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COMMON GROUND: The Intertwined History of IRCC and MOAACC
Long before the Indian River Colony Club (IRCC) was a gleam in the eyes of its founders, many of those same founders already belonged to a Chapter of The Retired Officers Association or TROA. That chapter was established on Patrick Air Force Base in 1958. Over the years the local TROA chapter grew to over 2500 members, and was renamed two decades ago as the Military Officers Association of America (which allows not only active, retired officers, and surviving spouses to join, but former officers as well) Cape Canaveral Chapter or “MOAACC”.
The MOAACC of today includes over 1230 members, almost 275 of whom are IRCC residents. Every month MOAACC delivers about 150 copies of THE INTERCOM newsletter to the uniform mailboxes in IRCC. MOAACC doesn’t exist just for current or former uniform wearing officer members. It includes dozens of IRCC residents who are Surviving Spouse Members and Spouses. MOAACC has a special responsibility to take care of surviving spouse members. The Chapter includes a Surviving Spouse Coordinator, a Survivor Assistance Team, and an Auxiliary Committee of surviving spouses and spouse members that supports many IRCC families each year with support, and to help them understand and ensure they receive the benefits afforded to veterans. MOAACC also works hard with more than 350,000 other MOAA members worldwide to foster Legislative Advocacy that protects the benefits and programs of active duty and retired military personnel and their families. Thereby, MOAACC is of direct benefit to many IRCC residents, MOAACC members or not.
Today the Cape Canaveral Chapter is the largest MOAA Chapter in the country and has won MOAA’s prestigious annual “Five Star Award for Excellence” 16 years in a row — in fact every year since the award began! Dozens of IRCC residents have always been active and key leaders in MOAACC, including one of IRCC’s key founders, Brig Gen Gordon “Bat” Masterson, USAF, ret. and two-time MOAACC President MG John Cleland, USA, ret, whose contributions to IRCC, MOAACC and the entire Community are legendary. There are many, many others who link IRCC and MOAACC. A MOAACC Past President, CAPT Robert Watts, USN-Ret, became the IRCC Board Chairman not long ago.
For five decades, as best as the historical records tell us, even after IRCC was opened, the TROA/MOAACC leadership focused on keeping the organizations separate. There was even a reference to keeping “A Chinese Wall” between the Chapter and IRCC, since the latter was commercial venture. PAFB remained the full home of MOAACC until 2015, although years earlier MOAACC began holding one Thursday Morning Breakfast Club (TMBC) meeting per month at the 19th Hole IRCC Golf Clubhouse. At first the MOAACC home base was the PAFB Golf Club House, with big events being held at the former Officers Club until it burned down when monthly luncheons and other formal events were shifted to the Tides Club.
Five years ago, when PAFB raised rates and reduced services to MOAACC, the Board contracted with IRCC to become the new MOAACC home base, thus broadening the relationship quietly begun while IRCC was being developed. The IRCC Golf Course became the home of three MOAACC Good Deeds Foundation Fund Raising Golf Tournaments and there have been hundreds of TMBC meetings and luncheons hosted at IRCC in those five years. Only COVID-19 temporarily halted the meetings. With MOAACC now holding virtual Board and TMBC meetings, almost every one includes a question “When can we go back home to IRCC and meet in person?”.
The common ground is firmly set and the IRCC—MOAACC relationship extends far beyond real estate. IRCC supports many veteran and others causes ranging from the Veterans Memorial Center, to the Space Coast Honor Flight, Wreaths Across America, Veterans History Project, student scholarships and other youth support, etc. MOAACC advertises IRCC in every publication, including THE INTERCOM monthly newsletter, and our bi-weekly e-Newsletter, as well as on our website. In turn MOAACC gets many new members each year from current and new residents of IRCC and appreciates the great hospitality and ambiance at reasonable prices given to us by the staff and management of IRCC.
For more information about MOAACC, please see their website at www.MOAACC.org.
— MOAACC members including Steve Bond, Larry Jackson, Robert Watts, and Donn Weaver contributed to this article.
Photos with Captions:
COMMON GROUND: IRCC’s Colony Hall has hosted hundreds of MOAACC special events and luncheons over the years. IRCC residents, some not members or active in MOAACC, often come to hear Guest Speakers, learn about Current Events and enjoy dances or charity golf tournaments put on by MOAACC’s Good Deeds Foundation.
COMMON GROUND: Over the years many IRCC members have contributed to MOAACC 501c3 projects like the College/Grad School Scholarship program administered by MOAACC’s Scholarship Corporation (pictured here). In 2019, the Scholarship Corporation provided $35,000 to college students who are descendants of area veterans and active military. The Good Deeds Foundation supports Veterans in need; Active Duty Junior Enlisted causes; ROTC and JROTC Youth Programs and other special events and programs. Last year alone, GDF donated $50,000 to these groups. The MOAACC.ORG web site offers much more information and when IRCC residents check it out, they will see dozens of their neighbors active in MOAACC’s renowned Philanthropy Pillar.
COMMON GROUND: IRCC’s Foundation supports many special causes in the community — So does MOAACC!! Here the Good Deeds Foundation presents a grant to the Space Coast Honor Flight program, which has hosted dozens of IRCC residents and members over the years and to which many IRCC residents contribute.
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