Auxiliary’s ViewBVA Auxiliary President Pam Hogan

by Pam Hogan

On behalf of our BVA Auxiliary National Officers, I extend warm summer greetings as we continue preparing for the opportunity to reunite in Milwaukee. We are looking forward to seeing as many of you there as possible. We will miss you if you cannot be there and wish you an enjoyable remainder of the summer season.

We believe that the month of August will be a bit brighter for those who have found a way to travel to the BVA 71st National Convention, which for the Auxiliary will be its 39th annual meeting. As many of you know, the Blinded Veterans Association was founded in 1945 while the Auxiliary’s inception came in 1977.

Whether you read this issue of the Bulletin before or after the event, please know that our Auxiliary scholarships for the spouses and children of blinded veterans will continue to be of paramount concern to us and one of our highest priorities going forward.

One of the largest sources of funds for these scholarships is the proceeds of our Silent Auction held at the convention. It is an opportunity for attendees at the gathering to support an important cause and, at the same time, return home with a souvenir that in many cases can be displayed or put to good use at home.

BVAA National Vice President Edna Kirksey-Dixon has been graciously receiving donations for the auction throughout the past year. We hope that many of you have chosen something to donate this year. In the event that you somehow read this column early and can still get a donation to Edna by August 13, please send it to her at 51678 Oakwood Drive, Bay Minette, AL 36507.

Some great topics and speakers are on our seminar schedule at the convention. If you cannot be there in person to hear them, hopefully we will have some excellent note takers on hand through whom we can share the general content at a later time.

Among the presenters will be two ladies who have become perennial favorites: Our own Edna along with Boise, Idaho VIST Coordinator Valerie Duffy. Edna will address the topic “Do You Consider Yourself a Caregiver?” Val’s topic is “See Blindness in a New Way.” Others include “Do You Get Enough Sleep?” (Carl Hytienen), “How Do You Relax?” (Sandy Krasnodemski), and “Reviewing Your Financial Situation” (Wade Davis).

Our conventions present us with opportunities not only for education and new ideas but also offer some rejuvenation and a chance to resolve to do things differently in many cases. The experience of meeting our fellow Auxiliary members from throughout the country is not possible in any other forum at present. In other words, it’s a one-of-a-kind chance.

If we won’t see you in Milwaukee, and we will be thinking of you if we don’t, please start planning ahead and putting away your dimes and nickels for next year. Although we do not yet know where we will be, information will be forthcoming soon. We would love to see everyone, especially those who haven’t attended in a number of years.