Recent news from The MOAA Newsletter. View previous editions of Council and Chapter News here.
Don’t Miss the Deadline for the Communications Award Contest
The deadline to enter the annual Col. Marvin J. Harris Communications Award Contest is Feb. 1. Council and chapter leaders can submit entries in two categories of competition: 1) print newsletters and electronic newsletters and 2) websites.
Find more details about the contest at www.moaa.org/communicationawards.
Apply for a Community Outreach Grant
The MOAA Foundation is accepting applications until Feb. 28 for its 2021 Community Outreach Grants. To be eligible to receive a grant, MOAA councils or chapters must meet basic administration requirements and be actively involved in the delivery of community services supporting currently serving personnel and veterans and their families in one of 10 areas of critical family need: housing, food assistance, employment, health (including behavioral health), family support, community reintegration, financial assistance, legal assistance, transportation, and COVID-19 relief efforts.
Learn more about the grants, make a donation, and find the application at www.moaa.org/foundation.
Advertise MOAA Insurance in Your Chapter Newsletter and Earn $100
Did you know that Mercer Insurance will pay you $100 just for including an advertisement for MOAA Insurance in your chapter newsletter? Simply send an email to the company point of contact before May 31. Find more information and instructions.
Get Your Chapter on the Web
National MOAA provides a free web presence for chapters that don’t have their own website. The webpage is populated by the chapter with information such as key officers and contact information, chapter mission statement, and community efforts. Soon, chapters also will have the ability to further personalize the page with their logo and photos. Presence on the web can greatly increase visibility and attractiveness to potential members. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get started today.
Installing New Officers? Update Your Roster Now
MOAA’s Committee Module (CM) tool allows CM administrators to add “future” officers who will be installed in January. Update your slate of officers early, and stay one step ahead of the curve. If you have questions or need help, refer to the CM Resources and Instructional Guide.
Important Reminder About Military Service Seals
Council and chapter leaders/newsletter editors are reminded that military service seals and logos are trademarks belonging to the individual services and are not permitted for use in affiliate communications.
Looking for Ways to Finance a Special State Council or Chapter Event?
The USAA/MOAA Sponsorship Program provides $800 for an eligible state council event or $300 for an eligible chapter event in the 2021 calendar year. Those that receive funding must recognize USAA as a sponsor or contributor at the event.
Learn more and apply by visiting MOAA's website and filling out and submitting the online request form. MOAA will process requests in the order received and, if approved, transfer funds via Electronic Funds Transfer.
Surviving Spouse Corner: 2020 Review
The outgoing chair of MOAA’s Surviving Spouse Advisory Council reflects on the group’s successes over the past year.
By Anne Hartline, outgoing chair, Surviving Spouse Advisory Council
Despite obstacles created by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Surviving Spouse Advisory Council (SSAC) continued to serve all surviving spouses and spouses in the focus areas of encouraging, engaging, and educating. Some major accomplishments were:
- Surviving Spouse Liaison Training at MOAA’s Regional Leadership Conferences — SSAC members led training at the in-person Florida conference in January and at the virtual events in Colorado Springs and Louisville in September and November, respectively.
- Surviving Spouse Virtual Chapter — Membership continues to grow, with 134 members from 30 states. The chapter meets quarterly on the third Tuesday of January, April, July, and October at 1 p.m., Eastern Time. The 2020 July and October meetings took place via Zoom. For more information, email email@example.com or go to the surviving spouse section of MOAA.org.
- Articles for MOAA Newsletters — SSAC members wrote monthly articles that are published on the first Thursday of each month in The MOAA Newsletter. Read past articles here.
- Celebrating the Elimination of the “Widows Tax” — In February, several SSAC members attended the congressional reception on Capitol Hill to celebrate the elimination of the Survivor Benefit Plan/Dependency and Indemnity Compensation offset, also called the widows tax. The repeal of the widows tax is the result of lobbying and letter-writing dating back to the mid-1970s when associations like MOAA (then TROA) and others were lobbying for full payment of SBP without offsets to Social Security and DIC.
- Selection of New SSAC Members — Barbara Bowman (Oklahoma), Renee Brunelle (Florida), Patricia Green (Florida), and Vivianne Wersel (North Carolina) were selected to serve on the council from 2020-24, with the option of remaining on for two additional years. Read more about members of the SSAC.
- Surviving Spouse Liaison Excellence Award — Mary Dunagan from the Cape Canaveral (Fla.) Chapter was selected for this award. She also serves as the surviving spouse liaison for the Florida Council of Chapters. Read more about Mary and her accomplishments.
- Facebook Group Name Change — The group was renamed “Surviving Spouses and Friends” so people other than surviving spouses can join.
The opportunity to serve as an SSAC member for the past six years has been a great honor for me. MOAA is an organization composed of a myriad programs designed to serve members and led by incredible professionals. I feel I have been part of an SSAC team that has blazed new trails for surviving spouse members and spouses of living uniformed servicemembers. We changed our name from “auxiliary members” to “surviving spouse members” to represent our status as voting MOAA members. What began as an almost total focus on advocacy six years ago has developed into a broad spectrum of programs. I especially appreciate the opportunity to assist in the development of the surviving spouse liaison training for the MOAA regional conferences. I am confident the new SSAC will raise services to higher levels as they “never stop serving.”
Get Newsletter Content From National MOAA
Need some content to supplement your chapter’s newsletter? The White Label Newsletter 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 Star Fort (S.C.) Chapter supported two charities to help people in need during the holiday season. At a chapter meeting, members brought toys for the Toys for Tots program and food and clothes for a “blessing table” for the local Salvation Army. Members also participated in an auction of items they donated and raised over $400 to give to the Salvation Army.
The Historic Mayport (Fla.) Chapter and USO Mayport provided turkey and side dishes for lunch to 250 frontline military medical staff at Naval Station Mayport’s Branch Clinic Nov. 25, 2020. The chapter used a portion of a MOAA Foundation Community Outreach Grant to fund the effort. Chapter President Cmdr. Patrick Kluever, USN (Ret), and chapter USO Liaison Mary Kluever helped with distributing the lunch.
Each year, the Northeastern Wisconsin Chapter hosts its Veterans Benefit Golf Outing to raise funds for local veterans’ causes. This year, despite the event having to be canceled, the chapter raised almost $70,000 thanks to the donors, sponsors, teams, and individuals that still supported the event.