David L. Schnair Award

The Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) is currently soliciting nominees for the 2020 David L. Schnair Award, to honor and to recognize outstanding contributions -of volunteers. The BVA established this award in 1994 in memory and in honor of David L. Schnair a BVA Board Member and a BVA Volunteer for nearly five ·decades. David L. Schnair was one of the earlier members of the Blinded Veterans Association; he was BVA’s Director of District I for many years and was an outstanding volunteer. 

During his over 40 year tenure as a VA accredited Volunteer National Service Officer (VNSO), Mr. Schnair managed the New York Regional Group VNSO Office in the Manhattan VA Regional Office where he constantly sought to inform Blind Veterans of their VA benefits. He had a strong involvement with his community and in strengthening regional groups. As a result of his leadership, the Field Service Program was extremely successful in reaching out to Blinded Veterans. Mr. Schnair’s efforts to enhance lives of Blinded Veterans were recognized by the VA, other organizations serving the blind, and the New York state government. He was a true role model and a totally dedicated volunteer. In view of his total commitment, a volunteer award bearing his name is certainly fitting.

The guidelines for the David L. Schnair Award are as follows:

The award may be given to a member, or an auxiliary member, who has provided at least one year of consistent and outstanding service as a BVA volunteer.

The volunteer candidate for the award plaque should have a good understanding of the VA system, and should be an asset to the BVA Volunteer Program and Blinded Veterans.  The volunteer should also be involved with VA Voluntary Services (VAVS), community activities, including representing BVA as a spokesperson.

To receive the volunteer award, it is necessary for the Volunteer to have a good regional group and VAVS affiliation, and to be consistent in submitting monthly reports. Activities conducted at the medical center, regional office, or within the community should also be taken under consideration.

Chiefs of Volunteer Services, District Directors, Regional Group Presidents, Field Service Representatives, and VIST Coordinators may make the nominations by writing letters of recommendation, specifically outlining the efforts taken and/or services provided to the Blinded Veterans. The detailed justification should sufficiently justify why this Volunteer is deserving of the Schnair Award. Outline in detail VNSO, Regional Group, community activities and VAVS lifetime hours.

These letters will be submitted to the National Field Service Director for review and consultation will occur with the appropriate Regional Group President before submission to the panel for final selection.

Nominations should be mailed to the attention of the National Field Service Director at the BVA National Headquarters, 1101 King Street, Suite 300, Alexandria, VA 22314, and must be received by Friday, April 17, 2020, to be considered.

A rotating panel consisting of a Field Service Representative, a District Director and the National Vice President will make the final determination of the recipient of the award which will be presented at the BVA Annual Convention.  If the recipient is not present, the District Director of the recipient’s region will receive the award and later present it at a Regional Group meeting or at a volunteer service or medical center activity.

The recipient of the David L. Schnair Award will receive a complimentary registration to the BVA Annual Convention at which the award is presented, as well as, a small stipend, which will be given by the BVA New York Regional Group.

The David L. Schnair Award will be presented at the Awards Banquet of BVA’s 75th National Convention at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, Washington, DC.