November 2023 Council and Chapter News

November 2023 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 for possible inclusion in future editions.


Change to National-Level Awards Timeline

Council and Chapter Affairs will begin accepting nominations in mid-December for all four national-level awards: Levels of Excellence, Col. Marvin J. Harris Communications Award, Colonel Steve Strobridge Legislative Chair/Liaison Award, and Surviving Spouse Liaison Excellence Award. Coming soon, a revised Council and Chapter Awards page will provide one place to access all four award portals. The early submission is necessary for all awards to be adjudicated and available for presentation by mid-April 2024. 


2024 Community Outreach Grant Cycle Begins Dec. 1

The MOAA Foundation will start accepting applications Dec. 1 for its 2024 Community Outreach Grants. Grants of up to $5,000 are offered to MOAA councils or 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 strength, community reintegration, financial assistance, legal assistance, transportation, and emergency relief. The application website and grant criteria can be found here. 


Giving Tuesday and MOAA Charities

You can support MOAA Charities (The MOAA Foundation and the MOAA Scholarship Fund) on Giving Tuesday by making a donation Nov. 28 to the MOAA Scholarship Fund and The MOAA Foundation. Your Giving Tuesday donation will ensure our community has the support of our charities every day of the year. Visit


Surviving Spouse Corner: Meet the 2023 Surviving Spouse Liaison Excellence Award Winners

These two chapters leaders have proven their passion for and commitment to helping surviving spouses.


By MOAA Staff


Each year, MOAA recognizes surviving spouse liaisons who have made outstanding contributions in one or more of the following Surviving Spouse Advisory Council mission goals: educate, encourage, and engage. The 2023 recipients of the Surviving Spouse Liaison Excellence Award are:


Cheryl Toland, surviving spouse liaison, Washington Council of Chapters and Mount Rainier Chapter: Whether she’s there to provide comfort through a hug or help track down needed forms and information, Toland has made it her mission to be there for surviving spouses during their time of grief. She keeps abreast of national and military regulatory changes and communicates those to chapter members. This also includes keeping in contact with local legislators and members of Congress, and their staffs, to make sure sudden changes don’t cause an unexpected impact on a grieving family. Read more about Toland’s efforts.


Lt. Col. Roy Yenchesky, USA (Ret), surviving spouse liaison, Wichita (Kan.) Chapter: In addition to keeping members of his chapter updated about military survivor benefits, Yenchesky also maintains close contact with chapter officers and members whenever the chapter has an illness or loss in its membership to ensure the spouse has the support he or she needs. He contacts surviving spouses and families of deceased members and assists them in contacting the applicable support agencies so benefits are not interrupted or missed, sends letters of condolence, and volunteers any assistance grieving family members might request in processing benefits. He also assists chapter members in obtaining military honors for funerals through local military organizations or veterans groups and helps family members procure new ID cards as needed. Read more about Yenchesky’s efforts.


Read past Surviving Spouse Corners.


Did You Know?

Editing You Chapter’s Web Presence. To make changes to your affiliate’s webpage on, log into the editing portal. You can find further instructions at this link. Please note you will need both the chapter’s alias and chapter ID number to log in. If you do not have access to your chapter’s alias or ID number, contact Joey Elliott at or (800) 234-6622, ext. 168.


National MOAA Visits. Chapters are eligible for a national MOAA visit every two to three years, and councils are eligible each year. If you fall within this eligibility time frame, consider requesting a visit. These visits provide an excellent opportunity for MOAA senior leaders to provide an association update, take questions and concerns from council/chapter leaders and members, and gather information to develop and provide tailored, national-level resources.  Please provide full and accurate details about your meetings when filling out the form and direct any questions to Fahria Hossain at or (800) 234-6622, ext. 120.


Nominations for National MOAA Awards. To nominate individuals for awards, complete the form at this link. You can also review the recent MOAA awards program roundtable. If you have any questions or concerns, contact Fahria Hossain at or (800) 234-6622, ext. 120. 


Upcoming Events

Council President/Independent Chapter President Meeting: Nov. 16, agenda and additional information coming soon. Join here at the time of the meeting. (ID: 274 373 888 212; kKe35A)


Monthly Chapter Leader Virtual Roundtable: Join us Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. Eastern for a discussion about community outreach. Join here at the time of the meeting. (ID: 239 737 982 627; 5UKJkY)


West Region Leadership Training Workshop: Nov. 17-18 in Phoenix for invited council and chapter leaders from Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming.


Find a complete list of Council and Chapter Affairs events 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 Hot Springs Village (Ark.) Chapter visited students at Fountain Lake High School in September to share their personal experiences with serving in the uniformed services as well as career opportunities in the military. The event was coordinated by a career coach for the school district.


The Lake and Sumter Counties (Fla.) Chapter and the Villagers for Veterans organization recently formed the Community Outreach Partnership, uniting both groups who support a variety of initiatives that support low income veterans and their families, homeless veterans, retired military personnel, and transitional services for women veterans.


The General Omar N. Bradley Mid-Missouri Chapter recently presented a donation of $4,416 to Welcome Home, which offers critical services to homeless veterans across the state. Members of the chapter also give the cook at Welcome Home an evening off each quarter, as they prepare, serve, and clean up after that evening’s meal.


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:

  • Nov. 4, New Hampshire Chapter, Nashua, Virginia "Gail" Joyce, MOAA board of directors (BoD)
  • Nov. 9, Pershing (Mo.) Chapter, Saint Joseph, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), Council and Chapter Affairs (CCA)
  • Nov. 15, Star Spangled Banner (Md.) Chapter, Towson, Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly, USAF (Ret), MOAA president and CEO
  • Nov. 17-18, West Region Leadership Training Workshop, Phoenix, MOAA staff
  • Nov. 19, Mountain Empire (Tenn.) Chapter, Jonesborough, Capt. Erin E. Stone JAGC, USN (Ret)
  • Nov. 28, Historic Mayport (Fla.) Chapter, Atlantic Beach, Capt. Jim Carman, USN (Ret), Council/Chapter and Member Support
  • Dec. 2, Kansas Council of Chapters, Lawrence, Col. Dan Merry, USAF (Ret), Government Relations
  • Dec. 5, Portland Area (Ore.) Chapter, Clackamas, Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly, USAF (Ret), MOAA president and CEO
  • Dec. 7, Bloomington Area (Ind.) Chapter, Bloomington, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Dec. 7, Citrus County (Fla.) Chapter, Hernando, Capt. Jim Carman, USN (Ret), Council/Chapter and Member Support
  • Dec. 7, Michigan Council of Chapters, Belmont, Vice Adm. Fred M. Midgette, USCG (Ret), BoD
  • Dec. 9, Pennsylvania Council of Chapters, Annville, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Dec. 13, Charlotte Harbor (Fla.) Chapter, Punta Gorda, Lt. Col. Marcantonio J. Oliveri, USA (Ret), BoD
  • Dec. 14, Heart of Texas Chapter, Waco, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Dec. 14, Southwest Virginia Chapter, Salem, CWO4 Lelia P. Jackson, USMC (Ret), BoD
  • Dec. 17, Lower Hudson Valley (N.Y.) Chapter, Hartsdale, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA


Support MOAA Charities

Donate to the MOAA Scholarship Fund and The MOAA Foundation at the link below.

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