Entries for September, 2015

Minutes of Meeting September 1, 2015

General Meeting called to order at @ 7:05 PM by President Gene Goldsmith

Pledge of Allegiance

Invocation by Gene Goldsmith

Moment of silence for POW/MIA

Roll Call of officers

Gene Goldsmith, Pres                     Present

Dave Loomis, VP                             Present

Gary Lysne, 2nd VP                          Present

Bill Cox, Secretary                           Present

Ken Richardson, Treasurer           Excused

Jim Pace, B of D                               Present      Fiscal 2016

Tom Darling, B of D                        Absent       Fiscal 2015

Richard Martinez, B of D               Present      Fiscal 2015

John Bradshaw, B of D                  Absent       Fiscal 2016

Tom Modica, B of D                        Present      Fiscal 2017

Greg Bremer, B of D                        Excused      Fiscal 2016

Steve White, B of D                         Emeritus deceased

Guests and their acknowledgement

Gary Pettigrew

Don Kline

New members present and their acknowledgement

Dan Lagerwey

Allan John Kelly

Duane Holliday


Secretary’s July minutes were reviewed prior to the meeting by the membership. The minutes are also posted on the chapter website. Minutes were approved as drafted.

Treasurer’s August report was read by Gene Goldsmith. The report was approved as read.

Membership Update was given by Jim Pace. The chapter currently has 261 members. This gives the chapter ten votes now on state voting matters. Jim announced that our chapter is now the 25th largest chapter in the country. There is currently a $100 special offer for a lifetime membership with the VVA. He recommended that all members who are eligible should take advantage of this offer. Bill Bowen mentioned that there is a new VVA chapter in Burlington, Skagit County.


Old Business


Vietnam Experience Books are available for sale for $20. If interested in buying a book, see Gene Goldsmith. He said that he would add a Vietnam Wall book for free, if a Vietnam Experience book is purchased tonight.

The Car Show Results were discussed by Gene Goldsmith. Gene reviewed the results for each revenue and expense category. Revenue included receipts from entry fees, T shirt sales, food sales, 50/50 raffle, raffle, donations and trophy income. Major expense categories included a new T shirt purchase, trophies, and food. Overall net cash receipts were about $3,260. This net cash receipt number may be revised downward to the $2,900 area when final totals are computed. We have approximately 180 T shirts remaining that are available for future sales. The car show was considered to be very successful and described as “a must go to car show” by local car show enthusiasts. Various improvements to next year’s car show were discussed. Gene mentioned that Ed Simmers has some remaining CD’s for sale at $5 each. Please see Ed if interested. $300 in Vietnam Experience books were also sold at the car show which are not part of the car show receipts.

The National Council meeting was held in Springfield, Illinois during July and attended by Gary Lysne, Gene Goldsmith, Jim Pace and Bill Bowen. Each attendee briefly discussed his impression of the convention.

Jim Pace’s Receipt of the VVA Medal was discussed by Gene Goldsmith. He read Jim’s nomination letter which discussed his many accomplishments over the last 20 years. As a service officer he has helped countless veterans secure benefits from the VA. Jim has also made major contributions to veterans and to the VVA at the local chapter level, the State VVA Council level and the National VVA level. A heartfelt round of applause for Jim by the entire chapter followed Gene’s presentation.

A Picnic Honoring WW II Veterans was discussed by Gene Goldsmith. It was held on August 17, 2015 at the Lairmont Manor. It was a very successful event with about 50 WW ll veterans attending of which about 46 briefly spoke. John Forgette contributed $250 to the luncheon expenses and attended. John said that many of the veterans brought WW ll memorabilia with them.


New Business


Snack Night was discussed by Gene Goldsmith and will be on September 11th at the VFW at 6PM. Ken Payne will do the food. It is very important for chapter members to attend and support snack night. Ken will need help at this event. Following dinner at 7 PM the VFW Auxiliary will have a Remembrance Ceremony to honor the nine Auxiliary members who have passed away from July 2014 to July of 2015.

Vietnam Veteran Hats were discussed by Gene Goldsmith. They were made in the USA and Gene has them for sale for $10. Please see Gene if interested.

The Puyallup Washington State Fair was discussed by Gene Goldsmith. He has tickets for free gate admission for all active, reserve and retired military, National Guard and their dependents for the period from September 14 through the 21st inclusive. This is part of the Fair’s Military Appreciation Day. Please see Gene for additional information.

The Scholarship Committee was discussed by Bill Bowen. They have had one meeting so far and have interviewed Bellingham Technical College. They still need to interview Western Washington University and Whatcom Community College. They have dropped Skagit Community College from consideration feeling that the chapter scholarship money should remain in Whatcom County. A board meeting will be set up to review and approve the committee’s recommendations before any further presentation to the chapter. The chapter will then vote on any final proposal.

The Chapter Service Account in Conjunction with Elizabeth Harmon-Craig was discussed by Gene Goldsmith and Elizabeth. The Whatcom County Veterans Program is a part of Whatcom County government. Elizabeth is in charge of this Veterans Program. She is a veteran and a graduate of West Point. The Veterans Program serves as a focal point for coordinating local, state and federal benefits for veterans. They also offer temporary financial assistance to veterans, when appropriate, as well as connection to other veteran’s services. Additional services include burial assistance, compensation and pension issues, employment assistance, health services, housing assistance, legal assistance, social service programs and transportation. Elizabeth’s phone number is (360) 778-6050 and the Veterans Program website can be found by entering Whatcom County Veterans Program on a browser.

The chapter service account is a fund set up by the chapter to financially assist veterans on an emergency basis. Elizabeth contacts the chapter when she encounters an emergency situation that she cannot handle or where her funds are exhausted. Such is the case with a veteran named Justin Ferrara who owes $470.80 on a water and sewer bill. An extensive presentation was given by Gene Goldsmith and Elizabeth on his situation and background. A motion was made to pay the $470.80 water bill, seconded and passed. This payment is a service account expense.

Electric bills from a veteran named Lowell Smith for $387.82 and Justin Ferrara for $240.00 were going to be presented by Gene Goldsmith to the DAV for potential payment.

A VVA Flag for the New Skagit County Chapter was briefly discussed by Tom Modica and Bill Bowen. Further discussion will be continued at the next meeting.


Next meeting is October 6, 2015.  Dinner will be at 6PM and the meeting at 7PM.


Good of the Order


First, Gene Goldsmith suggested all members view their VFW monthly calendars. Football season is starting and the VFW offers enjoyable football viewing events.

Second, Gene Goldsmith reiterated that Kenny needs help at snack night on September 11th.

Third, Bill Bowen indicated that the State Council semiannual meeting will be held October 31st. At the next chapter meeting the proper number of delegates and alternates will need to be identified and briefed on upcoming State Council matters to be voted upon at this October 31st meeting.


Motion to adjourn meeting at 8:20 PM. Motion seconded and passed. The meeting was adjourned by Gene Goldsmith.