NEW SHARON — Thirty-three Franklin County Retired Educators recently held their opening meeting of the year.

The guest speaker was Crystal Ward, the MEA-R representative to the Benefits Trust. Wards’s main focus was insurance for Maine retirees. She explained the advantage of belonging to a big pool of participants from different ages and locations across the state. This allows a spreading of costs to reduce the effect of catastrophic illnesses, unlike stand-apart insurance contracts based on experience ratings.

Ward further explained the potential problems of LD 1326 which would split active versus retired members. She encouraged members to be aware what is happening, not only in Augusta and Washington, but at local school board meetings during negotiations where retirees’ benefits may be ignored and lost.

The FCRE again enjoyed a buffet lunch of casseroles, salads and an apple dessert prepared by the ladies of the Church of the Good Shepherd.

A business meeting followed lunch. A total of 36 retirees have become members. MSAD 58 classrooms will be eligible for this year’s Grant in Aid. Lois Barker will contact the schools with applications. The spring convention theme will be Fun in Retirement and volunteers are needed to prepare the Franklin County display.

The next meeting will be Monday, Oct. 15, at the New Sharon Methodist Church. The program will be the annual silent auction to raise money for the school Grant in Aid that gives teachers a chance to fund something that was not included in the school’s budget. Members are asked to bring objects for the auction.

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