President Charles Adair welcomed 22 members and guests to the Boone and Newton Counties Retired Teachers and Support Staff (BNCRTSS) monthly luncheon Tuesday, March 3 at Western Sizzlin’ Restaurant, Harrison. Mary Talbert gave an uplifting, thankful invocation and her guest, Mary Jane Hadenfeld, led the pledge of allegiance.
Adair introduced guest speaker, Alan Gregory, and his wife Terri. Both are Master Gardeners and Terri passed out pamphlets for Boone County Master Gardeners, a volunteer group that works to help with beautification projects in Harrison. Alan graduated from Harrison High School and Missouri State University with a Botany degree. Adair showed Harrison Daily Times articles which featured the Gregorys and their volunteer work and awards.
Approaching the microphone, Gregory called the retirees a “Fun Bunch” and thanked Adair for “quite a buildup and hope I live up to it” and that he did. He first invited everyone to visit the pollinator garden he helped build at the Cooperative Extension property, 1800 Extension Drive, near the 4H Student Activity Center. Hours are Monday thru Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 24/7 on the North Arkansas College Trail. He encouraged the group saying, “If you plant one flower, you are a butterfly gardener.” “Why have a butterfly garden? For your enjoyment and a healthy habitat for birds, pollinators, and bees.” He included specific size and location details for building the gardens using host plants and nectarine plants, the life cycles and habits of the butterflies according to which plants you use, and in at least 6 hours of sun.
Gregory showed beautiful photos of almost 20 appropriate plants to use making the butterflies sound like family in his descriptions. In closing, he focused on the monarch butterfly, milkweed and recommended the book “Arkansas Butterflies and Moths” by Lori A. Spencer and Facebook: Arkansas Butterflies. His final photo was a Zebra Swallowtail butterfly on a lantana bloom with the caption, “Enjoy these flying flowers”! Feeling the Gregorys’ passion makes you want to be a butterfly/pollinator gardener!
Following the program, Adair presented a pink tulip to the Gregorys before the business meeting. Secretary Beverly Bear offered a copy of the minutes from February. Linda Mathis gave the treasurer’s report. Donations and new members are always welcome. New membership dues paid by May pay a members’ dues through the spring of 2021.
Volunteer Chair Amy Young reminded members she will collect their 2019-2020 hours (projected through June 30) at the April and May luncheons. Teri Penquite, Membership Chair, requests member address and phone number changes and email addresses which will appear in our next yearbook. She continues to collect coffee cans for a drum project at Skyline. Penquite also invited everyone to hear Abby Burnett speak on “Cemeteries and the Buffalo River” at the Library March 24 at 5:30 p.m.
Scholarship Chair Jane Adair explained two scholarships opportunities. BNCRTSS gives two $500 Irma Adair scholarships to North Arkansas students, or prospective students, majoring in education who are residents of Boone or Newton Counties. Contact Adair for applications. Arkansas Retired Teachers Association (ARTA) sponsors up to eight, $2000 Parsons/Burnett Grant scholarships to currently employed educators pursuing a graduate degree or working on National Board certification. Jane is taking applications to schools in the area with hopes the information is shared with eligible faculty members. Application forms are due June 15. Obtain the forms at https://www.artanow.com.
March birthdays celebrated were Social Media Chair LeAnn Johnson and Mathis. Door prize winners were Johnson and Ethel Bogle. Go, LeAnn! This was her lucky day! Before adjourning, Adair announced the April 7, 11:15 a.m. luncheon at Western Sizzlin’. Dr. Steve Richards, North Arkansas Regional Hospital pharmacist, will present a popular, informative topic, “Prescribed and Over the Counter Medications Updates”. Correction: The April luncheon is cancelled. Hopefully, we will meet May 5 with Abby Burnett and her "Humor in Cemeteries" presentation.
Arkansas Teacher Retirement System (ATRS) retirees—join the state ARTA organization and BNCRTSS to support those who lobby to protect your benefits. To pay local $15 dues, send payment to Linda Mathis, treasurer, 1382 Old Bellefonte Road, Harrison, AR 72601 or pay at any monthly luncheon. To join ARTA, visit https://www.artanow.com.
Note: Boone and Newton Counties Retired Teachers and Support Staff (BNCRTSS) monthly luncheon on Tuesday, April 7 at Harrison Western Sizzlin’, is postponed till a later date. Dr. Steve Richards, North Arkansas Regional Hospital pharmacist, was to present “Prescribed and Over the Counter Medications Updates”, a popular informative program. May everyone be safe and healthy till we meet again, hopefully in May with Abby Burnett presenting her "Humor in Cemeteries".