Positive Note 1639

January 10, 2018

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

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1639

Greetings Fellow Federationists:


I want to thank all of you who attended the 48th annual Statewide Seminar this past Saturday.  Despite sickness, frigid temperatures, and inclement weather in the lower half of the state, approximately ninety Federationists attended this year’s seminar.  We were pleased to have representatives from the three agencies who provide services to the blind, Kyle Walker, from the SC Commission for the Blind, Paige McCraw, from the SC School for the Deaf and Blind, and Sandy Knowles, from Talking Book Services who gave presentations at the Seminar.  Loretta Green spoke to the audience regarding the upcoming bus trip to our National Center the weekend of April 6-8.  The cost to ride the charter bus will be $100 per person.  To participate, you need to submit an application along with a $25 deposit to either Loretta Green or Isaiah nelson.  The remainder of the money is due no later than February 25, 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.  I spoke to the audience regarding the upcoming Leadership Seminar which will be held on March 17, for chapter and division leaders.  The seminar will run from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and lunch will be provided.  Topics will include federation philosophy and history, Commission for the Blind services, Social Security and chapter operations.  Thom Spittle did an excellent job as auctioneer as we raised $571 for the Federation Center.  I along with Ed Bible, Jennifer Bazer and Shelley Coppel gave the RBRCCB report. Ed Bible reported on the volunteer involvement of church and civic groups to improve the facilities and grounds.  The two Senior Camps will be held May20-24, and September 16-20.  Children’s Camp will be held June 10-16.  I reported to the audience the RBRCCB Board of Directors voted to increase the processing fees for Oglesby Cottage, Osterneck Cottage, Ellenburg Lodge, and the Conference Center.  The increases went in to effect January 2, 2018.  Debra Canty, NFB of SC fund raising committee chairperson, informed the group about the third annual Sweetheart Dance on Saturday, February 17 which will take place between 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.at the Federation Center of the Blind.  Tickets are $25 per person or $45 per couple.  Money for tickets is due by February 6.

At the State Board meeting, which was held during the two hour lunch break, the Board elected Frank Coppel as delegate, and Dorothy Barksdale as alternate delegate to the 2018 NFB national convention which will be held July 3-8 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Florida.  The board was informed the 2018 NFB of SC state convention will be held at the Columbia Marriott Hotel the weekend of August 10-12.  A planning committee for the state convention will be established and it will be Chaired by Tiffiny Mitchell.  Details regarding the Washington seminar were discussed.  The NFB of SC’s delegation to the Washington seminar will consist of state officers and board members as well as four high school seniors and two chaperones from our Successful Transitions Program.  Because some of our chapters could not attend the seminar due to the frigid temperatures and inclement weather, the bus drawing was postponed until the Leadership Seminar on March 17.

I want to take this opportunity thank Isaiah Nelson and his group of volunteers for preparing and serving a delicious lunch.  I also want to especially thank David Houck for all of his hard work prior to the Seminar and all day Saturday to ensure the meeting was a success.

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.

My heart and thoughts were with those of you attending the Statewide Seminar last Saturday as the weather was so cold with other conditions including snow, etc.  It was indicative of the commitment to federation activity and I salute you.  In reading President Coppel’s portion of the Positive Note it is clear that the Statewide Seminar was very successful.  I’m pleased that the state convention this August will be held at the Marriott Hotel in Columbia as this makes the convention site more accessible from across the state.  Also, we are familiar with the Marriott Hotel having been there on several occasions.

I have good news on Betty’s illness.  She was discharged from the hospital on Nre Year’s eve and four or five days later she had a follow up with her physician who found her recovery to be very good.  There are no apparent problems from the mini stroke and I’m especially pleased about this.

I’m dictating this part of the Positive Note Wednesday morning, January 10.  We plan to attend the Columbia Chapter meeting tomorrow, Thursday, January 11.  Betty appears sufficiently able to attend this type of meeting which is relatively short.

I thought I would use this part of the Positive Note to catch up on New Year’s issues ongoing over many years.  In the early days of Colonial Life, my employer for some38 years, the Claims Department where I was employed was responsible for conducting an end-of-year claims reserve.  In other words the Insurance Department in those days made the company maintain a reserve with the Insurance Department to be sure the company had adequate funds for taking care of claims which were still pending at that time.  The amount of the reserve had an effect on the financial status of the company.  If the Insurance Department noted an inadequate reserve, it would take action against the company.  Colonial was always in good shape financially.  One other gentleman and myself set aside the New Year’s Day weekend to review and make a decision regarding the reserve.  My co-employee did the reading and I had the responsibility of examining the claims file and making an assessment on the amount that should be reserved.  It was boring but absolutely necessary.  At that time we were not too happy about having to work during the New Year’s weekend while other employees had the weekend off.  For many years now, Colonial has relied on computers to have the reserve estimated.  In those days I dreaded seeing the New Year come in.  End of year duties are still with us but doing the claims reserve I despised.


Final Thought:  Now that we have learned much at the Statewide Seminar, let’s spread the word back home and get busy.