Positive Note 1626

October 11, 2017

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

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1626

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

This past Wednesday afternoon, October 4, at approximately 4:40 p.m., a very special and wonderful event occurred in the Coppel family.  Our son, Matt and his wife, Brielle had their third child, Norah Brielle, who entered this world weighing six pounds ten ounces, and who was twenty inches long.  Mom, Dad, and Norah came home Friday and are all doing well.  Shelley and I feel very blessed to now be the grandparents of four grandchildren (Asher seven, Eli, four, Aubrey, three and Norah).

We have an announcement from Debra Canty, President of our Sumter Chapter regarding Meet the Blind Month.  “We are joining with our national organization and observing, October as Blind Awareness Month and October 15th as White Cane Safety Day as well. Kudos to Lee and Laura Colclough-James, chairpersons for decorating the fair booth. We hosted a booth at the Sumter County Fair where we raised blind awareness in the community. We shared information, received info about people who are blind, passed out brochures, flyers, pamphlets, Kernel Books, offered bus fund tickets and a variety of complimentary candy to show our appreciation for them stopping by the fair booth to learn more about blindness.

Several chapter members will attend churches during the month to bring blind awareness to the faith based community through their attendance and church bulletins.  I will be a guest on the Good Morning Sumter radio show to share information about Blind Awareness and White Cane Safety Day as well.”

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the chapters who have already sponsored, or who are planning to sponsor, a Meet the Blind Month activity in their respective community during the month of October.  As I stated in previous Positive Note, a Meet the Blind Month activity is a great way to educate the public about blindness and to recruit new members to your chapter.

Governor McMaster has proclaimed October 15, 2017, as White Cane Safety Day.  Below, is his proclamation:

 

“State of South Carolina – Governor’s Proclamation

 

WHEREAS, the white cane is a simple yet effective tool of independence that contributes to the self-sufficiency of the blind and visually impaired and symbolizes their ability to achieve a full and independent life and their capacity to work productively in competitive employment; and

WHEREAS, the white cane is a symbol of dignity and determination as well as a tangible reminder that individuals with impaired eyesight are able to go, to move, to be, to compete and to contribute with all others in society and to lead full, independent and productive lives; and

WHEREAS, established by the National Federation of the Blind, the annual observance of “White Cane Safety Day” emphasizes the need for all Americans to be aware of the presence of disabled persons in our communities and to work together to keep the streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways, public buildings and facilities, and places of public accommodation amusement and resort safe and functional for the disabled; and

WHEREAS, the 2017 observance of “White Cane Safety Day” provides an opportunity for people across the Palmetto State and the nation to renew their dedication to eliminating barriers for the blind and visually impaired and to recognize their value as individuals, employees and productive members of our communities.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Henry McMaster, Governor of the great state of South Carolina, do hereby proclaim October 15, 2017, as WHITE CANE SAFETY DAY throughout the state and encourage all South Carolinians to show respect for those who carry the white cane, to honor their many achievements, and to reaffirm our commitment to improve access to basic services and opportunities for blind and visually impaired persons.

Henry McMaster, Governor, State of South Carolina”

 

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.

In this Positive Note we are spotlighting another active supporter of the Federation.  I am speaking of Loretta Green who is the President of the Upper Dorchester Chapter and a member of the NFB of SC Board of Directors.  Loretta Green was born in New York City and moved to South Carolina when she was 13 years old.  Loretta is married to Henry Green.  They have two sons, Henry Montrell and Andre Lashaun.  They also have seven grandchildren. Loretta has five brothers and seven sisters and she is the daughter of Alma Brown and Philip Morant.  She attended Saint George high school and furthered her education at Miller Mott Technical College.  While attending there Loretta was on the Dean’s List and President’s List.  She worked for the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs in the Dorchester School Districts Two and Four.  Loretta also worked with the Wells Fargo Mortgage Company, and currently is employed by the NFB of SC Successful Transitions team.

Loretta Green found out about the NFB from the MUSC’ low vision clinic.  She has been a part of the federation family for 10 years.  She is the President of the Upper Dorchester Chapter of the NFB of SC and is on the Board of Directors for the NFB of SC. She also resides on the South Carolina State Library Board of Directors.   She also attends Rocky Bottom Children’s Camps as a Counselor.  Loretta has attended eight national conventions and seven state conventions.  Her hobbies include cooking, travel, and spending time with her grandchildren.  She attends Saint Matthews Baptist Church in Reevesville where she is a member of the Pastor’s Eight Board.  She loves working with the youth for they are our future.  As adults we need to continue to show them how to love and respect each other.  Loretta truly is living the life she wants and sharing what she has learned with others.  Congratulations Loretta Green for a job well done!

We regret to report of the death of Harry Lee “Red” Goodwin on last Friday, October 6.  He was 90 years old.  At the time of his death he resided in Chesnee, SC.  “Red” was a widower but he was survived by seven children, nine grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.  He was a student at the SC School for the Blind for a number of years.  I knew him as I was also a student there at that time.  To the best of my knowledge I have not seen “Red” since he was in School in 1944.  Occasionally I would hear from someone who knew about his activities.  We extend sincere condolences to his family.

 

Final Thought:  Are you living the life you want?  If not, why not?