Council and Chapter News

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

June 2019  
 
2019 Community Outreach Grant Recipients

The MOAA Foundation has selected 22 chapters to receive funds from its Community Outreach Grant program.

The MOAA Foundation has announced the 2019 recipients of its Community Outreach Grant program. MOAA chapters receiving a portion of the $79,400 in grants are

  • Charlotte-Metrolina (N.C.) Chapter
  • Fort Campbell (Tenn.) Chapter
  • Grand Strand (S.C.) Chapter
  • Greater Dallas Chapter
  • Historic Mayport (Fla.) Chapter
  • Indian River (Fla.) Chapter
  • Keowee (S.C.) Chapter
  • Keystone Capital (Pa.) Chapter
  • Kings Bay (Ga.) Chapter
  • Luke (Ariz.) Chapter
  • North DFW (Texas) Chapter
  • North Texas Chapter
  • Northwest Florida Chapter
  • Sarasota (Fla.) Chapter
  • South Alabama Chapter
  • South Central Florida Chapter
  • Southeast Idaho Chapter
  • Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter
  • Southeastern North Carolina Chapter
  • Southwest Oklahoma Chapter
  • Tampa (Fla.) Chapter
  • Treasure Coast (Fla.) Chapter

To be eligible to receive a grant, councils or chapters must meet basic administration requirements and be actively involved in the delivery of community services in one of nine areas of critical military family need: housing, food assistance, employment, health (including behavioral health), family support, community reintegration, financial assistance, legal assistance, and transportation.

Learn more about the grants here. The MOAA Foundation Community Outreach grant program is made possible, in part, through the generous support of MOAA members. Donate here. 

Don’t Forget to Nominate Your Legislative Chair/Liaison

The Colonel Steve Strobridge Legislative Chair/Liaison Award recognizes one MOAA council or chapter legislative chair/liaison who has demonstrated superior service in support of the national and/or state legislative agenda. Download the full award criteria and nomination form. Send questions and submit the completed nomination form and recommendation letter by July 31 to legis@moaa.org.

 

Virginia Council of Chapters Hosts Congressional Appreciation Event

The Virginia Council of Chapters (VCOC) hosted its 35th annual Congressional Appreciation Luncheon April 30 at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington, D.C. Members of the Virginia congressional delegation discussed key state and national defense-related legislative issues with leaders from Virginia chapters of MOAA.

Read more about the event.

 

Surviving Spouse Corner: Surviving Spouses Storm the Hill

Members of the Surviving Spouse Advisory Committee urge legislators to eliminate the widows tax.

By Lt. Col. Suzanne Walker, USA (Ret), MOAA staff advisor to the Surviving Spouse Advisory Committee

MOAA annually demonstrates its advocacy acumen by arranging for councils and chapter leaders, board members, and staff to meet with elected representatives face-to-face to explain and discuss issues of importance to uniformed servicemembers and their families.

This year was no exception. Included in the cohort of grassroots advocates during this year’s Storming the Hill event were the members of the Surviving Spouse Advisory Committee. This group of six committee members — each of whom lost a spouse in or because of military service — was especially helpful in explaining why it is unfair to deduct an earned veterans compensation benefit (Dependency and Indemnity Compensation or DIC) from an annuity funded by premium payments by the servicemember (Survivor Benefit Plan).

The surviving spouses joined more than 160 participants in the effort to educate and gain support for two bills under consideration on the measure: H.R. 553, the Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act, and S. 622, the Military Widow’s Tax Elimination Act. This ongoing issue has previously failed to gain traction due to cost. Estimates of $7 billion in mandatory spending in the first 10 years without a way to fund this is the problem.

As in past years, participants visited the offices of their senators and congressional representatives and explained the problem, shared stories of the impact, and encouraged members to co-sign the bill. New this year, however, was the additional attention the issue received from local media. A local news station accompanied the group and reported on the issue (view the news story), which increased public awareness and encouraged support for MOAA’s advocacy effort. As a result, the number of cosponsors has increased and a remedy might be on the horizon.

In mid-May, H.R. 553 reached 290 cosponsors, so bill sponsor Rep. Joe Wilson filed paperwork to advance the bill out of committee and onto the calendar for a floor vote. The vote could come possibly as early as mid-July. Read 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 blaird@moaa.org.

 
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 Grand Strand (S.C) Chapter recognized four graduating Army ROTC cadets from Coastal Carolina University (CCU) at a recent pre-commissioning ceremony in April held at the Pine Lakes Country Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The cadets are Shebbena McGrew, Destiny Trouilliere, Kyle Cannon, and Isabel Hearn. Hearn also received the Grand Strand Chapter’s inaugural $2,000 Robert T. Hawkins Leadership Award for exceptional organizational, communications, and leadership achievements throughout her time in the ROTC program at CCU. Additionally, the chapter presented Junior Cadet Matthew Broomfield with a MOAA ROTC Leadership Award for his exceptional academic and military achievements at CCU. 

  • The Cape Cod (Mass.) Chapter presented a total of $12,000 in grants to three local high school seniors during a luncheon ceremony May 4. Recipients are Brenna Donahue, Falmouth High School; Jessica Dillis, Mashpee High School; and Abigail Downes, Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School. Capt. Eric Bader, USCG, senior service representative, U.S. Naval War College, Newport, R.I., served as guest speaker. In addition to chapter documents, each awardee received a certificate of achievement signed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Since the program’s inception, the chapter has awarded over $219,000 to graduating seniors who reside on Cape Cod and the Islands. 

  • The Mahoning and Shenango Valleys (Ohio) Chapter honored local Junior ROTC (JROTC) and ROTC students at its annual Cadet Night Dinner May 2 at the Consolidated Activities Club, Youngstown Air Reserve Station. The chapter presented Army JROTC Cadet Kimberly McCann and Air Force JROTC Cadet Michael Redmond with MOAA JROTC Medals and $50 awards. Army ROTC Cadet Nicholas Armeni, a junior at Youngstown State University (YSU), received a MOAA ROTC Medal and $300 award. Additionally, three prospective Army second lieutenants from YSU attended and received class “A” uniform insignia and copies of the Army Officers Guide.