Faulkner County Retired Teachers Association
The Faulkner County Retired Teachers Association met Tuesday, Sept. 17, in the Activity Center of Conway First Baptist Church. President Ed Bradberry called the meeting to order and welcomed 54 members and seven guests.
Polly Bakker introduced Carl Barger as the presenter for the afternoon. Carl is a local author who is a retired school superintendent and is a current member of the Conway School Board. He has also served on the Arkansas History Commission. As the author of four books, he shared with the group the process and procedures he employed in the writing of each. His books are “Cleburne County and It’s People” (a history of Cleburne County), “Dark Clouds Over Alabama,” “Swords and Plow Shares,” and “Ozark Mountain Girl of Courage.”
Matt Hughes, ARTA insurance representative, discussed insurance changes and options available to the members. Members were encouraged to review their current coverage and requirements and to make changes beginning Oct. 15.
Jay Fortner read the minutes from May and gave a summary of the executive board meetings during the summer. Betty Stevens presented the treasurer’s report.
The executive board met July 15 and discussed the following proposals: 1. A retired member from each school district in the county would be appointed to serve on the executive board. 2. A contest will be held each meeting encouraging members to bring prospective members. 3. Farm Bureau, Regions Bank, and Stephens Inc. will sponsor a banquet to be held in April for all 2014 Faulkner County retiring teachers.
President Bradberry called on Hervey Galloway who presented the concept that retired teachers in every school district in the county would form a chapter, which would be a part of the FCRTA. He requested input from members regarding the idea, meeting structure, and membership. Action on this will be taken later in the year.
Members of the Arkansas Retired Teachers Association are encouraged to volunteer in the community in areas of interest and expertise. Hervey Galloway reported that the membership recorded 545 hours for July and August. Thirty-two members reported a total of 7,745 hours for the 2012-2013 year.
Doretta Bright reported that the UCA Mock Interviews will be Wednesday, Oct. 23, from 1 to 4 p.m. Members were asked to sign up and encouraged to participate in this FCRTA/UCA partnership.
Judy McKnight, membership chairperson, handed out new yearbooks. Janie Bloxom, president elect, expressed appreciation to the host/hostesses. The members enjoyed refreshments and fellowship.
The next meeting will be at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 15 in the Activity Center of Conway First Baptist Church. All retired educators are invited to attend.
Beta Sigma Phi Laureate Alpha Omega
Laureate Alpha Omega chapter of Beta Sigma Phi met Sept. 24, at the home of Linda Alverson with nine members present. Our hostess served stuffed baked potatoes and wonderful homemade vanilla ice cream.
The business meeting was called to order by President Vernelle Crews who led the Opening Ritual. Treasurer Pam Rawls reported that all member dues have been paid and that we have received payment for our work at the fair, our annual ways and means project.
Plans were discussed for entertaining sister chapter Laureate Nu on Nov. 12 at Trillium Park and also for the BSP council Valentine Coronation event in February.
A proposed visit to a water color art fair at the Arkansas Studies Institute in Little Rock in October was discussed.
Service chairman, Judy Schultz, suggested that we attend the literacy banquet, fundraiser for the Bookcase for Every Child project, to be held Oct. 17 at Bob Courtway Middle School cafeteria. For our November project we will supply Bingo prizes for Heritage Nursing Home.
The annual BSP Preferential Tea will be held at the Wesley United Methodist Church fellowship hall on Oct. 22. The speaker will be Jim Davidson, founder of the Bookcase for Every Child literacy project. As host chapter, Xi Master has requested that canned goods for Wesley UMC’s food pantry be brought in lieu of door prizes.
Linda Alverson gave the program on the Statue of Liberty, our Lady with the Lamp, a beacon of light and hope for the world.
The next meeting will be the chapter’s annual Unbirthday Party.
Central Arkansas Model Railroad Club (CAMRC)
During a recent club meeting, members of the Central Arkansas Model Railroad Club (CAMRC) endorsed participation in the fifth annual “All Aboard! Lionels at Laman” holiday event at Laman Library in North Little Rock. The library will again host this attraction with Lionel® trains in operation on a large (12x24-foot) O-gauge train layout with holiday décor and two levels of tracks. This layout will be available for hands-on operations and fun for visitors to the Exhibit Hall within the library from Dec. 12-31 during open hours.
• Need More Operating Engineers
CAMRC members involved in this free attraction will be part of an adult team of about 90 “Santa’s Helpers” who will serve as Operating Engineers. The team also includes volunteers from Laman Library staff, area members of the Lionel Collectors Club of America (LCCA), and many unaffiliated train hobbyists in the region.
The “job” of an Operating Engineer (OE) is to show kids how to run the trains and action accessories, “talk trains” with visitors, and serve as ambassadors for the hobby. Several OEs from previous years will serve again this year, but many more volunteers will be needed this season because the 2013 version of the layout includes many additional features. The roster for 2013 will include new operating accessories, new trains, and a new state-of-the-art steam locomotive with the latest version of Lionel’s Legacy Control System built in, which enables wireless operation and dramatic sound effects.
Interested adults may call the library at 501-753-1720 to register. Previous experience with operating Lionel O-gauge trains will be helpful but is not required. Mentors will teach volunteer OEs what they need to know. The schedule for the training sessions is:
• Saturday, from Oct. 19, 9 a.m. to noon
• Saturday, from Nov. 9, 9 a.m. to noon
• Saturday, from Dec. 7, 9 a.m. to noon
Volunteer OEs may attend the one training session that is most convenient for them. For more information about the content of training sessions, contact Mike Mottler in Conway by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 501-327-8747.
• What to Expect as an OE
Graduates of the training sessions will be prepared to describe the “gee whiz” features of the layout to visitors and demonstrate to kids how to blow the onboard horn or whistle, ring the train bell, and activate “Crew Talk,” which enables some trains to “talk.” They’ll also demonstrate the operating accessories: log dump cars, oil derricks, trackside crossing gates, and other action accessories – including a model Nuclear Reactor.
Operating Engineers who commit to serve three six-hour shifts will receive a Lionel T-shirt as a memento and will be invited to a celebration dinner in early January 2014. The Volunteer of the Season will receive a train-related award in recognition of outstanding service to visiting families.
• Endorsed by LCCA
The “All Aboard! Lionels at Laman” event is officially sanctioned by the LCCA, which recognizes it as one of the most-attended activities of its kind in the country held under its auspices. During the holiday seasons of 2011 and 2012, more than 10,000 visitors dropped by the library to enjoy the trains and amazing operating accessories.
Members of the Progressive Club began their first meeting of the 2013-2014 year on Monday, Sept. 9, with an evening meal hosted by Lloyd and Connie Westbrook at their Con-L Ranch.
President Beverley Freiley led the group in planning for the new program year.
New officers for the 2013-2014 year are: president Freiley; 1st vice-president Connie Westbrook; 2nd vice-president Wendelene Smith; recording secretary Judie Stuart; corresponding secretary Jo Anne Henderson; treasurer Polly Bruckner; parliamentarian Ola Hawks; and historian/reporter Sue Wynkoop.
The Progressive Club’s purposes include awarding an annual scholarship to a deserving high school senior and a special service project. For information about the club, call 327-2546.
The Alpha Iota Chapter of Kappa Kappa Iota will meet at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7, at the Faulkner County Library. The theme of the program will be “Cradle Care.”
Hostesses will be Hilda Lovell, Sandy Mason and Karen Matthews. Members should bring baby items or a cash donation for Cradle Care, which is the chapter’s philanthropic project for October. They should bring $1 for the raffle item and $1 for the Arkansas Epsilon State Scholarship fund.
Parkinson’s Disease Support Group
The Parkinson’s Disease Support Group will meet at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9, at the McGee Center, 3800 College Ave.
A guest speaker is scheduled to attend. All persons interested in learning more about Parkinson’s disease and networking with other Parkinson’s disease patients and caregivers are invited to attend this free, fun, informative meeting.
For additional information, call 501-329-6282 or 501-246-1972.