Positive Note 1637

December 27, 2017

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

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1637

Greetings Fellow Federationists:


It is time to begin planning for the 2018 convention of the National Federation of the Blind. We will again meet in Orlando and will once more be staying at the beautiful Rosen Shingle Creek Resort. This will be our last opportunity for a while to enjoy the Rosen hospitality we have come to love and the myriad activities that the Orlando area has to offer. The dates for the 2018 convention are July 3 through July 8.

Our hotel rates are enviably competitive for a resort hotel such as Shingle Creek. For the 2018 convention they are singles and doubles, $88; and for triples and quads, $93. In addition to the room rates there will be a tax, which at present is 12.5 percent. No charge will be made for children under seventeen in the room with parents as long as no extra bed is requested. Please note that the hotel is a no-smoking facility.

For 2018 convention room reservations you can call the hotel at (866) 996-6338 after January 1. You may also write directly to the Rosen Shingle Creek, 9939 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, Florida 32819-9357. The hotel will want a deposit of $100 for each room and will want a credit card number or a personal check. If you use a credit card, the deposit will be charged against your card immediately, just as would be the case with a $100 check. If a reservation is cancelled before Friday, June 1, 2018, half of the deposit will be returned. Otherwise refunds will not be made.

If you have not notified the Federation Center as to whether you are planning to attend the Statewide Seminar on January 6, please do so as soon as possible.  This will help us to determine the amount of food to purchase for lunch.  Remember we will be conducting an auction throughout the day to raise money for the Federation Center.  Be sure to bring items for the auction such as, cakes, pies, cookies, gift baskets, and electronics.  Also, please continue to sell your Orlando National Convention bus tickets.  If you have not done so already, please mail your ticket stubs and money to the Federation Center or bring them with you to the Seminar on Saturday, January 6.  The drawing will take place at the conclusion of the Seminar.  The winning ticket will receive $300, the seller of the winning ticket will receive $100 and the chapter selling the most tickets will receive $300.  It is not too early to begin turning in your state dues of $10 for 2018 to the state office (Federation Center).  You can either mail your dues to the State Office or bring them with you to the Seminar on January 6.  When you submit your dues, please provide current contact information such as, name, address, phone number and email address if applicable.  These things do change and if we do not have updated information, we cannot keep you up to date on what’s going on.  The deadline for dues is January 31, 2018.

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.

Now that Christmas is officially over, I suspect that most of us have had a Christmas experience that stands out.  I moved from Mullins to Columbia in 1946 and began receiving treatments by an ophthalmologist.  He was not able to bring my high eye pressure under control and arranged for me to see a prominent ophthalmologist in December of 1950.  This prominent ophthalmologist was Dr. Allen Wood who was connected with Johns Hopkins Hospital.  On December 15, 1950, Betty and I traveled by train to Baltimore for me to receive treatment by this famous ophthalmologist.  As far as I recall, it would be my second trip out of the state as my first trip out of state was for Betty and my honeymoon in June of 1949.  While being examined by Dr. Wood I asked him if the surgery would be serious.  He promptly stated, “Young man, any time you use a knife on a human body it is serious.”  The surgery was serious as the surgery was not successful.  After 15 days of hospital confinement Dr. Wood did a second surgery on or about December 31, 1950.  This surgery also was unsuccessful.  Dr. Wood approached me to authorize a third surgery.  I declined.  We were at Johns Hopkins Hospital for 30 days from December 15, 1950 to January 15, 1951.  Thus Betty and I spent both Christmas and New Year’s in Johns Hopkins Hospital with failure.

1951 was unique as far as my trip to Baltimore would ultimately be connected with the federation.  In that same year, 1951, a baby was born to a couple who would become a super star 65 years later as President of the NFB of SC and Chairman of Rocky Bottom.  Of course, my extensive eye surgery in Baltimore had nothing to do with a baby being born at that time and location that would improve life for the blind, but it is coincidental.  Frank Coppel has our sincere appreciation as he is working virtually full-time as a volunteer and that is unusual in this day and time.  Let me wish for each and every one of you a Happy New Year which is upon us.


Final Thought:  This past year is for review and to learn from, the upcoming New Year is to plan for and to set goals; however, now is the only time we have to accomplish anything.