Positive Note 1636

December 20, 2017

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

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1636

Greetings Fellow Federationists:


During this past week, Shelley and I have been extremely busy as we have traveled approximately 500 miles attending Chapter Christmas parties throughout the state.  On Tuesday, evening, December 12, Shelley and I had the pleasure of attending the 44th Annual Christmas Banquet Gala hosted by the Sumter Chapter.  Approximately 400 people attended this year’s banquet and Debra Canty, President of the Sumter chapter again did an excellent job presiding over the festivities.  The program for the evening was extremely impressive as Doug Hudson and Sarah Massengale provided the musical entertainment and Shawn Callaway, National board member of the NFB and President of the District of Columbia affiliate of the NFB was the key note speaker for the evening.  I was honored to introduce Mr. Callaway to the audience.  Also in attendance was Ed Bible, NFB of SC state board member and his wife Julie and Linda Dizzley, NFB  of SC state board member and President of the Lee County Chapter.

On Thursday evening, December 14, Shelley and I traveled to Gaffney to attend the Cherokee County chapter Christmas party.  Approximately 20 people were in attendance and it is very evident Jamie Allison, chapter President, is doing an excellent job.  The party was held at the Colonial Fish Camp and everyone enjoyed delicious seafood and participated in a gift exchange.  On Friday December 15, we traveled to Jefferson, SC where we attended the Chesterfield County Chapter Christmas luncheon.  Approximately 25 people were in attendance for the luncheon and it was very evident Dorcas Campbell, Chapter President, is doing an outstanding job.  The chapter treated everyone to a delicious barbecue feast and everyone enjoyed singing a number of Christmas carols. It was also great to see the First vice President of the NFB of SC, Lenora Robertson, her daughter, Ellen Taylor, and Louise Watson at the meeting as well.

We have an announcement from Shelley Coppel, President of the Seniors Division.  “Merry Christmas from the Senior Division!!  We are conducting a drawing to be held at our Statewide Seminar, January 6, 2018.  For all of you who have taken tickets to sell, I encourage you to continue selling and please bring your money and the ticket stubs to me the day of the Seminar.  Please also bring me your unsold tickets. If you need tickets to sell, you can contact me by phone at: 803-796-8662; or by email:  Frankandshelley51@gmail.com.

The price for the tickets is: $2 for one ticket, and $5 for three.  The prizes are as follows: First prize- a power air-fryer XL, and 2nd prize is a $50 gift card for Walmart.  Thank you so much for supporting our Senior Division.”

The Christmas season is a very beautiful and special time of the year.  I especially enjoy listening to Christmas music, being with family and friends, eating wonderful food, and watching our four grandchildren opening their gifts on Christmas morning.  Shelley and I would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and let’s all of us remember the “Reason for the Season”.

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.

Christmas events are being held all over the state in the federation.  The NFB of SC which did not become a state affiliate until 1956 is responsible for Christmas parties taking place statewide.  For example in only recent years, our Chesterfield County Chapter and the Upper Dorchester County Chapter have had Christmas parties as reorganized chapters in these areas, bringing the blind together.  The Columbia Chapter has been sponsoring Christmas parties since the mid 1950’s and has come to be held at the Federation Center of the Blind which became available in 1961, over 50 years ago.  On December 14 the Columbia Chapter enjoyed an outstanding Christmas party featuring one of the best banquets than I’ve ever seen before.  It featured ham, chicken, dressing, string beans, rice, cabbage and a variety of cakes and pies and desserts.  There were a lot of different foods to choose from as chapter members brought their own food plates.  David Houck brought the Christmas message which was excellent.  All of us were stunned to hear from Columbia Chapter President Tiffiny Mitchell who reported that one week earlier she lost everything due to smoke damage.  She woke up at 2:00 in the morning with her building engulfed in smoke and fire.  We are thankful Tiffiny was able to get out of the building without injury.  The chapter wanted to be of service to Tiffiny and the freewill offering of a significant amount was contributed to her by the members.  During the past several decades members have unfortunately experienced fires.  Having suffered this great loss I believe Tiffiny will be most appreciative of this assistance.  This is especially true since we are in the midst of giving during the Christmas season.  I’m sure Tiffiny will appreciate any amount contributed, large or small.  In the past, when similar circumstances occurred, we encouraged chapters statewide to make checks payable to the “NFB of SC”, earmarked for the “Tiffiny Mitchell fire fund.”  Please make out your check and send it to David Houck at the Federation Center of the Blind, 119 S. Kilbourne Rd., Columbia, SC 29205, who will arrange for Tiffiny Mitchell to receive the assistance.  Throughout all of this Tiffiny has continued to operate her vending facility demonstrating her commitment and dedication, not only to her vending facility but also to the Columbia Chapter during a very busy time.  Tiffiny is not only committed to the presidency of the Columbia Chapter but was also elected to the NFB of SC state board at the recent NFB of SC state convention for her service.  I’m sure all of you will understand and participate in uplifting Tiffiny, especially during this special season.  Let me wish for each and every one of you a very merry Christmas.


Final Thought:  “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” – Charles Dickens