The Brown County Association of Retired School Personnel (BCARSP) held its bi-monthly meeting on Monday, September 13, 2021 at the Carwell Building in Hiawatha, KS. About 24 members and two guests were present. President Betty Robison welcomed everyone and led the flag salute, and District 2 Director Gil Bunning offered a prayer of thanks for the food. The meal was prepared by the Everest Bake Shop. President Robison thanked Julia Thompson for the nut and candy cups. Table decorations and door prizes were provided by Betty Robison.
Vice President Judy Jones introduced Staci Charles as the speaker for the presentation. Staci Charles and her husband Meryl are co-owners and operators of Mulberry Pond, LLC. Charles said the Mulberry Pond Pumpkin Patch has been a field of pumpkin patch activity in the fall since 2010 and has been increasing every year since then. Mulberry Pond Pumpkin Patch is open on weekends this year from September 25 to October 24. The hours are Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 a.m. and Sunday: 1 p.m. to 6 a.m. $ 8.00 Admission includes over a dozen activities such as; Hay Bale Mountain and Tube Slides, Treehouse with Swing Bridge, Corn Mine Palace Excavation, Kids’ Farm, Gravity Hoop Shooting Wagon (New), Corn Hole Games (New), Access to gifts, tree swings, walking trail, fall photo spots, Access to an acre of pumpkins to buy and to Hay Fort. $ 1.00 activity tickets are available for those who wish to experience additional special activities such as: laser tag in the woods, corn maze, historic hay wagon tour, train Kiddie Barrell, Pedal Boat and Pumpkin Slingshot! Staci also organizes field trips on weekdays in the fall or spring. Birthdays and groups of 20 or more can get a special all-inclusive activity bracelet pass for a special group rate by calling Staci. At the end of the presentation, Charles offered two free passes. The winners of the $ 8.00 admission passes were Rosemary Schooler and Bob Hankins!
The business meeting was opened and the minutes of the last July meeting were read and approved as presented. Mary Benson, Treasurer, provided a list of deposits, expenses and balance. The Treasurer’s Report was approved as indicated. Dixie Westervelt said the courtesy committee continues to send out recovery cards as she is advised by members of those in need of encouragement.
Gil Bunning provided an update on the KARSP convention to be held in Junction City this month: September 29 to October 1, 2021. It will be held unless the city or state government prohibits large gatherings. due to the pandemic. Several members of Brown County are planning to attend. Gil Bunning is on the ballot for the Kansas Retired School Staff Association vice president / president-elect, and his wife, Carol Bunning, is on the ballot for District 2 director, the position Gil currently holds. A possible increase in the membership fees of KARSP is also put to a vote. We are proud of our local members representing our state level unit!
In Old Business, President Robison asked for volunteers to write articles about the handmade items our group donates to the KARSP convention fundraising auction. Continuing with Earth Day landscaping projects, Jackie Wenger has been in contact with Horton Elementary School about a flower bulb planting that our members will be completing this fall, and Horton High School about landscaping around their foundation. Staci Charles works on a limestone engraved with their mascot for the entrance area of ââHiawatha Middle School.
In New Business, President Robison has made information leaflets about a grant from the KARSP Foundation available to teachers who request them. If approved, the teacher can receive $ 500.00 for a special project in their class. The flyers are distributed to teachers in all public schools in the county.
Member Sue Miller reminded our unit of School Support Staff Day on October 2nd. School support staff are so important in our schools! Miller asked for volunteers to help him with a THANKS project. Members Janice Elliot, Darlene Rake and Dixie Westervelt showed up to help. Thank you to our school support staff for the smooth running of our schools.
An announcement was made by Member Becky Schwanke to remember the Morrill Free Public Library Book Sale that took place the last week of October. Members were encouraged to donate any lightly used books for the October 30, 2021 fundraising event to the Eternal Hope Family Life Center across from the library. For more information, ask Carol Boggs or Becky Schwanke. Information is also posted on the Friends of the Library Face Book page. Go buy some great used books on October 30 and donate to the library fundraiser!
The meeting was adjourned and door prizes were awarded to Susan LaCounte and Staci Charles. The next meeting will take place on Monday 8 November at 11:30 am. Carol Spangler will speak about a charity called Grains of Hope.