Club News

Montgomery County Retired Teachers Association


The April meeting of the Montgomery County Retired Teachers Association was held April 15 at the Crawfordsville District Public Library. President Kim Nixon led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance and Deb Vaught gave the invocation.

The speaker for this meeting was Ron Hess and he presented a program on the work that is being done in Haiti and sponsored by the Rotary Club, his church, and many volunteers. The mission which has been in existence for many years consists of many projects. At Carrefour Sanon in Haiti they have built a church, school and medical facility.

One of the projects involved hiring an agronomist to help the people there grow mangos, lemons, coconuts, papaya, banana and other sustainable crops. A Montgomery County farmer, Terry Cain, helped them plant 5,000 trees and taught them how to avoid erosion.

Many of the people in the area lived in thatched roofed huts with dirt floors. They suffered from diseases such as pin worms, scabies and respiratory issues. It was determined that if the people had concrete floors much of these diseases could be reduced. One in five children died before the age of 5 and few people lived to the age of 50. To date they have built over 200 concrete floors.

One of the best-known projects in the Wine to Water fundraiser. With the money raised they built wells eliminating the need for young women to spend many hours a day finding drinkable water. Money for this project was also donated by the Amish community and Youngs Chapel.

Another project is the jewelry project in which costume jewelry in disassembled and made into new jewelry for sale by women in the community. Sometimes the women barter the jewelry for food. First Baptist Church also donated clothing and jewelry.

Another project was the Mothers’ Club, in which women were given grants to start businesses. Chalice, a Christian business men’s group, donated money to help replace the thatched roofs with metal ones.

Other projects include building a solar power plant, grain mill, greenhouse and bakery. Hess told about the effects of the recent political problems in Haiti and spoke emotionally about the effects of the last earthquake.

In the business meeting the secretary’s report and treasurer’s report were given and approved.

Nixon announced that the Representative Assembly would be held on June 12 at Indianapolis and five members would attend. The Community Service Committee announced that money was sent to FISH and that volunteer hour sheets need to be filled out throughout the year. Member concerns chair Mary Lefevre sent out cards to shut ins.

Barb Foster will conduct the memorial service for members who have passed this past year at the June meeting. Vice President Steve Frees announced the slate of officers for next year. Frees as president, Kathy Steele as vice president, Jerlyn Yerkes as secretary and Foster as treasurer.

The meeting was adjourned and door prizes were awarded.