NARFE - Chapter 372
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Recent Meeting Minutes




NOVEMBER 1, 2017


The November 1, 2017 meeting was called to order by the Chapter President, Richard Karakantas at 1:00 PM at Steppy's, at the Facenda Whittaker Bowling Lanes, 2912 Swede Road, East Norriton, PA 19401.

Pledge of Allegiance: Rich opened the meeting by leading the group in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a moment of silence.  

Program: Rich introduced our program host, Mike Hobson, Manager FEP Sales, Independence Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Mike gave us an overview of some of the changes to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield health benefit plan for 2018. These changes or updates included their Wellness Incentive, Preventive Care , Provider/Facility Care, Overseas Care, and Pharmacy programs and also updates to their Standard Option and Basic Option plans. He emphasized their Basic Option Plan when you have Medicare Parts A & B as being a cost effective plan for many people. He also handed out many brochures including their Dental and Vision plans, but their complete brochure is in limited hard copy supply, so if you would like their complete brochure go to or call 1-800-411-BLUE (2583). We always like having Blue Cross and Blue Shield give us an annual update and appreciated their paying for our lunch.

Introduction of Members and Guests: 29 members and guests were present.

Reading of the Minutes from the last meeting: Al Henryson – A reading of the October minutes was waived since they are available on the Chapter website. The minutes were approved as written.

Officer and Committee Reports:

Treasurer: Joan Shal gave the following report for October: Total Receipts were $328.02,   Total Disbursements were $0.00, and Total Obligations were $182.00, resulting in a Total Balance on Hand of $5976.71. The report was accepted and approved as submitted. .

Legislation: Bill O'Donnell was absent. However Rich mentioned that both the House and Senate passed the 2018 budget which did not have any cuts to federal pay and benefits. NARFE members who stood up and raised their voices by contacting their legislators are to be greatly thanked. He and George Shal also mentioned that the Dues Withholding program has been extended through June 30, 2018.   Sign up for this convenient and cost saving method of paying dues if you have not already done so. Also a reminder that the Healthcare Open Season begins November 13 and goes through December 11 of this year if you want to make any changes. The COLA increase for 2018 will be 2%. .

Membership: Eileen Fitzgerald reported that we have 181 Chapter members, 3 National Only members and 3 Life members, for a total of 187 members.

Sunshine: Stephanie Russell reported no activity for the month. However Chapter members present all signed cards to Helen Debus who turned 105 years old !!! (way to go Helen ) and to Earl Shaw who is presently in the hospital receiving treatment for an illness (get well soon Earle).  

Old Business:

Holiday Luncheon. All members were reminded that the cost for each person for the Holiday Luncheon will be $20, with the Chapter paying the remaining cost, which is estimated to be $8.20 per person. Al Henryson, Committee Chair, briefed that attendees will be able to place their order from the “Ridings” special menu placed at each table. This menu will be a choice of a Single Lump Crab Cake, Petite Filet Mignon, Broiled Salmon, or Stuffed Chicken, and includes a Garden Salad, Potato du Jour, Vegetable du Jour and Vanilla Ice Cream. Entertainment will be the traditional Holiday Music piped into the banquet room, our lively conversation and many drawings for special prizes. Again this year, we will be in the Gwynedd Room, the larger room on the left as you enter the restaurant. See Joan Shal to make your reservation and payment. Guests are welcome. We currently have almost 30 people signed up. This annual Holiday Luncheon will be held again at the Spring House Tavern, 1032 Bethlehem Pike, Spring House, PA 19477. The web site is and the phone number is 215-646-1788.  

Speakers for 2018: Rich read a list of speaker ideas that members have suggested to him. These include topics such as Vietnam, AAA, Alzheimer's, Gerrymandering, Antiques Roadshow, Fire Safety, State Rep Kate Harper, Veterans Organizations, Presidential Illnesses, Long Term Care and Hospital Emergency Room Procedures. These are great and we are always open to more ideas. We will discuss this further at our next scheduled meeting.

New Business:

Chapter Elections: Nominations for Chapter Officers for 2018 were solicited. The following were unanimously re-elected; Chapter President-Rich Karakantas, !st Vice President-Eileen Fitzgerald, 2nd Vice President-LaForrest (Duke) Russell, Treasurer-Joan Shal, and Secretary-Al Henryson. They will be sworn in at our Holiday Party in December. Remaining positions are appointed by the President.

Federation Meeting Summary: This meeting will be held next June 11-13, 2018 at the Wyndham Hotel in York, PA.   Both National Officer briefings and Chapter Officer training sessions will be held. It is open to all interested members. You may attend one or both sessions. Make your plans now. Additionally there are openings for new members of NARFE Headquarters Standing Committees that would provide for a week of training in DC. See Rich for further information.

Adjourn: There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 2:30 PM.  


Wednesday, December 6, 2017, our HOLIDAY LUNCHEON at NOON at Springhouse Tavern. See the details above.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018 at noon for lunch and 1 PM for our regular meeting at Steppy's, at the Facenda Whittaker Bowling Lanes, 2912 Swede Road, East Norriton, PA 19401. A featured speaker will be announced later.              

Respectfully submitted,

Al Henryson, Secretary