At the Nov. 12 meeting of Gamma Phi Chapter, Natalie Cook, counselor for the Hartville Elementary, was initiated into the chapter and welcomed by members.

President Mary Jane Lybyer conducted the business meeting. Elaine Campbell shared that the Gamma Phi chapter has donated more than 2,500 books to the “Born to Read” project with the Texas County Health Department. The Willow Springs members gave each first-year teacher in their school system a gift card and note welcoming them to the teaching profession. Donna Jones had members complete a “Permission to Publish” form and mentioned the need for someone to develop a webpage and Facebook page.

Mary Lou James gave the devotion based on Galatians 3:28 and James 2:1 using the Dr. Seuss book, “Sneetches.” Le Etta East, accompanied by Joy Lower, sang the “The Servant’s Song.” Brenda Kimbrough introduced Steve and Tressa Dunlap, missionaries who work with victims of human trafficking. Their mission, On Time Ministry, is to provide a safe haven at one of their houses in the Mexico and in Mountain Grove and Houston. Tressa Dunlap spoke of how they began their ministry. He demonstrated some ways to break away from an attacker and shared a handout of information about situational awareness. He also spoke about how they helped women escape from their forced situations.

After the luncheon provided by the Eunice Whitaker Circle of the First United Methodist Church, Mindy Pinckney, auctioneer, with the help of Brenda Jarrett, conducted the auction which raised money for the chapter’s scholarship fund.

Members from the Houston area are Elaine Campbell, Sherry Gatlin, Dara Jackson, Mary Jane Lybyer, Wilda McNiell, Diane Moore, Judy Rouse, Vivian Stilley, Mary Stottlemyre, Maygen Ward and Terisa Ward.


The Texas County Retired Teachers and Public School Personnel met Nov. 14 in the fellowship hall at First Baptist Church in Houston.

A colorful autumn luncheon was served to 25 members by the refreshment committee.

The devotion was given by Linda Roberts encouraging members to foster relationships with others by slowing down our lives and making time for the people around us.

Keith Ford gave an informative talk about issues that veterans face every day. Ford’s passion comes from his own 26-year experience serving his country. He informed members about the lack of preparation, especially for reserve troops, that negatively affect their ability to deal with combat situations they may find themselves in. As a result, there are many veterans that are dealing with PTSD and other issues that civilians are unaware of. He encouraged members to help these veterans by being there, caring and listening to them.

The business meeting was opened with the pledge to the flag led by President Jay Frost. Secretary report was read and approved. Treasurer’s report was read and approved with a balance of $808. Twenty-nine members have paid dues for 2017.

There were 91 canned goods donated by members. These will be distributed in Licking.

Legislative chair Paul Meier reported that Legislative Day is Feb. 15 in Jefferson City. For now, the district committee has decided to prioritize the retirement formula instead of COLA. Meier will make appointments to meet with state legislators on Legislative Day.

Community chair Elaine Campbell encouraged members to collect soda can tabs that will be used to help fund Ronald McDonald Houses. She also volunteered to display MRTA awards in the Visitors Center in Houston.

Jay Frost made the members aware of a variety of scams that are popping up and ways to prevent identity theft.

Kay Honeycutt made a motion, second by Judy Rouse and passed by members to approve the 2017 slate of officers to be installed at the December meeting.

Bonnie Carter read a thank you note for the donation from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. She also reported that a book has been donated to the Licking branch of the Texas County Library in memory of Anna Mary Heavin.

The next meeting is set for Dec. 12.

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