January 2022 Council and Chapter News

January 2022 Council and Chapter News

Recent news from The MOAA Newsletter. View previous editions of Council and Chapter News here. Send updates about your affiliate’s activities to blaird@moaa.org for possible inclusion in future editions.


Enter Your Affiliate’s Newsletter, Website in the Communications Award Contest

The deadline to enter the annual Col. Marvin J. Harris Communications Award Contest is Feb. 1. Council and chapter leaders can submit entries to be recognized as a four- or five-star winner in two categories of competition: 1) print newsletters and electronic newsletters and 2) websites.


Entries are accepted through an online submission platform. Find more details about the contest.


The 2022 Community Outreach Grant Cycle Is Now Open!

The MOAA Foundation is accepting applications until Feb. 28 for its 2022 Community Outreach Grants. To be eligible to receive a grant, MOAA councils or chapters must meet basic administration requirements and be actively involved in the delivery of community services supporting currently serving, veterans, and their families in one of 10 areas of critical family need: housing, food assistance, employment, health (including behavioral health), family support, community reintegration, financial assistance, legal assistance, transportation, and emergency relief efforts.


In 2021, 33 MOAA chapters received grants totaling more than $87,000.


Learn more about the grants, make a donation, and find the application at www.moaa.org/foundation.


Finance an Outreach Event or Increase Awareness of Your Council or Chapter

The 2022 MOAA Community Sponsorship Program can help. Here’s how to apply.


Looking for ways to finance a council or chapter community event? Apply for sponsorship of up to $800 for council events or $300 for chapter events. Councils and chapters may apply to receive funds for one event per calendar year. Sponsorship will be considered for events such as council conventions, chapter events that recognize ROTC and Junior ROTC cadets and enhance the chapter’s relationship with cadets’ schools, chapter activities that help to raise awareness of the chapter in the community (including recruiting events) and educate community members about benefits, etcetera.  Funds also may be used to purchase items, including signs, banners, and tablecloths, for use in such events.


Apply by visiting MOAA's website and filling out and submitting the online request form. MOAA will process requests in the order received and, if approved, transfer funds via Electronic Funds Transfer.



Coming Soon: Social Media Training for Chapter Leaders

In 2022, MOAA's Communications Team will roll out a training program to enable chapter leaders to confidently leverage social media in their membership and advocacy efforts.  


Social media can be a powerful tool for chapters to energize their current membership, retain new members, and attract other members of the military community. MOAA recognizes the value an increased presence social media can bring to a local level. In 2022, MOAA's Communications Team will roll out a 45-minute training program, which will be also accessible virtually, to teach participants about major platforms, trends, best practices, and how to use social media as a tool to reach their goals.


During the training you will learn how to:

  • Start your social presence from scratch;
  • Expand your interaction with engaging posts, events, and more;
  • Explore beyond Facebook with Twitter, Instagram, and other useful platforms;
  • Integrate your social presence with your website; and
  • Promote your newsletter, share your photos and videos, and much more.


For more information, join us Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. Eastern for the monthly Chapter Leader Virtual Roundtable for a presentation and discussion on the MOAA social media cookbook. Click here to join the meeting at the time of the event.


Surviving Spouse Corner: Reflecting on 2021

Here’s a look at some of the Surviving Spouse Advisory Council’s accomplishments over the past year.


By Gail Joyce, 2021 chair, Surviving Spouse Advisory Council


The Surviving Spouse Advisory Council (SSAC) began 2021 once again dealing with the fallout of the pandemic. Yet, we continued to support surviving spouses and spouses in a positive way and promote MOAA’s strategic priorities at every opportunity through education, encouragement, and engagement. We are proud of what we were able to accomplish during a most unsettling time.


Some of our accomplishments for this year include:


Surviving Spouse Liaison Training. SSAC members led surviving spouse liaison trainings during virtual meetings of four Regional Leadership Workshops and one in-person workshop. Average attendance for each workshop was 120, with 20 attending the surviving spouse liaison training. The year’s final workshop was held in person in San Diego, where about 125 council and chapter leaders registered and 26 participated in our training. SSAC members continue to finetune the training based on evaluations and comments from participants.


Surviving Spouse Virtual Chapter. Membership continues to grow, with 177 members from 35 states. The chapter now meets monthly, on the third Tuesday of each month.  Every other month is a business meeting with a speaker and the other months are an informal social gathering to exchange information and ideas. Attendance varies, but usually includes 30 at the social meetings and about 60 at a more formal meeting. Former SSAC member Micki Costello is president with Gail Joyce as vice president of the virtual chapter. For more information, visit the Surviving Spouse section of MOAA.org.


Articles for MOAA Newsletters. SSAC members write monthly Surviving Spouse Corners, which are published on the first Thursday of each month in The MOAA Newsletter. Scroll to the “Member Spotlight” section and click on the “Surviving Spouse Corner” item. Read past Surviving Spouse Corners.


Surviving Spouse Liaison Excellence Award. This year, we were able to choose two excellent recipients of the award — one representing a chapter and one representing a council. Read more about the recipients, Donna Martin of the Greater Birmingham (Ala.) Chapter, and Sharon Douglas of the Arizona Council of Chapters. Congratulations to two very deserving, hardworking surviving spouses!


Surviving Spouse/Spouse Summit. The highlight of the year was a new endeavor, “The Surviving Spouse/Spouse Summit,” held during the MOAA annual meeting in October in Arlington, Va. Over 75 surviving spouses, spouses, and military members attended the inaugural two-hour event that featured five panelists who spoke about relevant issues.


Pat Green, of the SSAC, moderated the panel discussion and the lively question-and-answer session that followed. Overall, it was a huge success and something we plan to build on for future events. 


Chapter Leaders Roundtable Discussion. SSAC members participated in the roundtable discussions about important chapter issues. This was an excellent opportunity for SSAC members to get to know chapter leaders from other states. 


MOAA Surviving Spouses and Friends Facebook Group. This group has over 600 members and provides updated information on important surviving spouse issues, especially regarding the Surviving Benefit Plan/Dependency and Indemnity Compensation offset. Former SSAC member Kathy Prout is the administrator, with current members Kathy Thorp and Nancy Mullen assisting. 


Future Projects. We will continue to work on increasing surviving spouse membership for chapters, national MOAA, and the virtual chapter. We plan to develop a webinar on surviving spouse and spouse issues, and we will continue work on organizing future Surviving Spouse/Spouse Summits. Improving the training guidelines and support materials will also be at the top of our to-do list for 2022. We look forward to a very productive and exciting 2022.


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 Susquehanna (Md.) Chapter held a Veterans Day poster and essay contest for Harford County students. The chapter enlisted the help of the Harford County Veterans Commission to serve on the planning committee and to include the contest winners' awards presentation during their annual Veterans Resource Fair held each November.


The poster contest theme was "What is a Veteran?" and asked elementary and middle school students to create a work of original poster art that symbolized Veterans Day and recognized current or past veterans to include those who died while serving our country. The essay contest had high school students answer the question "What does Veterans Day mean to me?"


The top three winners in each category received a cash prize and chapter challenge coin. All participants received a certificate of participation.


The Northwest Arkansas Chapter presented its annual awards scholarships to eight military veterans or veteran family members attending the University of Arkansas. The scholarships are based on academic performance, educational goals, and career ambitions. Col. Robert Crawford, USA (Ret), chapter president, presented the $500 scholarship checks for the spring semester at the University of Arkansas during two recent ceremonies.


The Los Alamitos Area (Calif.) Chapter recently donated a generator to the Bob Hope USO. In the past, the chapter purchased coffee for the Bob Hope USO offices at John Wayne Orange County Airport but inquired about how members could further support the needs of the USO. The generator will be taken with USO staff when assisting others.


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:

  • Jan. 7, Florida Council of Chapters, Orlando, Gen. Walter L. Sharp, USA (Ret), chairman, MOAA board of directors (BoD); various MOAA staff
  • Jan. 10, Lee Coast (Fla.) Chapter, Fort Meyers, Capt. Jim Carman, USN (Ret), vice president Council/Chapter and Member Support
  • Jan. 12, Middle Georgia Chapter, Perry, Capt. Jim Carman, USN (Ret), vice president Council/Chapter and Member Support
  • Jan. 12, Heritage (Va.) Chapter, virtual, Lt. Col. Ernest Robinson, USMCR, MOAA BoD
  • Jan. 12, Susquehanna (Md.) Chapter, virtual, Capt. Frank J. Michael USN (Ret), program director, Council and Chapter Affairs (CCA)
  • Jan. 14, Virginia Council of Chapters, virtual, Capt. Jim Carman, USN (Ret), vice president Council/Chapter and Member Support
  • Jan. 15, Arizona Chapter, Scottsdale, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), program director, CCA
  • Jan. 18, Greater Granbury (Texas) Chapter, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), program director, CCA
  • Jan. 18, Jayhawk (Kan.) Chapter, Lawrence, Capt. Erin E. Stone, JAGC, USN (Ret), senior director, CCA
  • Jan. 19, Sunflower (Kan.) Chapter, Overland Park, Capt. Erin E. Stone, JAGC, USN (Ret), senior director, CCA
  • Jan. 20, Virginia Peninsula Chapter, Eustis, Maj. Gen. Joseph Lynch, USAF (Ret), general counsel, corporate secretary
  • Jan. 20, Monterey County Chapter, Monterey, Capt. Marvin Heinze, USN (Ret), MOAA BoD
  • Jan. 21, Indian River (Fla.) Chapter, Vero Beach, Capt. Erin E. Stone, JAGC, USN (Ret), senior director, CCA
  • Jan. 21, Mahoning-Shenango Valleys (Ohio) Chapter, Canfield, Col. Ted Janosko, USA (Ret), MOAA BoD
  • Jan. 21, St. Petersburg Area (Fla.) Chapter, Seminole, Lt. Col. Walter Smiley, USA (Ret), MOAA BoD
  • Feb. 8, Southeastern New England Chapter, speaker TBD
  • Feb. 9, Mississippi Coast Chapter, Biloxi, Speaker TBD
  • Feb. 10, Norman (Okla.) Chapter, Norman, Capt. Erin E. Stone, JAGC, USN (Ret), senior director, CCA
  • Feb. 16, Ancient City (Fla.) Chapter, St. Augustine, Capt. Erin E. Stone, JAGC, USN (Ret), senior director, CCA
  • Feb. 16, Northeast Florida Chapter, Jacksonville, Capt. Erin E. Stone, JAGC, USN (Ret), senior director, CCA
  • Feb. 19, Superstition Mountain (Ariz.) Chapter, Mesa, Feb. 19, Capt. Frank J. Michael (USN) Ret, program director, CCA
  • Feb. 23, Clearwater (Fla.) Chapter, Clearwater, speaker TBD

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