October 1999/November 1999
By Nancy Switzer, President
I am sure that everyone who attended the National Convention in Anaheim
knows that it was a success. I would like to thank everyone who volunteered
for Associates functions. Many people helped us in many areas, including
making photocopies for our Board meeting, helping out at our booth for
the silent auction, and videotaping our seminars. The seminars were well
received and well attended. And thank you to all who brought items or donated
money to the Kenny Nicholson Foundation.
We have been very busy these past few months. Each day something new
seems to pop up, but things are gradually getting back to normal. All members
of the Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America are now receiving The
VVA Veteran We have many people to thank for this, especially VVA members.
The minutes of AVVA's first Board meeting, which went very well, have
been sent to all AVVA state representatives, who will distribute them to
AVVA chapter representatives. If you did not receive a copy, please let
us know. At our membership seminar we stressed the fact that any person
can attend an AVVA Board meeting, unless the Board has gone into executive
The Procedure Committee asked that all regional board members recruit
two people from their regions to be placed on committees. If you are interested
in being on a committee, please contact the appropriate committee chair.
The IRS is now reviewing our bylaws, and we await their final approval.
If you have not received a draft copy of the bylaws, contact your regional
board member. The bylaws were accepted by the State Associate Liaisons
We have begun the difficult job of structuring the Associates of Vietnam
Veterans of America. We would like input from all members as we do this.
As of now, AVVA is only a national organization. We do not have State Councils
or local chapters. All members are at-large, and we are not affiliated
with VVA chapters.
There are many questions to answer. Whatever structure we set will not
take effect until our bylaws are accepted by the IRS, something that could
take up to a year. Still, we need to have our structure in place once our
bylaws are approved. If you have suggestions or questions, please contact
any board member. I can be reached through the VVA national office at 1224
M Street, N.W, or leave a message at 202-628-2700, and I will get back
What follows is a Fact Sheet that will be included in the VVA chapter
mailings. Please distribute these in your chapter mailings. I would like
to thank Suzie Meeks, Texas state representative, and Jane Yelton, Louisiana
state representative, for coming up with this idea and for their input.
If you have suggestions on how to improve AVVA communications, pick up
your phone and call me.
Fundraising As of now, donations made to AVVA are not
tax deductible. This is because the IRS has not approved our bylaws. It
is nearly impossible to raise funds when donors do not receive tax deductions.
Tax Exemption AVVA has applied for 501(c)4 status. What is holding
things up is that the IRS has not determined if AVVA will be a tax-deductible
organization. This means that donations to AVVA now--either money or goods--are
not tax deductible.
Budget Typically, associates were a part of VVA chapter and state
council budgets. This can still be done by making the associates' budget
a line item, calling it, for example, a support fund. Chapters and state
councils are free to give money to any person or organization they choose.
Membership AVVA membership is established in the bylaws. At present,
all AVVA members are members of the national organization, because AVVA
has no state councils or chapters. The AVVA bylaws state, "Membership shall
have two classes or membership: regular members and other members.'' Regular
members are entitled to vote, to hold office as an officer or director
of the corporation, and to chair committees of the corporation. Other members
have no such rights or privileges.
The bylaws further state: "Eligibility for regular membership shall
be limited to families of VVA members, friends of VVA, and other veterans
not eligible for membership in VVA who wish to further the purposes of
both VVA and the Corporation. Other membership shall be limited to individuals
eligible for membership in VVA.''
Because we work closely with VVA on all issues, we are asking VVA chapter
membership chairs to handle our membership rosters with the assistance
of the associate liaison.
Committees On a local level, any associate may be a special adviser
to any VVA chapter or state council committee. You already know that associates
are vital to VVA's committees. Many of you have been committee chairs.
The title for a committee member is now "special adviser.''
Elections The election process for an associate representative
with a VVA chapter or state council was discussed at the October AVVA Executive
Committee meeting. The election plan will be sent for approval to the Board
of Directors and the state representatives, although at this time we have
no chapters or state councils.
National Elections The election process has not been formulated.
We are in the process of doing that now.
E-mail us at TheVeteran@vva.org