September 2019 Council and Chapter News

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

September 2019
Congratulations to the 2019 Levels of Excellence Award Winners!

Congratulations to the 2019 Levels of Excellence (LOE) Award winners! These awards signify the very best council and chapter affiliates in our organization. This year, 136 of MOAA’s very best councils and chapters earned five-star awards, while 22 above-average councils and chapters received four-star awards.

Visit MOAA's website to view the list of award-winning councils and chapters and learn more about the award. We will post the LOE best practices in the near future.

Did You Know? 4 Tools to Help Your Chapter

MOAA offers many resources for councils and chapters. Here are three to check out.

  • New council or chapter officers? When your council or chapter officers change, make those updates in the Committee Module. For assistance, contact or call (800) 234-MOAA (6622). 
  • Need a monthly list of potential recruits? Check the Committee Module for the Near Real Time Notification of new MOAA members in your catchment area who are not yet chapter members.
  • Want potential members to attend your upcoming event? Use MOAA’s email blast option. This can be used up to two times per calendar year. Learn more.
  • Want to pay for chapter dues online? Go to to find out whether your chapter is registered. From there, you either can join a chapter or renew your existing chapter membership. Chapters who have not yet activated their online chapter dues program can get started by emailing
6 Ways to Get Involved in Your Community

If your council or chapter is looking for a community-service project, here are some ideas to consider.

Community involvement not only generates goodwill for councils and chapters, but it also can be very beneficial for recruiting and retention. Here are a few ideas:

1. Support local Junior ROTC/ROTC programs. And do so in an active, visible fashion. For instance, rather than simply presenting medals at a school’s annual awards event, consider conducting an independent event to honor recipients and their parents. Or host a Gold Bar ceremony for newly commissioned officers.

2. Participate in annual patriotic events. Take part in your local Memorial Day, Fourth of July, or Veterans Day parades; volunteer to place flags at a veterans’ cemetery; or get involved with Wreaths Across America.

3. Help fellow veterans. Serve as mentors for a veterans treatment court, visit patients at a local VA hospital, donate goods to a Fisher House, or provide career transition support to veterans transitioning to a second career.

4. Participate in outreach programs. Visit local schoolchildren through Veterans in the Classroom or flag education programs.

5. Create a chapter scholarship fund that presents scholarships to local students.

6. Volunteer at events and programs that support those in need, such as Stand Downs, local food kitchens, or the Marine Corps’ annual Toys for Tots program.

Advertising and publicizing chapter activities also is important. Write about them in your newsletter and on your website, send press releases about the events to local media, and list activities on your chapter’s membership application. And don’t forget to notify national MOAA about your community service projects so we can highlight your efforts through our communication channels. Send write-ups and photos to

Surviving Spouse Corner: Reacting to Stress

These eight tips can help you manage and overcome stress.

By Capt. Kathy Thorp, USN (Ret), Surviving Spouse Advisory Committee member

Stress happens to all of us; no one can escape it. It’s how we handle the stressful situation — the fight-or-flight response — that’s important. There are many resources and recommendations to manage stress.
It’s not a one-size-fits-all list; what works for one person, might not work for you, so consider the following suggestions: 

  • Determine where the stress is coming from, and change what you can.
  • Have a toolbox of techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, yoga, or stretching exercises, to use when you find yourself starting to feel anxious. Remove yourself, if possible, from the stressful situation.
  • Manage your time well, and spend your spare minutes doing something that brings you joy.
  • Preserve your boundaries, especially in the area of your sleep routine. Strive to obtain a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night.
  • Practice saying "no,” and delegate as necessary.
  • Schedule quiet time to relax during your day. It might include moments of reading, praying, or mindful mediation. 
  • Pick up a pen and a journal, and write down your emotions.
  • If the stress becomes overwhelming, reach out to a medical professional or a chaplain for assistance.
Get Newsletter Content From National MOAA

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.

  • The Clearwater (Fla.) Chapter recently presented scholarships to two local Junior ROTC cadets. Noah P. Evans and Maria Moreyra, of Clearwater High School, each received a $1,500 scholarship from the chapter. Both cadets will be attending college and are outstanding students.
  • Four members of the Mid-Missouri Chapter set up and served the evening meal June 21 to residents of Welcome Home, the state’s only veterans’ shelter and transition shelter. This volunteer effort, known as Welcome Home KP Duty, not only helps stretch the center’s personnel budget and gives a well-deserved break to center staff, but it also provides a great opportunity to interact with fellow veterans.
  • The Pensacola (Fla.) Chapter presented eight $2,000 scholarships to deserving students Aug. 8 at the Pensacola Yacht Club. All recipients must be the children/step-children, grandchildren/step-grandchildren, or spouses of active duty, honorably discharged veterans, reservists, or retired military personnel (both officer and enlisted). Over the past 25 years, the chapter has awarded $244,000 in scholarships.