The Auxiliary's View... 

by Darian Slayton Fleming

Greetings from your BVA Auxiliary Board of Directors! We sincerely hope that the New Year is off to a pleasant start for everyone.

The Board is pleased to report that its quarterly conference call for BVAA regional group presidents was held on January 8. The meeting, as we like to call it, was facilitated by both Patricia Hail and me.

National Secretary Sandy Krasnodemski, Florida Auxiliary Regional Group President Fran Thomas, and Georgia President Anna Mims each attended. We also received a report from Cindy Conter of the Northern Arizona Regional Group.

Our conference calls, coupled with Auxiliary publications such as the BVAA Star and the BVAA E-Star, are the means we have at our disposal to share ideas and our current activities. Your ideas provide help to other regional groups who are looking for innovative ways to support veterans. Please consider attending these conferences and/or sharing your stories by sending them through me at dlsfleming@gmail.com.

Many of our established regional groups are busy. Cindy's report described the group's snowflake party with nursing home residents and staff. This year's entertainment featured Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley sound-alike performers. Given the name of the event, we can only surmise that this is how Arizonans celebrate the wonder of snow!

Fran reported on 50-50 drawings that the regional group holds at luncheons throughout Florida. The proceeds fund a scholarship, recently named in honor of Barbara Stocking, which will be awarded at the BVA Florida state convention during the first weekend of May. The scholarship is given to spouses, children, or other relatives of blinded veterans living in Florida.

Anna's Georgia group joined hands again this year for a Christmas party with other veterans organizations and organizations for the blind. In this manner, she said, blind individuals discover new and helpful resources while also developing a wider support network.

The group also has an April luncheon planned for its veterans. During the luncheon, program personnel from the door-to-door transportation service will share information about applying for this service. "Coffee Hours" and social/craft events are also held for wives and friends of blinded veterans.

Anna also has her own special project, collecting books and gifts for the House of Mercy, a shelter for the homeless. She would gladly share any donations that our reading audience may wish to send her way.

At press time, another Board meeting conference call was scheduled for February. Notification will be provided regarding still another call in April.

As a friend recently shared with me in an email message, may all of us who assist and support blinded veterans be "blessed with love to share, health to spare, and friends who care."