The Official Voice of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. ®
An organization chartered by the U.S. Congress

September/October 2005

Reno Accomplishments


The Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America congratulates all newly elected Vietnam Veterans of America officers and members of the Board of Directors. We look forward to working together in the coming two years.  We accomplished many things in Reno. Our luncheon was a big success. David Chung, our Keynote speaker, presented a different outlook on minority veterans and the problems returning veterans are facing today.

Leadership seminars were well attended, and we shared ideas and thoughts. We had 143 registered for the Leadership Conference. We will be critiquing each seminar and plan to implement ideas to improve the next Leadership Conference. One was to have a two-day training event.

Scholarship awards were presented at the luncheon, and the winners are listed below in Judy Vargo’s column.

Fellowship awards went to the Florida VVA State Council and Florida AVVA State Association for all the work they accomplished last year during the multiple hurricanes. Joyce Koprowski received the Fellowship Award for spearheading these efforts. Dwayne Sogis from California, who works daily for veterans and their families, also received a Fellowship Award.

We need to look ahead to next year’s Biennial Meeting. Keep in mind the Bylaws Committee’s deadline for submission of changes to the bylaws. Debby Cleghorn has put all the criteria for running for national office in her article, also on this page.

Our 50-50 tickets were drawn and announced on Saturday morning. The last six numbers are 430928. Please contact Sonja Holybee at We had the winning number posted in the lobby of the Convention center all day, but no one came forward. If not claimed by October 30, the proceeds will be added to the AVVA Scholarship Fund.

Our Silent Auction made $1,200 for our scholarship. Project Friendship, with help from AVVA and VVA, presented a check to Step 2 House for $2,600, along with material items. Fisher House will receive a check for $3,000 in October at the Board Meeting. We presented a DVD player to the Veterans Guest House, a place for veterans and their families to stay while receiving treatment from the Reno VAMC. Several items also were provided to David Mitchell, Washington State Rep, for the Veterans Home in his state. All the donations have been put to good use, and AVVA members can be proud of the hard work they put into the Conference in Reno.

National Fellowship Awards

At the 2005 AVVA Leadership Conference in Reno, Nevada, the Associates of Vietnam of America presented four Fellowship Awards. The awards went to:

The VVA Florida State Council, in recognition of its rapid response to the needs of Florida’s veterans, families, and communities during the 2004 hurricane season.

The AVVA Florida State Association, in recognition of its rapid response to the needs of Florida’s veterans, families, and communities during the 2004 hurricane season and its volunteerism in the All Babies and Children (ABC) Program.

Joyce Koprowski, for coordinating the relief efforts of the AVVA Florida Association,  for organizing the quilt-making project, and for going to communities no one else would with supplies and relief. Joyce also was recognized for spearheading the ABC Program, in which children who were affected by the 2004 hurricanes received Christmas gifts.

Dwayne Sogis, VVA Chapter 563’s Chaplain and an AVVA member from Petaluma, California, who goes out every day to work for his state, community, and chapter. He has Certificates of Appreciation from the DAV, Volunteer Program of Sonoma County, Special Olympics, Senior Services-Nutrition Dining Site Petaluma People Services Center, and the Salvation Army Disaster Services Santa Rosa Corps. Sogis was presented the Chapel of Four Chaplains Legion of Honor in 2004.

Five Winners

This year the AVVA Better Chance Scholarship made awards to five students, the largest number that AVVA has awarded to date. The committee looks carefully at the applications and makes certain that each includes all of the required documents. The awards this year went to:

$1,000 Scholarship:
Joseph Michael Cobb, Divide, Colorado, will be attending Colorado State University, where he will pursue a career as a forest ranger.

$500 Scholarships:
Amanda Sporrer, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will be attending the University of Kentucky, where she will major in special education.
Charlyanne Nester, Chester, Pennsylvania, will continue her studies toward a degree in nursing at West Chester University.  
Leah Mazzacone, Hyde Park, New York, is attending the College of St. Rosa, where she is working toward a degree in broadcast journalism.
Lisa Chekanowsky, Franklin, Pennsylvania, is attending Duquesne University, where she is majoring in athletic training.

We wish all of these students good luck in the pursuit of their dreams and goals.


AVVA bylaws may only be changed at the Biennial Meeting. The next meeting will be held July 11-16, 2006, in Tucson. All changes must be submitted 120 days prior to the Meeting, March 4, 2006.

Now is the time to look at the bylaws and see if you feel any changes need to be made. All suggested changes should be sent to the AVVA, 8605 Cameron St., Suite 400, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Attention: Debby Cleghorn, Chair, AVVA Bylaws Committee.

Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc.
Proposed Changes to the Bylaws Form

Section Affected:




Related Sections:








Must be submitted no later than 120 prior to Meeting (March 4, 2006).


Please Print or Type

Proposed Change: (Enter general wording of proposed change: Exact text will be prepared by the Bylaws Committee once approved by the Meeting delegates.)

Reason for Proposed Change: (Use additional pages if necessary.)


Submitted by: Date:
Chapter Affiliation Number: State Council:

Date Received by AVVA National Bylaws Committee:


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Vietnam Veterans of America ® 
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