by Carla Ruschival

The family leaves on vacation, and the kids are in the back seat. Pretty soon they begin asking, "Are we there yet?"

We're on the road to Minneapolis for the 2007 ACB convention, but we aren't quite there yet. Just like that family vacation, we plan a long time before the convention actually happens.

When my children were young, ACB conventions were their summer vacations. Today, the convention offers even more for families. Here's what's in store for the younger set:

YAC: Patti Cox, Youth Activity Center Coordinator, has a week of fun planned for kids 6 to 17. The YAC opens on Sunday afternoon with crafts and games. Beginning at 8:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, every day is packed with trips and fun. The younger set will visit the Firefighters Museum; everyone will take a step back in time to the 19th century at Dakota Village. The YAC will visit Mill City and have a fun scavenger hunt and ride the Flour Tower while learning about milling and flour-making. There's a day at the water park and an afternoon at Gameworks. While parents are in the business meeting all day on Friday, kids will go to the Mall of America to visit the sharks in the aquarium, play miniature golf, and ride the amusement park attractions. During the banquet, the YAC will have a pizza party, games and contests, and of course lots of prizes.

Recreation Zone: Young and young-at-heart will love the 2007 Recreation Zone. Play audible darts, Power Showdown, and much more; expanded hours will make every evening fun! Watch for schedules in the convention program.

Tours: Be sure to read the tour details in your pre-registration packet; you'll find a pre-convention tour to Mason City (Iowa) and another to a piano factory followed by a cruise. There are tours to a cheese factory, Mill City (flour-making), the Minnesota Historical Museum, Fort Snelling, a casino, the Guthrie Theater for an audio-described play, the Mall of America and much, much more.

Details and More Details

Convention Sponsors: You are invited to become a 2007 convention sponsor. Individual bronze, silver, gold and platinum sponsors receive a special ribbon to wear proudly on their convention badges; our corporate and affiliate gems (Pearl, Topaz, Opal, Sapphire, Ruby, Emerald and Diamond) are recognized in many ways for their generosity and support. All individual, affiliate and corporate sponsors are recognized on the convention floor and on ACB Radio.

ALDs: Please read if you wish to use one of ACB's assistive listening devices (ALDs) during the convention.

Reserve your ALD when you complete your pre-registration form. Pay your $20 deposit for the use of the ALD with your pre-registration. Then pick up your ALD at the registration desk with your packet. The ALD will be supplied with fresh batteries, but you will need to bring replacement batteries with you if you plan to use the device extensively throughout the week. When you are finished with the ALD, return it to registration and receive your refund.

Pre-Registration: Look for your pre-registration forms around May 20. You may pre-register by mail or through our quick and easy on-line process.

Convention dates are June 28 through July 7. Pre-convention tours are on Friday, June 29. Get on the road to Minneapolis by making your hotel reservations at the Hyatt Regency ($81 single/double, $91 triple/quad; 1- 800-233-1234), or at the Millennium ($84 single/double, $94 triple/quad; 1- 800-522-8856). Rates are quoted per night, and do not include tax.

If you have convention questions or special concerns, contact Carla Ruschival, convention committee chair, at (502) 897-1472 or by e-mail at [email protected]; or call the ACB national office at 1-800-424-8666.

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