A publication of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. ®
An organization chartered by the U.S. Congress

October 1999/November 1999

AVVA Report

Answering Questions

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 session.

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 in January.

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 to you.

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


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