May 2019 Council and Chapter News

Recent news from The MOAA Newsletter. View previous editions of Council and Chapter News here.

May 2019  
MOAA’s Best Communicators

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Col. Marvin J. Harris Communications Award contest!

In the 2018 Col. Marvin J. Harris Communications Award contest, MOAA affiliates competed in two categories of competition: print and e-newsletters and websites. Councils and chapters received extra credit for communication efforts that went above and beyond established standards, with additional points being awarded in the print and e-newsletter category to affiliates that published their own membership directory and recruiting materials. In the websites category, affiliates that communicated with their members via email networks and social media channels received extra credit.

All told, 93 councils and chapters received five-star awards for their exemplary communication efforts, and 10 councils and chapters received four-star awards for their outstanding efforts.

View the list of winners at Congratulations to MOAA’s top communicators!


Sign Up for the MOAA Insurance Plans Advertising Program

MOAA Insurance Plans is proud to support MOAA councils and chapters and is continuing the advertising program for 2019. A digital and print-ready advertisement promoting MOAA Insurance Plans will be available by request until May 31. If a council or chapter would like to place the advertisement online or in a newsletter or other publication during 2019, it will be provided a copy of the advertisement and a payment of $100. Learn more.


We Want to Highlight Your Chapter in Military Officer

Again this year, the October issue of Military Officer will include expanded coverage of MOAA council and chapter activities. Email high-resolution photos with caption information and short articles about your affiliate’s activities — community-service projects, advocacy efforts, fundraisers, award ceremonies, etcetera — so we can showcase your hard work. Send submissions by July 1 to Contributing Editor Blair Drake at


Surviving Spouse Corner: 4 Ways Surviving Spouses Can Contribute to Chapters

Surviving spouses not only should be welcomed into chapters but also encouraged to become active members and leaders.

By Patricia Farnsworth, Surviving Spouse Advisory Committee member

Surviving spouses of deceased military officers can serve MOAA chapters in many ways. Chapters should welcome these members and encourage them to become active in not only the chapter but also national MOAA. Here are four ways surviving spouses can contribute to MOAA chapters:

Recruiting. Having participated in activities on many military bases and within the community, surviving spouses might know others — both surviving spouses and couples — who have retired and are living in the chapter area and can help recruit them as new members. Welcoming these potential members and encouraging them to become active members serves national MOAA and local chapters as well as the new members themselves.

Leadership roles. Surviving spouses, formerly referred to as auxiliary members, are eligible to serve as chapter officers. Many chapters now have a surviving spouse in an office, sometimes even serving as president.

Event planning. Surviving spouses can help organize chapter luncheons or dinner meetings, a task for which they might be well prepared. Those who have been members of officers’ wives’ clubs wherever their spouses were stationed usually have helped with planning meetings and arranging for speakers or entertainment.

Social and personal affairs support. When a death occurs within the chapter membership, surviving spouses can assist the widow or widower with the sometimes complicated task of changing names on accounts, notifying insurance companies, stopping military retired pay, and applying for Social Security benefits as well as military survivor entitlements. Help with planning a funeral and burial arrangements also can be very useful. A surviving spouse who already has dealt with these tasks can offer support during a time when the recently bereaved member might be feeling overwhelmed and confused. The ability to provide the social support needed to accomplish the necessary adjustments can make the newly bereaved spouse feel more confident and comfortable. Surviving spouses also can help a new widow or widower regain a social life through friendships and organized social events. MOAA meetings and other occasions can provide this for those spouses. Becoming active in a local chapter is a good way to take advantage of this benefit. National membership is a wonderful source of help when questions arise about anything related to the military career of the deceased.


Get Content for Chapter Newsletters

Need some content to supplement your chapter’s newsletter? The White Label 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.

  • Members of the Georgia Council of Chapters stormed the capitol in Atlanta March 21 to discuss with legislators issues that affect military members and veterans in the state. During the event, which is modeled after national MOAA's Storming the Hill, participants met with six state legislators to discuss modifying current income tax law to provide a full exemption for military retirees. They also met for the first time with Gov. Brian Kemp, who was elected in November 2018.

  • The Lake and Sumter Counties (Fla.) Chapter raised $14,000 during its 12th annual golf tournament April 11. More the 100 golfers participated. The money raised benefits the chapter’s scholarship program for Junior ROTC cadets as well as several other local programs, including the Tampa Chapter’s Operation Helping Hand.

  • The Fort Knox Area (Ky.) Chapter recently donated $500 to Elizabethtown Community and Technical College’s Military and Veteran Services (MVS). The chapter presented the donation to Mary Ann Flowers, director of MVS. The funds will help the center provide daily refreshments as well as access to textbooks, magazines, and other resources for student veterans at the college.