The American Academy of Audiology Foundation, Reston, Va, thanked the Greater Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Association (GMCVA) for support of the AudiologyNOW! Hurricane Katrina Member Assistance Program.

While planning the 2006 convention, Academy staff realized some Gulf Coast audiologists would not be able to attend. The Hurricane Katrina Member Assistance Program was established to provide registration and travel assistance to Gulf Coast audiologists impacted by the storm, and made it possible for eight audiologists to attend the April convention.

“In the course of analyzing our state by state registration data, we discovered many audiologists who had attended past conventions who indicated they would be unable to attend this year due to financial stresses resulting form the storm,” said Cheryl Kreider Carey, the Academy’s deputy executive director, convention, education, and exposition.

Kathleen Devlin Culver, AAA Foundation manager, says one of the first organizations to volunteer help was the GMCVA.

“Greg Ortale, president and CEO of the GMCVA, informed us that the Association would provide complimentary airfare to our Gulf Coast attendees,” Culver said. “I can’t tell you how excited they were when we informed them they would be flown to Minneapolis free of charge.”

Laurie Schmidt, a resident of New Orleans and recipient of donated airfare, wrote to thank the AAA Foundation for its assistance. “Thank you for helping me attend this year’s convention. I was pleasantly surprised to learn the Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Association had donated roundtrip airfare. These past months have been difficult and your support means a lot. I cannot begin to express my gratitude…”