What a great week we all had in
Tuscon. I would like to welcome two new board members, Judy
Bolio, Region 5, and Mary Atkins, Region 8. Our meeting went
very smoothly. One change to our Policy and Procedure Committee
suggested by Suzie Meeks was to decrease the one-year membership
requirement for chapter elections and chapter reps to three
During our meeting,
Nancy Retkowski and Lee Derby presented the Silver Rose
posthumously to Thomas Miller, Mary Miller's husband, and to
Robert Palasch, Ann Palasch's husband. It was a beautiful and
meaningful ceremony. AVVA unanimously passed a motion endorsing
this program and giving a donation.
We had a great duck race. I thank
Pete Duerr, Ann Snyder, and Charlie and Nancy Montgomery for
spending an entire day setting the race up, and Elaine and Dave
Simmons, who took control of duck sales. We made approximately
$1,500 for our scholarship fund.
On Wednesday night one hundred
people gathered at Sunset Point for the Remembrance Ceremony.
The point was lined with 13 dozen luminarias ordered by
individuals and chapters to remember special people who have had
an impact on their lives. David Tsosie, a Navajo Korean War
veteran, spoke briefly of his service in Korea and how to honor
those who serve. Patsy Varnell worked very hard in making this
ceremony a great success.
There are many people to thank
for a successful meeting, including Jim Blount, the
Parliamentarian, and Sandra Womack, our Sergeant-at-Arms, and
the board for organizing everything. We also thank people who
just came and sat down and worked: Doris Derby, Peaches Walton,
Sandra Womack, and Suzie Meeks.
Three people were honored with
the President's Award this year: Marcia Hicks, for her
outstanding contribution to the AVVA Board of Directors; Bob
Maras, for his assistance on legislative issues; and Charlie
Montgomery for his support to AVVA. We also awarded our first
Fellowship Award to Loren and Marge Herrick of Chapter 317 in
Kansas City, Missouri. Congratulations to all.
This year's AVVA/VVA Project
Friendship was outstanding. We raised more than $7,700 for Sons
and Daughters in Touch. Sixty sons and daughters will travel to
Vietnam in March 2003. Esperanza En Escalante received
approximately $250. Many items were brought by the attendees for
this outstanding homeless center.
AVVA AWARDS COMMITTEE
The First Fellowship Award
BY KATHLEEN TAUER, CHAIR
It was with great joy that we
presented the first Fellowship Award to Loren and Marge Herrick.
This wonderful couple served together in World War II. They lost
two sons in Vietnam. Instead of letting their pain take over
their lives, they established a scholarship fund which has grown
every year. They have helped send many people to college. They
also have taught children how to march and salute for the play
A Piece of My Heart.
To them, Vietnam veterans will
always be their children. Their favorite song to dance to is
"Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree With Anyone Else But Me.'' They
dance not alone, but with their sons Benny and Dennis, and
hundreds of others they have helped. I don't believe their was a
dry eye in the room when this award was announced and the
Herricks were escorted to the stage.