VETERANS ASSOCIATION (BVA)
FLORIDA REGIONAL GROUP, INC.
3801 Coco Grove Avenue
Miami, Florida 33133
2006 FRG State Convention Issue
FRG President's Message: Now, I would like to inform you of just a few of the highlights for our upcoming FRG State Convention that we have been working on in order to make this different and more exciting than previous Conventions. First, we are calling this our BVA-FRG Tech Fest 2006. Please join us for our "hands on" technology display on Friday and Saturday afternoons. Being at the Plaza Ocean Club Hotel, allows us to have a much larger room to display a wide array of products. Highlights will include Sara the scanning and reading appliance; Braille note, voice note empower note taker, Pack Mate portable all purpose computer; Trekker Talking GPS; the new near and distance vision video magnifier; Topaz video magnifier with LDC screen; Optron PCT work bench video magnifier; Maestro talking PDA; Opal pocket viewer; quick look and pocket and compact pocket video magnifier; Eclipse portable CCTV; Strix rechargeable portable magnifier for near writing and distance; as well as, some new technology surprises. Some technicians will be on hand to explain and demonstrate the wide array of items. You are all invited to a meet and greet reception on Friday May 5 from 5 to 7 PM and Saturday from approximately 4 :30 to 7 PM at the Tech Fest display (location to be announced at the Convention following the opening meeting). The second unusual event is a film to be shown, that's right a real movie, straight from Iraq. It is primarily geared around our female veterans. I'm told that those who have seen it, thought it made quite an impact . The foregoing is but a preview of two of the events at our FRG State Convention. Additional Convention activities will be announced in future Newsletters. There is also another twist to this Convention - that is - we have located further north on Atlantic Avenue, where there are many other restaurants within walking distance. The hotel has been renovated twice in the past 9 years. More detailed information is included later in this Newsletter. There Will be many Department of Veterans Affairs Personnel attending; therefore, I would urge you to make your reservations as early as possible in order that you will not have to register at another hotel , because there are no more rooms available. For those of you who are driving with an empty back seat in your vehicle, why not fill it up with another BV and his or her spouse? Dwight Sayer is our Transportation Chairman and he shall be able to coordinate some transportation needs. If those that are driving would call Dwight and let him know that they have an empty back seat and if those that need transportation would also call Dwight, he could then coordinate some of our transportation needs. Dwight may be reached at: (407) 877-1970, or email at: email@example.com. 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.
There is a considerable amount of legislative and benefits information available. The FRG has set up its Distribution List to provide up-to-date information quickly to BV's who have access to email. If you are interested in such information send your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org and request to be put on the FRG Distribution List. This is the means by which we are able to put forth to Florida BV's information that is relevant to them as it is taking place. Terry King FRG President.
FRG Auxiliary President's Message: We are coming to the end of the FRG meeting year, which means that it is time for our annual FRG State Convention. For the past 7 months, I have been going around the state to different cities, along with the FRG Officers. We have done well; met new and old friends; now it is the state convention. This is the time for new information, fun with parties, and to elect new officers for the FRG and FRG Auxiliary. It is important for you to attend. After all it is you that we represent. We will be at a different hotel on the beach. That alone should be enticing enough. For anyone who would be coming by Greyhound Bus, I am fairly sure that I can get the Daytona Beach Elks to be at the station to bring you to the hotel. Just call me with the day and time you will be arriving in Daytona Beach. My telephone number is (941) 505-7747. Please don't wait until the last minute. See you in Daytona Beach. Joanne King, 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 5-7. It is a 190 room hotel directly on the Atlantic Ocean. Your Convention Committee secured the low rates of only $69 per day, for 1 to 4 persons per room. There are a few rooms with kitchenettes which are also $69 per day on a space available basis. 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 several Plaza Hotels be sure to specify the Plaza Ocean Club Hotel.
The Convention Late Registration Desk will open at 1 PM on Friday, May 5. 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 5 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 6, 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 Buffalo, New York, 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 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.
(Clip off the hotel reservation slip at the bottom, and send it to the Plaza Ocean Club)
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.
US Legislative Up-Date: The President's Fiscal Year 2007 Budget was sent to Congress on February 7. It contains $80.6 billion in funding for the Dept. of Veterans Affairs for FY 2007. It includes $42.1 billion in mandatory funding (Compensation, Pension, training, etc.) and $38.5 billion in discretionary funding (Health care, cemeteries, etc.) of which $34.3 is for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). This is a $3.5 billion increase for VHA over FY 2006 funding. On the surface, this appears to be a significant increase in VHA funding. However, there is some question where some of the $3.5 billion increase will be found. It appears that FY 2006 VHA funding included $1.9 billion in third party (insurance co. etc.) receipts. This amount was not achieved. The VHA budget increase includes $2.9 billion in third party receipts. In addition, it appears that the FY 2007 VHA budget includes about $500 million in transfer from the FY 2006 funding. An in depth evaluation of the President's Budget will be made and further information provided in future BVA Bulletins and FRG Newsletters.
FRG District Meeting: Prior to the FRG State Convention, a FRG meeting will be held at the American Legion Post 222, 4250 N.E. 5 Avenue , in Oakland Park on Saturday, March 4. The meeting will begin at 11:30 AM with a period of Socializing followed by lunch at noon. For lunch you may have either Roast Beef or Chicken Marcella and salad, potatoes, vegetable, rolls and butter, iced tea or coffee and dessert. FRG President Terry King will preside at the meeting following lunch. 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 at: (305) 446-8008. The restaurant needs the number and choices of lunch desired to prepare properly for the meeting.
Hotel Reservation slip
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
Standard Rm $69 per day 1-4 persons____Kitchenette rm $69 per day 1-4 persons____
Complete this Reservation Slip and send it with your check in the amount of $69 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 Convention rates.