President’s Message – August 2020

Here we are in the eighth month of the year and feeling the heat of August. Vacations, travel, barbecues, concerts in the park, and beach days are a common thread for most, and it is my hopes that you and your families are well and able to plan and attend these outings. Take this time to relax and recharge the batteries that continue to be drawn down during these unprecedented times in our lives.

Beneficiary forms are still slowly trickling in and being updated in our LAFRA database. Life is constantly changing, so if you have been recently married, divorced, or added an addition to your family, please fill out the form and send it in to be updated. As a Relief Association member, your beneficiaries are entitled to the benefits available as set forth in our bylaw. The beneficiary information we have on file for you will automatically receive the $5,000 death benefit that each member is entitled to, and if you participate in the optional Life and Accident Plan and haven’t withdrawn your contributions after 20 years, your beneficiary is entitled to an additional $12,000 benefit. Direct questions or concerns to (323) 259-5205.

The Board of Trustees has recently changed the policy on cemetery plots which allows you to utilize these benefits prior to passing and purchase the remaining cemetery plots owned by LAFRA. Community Affairs Liaison representative Steve Ruda brought this great idea to the Board of Trustees a few months back, and we hope this provides some relief to the membership in these trying times.

Cemetery Plot Policy:

Plot purchases by Members/One-Time Use of Member Benefits to Purchase Plots: Two cemetery sites may be sold to members for immediate need at 50% of the current market price. The second plot may be purchased by a member or spouse or domestic partner at the time of need for future use by the member or spouse at the same price. Internment orders for reserved property will be signed at the time of need. Alternatively, any dues-paying member in good standing shall be eligible for an irrevocable one-time use of their death benefit of $5,000 as a credit for payment towards a plot owned by LAFRA if the member opts in writing to apply such amount, before their death, to the purchase of a plot. Additionally, any dues-paying member in good standing who has reached the 20 year maturity date shall be eligible for an irrevocable one-time use of their Life and Accident Benefit of $12,000 as a credit for payment towards a plot owned by LAFRA, if the member opts in writing to apply such amount before their death to the purchase of a plot. The maximum total combined benefit credit shall be the combined Death and Life and Accident Benefit to which the member is entitled at the time that they opt to apply to purchase a plot. These member benefit credits may be applied in whole or in part at the discretion of LAFRA and will reduce the benefit amounts accordingly if the entire benefit credit is not utilized. Refer to Debt Recovery Policy, Paragraph D, Item # 2.

Additional plots for family members are available at current market value.

I would like to personally thank our event sponsors for continuing their donations in light of the cancelled events this year. These donations provide assistance to our Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firefighters Fund and allow us to help our members in need. Your gratitude is sincerely appreciated.

Galloway/Public Safety Financial and Brad Standage for the Lane Kemper Softball event.

Blue Shield of CA and Mark Reynosa for the Hope for Firefighters event.

Operating Engineers Local 551 and Bryan Cortez for the Hope for Firefighters event.

ADT / Red Hawk Fire & Security and Bob Berkery for the Hope for Firefighters event.

Aaron Straussner and Julie Sherman for Lane Kemper Softball event.

As we continue to take 2 steps forward and 10 steps back, continue the positivity and realize that this, too, will pass. We will be back!

Be safe out there!

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Jeff Cawdrey

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