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Support CARE


CARE Member Contributions to The Next Thirty Years

The Birth of CARE
Submitted by Arthur Larson
Chabot College

CARE was conceived in 1983, born in 1984, and blessed in 1985.

It was conceived in a fast food restaurant across the street from Chabot College, when during a lunch hour, Vivian Borkgren suggested to Art Larson that we should create an organization that could maintain the relationship of the retirees with the district, and the district with the retirees. It was decided that we should encourage retirees to continue to serve the College in a variety of ways. We invited several others to join with us. That first group included Warren Hicks, John McKinley, and Reed Buffington.

There was enthusiastic agreement on the value of such an organization, and together we wrote the basic documents which eventually led to the constitution and bylaws. A fundamental decision was that the organization would relate to all retired employees of the College and the District, and that there would be no discrimination between certificated and classified employees. The name Chabot Association of Retired Employees was suggested. There were few retirees prior to our forming the organization, but a rather large group retired in 1983. We sent out an invitation to all to join in a no-host luncheon meeting. The meeting was held in June of 1984 at a Chinese restaurant next to the Chevrolet Garage on Watkins Street. Attendance was great. Superintendent Bill Moore was very supportive of the organization, and he was present at the meeting. The retirees present voted wholeheartedly to create the organization and elect the first slate of officers. The name CARE was adopted. Art Larson was elected President, Hal Palmer, Vice President, and Marie Maierhoffer, Secretary/Treasurer. The first Board of Directors had only five members: besides the three listed above, the others were Director at Large, Vivian Borkgren, and Historian, Warren Hicks.

CARE was presented to the Board of Trustees at the board meeting of March 19, 1985, and received its “blessing” and its approval as an adjunct organization outside the District responsibility. The Board recognized the social, intellectual, and collegial significance of the association. They also authorized the use of District facilities by CARE for meetings and activities, and access to the services of the Production Lab on a cost reimbursement basis. The Board further authorized the Personnel Office to give regular updates of the names and addresses of retiring employees. Successive Boards over the years have recognized CARE as the representative of the retirees.

During each of the successive twenty three years, CARE has continued to grow and flourish. It has been led each year by dedicated Officers and Board of Directors elected from the membership at the annual luncheon meetings. Each year CARE welcomes the new retirees by letter and by invitation given at the Retiree Receptions. Early in 1985, the Board of Directors of CARE voted to use a newsletter format in lieu of minutes as the chief means of keeping members informed of association activities and matters important to retirees. Copies of official minutes of the association would be available to members upon request to the Secretary. It was the intent that each member would pay a small annual dues to underwrite the production and mailing costs of the newsletter. Subsequent boards have voted to mail the newsletter to every retiree.

One of the stated objectives of CARE is the provision of continuing service to the District. Over the years a number of ways have been suggested and tried, but were found to be unworkable. These suggestions have included volunteering in a variety of ways and by the provision of scholarships. The original idea evolved into a process for sharing of income from the CARE Fund through donations to the colleges or the District. The current plan encourages member participation through donations to the CARE FUND.

CARE has served as the guardian representative of retiree interests on several occasions during salary negotiations when the budget category known as the “Rumble Fund” for retiree health benefits was challenged by the faculty salary committees. During the recent past, CARE has acted to keep both the District and the Staff Salary Committee reminded that CARE, not the staff committees, is the representative of retirees. It mobilized the membership to protect the commitment to retirees made by the Board which established the health benefit program. CARE maintains its effectiveness through the resources of its members, including those with legal, medical, organizational, management, and leadership backgrounds.

CARE’s continuing challenge is the maintenance of aggressive leadership and an active program which acquaints new retirees with their automatic membership in CARE, and which encourages their participation.

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©2007 C.A.R.E.

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