February 2024 Council and Chapter News

February 2024 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 chapters@moaa.org for possible inclusion in future editions.


Council and Chapter Affairs Welcomes New Team Member

Dena Kilgore recently joined the national MOAA staff as program director for Council and Chapter Affairs. She will be assisting the team by helping to grow and strengthen nationwide network of nearly 400 councils, chapters, and satellites. She comes to MOAA with deep background and more than 20 years’ experience managing chapter programs at the American Physical Therapy Association. We’re excited to have Dena on the team!


Final Call for Award Submissions

The deadline is Feb. 16 for submissions for the Levels of Excellence, Col. Marvin J. Harris Communications Award, Colonel Steve Strobridge Legislative Chair/Liaison Award, and Surviving Spouse Liaison Excellence Award. Find more details and access all four award portals.


Last Chance to Apply for a 2024 Community Outreach Grant

Each year, The MOAA Foundation awards grants to active MOAA councils and chapters providing services to local military and veteran families — either directly or through partnerships with other community organizations — in one of 10 areas of critical military and veteran family need: housing, food assistance, employment, health (including behavioral health), family support, community reintegration, financial assistance, legal assistance, transportation, and crisis relief.


To date, the Community Outreach Grant program has awarded nearly 200 grants totaling more than $550,000 through its seven annual cycles. To learn more about The MOAA Foundation and its programs and how you can donate, visit charities.moaa.org.


This year’s grant application window is open now and closes Feb. 29. Councils and chapters interested in applying can find grant criteria, reporting requirements, and the application at MOAA.org/communitygrant.


Final Call for Education Assistance Applications 

The deadline for renewals, new applications, and Senior Grants is March 1. Share with your network today, so students don't miss out on this opportunity. Visit charities.moaa.org/scholarship-fund/loan-programs/.


MOAA Database Transition Timeline and Impact

MOAA will be transitioning to a new association management system this spring. The current system and database are scheduled to be transitioned March 31. Leaders need to be advised that both the Committee Module and the Near Real Time Report will likely be “read-only” for a few weeks as the transition takes place. We ask you to plan accordingly. 


Surviving Spouse Corner: Know Your Benefits

Start with these resources to stay up to date on the benefits available to you.


By Pat Green, MOAA Surviving Spouse Advisory Council member


Many states have made legislative decisions that show appreciation for the sacrifices of servicemembers and veterans and their survivors. Benefits differ in each state, though. To know what the benefits are in your state, you need to do homework. Your research could result in monetary savings and opportunities.


Below are some resources and places to start. 

  • Veterans Service Office: There might be printed materials that enumerate county and state benefits for surviving spouses.

  • MOAA Council and Chapter Legislative Chairs: Ask about benefits they are aware of that apply to surviving spouses.

  • County Property Appraiser: Ask about a homestead exemption, a widow (widower) exemption, or an over age 65 exemption on your property tax or school tax. If income caps apply, what are your state’s limits and guidelines? In Florida, for example, there is a homestead, widow, and age exemption and property taxes on homesteaded homes. In addition, the property tax for homesteaded homes of disabled veterans is reduced by the same percentage of the disabilities affecting the veteran as certified by the VA. In Florida, that benefit passes to the unremarried surviving spouse and is transportable to a downsized home.

  • State Legislator. If you have income tax in your state, some or all of your military retirement pay, or Surviving Benefit Plan may be deducted from your reported income. Ask about any other benefits from the state.

  • Mayor’s Office. Call and ask about the benefits the city offers.


[RELATED: MOAA's Military State Report Card and Tax Guide]


Aside from taxes, some additional areas to explore are scholarship opportunities for surviving spouses and dependent children; state, county, or city policies giving employment and/or promotion preference to a surviving spouse; portability of a professional license or forgiveness of fees; and discounts on passes to parks and museums.


Read past Surviving Spouse Corners.


Did You Know?

Earn Advertising Revenue: Your chapter can earn $100 by including an advertisement in your newsletter for MOAA Insurance Plans. MOAA councils and chapters can enroll in the advertising program now through May 31. (Ads can be published later in the year.) Find additional details about the program and how to enroll at this link.


MOAA Legislative Action Center: MOAA members and supporters can stay up to date on key issues affecting the military and veterans’ community by registering in the online Legislative Action Center at MOAA.org/takeaction. This online tool also makes it easy to send pre-formatted messages to your elected officials. Encourage your network to sign up today.


Upcoming Events

Monthly Chapter Leader Virtual Roundtable: Join us Feb. 29 at 7 p.m. Eastern for a discussion about the Committee Module. Information on joining the meeting will be forwarded to all leaders soon. 


Find a complete list of Council and Chapter Affairs events online.


Upcoming Advocacy in Action Event/Council President’s Seminar

We have sent our first Advocacy in Action (AiA) email to all current council presidents and independent chapter presidents who don’t have a council in their state. We are asking each state leader to identify a state captain and name the volunteer leaders who will fill the allotted reimbursed billets for their state in traveling to Washington, D.C., for visits to elected officials. Find additional information at MOAA.org/takeaction, and look for follow-on communications regarding AiA 2024.


Virtual Teleconference and Travel Stipends Processed

The 2024 Virtual Teleconference and Travel Stipends have been processed for payment to the councils who requested these funds. As a reminder to council leaders making visits to their state chapters, please remember to complete and forward visit reports. Forms and submission instructions can be found online.


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.


Members of the Green Valley (Ariz.) Chapter are supporting a new local program through the Southwestern Blind Rehabilitation Center at Tucson VA Medical Center to assist blind veterans. The chapter donated needed gardening tools for program, including trowels, garden trays, hand hoes specially designed for raised beds, dribbles, pruners, seed starting trays, and gardening gloves. Read more.


On Dec. 2, several members of the Silver Strand (Calif.) Chapter met along with other senior retired military members in Coronado, Calif., inside a hangar aboard the Naval Air Station North Island for the Robotics and Aerial Drone Competition. The event, organized by the Robotics, Education and Competition Foundation, brought together students from over 20 high schools in the southern California area. The competition focused on students interested in STEM programs and emerging technology. Members of the chapter volunteered as judges at the competition, which provided opportunities to share their military backgrounds and answer questions.


National MOAA Travel Schedule

Here are the councils and chapters MOAA leaders will be visiting over the next few months.  


Contact the associated chapter if you would like to attend any of the following scheduled visits:

  • Feb. 3, Texas Council of Chapters, virtual, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), Council and Chapter Affairs (CCA)
  • Feb. 3, Gen. William Smallwood (Md.) Chapter, Waldorf, Capt. Jim Carman, USN (Ret), Council/Chapter and Member Support
  • Feb. 8, Gen. William O. Darby Rangers (Ark.) Chapter, Fort Smith, Col. Theodore J. Janosko, USA (Ret), MOAA board of directors (BoD)
  • Feb. 10 Greater Dallas and North Texas Chapter, Dallas, Capt. Paul J. Frost, USN (Ret), MOAA Financial and Benefits Education/Counseling/ Veterans Services
  • Feb. 12, Silver Strand (Calif.) Chapter, Coronado, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Feb. 15, Acadiana (La.) Chapter, Youngsville, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Feb. 20, Louisville (Ky.) Chapter, Louisville, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA, and Dena Kilgore, CCA
  • Feb. 22, Greater Shoals (Ala.) Chapter, Florence, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Feb. 22, Memphis (Tenn.) Chapter, Germantown, Karen Ruedisueli, MOAA Government Relations
  • March 5, West Alabama Chapter, virtual, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA, and Dena Kilgore, CCA
  • March 8, Tampa (Fla.) Chapter, Tampa, Capt. Jim Carman, USN (Ret), Council/Chapter and Member Support
  • March 15, Western Montana Chapter, Missoula, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA
  • March 16, Southwest Illinois Chapter, Scott AFB, speaker TBD
  • March 16, Four Rivers (Ky.) Chapter, Paducah, Dena Kilgore, CCA
  • March 17, Richmond Area (Va.) Chapter, Richmond, Karen Ruedisueli, MOAA Government Relations
  • March 19, Fort Knox Area (Ky.) Chapter, Fort Knox, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA
  • March 19, Augusta (Ga.) Chapter, Augusta, Dena Kilgore, CCA
  • March 21, Connecticut Council of Chapters, Hartford, Dena Kilgore, CCA
  • March 22, Kitsap (Wash.) Chapter, Silverdale, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA


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