We are getting The Job Done: 2019 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 E-CONNECT
- Central Ohio Veterans Stand Down Support: Provided Three Volunteers; Planning Committee Member. 589 Veterans Attended with Over 7000 Interactions
- Fairfield County Veterans Stand Down: Provided Two Volunteers and the Stand Down Supported 127 Veterans
- Honor Flight Columbus: One Chapter Member is on the Board and Numerous Chapter Members Provide Support. Supported 8 Flights and 923 Veterans in 2019
- Adopt-A-Service Member Program: Donated over $1200 in Providing Monthly Care Package Support Across the World
- Veterans Court Mentor Program: Supported with 2 Volunteers: One Program Coordinator/Mentor and one Mentor. This program supports Veterans with PTSD in the Court Program
- Monthly Support for MOAA National Legislative Program
- MOAA Education Fund: Donated $500
- Partnered with Local ROTC Programs
- Established a 501(c)3 Foundation to improve fund raising and provide a tax incentive to individuals and businesses making donations
- Supported the Ohio Women Veterans Conference held at The Ohio State University with volunteers and an information booth.
- 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 9 out of 10 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 (E-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 15 October 2019 in the Exhibition Hall of the Greater Columbus Convention Center. 589 Veterans attended (501 men & 88 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 22 May 2019 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 Columbus is to honor our nation’s senior Veterans with a trip to Washington, D.C. to visit their war memorials at no cost to them. They can share their 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. There were eight flights from Columbus in 2019 carrying 923 Veterans.
- Adopt-A-Service Member. This program supports deployed servicemen and servicewomen and has been active for nine 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.
- MOAA National Legislative Program. Each month in our newsletter, the “E-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 “E-CONNECT” was a legislative alert highlighted on the MOAA website at http://www.moaa.org/takeaction/ entitled “Do Not Dismantle Military Medicine.” Two other key alerts are “Ensure Safe Housing for Military Families” and “Act Now to Help Veteran Caregivers.” 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.
- Local ROTC Program. We continue our local University ROTC and MOAA COC Partnership Program with The Ohio State University Army, Air Force, and Naval ROTC Detachments and with the Capital University Army ROTC Detachment. We continue to have representation from the Central Ohio Chapter attend events at both Universities including Capital University’s Army ROTC Scholarship Award and Swearing-In Ceremony, the “1 day for the KIA” 5K Run at the OSU Oval, the annual OSU ROTC “Rock Ceremony” honoring more than 900 OSU Students and Alumni who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their country. This ceremony also honors the thousands of Ohio State University Students and Alumni who have served their country and those who are currently serving on active duty. Other events supported are the OSU Joint Service Parade, the OSU AFROTC Dining Out, OSU AFROTC Cadet/Alumni Luncheon, Spring Awards Ceremonies, the AROTC Military Ball at Capital University and Commissioning Ceremonies at both the Ohio State University and Capital University.
Major Paul Matthews, USMC, (Ret.) and Captain Mark Lux, USA, (Ret.) are the MOAA COC points of contact for Capital University and The Ohio State University respectfully. The Central Ohio Chapter is also focused on providing Scholarship Funds to Cadets and Midshipmen at the Ohio State University and Capital University now that we have established our IRS approved 501(c)(3) MOAA COC Foundation. We are also working with Commander Dustin Martin, USN, (Ret.) Senior Naval Science Instructor at the Grove City High School to restart our JROTC Program Partnership with thirteen Columbus area JROTC Detachments.
- Establishment of a 501(c)3 Foundation. The Chapter supports numerous programs financially. We realized this financial support could not continue based only on income from yearly dues and through informal fundraising. The Chapter’s Board of made the decision to establish a Foundation which would act as the fundraising arm of the Chapter. The Ohio Attorney General, the Ohio Secretary of State, and the Internal Revenue provided their approval and operating guidelines. This approval allows the donors to the Foundation to have their donations recognized as tax-exempt donations. Along with establishing the Foundation, a formal fundraising strategy was devised and implemented in late 2019.
- Ohio Women Veterans Conference. Ohio is home to 67,000 women veterans and this conference is one of the largest gatherings of women veterans in the nation. It provides resources and networking opportunities for women in military service of all eras from WWII to present-day Iraq and Afghanistan. The Chapter supported the event with volunteers manning a MOAA “table” and publication to members of the event which took place on August 10, 2019 at the Student Union of OSU.
- 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.
- 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 May, 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 an 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! 2020 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