Sunday, September 26, 2021

September 27th Meeting will be via Zoom

 The Monday, September 27, 2021 Zoom meeting hosted by WSSRA and featuring information about the news from our legislators, has always been our luncheon meeting with both Peter Diedrick, Legislative Chair and Alan Burke, Executive Director sharing with us.  However, we will be Zooming due to the rise in our present health situation.  The meeting will begin at 11:00 a.m.  Meeting information has been emailed, and has been provided by callers.

Monday, June 7, 2021




DISTRIBUTION DAY:  Saturday, June 19, 2021

LOCATION:  Kennewick First United Methodist Church (address is 421 W. Kennewick Avenue, Kennewick -- but please read the special note below)

DISTRIBUTION TIMES:  10 A.M. - 1 P.M. (Note:  End time changed to 1 p.m.!!!)

SPECIAL NOTE:  Please enter the church rear parking lot from S. Dayton Street heading west toward S. Everett Street.  Drive through the portico overhang to receive your Directory. Vaccinated and masked BFSRA volunteers will hand it to you.  If you’re picking up a copy for someone else, please let them know who that person is.  Feel free to bring in your 2019-2020 Directory for shredding!  See map below.

If you can't make it to this Distribution event, the directories will also be available at the August 2021 meeting.  We may try to set up a second Distribution event as well.  Stay tuned here and on the Facebook page for more details!

Spring Meeting Update

 Due to issues beyond our control, we were unable to meet together as a unit on May 24th, 2021.  The BFSRA Executive Board met via Zoom, in a meeting dedicated to a Celebration of Life and the Installation of the 2021 Officers.  First, we recognized three significant events and accomplishments:

 1.  Our oldest member, Lola Van Campen, turned 104 years old this past January. Victoria recounted her conversation and correspondence with Lola and her daughter and described their joy at receiving flowers.

2. Elaine Banks has been awarded honorary membership due to her relentless leadership and work at the state and local levels for 20 plus years as she has reached her 90th year. We, Unit 29, are indeed the recipient of leadership, knowledge, and a special bond and friendship.

3. BFSRA Unit 29 received the Unit of Highest Distinction Award in recognition of Achievement of our goals for 2020 -2021.

Sharon Hosely, the E-8 District Representative, then completed the installation of the 2020-2021 Officers:

Victoria Russell - President

Liz Friedrich - President Elect/Program Chair

Lew Edming - Secretary

Ardith Eakin - Treasurer

Dottie Stevens - Immediate Past President

Finally, and with great respect and feeling, the Celebration of Life was led by Victoria in remembrance of those of our members who passed during 2020 and the first part of 2021.  Victoria Russell, Liz Friedrich and Dottie Stevens read the names of those who passed.  Victoria then shared a reading in memory of our deceased members.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

January 25th BFSRA Zoom Meeting recording now online!

 April showers bring May flowers -- and hopefully an opportunity to get together for our May General Meeting (currently scheduled for May 24).  In the meantime, the January 25th BFSRA Zoom Meeting recording is available by clicking HERE.  This meeting featured the Superintendents of Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland School Districts, and included a question and answer session at the end of the Superintendents' presentations.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

January and February Retrospective

BFSRA had a General Zoom Meeting on Monday, January 25, 2021 from 10-12.  The superintendents (KSD, PSD, RSD)  'zoomed in' at 10:15.  Alan Burke acted as our moderator, and members were able to ask questions after each superintendent's presentations and then again at the end. Statistics on attendance, general notes on the meeting itself, and a link to the recorded meeting will be posted here as soon as they are available.  Members were able to participate either online, or via telephone.  

The Pre-Retirement Zoom Webinar took place on Thursday, February 18th, 2021: 5:00-7:30 PM.  Geared to Certificated and Classified Employees within 1-5 years of retirement, it was sponsored by Washington State School Retirees’ Association.  Click HERE to view the recording of the webinar.  For more information and resources, visit the WSSRA website by clicking on WEBINAR RESOURCES


Tier 1, Phase 1B COVID-19 vaccinations started to become available to those 65 and older in January.  The mass vaccination site at the Benton-Franklin Fairgrounds opened January 25. While it may be possible to schedule a vaccination with one's healthcare provider, the two primary ways of doing so are online at or by phone (1-800-525-0127). WSSRA is tracking the statewide effort; its summaries can be found on the Current News and Projects tab (

Sunday, December 27, 2020

December Update: Getting Ready for Better Times

 With less than four days of 2020 to go, better times are most assuredly ahead.  Here are some of the events to look forward to:

Wednesday, December 29th: Department of Retirement Systems - live DRS webinar for WSSRA Active Members ("Our Education & Outreach team will present several topics, including: Plan 2 Basics (PERS, TRS, SERS), Plan 3 Basics (PERS, TRS, SERS), Online Resources, Getting Ready for Retirement, Applying for Retirement").  See details by clicking HERE.

Monday, January 25th:  proposed Zoom meeting for all members from 10 a.m. - 12 noon.  We will call and send out the necessary information for those interested in hearing from our three superintendents (Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland school districts), regarding the New Year.  See the December newsletter for additional details and contact information.

Thursday, February 18th: Pre-Retirement Zoom Webinar for Certificated and Classified Employees.  For more details, click HERE.  To register, contact Tara Teitzel of WSSRA at

In addition, the WSSRA website has an update tab (WSSRA - Current News and Projects) with lots of good information about ongoing and future events.  Please make sure you check it periodically.  The most recent update (November/December) can be viewed by clicking HERE.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Health Care Authority (HCA) Webinar (Monday, November 9; 9:00 a.m.)

 Ellen Wolfhagen of the Health Care Authority (HCA) will present the latest on the new United Healthcare Medicare Advantage plus Prescription Drug (MA-PD) plans in a webinar on Monday, November 9 at 9:00 a.m. Ellen is the manager of the MA-PD plans for HCA/PEBB, and will describe the two new PEBB plans that will be available throughout Washington, and offer out-of-state coverage, beginning January 1, 2021. 

Sign-ups for these plans must take place by November 30. The MA-PD plans are less than half the monthly cost of the current Uniform Medical Plan (UMP), and are price competitive with Kaiser Permanente and Premera Blue Cross Plan F and Plan G offerings. Ellen will present through a series of slides and then take questions from attendees. The webinar will be recorded and posted on the WSSRA website.

For more details, click HERE or visit the WSSRA website at and select the WSSRA Current News and Projects tab.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Toy Drive!! Monday, November 23, 2020 (11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.)

 BFSRA CARES!  Help the Salvation Army help our communities!

For the past six years, BFSRA has been a proud supporter of the Salvation Army in its annual Toy Drive.  Although we won't be able to enjoy each other's company, or the music of Mary Lou and Stevie, or the delicious luncheon celebrating the holiday season, we WILL be able to experience the joy of bringing joy to others.  These pictures show just two of the tables that held the generous BFSRA donations of toys last year.

On Monday, November 23, please bring toy donations to the First United Methodist Church, 2 S. Dayton Street, Kennewick between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m..  The Benton Franklin School Retirees Association (BFSRA) will use the church’s covered drive-through area and the foyer on the south side of the church property for toy collection during the two hour collection.  At 1:00 p.m. the Salvation Army will arrive and take the collected toys. 

Notes from our President:

Now is a great time to shop for school supplies and Christmas items for S.H.A.K.E. and our Salvation Army  collection.  You may drop off your items on Monday, November 23, 2020 from 11-1 at the First United Methodist Church in Kennewick.  We will receive school supplies on the same day for our January date. If you need help, we will be happy to pick-up from your home and see that your items are included with the collection on that Monday by the Salvation Army representatives and school supplies. School supplies will be delivered by me to Maureen Bell for distribution to schools in the new year and could possibly be used sooner with elementary students starting school this month.

Let's make this a happy time for our families and community.  We appreciate whatever you are able to contribute.  Call if you need assistance.  509-627-7364 for Victoria or any of our officers/Executive Board.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Upcoming BFSRA Legislative Zoom/Webinar (12 October 2020)

[Edited to reflect appropriate ID and Passcode] 

Meeting ID: 983 4630 0074

Passcode: 123

We will be connecting virtually on Monday, October12, 2020. The program is being brought to you by our Legislative Committee, hosted by BFSRA President Victoria Russell, and organized by Peter Dietrick, WSSRA Legislative Coordinator. Starting at 10am will be the District 8 candidates; District 9 candidates start at 11am and District 16 candidates start at 12pm.  This Zoom Webinar will allow you to (virtually) meet the candidates and ask questions as you formulate your choices for the November 3, 2020 election. 

 The use of Zoom is at no cost to you. You may need to download the Zoom application to your computer or tablet or phone; to do this, go to  Select the Join a Meeting link in the top menu; enter the ID shown below, and then select download and run Zoom for an icon to place on your desktop. You can also use a search engine like Google (search for How to Zoom or Zoom for beginners) if you wish more references.  

 In order to participate in the Zoom/Webinar, select/tap your Zoom app/icon and enter this ID 952 4380 8726 when prompted; the Passcode 862602 is for October 12, 2020.  Press/Select Join; at this point you should be able to see the presenters.  Unmute your microphone and camera in the left hand corner of your screen. 

 You will receive a call to remind you about the Zoom Webinar just as we call you for a luncheon. You can use your cell phone, tablet, or computer to join in.  We hope you will try to join us!  

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

WSSRA Zoom Webinar: Interview with Matt Smith, the Washington State Actuary (Tuesday, September 29, 9:00 am.)

 Executive Director Alan Burke and Legislative Director Peter Diedrick will use Zoom to interview Matt Smith, the Washington State Actuary, on Tuesday, September 29 at 9:00 am. "Mr. Smith will field questions regarding the important work of the Office of the State Actuary (OSA) in guiding pension agencies by calculating longevity averages for retirees. These figures, when combined with prospective rate of return for investments in the $130 Billion state investment fund, largely determine the cost of pension policy bills like the Plan 1 COLA and Plan 2/3 early retirement. Clearly, the higher the costs, the more difficult it becomes for the legislature to act on a pension improvement proposal."

As with the Town Hall Meeting and the other Webinars, go to www. and select the WSSRA - Current News and Projects tab to get more details.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

WSSRA Interview with Theresa Whitmarsh, State Investment Board (September 9, 2020)

 In case you missed it . . .

WSSRA has made the video recording of the interview with Theresa Whitmarsh (Executive Director) of the State Investment Board available.  Click HERE to view it.  The State Investment Board is responsible for managing the funds that make up 75% of pension check amounts, so as Dr. Alan Burke states, "it's really, really important that we pay attention to what goes on there."

Sometime later this month, WSSRA will present another interview, with the State Actuary.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 3, 2020

BFSRA President's Message - August 2020

 Dear Members:

         You are ever on my mind, in my heart and prayers as we all withstand these adverse and unprecedented times in 2020.  We will resume our fellowship at sometime, but until then keep me posted of concerns, those who may need assistance or just a call to talk.  We are here for each other.  As election time draws close, remember to VOTE.  We are planning a ZOOM meeting the fourth Monday in September, so check out Facebook and BFSRA's blog.  Remember you may always call me personally if you have questions or just to chat.  Wear your mask whenever you go out, social distance, get your flu shot, wash your hands frequently/use hand sanitizer.  Call if you need to talk or to tell me about a member in need.  

Victoria Russell

BFSRA President

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

WSSRA-Sponsored Town Hall Meeting and Interview via Zoom Meetings

WSSRA is sponsoring two Zoom meetings over the next week. You can attend the meetings via computer or by phone. Click on the title of the meeting to find out how!

** NOTE: Per WSSRA, if you cannot attend either or both virtual events, they will be recorded and posted on the WSSRA website. **
June 18th
Thursday, May 28th. WSSRA Town Hall Meeting -- PLEASE NOTE NEW DATE!!!

Western Washington members at 9 am PST
Eastern Washington members at 11 am PST
Description edited: Executive Director, Alan Burke, and Legislative Director, Peter Diedrick will review legislative issues given the recent drop in state revenue, the upcoming virtual convention on June 30th (which is replacing the Pasco event), retiree benefits, the process for legislative candidate endorsements, and general announcements concerning association business.

WSSRA Executive Director Alan Burke interviews Health Care Authority Employees and Retirees Benefits (ERB) Director David Iseminger. The Interview was recorded on Zoom and is available for viewing by clicking HERE.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Celebration of Life

Celebration of Life

We offer virtual roses in memory of our members who have passed.

Due to our inability to gather as a group, we continue to shelter in place for safety from the COVID -19 which was identified in March, 2020. We take time to recognize and remember our cohorts. Our members, friends and fellow teachers have given their commitment, talents and love to the education of children. Roses will be presented when we meet again. 
Special salute, May 25, 2020, Memorial Day
Victoria Russell, President

Benton Franklin School Retirees Association Members 
Deceased Spring 2019 - Spring 2020

Maxine Bumgarner
Paul Dann
Marion Hughes
Gerald Lane
Maurice Meilleur
Max Purser
Ava Thacker
Julie Van Hoy

Rose Allen
Ethel Boothe
Wilma Burgess
John Burke
Kathryn Carlson
Theodore Carratt
Randy Dolven
Hershel Griggs
Peggy Jensen
Dorothy Korstad
Lucy Larsen
John Moffitt
Arlene Rogers
Kenneth Russell
Robert Schuyler
Linda St. George
Judith Trainer
Ernest Unruh
Robert Vanliew
John Walker
Wendall Weld
Linda Williams

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Apologies and Updates

Apologies and updates:

First, I apologize for having neglected our page -- I managed to fall and break three ribs on the very day that I posted that the March luncheon was cancelled -- that, coupled with adjustments in lifestyles and other issues has caused me to have a much lower digital profile than I would normally.
Several critical updates which I'll summarize here, and on the BFSRA FB page -- and will work on providing additional information over the next day or so.

#1. The 2019/2020 convention will be in Pasco October 5-7, 2020 will not take place. The 2020-2021 Convention will be at the Pasco Red Lion Hotel June 7-9, 2021. [Edited August 21, 2020]
#2. The Plan 1 COLA bill (EHB 1390) was signed into law April 3, 2020.

#3. The April luncheon/meeting was cancelled. Details on any upcoming meetings (i.e., May) will be published as soon as I have them.
#4 Past issues of the newsletter and other relevant articles will be available for viewing on this site by May 13.