Minutes, 16 May 2013
Call to Order was at 18:03, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a moment of silence for POWs and MIAs.
Prayer. Chapter Chaplain Jim Kelley offered the invocation.
Roll Call. Sergeant at Arms Norm Graham called the roll:
President: John Sheets Present
Vice President: Ron Reinhardt Present
Secretary: Michial Nolan Present
Treasurer: Gary Fink Present
Attendance: 32 VVA Chapter 989 members
1 AVVA member
New Member: Brent Butler was welcomed to the chapter.
Guest. Robert Hernandez, director of the Veterans Upward Bound education program at TMCC, described this program’s mission and current offerings. The program is intended to provide educational resources to low income vets and first generation veteran college students. The program helps veterans without a college degree pursue higher education and helps those without a high school diploma earn their GED. Additionally, they help returning veterans adjust to the stresses of college life. Located at Meadow Wood Center, Veterans Upward Bound offers free college classes, help with college prep, and mentoring on “how to be a GI student. The program is funded through the U.S. Dept of Education and is not part of the Veterans Administration. Mr. Hernandez stated his program is happy to work in conjunction with the VRAP program which is a VA educational program providing free education aimed at increasing work eligibility. Mr. Hernandez distributed brochures for the membership.
Secretary’s Report. Minutes of the April meeting were distributed for review before the call to order.
Motion. Eric Hobson introduced a motion to accept the April minutes, seconded by Rick Shuster (unanimous).
Treasurer’s Report. Treasurer Gary Fink presented the Treasurer’s report.
Motion. Norm Graham introduced a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report, seconded by Randy Bright (unanimous).
Petty Cash. President John Sheets presented the petty cash report. No objections were heard.
President’s Report. President John Sheets presented the President’s report, beginning by thanking the chapter for its support.
-Partisan political speech: VVA and its chapters are non-partisan and partisan political speech or circulating partisan materials during meetings violates the National constitution and the chapter’s charter. Political speech is welcome before or after chapter meetings but are not to be brought into the meeting. VVA colors are not to be worn to political events.
-President Sheets apologized for his perception of having lost control of the April meeting in which events ran longer than anticipated.
State Council President’s Report. State Council President Terry Hubert was absent due to academic requirements but sent a message that he would report at the next chapter meeting.
Chapter 388 Report. No representatives of Chapter 388 were present. Rick Shuster reported Chapter 388 president Rick Arnold emailed his report and that Rick would make sure it was distributed to all members,
Board of Directors Report. Board chairman Rick Shuster reported on the BOD meeting of 9 May:
-The board discussed and affirmed the policy of banning partisan political speech from official chapter functions and also the restriction on wearing VVA colors to partisan political events.
-Board member Bill Wedlake resigned from the board for unspecified personal reasons. The sense of the chapter was to wish Bill a resolution to his circumstance and welcome his future participation.
-The board has openings for one member and one alternate. Rick asked any interested member to contact him.
Outreach Committee Report. Outreach chairman David Billau led the chapter in acknowledging members who participated in the recent Walmart outreach. David summarized negotiations with Walmart resulting in higher priority for the chapter. The next outreach is scheduled for 1 June at the Kietzke Walmart. A volunteer sign-up was circulated through the membership.
Horticulture Committee Report. David Billau reported the garden project has been dwindling through lack of participation, and will probably be left fallow this season. David reported he has removed the beehive due to reports that some members have bee sting allergy. David reported he will harvest about 35 lbs of raw honey in July. The honey will be given away and he already has jars for the purpose. It was suggested that, even though legal restrictions prevent selling it, perhaps it could be labeled with the chapter logo and used at outreaches. David said he would consider the possibility. David shared information from a Scientific American article discussing research on honey and diabetes. According to the article, honey is assimilated in the body while processed white sugar is detectable in stool as a waste product.
Northern Nevada Veterans Coalition. Rick Shuster reported on the agenda for the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley for 27 May. The service begins at 11:00 and ends at 12:00, followed immediately by the unveiling of the Nevada Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The memorial bears the names of 151 men and 8 nurses who gave their lives.
Veterans Guest House. AVVA member Noreen Leary from the Veterans Guest House reported on the “Summer Salute” car show scheduled for 25 May at San Rafael Park and on Operation Feed Back:
-All proceeds from the car show, expected to be the largest in the area except for Hot August Nights, go to the guest house. Entry is free and no restrictions on vehicles displayed. Four volunteers are needed between 9:00 and 12:00 to circulate in the crowd selling 50/50 tickets.
-Veterans can get groceries at the veteran’s pantry on Gentry Tuesday evenings for $10 or less for economically disadvantaged vets.
Parade Committee. Parade chairman Roger Sanchez reported on plans for the Memorial Day parade in Fernley:
-Please show up 1-1/2 to 2 hours early
-The chapter will join with the honor guard to honor fallen soldiers
-Shirts: may be decorated only with Vietnam era medals and the chapter logo. Other decorations may be worn on the hats.
-Black or white socks.
-Cold weather: long sleeves (black) may be worn under chapter shirt.
A discussion followed on visible t-shirts. It was ultimately decided green undershirts would be worn.
Motion. Roger Sanchez introduced the following motion: Uniform t-shirts under the chapter shirt shall be green,” seconded by John Dickinson (passed with 1 nay vote).
Following further discussion, Andy LePeilbet volunteered to fund and purchase matching green t-shirts for all uniformed members.
Barbecue. Roger Sanchez invited all members to his house for a barbecue following Memorial Day parade and activities in Fernley. Members are welcome to bring spouses and food.
John Sheets recognized Roger Sanchez for his efforts, including raising $1785 to purchase uniforms.
Regional Meeting. The joint Region 8/9 annual meeting will be held 8 June at the Silver Legacy. Parade chairman Roger Sanchez volunteered to organize an honor guard for the event. David Billau stated the guard would have access to all branch flags, the US flag, State of Nevada flag, and VVA flag, a total of nine in all. Roger called for volunteers in uniform to perform this duty. This event is open only to registered delegates.
Nevada State Council Meeting. The meeting is scheduled for 7 June at the Bunker. All members are invited to observe at this meeting.
Banquet Committee. John Sheets announced the Banquet still needs a chair and he called for volunteers, citing upcoming social events requiring organization.
Special Report: Needy Veteran. Secretary Michial Nolan reported on a homeless female veteran and her two children. The honorably discharged navy veteran gave birth Monday. The veteran, her new-born, and 3-year old daughter are currently staying at the Prayer House shelter for homeless women operated by Reno Sparks Gospel Mission. By house rules, they are put onto the street every morning at 5:30 am. The family is currently on the waiting list for the Family Shelter operated by Volunteers of America and are apparently eligible for a veteran-preference housing program to be imminently available. Michial requested the chapter authorize the board to earmark up to $500 for a motel room provided 1) her veteran’s status is confirmed with a DD214, 2) the need is time-limited, and 3) other resources are exhausted or prove unavailable.
Motion. Eric Hobson introduced the following motion: Earmark up to $500 at the discretion of the Board of Directors of VVA Chapter 989 to provide temporary housing for a veteran as discussed (unanimous).
Amber Dawson (We Care). Norm Graham recounted the efforts of this organization to feed the homeless at the Community Access Campus on Record Street. Norm recalled the chapter donated $200 per quarter to her organization last year.
Motion. Norm Graham introduced the following motion: “Continue the donation to Amber Dawson’s “We Care” in the amount of $200 per quarter, in the form of Smart and Final gift certificates, seconded by Brent Butler.
Discussion: Ron Reinhardt expressed concern that the chapter’s outflow of funds was exceeding intake. John Dickinson pointed out the chapter donated $1,800 to Adopt a Vet (dental care for low income vets) and raised it in a single outreach, John sheets reminded the chapter that our function was to serve vets. It was argued the chapter has a further obligation to serve the community generally and, while many of the people served by “We Care” are not veterans, there are many veterans among the ranks of the homeless in Reno. Mike Miller observed the Board of Directors needs to make up a budget. Board Chairman Rick Shuster stated the budget would be the first agenda item at the next BOD meeting 45 days hence. John Dickinson recalled the chapter’s contribution to “We Care” last year was for 3 quarters only.
Amendment: The motion was amended to read “Continue for 3 quarter the donation to Amber Dawson’s ‘We Care’ in the amount of $200 per quarter in the form of Smart and Final gift certificates.” Eric Dobson called for the question, which passed with 2 nay votes.
The following members celebrated birthdays this month: Don Alis, John Boyne, Tom Bracamonte, Dennis Espinoza, Lee Hamrick, James Hanson.
Good of the Chapter. No issues raised.
Motion. Norm Graham introduced a motion to adjourn, seconded by Mike Miller. IN the absence of objection, the meeting adjourned at 19:34.