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Group keeps giving long after retirement

December 16, 2010
By MIKE HUGHES, Prime Times

One group of local retirees takes it upon themselves every year to give back to the community.

And it's fitting, since the group is comprised of teachers. It seems after 20 plus years of working in classrooms and with children of all ages, these teachers still have a need to give back.

And give back they do.

Four times a year, once in April, June, September and November, the members of the Belmont County Retired Teachers get together for an organizational meeting to coordinate fundraising activities and a multitude of other projects.

''We have 217 members and we usually have 70 or so members at each meeting,'' President Eileen Haught explained. ''Twice a year we collect food to donate to the local food pantries, usually at our April and November meetings.''

The organization selects a food pantry from one of the local school districts in Belmont County and donates their food. The winner pantry has its name drawn from a hat. Once selected, that pantry won't be selected again until a pantry from the remaining districts in the county has been assisted.

The teachers choose the same method each September when selecting a school district to donate school supplies too.

''We collect a good bit of supplies and usually we give them to the superintendent of that particular district and allow him to divide up the supplies among the students,'' Haught said.

''It's usually a whole carload of stuff. It's quite nice.''

The group also makes a yearly donation to the Tri-County Help Center as well as raise funds for a yearly scholarship.

The winner of the annual Carleton Dew Scholarship receives a $1,000 scholarship. If the winning student remains a B-plus average, that student is given an additional $500 the following year. Naturally, the scholarship is designed for those entering the education field.

But as Haught explained, the members of the Belmont County Retired Teachers do far more than just a few fundraisers and donations.

It's members can be found volunteering their time in a multitude of places.

From churches and hospitals to nursing homes, animal shelters and museums, the retirees logged 4,800 volunteer hours in 2010.

Haught said the organization also tries to put on a program each year with a choir from one of the local schools performing.

Hughes may be reached at



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