Huajilla Unit hears program on financial exploitation

Huajilla Unit Secretary Brenda Prestage, left, and Treasurer Sam Dubberly present Bre Granberg with a jar of Huajilla honey.

The Huajilla Unit of Texas Retired Teachers Association held its monthly meeting on February 25 at the Braden Keller Center in Castroville. Approximately 52 members and guests were in attendance, as President Irene Dubberly opened the meeting and called for standing committee reports.
It was announced that member Charles Carlson recently won a photography contest and members Brenda Vavricek and Rita Vance were recently honored at the Hondo Area Chamber of Commerce annual awards ceremony. Lola Hill reported that the local unit had donated over 1,400 books to Medina County entities or given as gifts by members during the Christmas season. In addition, Huajilla unit members had logged over 23,700 community volunteer hours during 2018. The local unit continues to financially support the TRTA Foundation Fund, which aids Texas teachers state-wide when disasters, such as Hurricane Harvey, occur.
President Dubberly announced that officer elections for the coming year will be held soon. Members were encouraged to consider serving in an office and were also encouraged to attend the state TRTA convention in April. At least three local members will attend.
Ken Hanson reported on legislative updates that will impact Texas teachers and retirees. Of particular interest is Senate Bill 393, which seeks to increase the amount current teachers and the state pays into the retirement fund. Members were encouraged to stay in contact with state congressional officials and stay informed of possible legislation that will impact retirement benefits.
The month of February was recognized as heart health month, as statistics and personal stories were shared concerning heart issues. Also, many members present showed off their alma mater spirit, and Texas State University was the most represented college in the group. Members were also informed of a proposed bill that seeks to eliminate the county attorney’s office of Medina County.
The program for the meeting was then presented by Breanne Granberg, Vice President for Business Development at Community National Bank. Her presentation, entitled “Financial Exploitation of the Elderly”, contained valuable information about how common financial scams are and how easily a person’s wealth can be stolen, many times with only one phone call. Scammers extracted over $1 billion in 2018 from American citizens, and women are victims more often than men. Granberg explained warning signs to watch for, how bank personnel are often watchful for those warning signs, and what people can do to protect themselves from being victimized. Her most important message was for family members to communicate with their elderly parents and to always communicate with bank personnel when faced with a possible scam. Granberg’s very informative presentation was well received by the members, many of whom had personal accounts of attempted financial scams.
The group then enjoyed a catered meal from Bill Miller Bar-B-Q. The next Huajilla Unit meeting will be held on March 25, 2019, 10:00 am at Neal’s Restaurant in Concan. The program will be presented by a Texas Game Warden.