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.