue Marlin Restaurant, please see the website calendar for specifics. On November 15th we will be holding our last meeting of 2018, it is our annual business meeting that is required by our By-laws. At that business meeting, all members will be voting to select the officers and directors for 2019. That slate of officers was developed by the Chapter’s Nominating Committee and was approved by your Board of Directors at the September 20, 2018 Board meeting. You should have received a message with the names on the slate but it is also posted in the “Chapter Highlights” section of the website. If you did not receive the Email message we may not have your correct Email address, please contact Jim Parnell, our Secretary if you did not receive that message. His Email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
October 12, 2018 is the date of the FEDVIP Town Hall Meeting at the Alabama Memorial Battleship Park. This information meeting is about the new dental and vision insurance plans from TRICARE. This meeting is co-sponsored by BCMOAA and South Alabama (Mobile) Chapter. CAPT Paul Frost (USN Ret) will be coming from National MOAA to present information and answer questions about the new dental and vision plans for TRICARE eligible retirees. If you have not received information on this meeting please contact me at one of the means posted at the end of this message.
Your Board of Directors has identified all meeting dates in 2019 and has confirmed speakers for the first 8 months. In June it will be BCMOAA’s turn to sponsor the joint dinner meeting with South Alabama (Mobile) Chapter and plans for that meeting have already begun. Please continue to refer to the calendar on this website for up to date information about the next and future meetings.
I pray your families have had an enjoyable summer and are looking forward to the holiday season as 2018 winds down.
Presidents Message June 2018
The month of May has been a challenge for your Board of Directors. I returned home from an extended trip and almost immediately learned that Larry Rathbun’s medical issues were significantly worse resulting in his resignation as the President of BCMOAA. Larry’s wife, Charelene, had also endured medical issues of her own and now Larry needs her additional attention. For those reasons Charlene also resigned her position as 1st Vice President of BCMOAA. As 1st VP Charlene was not only a one person Programs Committee but she was singlehandedly managing publicity of all events. Additionally, Max Mattox, the second Vice President recently experienced an unexplained sudden loss of vision in one eye. This and other medical issues have resulted in Max’s resignation from the Board. The last shoe to fall in May was the resignation of Loretta Ballow as Secretary of the Chapter. That is the unpleasant news but the good news is that several of our active members quickly stepped up to fill the gaps. On May 14th the BCMOAA Board met to discuss and make plans to keep the Chapter moving forward. For the remainder of 2018 year the Board has approved the following members to serve on the Board of Directors in the following positions:
President Jerry Davis
1st VP Frank Connell
2nd VP Vacant
Secretary Sid Vogel (also Legislative Liaison)
Treasurer Dennis Koppersmith
Director Jerry Morrison
Director Jim Parnell (Roster Management)
Director Elenor Parker
Director Jim Wallace
IT Chair Ken Cooper
Publicity Brenda Wallace
Special Projects Jack Gifford
Our situation will not be totally resolved anytime soon but I can assure you this Board lives the motto “Never Stop Serving.” If you would like to learn more or have any questions please feel free to call me or any of the members of the Board, contact information is available on our website (www.bcmoaa.org)
Lunch Meeting May 17th – Only three days following the Board Meeting a very successful lunch meeting was held at the Fairhope VFW. Our speaker, Wayne Boulware, a retired Army Chaplin living in Orange Beach, talked about his experiences as a married Army officer with children volunteering to go to Viet Nam and his experiences there.
Email Notification Changes – With the resignation of Charlene Rathbun our Email messages notifying our members of upcoming events and other information will be coming from an ATT Email account. If you have not received any Email messages in the past few weeks please send Jim Parnell an Email message so we can identify/correct the error. Jim’s Email is email@example.com.
Future Group Trip – In the coming months you will be hearing about an overnight trip to The National WWII Museum in New Orleans.
This past year has been an uphill effort for our young chapter and I don’t for one minute believe this is the last challenge but I pledge to you that our Board will always live by the MOAA moto of NEVER STOP SERVING. BC/MOAA will soon activate the Nominating Committee for the 2019 slate of officers and as away it is very important to keep new blood flowing into our organization so please accept the opportunity to serve if asked. Thank you for your continued support and I wish you and your families a great summer.
President’s Message August 2017
We Continue to Serve
President’s Message July 2017
On June 15, BCMOAA hosted SACMOAA for the third annual joint meeting. Charlene worked with Nick Matranga (President of SACMOAA) and Tammy Wintzell to ensure a smooth operation and provide a great atmosphere and food at the Venue. The menu was modified, by making it Italian instead of our usual fish and chicken. Thanks to Charlene (1st VP) for handling the logistics and making this a special occasion.
Following dinner, we sat entranced as William C. (Billy) McDonald III spoke to us about his father and his association with General Claire Chennault and the Flying Tigers. A history lesson made very interesting. Billy has written a book concerning his father’s aerial successes against the Japanese with the Flying Tigers. McDonald had copies of his book, Shadow Tiger, which he autographed. Needless to say, sales were brisk.
Jerry Davis, our Immediate Past President, is preparing for an extended cruise. It is quite strange that a retired Army officer has such a love for the water. I have asked him to serve again, by selecting the Nominating Committee for 2018. Nominations of the proposed slate of officers of the Board of Directors will be held on October 19th, the candidates will be presented to the Members for election on November 16th. The officers will then be installed at the January 18, 2018 meeting.
We Continue to Serve
Presidents Message December 2017
It seems highly unlikely that you can imagine the thrill of leading such an august group as BCMOAA. Many of you have 4-5 years helping to build BCMOAA. Some of you have 0-2 years with BCMOAA. It makes absolutely no difference. We are us, and we stick together, helping each other when possible. Next month will have more days, so this will be more inclusive.
We now have 121 Regular members and 1 Honorary member. Let’s keep up the momentum and add 20 – 25 more this year
They also serve who only sit and wait.
NEVER STOP SERVING
Presidents Message November 2016
November – has been a busy month for all of us with our Baldwin County Chapter’s
annual business meeting & Dinner plus Thanksgiving. I was very pleased that we had 80 attend our first annual business meeting. The budget for 2017 was approved and our annual dues stayed at $15.00. Additional the slate of officers provided by the Nominating Committee was approved with the following officers:
As the past president I will remain on the board until Larry becomes the Immediate Past President.
2017 Membership Drive – our chapter continued to grow through 2016 and as we look to 2017 we know we will continue to attract new members but our #1 goal is to retain all our current members. You have already received an Email from Jerry Morrison requesting your renewals for 2017 and I want to emphasize that if you have not paid your 2017 dues please go to the “Join MOAA” tab on this web site and on the 4th paragraph down find the purple lettering BALDWIN COUNTY MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION link. Print this form and if you are renewing, it is not necessary to complete all the blanks except for information that has changed. Your name, signature, and date are sufficient. Send your application and check (made out to BC-MOAA) to the address on the application. December is a busy month so I ask you to renew now before the Christmas season begins to dominate your lives. Remember your BC-MOAA dues run from January to December but your National MOAA dues begin and end with the anniversary month of your initial membership. National will notify you when those are payable.
December – due to the significant amount of activities surrounding Christmas and the end of the year, BC-MOAA will not hold a meeting in December but please mark your calendars for January 19th as our dinner meeting will be at the Fairhope Yacht Club and our officers will be installed. The speaker for the evening is being finalized and will be included in future Emails.
IRS 501(c)(19) Approval – we just received a confirmation letter from the IRS informing us that our Baldwin County Chapter’s application for 501(c)(19) status has been approved as of November 10. This means that any contributions to BC-MOAA on or after November 10, 2016 are fully tax deductible. I sincerely thank Bill Scully for his assistance in completing this application.
VFW’s Honor Guard – many of our MOAA members continue to provide this important support to funeral services of veterans in Baldwin County. There is a real need for additional Honor Guard members and I would encourage you to talk with any of those now serving to offer your support.
Email Notification Challenges – we continue to experience a few problems with Email notification of some of our members. I will be working with Charlene Rathbun in December to find and correct the problem. This may involve some test Email messages and your timely response to those messages to correct the errors so please be patient and understanding. If you do not receive any of these messages please send me an Email message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Future Group Trips – In the coming months you will be asked about your personal interest in some BC-MOAA group trips. Two possible trips are: an overnight trip to The National WW2 Museum in New Orleans, and a 5 or 7 day Cruise from Mobile.
For the past 5+ years I have been sincerely honored to serve as your group, satellite, and finally chapter president. I do not plan to fade away but it is important to keep new blood flowing into our organization and I pledge to you that I will always live by the MOAA moto of NEVER STOP SERVING. Thank you for your continued support and I wish you and your families the best Christmas ever and a most prosperous new year.
See you in 2017,