History of the Clearwater Unit of TRIF (RTC)
by Grace W.
In 1985, shortly after I retired, I received a notice from
NYSUT that they were attempting to form a new chapter of TRIF
on the west coast of Florida. They had very good chapters on
the east coast. Belle S. was going to be the coordinator. Rosalie
G. was working with Belle and, therefore, became the first
We met in the Fortune Bank on Belcher (now Am South Bank) for
coffee and doughnuts. I believe it was October. Every month
until April we ate doughnuts and coffee and the attendance dwindled.
I believe the total in April was six. Belle said it was obvious
that the interest was not there so we would disband.
Three of us were not ready to quit. Mary C., John (Jack) C.
and I went outside in the parking lot and talked about what
could be done. Rosalie said she did not want to continue and
work necessary. I volunteered to try and get it going. Mary
was willing to be a recording secretary and Jack the treasurer.
We thought that maybe luncheon meetings with speakers would
stimulate teachers to attend.
I contacted Belle and she was not happy about trying this method
since they didn't do it on the east coast. However, she would
give me all the necessary lists to start contacting teachers.
I spent many weeks contacting restaurants, speakers and mailing
many, many notices of our first meeting. We were pleasantly
surprised when we received about twenty-seven positive responses.
That year was challenging. We decided that invitations to spouses
should be extended. Belle said it was fine but they should be
associate members and pay dues. I was not in favor of that because
they were not voting members, just escorts. They could not hold
office. I did not enforce the ruling. We ended the year with
a good feeling and elected a president to follow me. (I was
too tired to continue.) Unfortunately, I cannot remember who
it was. I remained as active as I could -- I was treasurer for
awhile after Jack.