We are getting The Job Done: 2018 Results
Join Us and Stay with Us – Renew
- Received MOAA’s 5-Star (Highest) Level of Excellent (LOE) Award
- Won the Marvin J. Harris Communications Award for the Chapter Website & the Chapter Newsletter, the CONNECT
- Central Ohio Veterans Stand Down Support: Donated $2000/3 Volunteers; Planning Committee Member.552 Veterans Attended with Over 7000 Interactions
- Fairfield County Veterans Stand Down: Donated $500/2 Volunteers; Supported 127 Veterans
- Honor Flight Columbus: Donated $1000; Chapter Member on Board; Numerous Volunteers; Supported 8 Flights in 2018
- Adopt-A-Service Member Program: Donated $1222; Monthly Care Package Support Across the World
- Veterans Court Mentor Program: Donated $1000/2 Volunteers – One Program Coordinator. Supports Veterans with PTSD in the Court Program
- Partner with Local ROTC Programs
- Supported Ohio National Guard Association Annual Conference
- Participated in National Veterans Memorial and Museum Opening Ceremony
- Participated in Voter Registration at the VA Medical Facility
- Monthly Support for MOAA National Legislative Program
- MOAA Education Fund: Donate $500
- Administrative Costs are Less Than 10% of Budget
FOR ADDITIONAL DETAILS ON THESE PROGRAMS PLUS INFORMATION ON FINANCIAL, MEMBERSHIP, & OTHER AREAS, PLEASE READ ON
- Level of Excellence Award (LOE).A 5-Star LOE is awarded annually to MOAA’s “best” Chapters as determined by a myriad of criteria. A 4-Star LOE is awarded to above average Chapters based on these same criteria. Scoring is both subjective and objective. Objective scoring is easily determined using such criteria as percentage of Chapter members who are also MOAA National members, renewal rates, having an individual in the Personal Affairs position, etc. Subjective ratings are more difficult to define. Nevertheless, Chapters with significant community involvement/support; Chapters who implement new ideas which help members, Veterans, and the Armed Services; and Chapters involved in supporting legislative initiatives at all levels seem to fare the best. We must have been doing things well as we have received a 5-Star award for the last 8 out of 9 years and our off-year was a 4-Star.
- Communications Award. We were the recipient of MOAA’s Marvin J. Harris Communications Award for both our Newsletter (CONNECT) and our Web site. Receiving these awards also contributed to the Chapter receiving the 5-Star LOE award noted above. Col Pete Wilkinson and CDR Walter Rey are the respective POCs for these activities.
- Central Ohio Veterans Stand Down. The Stand Down was held 16 October 2018 in the Exhibition Hall of the Greater Columbus Convention Center. 552 Veterans attended (489 men & 63 women). The Veterans received services such as medical screenings, legal aid, housing information, ID card verification/assistance, essential clothing to include Rocky Boots, haircuts, and lunch. In total, there were over 7,000 separate interactions with Veterans. Col Pete Wilkinson is the Chapter POC for this Program.
- Fairfield County Veterans Stand Down. This Stand Down was held 18 May 2018 at the Fairfield County Fairgrounds in Lancaster, Ohio. There were 127 Veterans who received services (113 men & 14 women). A primary focus of this Stand Down was the homeless and those at-risk of becoming homeless. All Veterans received services such as legal aid, medical screening, clothing, food, as well as numerous other services. LTC Joe Machado is the Chapter POC for this Program.
- Honor Flight Columbus. The mission of Honor Flight Columbusis tohonorour nation’s senior Veterans with a trip to Washington, D.C. to visit their war memorials at no cost to them. They can sharetheir stories for the benefit of future generations; and celebrate their homecoming, affirming their allegiance and service to our country. The flight is free to the Veteran; however, there is a cost of approximately $65,000 per flight. Costs include fuel, gate fees for airline, select salaries, food/snacks, motor coaches, Park Police escort (in DC), commemorative T-shirt, and administrative costs such as printing and postage. LTC Joe Machado is a member of the Honor Flight Columbus Board of Directors, manages School and Community Outreach Speakers for Honor Flight Columbus and is the Chapter POC for the Program.
- Adopt-A-Service Member. This program supports deployed Central Ohio servicemen and servicewomen and has been active for about six years. The program’s objective is to get needed items and cards to deployed service members at fire bases and other remote sites in locations such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, and Syria. Popular items are snacks, toiletries, blankets and boxes of Christmas, Easter, and Mother’s Day cards. Items provided are donated by Chapter members, local schools, churches, and hospitals to name just a few organizations. The costs of this program are shipping/mailing. Mrs. Dorothy Williams is the Chapter POC for this Program.
- Veteran’s Court Mentor Program. The Franklin County Veterans Court offers Veterans in legal trouble the opportunity to pursue treatment rather than go to jail. They accept participation in a program that can last over 2 years as they deal with addiction issues and find ways to manage PTSD, so they can lead productive lives. The program includes extensive counseling either through the VA or the Veterans Court. The Veterans are held accountable for participation in the programs through frequent reviews with the Court Judge. Mentoring is a part of the program in which other Veterans work closely with participants in the program. This helps them work through problems and ultimately achieve their goals. Col Pete Wilkinson is the Mentor Coordinator and he and LTC Joe Machado are both Mentors.
- Local ROTC Program. The Ohio State University and Capital University are the two schools associated with the Partnership Program. The ROTC leadership is seeking scholarship funds and we are seeking both membership from the ROTC leadership and the opportunity to introduce MOAA to the Cadets and Midshipmen. We attended the “Rock Ceremony” at OSU and will present a MOAA Leadership award to an OSU ROTC student at the Spring Awards Ceremony. CPT Mark Lux and MAJ Paul Matthews respectively are the Program POCs.
- Ohio National Guard Association Annual Conference. The Convention was held at the Lewis Center in Columbus on February 16-17, 2018. This support included four Chapter members manning a MOAA-provided exhibit. The objective of the exhibit was to increase MOAA and Chapter visibility with the Ohio National Guard. This was a successful venture. Chapter members supporting this event were LCDR Nancy Rey, CDR Walter Rey, LTC Jeff Collins, and COL Tom Roberson.
- Voter Registration. A new experience for the Chapter was MOAA National actively seeking Chapter participation in National Voter Registration Day (25 Sep 18). MOAA was a Premier Partner with National Voter Registration Day as were other national-level organizations such as the League of Women Voters and the National Council of Nonprofits. The Ohio Council of Chapters also asked if we could support this activity. As a new endeavor, we used this as a learning experience. The Franklin County Board of Elections provided us with blank registration forms and informational packets. The location selected was the Chalmers P. Wylie Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Columbus; a location that would encounter numerous Veterans and be a help to Veterans. Results were 11 Veterans were newly registered to vote, and 4 additional Veterans were assisted with address changes. Chapter members supporting this event were Col Pete Wilkinson, LTC Joe Machado, and COL Tom Roberson.
- MOAA National Legislative Program. Each month in our newsletter, the “CONNECT,” there is a legislative section focusing on national-level legislation which MOAA supports. Members use the “Take Action” section to voice their individual support. One example featured in a recent edition of the “CONNECT” was a legislative alert highlighted on the MOAA website at http://www.moaa.org/takeaction/ entitled “End the Pay Reduction for Medical Retirees”. There is another alert entitled, “Time is running out on three important issues.” These are listed as “Expand presumptive exposure to Blue Water Navy veterans to Agent Orange”, “Eliminate the widow’s tax on military survivors”, and “End ﬁnancial penalties for disabled veterans by allowing full concurrent receipt”. These alerts are an excellent means of supporting legislation with minimum time and expense involved. CDR Jennifer Travers is the Chapter POC for national legislative issues.
- MOAA Education Fund. The Chapter contributes $500.00 annually to the MOAA National Scholarship Fund which provides grants, interest-free loans, and scholarships to students across the county. The state of Ohio has 26 students currently receiving this type of aid and the Central Ohio area has 3 of the 26 students receiving either a scholarship or grant. We do not have a dedicated POC for the program; however, the Board of Directors reviews this budget item on an annual basis for either increases, decreases, or elimination of support.
- Administrative Costs.Administrative costs include stationery and mailing to approximately 30 Chapter members who do not use email. Buying the speaker’s lunch when we have our luncheon speaker, memento gifts, and other miscellaneous expenses are also part of the administrative costs. Keeping costs at less than 10% of an operating budget is good and we will strive to bring this even lower.
OTHER KEY ACTIONS
- Financial. We conducted a financial audit early in the year with excellent results! CDR Walter Rey is the Chapter Treasurer.
- Foundation. An application was submitted to the State of Ohio for approval to establish a foundation within the Chapter in order to attract donations from corporations and to track donations from source to final use in a more efficient manner. Once approved, the next step is approval by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This will be approximately a year-long process.
- Membership. We are faced with the same problem all Veteran Service organizations face: a declining population from which to draw members. We have maintained our membership levels thus far as new members replace departing members. Growth of the membership will be one area to focus on in the upcoming year. In 2018, we also began using the MOAA Committee Module which is a real-time database for membership information. MOAA uses this database to validate the number of Chapter members. LCDR Nancy Rey is the 1stVice President for Membership.
- Training. Three Chapter personnel participated in a Regional Training event in Chicago this year, as sponsored and funded by MOAA National. The training focus was on legislation and Chapter leadership.
- Personal Affairs. We maintained our outreach through cards/notes/personal contact to families of deceased and ill Chapter members. Mrs. Gloria Taylor is the Chapter POC for Personal Affairs.
- Meetings. We continued our practice of monthly luncheons (nine luncheons with speakers). Our January meeting was reserved for elections, annual reports, and other business as necessary; in March, we participated in the Columbus Armed Forces Day luncheon; and our December meeting was the Holiday Party. We also continued convening monthly Board of Directors meetings.
It has been a real honor and privilege serving as Chapter President this past year. There is nothing more rewarding than working with people who want to help Veterans. I believe we do that well as you see from this list of accomplishments. We need to continue success, and this begins with individual members. I urge each of you to renew your membership and find a new member! 2019 will be a wonderful and rewarding year. Remember, there is always room for members on the Board of Directors and on Committees and anyone wanting to get more involved is truly welcome! I personally thank each of member for their past and future support.
Tommy H. Roberson
COL (ret), USA
President, MOAA Central Ohio Chapter