Positive Note 1580

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

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1580

Greetings Fellow Federationists:


With the start of the holiday season just around the corner, there is no better time to make a contribution in honor or in memory of a loved one to the NFB of SC, Rocky Bottom or the Federation Center.  We are enclosing a letter you can share with family members, friends and business associates to help raise funds for one of these extremely important programs during this holiday season.

Now that the State Convention is behind us, I am beginning to formulate committees for 2016/2017.   If you wish to serve on a committee, please let me know by calling me at (803) 796-8662 or emailing me at; frankcoppel@att.net

And I will place you on that committee.  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, Organizing 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.

This is a friendly reminder to continue to sell your Orlando National Convention bus tickets.  It is imperative we sell as many tickets as possible to help cover the expense of the chartered bus to Orlando.

Finally, I want to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very blessed and Happy Thanksgiving.  Let’s take a few minutes Thursday to reflect and give thanks for our families, our country, and to our organization, the National Federation of the Blind, who provides us with the belief and philosophy that through love, hope and determination we can change our dreams into reality.

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.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you across the state.  We have been blessed throughout the year.  I would like to give you some personal history related to the NFB occurring over several decades.  I was elected to the national board in 1959 and attended my first board meeting the following year – 1960.  Until then I had never flown and as it developed, it was a harrowing experience.  We boarded a plane in Columbia and traveled to St. Louis.  As we arrived in the St. Louis area we ran into a snowstorm.  The pilot alerted the passengers that there were some 12 planes trying to land at the St. Louis airport and that we were working our way down to land.  The plane circled the airport for what seemed to be an interminable period of time.  It seemed that I was getting increasingly uneasy and sick from the experience.  This was during the Thanksgiving season and Betty and I had to leave our two children back home in the care of two wonderful ladies named Aunt Mattie and Aunt Lelia.  For several years, Dr. tenBroek, the Founder and President of the NFB, held annual board meetings in the St. Louis and Chicago areas.  Dr. tenBroek passed away in 1968 and that year’s national convention involved a change in leadership with Dr. Jernigan being elected President and I was elected First Vice President of the NFB.  For ten years beginning 1968 to 1978, board meetings were held in Des Moines as Dr. Jernigan was Executive Director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind.  By now we had established a tradition of NFB board meetings being held during the Thanksgiving season.  Almost invariably, it snowed in Des Moines during Thanksgiving and we had to deal with that situation.  In 1978 the NFB purchased land and buildings in Baltimore and since that time, meetings have occurred at the National Center.  The Thanksgiving weather is better in Baltimore and for some 30 years I attended the Baltimore meetings, retiring from the board at the 2011 Orlando Convention.

I remember changing planes in Atlanta during a return trip from Des Moines and about ten minutes into the flight, a spark flew through the cabin whereupon the pilot tried to reassure all of us that everything was all right. I turned to Betty and said, “Don’t believe it!”    We then returned to the airport.  Upon landing it was noted the runway was prepared with all the usual emergency equipment including the fire department, etc.  Upon checking in with the desk clerk we were told we could board a plane to Columbia within a half hour but I declined and asked the location of the nearest hotel.  The following day we rented an auto and proceeded to Columbia.  To this day I still dislike flying but during my long career I have had many flying experiences.  My air travel has taken me to different places such as Alaska, Hawaii, Melbourne, Australia, London, Paris, Madrid, Cairo, Israel and several cities in the Untied States.  I hope all of you have safe travels throughout the Christmas season.


Final Thought:  History of NFB of SC Legislative Victories:  #.39:  2003 – Laylah’s Law S.36 passed to protect guide dogs from abuse and neglect from the general public