2014 Fall Picnic

A good time was had by close to 70 Silver Slug members at our annual Fall Picnic at Harvey West Park, September 16. The sky was blue, the oaks and redwoods majestic, the food delicious and plentiful, and the warmth from the sun and our community being together was inspiring. Who could ask for more?

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Along with hobnobbing and catching up with each other, there were speakers and activities that added much to the event. President Dave Dodson welcomed everyone and made announcements about upcoming programs: whale watching, mushroom hunting, the December Holiday Party, an Anno Nuevo trip and more. He introduced current board members and invited any interested members to join us. The new UCSC Retiree Center for retired staff and emeriti faculty will have an open house soon with a 25% coordinator on board. This will be a home on campus for all of us as well as a clearninghouse of information for UCSC colleagues who are considering joining our ranks.

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In celebration of UCSC's 50th anniversary, Virginia Lee arranged for videographer Marigold Fine to film and interview Silver Slug members about their memories from the early days on campus. Sitting beneath a venerable redwood, colleagues took turns sharing highlights and insights from their past as Marigold and Virginia captured them for posterity. We hope to provide other opportunities during the year for those who did not have a chance to be filmed who would like to contribute to this exciting project.

Representing the UCSC Staff HR Benefits Office, Debbie Barilati-LeBarre spoke about the upcoming open enrollment period in October/November and the status of health care benefits this year. There will be a forum during the open enrollment period for current and prospective UC retirees which we will publicize on our web site, so be sure to stay in touch.

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Florence Orenstein from the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UCSC (OLLI) was a special guest who shared information about an OLLI project in collaboration with Cowell College:  "Ears in Action." Twice a quarter, volunteers are needed to listen to students read their mid-term papers out loud. As students hear themselves read, they are able to identify problems with their writing that they otherwise may not be aware of. Provost Faye Crosby wants to expand the program to the Cowell Core course first year students this fall and she and OLLI are reaching out to us for help. If interested, contact Flo Orenstein at santacruzflos@aol.com. For more information about lifelong learners courses, interest groups and special lectures, see the UCSC OLLI web site.

Maxine Lane gave a status report on the Bruce Lane Memorial Scholarship and Endowment funds. The endowment goal of $50,000 has been reached, which means that we will be receiving payouts every year to support current year scholarships. We plan to award at least ten scholarships this year to deserving student veterans through the endowment payout and other fundraising efforts. The increasing number of returning student veterans greatly appreciate your contributions to this scholarship program.