Come join us!
We are a very active chapter, as you can tell as you browse through our web site. We meet at Michaels on East for lunch on the third Friday of each month, except in December when we hold a Military Gala. Luncheon programs feature military oriented speakers, city and county officials, representatives of local organizations (e.g. Mote Marine Laboratories, Ringling School of Design), and entertainment showcasing the Sarasota Opera, the Sarasota Ballet, authors, and many others. In short, our monthly luncheons provide something for everyone.
Not a luncheon person? Then the YAHOOs will surely have something for you. The Young at Heart Officers holds a wide variety of monthly events. Whether it is a Super Bowl or St. Patrick’s Day party, a kayak trip, or a day at the Polo matches or the Army-Navy football game, I am sure that you will find something YAHOO of interest. And, then, there is our Meet & Greet, held the second Friday of each month at the Sarasota Wine Club.
But, although fostering camaraderie and keeping members connected to those with whom they have served and shared life is certainly a major objective, MOAS is far more than a social club! We are active in local veterans’ activities and keep our members up to date on legislative initiatives at both state and national levels. We are a member of the Sarasota County Veterans Commission, and are also a part of the Florida Council of Chapters (FCOC), with MOAS members serving as council officers both past and present. MOAS has hosted two FCOC conventions in Sarasota. Most importantly, we serve as a communications link, a Veterans' Voice, between our local veteran community and our state and national MOAA affiliates, advocating for the plights, the rights and the benefits of veterans of all military services.
Perhaps the most gratifying work of MOAS is the outreach work done though the Sarasota Military Officers Scholarship Fund (SMOSF), a 501(c)3 charitable organization. We grant numerous Junior ROTC scholarships to the top local applicants in local JROTC programs, and Merit scholarships to qualifying seniors graduating from Sarasota area schools. And we have expanded this program to assist returning veterans attending local colleges. We support JROTC programs by funding special requests submitted by the schools, and participate in area high school Academic Olympics challenges. For the past several years we have run a highly successful and appreciated Support our Troops (SOT) program that has sent thousands of packages to deployed service members, and we will continue to do so as long as there is a need. We are proud to have been chosen by the Community Association of Sarasota County for its Giving Partners program, and we have joined the Patterson Foundation in their Legacy of Valor initiative.
We also partner every year with the Stars & Stripes Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable organization under the the Community Foundation of Sarasota. In conjunction with the POPs Orchestra of Sarasota & Bradenton the Foundation funds two events each year on Flag Day and Veterans Day. This is part of a larger American Flag Protocol Initiative, which is an American Flag curriculum of instruction that has been incorporated into the elementary school curriculum in Sarasota and Manatee counties.
I encourage you to take a look at our newsletter The Sarasota Breeze, where you will find a plethora of information about our current activities.
Come join us.
Military Officers' Association of Sarasota, Inc.
Brian McCarthy, RADM, USN (Retired)