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Hug A Bears in Iraq

Elaine was given a photocopy of a Bear riding with a solider during her visit to Omaha, NE and the Heartland Council. All we know about the photo is that an Arkansas Pioneer Chapter sent around 200 Hug A Bears to the troops to pass out to children. That photo has served as an inspiration for the Omaha Bear group. There is a story about a little Iraq girl carrying a Bear stopping the troops from advancing on the road telling them that there were mines in the road ahead.

During this past summer, Elaine Housley Board Director for the New Outlook Pioneers entered into conversations with the Omaha Works Volunteers the old Heartland Council Pioneer group. The Heartland Council had went dark or withdrew from the pioneer organization some time back but continued to do things on a much smaller scale to make their funds last as long as they could. Her discussion ended with the Heartland Council returning to the pioneer organization.

Elaine agreed with the council to come out to Omaha and meet everyone. The meeting took place this past week on November 5, 2019. Jan Corich from the financial organization also came to the meeting and Elaine and Jan answered many questions about the pioneer organization and the financials.

The meeting took place in the permanent work area of the Hug A Bears at the Maple Ridge Retirement Center. The work space is free to the council to make bears and has been since they were asked to vacate the Omaha Works and their work area. The new work area are has been named the Bear Den.

New Outlook Pioneers Eastern Missouri Council Roster Chapter 136

Recently I received a spreadsheet from Elaine Housley via Judy Herbst that was updated by Patricia Hawkins due to some changes in their council roster. This is information for the Region and for others that would look to contact different member in the council. The council roster is information complied for an up to date record.

If each club, council and chapter had a roster with all of the officers and chairs in a roster list they could be posted in the NEWS under their chapter and if you wished to get a hold of someone you could search the chapter news files and locate the roster and find who you are looking for.

You can use the Eastern Missouri Council roster spreadsheet as a guide to develop your own roster and then share it on the website.

For those that would like to view the updated roster just click on this link.

Columbus J.D. Burlie Club Take Part In Veteran’s Stand Down Day

The John D. Burlie Club of the Telecom Pioneers donated many items for veteran’s on Stand Down Day October 15 in Columbus, Ohio.

Left to right : Frank Juodvalkis, Elaine Housley, Karen Juodvalis, Jim Refinati and Bobbie Hall0 Refinati. All belong to American Legion #430 out of Bexley Ohio, but Elaine.

Stand Down are one part of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ efforts to provide services to veterans. Stand Downs are typically one day events providing services to Veterans such as food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, VA and Social Security benefits counseling, and referrals to a variety of other necessary services. These include services such as housing, employment and substance abuse treatment.

Stand Down is a program that was conceived from the ground up specifically for Veterans. It is designed to transform the despair and immobility of into the momentum necessary to get into recovery, to resolve legal issues, to seek employment, to access health services and benefits, to reconnect with the community and to get off the streets.

After over 25 years of hosting Stand Downs in Columbus Ohio, we have expanded our services to meet the needs of all Veterans. This is in response to the ever changing challenges facing our Veterans. All Veterans are welcomed to Central Ohio Veteran Stand Down held on Tuesday, October 15th!

Pioneer August Christmas Party 2019

L-R, Charlie Austin, First Vice President, West Mo/Ks Council, Elaine Housley, New Outlook Director, Bill Akers, President, West Mo/Ks Council and Jillian Burch, Lee’s Summit Christian Church Office Administrator.

The West Mo/Ks Council’s annual “Christmas in August” took place this year on August 8, 2019. The West Mo/Ks Council decided a few years back with never knowing what the roads and weather could be in December, to hold their annual get together in August when the weather is good. This year around 150 registered for the annual Christmas in August coffee and cake reunion. The council makes a donation to the Lee’s Summit Christian Church for making the hall available for their activity. Included are few a pictures of the Charm Shop that makes no cost therapeutic devices for children with physical disabilities through its woodworking shop. Photos were sent by Thelma Bibbee.

TO ALL LRO MEMBERS ABOUT THE GROUP LIFE INSURANCE BENEFIT:

You will receive shortly an important notice from Nokia concerning your pension fund and the Group Life insurance fund. The first good news is that the Nokia Retirement Income Plan “NRIP” (the pension plan for former management retirees) is funded at about 121% of its total benefit requirements. Total assets in the plan are $17 billion which now allows Nokia to take further action to provide additional funding to our Group Life Insurance Plan.

You are probably aware of our concern that the Trust Fund which pays Group Life benefits has been expected to be depleted in a few more years. We have been working with Nokia to hopefully extend that for additional years. You should be aware that our retiree body is getting older and we are losing retirees at an increasing rate.

Under current federal law, a company with well funded pension plans (in excess of 120%) may transfer some of that excess to pay the cost of Group Life insurance. In order to do one of these transfers, an employer is required to notify participants at least 90 days before the date of the planned transfer. Although Nokia has not determined definitely that it will do the transfer, it is require to provide the notice now. As set forth in the notice, Nokia has determined that the excess above 120% is about $ 253 million.If they decide to move forward, they would transfer up to $ 89 million of the excess to pay for Group Life coverage for eligible retired NRIP participants for the years ending December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2020. The transfer, if made, would occur on December 30, 2019.

The transfer, if made, is expected to extend the life of the Group Life Trust for five years.

The Nokia notice closes with the assurance that the pension benefit for all NRIP participants is fully vested and nonforfeitable.

Questions about this transfer can be addressed to fcminter@aol.com or 1-205-915-2908.

                    LRO BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Collette. Save More. Travel More.

Pioneers. Save More. Travel More.

They say travel is one of the best ways to truly learn about a destination. It has the unique ability to teach us new information, broaden our horizons, and stir our sense of curiosity.

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Combined with more local cuisine, more inclusive activities, and more flights out of any gateway, Collette takes care of all the details so you don’t have to.

Travel far, travel often, and travel for less with Collette.
Pioneers can save up to $500 per person!

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39th Annual Special Fields Games Raffle Winners

Northeast Chapter 131 President Teresa Gagnon reported that they had a beautiful day for the
39th Annual Special Field Games on Saturday, September 21, 2019. Teresa was chair of the
Raffle Tickets that had over 70 prizes worth anywhere from $15 to over $200.

Teresa has been running the raffle ticket project for the last five years for the games and said if
anyone in the pioneers wanted to have a raffle in their chapter she would be happy to share her
knowledge of how to build a team for success.

Check out the Raffle Ticket Winners at the 39th Annual Special Field Games

39th Annual Special Field Games

The annual Special Field Games is a sporting event for people of all ages with special needs. Hundreds of guess have fun participating in many athletic events. The Special Field Games originally took place in 1981, sponsored by the Pioneers. In the years since Lucent’s closure of its North Andover location in 2007, the Special Field Games have been carried on by Paul & Kellie Martin. This year the games will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2019 at Northern Essex Community College.

Please support the 39th ANNUAL SPECIAL FIELD GAMES by purchasing tickets for our raffle! 50 possible prizes worth anywhere from $15 – over $200!

Download the Raffle Ticket Purchase Form

Pioneers Coney Island Night at the Twin Valley

J.D. Burlie Pioneer Club sponsor Coney Island Night
at Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare

Elaine,


Thank you and the pioneer volunteers for organizing the Coney Island Night at the Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare. Please thank all your pioneers for their continuing service and support of our programming for central Ohio’s adults living with severe and persistent mental illness.


Maureen Fahy, MA, ATR
Volunteer Service Coordinator