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Seniors Calling ~ The Municipal Retirees Ontario Organization

Seniors Calling ~ The Municipal Retirees Ontario Organization

undertook several charitable causes in 2021

NORTHERN, ONTARIO  ~~~~~~   July 16, 2021  (LSNEWS)  Remember back in January, February of 2020 ~ It's fuzzy but there were these things that happened sort of symbiotically wherein several people came together in the same space. Conferences, gatherings, Annual General Meetings. There may even have been a buffet line-up. Ce n'est pas le cas.

2020 ushered in a reality that morphed from soaking in hand sanitizer to mask mandates. We were collectively called to accept the challenge of our lifetime, to shelter in place ~  to hold fast ~ Our collective lives were about to go through some things ~ Covid-related things. Conferences and large gatherings were suspended altogether.

Somehow scientists (et al), being their gifted and smart selves, developed  successful vaccines in the battle against the pandemic. Here we are now, in July 2021, with ever so much hope that we can keep building on a successful vaccine rollout in Canada.

People that care about their communities are doing their darndest to stay plugged in. One such organization is The Municipal Retirees Organization of Ontario (MROO). MROO did its level best to adapt to the ever-evolving challenge of keeping its members supported through the pandemic.

MROO is a not-for-profit organization that advocates and supports the rights of OMERS pensioners. The organization is divided into 9 Zones across the province.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, many events and conferences were cancelled in 2020/2021. The MROO Board of Directors decided to put the savings from those events back into their local communities.

This year, MROO donated a total of $63,000 to local organizations and charities across Ontario as part of their COVID-19 relief initiative.

Zone 8 is a large geographic region and includes Thunder Bay, Kenora, & Rainy River District. Director of Zone 8, William (Bill) Latham and his team, donated a total of $7,000 to 7 organizations and charities from across the region. They are Crisis Home Inc. (Faye Peterson House), Grace Place, St. Andrew Soup Kitchen (Dew Drop Inn), Redwood Park Church Food Bank, Community Living Dryden-Sioux Lookout, Community Living Fort Frances & District, and Kenora & Lake of the Woods Community Foundation.

 Zone 7 is another huge geographical region that includes Sudbury, Parry Sound, Nipissing, Algoma, Cochrane, Manitoulin, and Temiskaming. $7,000  was further shared with 21 charities across that zone.

Director of Zone 7, Barbara Fillion and her team, donated to the following: Blind River Food Bank, Crisis Centre North Bay, Elgin St. Mission, Elliott Lake Food Bank, Espanola Helping Hand Food Bank, Genevra House Shelter, Kapuskasing Food Bank, Manitoulin Health Centre, Mindemoya Emergency, North Bay District Humane Society, North Bay Food Bank, Ontario Finnish Rest Home (Covid-19 Pandemic Fund 8), Sault Area Hospital Foundation, South Porcupine Food Bank, St. Vincent Place Food Bank, Sudbury Women's Centre, The Human League Association, Thessalon Food Bank, Temiskaming Home Support, Timmins Food Bank, West Nipissing Food Bank, and West Parry Sound Health Centre Foundation.

That's quite a cross-section of worthy charities and organizations. Well done everyone.

President of MROO, Keith Robicheau has been inspired by the work of the Zone teams. Robicheau said, “MROO is all about supporting and advocating for our members and our local communities. We couldn’t be happier with the efforts of our Zone Directors to continue to connect with and support their local communities during this very difficult year. Through grass-roots initiatives and community outreach, MROO continues to be a pillar of support across Ontario”.

Bill Latham, Zone 8's District Director spoke about what many of us have missed ~ the energy and camaraderie that comes from meeting or gathering together in a common physical space.

"I really missed our AGM this year. It's so important for us to get together in person with the other Zone Directors and our members and discuss this past year's successes and plans. Due to COVID-19, our AGM was virtual in 2021 and so were all the yearly conferences and events that MROO participates in every year".

He shared with me that he is working and planning for Fall 2021.

"I am really looking forward to our September Board meeting. We will be meeting in person with the Board and all the Zone Directors across all 9 Zones in Ontario. I am excited to see everyone again in person and reconnect with our team. MROO will also be attending The Ontario Municipal Human Resources Association (OMHRA) annual Conference (OMHRA) which is being held virtually this Fall, September 15-17, 2021. We will have a virtual booth at the conference. I hope future conferences and events, including our pre-retirement seminars, will be back in person soon!"

And that people, is the goal going forward ~ to keep moving, albeit tentatively, towards a reality that includes gathering more and more people into common spaces where we can laugh and cry and share and grow as humans with people we consider as part of our wider circle.

In the meantime, if you haven't been vaccinated, please do so. I'm thrilled that I am now double vaxxed. Hallelujah.

Excerpt from MROO website: Municipal Retirees Organization of Ontario (MROO) was created as a not-for-profit corporation in 1977. We speak on behalf of all Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) pensioners and provide services to 30,000 members and growing. MROO is the largest OMERS retiree organization and the only one with membership open to retirees from all walks of local government life. MROO welcomes former union, non-union and management employees of:

  • municipalities
  • police services
  • fire services
  • libraries
  • school boards
  • health units
  • electricity distributors
  • children's aid societies, and
  • other employers in the OMERS pension plan

MROO is an independent,non-partisan organization. We voice the interests of OMERS retirees to OMERS and governments of all levels and represent our membership in legislative matters that affect retirees. We advocate in favour of the OMERS pension plan and retirement income adequacy. In addition, MROO offers members the opportunity to obtain health, dental, travel, life, home, and auto insurance coverage; scholarships for members' relatives; and ongoing

Thank you to Jude Kahn, Marketing Manager,MROO for her support on the content of this edition of 'Seniors Calling'.

Northern Ontario 
Kenora, Rainy River, Dryden, Thunder Bay, Terrace Bay Marathon, Sault Ste Marie, Sudbury, North Bay, Ontario 

Previous Seniors Calling columns can be found in our 
Health Section 

#LSN_Health #LSN_Sudbury #LSN_SSM #LSN_TBay

Shades of North


Lynne Brown 
Lynne Brown

Algoma writer and reporter. Has written for special editions Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal ~ freelance contributor to Anishinabek News, Lake Superior News. Former Content Director Superior Media. Lynne developed 'Seniors Calling' as a regular feature for various publications. In the 80’s, Lynne worked for AutoTrader Magazine in rural Southwestern Ont. Trudging through a farmers’ field for a picture of a 56 Dodge Custom Royal was considered a very good day.

Lynne is mom to Kyle and Benjamin and a former resident of rural Thunder Bay. 

Special interests include issues relating to rural life, seniors, travel, history, community development and indigenous peoples. @dlynnebrown on twitter 

Disclaimer
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by Lake Superior News / Lake Superior Media.

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