VETERANS ASSOCIATION (BVA)
FLORIDA REGIONAL GROUP, INC.
3801 Coco Grove Avenue
Miami, Florida 33133
March, 2007 FRG State Convention Issue
FRG President's Message: Okay! Once again, the Ocala FRG luncheon has surpassed all expectations. Hats off to our Blinded Veterans (BV's) who attended our January 6 meeting in Ocala and to Bruce Davis, Gainesville VIST Coordinator, for his assistance. This means that the Ocala luncheon has again broken its own record set in 2004 by having 191 in attendance. Pensacola FRG Luncheon Meeting: The first meeting the FRG has held in Pensacola will be held on Saturday, April 7. It is to be held at Metsquette Charlie's Steak House, 5901 North West Street, Pensacola, FL 32505. from 11:30 AM to 3 PM. Menu is steak and the cost for each BV and guest is $5 for the meal. We need to know how many are going to attend, so, please call Darryl Goldsmith at: (850) 554-7819 and make reservations. His email is: DANDV5@cox.net.
The FRG State Convention will be held May 4-6. More details will be discussed elsewhere in this Newsletter. Our State Convention is a very important time for the membership to gather and discuss what direction we need to be heading. Are there items or agenda that need we could or should be taking before the BVA's National Convention? Might there be items or agenda that we need resolutions or action here within our own Regional Group? How can we make our Regional Group better? As it was last year, the FRG Convention will be held at the Plaza Ocean Club Hotel in Daytona Beach. The Plaza is a terrific place to relax and have an enjoyable time. Again, we will be asking vendors to show some of the newest accessibility technology on the market today. It's now all work, we go to enjoy ourselves, also. During the town meetings, there is always a considerable amount of legislative and benefits information discussed. Kicking off the Convention will be a short town meeting at 3 PM on Friday, May 4, with some Guest Speakers. A Dinner-Dance will be held from 7 to 10 PM. Saturday morning, we'll have our Business Meeting and election of officers. Another town meeting will be held that afternoon. Then, Saturday evening, you are invited to our Installation Banquet. Jointly parallel to our Convention, the VA Visual Impairment Service Team (VIST) Coordinators and Blind Rehabilitation Outpatient Specialist (BROS), along with other involved with others involved in VA Blind Rehabilitation will be holding concurrent training meetings. So, you can have an opportunity to have a talk with your VA friend. Register for a room early. With the VA and the normal showing of Blinded Veterans, vacant rooms might go fast. This year, we are also trying to have our first annual horseshoe pitching tournament. We are working to having it on the morning of Friday, May 4. If you would like to participate, you might want to check in on Thursday and enjoy a day of
total fun. More details will be coming. Please don't leave a back seat empty. Find another Blinded Veteran that lives close to you or is on your rout to the Convention, and fill up the seat. On behalf of your Board of Directors and your Assistance District Directors, we are looking to having an enjoyable FRG State Convention, with all of you. Keep the mission alive and held one another to help each other. Paul W. Kaminsky, FRG President.
FRG Auxiliary President's Message: Shortly, we will be completing the 2006-2007 FRG meeting year with our State Convention, May 4-6. Again this year, we will be meeting at the Plaza Ocean Club Hotel, directly on the Atlantic Ocean in Daytona Beach. It's a wonderful place to hold a meeting and one of which you should all take advantage. After an opening FRG meeting on Friday afternoon, a dinner dance will be held that evening. This is a good time for socializing. At 9 AM on Saturday, May 5, the FRG Auxiliary will hold its Annual Business Meeting in the Osprey Room. There will be reports on the FRG Auxiliary activities for the past year and particularly our Scholarship Program. In addition, some valuable information will be provided. Plans for the future will be made and we will elect officers for the coming year. Get a group of friends together and come join us at the Plaza Ocean Club Hotel May 4-6 and have a informative and enjoyable weekend. Joyce Thornton, FRG Auxiliary President.
FRG State Convention: The Florida Regional Group State Convention will be held at the Plaza Ocean Club Hotel , 640 North Atlantic Avenue, Daytona Beach, Florida 32118, May 4-6. It is a 190 room hotel directly on the Atlantic Ocean. Your Convention Committee secured the low guaranteed group rates of only $72 per day, for 1 to 4 persons per room. The Plaza Ocean Club Hotel has completed its renovations since our last Convention and all rooms are equipped with refrigerators and micro waves . 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 13th. Reservations made after April 13th, 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 toll free reservation number is (800) 874-7420. There are a large number of hotels using that reservation number. be sure to specify the Plaza Ocean Club Hotel and that you want the guaranteed group rate, indicated above, for the Florida Blinded Veterans Association Convention. If you have any problem with the reservation clerks, call George Stocking at (305) 446-8008, evenings and weekends.
The Convention Late Registration Desk will open at 1 PM on Friday, May 4. 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, May 4 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 5, in the Ballroom. 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 Albuquerque, New Mexico, 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 Osprey 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 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 13th. The registration
(Clip off the hotel reservation slip on the other side and send it to the Plaza Ocean Club)
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 Plaza Ocean Club in Daytona Beach 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 Flaming Pit Restaurant, 1150 North Federal Highway (US 1) in Pompano Beach on Saturday, March 3. The meeting will begin at 11:30 AM with a period of Socializing followed by lunch at noon. For lunch you may have either Broasted Chicken or Chopped Sirloin of beef and salad, potatoes, vegetable, rolls and butter, iced tea or coffee and dessert. FRG President Paul Kaminsky will preside at the meeting following lunch. We have invited Charleen Szabo, the new Director at the West Palm Beach VAMC as our Guest Speaker. Since the Florida VA Blind Rehabilitation Center is located at the West Palm Beach VAMC, her support is most valuable. The price of the lunch will be $5 per person, including tax and tip. Come join us. We look forward to meeting you there. For information about that meeting or to make reservations, write to George Stocking, 3801 Coco Grove Avenue, Miami, FL 33133 or call George, evenings or weekends, at: (305) 446-8008. You may also make your reservations by calling Paul Mimms, VIST Coordinator at the West Palm Beach VAMC at (561) 422-5260, Roberta Goldstein, Miami VAMC VIST Coordinator at (305) 575-7000 ex 3607 or April Barnes Oakland Park VAOPC VIST Coordinator at (954) 229-7791. The restaurant needs the number and choices of lunch desired to prepare properly for the meeting, by February 28.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hotel Reservation slip
Blinded Veterans Association Plaza Ocean Club Hotel
Florida Regional Group 640 North Atlantic Avenue
State Convention Daytona Beach, Florida 32118
Telephone no. ___________________________
Street Date of Date of
Standard Rm $72 per day 1-4 persons____
Complete this Reservation Slip and send it with your check in the amount of $72 plus 12.5% tax or your credit card number to the Plaza Ocean Club Hotel before April 13th to guarantee your reservation. Or call, Toll Free (800) 874-7420. Be sure to notify the hotel you will attend the BVA FRG Convention at the Plaza Ocean Club Hotel, to insure the low Guaranteed Convention Rates.