July 2020 President’s Corner
OPENING REMARKS: Thousands of years ago, a Chinese sage came up with the saying: “May you live in interesting times.” For better or worse, these ARE interesting times. But there are bright spots! One of the bright spots is that the work of your board members are now showing fruit; it is an exciting time for the Chapter. May was filed with legislative activities on both state and federal levels. Our Foundation plans are moving forward at a pace where we can start contacting foundations and corporations for grants and donations. The Convention planning is on schedule. We are in close contact with the Ohio National Guard and the ROTC programs we support. New members are joining and existing members are renewing at an encouraging pace.
All this progress is also helping us “navigate the uncertain waters” with respect to reopening the Chapter to meetings and activities in person. Everyone I talk to is tired of sheltering in place, yet many of us have to be cautious still.
In this President’s Corner I summarize several of the activities conducted in May. Several board members’ detailed reports follow.
LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITIES: In the last newsletter (CONNECT), I reported that on May 13, at least eight board members and past presidents gave oral or written testimony on behalf of our Public Health and NOAA officers and service members. We are joining with other Ohio chapters to push for these service members to be eligible for State of Ohio veterans’ ID cards.
I can now report that from May 19 – 28, I joined a relatively new chapter member to represent the Ohio Council of Chapters in the national MOAA Virtual Storming the Hill (VSTH) (federal). The mission of this VSTH was to stop the military from reducing 18,000 medical billets (20% of the total) and over fifty Military Health Facilities. COL (retired) Sharon Stanley is with the virtual MOAA Uniformed Services Nurse Advocates (a national chapter) who has served 34 years in the Army (12 active) years (including Vietnam and the first Gulf War). She has over 40 years’ experience in public health, and she knows the issues surrounding the Medical Health Services Act (which MOAA wants repealed). We talked to seven of the representatives of Ohio or their staffs. Her discussions with the representatives were very professional and spot on. I learned a lot from these conversations, and I am very pleased that your chapter was well represented in the VSOTH.
Jen Travers’ Federal News column is below. There is a plethora of other legislative bills in Congress which MOAA takes an interest in.
FOUNDATION: In last month’s newsletter I reported that your Foundation board is working toward receiving donations from corporations and foundations. Bill Tate gave us an excellent report on the findings from his research: our main push initially should be to request grant monies from corporate and community foundations. At the June 10 board meeting, five board members were appointed to individually researching one foundation apiece. (Pete Wilkinson is still working with Cardinal Health for donations.) Bill Tate will be the coordinator of this effort.
An important part of our research is learning how to apply for grants. We only have one board member with experience in applying for grants; he has so many irons in his fire that we could use some more help. If you have experience working with or for a foundation, please let me/us know!
As always, we are seeking donations from our members. At the bottom of this newsletter is a place for readers to make donations to our Chapter Foundation. We need support from as many members and friends as possible: this is how your programs will get funded in 2021.
SUGGESTION: for those of you who make purchases from Amazon, check out Amazon Smile. Your chapter is registered as a charitable organization: you can make purchases in the Smile program and designate our chapter as your organization. Each purchase you make under the Amazon Smile program results in a small donation to the Chapter: all it takes is a few extra minutes while you shop!
MEMBERSHIP: This month’s membership report is found below. We are making strides is keeping members and finding new members! Everyone’s help is needed, if only by renewing your membership every year! Several of the new members from the past year are becoming active in the Chapter. Membership VP Nancy Rey is instrumental in the process of bringing in new members and retaining all of us, but many members have also been actively involved in recruiting and retention efforts.
The emergency has unfortunately slowed one of our plans: we want to have activities and some meetings after hours both to socialize and to give opportunities to members who can’t attend during the day. We may be able to do something in August or September, but things are still uncertain. Also, our community may be open, yet many of us could still be unable to attend. At the end of the newsletter is a request for you to share with us your situation: if we have a luncheon later this summer, do you anticipate being able to attend or will you continue to shelter? This will help us to decide on July 8 if we could hold a luncheon or meal in August.
2021 STATE OF OHIO CONVENTION: There is much good news to report on progress of planning for our October 2021 Convention. The goal of having an operational committee by June 2020 has been achieved! George Williams, the Co-Chair, has been lining up speakers from MOAA National and other organizations. He is coordinating with the committee chair of last September’s convention in Cincinnati who is helping us with our planning. We have the second co-chair/assistant appointed. However, we are still seeking volunteers to take one of the three positions remaining: 1) Facilities/food service coordinator; 2) Publicity; and 3) Marketing, as well as volunteers who will assist the coordinators in their tasks. Committee members will be working from home until a new-normal has been reached.
We now have dates for the Convention: 1-2-3 October 2021. OSU football is scheduled to play in Nebraska.
Board of Directors: July 8, 2020, teleconference.
Luncheon: July’s luncheon is CANCELLED. We will inform you in the next issue of CONNECT whether or not there will be a luncheon or other activity in August.
What’s on Your Mind: I would like to know what is on your mind. Please get in touch with me if you have concerns about our chapter or suggestions to improve what we do, or you wish to volunteer. I will make certain we consider your suggestions and try to correct any problems. Call me at 614-306-7548 or email me at williamradcliffeLTC@google.com.