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Chapter 91 Happenings 2017 - 2016 - 2015

Thank you members and Officers for making 2017 such a success
and look forward to your continued participation
in making 2018 bigger and better.

2017 Programs

. Jan 3, 2017 - "Recycle Program", Celnia Pulcher, Outreach Coordinator, City of Corpus Christi Waste Services, provided information on Recycling, web site for information, and what items to recycle.

Feb 7, 2017- Program - "Dispute Resolutions Services" (DRS), Speaker: Luis Corona, Director and Mr. Walter DeVille, DRS Board Member . Mr. Corona provided information on how Dispute Resolutions works. DRS offers you the opportunity to settle your dispute through mediation. DRS mediation is fast, free & confidential. Volunteers always welcomed - training required & provided - if interested, contact DRS office at (361) 888-0650,

- March 7, 2017 - "Corpus Christi Regional Transit Authority (CCRTA))", Speaker: Melanie Gomez, Eligibility Coordinator, (361) 903-3464 . Ms. Gomez presented an excellent program on types of bus lines (fixed-route and the B-Line) services provided by CCRTA. Bus services include top of the line mobility/accessibility features that allow freedom and independence for citizens to travel Corpus Christi and surrounding areas at a reasonable cost. This is NOT the old bus lines you remember. Contact Customer Service Center, 602 N. Staples, (361) 883-2287.

-April 4, 2017 - "Postal Inspectors - Duties & Functions" - Speaker: Hector L. Herrera, U. S. Postal Inspector, Houston/Corpus Christi. Mr. Herrera explained function of Postal Inspector is similar to law enforcement. Postal inspectors investigate, arrest, and prosecute individuals or organizations that use the mail service for illegal purposes such as mail fraud, identity theft, illegal mailing of drugs, weapons, etc. and provided information on several high profile cases that were recently in the news.

- May 2, 2017 - No Chapter meeting held as Officers attended the 59th Texas Federation of Chapters State Convention, May 3-6, 2017 in Austin, TX.

- May 3-6, 2017 - 59TH Tx Federation of Chapters Convention, Austin, TX, attended by Herby Garza, President, Joel Menking, 1st VP and new Dist 14 Representative, Dora Benavides, Secretary and new South Area VP-Elect, and members Dr. and Noemi Galvan. Dr. John Creswell, former South Area VP elected President; changes to TX Federation bylaws made to implement "one member-one vote" initiative & will be sent to NARFE Natl for approval; TX Fed of Chapters name changed to Texas Federation.

- May 19, 2017 - Transfer on Death Deed (TODD) - free clinic chaired by Mrs. Susan Ochoa-Spiering, Attorney, was held from 9am to 2 pm at Oveal Williams Senior Center, Friday, May 19th. TODD is a document that allows transfer of real property located in Texas to pass upon your death to a named beneficiary(s) without you having a will or probating a will. Numerous attorneys were available to assist in filling out legal forms (free of charge). Documentation to bring to clinic: property deed, ID, beneficiary(s) list, file completed forms at courthouse before death. To pre-register to attend next clinic, call Attorney Ochoa at (361) 806-0070 for more information.

- June 6, 2017 Speaker Mr. John Metz, NOAA, National Weather Service, topic: "Skywarm, Storm Spotter Training". Mr. Metz provided a very informative slide presentation on what the Natl Weather Service (NWS) does, how to listen for severe weather warnings on radio & TV, how to spot severe weather clouds, what to do in case of tonadoes, hail, flooding, etc. and how members could assist Natl Weather Service by contacting NWS if a severe weather clouds are forming. Information was given on next "Skywarm Storm Spotter" training class and if interested contact NWS at 888-579-9731.

- July 10, 2017 - Walk to End Alzheimer's Kickoff Party. Opening remarks by Veronica Gomez-Corpus Christi Alzheimer's Assocation Development Manager. Chapter 91 Team Captain Joel Menking and team member Dora Benavides joined other organization Team Members to kickoff 2017 Walk to End Alzheimer's event at Brewster's Street Ice House. There were representative from City of Corpus Christi, Chamber of Commerce, etc. to help cut the purple ribbon to officially welcome 2017 Walk to End Alzheimer's team members. Refreshments and opportunity to bid on donated Silent Auction items were provided at this festive event.

- July 12, 2017 - Annual NARFE Chapter BBQ Outing - 24 members/guests met at Miller's BBQ on Weber Road and enjoyed lunch, fellowship, short meeting, then played the Question Game - if question applied to you then you earn a penny & whoever had most pennies at end of game won. Jackie Sasara was lucky winner & won a $10 Gift Card. Sign in sheet numbers were also drawn and if member's name was called, then they could choose one item from Door Prize table. Members were also given colorful insulated cups by President Garza.

- July 24, 2017 - Alzheimer's Awareness Night at the Ballpark was a special event held at Whaterburger Field, Corpus Christi, TX. A portion of the proceeds going to benefit Alzheimer's Association. Special seating section reserved for supporters and participants of Alzheimer's and upcoming Walk to End Alzheimer's. Joel Menking, NARFE Chapter 91 Team Captain, and team member Dora Benavides joined other Alzheimer's supporters and participants and enjoyed watching Corpus Christi Hooks baseball team play the San Antonio Missions (unfortunately the Hooks lost), but we still enjoyed $1 hotdogs and beverages and seeing the Harbor Bridge lighted in "purple" for Alzheimer's night at the ball park. Great time for all.

- August 1, 2017 - Speaker - Mr. Mike Menard, Chief Test Pilot with Lone Star Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of Excellence and Innovation at TXA&M-CC, 361 825-4112, spoke on topic of "Drones"- types (hobby-commercial), FAA requirements, license to operate, beneficial use of drones, etc.

- August 25-26, 2017 - Hurricane Harvey hit South Texas. Aransas Pass, Port Aransas, Rockport were hardest hit with Corpus Christi being spared the brunt of Harvey but still sustained heavy damage to homes and businesses due to Category 4 winds of 135 mph.

- September 5, 2017 - First meeting after Hurricane Harvey. Garden Center was not severly damaged. Joel Menking, First VP, filled in for absent President Herby Garza. Members discussed FEMA mobile stations available to assist members impacted by Hurricane Harvey; how impacted members can apply thru NARFE Disaster Fund via FEEA for immediate assistance; postponement of Walk to End Alzheimer's to Sunday, Dec 3 due to recovery efforts to assist families impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

- September 20-21, 2017 - Region VI Seminar in Longview, Texas. Dora Benavides, South Area VP and Joel Menking, District 14 Representative attended.

- October 3, 2017 - Memorial Service for Deceased NARFE Employees. NARFE Members Joel Menking, Dora Suarez, Herby Garza, Steve Soto, Mary Reed, and Delfina McHugh participated in Scripture readings, lighting of white candle and placement of red rose on NARFE Chapter bible. Guest speaker, Rev. Eric Chapa, St. Pius X Catholic Church provided a beautiful tribute to our deceased members.

- October 6, 2017 - Dora Benavides, NARFE TxF South Area Vice President, attended first 2017 CCAD Fall Formal Ball at Omni Hotel, hosted by COL Allan H. Lanceta, Commander Corpus Christi Army Depot. Keynote Speaker was Major General Antonio "Tony" Taguba, U.S.Army, Retired, who gave a presentation on history of Pan-Pacific American Leaders & Mentors (PPALM) volunteer organization committed to mentoring and professional development of military and civilian leaders of Asian Amer and Pacific Islander descent. He also chairs and talked about the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project which resulted in Congress passing the Filipino Veterans of WWII Congressional Gold Medal on Nov 30, 2016, and signed into law by President Obama on December 14, 2016.

- October 20, 2017, Corpus Christi - Dora Benavides, South Area VP and Joel Menking, District 14 Representative were invited by Laura Mansour, BC/BS Federal Health Rep, to attend BC/BS Pre-Open Season Health Fair and talk about NARFE to federal agencies benefits staff in attendance. One year NARFE membership drawing was won by Beverly Mehary, newly retired CCAD employee and newest member of Chapter 91.

- October 25, 2017, Rancho Viejo, TX - Dora and Joel again attended second BC/BS Pre-Open Season Health Fair and spoke to federal benefits staff in attendance. One free NARFE membership was awarded to NARFE Chapter 0520, Harlingen, TX.

- October 26, 2017, McAllen, TX - Dora and Joel attended third and final BC/BS Pre-Open Season Health Fair and spoke to attendees about NARFE membership. One free NARFE membership was awarded to NARFE Chapter 0525, Weslaco, TX.

- October 31, 2017 - Homeland Security office in Corpus Christi invited Dora and Joel to their Pre-Open Season Health fair for their employee. NARFE sharded exhibit tables with representatives of GEHA, HUMANA, and BC/BS. Two new members were recruited to Chapter 91 - Vickki Striedal and Agustin Olivarez.

- November 2, 2017 - Joel Menking invited to participate as NARFE exhibitor along with other health insurance representatives at Three Rivers Correctional Facility Pre-Open Season Health fair for employees. One free NARFE membership was awarded to Chapter 91 - John Danmier, Federal Correctional Facility, Three Rivers.

- November 7, 2017 - Speaker Faye Dulaney, PAO, from Small Business Administration explained process for applying for assistance for Hurricane Harvey disaster. Deadline to apply is November 30, 2017. Very informative program.

- December 3, 2017 - Walk to End Alzheimer's held at Cole Park in Corpus Christi beginning at 1 p.m. Nine NARFE Chapter 91 members and three family supporters participated in walk and helped man NARFE Chapter 91 exhibit booth. Participating members of NARFE Chapter 91 team - Joel Menking, Team Captain, Beverly Mehary (new member), Dora Suarez, Jackie Sasara, Herby Garza, Fern Carter and her daughter Vanessa and grandson and great-grandson; Esther Martinez, Delfina McHugh, and Dora Benavides. NARFE 91 team was recognized by Alzheimer's Association as one of the top five teams exceeding goal of $1,000 in donations. Way to go NARFE 91 team mebmers!!!! Final amount raised in 4017-$1,320.00. Thank you for your contributions and participation.

-December 5, 2017 - Christmas Party, Garden Senior Center, 1230 p.m. - NARFE Chapter 91 members brought delicious side dishes to compliment smoked turkey and ham provided by Joel Menking. Dora Benavides, Texas Federation South Area Vice President, swore in 2018-2010 NARFE Chapter 91 officers. Members participated in "Name that NARFE member Baby Picture Contest" and the grand prize winners were Ms. Glenda Turner who correctly identified all six photos and Mary Hererra who identified four photos. Members then participated in fifty-fifty raffle, donations for "Road to Convention Raffle" to be held in 2018, and gift exchange. wonderful way to end a good year and look forward to an even better New Year.


  2016 Meetings/Speakers

. January 5, 2016. NARFE Chapter 91 began the New Year with a presentation by Ms. Karen Duncan, Group Sales Mgr of Mayflower Tours, Austin, TX. Ms. Duncan provided information on exciting tours and destinations that Mayflower Tours is offering for 2016-17 at special costs. This was especially timely as NARFE will be holding 34th National Convention in Reno, NV, on August 28th thru Sept 2nd, 2016, and Mayflower Tours will be advising of special airfares NARFE members may take advantage of.

. February 2, 2016. Topic: "Veterans Benefits". Jose Armijo, Director of the Coastal Bend State Veterans Cemetery, will provide information on eligibility requirements, documentation needed, how to pre-register, costs, and coverage for spouses. NARFE Veterans & Spouses - Come to NARFE meeting and learn about this important subject. Garden Senior Center, 5325 Greely, 1:15 pm, Tuesday February 2nd.

. March 1, 2016. Topic: "A Matter of Balance". Guest Speaker: Viola Monreal, Program Developer/Area Agency on Aging of Coastal Bend. Help reduce fear of falling & increase activity levels of older adults who have concerns about falling.

. April 5, 2016.  Topic: "Intellectual Properties-Copyrights/Trademarks/Patents". Guest Speaker: Susan Ochoa, Patent Attorney, reviewed examples of various Intellectual Properties and their requirements.

. May 3, 2016.  Topic:  Federal Long Term Care Insurance (FLTCIP).  Guest Speaker: Michelle Ramsour, Benefit Coordinator,, 602.363.8280 or 918.245.1400 ext 522.  Provided information on types of FLTCIP available and advised that program costs would be increasing due to increased costs associated with long term care.  

. June 7, 2016.  Memorial Program for Deceased NARFE Chapter 91 members.

. July 5. 2016.  BBQ Outing at Silvarado Smokehouse and "Road to Convention Raffle Drawing".

Road to Convention" Raffle Winners
Drawing held July 5, 2016 NARFE CHAPTER 91 MEETING

 1st Prize Lenovo Tablet, Winner-Javier Olivia, Harlingen, TX,
               ticket #259 sold by Herby Garza, NARFE President        

 2nd Prize  Element 19" Flat Screen Portable TV & Clear Digital Indoor
               Antenna, Winner- Jackie Sasara, NARFE Chap 91 member,
               Corpus Christi, TX, ticket  #29 previously purchased by winner

 3rd Prize   Stero Head Phones, Winner-Miguel Villarreal, Corpus
                Christi, TX, ticket #202 sold by Herby Garza

 4th Prize  Walmart Gift Card for $25, Winner - Dina Graves, Corpus
                Christ, TX, ticket #46 sold by Dora Benavides, NARFE member

 5th Prize  BBQ Basket (with lots of goodies), Winner - Fern Carter,  
                Chapter 91 member, Corpus Christi, TX, ticket #69 previously
                purchased by winner

 6th Prize  Jason's Deli Gift Card for $25, Winner - Javier Olivia,
                Harlingen, TX, ticket #251 sold by Herby Garza

 7th Prize  Whataburger Gift Card for $15, Winner - Homer Zuniga,
                Corpus Christi, TX, ticket #163 sold by Herby Garza

 Special recognition to Delfina McHugh, NARFE Chapter 91 member, "Road To Convention" Raffle Chairperson, Herby Garza, President for selling the most tickets, and a BIG THANK YOU to NARFE Chapter 91 members and friends who sold and bought raffle tickets.

. August 2, 2016.  

. August 28 - Sept 2, 2016 - 34th NARFE Annual Convention, Grand Sierra Resort, Reno, NV.  Joel Menking, Vice President, and Dora Benavides attended national convention for the first time.  Over 900 NARFE members in attendance at this exciting convention which elected leaders and passed important resolutions and bylaws that will help preserve NARFE organization for active and retired federal employees for many years to come.  New motto:  "The "e" in NARFE is silent....but we're NOT!"

. Sept 6, 2016.  Topic:  County Office of Emergency Management (OEM).  Speakers - Billy Delgado, City of CC Emergency Planning Coordinator and Christina Rodriguez spoke on how to be aware of & prepare for natural disasters.

. Sept 10, 2016.  Joel Menking, Team Captain, and Dora Benavides participated in Corpus Christi's 2016 Walk to End Alzheimer's sponsored by the Alzheimer's Association, held at Heritage Park.  Corpus Christi Alzheimer's Association displayed banner listing major National Sponsors and NARFE is now listed as a National Sponsor of this event.  Thanks to your support, important research will continue to eradicate this dreadful disease.    

 - Oct 20, 2016 - NARFE National Alzheimer's October Newsletter named Joel Menking, Chaper 91 Team Captain of Corpus Christi 2016 Walk to End Alzheimer's, as recipient of the first official "NARFE Alzheimer's Research" hoodie.  Joel's name was selected from the many NARFE members who participated in 2016 Walk to End Alzheimer's activities.       Congratulations to Joel Menking for promoting participation in NARFE Alzheimer's Research Walks and bringing national attention to Chapter 91 "Sparking City by the Sea".   

. Nov 1, 2016 - Regular meeting with update from Esther Martinez, Legislative Chair and Herby Garza, President.  Emphasis to members was to VOTE on or before NOV 8TH.  Also, Christmas Party plans discussed for Tuesday, Dec 6th, at 1230. Members/Guests to bring covered dish, and wrapped gift (minimum value $10) to participate in gift exchange.  If no gift brought, then member/guest can make a $10 donation to be placed in a Christmas card and participate in gift exchange.  

. Nov 7, 2016 - Homeland Security Health Fair - NARFE Chapter 91 was invited to participate in Homeland Security 2016 Open Season Health Fair.  Joel Menking, Vice President and Dora Benavides, Acting Secretary set up NARFE information booth and distributed NARFE literature.

. Dec 6, 2016 - NARFE Chapter 91 Christmas Party was a great success thanks to our Members who enjoyed  fellowship, delicious food and "Dirty Santa" gift exchange.  We welcomed transferred members Dist 14 Rep Ron and Janis Wideman, Dr. Dan and Noemi Galvan, and future NARFE member, Alyse Wideman - 8 months, granddaughter of Ron & Janis Wideman.

 Thank you members and Officers for making 2016 such a success
and look forward to your continued participation
in making 2017 bigger and better.   

Chapter 91 Happenings 2015

Members of Chapter 91, Corpus Christi, Sparkling City by the Sea, have gotten off to a great start for 2015. Some of the chapter happenings include:

. January 6 – Ms. Melinda Aguilar, Director, Continuing Education Programs at Del Mar College, presented various courses that seniors can attend at little or no cost. Our very own member, Mr. Steve Soto, teaches an Introductory to Computer class.  

. February 3 - Mrs. Alexa Fulbrite, Water Conservation Manager for the City of Corpus Christi presented information on city water sources, water conservation, rain harvesting, and provided information packets to all members in attendance.

. February 6 – Members attended and participated in District 14 Convention held in Victoria, Texas, where the following members of Chapter 91, received Certificates of Appreciation: Dora Benavides, President; Joel Menking, Vice President; Jackie Sasara, Secretary; Mary Reed, Treasurer; and Hilda Salinas, Distinguished Member and past officer. Member Delfina McHugh conducted a successful Raffle with proceeds benefiting NARFE Alzheimer's Fund.

. March 3rd -Mr. Ken Combs, Taxpayer Liaison Officer, Nueces County Appraisal District presented a very interesting program on Property Taxes: Homeowners Issues and how to resolve.  

. Heriberto Garza, new Legislation and NARFE PAC Chair, was sworn in as Second Vice President at March meeting.  

. Congratulations to John Jordan, Joel Menking, and Heriberto Garza who recruited new members and reported receiving 2014 Recruitment pins from NARFE Headquarters.  

. April 7th - Mrs. Kathryn Harlan, Attorney at Law, Board Certified-Estate Planning & Probate Law, Texas Board Of Legal Specialization, provided members information and answered questions on "Estate Planning and Probate". Handouts provided included "Living Trust Scams", sample interview questions to consider when starting estate planning process, importance of keeping all designation of beneficiary requirements on property, life insurance, financial documents, etc. updated and current to avoid any problems.  Extra copies of handouts will be also be available at May meeting.

. Joel Menking, Vice President, discussed new Chapter 91 NARFE web site launched in March 2015 - -- how to access, features, future plans.  Members were requested to view web site often and submit articles of member interest to either Joel or Dora Benavides, President, for inclusion in monthly web site updates.  

. Mary Reed, Treasurer, announced new 2015 Chapter 91 Membership Rosters are available for sale at all Chapter 91 meetings.

.   Olga Gonzales, active NARFE member and President of AARP Chapter 4836, was featured in CC Caller-Times for organizing an appreciation event at Greenwood Senior Center that honored 20 women volunteers during Women's History Month.  

.  Chapter 91 Recruitment Contest Winners - Jose O. Tijerina presented with $30 check, certificate, and new name badge; William "Bill" Dodson presented with Runner-Up certificate and new name badge at June 2nd meeting.

.  June 2nd - Mr. Toby Cross, Nueces County Veterans Representative, guest speaker, 1:15 pm, Senior Garden Center. Topic: "Review of Veterans Benefits".

.  July 7th - Members met at Silvarado BBQ Restaurant for annual "BBQ outing" and enjoyed delicious BBQ and fellowship.

.   August 1st - NARFE members sponsored a "Road to National" fund raising Garage Sale.  Proceeds to help with delegate expense to 2016 NARFE National Convention in Reno, NV.  

.  August 4th - Kathy Rios, Agency Relations Mgr, Corpus Christi Food Bank, presented an informative program on the services provided by Food Bank to Corpus Christi and 11 counties.  Also Bucket Raffel was held and members enjoyed bidding on items.

.   August 12th - 2015 Veterans Benefit Summit, TAMU-CC, NARFE Chapter 91 invited to participate along with other Veteran Organizations. Membership information distributed to attendees.
Susan Ochoa


.  Sept 1 - Susan Ochoa, Patent Attorney, presented informative program on "Patents--what they are, types, requirements, and expiration dates".

.  September 12 - NARFE Chapter 91 members Dora Benavides and Joel Menking participated in 2015 2K Walk to End Alzheimer's, Heritage Park, Corpus Christi. A total of $175 was raised for NARFE Alzheimer's Research.

.  September 29 - NARFE members accepted proclamation from City of Corpus Christi Mayor Nelda Martinez declaring October 6, 2015, "Distinguished Members Recognition Day". To see video, go to City of Corpus Christi web page, select City Coucil, select City Council Legislative System, select Agenda Minutes & Video, select Sept 29th meeting video.   

.  October 6 - NARFE Chapter 91 recognized 11 of 12 members who have achieved "Distinguished Member" status.  Mr. Marshall Richards, Region VI Vice President, Mr. Phil Kraus, Pres. Texas Federation of Chapters, and Mr. Ron Wideman, District 14 Representative were special guests and presenters. Mrs. Colleen McIntyre, Dist 4 rep read the City of CC Proclamation.  Members honored were: Betty Bingham, Mollie Clifton-Stedman, Julia B. Eleazer, Manuel Lopez, Raymond Muniz, Joseph L. Raffone, Mary E. Reed, Jose M. Rodriguez, Ruben Salinas, Bonnie White, Kenneth W. Williams, and Virgie J. Williams.   

. October 30 - NARFE members Joel Menking and Dora Benavides attended BC/BS Pre-Open Season Health seminar at Omni Hotel and distributed NARFE membership information.

. November 3 - Jeanne C. Whittington, ASID, Professional Interior Designer presented "Decorating for the Holidays" program at Buddy Walker Home Furnishings.

  Chapter Officer Elections for 2016 were also held.  New 2016 Officers are:  Pres - Heriberto Garza; 1st VP - Joel Menking; 2nd VP - Esther Martinez; Treasurer - Abner Spears; Secretary-Jackie Sasara agreed to continue as Secretary until new replacement is nominated and elected.  

. December 1 - NARFE Chapter 91 members and guests enjoyed delicious food, gift exchange, and installation of NARFE Chapter Officers for 2016-18. Special guest  Mr. Ron Wideman, TFC District Representative, installed the new officers at Garden