For the first time ever, the annual regional meeting for the Missouri Retired Teachers Association was held in Carthage.
State leaders for the association and 44 members traveled from six counties to attend the event. Donna Linn, president of the Carthage Area Retired Teachers Association, said there was good representation of Barry, Barton, Dade, Jasper, Lawrence and Newton counties on Thursday.
“Many hands were involved in this,” Linn said, gazing at the crowd gathered in the Nazarene Church's family life center. “It's been incredible to see each one do what they do best to make this a success. I've been staggered by the generosity of the community too – businesses have given so much to make this event special for these teachers.”
The Missouri Retired Teachers Association was established in 1960, and it wasn't long after that Carthage established its own chapter. State leaders lobby for teachers across the state, keep the association informed on issues both at the state level and community level, rights as citizens as well as current scams to be aware. Linn said this is the only organization that keeps its focus on educators and protects their well-being.
The association, on a state level, has given back the equivalent amount of 10 million dollars in monetary donations, donated goods and volunteer hours of work to the state of Missouri in 2012. (This does not include the number years served in their teaching careers.)
“It always blows my mind to see a group of teachers like this and think about what they've invested,” said Ruth Sneed, 16-year member of the Carthage chapter. “I'm in this group because of the support on education issues, especially our retirees, and the fellowship with wonderful people.”
The teachers enjoyed an all-day event that featured many Carthage facets. Music was provided by Don Campbell, retired Carthage High School principal, lunch was provided by Big Blue Bakery, and entertainment was provided by the CHS Suite Sounds.
Making this event possible: Carthage Area Retired School Personnel; Carthage Chamber of Commerce; Arvest Bank; Southwest Missouri Bank; Long John Silvers; Schreibers; JR Learning; Mercy McCune-Brooks Hospital; CHS FFA and Precious Moments.