Members of Indy Racers are on the look out for more associates. The group is the local chapter of the Retired United Airlines Employees Association (RUAEA).
The organization has 30,000 members nationwide. The local chapter got started with the help of Joseph and Hannelore Brabo.
“We had our first meeting in 2004,” Joseph Brabo said. “I was uncomfortable speaking during that first meeting so Chris Johnston helped us out.”
Johnston and the Brabos helped gather area retirees who had decided to stay in the area after the airline closed its Indianapolis operation in 2003.
“The group is open to all airline personnel,” Brabo said. “And since United has acquired Continental Airlines, their associates also qualify for membership. And you don’t have to be retired. You just had to have worked for United.”
The group gets together monthly and talks about a variety of topics from retiree benefits to what happened at a recent convention.
“We also do a lot for charity,” Brabo said.
At their most recent meeting, club members brought in unwrapped toys which will be given to the Toys for Tots program benefiting needy children in Central Indiana.
Customers of Emmy’s Pancake House in Avon also donated to the toy drive. The club meets at 1 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at Emmy’s. The owner allowed the club to put a box for Toys for Tots in the restaurant.
“The Marines will come pick up the toys, wrap them, and give them to children identified by local churches and other organizations,” Brabo said.
Each year, members of the club are invited to a national convention to discuss benefits and learn what’s new with United Airlines. Club members Wanda Bryce, Ellie and Ralph Barnett, Mary Chandler, and Linda Harris attended the most recent convention in Washington, D.C.