Happy New Year and welcome to 2021! I believe we are all ready to move into the New Year with high expectations and the hope of improvement in our normal way of life. It is time to press forward and think of how we can improve ourselves, whether in our relationships, at work, or even our physical and emotional health. Here are a few benefits for you to start working on a better you.
If your New Year’s resolution is to work on your wellness, start by logging into LAFRA.org/wellness, create your Sharecare account, and take a health assessment to determine your real age marker. Other benefits the wellness plan offers are a gym membership, health coaching, tobacco cessation, monthly motivational challenges, activity trackers, educational materials, and financial health. By logging in and participating, you will earn points that allow you to redeem rewards such as vitamins or supplements, all the way to wearable fitness trackers. Another important benefit LAFRA offers is your annual physical. Take this time to schedule your physical and work toward the goals you have set for yourself!
Estate planning is another service offered by your Relief Association, and this includes the creation of wills and trusts. Protect yourself, your loved ones, and your assets with this very important benefit. As a member, LAFRA provides a one-time $600 benefit to help you complete your estate plan. If you need additional financial help, LAFRA will advance you another $1,200 to be paid back incrementally through payroll deduction. Place a call to Member Services at (323) 259-5222 or (323) 259-5223, and they can assist you in this process. Take this time to verify and update your beneficiary designations as LAFRA is required to pay out benefits to whoever is on file. In February LAFRA will once again be sending out the Member RAP Sheet. Please, read it and reply if you need to make changes.
I would like to thank all of those who voted and participated in the LAFRA 2020 Trustee Elections and congratulate our returning and new trustees effective in 2021. Returning Group 3 Active Trustees are John Jacobsen, Jim Duffy, JD Fox, Kenny Breskin, and Tim Freeman. LAFRA’s newest active Trustee Brian Wall will replace Steve Berkery who will be moving into the Group 3 Pension Trustee position as a result of this election. As mentioned last month, Pension Trustee Tim Larson has left the Board after years of serving the membership. THANK YOU again, Tim! Trustees serve in this capacity on the Board for three years and work in various committees to make decisions that benefit you and your family. Your commitment is truly appreciated! As you know, LAFRA moved to an electronic voting platform this year in hopes of an easier process and increased participation; both were accomplished.
Even though the LAFRA Annual Open House was cancelled this year due to Covid-19, the Board of Trustees felt the need to name a very deserving 2020 honoree, Steve Romas. Steve has been instrumental in helping out with the following events: Hope for Fighters, Lane Kemper Softball, and the LAFD Golf Tournament for many years. As a bonus, his wife, Mona, and his daughters, Melissa and Rebecca, have also been there volunteering for LAFRA. Congratulations on your upcoming retirement, and we hope to see and honor you in November 2021! I would like to take a moment to congratulate Tom Kitahata on winning the Firefighter of the Year Award for 2020. I can’t think of a more deserving or hard-working person, and those of us who have had the chance to work with him throughout our careers are better for it.
Be safe out there!
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