Positive Note 1588

January 18, 2017Memo To: Executive Officers, Board Members, Chapter & Division Presidents & Others

From: Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1588

Greetings Fellow Federationists:


              There are approximately two weeks remaining until the Statewide Seminar is held at the Federation Center on February 4, 2017. If you have not notified the Federation Center as to whether you are planning to attend the Statewide Seminar please do so as soon as possible. This will help us to determine the amount of food to purchase for lunch. The seminar will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. and adjourn at 4:00 p.m. The agenda will feature presentations from the three agencies serving the blind, SC Commission for the Blind, The SC School for the Deaf and Blind, and The SC Talking Book Services, as well as other Federationists. Remember we will be conducting an auction throughout the day to raise money for the Federation Center. Be sure to bring items for the auction such as, cakes, pies, cookies, gift baskets, and electronics. We will also be selling NFB of SC t-shirts and coffee thermoses during the seminar. Also, please 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. Remember, tickets this year are selling for $2 for one ticket or $5 for three tickets. You can either mail your ticket stubs and money to the Federation Center or bring them with you to the Seminar on Saturday, February 4. The drawing will take place at the conclusion of the Seminar. The buyer of the winning ticket will receive $300, the seller of the winning ticket will receive $100 and the chapter selling the most tickets will receive $300. 

              Please continue to submit your state dues of $10 for 2017 to the state office (Federation Center). State dues must be received by the Federation Center by January 31, 2017. When you submit your dues, please provide current contact information such as, name, address, phone number and email address if you have one. These things do change and if we do not have updated information, we cannot keep you up to date on what’s going on. 

              Do not forget to purchase your tickets to attend the second annual Sweetheart dance sponsored by the NFB of SC which will be held on Saturday, February 18, 2017 at the Federation Center from 5:00 p.m. to 9 p.m. The evening promises to be a fun and enjoyable experience with a professionally catered dinner, door prizes, music and dancing. Tickets to this event will only be $25 for an individual and $45 per couple. You can purchase these tickets by mailing a check or money order to the Federation Center, 119 S. Kilbourne Rd., Columbia, SC. 29205. Please include an address so that tickets can be mailed once payment has been received. Deadline to purchase tickets is Saturday, February 4 at the statewide seminar. We are asking all chapter presidents to contribute a door prize for this special event including: gift cards, cash or assembled gift baskets. Please contact Jennifer Bazer at 803-661-6622 or jhipp25@sc.rr.com if you would like to contribute a door prize or Debra Canty at 803-775-5792 or via email at debra.canty@frontier.com if you have further questions about this fund-raiser for the NFB of SC.

              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 feel sure that we’ll all be glad when the Inauguration of the 45th President on Friday, January 20 will be history. Some 30 years ago I attended the Inauguration of President Bill Clinton. Dr. Kenneth Jernigan gave me two tickets to this extravaganza. Because of the crowds of thousands involved, it was recommended that we stay at the Holiday Inn located some 15 miles north of Washington and catch a cab coming in. As fate would have it, a prominent South Carolinian at the site of one of the Inauguration events was there to greet Betty and me. It was Governor Richard Riley who we got to know when he was a member of the SC General Assembly and Governor. He showed us about and was very friendly. Also, at this location I met a South Carolinian who was from Pickens and knew all about the Rocky Bottom program. His name was familiar to me although I had not gotten acquainted with him before. As I noted, it was not possible for the President to stop in at each and every site and I regret he did not stop by where we were located. At that time Governor Riley was the Secretary of the Department of Education. Shortly after the Inauguration, Jim Gashel who was the NFB Director of Governmental Affairs and I requested an appointment with Gov. Riley who graciously accommodated us. Our mission was to gain his cooperation in declining to accredit NAC (National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind) which the NFB was opposing. In a friendly sort of way he asked me how many votes he would lose if he voted this action, and in a friendly gesture I replied that he would lose more votes if he didn’t honor our request. He took the action we requested and we regard Gov. Riley as one of our best friends. 

              There was an experience in our taking a cab from downtown Washington later that evening to go back to the hotel as the cab driver seemingly went out of his way and we were concerned as to what he had in mind for us. Finally, we were dropped off at our hotel. At this time it was very late and we were given what appeared to be the smallest room in the Holiday Inn but needless to say we were ready to go to bed. 

              I was delighted to read President Coppel’s remarks in last week’s Positive Note in his account of the successful mattress delivery. Perseverance is so important and I shall not forget some two or three years ago that in one of the senior citizens programs the first mattress funds were given and later the Belvedere Chapter chipped in and the end result was covered very nicely in President Coppel’s remarks.


Final Thought: Raising Expectations: “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.” – Dick Giacin