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Positive Note 1631

November 15, 2017
Memo To:  Executive Officers, Board Members, Chapter & Division Presidents & Others
From:  Frank Coppel, President
Positive Note 1631
Greetings Fellow Federationists:

We still have not heard from some of you as to whether you are planning to attend the 2017 Christmas Board Retreat which will be held at Rocky Bottom December 1, 2, and 3.
This will be a busy time since we will be holding two Board meetings beginning with the RBRCCB Board of Directors meeting Saturday morning, December 2, at 9:30 a.m. which will be followed by the NFB of SC Board of Directors meeting on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.
Saturday evening will be a time for observing the Christmas season, as we sing Christmas carols, fellowship, and sample delicious desserts.
If you wish to participate in the Christmas gift exchange Saturday evening, ladies will need to bring a ladies’ gift and men will need to bring a men’s gift.
The cost of the Christmas gift should be a minimum of $10.
I hope we will have a large turnout for the weekend.
Make plans to be there!

I am very sad to report Jerry Whittle, a longtime leader of the National Federation of the blind passed away Friday, November 10, in Ruston Louisiana.
Jerry began his Federation journey in South Carolina while he was a student at Clemson University during the late 1970’s.
My first wife, Gail, and I became acquainted with Jerry in 1979 at a Student Division meeting in Columbia at the Federation Center.
We became friends and worked closely together on a number of local and state Federation activities.
Throughout the years, I have had the opportunity to speak to Jerry at NFB national conventions and I have enjoyed attending many of his plays performed by the students from the Louisiana Center for the Blind.
I was very excited for Jerry and his wife, Marilyn, when they received the 2016 Jacobus tenBroek Award from Dr. Maurer during the NFB banquet in recognition of their outstanding work in the field of blindness and their continued desire to encourage blind people “to live the life they want”.
There are many other memories I could share regarding Jerry, however, I will conclude my portion of the Positive Note by saying Jerry Whittle was a friend and a colleague who believed very strongly in the potential and abilities of his fellow blind and who worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life of blind people.

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future.
Every day, we raise the expectations of blind people because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams.
You can live the life you want:  blindness is not what holds you back.
Joining me for comments in this Positive Note is the President Emeritus of the NFB of SC.
Here is Dr. Capps.

I was in real shock to be notified by our good friend Marshall Tucker of the death of Jerry Whittle, age 70, occurring last Friday, November 10.
It’s my understanding his sudden death was due to an eruption of a cerebral aneurism.
He and his wife Merilynn were residing in Ruston, Louisiana at the time of his death.
It’s my understanding Jerry had been retired just a short while ago.
We first met Jerry in the late 1970’s when we were attempting to organize a chapter in the Oconee County area.
A dinner meeting was held in Westminster on December 3, 1977 and Jerry was in attendance.
Not only was he present for the dinner meeting, he wound up being elected President.
Prior to this dinner meeting, I had talked with Jerry about his discouragement concerning his blindness.
He soon snapped out of his discouragement to become a federationist for life.
He was in the federation for 40 years from December 1977 to November 2017.
Jerry loved Rocky Bottom having served as the first voluntary caretaker in 1979.
He used room 5 in Osterneck Cottage which became known as the Oconee Room.
Demonstrating his acting skills, he participated in the “Glass Menagerie” written by Tennessee Williams, which was performed by an all blind cast in the historic Dr. Samuel Miller Lawton Hall.
A happy incident occurred involving Jerry when he accidentally got two inches too close to the edge of the stage, but he hopped up so quickly I hardly noticed the difference.
Jerry worked at the Federation Center a short while but recognizing the need for a maximum education, he graduated from Clemson University and subsequently received his Masters from the University of Tennessee.
By that time Jerry had many successful blind acquaintances including Joanne Wilson who headed the Louisiana Center for the Blind.
It was these contacts which would mold the highly successful career for Jerry.
He also became the First Vice President of the NFB of Louisiana.
He wrote a play which was performed at the NFB national convention which provided much needed funding.
Jerry was known nationally for his federation activity.
He would go on to be the recipient of the highest NFB award at the 2016 NFB convention banquet, the Jacobus tenBroek Award.
As he often did, he gave credit to others, whereas it was apparent he was primarily responsible for their success.
Even during the presentation of the Jacobus tenBroek Award at the NFB convention in 2016, Jerry gave credit to others including myself.
We are very appreciative of this incident.
While we certainly will muss Jerry, he had been a beloved figure to his friends nationally.
We extend condolences to his lovely wife Merilynn who was always at his side.

 

Final Thought:  Be thankful for being able to live the life you want because of the Federation which laid the groundwork since 1944.

 

OBITUARY-Jerry Whittle
Jerry Whittle was born on January 10, 1947 in Seneca, South Carolina, and passed away on November 10, 2017 surrounded by family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Delzie Cleo McGuffin Whittle and Ambus “Pat” Whittle; his sister, Patsy Louise Whittle; and by his first wife, Karin Winkle Whittle.

He is survived by his dear wife Merilynn Whittle; daughter Christina Ann Richardson Pedro and spouse John Pedro II; son John Bee Richardson and spouse Laurie Ann Lusk ; grandchildren Xavier Pedro, Giana Pedro, Tessa Boyle, Jonathan Richardson, and Sara Elizabeth Richardson; several great-grandchildren; nephews and niece Roger “Dale” Chrisley, Danus Chrisley, Marilyn Jane “Janie” Chrisley Davis; brother-in-law Miles “Smoky” Chrisley; cousins Mary Venaas, Joan Dunlap, Jimmy Powell, Wayne Powell, Ronnie Phillips, and many others; and the countless students to whom he served as a mentor and father figure.

Mr. Whittle was a proud graduate of Clemson University, where he earned a degree in English, and from the University of Tennessee in Knoxsville where he earned a master’s degree in Creative Writing.
While he held various oc’cup’ations throughout his lifetime, his passion for language and literacy led him to teach braille at the Louisiana Center for the Blind for over three decades.
He worked with over 1,000 students, giving them the gift of braille literacy, and taught countless teachers and blindness professionals that braille literacy is a key for success for blind children and adults.
Through his work in the National Federation of the Blind, Mr. Whittle was also able to transform countless other lives and serve in many leadership positions, both in Louisiana and nationally.
His signature sense of humor, his willingness to share his life experiences, and his ability to establish genuine connections with people from all walks of life positioned him as an icon in the blind community.

Jerry loved baseball, gardening, reading, writing, and bluegrass.
He often persuaded Merilynn to bake him cornbread or apple pie, two of his favorites.
He was an engaging public speaker, a gifted braille teacher, a prolific author and playwright, a loyal friend, and a deeply faithful Christian.
Yet, the essence of his life is only partially captured by these qualities.
The life that Jerry Whittle led was one of sacrifice, service, and spirit.
With his incomparable wit, and his unwavering devotion to the people that he loved, the influence that Jerry Whittle has had on this world will undoubtedly ring energetically for generations to come.

The writings of William Faulkner always remained close to Mr. Whittle’s heart. “You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” With these words from his beloved author, we begin to say good-bye to our teacher, mentor, and friend.
Beyond this, these words remind us to live with the courage and determination that Mr. Whittle both embodied and challenged each of us to achieve in our own lives.

Visitation is on Monday, November 13, 2017, from 5:00-7:00 pm at Kilpatrick Funeral Home in Ruston, Louisiana.
A second visitation and burial will be held in South Carolina, with visitation and services held at Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home in Central, South Carolina.
Visitation will be from 5:00 – 7:00pm on November 18th and again on November 19th from 1:00-2:00pm.
The funeral services will be held at 2:00pm on November 19th.
He will be buried at Memory Gardens in Clemson, South Carolina.

In lieu of flowers, you may make a donation to the Buddy Program of the Louisiana Center for the Blind at www.louisianacenter.org.

 

Positive Note 1630

November 8, 2017

Memo To:  Executive Officers, Board Members, Chapter & Division Presidents & Others

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1630

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

I am certain by now Board members of RBRCCB and the NFB of SC as well as Chapter and Division Presidents have received their letter regarding the Rocky Bottom Christmas Board Retreat on December 1-3.  Please notify the State Office as soon as possible of your intentions for attending this Retreat, in order that we may have an accurate head count to purchase food for the four meals being served (Saturday breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Sunday breakfast) as well as making the necessary sleeping accommodations.  I am confident we will have near 100 percent of our board members in attendance and we will have an excellent turnout of Chapter and Division Presidents present for the weekend.

I trust all of you are continuing to work extremely hard selling your 2018 Orlando National Convention bus tickets.  I am hopeful ticket sales and what we charge for each seat will cover the cost for the chartered bus.  As has been the case in previous years, the cost of each bus ticket is $1.  The drawing will be held at the conclusion of the Statewide Seminar scheduled for Saturday, January 6, 2018.  The individual who purchases the winning ticket will receive $300, the seller of the winning ticket will receive $100 and the chapter who sells the most tickets will receive $300.  If you are lucky and purchase bus tickets yourself, you could win a grand total of $400.  Remember, 2018 will be the last year the NFB National Convention will be held in Orlando, Florida.  Let’s work very hard selling these bus tickets so we can provide transportation to as many of our members as possible to attend the 2018 National convention in Orlando.

We have an announcement from this week’s NFB President’s Notebook regarding the NFB National Scholarship Program.  “We are accepting scholarship applications from November 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018. This annual program offers thirty scholarships worth from $3,000 to $12,000 to eligible students, from high school seniors beginning their freshman year in the fall semester of 2017, up through graduate students working on their PhD degrees. Go to www.nfb.org/scholarships for complete rules and requirements.”

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future.  Every day, we raise the expectations of blind people because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams.  You can live the life you want:  blindness is not what holds you back.  Joining me for comments in this Positive Note is the President Emeritus of the NFB of SC.  Here is Dr. Capps.

We are spotlighting a talented individual in this week’s Positive Note as you will see.  I refer to Ed Bible.  Ed Bible was born in Laurens, SC. Two years later his father joined the U.S. Air Force and retired from the military twenty years later.  As a result his family moved a lot, growing up from Washington, to Germany, to California and ending up in Syracuse, NY.

Ed graduated from Rome Free Academy, in Rome, NY.  This was before the days of vision teachers or any professional assistance while attending public school.  He asked a pretty girl in his history class to read the text to him during study hall. That is how Ed got to know Julie. Julie went to Syracuse University while she finished up her last year of high school and then she went to a business school.  Ed and Julie were married on Griffiss Air Force Base the summer before his Senior year of College on June 23, 1973. They have been married and have had quite an interesting journey together.  They have two children. The oldest is Jennifer Walker. She has been married to Matt Walker now for 13 years. They have all the grandchildren so far; Ethan who will be six this month and his sister Sally (named after Julie’s mother) and she is only two months old.  Our son  Ashton has been married to Dondra for seven years and they have recently purchased a new large home in Quail Valley in Irmo.

Ed Bible’s friend Frank Coppel encouraged him to join the NFB in 1985.  At the time they were members of the Cayce-West Columbia Jaycees together. Julie and Ed have been active in the NFB ever since.  Their children grew up in the NFB and have attended most every state convention when they were young and many National conventions, giving them a rare opportunity to travel with their federation friends.  Julie and Ed’s first convention was in Chicago in 1988, and they can only guess at the number of conventions they have attended, but it was rare when they did not attend.  Ed says it would be more than twenty of them, and every convention was unique in what they learned as it made them better federationists. Also, each trip was an adventure, giving them hours of stories to retell later.

Ed has held many positions within the NFB of SC from Columbia Chapter board member to his current positions as a Member of the NFB of SC state board for many years, Federation Board of Trustees where he now serves as its Vice Chairman, and this past year as Vice chairman of Rocky Bottom.  Ed has also been the grateful recipient of several awards of recognition from the Donald C. Capps Award to the one he just received, the Presidential Citation.

After receiving his B.S. in Education from Syracuse University he of course had difficulty finding a job as a blind teacher. He did many odd jobs until his mother convinced him to come back to SC. He began his career as a Recruiter for Snelling and Snelling Staffing where he had a successful career whereupon he was recruited by Don Bradly from the SC Commission for the Blind.  He began as a VR Counselor and after 32 years ended his career as the Director of Training & Employment as a senior manager for the last 14 years of his career.

Ed has been honored to be appointed by the Governor to the Board of Commissioners for SCSDB where he proudly represents the interests of blind students and supporters of SCSDB.  He has also been elected to be Treasurer of the of SC Commission for the Blind’s Foundation board.

Ed Bible attends Mt. Hebron United Methodist Church in West Columbia, whose members have made several mission trips to Rocky Bottom to help with repairs. His hobby is reading.  There are many other accomplishments and involvements which Ed and Julie Bible have made, however, space does not allow us to list all of them.  We appreciate the many contributions Ed has made to improve the quality of life for blind South Carolinians.

 

Final Thought:  Aside from October 15 being White Cane Safety Day, did you know that on October 15, 2017 we celebrated the 57th birthday of the Federation Center of the Blind which was dedicated on October 15, 1961.

Positive Note 1629

November 1, 2017

Memo To:  Executive Officers, Board Members, Chapter & Division Presidents & Others

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1629

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

During the next few weeks, I will be contacting hotels in the Columbia area for the purpose of determining a site for the 2018 NFB of SC State convention.  Since state conventions have been held in Myrtle Beach and Greenville during the last two years, I believe many members would prefer the 2018 state convention be located in an area of the state which is more convenient for all of our members to attend.  My plans are to read and thoroughly discuss various hotel proposals with the NFB of SC Board of Directors during our December 2, meeting at Rocky Bottom and discuss this decision made by the State Board with the membership during the Statewide Seminar which will be held on January 6, 2018.

We have an announcement from Jennifer Bazer, Children’s Camp Director.  “Children’s Camp of the Blind will be held June 10-16, 2018 at Rocky Bottom Retreat and Conference Center of the Blind. The camp is for legally blind children ages 6-16. Please contact Jennifer Bazer, Children’s Camp Director at 803-960-9977 or jhipp25@sc.rr.com if you are interested in learning more about the camp, wish to participate or become a junior counselor. The online application will be available the first of 2018 for free registration. The application deadline is June 1, 2018.”

We have an announcement from David Houck, Director of the Federation Center.  “We may wish to remind our Positive Note Readers that we still have a few NFB of SC coffee mugs with lids available for purchase at $10 each and that we have some Myrtle Beach NFB of SC T-shirts in stock.  They are $13 each except for extra large sizes up to 3X which are $15 each.  Order now while we still have your size and wear them to the beach or give them as gifts.  We have only had one convention in Myrtle Beach.  This is a collector’s item!”

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future.  Every day, we raise the expectations of blind people because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams.  You can live the life you want:  blindness is not what holds you back.  Joining me for comments in this Positive Note is the President Emeritus of the NFB of SC.  Here is Dr. Capps.

One of the nicest pioneers in South Carolina who is well known to the blind is our own Jenny Smith of Anderson.  Jenny is a member of the Anderson Chapter where she has been an active volunteer since the early 1950’s, as she and her late husband Jimmie were married in 1952.  Jimmie and I attended SCSDB at the same time.  She had the adventure of growing up with ten brothers and sisters, with her being the tenth.  Jenny lived in Anderson all her life and attended public schools there.  Jenny and her husband Jimmie had four very fine children.  All four are college graduates.  Here is where they have been working:  Lynn is a successful practicing Optometrist in Birmingham.  Melinda has her PhD and worked as Vice President of TMK NE but she now works at the Atlanta headquarters of Chick-fil-A in their research department.  Deborah lives in Anderson and worked on the staff of AMED Health Rehabilitation Hospital and now works for Owen Rugs in Anderson.  Steve is on the staff of Duke Power Company where he has been employed for several decades at this electric company.  Married at age 15, Jenny has always been an excellent money manager, beginning her career shortly after her marriage to Jimmie.  Before establishing their upholstery and furniture business, Jimmie worked for a few years with a blind friend making mattresses.  Jenny and Jimmie were an excellent business team.  They developed a large upholstery and furniture business, having to construct a big building to accommodate their ever growing business.  Both having sound judgment, they invested namely in property and other business opportunities.  Jenny still does some work and has lived in the same house for some 65 years.  Jenny has attended some 15 to 20 national conventions and 35 state conventions of the federation.  Jenny has served the blind in many ways, in transportation assistance, and in driving the van to RBRCCB for the annual Lions fishing expeditions.  Jenny was also the recipient of the 1989 Associate Member of the Year Award, demonstrating her commitment to the blind over several decades.  A member of the Anderson Lions Club, she enjoys her participation in this civic organization.  She has also served as the President and First Vice President of the Anderson Lions Club.  The entire Smith family has been very generous to RBRCCB.  One bedroom in the Conference Center is named in memory of Jimmie Smith, as he passed away in March 2003, and a second room is named in memory of her parents, Mr. & Mrs. Madden.  There was also a contribution to the children’s playground.  Her hobbies include quilting, gardening and raising flowers.  She is a member of a local Presbyterian Church.  This is an extraordinary lady and while she is an Associate member having her sight, she is qualified to be in the spotlight in this week’s Positive Note.  Her immediate family loves her and so does her federation family.

 

Final Thought:  Live the life you want – Our NFB President Mark Riccobono got his start by driving a car around the Daytona International Speedway a few years ago, which reminds me that it was Henry Ford who once stated, “Auto racing began as soon as the second car rolled off the assembly line.”

Positive Note 1628

October 23, 2017
Memo To:  Executive Officers, Board Members, Chapter & Division Presidents & Others
From:  Frank Coppel, President
Positive Note 1628
Greetings Fellow Federationists:

During the past month Rocky Bottom has greatly benefited as the recipient of much needed repairs done by volunteers from various civic and church organizations.
A few weeks ago, a group from the Salem Lions Club, longtime friends of Rocky Bottom, spent an entire day repairing and replacing the railings around The Samuel M. Lawton Hall as well as building a railing along the trail nearest to the pond.
This past weekend, a small group of volunteers from Mt.
Hebron United Methodist Church in West Columbia arrived at Rocky Bottom Thursday afternoon, October 19.
This is the fourth time the missions team from Mt.
Hebron has come to volunteer their services at Rocky Bottom and I am told they did a wonderful job in the Ellenburg Lodge completing such tasks as painting the outside deck, replacing five exhaust fans and shower heads in many of the bathrooms, painting one of the bed rooms, and replacing caulking in the kitchen.
I would like to especially recognize Ed and Julie Bible, David Bundy, and Jennifer Bazer who are members of Mt.
Hebron United Methodist Church and who continue to play an instrumental role in the partnership between the Church and Rocky Bottom.
Also this past weekend, a number of Boy Scouts and their leaders from Troop 425 in Lexington, South Carolina volunteered their services at Rocky Bottom by clearing out the trail located near the pond.
They are planning to return to Rocky Bottom in the near future to clear out other hiking trails located around our property.
Linda Bible tells me this coming weekend, a group from Holland Street Baptist Church located in West Columbia will be volunteering their services at Rocky Bottom.
They are planning to bring a group of workers to power wash the deck on the back side of the Conference Center as well as doing much needed grounds keeping around the banks of the creeks which border our property.

Throughout the years, Rocky Bottom has benefited a great deal by having many wonderful individuals and organizations volunteer their services at our facilities.
We owe a great deal of gratitude and appreciation to these individuals and organizations for their hard work and their continued support of Rocky Bottom.

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future.
Every day, we raise the expectations of blind people because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams.
You can live the life you want:  blindness is not what holds you back.
Joining me for comments in this Positive Note is the President Emeritus of the NFB of SC.
Here is Dr. Capps.

The weekly Positive Note has now entered its 32nd year of continued service to the blind of the state.
Its inception was in August of 1986.
At that time the primary purpose was to disseminate up-to-date information without delay.
For many years now it has grown in service concerning information in numerous areas with the state President Frank Coppel leading the way.
I feel privileged to be able to participate primarily in saluting members across the state for their service.
The NFB of SC has many dedicated and committed members who we believe are unsurpassed across the country.
From time to time over the years we have received responses from those members who have been “spotlighted” showing genuine appreciation.
Recently we received the following responses from two of our spotlight members.
Here are the following:

“From Jamie Allison, September 26, 2018 Good afternoon,
Dr. Capps, I want to offer a heartfelt and sincere thank you for choosing me to spotlight on this week’s positive note.
I still feel like I am a NFB rookie in comparison to so many of my Federation heroes who have been working for many years to advance the organization and the rights and roles of blind citizens.
It was quite an honor to be chosen and I was pretty taken aback when David called me to get the information you would need to write the piece.
I really enjoy reading the Positive Note each week and want to also thank you for taking the time to contribute to it.
Know that mom and I both think of you and Betty almost daily and we are constantly praying for you both.

David, let me also think you for your hard work in assisting President Coppel and Dr. Capps with getting the Positive Note produced and sent out each week.
I know there is a lot of time and effort that goes into it and it is much appreciated!

 

:From Winnifred Spears, September 27, 2017  Dear Dr. Capps:
Lenora had the article in the “Positive Note” read at our meeting.
Thank you for such a nice article on me.
It has been a pleasure to volunteer; otherwise I would not have met so many great people and friends.
Our chapter is small but we are going strong.
We want to figure out how to get some young people interested.

Last week I spent a few days in my favorite place, that’s right, in Rocky Bottom.
It was my second visit this year.
With this being the Autumn season, God’s creation was evident everywhere.
This was highlighted with the outstanding weather we had.
Upon our arrival we were greeted by the fine Resident Manager, Linda Bible who advised me that JJ, our resident duck, still resides in the Eddie Mae Lucas Webb Memorial Pond.
JJ has a new girlfriend.
More power to him.

Final Thought:  Live the life you want –  Be an example for others to follow.

 

Rideshare

Dear fellow Federationists:   The National Federation of the Blind has created a rideshare testing program to measure Lyft and Uber’s efforts to eliminate driver discrimination against riders with guide dogs or service animals. Recent agreements with these two major ridesharing companies require the National Federation of the Blind to provide feedback, over the next three to five years, on the efforts they have agreed to undertake to prevent discrimination against service animal users.   Here’s where you come in. If you use Uber or Lyft and have a service animal or travel with someone who has a service animal, we need your help. Fill out our online questionnaire after your next Uber or Lyft ride, and as often as you can after that. We would love feedback from regular Uber and Lyft users at least once a month, about both positive and negative experiences. You will find the questionnaire at https://nfb.org/rideshare-test.   Extensive information about the program is available in the May issue of the Braille Monitor. You can also visit nfb.org/rideshare for more information, including an extensive FAQ, information on how to report discrimination to Uber and Lyft directly as well as through our questionnaire, and a list of the questions we’ll ask so you can be thinking about them when you take your next ride.   Please share this information with fellow Uber and Lyft users with guide dogs or other service animals, including non-members of the National Federation of the Blind.   If you have questions that are not answered by the resources above, contact Valerie Yingling, Legal Program Coordinator, at the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, at (410) 659-9314 extension 2440, or vyingling@nfb.org.   Thanks in advance for your assistance with this important effort.   Sincerely,   The National Federation of the Blind Communications Team     Christopher S. Danielsen, J.D. Director of Public Relations 200 East Wells Street, Baltimore, MD 21230 (410) 659-9314, Ext. 2330 | cdanielsen@nfb.org

Positive Note 1627

October 18, 2017

Memo To:  Executive Officers, Board Members, Chapter & Division Presidents & Others

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1627

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

I hope many of you are planning to attend The 2017 Christmas Board Retreat which will occur at Rocky Bottom the weekend of December 1, 2, and3.  This will be a busy time since we will be holding two Board meetings beginning with the RBRCCB Board of Directors meeting Saturday, December 2, at 9:30 a.m. and ending with the NFB of SC Board meeting at 2:00 p.m.  Saturday evening will be a time for observing the Christmas season, singing carols, fellowship, and eating delicious desserts.  I hope we will have a large turnout.  Make plans to be there!

I trust all of you are working very hard to sell your 2018 Orlando National Convention bus tickets.  I am hopeful ticket sales and what we charge for each seat will cover the cost for the chartered bus.  Remember, the drawing will be held at the conclusion of the Statewide Seminar on January 6, 2018.  The individual who purchases the winning ticket will receive $300, the seller of the winning ticket will receive $100 and the chapter who sells the most tickets will receive $300.

We have an announcement from Demetrius Williford, vice President of the Anderson chapter. “I wanted to inform every one of our annual walk that took place on October 14, 2017. We had a wonderful time and a large showing. Also, I want to inform everyone we are still hosting our first dance affair on November 4 2017 at the American Legion in Anderson South Carolina. The time will be 6 PM until

10 PM the ticket sales are $15 for adults $10 for kids. We will be having a banquet as well as a live DJ and door prizes.”

On Thursday evening October 12, the Columbia Chapter held elections of officers for 2018.  Congratulations to the following individuals who were elected to office.

 

President – Tiffiny Mitchell

First Vice President – Steve Cook

Second Vice President – Isaiah Nelson

Secretary – Dorothy Barksdale

Treasurer – Kattie Jackson

Board Members – Karen Jones and Jennifer Bazer

 

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future.  Every day, we raise the expectations of blind people because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams.  You can live the life you want:  blindness is not what holds you back.  Joining me for comments in this Positive Note is the President Emeritus of the NFB of SC.  Here is Dr. Capps.

This week’s spotlight falls upon a longtime member and Loris Chapter President, none other than Alma Lee Doyle.  Alma Lee was raised and has lived in the Loris area all her life.  She attended school in Loris as well.  Her parents had eleven children, seven girls and four boys.  Alma Lee married B. D. Doyle in 1952.  B. D. was President of the Loris Chapter as well for several years until his death.  They had four children, two boys and two girls.  Alma Lee says that today she has seven grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.  She worked on a farm until 1960 when she secured a job with Public Works for over 40 years.  B. D. and Alma Lee joined the federation in 1979 and were members of the Conway Chapter until the Loris Chapter was organized.  They were chapter presidents in Loris ever since.  While Alma Lee Doyle has attended over two decades of state conventions, she has not attended a national convention as yet.  She has attended many Statewide Seminars at the Federation Center of the Blind in Columbia.  She loves Rocky Bottom and has worked many a Fun Day Festival and attended several Rocky Bottom Christmas Board Retreats.  In order for her to attend Rocky Bottom she must drive across the state from almost Myrtle Beach to get to RBRCCB, a distance of 300 miles one way.  She usually brings two or three others with her from Loris as well.  Her hobbies include gardening, canning and making a variety of preserves.  Her fig preserves are especially good.  In fact, she sells her preserves at the Old Country Store as a Fun Day fundraiser each year.  Alma Lee has raised much funding over the years for RBRCCB.  In fact, a few years ago, she single handedly sold more $5 Fun Day tickets than any other chapter in the state, yes, even Columbia, in order to receive $300 for the Loris Chapter treasury.  She also provides transportation for those who need it on a voluntary basis.  She is a member of the Macedonia Baptist Church and she really loves the Lord.  As you can see, Alma Lee Doyle is an active federationist and does much for the blind both locally and statewide.  Congratulations Alma Lee!

 

Final Thought:  Living the life you want means not letting others tell you it can’t be done.  It can be done if you are creative and don’t quit.

Positive Note 1626

October 11, 2017

Memo To:  Executive Officers, Board Members, Chapter & Division Presidents & Others

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1626

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

This past Wednesday afternoon, October 4, at approximately 4:40 p.m., a very special and wonderful event occurred in the Coppel family.  Our son, Matt and his wife, Brielle had their third child, Norah Brielle, who entered this world weighing six pounds ten ounces, and who was twenty inches long.  Mom, Dad, and Norah came home Friday and are all doing well.  Shelley and I feel very blessed to now be the grandparents of four grandchildren (Asher seven, Eli, four, Aubrey, three and Norah).

We have an announcement from Debra Canty, President of our Sumter Chapter regarding Meet the Blind Month.  “We are joining with our national organization and observing, October as Blind Awareness Month and October 15th as White Cane Safety Day as well. Kudos to Lee and Laura Colclough-James, chairpersons for decorating the fair booth. We hosted a booth at the Sumter County Fair where we raised blind awareness in the community. We shared information, received info about people who are blind, passed out brochures, flyers, pamphlets, Kernel Books, offered bus fund tickets and a variety of complimentary candy to show our appreciation for them stopping by the fair booth to learn more about blindness.

Several chapter members will attend churches during the month to bring blind awareness to the faith based community through their attendance and church bulletins.  I will be a guest on the Good Morning Sumter radio show to share information about Blind Awareness and White Cane Safety Day as well.”

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the chapters who have already sponsored, or who are planning to sponsor, a Meet the Blind Month activity in their respective community during the month of October.  As I stated in previous Positive Note, a Meet the Blind Month activity is a great way to educate the public about blindness and to recruit new members to your chapter.

Governor McMaster has proclaimed October 15, 2017, as White Cane Safety Day.  Below, is his proclamation:

 

“State of South Carolina – Governor’s Proclamation

 

WHEREAS, the white cane is a simple yet effective tool of independence that contributes to the self-sufficiency of the blind and visually impaired and symbolizes their ability to achieve a full and independent life and their capacity to work productively in competitive employment; and

WHEREAS, the white cane is a symbol of dignity and determination as well as a tangible reminder that individuals with impaired eyesight are able to go, to move, to be, to compete and to contribute with all others in society and to lead full, independent and productive lives; and

WHEREAS, established by the National Federation of the Blind, the annual observance of “White Cane Safety Day” emphasizes the need for all Americans to be aware of the presence of disabled persons in our communities and to work together to keep the streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways, public buildings and facilities, and places of public accommodation amusement and resort safe and functional for the disabled; and

WHEREAS, the 2017 observance of “White Cane Safety Day” provides an opportunity for people across the Palmetto State and the nation to renew their dedication to eliminating barriers for the blind and visually impaired and to recognize their value as individuals, employees and productive members of our communities.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Henry McMaster, Governor of the great state of South Carolina, do hereby proclaim October 15, 2017, as WHITE CANE SAFETY DAY throughout the state and encourage all South Carolinians to show respect for those who carry the white cane, to honor their many achievements, and to reaffirm our commitment to improve access to basic services and opportunities for blind and visually impaired persons.

Henry McMaster, Governor, State of South Carolina”

 

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future.  Every day, we raise the expectations of blind people because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams.  You can live the life you want:  blindness is not what holds you back.  Joining me for comments in this Positive Note is the President Emeritus of the NFB of SC.  Here is Dr. Capps.

In this Positive Note we are spotlighting another active supporter of the Federation.  I am speaking of Loretta Green who is the President of the Upper Dorchester Chapter and a member of the NFB of SC Board of Directors.  Loretta Green was born in New York City and moved to South Carolina when she was 13 years old.  Loretta is married to Henry Green.  They have two sons, Henry Montrell and Andre Lashaun.  They also have seven grandchildren. Loretta has five brothers and seven sisters and she is the daughter of Alma Brown and Philip Morant.  She attended Saint George high school and furthered her education at Miller Mott Technical College.  While attending there Loretta was on the Dean’s List and President’s List.  She worked for the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs in the Dorchester School Districts Two and Four.  Loretta also worked with the Wells Fargo Mortgage Company, and currently is employed by the NFB of SC Successful Transitions team.

Loretta Green found out about the NFB from the MUSC’ low vision clinic.  She has been a part of the federation family for 10 years.  She is the President of the Upper Dorchester Chapter of the NFB of SC and is on the Board of Directors for the NFB of SC. She also resides on the South Carolina State Library Board of Directors.   She also attends Rocky Bottom Children’s Camps as a Counselor.  Loretta has attended eight national conventions and seven state conventions.  Her hobbies include cooking, travel, and spending time with her grandchildren.  She attends Saint Matthews Baptist Church in Reevesville where she is a member of the Pastor’s Eight Board.  She loves working with the youth for they are our future.  As adults we need to continue to show them how to love and respect each other.  Loretta truly is living the life she wants and sharing what she has learned with others.  Congratulations Loretta Green for a job well done!

We regret to report of the death of Harry Lee “Red” Goodwin on last Friday, October 6.  He was 90 years old.  At the time of his death he resided in Chesnee, SC.  “Red” was a widower but he was survived by seven children, nine grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.  He was a student at the SC School for the Blind for a number of years.  I knew him as I was also a student there at that time.  To the best of my knowledge I have not seen “Red” since he was in School in 1944.  Occasionally I would hear from someone who knew about his activities.  We extend sincere condolences to his family.

 

Final Thought:  Are you living the life you want?  If not, why not?

Positive Note 1625

October 4, 2017

Memo To:  Executive Officers, Board Members, Chapter & Division Presidents & Others

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1625

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

Yesterday, October 3, I had the pleasure of attending and participating in a day long workshop entitled “Insight into Blindness; A Celebration of Blindness Awareness Month” sponsored by the SC Talking Book Services.  Robbie Copp, Director of Advocacy and Community Access; ABLE SC, discussed the ADA and Accommodation.  I along with Shannon Cook and Cali Sandel participated on a panel entitled “Blindness Sensitivity and Service Animal Etiquette “.  The keynote speaker for the workshop was Erica Powell, Inspirational Professional Speaker, Disability Advocate, and EQUIP Coordinator; ABLE SC.  Many of you may remember Ms. Powell speaking at our 2016 State Wide Seminar on her experiences as a blind cheerleader for Clemson University.  The last agenda item of the day was a presentation by Steve Cook entitled “JAWS and Computer Accessibility”.  The NFB of SC and NFB of SC Successful Transitions were two of the many exhibitors who were present at the workshop.  Hats off to Kaitlyn Hodges, staff member of the SC Talking Book Services, for doing an excellent job planning and conducting this very worthwhile event.

We have an announcement from Loretta Green, President of the Upper Dorchester County Chapter, regarding her chapter’s activity for Meet the Blind Month.  “The Upper Dorchester Chapter will sponsor their annual walkathon on Saturday, October 7 at 9 AM at the Woodland High School track field.  We are asking for five dollars for every half mile walked.  Our goal is to walk 2 miles.   Anyone interested in pledging or participating in the walk please contact Loretta Green, chapter president.”  We also have an announcement from   Lenora Robertson, President of the Rock Hill Chapter regarding her chapter’s activities for Meet the Blind Month.  “The Rock Hill Chapter kicked off Meet the Blind Month Saturday evening, September 30, by participating in “Dancing with the Stars”. The chapter also plans to sell World’s Finest Chocolate bars, and they will hold a pancake breakfast at Fatz Café on Saturday morning, October 14.  I believe hosting a Meet the Blind Month activity in your community is extremely important and this is why I take time to share this type of information with all of you in the Positive Note.

I apologize for not reporting who won the Fun Day ticket raffle held on September 2, during the Fun Day Festival held at Rocky Bottom.  Jim Carter, a friend of the Rock Hill Chapter, won $50 as he sold the winning ticket to his five month old granddaughter.  The Carter family donated their $550 winnings to the Rock Hill Chapter van fund.

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future.  Every day, we raise the expectations of blind people because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams.  You can live the life you want:  blindness is not what holds you back.  Joining me for comments in this Positive Note is the President Emeritus of the NFB of SC.  Here is Dr. Capps.

Today we are pleased to spotlight another excellent chapter President in the Positive Note, namely Constance Miller, President of our Belvedere Chapter.  You will recall a few years ago when RBRCCB began to raise funds for the new mattresses and box springs in the Ellenburg Lodge bedrooms that Constance Miller and the Belvedere Chapter members were the first to chip in, raising $500 toward this worthy project.  The Belvedere Chapter has always loved and supported Rocky Bottom over the years.  Constance Miller was raised in Augusta, Georgia, and graduated from Westside High School in 1981.  She had worked in retail for many years. When she lost her driving privileges due to Retinitis Pigmentosa, a co-worker from another job recommended that she apply for Housekeeping at University Hospital so that she could move to the downtown area of Augusta, and be within walking distance of her job, and public transportation. Constance applied and eventually was hired for employment with the hospital.  It was during this time she met her husband, Carey Miller, and with great support from him, family and friends, she went through adjustment with blindness training, eventually graduating from Augusta State University in 1999.

Constance Miller moved to North Augusta in 2000, and met Mrs. Kaney, who was then President of our Belvedere Chapter, and she encouraged Constance to join.  Constance also started to work with the Older Blind Program at the SC Commission for the Blind in 2001. She learned many valuable lessons in the Older Blind Program and through the Belvedere Chapter. She left the Belvedere Chapter in 2004 and left the Commission in 2005.

Her husband Carey has two sons, Kevin is married to Tomasina and they live in New Ellenton, SC.  Tomasina has helped our Chapter from time to time with fundraisers.  Carey’s other son is Jason, and his wife is Robin, they live in Seneca, SC.  Jason had served in the Army Reserves for many years.  Carey and Constance have enjoyed their travels throughout the United States and have met many people along the way. They both enjoy photography and helping out wherever they could. They support the NFB, as well as community organizations.

Throughout all of this time, Mrs. Kaney maintained contact with Constance and Carey, demonstrating and talking about the benefits of coming back to the NFB.  Constance and Carey both joined in 2013.  They went to the National Convention this year, and it was a blessing to see so many Federationists in one area, with great enthusiasm and independence, as well as relying upon each other for support. They also attended the State Convention in Greenville, and listened to our dedicated members and keynote speakers informing us of what is going on with our Federation and the other opportunities that are available to us. Taking note that we must continue to build membership to get the word out about the NFB, we cannot be individual chapters without continuing the movement and being a part of the State and National. We discussed the need to continue to support Rocky Bottom Retreat and Conference Center as well.

Carey and Constance attend Grace United Methodist Church in North Augusta, SC. This is the church her husband grew up in and they were married in 2004. During their last NFB Belvedere Christmas gathering the chapter attended our church for “Return to Bethlehem”. A joyful time indeed.  At this writing Constance Miller says there are times when she reflects back on who our past chapter presidents have been, and all of our members.  She is truly in awe of them, and of their dedication through the years to the NFB of SC and the Belvedere Chapter.  Yes, like the rest of our fellow Federationisst she is still learning, and that’s the best mode to be in!!!!

 

Final Thought:  When was the last time you spoke to a blind person about the Federation and how they can learn to “Live the life they want?’

Positive Note 1624

September 27, 2017
Memo To:  Executive Officers, Board Members, Chapter & Division Presidents & Others
From:  Frank Coppel, President
Positive Note 1624
Greetings Fellow Federationists:

With October 1, just around the corner, I hope many of our chapters have Meet the Blind Month events already planned.
Last week I reported the Belvedere Chapter will be holding a Meet the blind Month activity sometime in October.
Constance Miller, President of the Belvedere Chapter, sent the Federation Center the following announcement, “the Belvedere Chapter will hold a white cane awareness walk on Saturday, October 14, 2017 from 10am to 12 p.m.
We will meet at the North Augusta Activities Center, 100 Riverview Drive and walk the Greenway.”  I hope to hear from other chapters regarding your Meet the Blind Month activity, and I will share this information in the Positive Note.

I am beginning to formulate committees for 2017/2018.
If you wish to serve on a committee or Chair a committee, please let me know and I will try very hard to accommodate you in regards to your expressed interests.
You can call me at (803) 796-8662 or you can email me at frankcoppel@att.net.
NFB of SC committees are extremely important as they carry out the business of the Federation between Conventions and Board meetings.
The list of committees are as follows; Legislative committee, Resolutions committee, Membership committee, Youth Recruitment committee, Scholarship committee, Public Relations committee, Finance committee, Braille Literacy committee, Fund Raising committee, Grants committee, White Cane Walk-a-thon committee, Donald C. Capps Award committee, Associate Member of the Year Award committee, Employer of the Year Award committee, Educator of the Year Award committee, PAC Plan (Pre-Authorized Contribution plan) committee, and Sun Shares (Shares UNlimited NFB) committee.

We have an announcement from Isaiah Nelson.
“The meeting of the Alumni of the SC School for the Blind will be held the weekend of October 20 thru 21, 2017.
The meeting will be held on Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. in the cafeteria located in Robertson Hall.
I am asking that all members be present and on time.

For those members from the Columbia area who will be riding up to Spartanburg on Friday evening, the van will be departing at three o’clock p.m.
You should arrive at the Federation Center located at 119 S. Kilbourne Rd., Columbia SC  29205 no later than 2:30 p.m.
The total cost of the trip is forty ($40.00) dollars per person which will include transportation as well as registration.
Each person will be responsible for your overnight stay at the Quality Inn Suites and all of your meals.
The telephone number for the Quality Inn is:  864-542-0333.
Those of you living in the Columbia area who will be attending please give me a call to verify that you will be attending the meeting for transportation purposes.
You may reach me at 803-413-2434.”
The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future.
Every day, we raise the expectations of blind people because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams.
You can live the life you want:  blindness is not what holds you back.
Joining me for comments in this Positive Note is the President Emeritus of the NFB of SC.
Here is Dr. Capps.

One of the hardest working members of the NFB of SC is Isaiah Nelson.
Thus, we are pleased to spotlight Ike as he is affectionately called.
He was born in Georgetown and grew up there.
He is married to Stephanie and he has seven brothers and three sisters and one daughter, Talelah.
His beloved mother is still living and his father passed away last November and they raised their big family with love.
Last Thursday, September 21 the Cumberland AME Church in Georgetown, the Nelson’s family church, burnt to the ground when it was struck by lightning.
Ike attended SCSDB beginning in 1969 and completed his education in 1975.
From 1975 to 1988 Ike worked with the Coca-Cola Bottling Company in Spartanburg.
Also, during that period of time Ike worked at night for the School.
As you can see, there’s not a lazy bone in Ike’s body.
After 1988, Ike worked a year at McDonald’s in Columbia after which he received on-the-job training in the BEP program of the Commission for the Blind.
For the past 20 years Ike has been a vending facility operator in the Richland County Judicial Center located on Main Street.
Because of his outstanding and friendly manner, Ike is well liked at the Judicial Center as well as with others.
Recently he retired from the BEP Program but remains busier than ever.
He has held and continues to serve in several different positions in the Federation.
Ike has served as President of the Columbia Chapter as well as First Vice President and currently is the Second Vice President of the chapter.
Ike is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Federation Center.
Also, Ike is a member of the Board of Directors of the NFB of SC.
Additionally, he is President of the SC Blind Alumni Association.
He has been a member of the NFB of SC for about 28 years and has attended some 28 state conventions.
Ike is also proud that he has attended some 27 national conventions.
He also is a good cook and no one cooks spaghetti like Ike.
Ike is in charge of preparing the monthly meals for the Columbia Chapter, he prepares the Statewide Seminar luncheons, and he does lunch for the Federation Center board meetings.
Asked why he joined the Federation, he replies that he observed the spirit and togetherness of Federation members which impressed him.
He states that he learned very early that the NFB of SC has a lot of influence and remembers that blind vendors were greatly benefitted when the NFB of SC successfully filed litigation against the legislature and others who had illegally reinstated set-aside fees, later having to return these set-aside fees to blind vendors as the Federation proved that the earlier withholding of set-aside fees was illegal.
Ike enjoys bowling, watching wrestling and he loves Rocky Bottom and serving his fellow blind.
Congratulations to Ike who works hard and makes a difference in the lives of blind South Carolinians.

 

Final Thought:  “Living the life you want” includes assisting others to live the lives they want too.

 

Positive Note 1623

September 20, 2017

Memo To:  Executive Officers, Board Members, Chapter & Division Presidents & Others

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1623

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

Hello from Rocky Bottom where the 2017 Fall session of Senior Camp is in full swing.  Twenty-three seniors from all corners of the state arrived at Rocky Bottom on Sunday afternoon.  The weather this week has been perfect and the seniors have enjoyed activities such as walks, BINGO, group discussions, individualized blindness skills training, a trip to Aunt Sue’s, and visiting with each other on the deck of the Conference Center.  As usual, Lenora Robertson and her “food crew” have done an outstanding job and most of us probably have gained a few pounds during camp this past week.

It is time to turn our attention toward Meet the Blind Month which is held during the month of October.  This is an extremely important event, because it provides our members the opportunity to educate the public of the programs and services offered by the National Federation of the Blind.  Meet the Blind Month activities can also be used as a recruitment tool to introduce blind individuals to our organization.  It is my hope our chapters are planning activities in their respective communities to promote this worthwhile event.  Thus far, I am aware the Columbia Chapter is planning a “step It Up walk” on Saturday morning, October 14.  The walk will take place at the Drew Wellness Walkers Track on Harden St.  Registration begins at 8:30 and the walk begins at 9 a.m.  Cost to walk is $20.  Also, I am aware the Belvedere chapter is planning to hold a White Cane Walk sometime during the month of October.  Let me know if your chapter will be having a Meet the Blind Month activity and I will be glad to share this information in the Positive Note.

During the next few days, all of you should be receiving your 2018 Orlando National Convention bus tickets.  Let’s do all we can to raise the approximate $7,500 which will be needed to charter one bus to the National Convention in Orlando.  As we have done previously, bus tickets will cost $1.  Remember, the buyer of the winning ticket which will be drawn on January 6, 2018 at the Statewide Seminar will win $300, the seller of the winning ticket will receive $100, and the Chapter selling the most tickets will win $300.

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future.  Every day, we raise the expectations of blind people because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams.  You can live the life you want:  blindness is not what holds you back.  Joining me for comments in this Positive Note is the President Emeritus of the NFB of SC.  Here is Dr. Capps.

We are pleased to spotlight in this week’s Positive Note an individual who we first met when she was only eleven or twelve years old. I was then recruiting area blind individuals during the early years of the Cherokee County Chapter.  I’m referring to Jamie Allison who is the very bright President of the Cherokee County Chapter of the NFB of SC.  She was raised in Gaffney and has lived there all her life.  She was the first blind student to be mainstreamed in the Cherokee County public schools and graduated from Gaffney High School.  Jamie continued her education at Limestone College where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in K-12 Arts Education.  She was also listed in Who’s Who in Colleges and Universities.  Jamie began teaching at the SC School for the Blind which lasted for 15 years.  However, it was not long after she began teaching that she received her Master’s degree in Arts Administration from Winthrop University.  Over the past four years Jamie Allison was the lead instructor in the South Carolina BELL Academy and she is now working with the Successful Transitions program as a team member.  Jamie and her mother first met with me when she was about eleven or twelve and was recruited into the newly formed Cherokee County Chapter.  Since that time she has served as chapter Secretary, Vice President and President.  Jamie is also a member of the Board of Directors of the NFB of SC.  Jamie has attended at least 15 state conventions and two national conventions, not to mention Rocky Bottom Board Retreats.  Being oriented toward the arts, she has interests in drawing, painting, playing the drums, and dance classes.  Her attitude is always upbeat and positive.  She is truly living the life she wants.

 

Final Thought:  Education in a good blindness philosophy and training in the unique skills of braille, cane travel and adaptive technology creates independence among blind seniors, enhancing their quality of life and volunteer capacity to share what they have learned with other blind people.