The Auxiliary's View...
by Darian Slayton Fleming
BVAA has been extremely active and busy this
quarter. We've been attending to our regional group needs and planning
for the upcoming convention activities in Las Vegas.
Please remember, when sending your
much appreciated donations to BVAA, to indicate whether you prefer that
they be applied to the general funds or to the scholarship funds.
We extend a special thank you to the
Georgia and Mid-Atlantic Regional Groups for their donations to BVAA.
These funds will be very helpful in providing future scholarships. As an
additional note regarding scholarships at a regional level, the Florida
Regional Group Auxiliary has awarded a stipend to Samantha Hynes, who
attends the University of Central Florida and plans to become a
zoologist specializing in the use of animals in rehabilitation.
We realize that supporting our
veterans is difficult when we struggle to support our own organization,
both regionally and nationally. Here is a tip that might help resolve
some of the challenges. If your members are having difficulty getting to
meetings, consider a conference call as a solution. Information
regarding such a call is located at www.freeconferencecall.com and additional questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The service can also be contacted via toll-free 877-482-5838.
Please remember to send minutes of any
meetings, including new officers, to Sandy Krasnodemski, BVAA National
Secretary, email@example.com or 15229 Garfield Avenue, Allen Park, MI
48101. At our national convention, BVAA meeting attendees will be
able to participate in an annual planning and idea-sharing workshop. We
will discuss how BVAA as a national organization can support the
regional groups and get more people involved in the organizing as well
as the fun and enjoyment of local meetings. Because our groups are so
spread out, we will explore how we can stay connected.
Convention highlights include the BVAA
Silent Auction featuring items donated by our blinded veterans
themselves and their families and friends. This will be our big chance
to do some early holiday shopping since a variety of delightful and
unusual items will be up for bid.
The new BVAA cookbooks will be on sale
in large print and/or on CD. Convention prices are $12 per book or CD
while the book and CD together will run $18. For orders that must be
mailed, an additional $1 per item will be added for shipping and
handling. The Auxiliary will also offer a raffle again this year. On
Tuesday of the convention week (August 16) at 10 a.m., there will be a
motivational speaker (open to everyone at the convention—BVA, BVAA,
Operation Peer Support, and guests). The address, entitled "The Least
Blinded Veteran," will feature Rae Hail. He will touch on the
politically incorrect aspects of blindness that many could address but
seldom do. He'll make you angry, give you hope, and help you laugh at
some of the things you – and other blinded veterans – experience.
There will be a BVAA member and guest
support panel discussion beginning at 1 p.m. that same day. The panel
represents professionals, caregivers, and spouses of veterans from a
variety of age groups, service backgrounds, and families. The panel will
address several topics and entertain additional audience questions as
time permits. Some panel members may even be available for individual or
small group discussion afterward.
Our annual BVAA meeting will begin
after the BVA Opening Business Session on Wednesday. The Auxiliary will
also hold regular meetings of the membership, enjoy fun times with one
another, and conduct a "craft make it and take it." We will also hold
our annual election of officers for the coming year.
Remember to send me information about regional group Auxiliary activities via my email address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Readers of the Bulletin are interested in hearing about issues and
activities relevant to your local groups. They would also appreciate
suggestions regarding plans for White Cane Day. Together we can create a
more efficient and effective BVAA and provide even greater support for
our blinded veterans everywhere.