Minutes – March 18, 2010

Vietnam Veterans of America
Sierra Chapter 989
Monthly Meeting

18 March 2010

Call to order at 1800

Pledge of allegiance was followed by a moment of silence for POW/MIAs.

New members: Beatrice Thayer, H.A. Bullock, Mary Beck, and Noreen Leary were introduced.  Membership for Ms. Leary, as the chapter’s 100th member, was gifted by the chapter.

Minutes: from the last meeting were distributed for review.

Treasurer’s Report: presented by Mike Miller.  Motion to accept the report by Greg Montalvo, seconded by Dennis Espinosa, passed unanimously.

President’s Report:
Fundraiser for the Veterans’ Guest House raised $64,400.  David Billau has a disk of all photos.  Greg Montalvo called upon Rick Shuster for a report.  Rick reported total proceeds of $64,795.  Twenty-two VVA members participated at the Radiothon, collecting between $5,000 and $6,000.

-Report on the election process: Darrol Brown raised a point of order that the president must appoint a chair of the election committee.  President Bob Marshall nominated Leon Gravelin, whose appointment was passed unanimously.  Ron Coleman and Tod Brill will sit on the committee.

-Traveling wall: Both are coming to Reno this Spring/Summer.  President Bob Marshall called for volunteers for the Traveling Wall and circulated a sign-up list.  The Wall will be in Reno at Rancho San Rafael Park June 17 – 20.  The schedule is as follows:

-Arrive the evening of June 15
-Set up June 16
-Opening ceremony 6:30pm on June 17
-Motorcycle run on June 19
-Flag ceremony on June 19
-Dismantle on June 21

-Flag retirement: June 14 at the Veterans’ Cemetery in Fernley.

-The American Legion Post #1 at 877 Ralston sponsored a feed to celebrate the organization’s birthday.

-Outreach: an outreach was scheduled for March 27 at the Kietzke Walmart to raise funds for the Wall.

-A ceremony honoring Women veterans is scheduled for March 25 in the main lobby of the VA hospital at 11:00am.


Banquet Report: Greg Montalvo reported on the banquet, whose theme this year is a Salute to Women Veterans.  He reported a strong response by women’s vets organizations.  Chapter 388 is interested in co-sponsoring the event, and Winnemucca may also be interested.  Atlantis Hotel Casino has offered a $2,500 sponsorship.  Planning at this stage is for 400 tables.  If we commit, the banquet will be the Saturday before Veterans’ Day.

Ron Coleman stated we need to raise about $15,000 for women veterans coming as guests.  Greg stated we must commit to Atlantis on March 24.  From that date, we have 60 days to find a major sponsor ($10,000) and to raise at least $12,500.

Sonora Parade: Larry Runyon reported the parade is scheduled for May 28.  Seven or 8 members plan to go with 6-7 staying at Larry’s place in Sonora.

Household Goods Storage: Greg Montalvo reported an arrangement was worked out with Ridge House and Pat Merrill of the VA HUD-VASH housing program to accept donations of household goods at the Ridge House in return for helping vets newly placed in housing with their basic needs.  Michial Nolan appealed for donations of toiletries because these items are hardest to come by for those with no or minimal income.

New Business:
-David Billau presented the Healing Greens Garden Project, an exercise in horticultural therapy.  This has been found to be good for veterans and the VA sponsors it in many places.  Question: Will the chapter sponsor a veterans’ garden?  Donations are readily available and David is willing to chair the committee.  Greg Montalvo moved that the chapter sponsor a veterans’ garden, seconded by Jim Stinson (unanimous approval).

-Troy Stormoen reported on the Vet Court system and the Vet to Vet mentoring system.  Greg Montalvo asked the chapter to recognize Troy and the Vet Center for their efforts on behalf of VVA.  Greg asked what will qualify a mentor.  Qualifications remain under development.

-Bob Marshall reported Agent Orange Remembrance pins are available for $210/100 pins.  Greg Montalvo proposed the purchase of 100 pins, seconded by Ron Coleman (unanimous approval).

-Birthdays: Bob Marshall announced this month’s birthdays: Willard Watts, Johann Sprenger, Rudy Calderon, Charlie Shepard, and Gary Kruger.

-A presentation by Rebuilding Together Northern Nevada, a 501©3 organization that targets low income handicapped elderly homeowners with housing renovation/repair needs.  The program offers preferential treatment to vets and has no income requirements for veterans.


Good of the Chapter:
-Darrol Brown (Chapter 388): the Reno Fly Club teaches disabled veterans to fly fish with a program called “Healing Waters.”

-Ron Coleman moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Leon Gravelin (unanimous approval).

A closing prayer was led by chapter chaplain Jim Kelley.

Meeting adjourned at 19:37.