by Pam Hogan
Autumn greetings to our blinded veterans and their families!
The weather may be cooling slightly but, for those of us who attended this year’s BVA and BVAA National Conventions, we are still hot! Yes, hot! Hot with ideas and information to carry us into a new year of activities supporting our Blinded Veterans Association regional groups.
We congratulate the newly elected and re-elected national officers of BVAA, especially our new National Secretary, Benjamin Holmes. All of the other officers were re-elected to new terms of office.
This year’s scholarship awardee was Arial Taylor of Florida. Arial is continuing her education. Unfortunately, two scholarships were unclaimed this year. Please spread the word of the availability of these scholarships to the spouses and children of our blinded veterans. Please also encourage them to apply and closely follow the instructions in the package.
The Scholarship application and much other valuable information are available on our BVAA website, www.nbvaaux.org
The Caring for the Caregiver presentations at this year’s convention were wonderfully informative and enlightening. Remember, you can’t care for others if you don’t take care of yourself—spiritually, emotionally, physically, and financially. We offer many thanks to all of our presenters.
The Silent Auction was another success with a great number of wonderful donated items that received bids and raised some $1,700 in funds for BVAA scholarships.
The 50/50 drawing always makes the convention Awards Banquet just a bit livelier. With 50 percent of the proceeds going to scholarships, the other 50 percent is split 50, 30, and 20, which gives us three winners. This year our biggest winner, Michelle Tuengel, president of the BVA Washington Regional Group, graciously donated her first-place winnings back to the scholarship fund! Thank you, Michelle! Other winners were Maureen Kaminsky of Florida and George Myers of Arkansas.
The Auxiliary asserts that Milwaukee was a wonderful choice for the 2016 gathering. We enjoyed the charm and great food of the area. The Hilton in downtown Milwaukee wins the award for best guide dog relief area ever!
We all look forward to another year of helping our blinded veterans help one another. One great opportunity is coming up soon. October 15 is White Cane Awareness Day. Plan to get out there and make it an event. It is amazing how many people do not know what that powerful tool actually is and what it can do!
Have a great fall season and stay active and safe.