GETTING PREPARED FOR CONVENTION is still somewhat of a challenge as we work our way out of the COVID-19 era and start on the way back to what we used to call “normal”.
Since no one knew for how long the setback was going to linger, I was concerned about
the financial impact all of this would have on the financial success of our Chapters and their
relationship with the Department.
As it turns out, it was dealt with by most in a professional way, with those requiring
some guidance from the Department doing just that. Along with National Headquarters doing
their part in explaining some of he adjustments that had to be made as well, we are in good
shape as we prepare for going to convention.
We still have a couple of Chapters that have a difficult time accepting the fact that the
“3-times rule” of the National organization is a MUST for all of us. The Bylaws of the National
organization tell us we may not maintain finances that exceed 3 times the total amount of
money which was spent in the previous year. Monies entrusted to DAV on any level should be
used to do what we do best “Serving the men and women who have served”. The bottom
line here is that there are plenty of ways to address that mission statement – particularly
during these current times that have taken their toll financially on many of our members and
their families. Addressing their needs comes first and we all need to give each and every
request a fair assessment and a timely response.
I think it is fair to say that the Department and almost all of its Chapters are in good
financial shape. With no means of interacting with the public this past year – which for most
of us is the successful key to our income – we have all found ways to adapt and are doing well
for the most part.
We want you to know that we are always available to assist you with your financial
endeavors. Feel free to call on us if you have questions or doubts where some assistance is
needed. Our Office Manager, Deirdre Flynn, and I do most of our work from home yet, but it
only takes a phone call to set something up where we can meet with you at the office at a time
that is convenient to both parties.
Some of the things that we are so accustomed to doing – like making Hospital
donations, State Veterans Homes donations and Transportation Program donations – have in a
sense been put on hold as we worked our way through the pandemic. For many months only
veterans with specific hospital appointments were even allowed to enter the facilities. And,
likewise, our demand for rides to VA facility appointments were down significantly for that
reason. In fact, a couple of our facilities even shut down their operations completely putting
our programs on hold in those areas. Thankfully those facilities have worked out their
concerns for the safety of our riders, and we are back in business at all locations at this time.
Hopefully the 2021 State Convention will carry on in some fashion. If that happens, we
urge you to enjoy the cameraderie which you will undoubtedly experience when you are in one
of Wisconsin’s most visited tourist destinations – TitleTown USA. You are only a few blocks
from the world-class Lambeau Field, so – as always – I encourage you to get over there and
witness for yourself some of the greatest history in the National Football League…and stop by
the new outdoor activity area just west of the stadium to see what makes TitleTown such a
great place to visit!!
In closing, I would like you to think about this…what have you learned about the DAV
and its Auxiliary this year that you did not know until now – like surviving under some very
adverse operating and communicating conditions? I ask that you take the time to share that
with others…it just might be that added “spark” that was needed to make them step up and
take a leadership role. To me, that is what we are all about – being leaders in the arena we
know best – “Serving the men and women who have served”.