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Unit Spotlight: Assumption RTA

What is the best way to get Louisianans together? How about a cookout?

For over a decade, Assumption Parish Retired Teachers Association has brought together fellow retired teachers and Assumption Parish residents for their annual Chicken Spaghetti Quart Fundraiser. Members of the community can pre-order quarts of chicken spaghetti sauce, and proceeds from the fundraiser goes toward Assumption Parish RTA members and projects.

The fundraiser began in 2010 as Assumption Parish RTA selling plate lunches and left-over quarts, which included the signature chicken spaghetti sauce. “I remember ordering the plate lunches when I was an active teacher,” says APRTA President Linda Gaudet. When Linda retired from teaching, APRTA transitioned to selling only quarts of the sauce.

Lee Meyer, an Assumption retired teacher, cooked for other organizational fundraisers, fairs and community events. He shared his cooking expertise and chicken spaghetti sauce recipe with ARRTA to create the annual fundraiser.

This fundraiser has proven to be successful over the years for the local Unit. Thanks to the Chicken Spaghetti Quart Fundraiser, Assumption RTA has helped offset the cost of sending members to LRTA State and/or District Meetings. At these meetings, members receive important resources from the state organization about legislation impacting their retirement benefits or retirement system and how they can help defend the current defined benefit plan. Members are also able to reconnect with former colleagues and meet fellow retired teachers from across the state. The fundraiser has also helped to keep membership dues down for the local Unit.

The chicken spaghetti fundraiser has allowed Assumption RTA to help in other circumstances, as well.  In the past, Assumption RTA has donated to parish schools affected by the pandemic and storms and to Uniforms for Kids. The fundraiser also helps with area scholarships and Assumption RTA’s yearly recognition of parish Teachers of the Year and Students of the Year. “Past, meets present, supports future,” she continued.

Unfortunately, Lee passed away in 2017.  APRTA took a break from the fundraiser that year, but we’ve picked up the paddle again. His son Rick Meyer has taken over “at the kettle”. Rick is also a member of the Assumption Parish School Board as his father was.

“I think it’s so cool because he gets it,” says Linda. “He’s kind of seen it from all sides. From the school board side and the retired teacher side. It’s almost like the circle of life.”

The chicken spaghetti fundraiser takes place once a year at the end of January.  Linda proudly admits that it was a well-oiled machine before she got there.  “It is a group effort with the dedication of those that were there at its beginning, evolving with new unit members, along with family and friends”, she added.   While January may be months away, you may want to mark your calendars for this very important fundraiser. “To purchase tickets”, advises Linda, “contact any one of the APRTA officers at the beginning of January, as the tickets sell as hot as the quarts!”

For more information about Assumption RTA, contact Mrs. Linda Gaudet at (985) 246-8131.

Interested in joining your local Unit? Click here to find a retired educator community near you.