Alabama education retirees hold annual meeting  

By Susie Hovater Malone
Lifestyles Columnist

The Alabama Education Retirees Association, Inc. held its annual meeting at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa convention center on May 2. More than 500 education retirees from all over the state attended. Sandy Gibson and Judy Ory represented the Franklin County chapter of the Alabama Education Retirees Association.

Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor of Troy University addressed the AERA Business Meeting.  

Candi Williams, State Director of AARP Alabama, spoke on Make-A-Wish Alabama during the luncheon meeting. She shared how Make-A-Wish creates life changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Research shows a wish gives kids the strength to fight and even overcome critical illnesses. Make-A-Wish Alabama finances endeavors through corporate sponsorships, special events, foundation grants and individual contributions. 

Sarah Horton, AERA’s state executive director, and Rex Cheatham, AERA’s state vice president, welcomed all the retired educators and nurses, thanking them for their dedication to the children of Alabama.   

Members received commendation for their advocacy training, district meetings and committee training sessions which make the AERA the great organization that it is today.

The outgoing AERA executive director, Jill Jackson, received the prestigious Wilford S. Bailey Award for her outstanding leadership as head of the state retiree association. President Larry Teer presented Jackson with the Auburn University Retiree Association Award (AURA). 

The Franklin County Education Retirees Association received the Unit of Excellence Award in recognition of its report of more than 3,690 hours of community service. In the business session, our FCERA delegates voted on two AERA amendments. 

Attendees listened to a report about AERA’s annual legislative reception, held April 13. The legislators who attended received appreciation for their support of our retired educators.   Margaret Beard received commendation for the amazing job she did introducing all the House and Senate members. 

Membership in the Alabama Education Retirees Association, Inc. (AERA) is open to anyone who receives retirement benefits from the Teachers’ Retirement System of Alabama. Currently, AERA has more than 25,000 members. 

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