The last Hardin County Retired Teacher Association meeting before summer break was held on June 21 at Walnut Grove United Methodist Church at noon. President Sandy Moore welcomed 20 members and guests Kim Thomas, Dick Pees, and Dustin and Holly Scott. She thanked the committee of Nancy Musselman, Madelyn Lowery, Karen Cannode, Elaine Hoover, and Elaine Minter for the lovely arrangements. Melanie Kindell offered Grace. A thank you was also offered to the cooks and servers.
The group was introduced to the Evelyn Lotz Scholarship winner Dustin Scott. The $500 scholarship was offered by the Lotz family to a Hardin County Teacher in honor of Evelyn Lotz, a Hardin County Teacher in both Hardin Northern Local and Kenton City Schools. Scott is an Intervention Specialist for Grades 7-10 at Ridgemont Local School and is adding to his teaching credentials at Lourdes University in Toledo. He extended a thank you to the HCRTA membership for this honor of selection.
Following the luncheon of scalloped chicken, green beans, applesauce jello, roll & butter, beverages, and assorted homemade pies, Dick Pees was introduced to speak about VIPS (Volunteers in Police Service). Pees explained that the volunteers are not deputies who arrest people. They do not carry weapons and only volunteer their time to help provide the legwork in completing administrative duties for Sheriff Everhart.
They perform a variety of tasks. They are the couriers between the sheriff and the county offices. They help to check the houses for vacationing people throughout Hardin County. They help to direct traffic with traffic delays near accidents or with weather problems. VIPS help with fingerprinting kindergarten students as they begin their school life. They help with the DARE program. Some VIPS tutor students from Recovery Court. There are other VIPS jobs that help law enforcement to carry out its diligence as prescribed by law.
The VIPS started with 7 members but now has around 18 members in its 10th year. The sheriff selects people to attend a Citizen’s Academy which lasts for 7 weeks. Hardin County has been the first in Ohio to begin the VIPS program. Of all the jobs that VIPS does fulfill, they find Project Life Saver and Senior Watch Program to be a high level of importance. They are concerned that not enough of Hardin County people take advantage of the services. Project Life Saver provides machines and manpower to find a person who has autism or some type of dementia if they escape from their living space. Such handicapped people must be registered so they can wear a wristband that is worn all the time and cannot easily be taken off. The wristband emits a tracking signal which has been found very effective since discovering the idea in Virginia about 20 years ago. The Senior Watch Program helps VIPS members to check on those who are living by themselves in their own home and have no close family to help check on them. It is a comfort for the elderly or handicapped citizen. VIPS men and women volunteer over 2,800 hours annually to assist the sheriff and are invaluable for completing many duties that cannot be done in a timely manner by the deputies.
Pres. Moore led the group in thanking Pees for his interesting presentation. Sec. Norma Frederick had her report accepted as sent digitally. Frederick asks for all members to contact her if there needs to be any change of contact information. She also read an invitation for all friends to attend a 90th birthday celebration for Martha Cramer at the Forest-Jackson Public Library on Sunday, July 14, from 2-4 p.m. Please omit gifts, but contributions for the library are acceptable. Treas. Joan Mouser had her report filed for audit. Dues are $10 and she is ready to accept them.
Donations of $112 were accepted for the HCRTA Scholarship. Reba Coats had nothing new for Legislative. Ruth Ann Poling found possibly 4 new retirees in Hardin County Schools. She will see about extending an invitation to them to join HCRTA. It was suggested to include those who are staff members, too. It was suggested to send cards to Billie Thompson. Pres. Moore stated that ORTA has information about health care changes. Madelyn Lowery stated that the group had produced a total of 377 volunteer hours since the last meeting.
Suggestions were requested for the celebration of HCRTA’s 50th Birthday. Several ideas were offered. One suggestion will be investigated by Melanie Kindell to give pencils or pens at the Hardin County Fair in order to celebrate our teaching profession. Madelyn Lowery will notify about Senior Citizen Day. The celebration will need to be planned further, but it will be arranged for Friday, November 15, which is reserved at the Kenton Elks with entertainment by the Osborn Sisters. Kim Thomas thanked everyone for being invited to be a part of HCRTA and will join in the fall.
Pres. Moore announced that the 2 year officer duties are drawing to a close. A new slate of officers was requested. A short discussion followed with Jodine McKinley making a motion and seconded by Martha Cramer to keep Pres. Moore, Sec. Frederick, and Treas. Mouser and add 1st VIce-Pres. Madelyn Lowery. It was unanimously approved.
Having no other business, Pres. Moore stated that HCRTA will meet on September 20 at noon at the Forest United Methodist Church fellowship room. Hostesses will be Ruth Ann Poling, Martha Cramer, Audrey Hemmerly, Barb Schnelle, and Sharon Beitler. The speaker will be Jim Taylor who will speak about U.S. Presidents of Courage and Character. Donations will be for the Forest Food Pantry. Melanie Kindell offered a prayer and the meeting was adjourned. All were wished a safe and happy summer.