The Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees Wayne Pike Chapter held their spring luncheon at the Central House resort on April 24th with 40 members and guests in attendance. Ellen Keefer, President, gave a report on recent activities of the chapter highlighting the Christmas support of a family with gifts. The members also sent Christmas cards to service members and collected canned goods to be given to the local food bank.

She asked for volunteers for the State House of Delegates in Valley Forge in October of which the chapter is a part sponsor. Gift baskets are also needed for the silent auction at the convention. She suggested that the baskets highlight Northeast Pennsylvania and all it has to offer.

In other business, Community Support Chair Patricia Spoor said that in addition to holiday cards to service members, veterans are particularly in need of white socks. PASR donated over 100 books to the Wayne County Children’s Library. Hats and gloves were also distributed to all four school districts for elementary students who needed them. 

Educational Support Chair, Barbara Spinelli announced the winners of Educational Grants for teachers of the four schools that are encompassed in the Chapter. Out of 20 applications submitted, the grantees are:

From the Delaware Valley School District, the grant was awarded to Katie Hunt who is a kindergarten teacher at Shohola Elementary School. She will use her $150 grant to purchase Wobble chairs for her classroom. The chairs provide sensory stimulation, which helps children, focus and process information.

From Wallenpaupack School District, the winner is Denise Genello, who is the Instructional Interventionist at North Primary School. Her grant will be used to purchase magnetic sound cards, which are used within the Wilson Reading System to help children who have problems with processing letters and sounds.

Brandon Diefenbach, a counselor from Preston School, in the Wayne Highlands School District, will use his grant to purchase Project H.A.P.P.I.N.E.S.S., a K – 5 curriculum which helps students with focus, increasing emotional resilience, reducing stress, gaining impulse control and emotional management.

Western Wayne’s Helene Tscheschlog, a High School Science teacher, will be able to become a member of the International Science and Technology Educators Association and attend the national conference in Philadelphia. She will then be able to share her new insights with the other teachers in the district.

Leroy Spoor, the Legislative committee chair, reported that there is no movement on a Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA) for retirees, which hits the older retirees especially hard since they have not had an increase in their retirement in many years.

PASR extends an invitation to any retired school employees to join the association and gain from the friendship of fellow retirees and the benefits offered through the organization. Anyone who retired from one of the four school districts who would like to join the PASR Wayne/Pike Chapter can contact President Ellen Keefer at 570-226-2820.

Eloise Fasshauer remembered members who have died since the fall meeting. They are Frank Smith, custodian in Wayne Highlands, George Reed Sandercock, math and science teacher also in Wayne Highlands. Robert Schaffer was a custodian in WHSD as were Doris Millon and Charlie O’Neill. Catherine Williams from Western Wayne was a secretary and aide. Also from WWSD was Richard Chamberlain. Jay Asper from Delaware Valley School District passed away in March.

Ellen Keefer reported that the Recreo committee is planning a trip to Lake Seneca and the Corning Glass Museum on September 19th and urged folks to sign up so that the bus is filled. Anyone who is interested may contact her. Family members and friends are welcome to go as well.

Monique Lautenschlager, who with Jane Peet, sends cards and small gifts to 11 retirees who are ill or shut-ins. She encouraged members to contribute the Memorial Honor Fund in honor or in memory of individuals to be recognized.

The Social Service Memorial Honor Fund will be holding a basket raffle fundraiser at the House of Delegates Meeting at the Valley Forge in October.

The Dillon Award for outstanding service to the chapter was presented to Patricia Spoor who has volunteered many hours to PASR as Community Support Chair, writing the newsletter for many years and serving as right hand woman to Past President Leroy Spoor.

The guest speaker for the afternoon was Nick Spinelli, who is Executive Director of the Wallenpaupack Watershed Management District, a non-profit organization that oversees the quality of the water in the areas that drain into Lake Wallenpaupack. There is a board of 20 directors who come from many groups who are affected by any pollution of the water.

The watershed encompasses 4 counties with 14 municipalities, who must control the water that empties into Lake Wallenpaupack. He spoke of various ways that the water is polluted from industrial waste, farm runoff and storm water. He concluded by outlining ways that the quality of the water can be preserved.