The Auxiliary's View... 

by Joyce Thornton

The change in seasons from summer to autumn seemed to motivate some of us BVA Auxiliary members this year. In Florida’s Lee County, for example, we completed a walkathon on behalf of the visually impaired on October 11. The event, which I had the opportunity to chair, was done in conjunction with White Cane Day activities recognized by the Lee County Board of Commissioners.

BVA took part in the walkathon and was one of the organizations that benefited from the proceeds.

World War II veteran Edwin Wack, a graduate of the West Palm Beach BRC, was the oldest blinded veteran participant at age 90. Despite being totally blind, Edwin led the walk briskly. He was accompanied by Vietnam Navy veteran Larry Newman and Army Vietnam veteran Terry King. Edwin has distinguished himself in the past for his independence and penchant for computer use. Add one more kudo to his list—a successful walkathon.

The event was the fifth of its kind organized by the Fort Myers VIST. Its dual purpose is to celebrate White Cane Day and to educate the community about visual impairment. Each participating agency, seven in all, is responsible to come up with its own walkers and to help make the event a success.

The money collected was shared among the participating organizations. The share this year for BVA was $1,098. The funds will be used locally next May to help in the transportation of veterans to the state convention of the Florida Regional Group.

Each walker donated $20 and, in return, received lunch, a tee shirt, and additional opportunities to win other prizes. Music was provided and everyone had a wonderful time walking in the Florida autumn sunshine in a beautiful park.

Other accounts of White Cane Day celebrations are welcome and important. It is important to share them with one another so that we can all improve our efforts. Please send them my way if you have them.

The holiday season is now upon us. On behalf of BVAA, I wish all of you a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a Blessed Kwanzaa, and the Happiest of New Years. As a first priority moving ahead into the New Year, do not forget to encourage eligible students to apply for a Renee Feldman scholarship for 2009-10.