Chapter Update (March 2023)

Jeff Cahoon

March 2023

Hello Fellow MOASWF Members:

It’s been a while since you’ve received a Chapter update, so here goes:

  • Our new website ( is up and running. To log in, your user name is your email address and you’ll need to set your password.  This WordPress platform is less expensive than our previous Wix platform and I believe will be a useful and informative site.  We will continue to add useful content, and the “Events” tab should be especially helpful.  Our membership roster is now on the site.  Please take a look at it and let me know (now and ongoing) of any corrections or updates.  And, please let me know of any suggestions you have for improving the site.  Many thanks to Jack Fulmer for spearheading our migration to the new website.
  • Last October we held an informal gathering at Ridgway Bar and Grill in Naples. We had about 18 attendees and the feedback I received was that we should organize more of these.  Your Board agrees, and we are working to organize some more this year.  Watch for details under “Events” on the website.
  • We held our 2022 Annual Business Meeting at Glen Eagle Golf and Country Club last November. That breakfast meeting appears to have been scheduled a little too early in the morning since attendance was light (too bad, since the breakfast buffet was fabulous!).  Our next Annual Business Meeting will be a dinner event in November 2024, likely at VFW Post 7721 in Naples.  This is always an important meeting and this year may include a visit from a MOAA National representative, so please try your best to attend.  Again, watch for details under “Events” on the website.
  • In December, we held a Holiday Gathering at VFW Post 7721 in Naples. We had about 15 attendees and we’re hoping to improve participation for this and other events going forward.  The VFW staff were extremely accommodating (we hold our Board meetings there) and we’re hoping to continue to foster a strong relationship with that Post, including holding some events and meetings there (it’s now a smoke-free facility).  Again, many thanks to Jack Fulmer for facilitating our relationship with VFW Post 7721.
  • In February, we held another enjoyable Military Ball at Vanderbilt Country Club (VCC). Check out the photos on our website.  COL John Granskog, a member of VCC, was our sponsor.  Neil Frost graciously agreed to again head up planning for the Ball and his planning committee (John Granskog, Cassie Demetsky, Brigitte Smith, Robert Perfetto, Kathy Kunschner, Jessica Stearns, Bill Hodges, Jack Fulmer) did a great job.  Uptown Express provided the music again this year and we were able to honor our Past President, Susan Farr, with a MOAA Leadership Award.  Susan also received a plaque from Collier County JROTC in recognition of her past support.  Again this year, we had support from Collier County JROTC Units.  Cadets helped us set up the morning of the Ball and provided the Drum Corp, Sabre Line, and Color Guard.  Many thanks to COL Michael Shoen, MAJ John Sarnecky, and all the Cadets for their participation and outstanding support.  For the past few years, VCC has been a fabulous venue for our Military Ball.  Unfortunately, VCC will be undergoing renovations late this year, so we are in the process of securing another venue for our 2024 Ball.  More to come, so, again, watch for details under “Events”.
  • During the past year, three of our members have passed: 1 Lt. Joseph Innes, LTC George Beshara, and COL David Elliott.
  • On 18 February, Neil Frost and I staffed a MOASWF table at the Collier County Veterans Expo. This is an annual event and I encourage everyone in our Chapter to pay it a visit next February.  You would be impressed and inspired by the number and variety of programs and volunteers available to support veterans in Southwest Florida.
  • Our Legislative Chair, Jeff Kuhnreich, reports that the proposed Major Richard Star Act has still not progressed to a vote in either the House or the Senate. This bill would provide wounded veterans, who were not able to reach full retirement, with concurrent receipt of both retired pay and disability pay.  There is reason for optimism in that both Senator Rick Scott and Senator Marco Rubio have recently signed on in support.  Unfortunately, Rep. Byron Donalds (Southwest Florida District 19) has yet to sign on in support.  Jeff continues to provide Rep. Donalds’ office with information on the importance of this bill.  With 335 House Members and 63 Senators already signed on in support, it seems likely to me that this bill will eventually pass.
  • On 29 April, a Collier-Lee Honor Flight mission will take off for Washington, DC. Our Chapter donated $4,500 to sponsor 8 JROTC Cadets (and one chaperone) to serve as Guardians on this mission.  Each veteran on the flight is assigned a Guardian.  We believe this will be a wonderful and fulfilling experience for those Cadets.
  • Each year, our Chapter supports Collier County JROTC programs with a JROTC Awards Banquet. This year’s banquet will be held on 12 May at Glen Eagle Golf and Country Club.
  • At our February Board meeting, our Board approved the following Chapter goals for 2023:
    • Implement the new WordPress website
    • Formalize an on-boarding process for new members
    • Reinforce our Chapter Personal Affairs/Surviving Spouse organization
    • Plan for a Military Ball in 2024
    • Continue to define how our Chapter will accomplish our mission of Supporting the Military Community
    • Increase Chapter membership by a net of 10 new members over 2022
  • Our Board’s goal is to populate our website’s Events Calendar with just the right number and types of meetings and events that will provide opportunities for members to gather, socialize, and be informed. The tough part is in the planning, especially when costs for venues and food are involved.  It’s always disappointing to have to cancel an event due to lack of participation.  I anticipate our website’s Events Calendar will be a big help in this regard.  Please let me know your suggestions.  Informal “happy hour” gatherings, a Naples Princess cruise, and a Personal Affairs/Surviving Spouse dinner presentation are likely candidates.
  • Our Chapter Secretary, Shea Mola, has resigned from our Board as she continues to recover from recent surgery on her hand. This has been a challenging time for Shea and we wish her a full recovery.  Meanwhile, we have need of an interim secretary for the remainder of CY 2023.  If you are interested in stepping into this role, please let me know.
  • As you may know, our Chapter is a member of the Florida Council of Chapters (FCOC). There are 41 MOAA Chapters in Florida and FCOC does a great job of providing support to those Chapters.  I recommend you check out FCOC’s website (  And, you may want to consider attending the FCOC Annual Convention at World Golf Village in St. Augustine (19-21 May).  Information is available on the FCOC website and it looks to be a really enjoyable event.
  • If you haven’t already paid your 2023 Chapter Dues, you can pay them through our new website.

Thank you for your membership and ongoing support of our Chapter.

Never Stop Serving


Jeff Cahoon

President, MOASWF

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