The Retired BTA Members Association (BTAR)


Welcome to the BTAR website


I have to admit, "getting my first ever invitation" to this winter classic event was both a surprise and pleasure to recieve. It felt as if " Coming home" took on a whole new meaning for me. A chance to meet up with old colleages to discuss new mattters at hand, see who was shuffled off to new settlements of learning, hear the latest office gossip, see who's going toe-to-toe with the adminstration, track down new candidates for retirement while teasing others who are light years away from the finish line. All this and more were running through this young rookie retiree's head as I feverishly searched for a parking space.

With the venue being relocated from Port Chester to White Plains, Westchester Burger Company was able to comfortably handle the merriment of the season. The BOCES union, has once again, mastered the fine art of arranging the perfect outing. Kudos to the union officals who gave their time and efforts to insure the membership an occasion they can look forward on a yearly basis. It's difficult to please all the people all the time but this year's celebration proved to be a fan favorite.

Revelers were greeted with a fine array of culinary delights (chicken wings, french fries, tacos, mini pizzas and sliders, just to name a few), which filled the tables. Serving trays were continuously being refilled in order to fill the BOCES driving hunger.

Staff members unable to reach the serving tables found that the open bar was the perfect alternate solution. There, partygoers could find wine and beer throughout the night with little wait and always a smiling bartender.

The evening grew to a point (as they always do) where people will leave early, while others will catch their second wind and party like a college freshmen straight out of catholic high school.  It goes without saying that "timing is everything" and Mellissa Barreto took center stage and brought the celebration to a crescendo. She thanked the members,  noting that  their attendance showed unity and strengthened the union as a whole. A reflective moment.......yes, and through the eyes of this observer the meaning rang true.

With a wall of Christmas baskets ready to be gotten, raffle tickets were clutched in the hands of potential winners, numbers were read aloud and partygoers tested their eyesight. Faint screams covered the crowded room as numbers just missed their mark, while one proud winner raised his hand in utter triumph. For the next 40 minutes this would be common place, the show of excitement, the gallant walk to the podium ( as if you won the best actor award), your acceptance speech and of course raising your "swag" for others to view. This my friends was the high point of the evening.....a fantastic way of raising money and at the same time assembling a crowd for a common cause.....a job well done.   

With pleasant conversations and members exchanging seasonal greetings from tables far and near, one could really appreciate the camaraderie and true friendships forged throughout the years.  Raising glasses to toast a Merry Christmas was the continuous theme of the evening as I peeked from the sidelines from a corner table. Veteran teachers along with first year employees found a communal setting to come together and celebrate all that's good at BOCES. Those moments are hard to come by when your days are hurried and the hours seem to stand still before you go home. Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to relive a very enjoyable evening.

Joe Racioppo