FRIENDS OF VVA CHAPTER 310 

The Friends are an informal group of people interested in supporting the activities and programs of Chapter 310.

FRIENDS MEETING

The Friends meet every month one hour before the regular VVA310 membership meeting.  
Location: 3230 S. Wagner Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48103.
Date: Second Thursday of each month
Time: 6:00 PM
Agenda: Plan upcoming events

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l-r Shirley Hitte, Bonnie Hall, Cheryl Ward, Meni Draper, Sandy Martinez, Libby Price, Corrine Gignac, Kathy Driscoll, Jane Kinzinger

 

Click on the above to view individual Friends images                                      

Anyone interested in VVA310 and it activities is welcome to join the Friends group. Simply show your commitment with a donation of $20, which goes into our treasury and is used to support various events and projects of the Friends and Chapter 310 (link to come for membership form.) Mail to the address indicated on the Application. Dues are due annually in February. If you join after April, your dues for the following year are waived.

Friends meet the second Thursday of each month at 6:00 p.m. at VFW Post 423, 3230 S. Wagner Road, Ann Arbor (between Ellsworth and Waters Roads, acorss from Town & Country Auto Recycling). Our meetings are an hour in length and are very informal and friendly. Each meeting has a brief agenda. All Friends are welcome to attend the regular Chapter 310 membership meeting at 7:00, immediately following the Friends meeting. Coffee and pop is available, and there is always foods for snacking and desserts to be enjoyed during our Friends meeting and the Chapter meeting. The target for ending the evening is 8:30 p.m. There is plenty of parking right outside the building.

FriendsMemorial

Friends are dedicated to maintaining the flower beds at our Vietnam Memorial.

Currently there are 33 Friends of VVA 310 and 7 Honorary Friends. Dues are due annually in February. If you join after April, your dues for the following year are waived.

The Mission of the Friends of Chapter 310 is to support the efforts of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 310, and to assist and promote the events and projects of Chapter 310 for the benefit of all veterans and their families.

The Friends group is an informal group of people interested in supporting VVA 310. There are currently 33 Friends. Members are wives of Vietnam Veterans, children of Vietnam Veterans, sisters, aunts, and  friends. The Friends group began in about 1999. At that time most of these people were "Associate Vietnam Veterans." That was the classification give to members of VVA who were not Vietnam Veterans or Vietnam Era Veterans.

In 1998, when VVA was 20 years old, the Internal Revenue Service met with VVA to resolve the "Associate" issue. The IRS has very specific rules for tax exempt organizations (501 {c}\'s) and for organizations which receive contributions that are tax deductible to the donor. Two of these rules, which pertain to membership, related to VVA\'s associates at the time. The first rule was that a veterans organization that wants to be tax exempt under 501 (c)(19) of the Internal Revenue Code must ensure that least 75 percent of the organizations members be past or present members of the U.S. Armed Forces....and that at least 90% of its members are war veterans. VVA could comply with these rules easily if its associates were not considered members.  Over the years, the IRS had questioned how associates were treated, what benefits they received, how they functioned within the VVA structure, whether they had the right to vote, etc.

To comply with IRS and to avoid stiff penalties, the Associate members were advised to transfer to another type of 501 (c) organization and for VVA to restructure. This brought VVA into compliance and allowed AVVA to initiate planning for its new organization. That\'s when AVVA as it currently stands began.  National officers were elected and bylaws written. All Associates were automatically members of the new AVVA.

The people on Chapter 310 who were Associates discussed this at many meetings in the following months and decided not to become an AVVA Chapter. (Some did join the AVVA but did not start a Chapter affiliated with VVA 310.) Instead, we became know as "Friends" of VVA 310. We did not elect officers We decided on dues of $20 a year which would stay in the Chapter and provide a fund for the Friends to use on selected projects. The Associate Liaison position was eliminated, and Friends agreed to take turns chairing our meetings. Everyone has equal voice and is free to determine their involvement level.  It\'s all voluntary. And yet, it has thrived and been successful because we do it  for the Chapter. We are doing basically the same thing we did under the prior organization arrangement but do it informally. In fact, the group has grown from about 20 to the current 33 Friends. People have come and gone, joined and moved away, been involved then not; but there is a core group that has lasted for over 10 years in this setting.

Now there is an AVVA Chapter affiliated with VVA 310. Anyone joining the Friends group can also join AVVA if they want to support the projects and mission of that group. While similar to the Friends group, they are part of the larger National AVVA organization. Information on AVVA may be found at  www.avva.org.