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Douglas County Retired Teachers hear from master gardene

The May meeting of the Douglas County Retired Teachers was held at the Methodist Church in Arcola Wednesday, May 15 and was called to order by president Fred McDonald who opened the meeting with a humorous survey. Linda Jent led the pledge and Butch Guennewig gave the prayer. A delicious meal was served by the Arcola United Methodist Women.

The program was given by Cathy Boyd who has been certified as a master gardener by the U of I Extension Office. She presented a variety of tips and demonstrated container gardening. She encouraged members who have an interest in flowers to consider becoming a master gardener and explained how that process works.

In the absence of secretary, Kathy Caraway, there were no minutes. Carol Beals gave an update on her condition, and Sue Elder will serve as interim secretary. Connie Guennewig presented the treasurer’s report.

Membership chair, Sharon Fox, informed the group that the IRTA is working on recruiting new members through special nametags for substitutes. The state is now issuing lists of retired teachers, but there appears to be problems, so Sharon asked for volunteers from each town to get a list for her. Karen Williamson, Foundation Services chair, encouraged members to donate to IRTA, as these donations go to scholarships for potential teachers and grants for current teachers.

TRS issued a recent report that due to current funding of 40 percent of the benefits, future retirees would be impacted. IRTA has sent a letter objecting to that statement. In other news, Doug Stroud was elected and the IRTA is willing to help local units set up websites.

DCRTA members are encouraged to represent our organization by participating in summer events throughout the county. June 15 in Newman for the Freedom Festival (Steve Allen has asked participants to meet on N. Broadway at 10:15 a.m.). July 6 in Tuscola for Sparks In the Park (Fred McDonald asks participants to meet by the pool in Ervin Park). Aug. 3 in Villa Grove for Ag Days (Karen Williamson, coordinator), Aug. 30 in Arthur for the Cheese Festival (Sally McCarthy, coordinator) and Sept. 27 in Arcola for Homecoming.

Two new members were welcomed: Joan Kellogg and Lois Jones. IRTA Area 5 Training will be held in Effingham on June 25. State Convention will be held on October 14-15. Douglas County is allowed four delegates and members should see Fred if you want to go.

The first DCRTA trip will be held on October 2 to “Driving Miss Daisy” in Hillsboro, Ind. We need 30 members to go; the bus will leave at 10:30 and return at 5. The total cost of $85 covers the dinner theatre and the bus and must be paid by July 17. The trip will be open to the public, so if anyone would like to go, please contact a member of DCRTA.

The next meeting will be held on July Wednesday, July 17 at The Smith House.

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