Positive Note 1579

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

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1579

Greetings Fellow Federationists:


David Houck received a call from Ken Spears of our Rock Hill Chapter Thursday morning, November 10 stating that he had been trying to get his Homestead Exemption activated for his home for three years without success.  He submitted all the proper paperwork about his legal blindness but had no success with the county auditor (This law began to apply to the blind beginning in 1974, #S846).   As Mr. Houck began to research the matter, Ken decided to call his local TV station and within the hour not only did the county auditor approve his homestead exemption but they will also refund the property taxes he paid over the last three years – Raising Expectations!

We still have not heard from some of you as to whether you are planning to attend the 2016 Christmas Board Retreat which will be held at Rocky Bottom December 2, 3, and 4.  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 3, 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.  I have asked Julie Bible to be in charge of the distribution of gifts at our Christmas get-together Saturday evening.  I hope we will have a large turnout for the weekend.  Make plans to be there!

Now that you have exercised your fundamental right to vote, please complete the NFB’s 2016 Blind and Low-Vision Voter Experience Survey by Friday, November 18. If you cast your ballot at an early voting center, your local polling place on Election Day, or by absentee ballot that you received by regular mail, please complete the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JJ5N38X. If you used a personal computer or tablet to mark your ballot, please complete the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JM9CMY6.

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.

When the Church of the Harvest located in Lexington serves the Thanksgiving dinner at our monthly November meeting, I always feel like this event kicks off the Thanksgiving and Christmas season.  Last Thursday, November 10 at the monthly meeting of the Columbia Chapter the Church of the Harvest served a magnificent Thanksgiving dinner.  This outstanding church has served the Thanksgiving meal for the Columbia Chapter for more than a decade.  This year it seems to me that this wonderful church went out of its way to be sure we had the finest Thanksgiving dinner.  Some of the dinner items included of course ham and turkey, cranberries, dressing, sweet potatoes, string beans and a host of other delicious items.  There were at least a half dozen different desserts which you could choose from including pecan pie (which I chose) and sweet potato pie, just to name a few.  I understand the ladies of the church pitched in and contributed the food.  Rev. Ken Jumper, who was married to his late wife Connie who was blind and a member of the Columbia Chapter, is especially supportive of the chapter.  The Associate Pastor, Rev. Aaron Bell, substituted for Pastor Jumper.  Levon Stack is a prominent member of the church and is an outstanding singer.  He sang several hymns and patriotic songs.  Always Mr. Stack includes the singing of, “His Eye is on the Sparrow,” which he knows is my favorite song.  This year Mr. Stack sang this song at the beginning of the program and as a favor to me and the some 100 members present, sang the song a second time at the close of the program.

About 25 years ago I began selling barbecue tickets to the Keenan/Suggs Insurance Agency.  A lovely lady always handled this for me and was always able to sell 25 to 35 barbecue tickets.  This lady’s name was Susan Madden.  A couple of years ago Ms. Madden retired.  Two or three months ago at our monthly Columbia Chapter meeting, a lady came to see me at the speaker’s table and introduced herself as Susan Madden, the same lady who sold the tickets.  She also brought a blind niece and they are now both members of the Columbia Chapter.  We never know who we will meet down the road, a second chance.  Last week at the chapter meeting Ms. Madden once again came up to the speaker’s table and shook my hand.

Over the weekend I went to RBRCCB for the first time in strictly a non-business role.  It was good visiting with our Resident Manager Brooke Rivers and her husband Jami.  Also our NFB of SC First Vice President Lenora Robertson was at RBRCCB and I enjoyed a visit from her and others.  Rock Hill chapter member, Ellen Taylor’s fiancé, Jon, began volunteering his time on landscaping throughout the grounds.  He spent much time trimming hedges, pruning trees, weed eating, and lawn mowing. He has singlehandedly made the grounds look pristine and manicured, we really owe him allot of gratitude for volunteering his time over the entire week.  The Rock Hill chapter left Osterneck Cottage in good condition. Lenora had even taken the time to wash the windows and they did a few other cleaning projects over the week.


Final Thought:  History of NFB of SC Legislative Victories:  #37:  2002 –  H.3423, A bill mandating that Department of Public Safety Issued identification cards, which are similar to a driver’s license but to be used only for identification purposes by the blind and other non-drivers, must be accepted wherever a driver’s license is accepted as identification.