by Edna Dixon
As I write this it is Christmas Day, 2017. By the time you receive this missive you will be well into the New Year of 2018. What wonderful exciting things will this New Year bring? One wish the Board has expressed – more applications for the Scholarship fund. Did you know that these scholarships are open to all children of blinded veterans? So, go out to the web page, print the application, fill it out and get it to our Chairman, Lottie Davis. Her address is also on the web page.
Our next wish would be for more BVAA attendees at the 2018 Convention – the location has been announced as Reno, Nevada. When you come with your veteran to the convention be sure to look for the BVAA schedule and attend as many of our meetings as you can. The programs for the past four years have been interesting, informative and apply to all of us as caregivers. For example, this year’s convention included a presentation by Valerie Duffy, VIST Coordinator from Boise, ID – “You can’t give from an empty cup.”
In each issue of the BVA Bulletin, I am featuring a member of the Board of the BVAA. The first of the series featured our President, Sandy Krasnodemski.
The featured Board member this time is Carl Hytinen, National Treasurer and Membership Chair for the BVA Auxiliary. Carl was born in Providence, RI and graduated with a BS degree in Management in 1982 from Johnson &Wales University. Carl and his wife, Joann, currently live in Seekonk, MA and have been married for 43 years; they have one son, one daughter and 5 grandchildren.
Mr. Hytinen is a Life Time member of the Vietnam Veterans of America, (VVA) and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). Carl has served in many capacities of the VVA, both on a local level and as a State Officer. Currently he volunteers mornings at the Providence VA Medical Center, working with the VIST Coordinator, scheduling eye appointments and helping with paperwork. Carl is disabled due to Rheumatoid Arthritis and COPD and yet he keeps a very busy schedule of volunteer work.
The Emerald Coast Region Annual Christmas luncheon was held Dec. 5th at a local restaurant in Pensacola, FL and was attended by 35 members and guests. Songs were sung and greeting cards exchanged. Each year this dedicated group chooses to honor the Blind Rehab in Biloxi, MS with gifts for their closet. This year the request was for Laundry Bags. Pat Stancliff, President of the BVA Support group collected 178 bags.
Left to right are Rev. Edna Dixon, National Reporter and Chaplain BVAA; Debra Gilley, Chief of Blind Rehab, and Pat Stancliff. They are all posing with five laundry baskets of bags in front of a Blind Rehabilitation Center sign.