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Popularity Rises for

VA Sports Events

More disabled veterans than ever before are participating in VA national rehabilitation and recreation events.

Two of the newest events, the National Veterans TEE Tournament in Iowa City, Iowa, and the Summer Sports Clinic in San Diego, California, recently attracted more than 250 veterans seeking physical challenge, rehabilitation, fellowship, and camaraderie.

The TEE Tournament, previously a local event, became VA’s sixth national rehabilitation program last year. It has expanded to include not only participants who are visually impaired but also amputees and those who use wheelchairs. It was held this year for the first time at the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort near Iowa City.

BVA members Paul Kaminsky and Charles Zimmer, Florida and Michigan Regional Groups, respectively, were in a threesome that took first place in the Competitive team division. Their team score was a two-under-par 70, which included six team birdies. The golfers were grouped in fours except for two teams with three golfers. Paul also scored the longest drive and closest to the pin. Having to choose between one of the two for prize purposes, he picked his longest drive in order to win a new putter.

VA to Conduct Voc Rehab

and Employment Survey

Approximately 23,000 veterans will be surveyed in an evaluation of the effectiveness of VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program (VR&E).

Economic Systems, Inc. and ICF International are the companies conducting the evaluation on VA’s behalf. The survey, to be administered between December 2009 and February 2010, will include veterans who have participated or are currently participating in the VR&E program and those who were eligible to participate but, for various reasons, did not do so.

The questions relate to VA outreach, reasons for not applying to or not completing VR&E, use of other programs, employment and income, health status, and plans to use the post-911 education program. VA endorses the survey as an important effort to improve the program.

Veterans will be able to complete the survey in writing or online. It is voluntary and VA guarantees complete anonymity.

Carroll Center

Appoints President

Michael E. Festa of Melrose, Massachusetts, is the new President of the Father Thomas J. Carroll Center for the Blind, a national provider of rehabilitation and educational services named for BVA’s first National Chaplain. Festa assumed his duties in late September.

Festa succeeds the retiring Rachel Rosenbaum, the Carroll Center Chief Executive Officer since 1976. He was a practicing attorney and served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1999 until 2007. He has most recently been the Secretary of the Executive Office of Elder Affairs for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where he promoted innovative opportunities for seniors to live more independently in the community.

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