3801 Coco Grove Avenue; Miami, Florida 33133
Convention Reminder - March 18,2005

        This is your final notice that the 2005 Florida Regional Group State Convention will be held at the Holiday Inn South, 3209 South Atlantic Avenue, Daytona Beach Shores, Florida 32118, April 29- May 1. The Holiday Inn is located directly on the ocean and has its own beach, pool, patio area, snack bar, lounge, and restaurant. Your Convention Committee has arranged the low rates of only $58 per day for standard room for 1 to 4 people and $65.50 per day, for rooms with kitchens for I to 4 people. These rates are in effect for reservations made on or before April 10th. Send your check for one day’s room rate plus 11.5% tax, or your credit card number to guarantee your reservation. Since time is shorty you are urged to call the Holiday Inn South, toll free, at (800) 722-3297. Be sure to tell the reservation clerk you will be attending the Florida Blinded Veterans Association State Convention. The hotel has guaranteed these rates until April 10th. Consequently, you should secure your reservations at the guaranteed low Convention rate as soon as possible. The hotel will accept reservations up to the day of the Convention, at the same rates, but only on a space available basis. However, i~ you wait, all of the rooms may be taken. These low Convention rates will be in effect 3 days before and/or 3 days after the Convention. So, you may come early and/or stay late for an extended vacation. If you make a reservation and are unable to attend, the hotel will refund your deposit if you cancel by 24 hours before the day you were to arrive.

        The Convention Registration Desk will be located in the hotel lobby and will be open for late registration from 1 to 3 PM on Friday, April 29th. If you have not pre-registered~ you may do so then. If you have pre-registered, please check in and pick up your Convention Program and name tags at that time. We need to have you check at the registration table so that we can give the proper count to the chef for the dinner-dance and banquet The opening session will be held in the first floor Ball Room and will begin at 3 PM on Friday, April 29th. The Informational Seminar will open with a presentation on Prosthetics and Sensory Aids by Donald Freyberger, VISN 8 Prosthetics Representative. Then, Philip Raistrick, From Vision America will demonstrate the ID Mate and the Script Talk. The Seminar will dose with a presentation by Craig Kizer, Director of the [)ivision of Blind Services on computer and independent living training. Dinner-Dance: The Dinner-Dance will begin with dinner at 7 PM followed by dancing from 8 to?. Again this year, the music will be provided by Marsha Summers. Those of you who have attended before will remember what a great job she does playing music for good listening and good dancing. Those new conventioneers will be pleased with an enjoyable musical interlude. A cash bar will be available for liquid refreshments. This should be a fun evening~ So join in the good times.

       Saturday, April 30th: The annual Florida Regional Group Business Meeting will be held at 9 AM in the first floor Ball Room. In addition to reports on the past year’s activities and  planning the FRG program for the coming year, you will have the opportunity to share your thoughts and comments on future FRG programs. 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’s 60th National Convention in Miami Beach in August, will also be held. Proposed resolutions for presentation to the BVA National Convention will be considered. Proposed Amendments to the FRG By-Laws, will be considered.

        TheFRGAuxiliaiywillaisoholditsmeetingat9AMonSaturdayinthelstfloor Manatee Room. The BVA Auxiliary is not a “Ladies Auxiliary” but is open to all family members and friends of the BVA. The Auxiliary will receive reports on the past year and make plans for next year. It will also elect officers for the coming year.

        At 2 PM on Saturday, a second Informational Seminar will be held in the Ball Room.
Brent Arronte, VA Regional Office Liaison Representative to the Florida VISE Coordinators, will present information on veterans benefits. Mike Gunde Chief of the Bureau of Braille and Talking Book Services will present information about new innovations in Talking Book Services. The seminar will dose with a presentation on the Computer Users group by Paul Kaminsky, and the 800 Informational Service by Dwight Sayer.

        The Hospitality Room will be open from 5 to 7 PM. The Installation Banquet will be held in the Ball Room at 7 PM. Terry King~ FRG President, will be Master of Ceremonies. VISN 8 Director George Gray, will be our Guest Speaker. Mr. Gray has had a distinguished career as an Administrator with the VA. Prior to his appointment as VISN 8 Director, he served as Director of the Little roclc Arkansas VAMC. Funding for veterans health care is sent to the 21 VISN’s around the US. Mr. Gray is responsible for allocating these funds in VISN 8, which is composed of Florida and Puerto Rico. So, let’s make a good impression on him. He has a direct influence on funds for services for Blinded Veterans in Florida. Prior to the end of the Banquet, the FRG Auxiliary will hold the drawing for its raffle. The Banquet will close with the installation of Florida Regional Group Officers and District Directors and the FRG Auxiliary Officers for the coming year. Join us in the Hospitality Room, after the Banquet;, for more socializing and refreshments. Sunday will be the time for goodbyes and travel home.

        Convention Registration Fee: The Convention Registration Fee will be $35 per person (for each By, family member, and/or friend attending). However, an early Registration Fee of only $30 per person will be in effect for registrations received on or before April 10th. The Registration Fee will cover general Convention activities, induding the Dinner-Dance on Friday night, and 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 indude 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 help will be greatly appreciated. Remember, contact the Holiday Inn to make your hotel reservations and send your Convention registration fee to the BVA FRG in Miami.