3801 Coco Grove Avenue  
Miami, Florida 33133

2004 FRG State Convention Issue


          FRG President's Message: As we approach our 30th annual FRG State Convention, it appears that it is shaping up to be one of our most memorable ones. It is felt by many of us that the additional increase in our District Directors, several years ago, is in part responsible for the increased interest in the Blinded Veterans Association, Florida Regional Group, for the upcoming Convention. Recently, there has been an increase in Assistant District Directors, and don't let us forget the Computer Users Group, and there are many other factors contributing to the increased interest in the BVA. I have always felt that the more individuals who are directly involved in an organization, the stronger it can become, and a lot more interesting to those who are involved. During the course of our luncheons, that we have been holding around the state, there has been an attempt to encourage veterans to contact their District Directors, and proclaim their desires in becoming involved by becoming an Assistant Director. We are happy to report that this has been a great success, but we need even more Assistants, particularly in the Tampa - St. Petersburg area. These Assistant District Directors are non-elected positions, but I would predict that some of them will be running for elected position in the Florida Regional Group. Therefore, don't miss the excitement and make the necessary arrangements for attending your State Convention.

          Here are some tips on solving the transportation and cost considerations given when planning to attend the Convention. When you were in the service, a vehicle almost never went to town without it being loaded. The back seat has to come along with you anyway, it has no choice. Seek out those with vans and encourage them to come along to the Convention. In that way, you may have two or more back seats. Contact your VIST Coordinator and see if they can assist with a van. All VIST Coordinator have a meeting on Friday anyway and will be at the Convention. Check to see if there is a micro wave in the hotel. For a couple of extra dollars you can have a kitchenette, I do this most of the time in order to save money. Sharing of rooms is another way of keeping costs down, Of course, depending on the conditions. The foregoing are only a few ways to make the annual FRG State Convention a more memorable reality.

          In March, Dr. George Stocking, Newsletter Editor, will be informing you of all the various speakers, special events, dinner dance, banquet, and adaptive equipment displays. Let us all make this the largest and most exciting Convention in the recent history of the Florida Regional Group. Terry King FRG President.

          FRG Auxiliary President's Message: Everyone knows, by now, that we will be holding our FRG State Convention April 30- May 2. All spouses, family members, and friends of Blinded Veterans are very much welcome to attend our FRG Auxiliary meeting. You don't have to be a member to attend, so check us out. The Auxiliary has certain responsibilities for the Convention. For one thing, on Saturday May 1 at 9 AM, we will be holding our annual FRG Auxiliary meeting. On my agenda are the following: I would like to take a few minutes to discuss a particular event which we, more or less, sponsor at the 2005 BVA National Convention, which will be held in Miami Beach in August 2005. Even though there have been several suggestion made, we still need additional input. This is also the time when members bring items for our raffle. We usually have about 10, but the more the merrier. Of course, we will have discussions on certain issues that members most likely will bring up for a vote. It is also time for elections. The following officers will be elected: President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. In addition, we need a number of volunteers to assist with the 50-50 raffles at the various meetings. So far, we have been doing a good job getting members to participate. The Auxiliary is interesting and successful when members take part. We will find a job for you, just ask.

          Needless to say, our biggest responsibility is to have fun, meet new and old acquaintenances, attend the dinner dance on Friday night, and of course the banquet . Don't forget your swim suits and sun tan lotion. If it doesn't rain, I guarantee lots of sunshine. One more thing, bring a friend or two. They will thank you immensely for inviting them. I, as usual, am looking forward to the Convention. Joanne King, FRG Auxiliary President.


          FRG State Convention: The Florida Regional Group State Convention will be held at the Holiday Inn South Shore, 3209 South Atlantic Avenue, Daytona Beach Shores, Florida 32118, April 30-May 2. Those who attended any of the previous Conventions at the Holiday Inn South Shore, are lavish with their praise of the accommodations. It is a 200 room hotel directly on the Atlantic Ocean. Your Convention Committee secured the low rates of only $57 per day, for 1 to 4 persons per room. Rooms with a kitchenette will be $64.50 per day, for 1 to 4 persons per room. All rooms have ocean view balconies. These low convention rates will be in effect 3 days before and/or 3 days after the Convention. So, you may come early or stay late for an extended vacation. The low Convention rates are guaranteed for reservations made on or before April 10th. Reservations made after April 10th, will be at the low Convention rate but on a space available basis. We encourage you to make your reservations soon to insure your accommodations. You may cancel your reservation and receive a full refund of your deposit, if you cancel 24 hours before noon on the day you were scheduled to arrive. You will find a Hotel Reservation Slip at the end of this Newsletter. Please clip it off and send it to the Hotel along with your check for one night's room rate and tax or you may use your credit card number to guarantee your reservation. Other than your deposit, the hotel will not accept checks for your remaining charges. You must have a credit card or cash. The Hotel has a toll free reservation number, which is (800) 722-3297.

          The Convention desk will open at 1 PM on Friday, April 30th. If you have not pre-registered (see registration information below), you may pay your late Registration at that time. If you have pre-registered, stop by the Registration table in the Hotel Lobby and pick up your name tags and Convention Program.

                                                                                                                                       The Convention will begin at 3 PM on Friday, April 30th, with an Informational Seminar for Blinded Veterans and their families. At 7 PM on Friday evening, a dinner-dance will be held in the Ballroom. This will be an evening for good food, good times, good fun, and good music. So, join with us and enjoy a great evening.

          The Annual Florida Regional Group Business Meeting will be held at 9 AM on Saturday, May 1st, in the Ball Room. At that meeting, reports regarding FRG activities for the past year will be made. A legislative up-date will be presented. Plans for FRG activities for the coming year will be discussed. Any proposed amendments to the FRG By-Laws, will be considered. The elections for FRG Officers and District Directors for the coming year will be held. The election of a Delegate and Alternate Delegates to the BVA National Convention in Reno, Nevada, will also be held. Proposed resolutions for presentation to the BVA National Convention will be considered. All BV's in Florida are encouraged to attend this Business Meeting and share your thoughts and concerns about our organization. Your help is needed to assist in planning the direction the FRG will take in the coming year.


          The FRG Auxiliary will hold its annual meeting in the Manatee Room at 9 AM on Saturday. FRG Auxiliary Officers are planning their meeting for the State Convention. Spouses, family members, and friends of the BVA should plan to attend this FRG Auxiliary meeting. At that time, the auxiliary will plan their activities for the coming year and elect Officers.

          At 2 PM on Saturday, a second Informational Seminar will be held. The Convention will close with the Installation Banquet on Saturday evening. There will be a period of socializing in the Hospitality Room before and after the Banquet.

Convention Registration Fee: The Convention Registration Fee will be $35 per person (for each BV, family member, or friend attending). However, an early registration fee of only $30

per person will be in effect for registration received on or before April 10th. The registration fee will cover general Convention activities, including the dinner-dance on Friday night, the Hospitality Room, and Banquet on Saturday night. Please make your check payable to the BVA and send it to: 3801 Coco Grove Avenue, Miami, Florida 33133. Please include the first and last name of each person registering, so that we will be able to make name tags prior to the start of the Convention. It will be helpful if you will send your registration fee in advance. This will greatly speed up the late registration at the Convention. It takes a lot of volunteer work to put on this Convention and your assistance will be greatly appreciated. Remember to send your hotel reservation slip and deposit to the Holiday Inn in Daytona Beach Shores and your Convention registration fee to the BVA-FRG in Miami.

                    FRG District Meeting: Prior to the FRG State Convention, a FRG meeting will be held at the Elks Lodge 700 N.E. 10th Street, in Pompano Beach on Saturday, March 13th. The meeting will begin at 11:30 AM with a period of Socializing followed by lunch at noon. FRG President Terry King will preside at the motion following lunch. Melanie Fraim, Blind Rehabilitation Outpatient Specialist (BROS) will be Guest Speaker. The price of the lunch, including tax and tip, will be $5 per person, including tax and tip. Final arrangements for the FRG State Convention will be discussed at that meeting. Come join us. We look forward to meeting you there. For information about that meeting or to make reservations, write Southeast District Director Paul Mimms at: 8069 Via Hacienda, West Palm Beach, FL 33418, or call Paul evenings or weekends at: (561) 863-1407. If you plan to come, be sure to contact Paul, as the restaurant needs the number and choices of lunch desired to prepare properly for the meeting.

          BVA Hotel Reservation Slip: At the end of this Newsletter, you will find a Reservation Slip for you to use in making your hotel reservation for the FRG Convention. Please complete it, and send it with your deposit to the Holiday Inn South Shore, on or before April 10th. Send your reservation slip & deposit to the hotel in Daytona Beach Shores and your registration fee to the FRG in Miami.

                                           CALENDAR OF EVENTS

March 13                                                        FRG meeting in Pompano Beach 

April 30-May 2                                  FRG State Convention in Daytona Beach Shores

August 10-14                                 BVA National Convention - in Reno, Nevada

                                           Hotel Reservation slip

Blinded Veterans Association                                  Holiday Inn South Shore

Florida Regional Group                                            3209 South Atlantic Avenue

State Convention                                                      Daytona Beach Shores, Florida 32118

Name____________________________________ Telephone no. ___________________________

Street                                                                          Date of               Date of

Address__________________________________________ Arrival_________ Departure_________

City______________________________________________ State__________ Zip______________

Standard Room $57 per day, 1-4 persons____ Kitchenette room $64.50 per day 1-4 persons_____

Complete this Reservation Slip and send it with your check in the amount of $57 or $64.50 plus 11.5% tax or your credit card number to the Holiday Inn South Shore by April 10th to guarantee your reservation.

Toll Free (800) 722-3297. Be sure to notify the hotel you will attend the BVA FRG Convention.