The VOD/PP/TA programs requires attention to details and a bit of paper work for the Chairman - and significant support from the Post!   I have attempted to compile relevant information that should guide a new chairman in his endeavors.   I took over from Bill Wickmann who had run these programs flawlessly for years - and to the rest of us in Pot 727,  it looked easy.   Then he became incapacitated and I had to take  over the programs - and unfortunately, did not have the benefit of his guidance.  I wish to spare the next chairman that learning curve!   

This started out as information for website of  Post 727.    A screw up by the Department Chairman inadvertently failed to give credit to Post 727 program participation that first year I ran the programs.      This was pullrf together to prevent this from happening again.       It isn't a step-by-step instructional manual and not as organized as one!   

First, read the manuals from the MUST READ  section.
Secondly,  print out all of the forms for each program and acquiant yourself with these.
Thirdly,  stay in touch with the Department Chairman and monitor national website.
Fourth,  keep membership abreast of what you are doing.
Fifth, keep the Teachers at Morrison updated in a  timely fashion.
And finally, try to attend the awards ceremony at Morrison if at all possible!   When you put "faces" on your efforts, you will appreciate these programs more!


I'll start with a basic time line -----

1.  August-September.   National announces topics for VOD/PP and posts the topics and respective entry forms on their web site.   Smart-Meyer Teachers Award entry form also posted at this time on their web site.    Department announces filing dates and additional forms and information needed.  Stay in touch with your Department Chairman for updated info!!!!   Very important!   Suggest to Department Chairman to post positions of entries when winners are announced  if they are not already doing so.

2.  October 31.  Cutoff date for filing entries with Post vod/pp/ta.    

3.   deleted

4.   November exact date to be determined by department chairman, entries and forms filed with department.  Method of filing to be determined and announced someplace that you have to find.   Past years, the entries were hand carried, recently this was changed to allow emailing entries and forms (Department of Pacific).  Check Facebook, Website, Commitee Reports, The Typhoon, and your email as possible notification method.

5.    January Department announces winners of vod/pp/ta for Department on a media again of their choosing.  Relative positions of entries may or may not be announced prodding Department chairman may be needed to get positions of entires.    I suggest this be done at the time of filing entries!

6.   February.  National  announces winners and posts on web site with entries in order.  Well organized.

7.   March-April.  Post Gift selection and budget processes begin for upcoming year.

8.    April.   Chairman prepares/collects all materials for award ceremonies vod/pp/ta.   Corrects  any screw ups.

9.    Mid May.  Jr. High has awards ceremony.  Date, time, and location determined by school.  2019 the awards ceremony wss held in the auditorium with full attendance.

10.    June.   High school has awards ceremony.   Date, time, and location determined by school.  2019 the awards ceremony wss held in the auditorium with full attendance.

11.    May-June.  Teachers award ceremony.   Location and time determined by Schools.  For 2019, I presented Recognition Certificates and gifts to two teachers at the student awards ceremonies.   (No teachers were nominated in 2019.)

12.    June-December.  Chairman orders needed materials for upcoming year.


Post 727 enlisted  Morrison Academy in Taichung to participate in the programs.   Contact has been made in the past with numerous other schools in Taipei, Kioushung, and Taichung,  only Morrison agreed to participate.   
The others declined due to being limited to only American Students.       Post 727  requested that the teachers at the school do the evaluations of student entries.   This has helped tremendously in our efforts to run these programs in the past and the combined posts - now 9957 -  has chosen to continue this procedure.      Should Post 9957 wish to trty to expand and include other schools in these programs, then the Post Chairman MUST FIRST  enlist interested personnel to evaluate and grade the entries in a timely fashion - reference VOD/PP  manual on how this is done.    Do not attempt to sign up more schools unless you have enlisted the services of several judges and the post is willing to put in the effort required.   I cannot over emphasize that these programs require RESULTS - not efforts -  in a timely manner. 

The Smart/Maher Teachers Award entries are evaluated by the Post VOD/PP/TA Chairman and his committee.   The Chairman may select his committee from the Post or community.

Each year, National announces the Topics to be used in the VOD and PP programs.   They are published on the VFW.ORG site at the beginning of the fall school year.      It is up to the post  Chairman to check department posts on a regular basis as well as National's web site.  So check the  Department Web/Committee Reports,  Typhoon,  and Department FaceBook page - Department is not consistent in how they notify Posts.   Filing requirements are established by the Department Chairman and  may change from year to year and possibly after initial announcement -   So.. Be Advised!   Information on the three programs on the VFW.ORG site does not remain there long!   Download if you need it for reference - it may not be there the next time you check!


Establishing a Budget, and  gift package at the beginning of the budget year will be your first actions needed.    The chairman should do his homework prior to budget time in order to make early recommendations for the gift package.    Lot purchases can reduce costs and provide more desirable gifts.   

Gifts that are personalized I believe would be better appreciated and attract more participation.    Therefore, the Post should  consider  establishing  a  budget for multiple years to allow purchases of items that are inexpensive if purchased in lots.    School plaques - for instance - like in this year's budget  (2018-19 ....  but failed to yield plaques) - will not have to be done again for several years.   Lot purchases of USB sticks, or personalized pens, etc.   Gifts that are useful where costs can be reduced with lot purchasing.   Four color personalized BIC pens are cheaper than the pens from VFW Store.   The logo can be as we desire.    Students like the four color pens!   Some have suggested poster style magnets with the VOD or PP logo,  Post 9957,  or American flag (popular request).   I have provided some info on possible lot purchases.   Do some  research.    If less work is desired, then allocate all the funds to cash awards and certificates.   Remember, the target students are sophisticated and usually on the Dean's list!    Finding appropriate gifts within a budget is difficult, but can be done if you expand your search beyond the VFWSTORE. 

If there are entries for Teachers Award, the Post must determine what  - if any - gifts are presented to winners.    Remember, there are THREE possible winners!   See store for items.

This "web" was developed using M/S FrontPage - a very simple and easy to use web page creator that is WYSIWYG format - but does lack some 'bells and whistles' of some newer apps - but it is easy to use and simple to update.    I have provided the Post with a Laptop containing  this Web and the editor in order to make the yearly entry updats.      


 New set back and have a cuppa-   


and enjoy a little Xmas tune




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