The Gallia County Retired Teachers met on October 12, 2017 at the Nazarene Church in Gallipolis.  The meeting was called to order by Debbie Rhodes who was filling in for President Ollie Tipple.  The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Doris Lanham and the blessing was given by Henry Dillion.  35 members were in attendance.  The luncheon was catered by The Colony Club.

September and October birthdays were recognized as follows:  Ellen Shopis, Janet Wetherholt, Julie Dragoo and Glen Graham.  A thinking of you card will be sent to Hazel Carico.  A sympathy card has been sent to Nancy Hood.

Cathy Elliott spoke on her 25 years of leukemia recovery.   She thanked the group for all of their support.  She credits her health to her caring family, friends and God’s grace.

URG President Dr. Michelle Johnston

Karen Wright introduced Dr. Michelle Johnston, President of the University of Rio Grande.  She updated us on recent events occurring at the campus: (1) The 141st Founders Day,  (2)   Jake Bapst has a new book on the history of Rio, (3) The graduation in May was the largest in the school’s history, and (4) The student body includes students from 70 of Ohio’s 88 counties, from 18 states and 22 countries ( 75% of the students are from Gallia, Jackson, Meigs, and Vinton counties).

Presently, construction is underway for a simulation center at the nursing school building.  This will expose students to real life situations in the health care field.  In Jackson, they now have a building for off-campus classes.  Land has been purchased in Vinton County for an off-campus facility in the future.

Dr. Johnston spoke on the upcoming replacement levy on November 7th to support the Rio Community College.   Rio has not been on the ballot in 43 years. The tax levy is based on current property evaluations.  Many of those present signed a letter supporting the levy.

Dr. Johnston also announced a Veteran’s dinner to be held at Rio on October 28, 2017. This spaghetti dinner will honor area veterans and announce the Veteran of the Year Award. It is the second annual dinner honoring veterans at the university.

Melvin Biars with Floral Fashions

Melvin Biars from Floral Fashions Floral Shop was the featured guest speaker. Melvin shared information about the changing face of the floral industry.  He introduced new items for fall and the holidays.  He also shared with  the audience about the increase in prices for certain flowers and greenery due to the recent hurricanes in the south.   In order to try to be cost effective, he will now use the California market more often.  Melvin has prepared flowers for 23 weddings this year.  Current phone technology allows him to create a wedding album with his phone at an economical cost. If interested, check with Melvin about this new way to clear your phone of pictures and put them in an album.

As always, Melvin spoiled the group with lovely door prize items from his store.  Winners were: Doris Lanham, Jane Ann Slagle, Jackie Graham, Lynn Arnott, Gail Belville, Cathy Elliott, Marlene Hoffman. Jack James, Dottie Craig, Debbie Walker, Patricia Young, Karen Cornell, Sheryl Fallon, Bob Powell and Marsha Haynes.

Debbie North was the blue ticket winner.  This was for chances sold to benefit our scholarship fund and newsletter mailing.   Melvin donated a beautiful fall wreath for this fund raiser.

Pat & Henry Dillon with the quilt from Floral Fashions

Melvin also presented a beautiful quilt to Pat and Henry Dillon for their strong faith and service to others.  We are always so appreciative to Melvin for being the guest speaker for the program during the October meeting.

Jack James gave the treasurer’s report.  Minutes from the last meeting were in the latest issue of The Slate.  Both reports were approved.

A note of thanks was received from our service project, the Snack Pack program.  They greatly appreciate our financial assistance during the year.

Committee reports:  (1) Karen Wright is currently working to get our Web page up and running. (2) Karen Cornell asked that volunteer hours be turned in to her by the end of December.  (3) Julie Dragoo reminded the members that if they make a reservation for a meeting and are unable to attend for any reason that they should send the money due to Jack James our treasurer.  (4) Keep addresses current with Donna DeWitt if you wish to continue to receive the newsletter.

Gail Belville announced that we will have a benefit auction at the December meeting.  Members should plan to bring items to raffle and their pocket books.  The membership passed a motion that the first $100.00 from the December auction be used to help with the mailing of the newsletter and the remaining monies go to the scholarship fund.  The December meeting will be on December 7th at noon at the Vinton Baptist Church and the meal will cost $15.00.  The menu will be:  ham loaf, potato, green beans, salad, roll, dessert, and drink.

Upon adjournment, the raffle winners were announced as follows:  Mary Withee, Lois Carter, Doris Lanham, Sharon Vannoy, Karen Cornell, Sheryl Fallon, Cathy Elliott, Karen Wright and Debbie North .

Members attending:  Lynn Arnott, Gail Belville, Lois Carter, Karen Cornell, Dottie Craig, Henry Dillon, Pat Dillon, Julie Dragoo, Diane Drummond, Cathy Elliott, Sheryl Fallon, Glenn Graham, Jackie Graham, Marsha Haynes, Marlene Hoffman, Joan Hudak, Jack James, Doris Lanham, Karen Luckydoo, Debbie North, Betty Plymale, Bob Powell, Vicki Powell, Debbie Rhodes, Ellen Shopis, Jane Ann Slagle, Ruth Snyder , Richard Unroe, Sharon Vannoy, Janet Wetherholt , Mary Withee, Karen Wright, Patricia Young and Debbie Walker.