Blinded Veterans Association
The Spokane Inland Empire Regional Group
August 20-23, 2013
Register | Hotel | Schedule | Travel | [Exhibitor / Sponsor Info]
Convention Dates: Convention Dates: August 20–23, 2013
Exhibit Hall Dates: August 20-21, 2013
Registration Package: [Word.Doc] [PDF]
Registration Form: [Word.Doc] [PDF]
Optional Day Trips: [Word.Doc]
Convention Hotel: Red Lion at the Park, 303 W. North River Dr., Spokane, WA 99201, 1-800-RED-LION or 1-800-733-5466. Simply let them know you are eligible for the Blinded Veterans Association room block. Early registration ends June 20. The BVA room block rate of $89 per night, single/double occupancy. The hotel will honor the group rate before and after the conference dates pending availability so make your reservation early (well before June 20) to secure this great room rate. Doing so will allow for a more leisurely stay before, during, and after the convention.
In accordance with the BVA Bylaws, the official convention announcement will be sent out in early May to all members of the organization. If you do not receive a letter, please contact the BVA Membership Department at 202-371-8880, Ext. 3315, to confirm that your dues are up to date and that your address of record is correct.
The Spokane Inland Empire Regional Group will be hosting the BVA 68th National Convention August 20-23, 2013. Spokane is a great convention city and has hosted many diverse groups and events including the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, the U.S. Figure Skating championships, the Washington Council for the Blind, and recently 6,200 people during the 61st National Square Dance Convention.
Spokane, Washington, "the Lilac City" and Coeur D'Alene, Idaho "the Lake City" form a large metropolitan area in a beautiful setting. The numerous rivers and lakes make it a popular summer vacation destination. The moderate average temperature in August of 69 degrees allows visitors opportunity to experience outdoor activities and enjoy the many parks. The Bing Theater, which honor native son Bing Crosby, and other theaters bring in entertainers throughout the summer months.
The great diversity of the area includes historical mansions from the early part of the last century. Museums abound in the area and tours of old gold mines make for an interesting afternoon. The city of Spokane offers minor league baseball for sports fans to enjoy.
The Red Lion Hotel at the Park has been selected to host the convention. It is located on the Spokane River on the edge of Riverfront Park, the latter of which is renowned for its hand-carved 1909 wooden carousel. The Riverfront Park was originally developed as the venue for the 1974 World's Fair. The park and hotel are also very near River Park Square, a downtown shopping, dining, and entertainment plaza.
The hotel and its in-house restaurant, centrally situated downtown, are a 15-minute drive from the airport. Downtown Spokane boasts a variety of restaurants within easy proximity from the hotel. The hotels offer free shuttle service within a two mile radius of the hotel for those not wishing to walk. Spokane is located just 32 miles from beautiful Lake Coeur D'Alene in Not Idaho. A lake cruise is a definite highlight for many visiting Spokane. Dinner Cruises are especially popular!
An intriguing great place to visit is the historical Davenport Hotel located within short walking distance of the Red Lion. The Davenport, built in 1914, has been totally renovated during the past ten years. It is an excellent example of European architecture in the Pacific Northwest. It would be a worthwhile experience to tour the hotel and later enjoy an excellent dinner at the Palm Court restaurant in the lobby.
There is something for everyone in Spokane. Those looking for a little excitement could visit the Silverwood Theme Park. This venue features attractions such as the Log Run, which provides a great way to cool off with riders splashing into the pool at the bottom of the run. The number one feature is the "Timber Terror" a wood frame rollercoaster. Those desiring tamer experiences may opt to ride on the narrow gauge train winding through the forested park. The Northern Quest Casino would make a great getaway for those wanting to try their luck at some games of chance. If golf is your thing, there are four golf courses within ten minutes of the hotel.
In recent years, Spokane has risen to national recognition because of its many wineries. They all offer wine-tasting tours, making for a great way to get out and tour the area.
The many rivers and lakes in the area provide great opportunity for water sports and recreation. It would be possible to go kayaking, jet skiing, or gliding across the Spokane River near the Spokane Falls on a scenic gondola ride. In other words, there is something to meet both the interests of those looking for an activity wildly exciting, or for those desiring nothing more than an afternoon of relaxation.
Start planning now to attend the Blinded Veterans Association's 68th Annual National Convention. We encourage early registration for everyone, especially those who combine family vacations with BVA conventions.
The regional group's representatives will be onsite to greet you, provide an orientation of the hotel, and to assist you with the numerous activities available. Consider arriving a day early to get oriented and to visit the city.
303 W North River Dr.
Spokane, WA 99201
The Convention room rate is $89.00 plus a 15 percent tax (9 percent city tax, 6 percent state tax) for both single and double occupancy. A single is a Standard Queen Bed and a Double is two Queen Beds. Each additional occupant will result in a $10 increase to the price of the room. There is a four-person maximum.
The Red Lion offers a complimentary shuttle to and from the Hotel. The Convention Committee, along with the USO, will have representatives at the airport to assist with arrivals. Additionally, once you make travel arrangements, please contact Margarine Beaman at email@example.com or at 512-921-1625 to coordinate for a BVA volunteer to meet you at your gate.
Ground Transportation: Complimentary hotel shuttle from airport to hotel.
Airfare: Convention attendees who would like to talk to a live person when making their reservations can call Brenda McDaniel at 915-204-0101. Brenda is the daughter of a BVA member and an independent Travel Consultant. She will be happy to assist those wishing to make reservations at no charge.
United Airlines Reservation Information:
- Call your professional travel agency or United Meetings at 800-468-7022 and provide the Z Code ZPT6 and Agreement Code 696606. There will be a $25 service fee collected, per ticket, for all tickets issued through United Meetings Reservations. This fee is subject to change without notice. The service fee is nonrefundable and applies to all itineraries, one-way or round-trip. To avoid a service fee and receive an additional 3 percent discount, book your reservations online at www.united.com. Enter both your Z-code and Agreement code (without a space) in the Offer Code Box. The 3 percent discount applies to published fares only.
- Checked baggage fees apply: $25.00 for the first checked bag and $35.00 for the second checked bag when traveling within the US and Canada. These fees are subject to change.
Delta Airlines Reservation Information:
- Call your professional travel agency or Delta Meetings at 800-328-1111 and provide the Meeting Event Code NMFSV. There will be a $25 service fee collected, per ticket, for all tickets issued through Delta Airlines Reservations. This fee is subject to change without notice. The service fee is nonrefundable and applies to all itineraries, one-way or round-trip. To avoid a service fee , book your reservations online at www.delta.com. Enter your code in the Meeting Event Code box. The discount will be applied to all applicable fares.
- Checked baggage fees apply: $25.00 for the first checked bag and $35.00 for the second checked bag when traveling within the US and Canada. Fees are subject to change.
Alaska Airlines Reservation Information:
- Call your professional travel agency or Alaska Airlines Meetings at 800-445-4435 and provide the Meeting Fare Code ECMU593. There will be a $15 service fee
collected, per ticket, for all tickets issued through Alaska Meetings Reservations. This fee is subject to change without notice. The service fee is nonrefundable and applies to a one-way or round-trip. To avoid a service fee, book your reservations online at www.alaskaair.com.
- Checked baggage fees apply: $20 for the first, second and third checked bag. These fees are subject to change.
TSA Helpline for Travelers with Disabilities
Travelers may call TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787-2227 prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint. TSA Cares will serve as an additional, dedicated resource specifically for passengers with disabilities, medical conditions or other circumstances or their loved ones who want to prepare for the screening process prior to flying.
TSA Provides Additional Expedited Screening Benefits for Wounded Warriors.
To be eligible for this service, a Wounded Warrior or traveling companion should email the Military Severely Injured Joint Services Operations Center, MSIJSOC@dhs.gov, or call 1-888-262-2396 with itinerary information for the traveling party. Traveling companions will receive standard screening.
Draft Schedule of Major Events
Monday, August 19
8:30 am – 5:00 pm Board of Directors
8:30 am – 5:00 pm Field Service and Volunteer Training (Monday – Tuesday)
8:30 am – 5:00 pm BVA Auxiliary Silent Auction Set up
10:30 am – 6:00 pm BVA Registration & Information
1:00 pm – 6:00 pm Exhibitor Set Up
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm Tour - Winery Tour
Tuesday, August 20
8:30 am – 10:00 am Board of Directors
8:30 am – 5:00 pm BVA Auxiliary Silent Auction (Tuesday – Thursday)
8:30 am – 5:00 pm Field Service and Volunteer Training
8:30 am – 5:00 pm DoD/VA Vision Centers of Excellence
9:30 am – 12:30 pm Tour - Historic Spokane’s “Age of Elegance”
9:30 am – 6:00 pm Registration & Information
10:30 am – 5:30 pm Exhibit Hall
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm BVA Welcome and Orientation
4:00 pm – 4:30 pm Rules Committee Meeting
4:30 pm – 5:00 pm Credentials Committee Meeting
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm BVA President's Welcome Reception
Wednesday, August 21
8:00 am – 9:30 am Welcome Session
8:30 am – 5:00 pm DoD/VA Vision Centers of Excellence
9:45 am – 11:30 am Opening Business Meeting
10:00 am – 5:00 pm Field Service and Volunteer Training
10:00 am – 12:00 pm BVA Auxiliary Membership meeting
10:00 am – 6:00 pm Exhibit Hall
11:30 am – 1:30 pm Lunch Break
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Presentations
2:00 pm – 5:00 pm BVAA Silent Auction
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Bylaws & Resolutions Meeting
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Live Charity Auction
Thursday, August 22
8:15 am – 8:30 am BVA Forum - Start
8:30 am – 9:30 am VA Voluntary Service
8:30 am – 12:00 pm BVAA Silent Auction - last chance & pick up
8:30 am – 5:00 pm DoD/VA Vision Centers of Excellence
9:45 am – 10:45 am Technology
11:00 am – 12:00 pm Dr. Gregory Goodrich – Vision Dysfunctions
12:30 pm – 2:30 pm Father Carroll Lunch
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm BVA Auxiliary Caregiver Discussion
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm Officer Candidate Speeches
2:30 pm – 5:00 pm Field Service and Volunteer Training
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm District Caucus Meetings
Friday, August 23
8:30 am – 12:00 am Closing Business Meeting
8:30 am – 12:00 pm BVA Auxiliary Membership meeting and Elections
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm Field Service Program Update
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm BVAA Meeting
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm Leadership Training
6:00 pm – 9:30 pm Awards Banquett
Saturday, August 24
8:30 am – 12:30 pm Tour - Green Bluff Orchards
Convention attendees may wish to consider. Seattle, only a four-hour drive or a very short flight from Spokane, is a common departure port for Alaska cruises. Have you ever considered taking an Alaskan cruise? Doing so would mean traveling up the west coast of Canada and Alaska, all the while visiting interesting ports of call with names associated with the Klondike Gold Rush, taking in the famous Inland Passage, and visiting Glacier Bay. The convention will conclude Friday Night, which provides a unique opportunity for BVA members to consider a post-convention cruise during the days following. This is suggested as a bonus to the convention and the local attractions of Spokane. If interested, please speak with your travel agent or do some online searching. If you don't have a travel agent or know where to search online, contact BVA National Secretary Dale Stamper by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember These Dates
June 20: Early registration deadline. Attendees who register with the hotel and submit their BVA convention registration by this date will be entered to win a complimentary four-night stay during the convention. Announcement of the winner will be made during the Awards Banquet on August 23.
July 20: Deadline for mailing in registration form and payment to BVA National Headquarters. After July 20, the late registration fee of $20 per person will automatically be added to a registration, resulting in a $120 per person charge. July 20 is also the deadline for members and regional groups to submit a convention program announcement/ad page. Contact Christina Hitchcock at 800-669-7079 for additional information on placing announcements or ads in the convention program. July 20 is also the last day to obtain the special room rate, if indeed availability still exits at that time.
July 30: Deadline for receipt of the completed Regional Group Official Delegate Credentials Form and Proxy Form for non-attending members (Proxy Form must be requested from Administrative Director Brigitte Jones). The official National Headquarters Proxy Form and Credentials Form shall be the only forms recognized at the National Convention.