BLINDED VETERANS ASSOCIATION
FLORIDA REGIONAL GROUP, INC.
3801 Coco Grove Avenue • Miami, Florida 33133
2005 FRG State Convention Issue
FRG President’s Message: I would like to call all Blinded Veterans’ attention to the BVA Florida Regional Group very important State Convention in Daytona Beach Shores April 29-May 1. Besides having some excellent speakers from around the State, for the purpose of informing you of changes that have taken place in the past year, we have some very important issues to discuss and vote upon. For example, this year ends our two year contract with the Holiday Inn South in Daytona Beach Shores. Some Blinded Veterans have expressed the opinion that we should move our State Convention to the Orlando or Tampa areas. Just to give you an idea, at the Ocala informational luncheon, we had 180 in attendance. I asked them if they thought we should hold our State Convention in the Ocala area. The response was overwhelming in the affirmative. In August of this year, we will be hosting the BVA National Convention in Miami Beach. Even though the BVA National Office has the largest responsibility, the FRG also has some involvement. It also gives us the opportunity to raise some money for the FRG. There are many other decisions to be considered at our FRG State Convention, and to be voted on, including the annual election of FRG Officers and District Directors for the coming year. This is the time during the year that the membership has the opportunity to express their views and make final decisions on how the Florida Regional Group shall conduct its activities during the coming year. There shall also be time for socializing and exploring the highlights of Daytona Beach. I would like to encourage those of you who have an empty back seat to try to fill it with an other couple. On behalf of your Board of Directors, we are looking forward to welcoming all of you and making this the largest and most interesting FRG State Convention ever. Terry King FRG President.
Editor’s Note: The FRG held its first 6 State Conventions in Orlando (1975-1980). When the rates in Orlando became prohibitive, your Convention Committee checked rates and accommodations around the middle of the state and found that in April-May, the best rates were in the Daytona Beach area. Consequently, we have held our State Convention in that area, at several different hotels, since 1981. Over the years, your Convention Committee has checked on accommodations throughout the middle of the state and have found the Daytona Beach area to still be the most reasonable at that time of the year. In addition to reasonable hotel room rates, the Convention requires two meeting rooms: one for FRG informational meetings, business meetings, dinner-dance, and banquet and a second for the VIST and BROS in-service meeting on Friday and the FRG Auxiliary meeting on Saturday. In addition, a suite for the Hospitality room is required. To date, the Committee has arranged the meeting rooms and hospitality room free of charge. The hotel must be large enough to accommodate our needs
FRG Auxiliary President’s Message: Now is the time to start planning: What shall I wear for the Banquet? Do I fit into my swimming suit or do I need to buy another one? Check the tires; and By all means, register early for our FRG State Convention in Daytona Beach Shores. Many times, the hotel runs out of rooms at that location, so be sure that you register for your room soon. After all, April 29 is right around the corner. One of the things on the agenda is the BVA National Convention, which most of you know, will be held on Miami Beach in August. Did any of you think about traveling around Florida or for that matter, around the country. Kathy Berry has a lot to tell us about the wonderful train ride that she and Mike took this last January. I am not promising, but please keep your fingers crossed that my brain storm of an idea for our entertainment at the Friday Dinner-Dance, besides our terrific singer and key board player, will happen. Several of our members are quite entertaining. So, all that I will tell you is that I am going so far as to threatening them to entertain us. I am sure that you will enjoy it immensely. Of course if you don’t have a ride to our State Convention, Look into special bus programs which provide half fares or free fares for the sighted person, who would be accompanying you to Daytona. It doesn’t look good for chartering buses around Florida. Maybe next year. In the meantime, I will be in Oakland Park on March 5 for that super luncheon. Always happy to see everyone and talk about everything and anything. After all, Isn’t that what friends are for? 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 29-May 1. 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 $58 per day, for 1 to 4 persons per room. Rooms with a kitchenette will be $65.50 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 deposil, 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 preregistered (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 29th, 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, April 30th, 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 Miami Beach, 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 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 By, 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 American Legion Post 222, 4250 N.E. 5 Avenue, in Oakland Park on Saturday, March 5. The meeting will begin at 11:30 AM with a period of Socializing followed by lunch at noon. For lunch you may have either Beef Burgundy 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. John Getz, Chief of the Blind Rehabilitation Center at the West Palm Beach VAMC, will be our Guest Speaker. The price of the lunch will be $7 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 Southeast District Director Paul Mimms at: 8069 Via Hacienda, West Palm Beach, FL 33418, or call Paul evenings or weekends at (561) 863-1407. You may also call Roberta Goldstein, Miami VIST Coordinator at (305) 324-4455 ex 3607 or Bob Gross, VIST at the Oakland Park VA Clinic at (954) 229-7791. If you plan to come, be sure to call Paul, Roberta, or Bob 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 5 FRG meeting in Oakland Park
April 29-May 1 FRG State Convention in Daytona Beach Shores
August 16-20 BVA National Convention - in Miami Beach
(Print & Clip off the hotel reservation slip below and send it to the Holiday Inn)
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____ depart____
City State____Zip ________
Standard Rm $58 per day 1-4 persons
Kitchenette rm $65.50 per day 1-4 persons____
Complete this Reservation Slip and send it with your check in the amount of $58 or $65.50 plus 11.5% tax or your credit card number to the Holiday Inn South Shore by April 10th to guarantee your reservation. Or call, Toll Free (800) 722-3297. Be sure to notify the hotel you will attend the BVA FRG Convention to insure the low Convention rates.