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We always say at LRTA the local Units are the backbone of the association. They support the state organization and the LRTA Districts. And, just as important, they support each other. The year 2020 presented challenges in more ways than one. Besides the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our members and local Units were impacted by an active hurricane season. Through this devastation, our members remained resilient and lent a helping hand or shoulder to lean on when they could.

The Vermilion Retired Teachers Association, a local Unit in Vermilion parish, recognized the need of fellow retired teachers outside of their own LRTA District. Since 2009, the Vermilion RTA selects an organization each year to make monetary donations or other contributions to. The type of donations the Unit collects depends on the needs of the organization. “Every year we do a community service project,” said Mollie Charpentier, past president of Vermilion RTA. “Since Calcasieu-Cameron had such a bad situation last year, we decided to donate to them.”

Outgoing Vermilion RTA Officers (from left to right): President, Mollie Charpentier; Vice-President, Daniel Duhon; Secretary, Carolyn Savoy; and Acting Treasurer, Beverly Suire.

The Unit advertised the collection of donations in each newsletter and gathered donations at meetings. Over the course of a year, Vermilion RTA collected $1,000 to donate. And, at a recent meeting, the Vermilion RTA decided to match up to $500. Altogether, the Vermilion RTA donated $1,500 to the Calcasieu-Cameron Retired Teachers Association.

“Our Lake Charles community is still struggling to get back to the “way we were” before the storms,” says Mary Margaret David, president of the Calcasieu-Cameron RTA. “This generous donation from VPRTA will be a tremendous help to our members who have suffered so much.  We deeply appreciate your much needed help and support.”

Calcasieu-Cameron RTA Officers: President, Mary Margaret Davis; 1st Vice-President, Joan Vallee-Retke; 2nd Vice-President, Stephanie Rodrigue; Secretary, Elizabeth Richard; and Treasurer, Linda Finley.

Our members, local Units and LRTA Districts continue to perform community service even through retirement. Sometimes this service includes community members who forged similar paths.

“Even in retirement, our members continue to serve their communities, says Rodney Watson, LRTA Executive Director. “I hope the act of kindness from Vermilion RTA will inspire others to make an impact in their own communities or lend a helping hand as we start to resume our normal activities.” 

LRTA State President Janis Hernandez also remarked on the community service local Units performed in 2020 and throughout 2021. “I am always amazed by the work from our Units. As a previous Unit president, I know that when our members come together, we can make a big impact. I am so happy to hear about one of our Units making a difference for another.”

Incoming Vermilion RTA Officers (from left to right): Treasurer, Henrietta Garber; Vice-President, Betty Girouard; President, Ann Hardy; and Secretary, Carolyn Savoy.

“I am thrilled at the opportunity for retired educators to help one another,” says Ann Hardy, incoming president of Vermilion RTA.

“This is a perfect example of LRTA units helping other units,” says Mary Margaret David.

For more information about Vermilion RTA, contact Unit President Ann Hardy at (337) 772-9278. 

For more information about Calcasieu-Cameron RTA, contact Unit President Mary Margaret David at (337) 480-3706. 

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