Disabled American Veterans
       Hershey PA Chapter 48  March 12, 2019 Meeting Minutes
March 12, 2019 Meeting Minutes

Opening Ceremony
Roll Call of Officers – Adjutant called the Roll of Officers:
Present:
Robert Ardner, Randy Eckert, Jim Ferguson, Jasper Folks, David Gui, Ed Loughran
Absent:
Mike Bauerle, Bruce Cavanaugh, Rick Silvia
Adjutant’s Report:
Adjutant’s minutes were approved as read

Treasurer’s Report:
We had two $600 checks that were cashed, to PA Wounded Warriors and to the YWCA.  A$300 check to the
VFW is still outstanding. Our ending balance is $4,084.61.

Sickness and Distress:
Our chaplain reported no sickness and distress, but he did have contact with a Dee Aurand, Sam’s widow.
She is doing well.

Service Officer Report:
Service Officer David Gui gave us a brief follow up report on the Bluewater Navy Agent Orange case. The
VA lost in the Court of Appeals. The VA’s resistance to the proposal to pay benefits to the Bluewater Navy is
based on financial concernsand fitting this in with other VA priorities, for example suicide prevention.

David also reported that the DAV Service Officer program is doing well. Although we have only eight full-time
service officers to serve the entire state of Pennsylvania, our numbers are doing well. The VA is reworking
their process of the appeals on veterans’ claims so this it's currently in a learning situation for DAV another
service officers.

Publicity Committee:
The Adjutant noted that he wanted to get publicity out to the local media for our check presentations at the
Veteran homeless Stand Down. Bob Ardner requested a list of publicity contacts.

Unfinished business
By next month April we will pull together the schedule for the fund raiser at Karns over Memorial Day
weekend.  Adjutant will email Joel and Rick Sylvia and ask them if they want to cover the fundraising activity
there.

David Gui brought up the topic of sending a letter to members of the now defunct chapter 4 and Harrisburg.
The Adjutant will generate a list of the ZIP Codes and we will send a letter to them.

Communications
We received thank you letters from Pennsylvania wounded warrior and the VFW for the donations at the
homeless veterans Stand Down.We also received the letter regarding nominating Veterans for outstanding
veteran volunteer of the year.After discussion we determined to nominate our chaplain Robert Ardner for his
work with the homeless veterans Stand Down, other events and the food bank at his church.We also
determined to nominate Randy Eckert for his volunteer efforts in connection with Indiantown Gap National
Cemetery.  We also need to check for an online form to report Veteran volunteer hours to DAV.  David Gui
noted that we are short on reporting that across the state.
Randy Eckert reported on recording volunteer hours at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery.

Bob Ardner gave us a report on the homeless veterans Stand Down of been held the weekend of February
15-17. The “bad news” is that there were 97 homeless veterans who needed service.
This was an all-time high for the event. Previously, the high was 66 homeless veterans.

I'm Friday evening we had 37 homeless veterans check in for the event. Again, this was a new high
surpassing the previous record of 20 veterans.  Bob and another volunteer were quite busy Friday night
accommodating the people who checked in then.  An additional 60 veterans checked in on Saturday. Bill
Reed of the YW expects continued growth in the number of Veteran served during this event.

We had 26 volunteers in the ambassador role for the event. In our goal of assigning one ambassador to
each homeless veteran, we were clearly short on volunteers. Bob also reported that we had 56 ambassadors
trained. That number includes people trained in previous years, as you need to complete the training only
once.  Bob is requesting help in recruiting interested people who would like to give back to homeless
veterans and spend one day a year on Saturday of the homeless veterans Stand Downevent. Without an
adequate number of ambassadors, there is the possibility of veterans "falling through the cracks," meaning
they don't get to all of the stations and services that they need.Bob will be meeting with Bill Reed to recap
the event and do lessons learned. Of the 97 veterans, there were 8 female vets.

David Gui brought up the idea of contacting other DAV chapters and veterans’ organizations to recruit
people for the ambassador role.  Bob noted that having Veterans in the role of ambassador is a positive
thing. He's going to suggest to Bill Reed that we make an effort to recruit more veterans. Bob noted his
observation that Michael Bauerle did a very good role job serving as ambassador for his veteran.

David Gui brought up donating to Indiantown Gap National Cemetery and to Calvary Lutheran Church (for
the Food Bank program). We donated to these two charities in the past and we have money in the treasury.  
Our fundraiser is coming up in May, so the question is do we want to make a donation to them? In addition to
those two entities, we're also looking at other good charitable causes for our funds. Bob Ardner noted a
recent conversation with a group called Healing Waters.  That group does kayaking, fly fishing, and tying
flies.  Bob offered to take a request for donations to them.  They receive partial support or sponsorship from
Bass Pro. However, after the offer there was no follow-up from this organization. Bob also reported that he
made contact with a group set up in the lobby at Lebanon VA.

We also briefly discussed the Veteran cruises on the Pride of the Susquehanna.  As far as we could
determine, they're not currently scheduled.

DAV Department
David Guireported that the DAV State Convention will be held the week of June 10. This year, the event is in
Harrisburg. With that nearby location, if anyone wants to go and get involved, this year would be a good time
to start. The convention will open Wednesday night with a meeting of the DEC. The Commander’s
Testimonial will be Thursday night and a banquet Friday night.  This location is the Best Wester Premier
Hotel & Convention Center (formerly a Sheraton) at the Union Deposit Exit from I-83.  It's the hotel with the
O'Reilly's Irish Pub.

Because the convention is local,the cost to attend is only $55 to register for the convention. With the minimal
cost, it’s an ideal time for anyone interested to get involved with Department and higher-level activities above
the Chapter level.

David reported that at Department level we have lost the 3rdSenior Vice and the 2nd Senior Vice.
Unfortunately, both of them passed away.

David reported that there are six chapters required for a quorum as there are 11 chapters in the district.As
far as we know we've never received minutes from the district.The district is supposed to hold two meetings
for year. We are supposed to pay $15 a year dues. We don't recall ever paying those dues.

There is a Veterans’Job Fair April 26 David Gui reported electric get a little more toward this.

March 26 is a York Veterans Expo andJob Fair.

April 27 there is a Veterans’Expo in East Petersburg. The mobile service office will be coming to Camp Hill in
May. That's with national service officers.

Commander Loughran asked for a motion to make the donations to Calvary Lutheran Church and
Indiantown Gap National Cemetery. In the past, we had given $500 to each of these for the organizations.
Since the two people associated with those charities abstained from making the motions, Ferguson made a
motion to donate the same amount $500 to each of these two organizations. It was seconded by David Gui.
Motion carried.  The payees for these donations should be Calvary Lutheran Church Operation Barnabas
and IGNC Memorial Council.

We nominated the slate of officers for next year. It is the same officers we have this year. The elected
Officers are: Commander [Ed Loughran], Senior Vice [Randy Eckert], Junior Vice [Bob Ardner] & Treasurer
[David Gui].  Note: The Adjutant and Committee Chairs are appointed by the Commander.

Motion to adjourn by Gui and seconded by Ardner.
Closing ceremony was conducted.  Our next meeting will be held April 9.