The Middlesboro Retired Teachers Association (MRTA) held its annual Christmas party Monday at the downtown Le Esperanza.
The party opened with the president and vice president welcoming everyone. Next, everyone observed a moment of silence for the students and teachers lost in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Ashley Witt, food pantry coordinator for Cooperative Christian Ministry (CCM), was the guest speaker. Volunteerism is very important to MRTA and several of their members volunteer on a regular basis with CCM, she said. Witt spoke about the different ways MRTA has helped in the past.
In October, CCM received a $100 cash donation from MRTA. In addition to the cash donation, several members of MRTA bought food and brought it to CCM.
After Witt spoke to the group about possible upcoming volunteer opportunities, members enjoyed their meals. Next, members joined in the pledge, listened to several reports and enjoyed door prizes.
MRTA currently consists of 94 members. Of these 94 members, approximately 30 showed up for the Christmas party. Current officers of MRTA are Paula Adams, president; Mary Susan Hale, vice president; Kathy Paynter, secretary and Rhonda Roark, treasurer.
MRTA’s parent organization is the Kentucky Teacher’s Retirement Association (KTRA). The sole purpose of KTRA is to improve the welfare of Kentucky retired educators.
Originally, the Social Security System excluded state and local government employees from coverage. Therefore, the Kentucky Teacher’s Retirement System (KTRS) was established by the Kentucky general assembly in 1938 to provide retirement benefits for Kentucky’s public school system.
For the 2011-2012 year, there were 382 retired school teachers in Bell County. Those school teachers received $1,424,919 in medical benefits and $11,145,513 in retirement benefits for a total benefit amount of $12,510,432.
Reina Cunningham is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. She can be contacted via phone at 606-248-1010, ext. 205.