The regular monthly meeting of the Mason Bluebonnet Study Club was held on April 20 at the Richard P. Eckert Civic Center. At 2:00 p.m., club president Mary Hemphill called the group to order and asked Tommie Luckenbach to lead the pledges to the flags of the United States of America and to the State of Texas. Betty Meyer lead the group in recitation of the Club Collect.
President Hemphill introduced the speaker for the day, Mason County Extension Agent Kristy Powell who presented a program entitled “When Bad Things Happen to Your Good Name”. Attention was called to the fact that the last reporting figures available from 2007 show that 10 million people per year are victims of identity theft. Mrs. Powell distributed a blank sheet of paper to each attendee and asked that contents of each person’s wallet be listed without looking in the wallet. When that was complete, she asked that each one look in their wallet and verify how many items were forgotten. She noted that if that wallet was stolen or snatched, reporting would necessitate the thorough knowleged in order to stop credit cards, checks, etc.
A printed quiz was next given to each attendee. Listed were points of vulnerability for identity theft with points allotted for each category. A high score denoted a high vulnerability while a low score showed a modicum of safety against someone stealing personal identity. Some points noted were receipt of unsolicited credit applications not shredded; carrying one’s social security card in wallet; social security number listed on driver’s license or checks; not having a locked mail box; leaving mail in open containers in home or office; being listed on Who’s Who; and a variety of identity cards carried which show social security number. Mrs Powell advised that one should be very careful about who is given social security number, and that being careful about reciting the number in the hearing of others may set off a whole number of fake accounts in one’s name. She said that one could not be too careful with this vital number.
After a spirited discussion, Mrs. Powell told the group that another point of vulnerability is not requesting credit reports often. Free reports may be obtained at www.annualcreditreport.com
In addition, she recommended good computer protection. In closing, Mrs. Powell told the audience that preventing identity theft could save one’s good credit and a lot of grief and work to recover one’s good name.
Following the program, the business portion of the meeting included reading of minutes by secretary Julie Harrison, treasurer’s report by Mary Ellen Merkel, roll call by secretary Harrison, and Federation report by Tommie Luckenbach.
Under old business, a thank you note was read which was received from Alamo District president Patsy Troell regarding the excellent job that the club did in hosting the Alamo District Texas Federtion of Women’s Clubs Spring Convention. President Hemphill asked Betty Meyer to give an overview of the convention for the group. It was reported that the turnout was good and that all in attendance complimented Mason and the friendly people here.
In new business, a resignation letter from Julia Pepper was read. Mrs. Pepper noted that due to her family situation at the present time, she felt that she had to resign as vice president. Her resignation was accepted and president Hemphill appointed Sabin Nelson to the position of vice president.
Due to the closing of the Mason Care Center, Honorary member Lois Durst is being moved to the facility in Brady. Her May 7 birthday celebration will be changed accordingly. Edna Earle Benton will notify members of the new arrangements.
Water conservation will be the subject of the May 18 meeting. Members are reminded that annual dues need to be paid at that time. In addition, ideas for fundraisers will be presented.
Hostess for the meeting, Tommie Luckenbach, served refreshements to Edna Earle Benton, Mary Carlman, Julie Harrison, Mary Hemphill, Tanya Lamoreaux, Mary Ellen Merkel, Betty Meyer, Brinda Pape, Johnnie Rossing, Kristy Powell, and Sabin Nelson. Members absent were Maudi Bergmann, Adrianna Eckert, Carol Jordan, Julia Pepper, and Sherry Estes.
The Mason Bluebonnet Study Club was organized in 1941 and is a member of the Alamo District of Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs which is a part of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, an international organization headquartered in Washington, DC dedicated to volunteer service to communities around the world.