October 2023 Council and Chapter News

October 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 chapters@moaa.org for possible inclusion in future editions.


We Want to Hear From You About Future Advocacy Topics

Some members have asked how they can provide their input for the process of selecting topics for the annual Advocacy in Action (AiA) campaign. MOAA always has been receptive to the views of its members, and we’ve decided to make the process of sharing ideas easier and more accessible.


We would like to hear from you by Nov. 1 about topics you’d like to see prioritized for the next AiA campaign, set for April 2024. You can send that input via this survey, which can be found on MOAA’s Legislative Action Center site.


Please be sure your suggestion falls under one of the topic areas outlined in our legislative priorities for the 118th Congress, which will still be in session in the spring. Feel free to share the survey link with fellow members and others in your network.


The early deadline is critical to MOAA’s AiA planning process – topics must be approved by our board of directors in the fall so we can begin planning an array of informational and promotional efforts in time for the spring event.


Thank you in advance for your participation in this important stage of our advocacy, and for your continued grassroots support of ongoing efforts on the Hill. Your work on all fronts makes a difference.


Stipends Available for Council Presidents in 2024

MOAA is once again offering two stipends to council presidents, to be paid in lump sums in January 2024. The travel stipend of $1,310 may be used for any travel expenses incurred when a council representative visits a member chapter. The virtual meeting platform stipend of $180 is for a virtual meeting platform subscription so that the council may meet virtually with its member chapters as well as host chapter meetings.


Council presidents may elect to receive one or both of these stipends. Email your preference to chapters@moaa.org before the end of 2023.


Awards Submission Deadline Changes

Submissions for all awards (Levels of Excellence, Communications, the Strobridge Legislative Award, and Surviving Spouse Liaison Excellence Award) will likely be due by Jan. 31, 2024, and on the same date in future years. This change is necessary to provide timely and meaningful regional and local recognition of organizational and personal achievements. Criteria for 2023 Levels of Excellence Awards will be the same as for the 2022 program. Council president assessments will not be required, and neither they nor visit reports will be considered. Criteria for Communications Awards will also be unchanged from 2022 criteria.


Register for MOAA’s Annual Meeting

MOAA’s 2023 Annual Meeting of the Membership will be held Friday, Nov. 3 at the Sheraton Pentagon City in Arlington, Va. The event will feature updates on the association’s efforts to grow our membership, strengthen MOAA Charities, strengthen our affiliate system, prepare for the second session of the 118th Congress, and more. Please note that no associated events are planned and that MOAA does not provide transportation or lodging, nor reimburse expenses, for annual meeting attendance.  The learn more and register, visit MOAA.org/annualmeeting.


Chapters 2023: Influence Your Community

Don’t miss the special 20-page section in the October issue of Military Officer highlighting the outstanding efforts of MOAA chapters. In addition to showcasing chapter community-service projects and affiliate leaders from across the country, the section provides helpful tips and resources.


Surviving Spouse Corner: Is a 55-and-Older Community Right for You?

If you’re thinking about moving into a retirement community, here are some considerations.


By Nora Durham, Surviving Spouse Advisory Council member


What is a 55-and-older community? These residential communities are designed to be friendly to seniors with low-maintenance amenities such as pools and clubhouses and close proximity to shopping, restaurants, and attractions. There are more than 19,000 retirement community businesses in the U.S. as of 2023, an increase of 1.2% from 2022, according to IBISWorld.com.


[RELATED: MOAA's Digital Retirement Guide]


Pros of living in one of these communities include:

  • Like-minded people. Because of the age requirements, many people living there are likely to be from your generation and share your interests. This will help making new friends easier.

  • Activities and events. Many of these communities have a clubhouse where you can find social events, games, movies, concerts, speakers, and more. These activities are usually open to the whole community, so you can participate in as many as you want.

  • Less maintenance. You’ll probably need to pay an HOA fee for maintenance and repairs, but you won’t need to worry about managing the outside of your property. The fee could also include services such as trash collection, cable, water, and security.

  • Various amenities. Many of these communities have a pool, a gym, tennis courts, golf, a game room, and more.

  • Transportation. Some communities offer shuttles to shopping centers or health appointments.

  • Quiet, kid-free environment. Besides holidays when grandchildren can come to visit, most of these communities are quiet.

  • Safety and security. Many of these communities are gated and have low crime rates. They also often have security staff, well-lit areas, updated fire alarms, smoke detectors, and other safety features.


Having lived in a gated 55-plus community since 2020, I find the only con is that I did not move here sooner. But for some, cons of these communities might include less privacy, higher costs, challenges selling, and younger family members potentially being restricted.


If you’re considering moving to a retirement community, before you buy, make a list of other questions and ask the homeowner association (HOA) for answers. Get a copy of the HOA rules (which are also called restrictive covenants) and fees, and make sure you understand them be-fore you make your decision.


Read past Surviving Spouse Corners.


Upcoming Events

Monthly Chapter Leader Virtual Roundtable: Join us Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. Eastern for a discussion about organizational awards. Join here at the time of the meeting. (Meeting ID: 269 840 611 973; Passcode: jYFTcJ).


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


Did You Know?

MOAA’s New Leader Checklist: This resource is invaluable for new council and chapter leaders. Access the checklist here.


Visits From National MOAA: Councils and chapters can request a visit from a national MOAA representative. The national board or staff member will present a MOAA overview at a general membership meeting as well as share important program updates and talk with leaders about council/chapter management. To request a visit, complete the form here.


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 Baldwin County (Ala.) Chapter honored the lives of two fallen soldiers who served in the Vietnam War by presenting their families with a certificate and pin at a luncheon for Gold Star Mother's and Family's Day in September. The surviving spouse of WO1 Denis Blackmon and the brothers and sisters of Sgt. Grady Eiland accepted the certificate and pin from chapter members.


The Silver Strand (Calif.) Chapter provided backpacks to more than 200 veterans during the 2023 San Diego Veterans Stand Down at the Pechanga Arena in July.  

The Stand Down supported over 400 veterans and their families who are dealing with homelessness and other struggles. The chapter’s support was made possible thanks to volunteers and a MOAA Foundation Community Outreach grant of $4,500 combined with donations of more than $1,000 from chapter members.


The Lake Tahoe (Nev.) Chapter joined with the Incline Village/Crystal Bay Veterans’ Club to sponsor the “Thank a Vet” Charity Golf Tournament June 19 in Incline Village, Nev. The event raised over $100,000 and netted $85,000 to support and honor the men and women who have served in the armed forces and now are in need of medical or counseling services.


The funds were evenly split between the Veterans Guest House and PTSD NOW! Veterans Guest House provides free overnight accommodations and transportation assistance for veterans and their families coming to the Reno for medical care. PTSD Now! Is an Incline-based charity that funds counseling and a resiliency training program called “Purple Resolve” for active duty servicemembers, guard members and reservists, and veterans.


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:

  • Oct. 4, Aiken (S.C.) Chapter, Aiken, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), Council and Chapter Affairs (CCA)
  • Oct. 5, Miramar (Calif.) Chapter, San Diego, Capt. Marvin H. Heinze, USN (Ret), MOAA board of directors (BoD)
  • Oct. 6, Virginia Peninsula Chapter, Williamsburg, Capt. W.G. “Bud” Schneeweis, USCG (Ret), BoD
  • Oct. 9, Oregon Council of Chapters of the MOAA, Virtual, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), Council and Chapter Affairs (CCA)
  • Oct. 17, Triangle (N.C.) Chapter, Raleigh, Col. Rojan J. Robotham, USAF, BoD
  • Oct. 18, Richmond Area (Va.) Chapter, virtual, Karen Ruedisueli, Government Relations
  • Oct. 19, Nassau County (Fla.) Chapter, Fernandina Beach, Capt. Erin E. Stone, JAGC, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Oct. 21, Atlanta Chapter, Atlanta, Capt. Erin E. Stone, JAGC, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Oct. 21, Valley Forge (Pa.) Chapter, West Chester, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Oct. 24, Middle Tennessee Chapter, Nashville, Capt. W.G. “Bud” Schneeweis, USCG (Ret), BoD
  • Oct. 25, Virginia Council of Chapters, Sterling, Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly, USAF (Ret), MOAA president and CEO
  • Oct. 27, Gen Omar N Bradley Mid-Missouri Chapter, Columbia, speaker TBD
  • Oct. 28, Illinois Council of Chapters, virtual, Capt. Erin E. Stone, JAGC, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Oct. 28, South Carolina Council of Chapters, Myrtle Beach, Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly, USAF (Ret), MOAA president and CEO, and Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Oct. 28, Washington Council of Chapters, Yakima, Oct. 28, Capt. Erin E. Stone, JAGC, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Nov. 4, New Hampshire Chapter, Nashua, Virginia "Gail" Joyce, BoD
  • Nov. 4, Oklahoma Council of Chapters, Norman, Capt. Erin E. Stone, JAGC, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Nov. 9, Pershing (Mo.) Chapter, Saint Joseph, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Nov. 15, Star Spangled Banner (Md.) Chapter, Towson, Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly, USAF (Ret), MOAA president and CEO
  • Nov. 16, Acadiana (La.) Chapter, Youngsville, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Nov. 16, Memphis (Tenn.) Chapter, Germantown, Nov. 16, TBD
  • Nov. 17-18, West Region Leadership Training Workshop, Phoenix, MOAA staff
  • Nov. 19, Mountain Empire (Tenn.) Chapter, Jonesborough, TBD
  • Nov. 28, Historic Mayport (Fla.) Chapter, Atlantic Beach, Capt. Jim Carman, USN (Ret), Council/Chapter and Member Support


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

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