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.