Phoenix Gathering Now on Horizon
by Brigitte Jones
Protected by red-rock mountains, surrounded by golf courses, and covered by a perpetual blue sky, downtown Phoenix will offer convention attendees a mix of urban fun and outdoor recreation. Photo courtesy of Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Pursuant to the provisions of Section 3b of Article IX (National Convention) of the BVA National Bylaws, all members of the Blinded Veterans Association in good standing are hereby notified that the BVA 63rd National Convention will be held at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix Hotel, 122 North Second Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004, from Tuesday, August 12, through Saturday, August 16, 2008. Periodic updates regarding the gathering will be posted on the Convention page on the BVA website
BVA members in good standing who wish to vote by proxy may request a form by writing or calling the Administrative Director at BVA National Headquarters no later than 45 days before the opening day of the 63rd National Convention. Because the convention’s opening day is August 12, the deadline for requesting a proxy form is June 28, 2008.
In compliance with Section 2c of Article IX, the proxy form must be completed and returned to BVA National Headquarters (Attn: Administrative Director). To be considered valid, the envelope containing the form must be postmarked no later than 21 days before the opening date of the convention. The due date is therefore July 22, 2008.
Important Dates and Deadlines
BVA National Headquarters distributed notices in January regarding nominations for Certificates of Appreciation, the Maas and Diener Awards, the Wilburn H. Long Employment Award, and the David L. Schnair Volunteer Service Award. These actions also occurred in compliance with articles within the BVA national bylaws.
A reminder will also be mailed to regional group presidents and secretaries on March 12 regarding the due date for submission of bylaw amendments for consideration at the convention. A mailing to all BVA members in good standing and residing in Districts 5 and 6 will occur on or before March 15 (150 days leading up to August 12). The mailing will call for nominations for District Director.
At about the same time, a similar mailing will also be directed to members in District 4 regarding a special election for the uncompleted term of Dr. Roy Kekahuna, who was appointed in the interim by Dale Stamper.
Three copies of the credentials form will be also mailed on April 4 to each regional group president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer.
Both regional groups and individuals should refer to the following timeline in preparing for the convention. Items listed include actions required of the Association’s national headquarters, regional groups, and individuals. Questions can be addressed by calling BVA National Headquarters at 800-669-7079. Asterisks indicate actions required by the BVA National Bylaws.
- March 14*--National headquarters sends reminder to regional group presidents and secretaries that proposed bylaw amendments for consideration at the 63rd National Convention must be postmarked no later than 90 days before the convention (May 15).
- March 15 (no later than 150 days before convention)--Mail call for nomination of Directors of Districts 5 and 6 to members in good standing from each of the two districts.
- April 18*--Nominations for BVA Certificates of Appreciation, the Maas and Diener Awards, the Long Employment Award, and the Schnair Service Award all due at national headquarters.
- Mid-April*--63rd National Convention pre-registration package prepared and sent to printer.
- May 5 (no earlier than 100 days before convention, 99 in this case because May 4 is a Sunday)--Earliest date to mail pre-registration package and official convention notice to potential attendees.
- May 14 (no earlier than 90 days before convention)--Earliest date to distribute ballots for Districts 5 and 6 elections to district members.
- May 14 (no later than 90 days before convention)--Envelopes containing proposed bylaw amendments must be directed to national headquarters and postmarked.
- May 14 (no earlier than 90 days before convention)--Earliest date to mail proposed bylaw amendments to members in good standing.
- May 14 (90 days before convention and 60 days following original mail call referred to above)--Nominations for regular elections of Directors of Districts 5 and 6 due at national headquarters.
- May 29 (no later than 75 days before convention)--Latest date to mail pre-registration package and official convention notice from national headquarters.
- June 3 (no later than 70 days before convention)--Latest date for national headquarters to mail ballots for regular elections of Directors of Districts 5 and 6.
- June 16*--National headquarters mails annual financial report forms (three copies) to treasurers of regional groups.
- June 28--Ballots for regular elections for Directors of Districts 5 and 6 must be postmarked no later than midnight.
- June 28 (no later than 45 days before convention)--Latest date to mail proposed bylaw amendments to members in good standing.
- July 3 (no later than 40 days before convention)--Regional group meeting notices to elect convention delegates must be mailed to group members. A copy of the notice must also be mailed to national headquarters at the same time it is mailed to the membership.
- July 8 (35 days before convention)--National headquarters counts election ballots for regular election of Director of Districts 5 and 6.
- July 22 (21 days before convention)--Completed delegate credentials forms and proxy forms must be postmarked no later than midnight.
“Valley of the Sun” Beckons BVA Family
The BVA Northern Arizona Regional Group is excited to host the Association’s 63rd National Convention. The group is presently planning several activities that will be described in greater detail in the Bulletin’s spring issue. The City of Phoenix is looking forward to hosting the convention.
Situated in the southwestern part of the United States, Phoenix is the capital of Arizona and the nation’s fifth largest city with almost 1.5 million inhabitants within the city proper. It covers 514 square miles. The area continues to grow at a rapid rate.
Phoenix averages 325 days of sunshine per year. The average high in August is 102 degrees and the average low is 77.
When it comes to attractions, Phoenix is not an average city. The beautiful Sonoran Desert receives top billing as a world-class setting. Arts and cultural venues also contribute to making the area a wonderful destination. The city’s extensive desert preserve system offers visitors easy access to the Sonoran Desert and its surprising biological diversity. The area also features Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, and the Red Rocks. A couple of hours southward in Tucson is the Southwestern Blind Rehabilitation Center.
The Phoenix Points of Pride highlights many of the city’s most unique attractions. City-run facilities such as the Pueblo Grande Museum and Heritage and Science Park offer visitors a chance to learn about the Valley’s native heritage and history. Indoors or outdoors, Phoenix has attractions for everyone, be they longtime residents, recent transplants, or visitors.
Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks major league baseball team, is a two-block walk from the Hyatt Regency. The stadium was the first ever to feature both a natural grass playing surface and a retractable roof. The unique ballpark also features air conditioning and a swimming pool. Photo courtesy of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Phoenix has museums, art galleries, performing arts venues, and even some casinos to suit nearly every taste. Some highlights include the following: Desert Botanical Garden (the world's largest collection of desert plants), Taliesin West (home of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation), the Phoenix Art Museum (the Southwest's largest art museum), Fleischer Museum (American Impressionism), Arizona Science Center, Hall of Flame (featuring the world's largest collection of fire-fighting equipment), Pueblo Grande Museum and Cultural Park (Native American), the Heard Museum (one of the country’s most extensive collection of Native American artifacts, including the largest kachina doll collection donated in part by the late Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater). The Phoenix Museum of History is also among the cultural hot spots.
Downtown Phoenix, often referred to as “Copper Square,” is also a major destination for visitors throughout the world who are eager to sample the city’s wide variety of cuisines. From a quick bite at the ballpark to a fabulous fine-dining experience, the city’s many wonderful restaurants have it all.
A great way to make a stay in Phoenix fun and accessible is to use the free services of the Copper Square Ambassadors. They are available in the downtown area surrounding the Hyatt Regency. The Copper Square Ambassadors are on duty seven days a week. They are on foot or on bikes and perform public safety, crime prevention, first aid, and CPR, just to name a few. They carry maps, business directories, a schedule of events, dining guides, and a two-way radio.
The Copper Square Ambassadors have a wealth of information about local attractions, special events, restaurants, theaters, and hotels. Aware of the dates of the convention, they are eager to help and share their knowledge with BVA members who will be walking the city’s streets. Be on the lookout for their orange and khaki uniforms and do not be surprised if they stop and introduce themselves.
For visitor information about Phoenix, click on www.visitphoenix.com
or call 877-225-5749.
Sweepstakes Tickets Mailed in Mid-January
BVA members and all others who have recently participated in the annual convention sweepstakes should have received their tickets in late January. Six tickets were included in each mailing, which occurred on January 21 and 22.
Total revenue amassed at press time, February 28, was $10,510. The Spring 2008 issue of the Bulletin will further update ticket holders on the progress of the prize pool and total proceeds. The prize pool is approximately 50 percent of incoming funds, after administrative and postal expenses. The other 50 percent provides financial support to the convention.
Please contact Keleeba Scott at BVA National Headquarters, 202-371-8880, Ext. 3323, for more information about the sweepstakes, additional tickets, or prize pool updates.