Saturday, June 1, 2024

The WSSRA Convention: June 3-5, 2024 (Wenatchee, Washington)

 The WSSRA Convention is almost upon us.  This year's Convention (the 77th!) will take place in the Wenatchee Convention Center at 121 N Wenatchee Ave, Wenatchee, WA 98801.  The host hotel will be the Coast Wenatchee Center Hotel located at 201 N Wenatchee Ave.  Click HERE to view the proposed agenda.  Additional details and updates may be found on the WSSRA website  using the EVENTS tab.

If the reader is unable to attend, and would like additional details on any of the agenda items, please register a comment on this post.

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Urgent! Late Breaking News of Webinars (March 14 and March 19)

 In the latest WSSRA Journal, just recently mailed out, is an announcement of two impending and important webinars!

The first one will be on Thursday, March 14th at 4:30 p.m. via Zoom.  It will involve representatives from the Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) and the WA Health Care Authority.  For more information, and to RSVP, visit

The second webinar will be on Tuesday, March 19th at 4:30 p.m. via Zoom.  It will involve discussions of Social Security, Medicare, and VEBA sick leave buyout options.  Again, for more information, and to RSVP, visit

For questions, contact/email or phone (360) 413-5496

Sunday, September 10, 2023

A New Year -- Welcome To 2023-2024!

 After an eventful summer, to include the hosting of the 2023 Washington State School Retirees Association Convention, we enter the scholastic new year!  Over 100 attendees enjoyed the area, our sunshine (well, okay, it was HOT!), and a comprehensive agenda that included keynote speakers, awards (including our very own Victoria Russell, who was recognized with the Hoban Award along with Tina Underdahl from Unit 19).

BFSRA welcomed the school year with our customary attendance (thanks to Don Parks!) at the different school districts' Back to School Celebrations.  Active members are an important part of our  organization, as they are the future; we welcome and celebrate you!

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Ushering in the New Year

  Our January luncheon/meeting with the superintendents of the three largest local school districts (Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland) is typically very well-attended, and the January 27th, 2023 meeting was no exception!  Over 70 members and guests were able to socialize, dine, and listen to awesome presentations. One main focus of all presentations was the (then) impending levy proposals, and their importance to each of the districts.  

Our February meeting including a timely talk on elder nutrition; the special needs and considerations of the 60+ Club.  Tami Silva, Community Relations Director for Columbia Crossings at Grandridge provided great information and tips for our group.  

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Autumn Accolades

 With a quieter kickoff to the school year (although vastly improved from 2020-2021!), our numbers at the monthly luncheons/meeting started off on the low side, but definitely increased over the passage of the autumn months.  

The September 26th luncheon featured Peter Diedrick, Washington State School Retirees Association (WSSRA) Legislative Director as our guest speaker.   Pictures to follow hopefully :--)

In October, we welcomed approximately 64 members and guests to our luncheon and meeting, and appreciated the comments and information provided by our guest speaker, Tony Cerda of My Friend's Place.  My Friend's Place was Southeastern Washington's first safe overnight sanctuary for homeless teens.  Tony described the facility's beginnings, and its current services and needs.  This awesome and thought-provoking presentation was followed by a presentation by Alan Burke, Executive Director of the WSSRA. Alan updated us on a number of important subjects, including health insurance, PEBB, and the continuing need for Cost of Living Adjustments for pension plans.  Finally, Alan presented Victoria Russell, Dottie Stevens, and Don Parks with certificates of appreciation for the important work they do to accomplish the goals of BFSRA and WSSRA.

November 21, 2023 was the final General Meeting and Luncheon of 2022.  It was also the scene of generous giving, fun fellowship, and wonderful holiday music from Mary Lou Gnoza and Steve Haberman.  Representatives from the Salvation Army graciously accepted the piles of toys and gifts donated by our members, and many people made selections from the amazing variety of books and puzzles available for purchase at the Scholarship Table.

Generous donations from our members

Victoria, Steve and Mary Lou

Our wonderful greeters

Monday, March 13, 2023

Catching Up

 And there's a lot of it to do.  Five luncheons/meetings, one Toy Drive,  many legislative and government adjustments.  The longest journey begins with the first step, so here we go.

Upcoming posts with anticipated publication dates:

Autumn Accolades: Summaries and pictures from the September, October, and November meetings, with highlights from each (March 13, 2023)

Ushering in the New Year: Summaries and pictures from the January and February meetings, with highlights from each (March 14, 2023)

Ready to Spring: Upcoming events for March, April and May (The Ides of March, or March 15th, whichever comes first!)

Convention News:  Ongoing updates of the 2023 WSSRA Convention to be held at the Pasco Red Lion June 5-7, 2023 (March 18, 2023)

Saturday, August 27, 2022

 The Old to the New:  May 2022 and August 2022

May marks the "end" of the 2021-2022 year and sets the transition to the new school year 2022-2023.  BFSRA makes a similar transition, usually not having a July Luncheon over the summer.  This year, however, we wanted to recognize our Active members by inviting them to a lunch in their honor on July 18.  While participation was a bit sparse, it was great to get together with them, and let them know how glad we are that they are members.  The May 2022 Luncheon was well attended and included the installation of officers for 2022-2023.

New Officers

On to August and the start of the new (school!) year.  The first BFSRA luncheon of the (new) school year was held on August 22nd at the Red Lion in Pasco.  

<< Details and Pictures to be posted when available >>

Coming up quickly are the Pasco School District Benefits Fair (August 29, 2022) at the Patio of the Edgar Brown Stadium from 7 a.m. - 9 a.m., and the Richland School District Benefits Fair (September 29, 2022) at the new Richland School District Building on Keene Road from 2 - 6 p.m.  BFSRA will be hosting an informational booth at each of these events.

The next BFSRA Luncheon will be held September 26, 2022 at the Pasco Red Lion.  Peter Diedrick, WSSRA Legislative Director, and Alan Burke, WSSRA Executive Director will share the latest on legislation and insurance changes

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

A New Year Begins - Time for Lunch(eons)!

 With the start of the new year came the re-start of hopes for a more "normal" BFSRA schedule.  

Our first BFSRA Luncheon in almost two years took place on January 10, 2022, with approximately 60 BFSRA members and guests in attendance at the Pasco Red Lion, which will serve as the location of BFSRA Luncheons through May 2022.   This luncheon featured our Superintendents' Panel (Dr. Traci Pierce - Kennewick SD; Dr. Michelle Whitney - Pasco SD; Dr. Shelley Redinger -  Richland SD), and was also available to all members via Zoom.

The February 28th BFSRA Luncheon featured a visit with Meriwether Lewis (disguised as member Glen Allison!) who shared his experiences and travels with Captain William Clark.  E-8 Representative Sharon Hosely gave an update on current work at the local and state levels.


Member Glen Allison starring as reenactor of Meriwether Lewis.

Our third Luncheon of 2022 took place on March 28.  Our special guest was Elizabeth McLoughlin, Executive Director of the Tri-Cities Cancer Center, who described the amazing work being done there, and answered numerous questions. WSSRA President Bruce Boyer and Executive Director Alan Burke literally flew in with updates on state work, and President-Elect Brad Beal joined on the big screen via Zoom.

Our April 25, 2022 Luncheon featured a fascinating talk and presentation by member Rosann Ferris, who discussed her experiences in "Life in Iran, 1970."

Our final luncheon of the 2021-2022 school year will take place on May 23.  It will feature our customary Celebration of Life, recognizing those members who have passed on.  In addition, unit officers will be installed at this meeting.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

BFSRA Meeting November 22, 2021

 November 22, 2021, the first effort to meet in person for our monthly luncheon was a success due to the fact members were wanting to eat out, see friends and hear the beautiful voice of Mary Lou Gnoza and the keyboard magic by Steve Haberman" Peter Diedrick was our guest and shared the latest news regarding  legislation. He is the Legislative Director of WSSRA.

Monday, October 18, 2021

October and November Events

 While there will be no general meeting/luncheon in October, there are still events coming up in the next few weeks that will provide opportunities to stay updated on retirement programs and plans. Check your October newsletter for exciting news about our November 21, 2021 Luncheon and Meeting, and the plans for the January 2022 Luncheon and Meeting

First, WSSRA is sponsoring (and will be recording) a Zoom webinar for WSSRA retirees who use PEBB for Medicare Supplemental Insurance on Tuesday, October 26th at 9:00 a.m.  The Webinar is free and does not require pre-registration.  Ellen Wolfhagen of the Health Care Authority (HCA) will present the latest information on the impending fee changes for the UMP (Uniform Medical Plan) and the PEBB UHC (United HealthCare).  "Switching plans must take place by November 30. With cost differences now significant, those contemplating making a Medicare supplement change for 2022 will be interested in the information provided."  A flyer describing the seminar and access procedures is available HERE.

Next up, WSSRA is sponsoring two Zoom-based pre-retirement seminars in October and November 2021 (Thursday, October 28th and Thursday, November 4 at 4:30 p.m).  A flyer describing the seminars and registration procedures is available HERE.  

Dates and Topics:

Thursday, October 28th, 2021 @ 4:30PM: Department of Retirement Systems and Health Care Authority/PEBB

Thursday, November 4th, 2021 @ 4:30 PM: Social Security/Medicare and VEBA

Please promote this to all of your friends/relatives who are within 1-5 years of retirement as a certificated or classified employee.  

Contact information:

Tara Teitzel

Phone: 360-413-5496 ext 111



 Last but not least, please reach out to any new classified or certificated employees you may know about the WSSRA New Educator Zoom Webinar on November 9, 2021 at 4:30 p.m.  Webinar participants must register, but the webinar is completely free, and will provide valuable information on choices available to new employees.

This webinar will feature presentations from the following:

• WA State Department of Retirement Systems (Plan 2 vs. Plan 3 analysis)

• A certified financial specialist will explain the benefits of early planning

A copy of the flyer is available HERE.

Contact information:

To Register visit and fill out the WSSRA Webinar Pre-registration form under “Events Tab” or you can email with your name, email address and we will contact you before the seminar with Zoom instructions.

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 (