Positive Note 1634

December 6, 2017

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

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1634

Greetings Fellow Federationists:


The 38th annual Christmas Board Retreat held at Rocky Bottom this past weekend was extremely busy as many of us participated in two board meetings on Saturday (RBRCCB Board of Directors which was held 9:30 a.m. and the of the Board of Directors of the NFB of SC which was held at 2:00 p.m.).  The 2018 edition of Children’s camp will be held June 9, to June 16.  The dates for the 2018 Senior Camps will be May 20-24 and September 16-20.  Ed Bible, Vice Chairman of the RBRCCB Board of Directors, gave an extensive report regarding the overall operations of the camp.  Mr. Bible stated there has been a great deal of work done regarding the infrastructure of our facilities at Rocky Bottom such as repairing the septic tank, pump, termite damage in Osterneck and other repairs.  Mr. Bible also thanked the individuals, church groups, and civic organizations who have volunteered their services in the area of building and ground maintenance during the past eight months at Rocky Bottom.  The board also had a thorough discussion regarding the rental fees for the sighted public as well as the reservation or processing fees we are currently charging at Rocky Bottom.  The board voted unanimously to increase rental and processing fees beginning January 1, 2018.  A thorough explanation of the increases will be discussed at the Statewide Seminar on January 6.  The board discussed the 2017 Fun Day Festival and ideas as to how we can significantly improve the overall proceeds for the camp.  The Board also agreed that the Fund Raising Committee consisting of Jennifer Bazer, Ed Bible, Valerie Warrington, Linda Bible, and Debra Canty will start planning for this event in January and the committee will update their progress to the board at the Spring meeting.    During the NFB of SC State Board meeting, a variety of topics were discussed.  The Board heard a report from Debra Canty, Chairperson of the Fund Raising Committee who reported the third annual Sweetheart Dance will be held on Saturday, February 17, 2018 at the Federation Center of the Blind.  All proceeds raised from the dance will be given to the NFB of SC.  Jamie Allison, Chairperson of the Youth Recruitment Committee discussed with the board the various strategies her committee was considering to attract families of blind children and younger individuals to the NFB of SC.  Ms. Allison reported her committee has discussed the possibility of hosting a virtual youth Rally during the first quarter of 2018 and establishing a mentoring program which hopefully will start in the very near future.  David Houck, Federation Center of the Blind Director, gave an excellent report.  Mr. Houck reported the Federation Center continues to be financially sound and that the Center is looking to expand its assistive technology training programs.  The Washington Seminar was discussed and will begin on Sunday, January 28, 2018 with the “great gathering in” meeting being held on Monday, January 29, at 5:00 p.m.  Room rates for the Washington Seminar are $192 per night plus a 14.5 percent room tax.  Please call the Holiday Inn Capitol at (877) 572-6951 and referencing booking code FB8 to make your reservation.  All reservations must be made by December 28.  If you wish to attend or have questions regarding the Washington Seminar, please call me at (803) 796-8662.  I want to take this opportunity to especially thank Lenora Robertson and her “food crew” for all of their hard work preparing the delicious meals throughout the weekend.  I also would like to thank each of you who attended Rocky Bottom this weekend for making the Christmas Board Retreat an extremely enjoyable and pleasant experience for Shelley and myself.

We have an announcement from Loretta Green and Isaiah Nelson.  “The NFB of SC is planning a charter bus trip to the Jernigan Institute (our national headquarters) in Baltimore, Maryland the weekend of April 6-8.  The cost to ride the charter bus will be $100 per person.  The initial $25 is due by January 6, at the statewide seminar and the remainder of the money is due no later than Friday, February 23 2018.  If you have any questions, regarding this trip you can contact Loretta Green at (843) 276-9649 or Isaiah Nelson 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.

I have been attending Christmas Board Retreats at RBRCCB for several decades and I can vouch in telling you that this Board Retreat was the best or near the best of all of them.  It was apparent that the 40 members from across the state were in great spirits and having a wonderful time.  I attended all of the RBRCCB board meeting as well as the NFB of SC board meeting.  President Frank Coppel had prepared for the board meetings, providing excellent planning apparent.  At the RBRCCB board meeting the board increased the rentals for the facilities as there had not been any increase for more than a decade.  There was considerable discussion about planning for the 2018 Fun Day Festival.  This is a major event for RBRCCB and our best effort statewide is essential if we are going to improve on our net profits.  We talked about a variety of things affecting Fun Day and encouraged greater participation including Fun Day ticket sales and food donations.  The board meeting of the NFB of SC was held Saturday afternoon following the luncheon.  As always, Lenora Robertson and her kitchen crew did an excellent job on all meals featuring an excellent Christmas banquet.  I’m pleased that the board recognizes the advantages of the convention being held in Columbia because of its central location.  President Coppel is handling this important issue.  It appears that we will have an excellent delegation for the annual Washington Seminar.  I’m sure we will be represented well.  The Christmas banquet was delightful with high spirits.  We were glad to welcome our Advisory Board Chairman, Mr. John Sarpy and his lovely wife Linda.  He made some brief comments to the gathering.  As always, David Houck, Executive Director of the Federation Center of the Blind, brought the Christmas message on Luke chapter 2.  This was followed by group singing including the “12 Days of Christmas” which was not performed with excellence.  It was fun, however.  This was followed by the distribution of gifts.  Then there was the partaking of a variety of desserts which everyone enjoyed.  Everyone departed Sunday morning and returned home safely.  It would be difficult to top this annual Christmas Board Retreat.  Linda Bible, Resident Manager of RBRCCB, was recognized for her excellent job in this role.  Incidentally, Linda advised me that there are now six ducks in the Eddie Mae Lucas Webb Memorial Pond.  JJ, the RBRCCB resident duck, has been very productive as there were only three ducks a few weeks ago.  I want to close this Positive Note by congratulating all of you who attended the Christmas Board Retreat and made this a wonderful event.


Final Thought:  “Christmas is the season to kindle the fire of hospitality.” – Washington Irvin