BLINDED VETERANS ASSOCIATION
Chartered by the United States Congress
FLORIDA REGIONAL GROUP
3801 Coco Grove Avenue
Miami, Florida 33133
FRG Web Site:† www.bvafrg.org
2013 FRG State Convention Issue
††††† FRG President's Message:† Hello and greetings to the membership of the Blinded Veterans Association Florida Regional Group.† Time is flying by and the FRG State Convention in Daytona Beach is coming soon, in may.† I hope that you will soon have your reservations made and your bags packed.† I canít wait to eat some of that pizza at the pizza party on Thursday evening and to pitch those horse shoes on Friday morning.† It is going to be nice to bump into my fellow Blinded Veterans around the Plaza ocean club at the bar or on the sand.† It will be nice to listen and hear†† information at the various sessions.† The dinner dance and the banquet are usually a hit with good meals and with everyone dressed in their fine clothes.† My tango is a little rusty but I canít wait to try and have some fun.† The business meeting will be most interesting to find out who will be the officers for the up and coming year.† The whole experience is sure to be a most fun filled and exciting time.† I hope that you will attend, it is not too late.† I just canít wait to bump into you there.† Darryl Goldsmith, FRG President (850) 554-7819 email firstname.lastname@example.org.
†††† †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 2-5.† The Plaza Ocean Club is a 190 room hotel directly on the Atlantic Ocean.† Your Convention Committee secured the low rates of only $80 per day, for 1 to 4 persons per room.† All rooms have refrigerators and micro waves.† In addition all rooms have ocean view balconies.† These low convention rates will be in effect, on a space available basis, 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 19th.† Reservations made after April 19th, will be at the low Convention rate but only on a space available basis.† There will be another group at the hotel that weekend, so rooms will be at a premium.† We urge 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 (the Tourist Development Tax is presently 12.5%) 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 (855) 212-3224.† In the past, the reservation number was shared by a number of hotels in the Daytona Beach area. †The plaza Ocean Club is under new management and the number above is located only in the Plaza Ocean Club.† Be sure to specify that you are making reservations for the Blinded Veterans Association-Florida Regional Group State Convention in order to obtain the low rates indicated above. ††.†††
†††† 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 19th.† 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-FRG and send it to:† 3801 Coco Grove Avenue, Miami, FL 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.† 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 in Miami.
†††† Convention Schedule:† There will be a Pizza Party from 6 to 8 PM on Thursday evening for those who get to the hotel on May 2nd.† There will be a horse shoe pitching contest on the beach in front of the hotel at 9 AM on Friday morning.† The Convention Late Registration Desk will open at 1 PM in the hotel lobby, on Friday, May3rd.† If you have not pre-registered, you may pay your late Registration at that time.† If you have pre-registered, stop by the Registration table and pick up your name tags and Convention Program.† We need for you to pick up your Convention packet at that time so we can make final arrangements regarding meeting set up.† ††
†††† The Convention will begin at 3 PM on Friday, May 3rd 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.
†††† The Annual Florida Regional Group Business Meeting will be held at 9 AM on Saturday, May 4th 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 and instruction of a Delegate and Alternate Delegates to the BVA National Convention in Spokane, Washington will also be held.† Proposed resolutions for presentation to the BVA National Convention will be considered.† All Members (M) and Associate Members (AM) in Florida are encouraged to attend this Business Meeting and assist in planning the direction the FRG will take in the coming year.† At times, in the past, BV's who were not active Members or Associate Members have attended and voted at the FRG Convention Business Meeting.† This is contrary to the BVA and FRG By-Laws.† Consequently, we are requesting that all BV's who think that they might attend the FRG Business Meeting contact the BVA-FRG in Miami 10 days in advance of the Convention, so that their active M and AM status can be verified.† BV's who are Life (LM) or Associate Life Members (ALM) or who are annual Members or Associate Members for 2013 and have their BVA membership cards with them will be able to vote.††††††††
†††† 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.† Sunday will be the time for goodbyes and travel home.† Be sure to make your hotel reservations and join us in Daytona Beach in May.††††††
†††† Convention Transportation:† Looking ahead at our upcoming FRG State Convention being held in Daytona Beach, May2-5.† The Blinded Veterans in the Southwest and the Central West have raised enough money to charter a bus to bring our blinded veterans and there counter parts to the FRG State Convention.† The bus is a standard 60 passenger motor coach with all the amenities.† Enough money was raised to pay for the total cost to charter the bus to Daytona Beach on Thursday May 2nd, and return on Sunday May 5th.† The bus will start at the VA Outpatient clinic in Cape Coral, and take I 75 to I 275, going through ST Petersburg and Tampa to I 4.† It will be making pickup stops at various Cracker Barrels, and a few other locations along the bus route.† Lakeland will be the last stop prior to arriving at Daytona Beach. We shall be making a brief stop for lunch around noon.† This is an enjoyable way of spending time with friends and letting someone else do the driving.† So sit back and relax and enjoy the scenery for a change and remember, plus free gas.† Just think of it, sitting on the balcony listening and watching the waves while you are sipping on a nice cold lemonade, WHAT?† Did I say lemonade?† The value you will receive from the convention will be worth the ride, new technology, comradery with friends, information regarding subjects that we use.† Look for more information about the bus in subsequent newsletters.† Hope to see you with us.† If you are considering coming on the bus, please make your reservations at the hotel now, if you change your mind you can always cancel.† To make your reservations on the bus, please call any of the following:† terry King: 941 505 7747, Bob Walczak: 941 875 9876, Earl Bessent: 813 286 1708, Gigi Mathis: 863 255 9275.† Come join us for a wonderful weekend in Daytona Beach right on the ocean.†
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Clip off the Hotel Reservation Slip on the reverse of this page)
††† †FRG District Meeting:† Prior to the FRG State Convention, a FRG Southeast District meeting will be held at the Tropical Acres Steakhouse 2500 Griffin road in Ft. Lauderdale, on Saturday, March 16.† The meeting will begin at 11:30 AM with a period of Socializing followed by lunch at noon.† For lunch you may have either Sliced Sirloin of Beef or Breast of Chicken and salad, potatoes, vegetable, rolls and butter, iced tea or coffee and dessert.† The price of the lunch will be $5 per person, including tax and tip.† Beer, wine, and mixed drinks will be available for an additional charge.† There will be an Informational Meeting following lunch.† Come join us.† For information or to make reservations, write to Southeast Director Jim McCoy at: (954) 748-9428, or write to 12010 N.W. 31st Street, Sunrise, FL 33323.† In Miami call George stocking (305) 446-8008.† In addition, you may call:† Roberta Goldstein, Miami VAMC VIST Coordinator, at (305) 575-7000 ex 3607, April Barnes, Broward VA Outpatient Clinic VIST Coordinator, at:† (954) 625-8730, or Jackie Yoshimura West Palm Beach VAMC VIST Coordinator, at:† (561) 422-5260.† Please be sure to make your reservations before March 12th, as the restaurant needs this information in order to plan properly for our meeting.† Jackie Yoshimura and Roberta Goldstein are attempting to arrange transportation to the meeting from Palm Beach and Miami-Dade Counties, respectively.† This transportation will leave from the West Palm Beach and Miami VAMC.† If you need such transportation, contact Jackie or Roberta at the numbers listed above.
†††† Total Homestead Tax Exemption:† In the January FRG Newsletter, the Total Homestead Tax Exemption available under FS 196.081 and 196.101 were described.† FS 196.081 provides Total Homestead Tax Exemption to 100% service connected disabled veterans and has no income limitation.† FS 196.101 provides Total Homestead Tax Exemption to individuals who are restricted to a wheelchair or who are legally blind.† This statute has a total household income limitation for eligibility.† For 2013, that income limitation has been increased to $26,895.† If you qualify, take the necessary documentation to verify your eligibility to your County Tax Appraiser's office before March 1st
BVA-FRG Meeting Schedule
March 16 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† FRG Meeting Tropical Acres Steakhouse in Ft. Lauderdale
May 2-5†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† FRG State Convention Plaza Ocean Club Hotel Daytona
August 19-23††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† BVA National Convention in Spokane, Washington
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Blinded Veterans Association ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Plaza Ocean Club Hotel
Florida Regional Group†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 640 North Atlantic Avenue
State Convention†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Daytona Beach, Florida† 32118††
Name____________________________________ Telephone no. ___________________________
Street††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††† ††††† ††Date of††††† ††††† Date of
Complete this Reservation Slip and send it with your check in the amount of $80 plus 12.5% tax or your credit card number to the Plaza Ocean Club Hotel before April 19th to guarantee your reservation.† Or call, Toll Free (855) 212-3224.† Be sure to notify the hotel you will attend the BVA FRG Convention at the Plaza Ocean Club Hotel, to insure the low Convention rates.† We look forward to meeting you there.