by Pam Hogan
On behalf of the BVAA National Officers, I extend springtime greetings to our family members, friends, and caregivers of blinded veterans everywhere.
We have now sprung ahead by one hour and it is time to put some spring into our steps! We can now get busy with what we have been unable to accomplish over the winter. It is time to get out and engage ourselves in the activities that will make life more fulfilling for others, especially our beloved veterans.
One idea for a spring activity with spouses is participation in a walk/run event for a cause other than our own. Last year the Columbus Chapter of BVA’s Georgia Regional Group, along with its Auxiliary group, joined many other volunteers in the “March of Dimes March for Babies” in the city’s Cooper Creek Park.
Engaging in activities like the Columbus march is not only a great way to exercise and stay in shape but is also a means to make our presence known in the community as we meet, interact, and network with other participating groups. Aided by the uniqueness of a white cane and sighted guides, our blinded veterans are often noticed quickly when they do things that some think should be impossible for them.
We can often educate others and perform some type of service for them as we benefit at the same time ourselves. Becoming engaged with others can result in a total win-win verdict for all concerned.
It is the time of year once again to be thinking about the BVAA scholarships for the spouses and children of blinded veterans. For the 34th year we will be providing scholarships to worthy recipients, this year two $2,000 scholarships and one $1,000 scholarship. The applications and additional details for these awards are available on our Auxiliary website,, www.nbvaaux.org.
At the time of publication and delivery of this the March-April Bulletin we will be about four months away from the BVA 72nd National Convention in very warm Jacksonville, Florida. Four months is certainly not too early to start thinking about that trip and all that it entails. Get your room reservations, get your flights or your road trips planned, and put together those fabulous Silent Auction donations! We can’t wait to see you there.
Many of you may not be aware that 2017 is also the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Blinded Veterans Association Auxiliary. This is yet one more milestone that we can celebrate and enjoy at the convention.
In the November-December 1976 BVA Bulletin, Renee Feldman wrote that on November 19 of that same year, the BVA Executive Committee, acting on behalf of the Board of Directors, sanctioned the organizational process to create a BVA Auxiliary (BVAA). Renee called for written suggestions for guidelines that would help govern the various Auxiliary regional groups to be sent to her immediately. The responses received resulted in the official establishment of BVAA, which was up and running before the 32nd National Convention in Washington, DC.