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RTO marking 50 years

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A 50-year anniversary celebration is happening.

The Retired Teachers of Ontario (RTO) turns 50 in 2018. It is made up of 48 districts, throughout Ontario and including two in B.C., and is 73,000 members strong.

Our local district (Rainy River) boasts 255 members of the educational community.

We enjoy excellent medical/health benefits, travel insurance and trips, and various social gatherings each year.

As an organization, we also give back to our communities through a grant program called “Project Service to Others.” Part of celebrating our 50 years is looking at the contributions to local projects that we've made.

Did you know that since 1999, the Rainy River District of RTO has applied for and received 11 “Project Service to Others” grants totally $34,200?

These grants bought the furniture in the Teen Centre at the Fort Frances Library Technology Centre, supported the Emo Spray Park, helped purchase the courtyard furnishings for Rainycrest, contributed to the renovations of Knox United Church in Fort Frances, and helped finance the Atikokan Teen Centre and the Atikokan handi-van.

The grants paid for the revival of the mining murals in Atikokan and, in 1999, a grant helped build the open-air ground shuffleboard courts at the seniors' centre, among other projects.

Most recently, in 2017-18, RTO's grant is paying for the engraving on the medallions presented to the winners of the Rainy River District Festival of the Performing Arts.

In 1968, the Superannuated Teachers of Ontario (STO), the forerunner to RTO, was founded in central Ontario to seek benefits for seniors.

In November, 1970, under the leadership of Ann McLennan (president) and Jessie Nelson (secretary), 11 people gathered in the Robert Moore School lounge for the first meeting of the local STO chapter.

A letter was composed and sent to the minister of finance suggesting the income tax exemption for seniors be raised from $1,500 to $2,500.

We still are reaping the benefits of their courage and vision today (from the Rainy River District archives, researched by Pat Basaraba).

We in RTO are proud of our 50-year history, and feel privileged to contribute financial support to projects in Rainy River District and our communities.

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