2017-01 From the President: Volunteers energize our organization

Volunteers energize our organization

As many of you know, our University of Minnesota Retirees Association is an organization that exists because of volunteers. Members volunteer many hours identifying and arranging for the speakers at our monthly luncheons, receiving reservations, preparing our nametags, and arranging for helpful workshops. In addition, a large committee reviews all the applications for the research grants; another, UMRA Cares, supports members experiencing loss or illness.

Because of volunteers, UMRA now has a usable and functioning website. As of last November, we can now make our reservations using this website. We no longer need to write a check, find an envelope and a stamp to mail it. How convenient!  So if you have not yet done so, in the future do try out the website to make your reservation payment. Dave Naumann, volunteer extraordinaire, is the person leading these website upgrades, and Virgil Larson has worked with him to add the membership database to it. 

Another effort is under way to find more opportunities to build community for UMRA members. Several folks are exploring using the Campus Club bar for a coffee hour before the lunch starts. By coming early you may find parking easier, and stopping in the bar for coffee at 10:30 would give you more time to connect with colleagues and new UMRA friends before moving to the ABC room for the lunch at 11:30. If all the details fall into place, this effort could start soon. So stay tuned for an announcement in the future about this.

I would like to ask you to please consider volunteering on one of UMRA’s committees or on a specific project. If you see a particular need, the board will be happy to have your leadership on it.

I have talked about only a few examples of areas that can benefit from your volunteer help. There are other areas as well, and every committee will welcome another volunteer. Every year some volunteers move on to other things, so new volunteers are always needed to step in to help keep things going. Please feel free to contact me or any other UMRA board member if you are willing to volunteer a little time to help keep the UMRA wheels turning.

—Donna Peterson, UMRA President