Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about MERA
Q. May my spouse participate in the meetings, picnics and luncheons?
A. Absolutely. We encourage spouses to participate. They pay the same cost as the member for the picnics and luncheons.
Q. If the Member passes away, may the surviving spouse become a Member?
A. Yes. We will provide the surviving spouse free membership for the year the Member passes away and then they can continue membership by paying the annual dues.
Q. Does First Energy support MERA?
A. Absolutely. First Energy makes an annual contribution of $1.00 for every 50 cents of membership dues, up to a maximum of $10.00 provided MERA meets certain obligations. With our $5.00 annual dues we receive $10.00 per Member from First Energy. They also support MERA in other ways.
Q. Can Members bring more than one guest to any of the events?
A. Yes, they can bring a total of four people. The cost for the Member and one guest will be at the Member rate, additional guests will pay the full cost of the event.
Q. How do new retirees become Members of MERA?
A. At the employees exit interview, Human Resources will provide the new Retiree a congratulatory letter from MERA informing them they will be provided a free first year membership in MERA. The letter refers them to the MERA website and provides contact information with the Membership Chairperson.
Q. Can non-members participate in the MERA bus trips?
A. Yes. Each bus trip requires a minimum number of passengers. Passenger counts below that minimum will result in cancellation of the trip. Over the years we have had to allow guests, at the same price as Members, to participate in our bus trips. Without these guests many of our trips would have had to be cancelled. Flyers are sent out to our Members and some Non-Member guests at the same time. Reservations are accepted in the order they are received.
Q. What is the official name of the organization?
A. Our official name is Met-Ed Retirees Association of Berks County.
Q. Must I live in Berks County to be a Member?
A. No. Any person retired, eligible for a pension, or “bridged to retirement” from the employ of any former GPU Company, First Energy Company, or local Utilities Employees Credit Union is eligible to become a Member. We encourage people to continue their membership if they move out of the area so that they can continue to receive our mailings.
Q. How many Members does MERA have?
A. As of December 31, 2018 we have 489 Members.
Q. What is the purpose of having a retiree association?
A. The purpose of the Association shall be to carry on activities to provide a means of friendly association for retired employees, to foster among them a continuing fellowship and a spirit of mutual helpfulness; participate in activities that are of service to the community, contribute to the progress of the Association and promote the happiness, well-being and usefulness of the membership. (Article II, Section 1 of the Bylaws)
Q. Where does MERA have their meetings?
A. There are six meetings each year held on the third Monday in the months of January, February, March, May, October, and November at 1:00 PM. We meet at Good Shepherd UCC church at 170 Tuckerton Rd. in Muhlenberg Township. We have a speaker or entertainment and enjoy snacks and drinks along with good fellowship.
Q. Where does MERA have their picnics?
A. There are two picnics each year held on the third Thursday in the months of June and September at 11:00 AM. The June picnic is a catered picnic lunch and the September picnic is a catered chicken bake. The picnics are held at Jim Dietrich Park in Muhlenberg Township. Flyers are mailed to all members to sign-up for these picnics.
Q. Where does MERA have their luncheons?
A. There are two luncheons each year held on the third Thursday in the months of April and December. The April luncheon is our Anniversary luncheon and the December luncheon is our Christmas luncheon. Flyers are mailed to all members announcing the location and requesting that they sign-up for these luncheons.
Q. What can you tell me about the bus trips?
A. There are usually six bus trips each year. Our bus trips are arranged through Elite Coach in Ephrata, Pa. The trips are usually one-day trips. We have had some successful multi-day trips and some that had to be cancelled. All the bus trips start and end at the parking lot in the rear of the MET-ED building at 2800 Pottsville Pike. Flyers are mailed to all members to sign-up for these bus trips.
Q. How does MERA keep in touch with the members?
A. Our primary communication to our members is our website www.merasite.org. In addition, the minutes of each general meeting are mailed to all the members about two weeks after the meeting is held. Included with these minutes is a section called Our Home Town News that lists lots of information about members, such as anniversaries, illnesses, or deaths. The minutes will also announce the speaker or entertainment for the next meeting. And we also mail out flyers to each member for the picnics, luncheons, and bus trips.
Q. How can I find out what events are coming up in the next few months?
A. Visit the website to see upcoming events, trips, Our Home Town News, printable forms, photos of past events and a link to the First Energy website www.feretirees.com.
Q. How is MERA organized?
A. There is a Board of Directors consisting of a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, five directors, the immediate past president, and the chair-persons of all standing committees. Officers serve one year terms and Directors three year terms and all may serve consecutive terms.
Q. How are the Board members selected?
A. Nominations are submitted at the November meeting by the Nominating Committee. Additional nominations may be submitted from the general membership. The election of these nominees will be held at the December general meeting.
Q. Where and when are the Board meetings held?
A. The Board meets on the first Monday during the months of January-June and September-December at 1:00 PM in room L2 of the Met-Ed office building at 2800 Pottsville Pike. Members are invited to attend.