Recent news from The MOAA Newsletter. View previous editions of Council and Chapter News here. Send updates about your affiliate’s activities to firstname.lastname@example.org for possible inclusion in future editions.
Congratulations to the 2021 Levels of Excellence Award Winners!
MOAA is pleased to announce the winners of the annual council and chapter levels of Excellence Awards for performance in 2020.
Out of just over 400 MOAA affiliates, 162 councils and chapters nominated themselves for awards this year. Input from those who submitted a package for consideration was independently evaluated by two members of the Council and Chapter Affairs Committee of the MOAA board of directors. Questions had been adjusted to recognize a necessary shift away from in-person events due to the pandemic, and committee members’ evaluations, along with objective performance data, was weighed according to a long-established grading scale. All 162 councils and chapters didn’t just maintain satisfactory performance but also persevered and excelled during the pandemic, earning them all five-star awards.
These councils and chapters and their volunteer leaders and members found new and innovative ways to serve their communities and help veterans, excelled in grassroots advocacy by nurturing relationships and educating elected officials (often virtually), and grew our shared membership even without in-person meetings. Visit MOAA's website to view the list of award-winning councils and chapters and learn more about the award.
National MOAA will fund travel and host the Levels of Excellence Award winners at the association’s annual meeting and awards celebration in Arlington, Va., in October.
Note: We are closely monitoring the situation with regard to the COVID-19 virus. We will ensure proper measures are in place to protect attendees and comply with CDC guidelines for large gatherings and any local or state restrictions in effect.
Important Communications Award Changes
Review these criteria changes to ensure your chapter’s success in the program.
In a few months, councils and chapters will have the opportunity to enter their newsletters and websites in the Col. Marvin J. Harris Communications Award program. To ensure your affiliate’s eligibility and success in the contest, review the following award criteria and be sure to implement necessary changes before the end of the year.
New to the 2021 awards, in order to submit an award entry, and therefore qualify for an award, council and chapter newsletters (print or e-newsletter) and websites must meet the following criteria:
- Use the current MOAA logo with registered trademarkâ (not TM). Download the correct logo and find MOAA’s brand book here.
- Does not include partisan political content. National MOAA has helpful information for members, leaders, and affiliates about prohibited activities, guidance on dealing with divisive issues, and more. Read more.
- Does not use service logos. Military service seals and logos are trademarks belonging to the individual services and not permitted for use in affiliate communications.
Mark your calendars for these MOAA events.
Monthly Chapter Leader Virtual Roundtable: Join us at 7 p.m. Eastern on Sept. 30 for a discussion about recruiting and retention challenges, resources, and best practices. Click here to join at the time of the meeting.
Annual Meeting: MOAA’s 2021 annual meeting and Levels of Excellence Awards Dinner will take place Oct. 15 at the Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel in Arlington, Va. Find the schedule of events and registration information at www.moaa.org/annualmeeting2021.
Surviving Spouse Corner: Resources for Caregivers
Caregivers deal with a host of challenges. Here are some resources that can help.
By Barbara Bowman, Surviving Spouse Advisory Council member
Each caregiving journey is unique. My role of caregiver for my husband expanded from not only getting him to medical care but also making legal decisions in his stead. Common issues that affect most caregivers include navigating VA procedures, obtaining help with specific disabilities and diseases, learning how to deal with dementia, organizing paperwork, and knowing what legal documents are needed with regard to consent issues, legal capacity, and decision making. During my journey as a caregiver, I found the following resources to be beneficial:
- Talk with members of your local chapter, join the Surviving Spouse Virtual Chapter whose outreach includes current spouses (email@example.com), and take a look at pertinent MOAA publications. Veterans service organizations will help with disability claims, requests for respite care, and pay for long term care, as well as other benefits. The VA and MOAA have planning brochures and guidebooks to help you collect and organize necessary paperwork.
- Health agencies. Search for caregiver resources on the National Institutes of Health and Department of Health and Human Services websites to find helpful information.
- Disease-specific associations. Contact organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association, the ALS Association, and the American Heart Association. These groups have educational information and support groups available to caregivers.
- Military family support groups. TAPS, Gold Star Wives of America, and American Gold Star Mothers, and others provide a wide variety of support services to military families and friends.
- Respite care. Organizations such as the Elizabeth Dole Foundation’s Hidden Heroes and the Yellow Ribbon Fund provide resources and support specifically tailored to military caregivers.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, caregivers need to take care of themselves. Eat healthful foods, stay active, ask for help, and pamper yourself. Like the pre-flight instruction says, “Put your face mask on first.” If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of your loved one.
Did You Know? Helpful Resources, Information, and Benefits
Don’t overlook these helpful tools from national MOAA.
Chapter dues portal: Your chapter can use the chapter dues portal on national MOAA’s website. This platform allows members to join, renew, and/or donate to your chapter. Your chapter has the capability to set up dues amounts for members and surviving spouse members. Some chapters also use the donation function to facilitate electronic payments from members for luncheons and other chapter events. If you have any questions about the dues portal, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Member recognition: You can recognize a member of your council or chapter for contributions that are above and beyond the call of duty. To recognize a member, nominate them for one of national MOAA’s awards, including the Leadership Award, Outstanding Service Award, President’s Award, and Chairman’s Award as well as 100-year birthday certificates. Submit an award nomination online.
MOAA Store Update
The MOAA store is expected to be back in operation in October. We will notify affiliates as soon as a date is known. Thank you for your patience.
Get Newsletter Content From National MOAA
Need some content to supplement your chapter’s newsletter? The White Label Newsletter Template includes information, articles, and helpful tips from national MOAA that already are formatted for inclusion in your newsletter. The content is updated every month to ensure you are receiving timely, relevant information.
From the Field
MOAA chapters give back to their communities through fundraising efforts, community-service projects, scholarship programs, and other initiatives. Here are some recent activities.
The Hawaii Aloha Chapter recently supported the Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu with a $300 donation. Fisher House used the donation to purchase needed paper goods and supplies.
The Bluegrass (Ky.) Chapter donated funds to support the establishment of a Fisher House on the Sousley campus of the VA Health Care System in Lexington. During the chapter’s July 30 meeting, President Col. Tom Peters, USAF (Ret), presented a $500 check to Tom Kenny, president of Friends of Lexington Fisher House. Kenny is leading the fundraising campaign to establish the Fisher House. Ground-breaking ceremonies are expected to take place soon.
St. Petersburg Area (Fla.) Chapter member Maj. John Kieffer, USA (Ret), was awarded in May the Silver Star Medal for gallantry in combat, 50 years after serving in Vietnam. Rep. Charlie Crist presented Kieffer the medal at a Memorial Day ceremony in Saint Petersburg attended by friends and fellow veterans.
The Olympic Peninsula (Wash.) Chapter helped to ensure local homeless veterans could maintain connection to vital resources and support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by purchasing several computers and tablet devices for residents at Sarge’s Place and Hobucket House. The chapter used grant money totaling more than $3,000 from The MOAA Foundation as well as $1,850 in donations from chapter members to purchase the devices and necessary components.
National MOAA Travel Schedule
Here are the councils and chapters MOAA leaders will be visiting over the next few months.
Please note: We are aware of the uncertainty surrounding the resurgence of the COVID-19 virus. We are still planning to execute scheduled chapter visits and continue to schedule visits as requests come in. Our rule of thumb at this point (subject to change) is to make the visit only if all required/appropriate safety measures are in place AND the traveler is fully vaccinated and comfortable with the trip. Chapters with scheduled visits are requested to inform Council and Chapter Affairs of the local conditions and safety requirements one week prior to the visit.
Contact the associated chapter if you would like to attend any of the following scheduled visits:
- Sept. 7, First Flight (N.C.) Chapter, Southern Shores, Capt. Frank Michael, USN (Ret), program director, Council and Chapter Affairs (CCA)
- Sept. 9, Montgomery Area (Ala.) Chapter, Montgomery, Capt. Frank Michael, USN (Ret), program director, CCA
- Sept. 10, Admiral Arleigh Burke (Colo.) Chapter, Broomfield, Capt. Erin E. Stone JAGC, USN (Ret), senior director, CCA
- Sept. 11, Mile High (Colo.) Chapter, Aurora, Capt. Erin E. Stone JAGC, USN (Ret), senior director, CCA
- Sept. 11, retiree appreciation day, Camp Pendleton, Calif., Capt. Paul Frost, USN (Ret), program director, Financial and Benefits Education/Counseling/Veterans Services
- Sept. 14, Southeastern NC Chapter, Wrightsville Beach, Capt. Erin E. Stone JAGC, USN (Ret), senior director, CCA
- Sept. 16, Ohio Western Reserve Chapter, virtual, Col. Shane Ostrom, USAF (Ret), program director, Financial and Benefits Education/Counseling
- Sept. 17-18, Leadership Workshop, Raleigh, N.C., various
- Sept. 18, New Hampshire Chapter, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Col. Jim O'Brien, USAF (Ret), MOAA chief operating officer
- Sept. 20, Central Texas Chapter, Temple, Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret), MOAA president and CEO
- Sept. 20, Upper Cumberland (Tenn.) Chapter, Crossville, Capt. Frank Michael, USN (Ret), program director, CCA
- Sept. 21, Augusta (Ga.) Chapter and Georgia Council of Chapters, Augusta, Capt. Frank Michael, USN (Ret), program director, CCA
- Sept. 23, Star Fort (S.C.) Chapter, Greenwood, Chaplain (Col.) Sam Boone, USA (Ret), MOAA board of directors
- Sept. 24, Bluegrass (Ky.) Chapter, Lexington, Capt. Frank Michael, USN (Ret), program director, CCA
- Sept. 25, retiree appreciation day, Minneapolis, Col. Shane Ostrom, USAF (Ret), program director, Financial and Benefits Education/Counseling
- Oct. 5, Virginia Council of Chapters, Williamsburg, Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret), MOAA president and CEO
- Oct. 6, Georgia Council of Chapters, Fort Benning, Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret), MOAA president and CEO
- Oct. 16, retiree appreciation day, New London, Conn., Capt. Paul Frost, USN (Ret), program director, Financial and Benefits Education/Counseling/Veterans Services
- Oct. 19, East-Central Alabama Chapter, Auburn, Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret), MOAA president and CEO
- Oct. 20, Fort Knox Area (Ky.) Chapter, Fort Knox, Rear Adm. Tom Jurkowsky, USN (Ret), MOAA board of directors
- Oct. 26, Greater Baton Rouge Area (La.) Chapter, Baton Rouge, Capt. Frank Michael, USN (Ret), program director, CCA
- Oct. 28, Central Virginia Chapter, Keswick, Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret), MOAA president and CEO, and Capt. Erin E. Stone JAGC, USN (Ret), senior director, CCA
- Oct. 28, Alamo (Texas) Chapter, San Antonio, Col. Dan Merry, USAF (Ret), vice president, Government Relations
- Oct. 28, Sumner (Tenn.) Chapter, Hendersonville, Col. Don Thompson, USAF (Ret), MOAA Board of Directors
- Oct. 30, Arkansas Council of Chapters, Conway, Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret), MOAA president and CEO
- Nov. 6, South Carolina Council of Chapters, Aiken, Col. Shane Ostrom, USAF (Ret), program director, Financial and Benefits Education/Counseling
- Nov. 6, Oklahoma Council of Chapters, Norman, Capt. Erin E. Stone JAGC, USN (Ret), senior director, CCA
- Nov. 10, Cumberland Valley (Pa.) Chapter, Carlisle, Capt. Frank Michael, USN (Ret), program director, CCA
- Nov. 10, Southwest Oklahoma Chapter, Lawton, Capt. Erin E. Stone JAGC, USN (Ret), senior director, CCA
- Nov. 11, MOAA-East Iowa Waterloo, Waterloo, Capt. Erin E. Stone JAGC, USN (Ret), senior director, CCA
- Nov. 12, Middle Georgia Chapter, location TBD, Capt. Jim Carman, USN (Ret), vice president, Council/Chapter and Member Support
- Nov. 16, Solano County (Calif.) Chapter, Fairfield, Capt. Frank Michael, USN (Ret), program director, CCA
- Nov. 18, Palm Springs (Calif.) Chapter, Palm Springs, Capt. Erin E. Stone JAGC, USN (Ret), senior director, CCA
- Nov. 19-20, Leadership Workshop, Southern California, various
- Nov. 30, Historic Mayport (Fla.) Chapter, Mayport, Capt. Frank Michael, USN (Ret), program director, CCA
To request a visit to your affiliate, go to the council and chapter administration section of MOAA.org. We will do our best to support the visit during your desired timeframes.
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