Positive Note 1640

January 17, 2018

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

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1640

Greetings Fellow Federationists:


Now that the 2018 Statewide Seminar is behind us, let’s take a look at some of the activities which will be occurring during the next few months in the NFB of SC.  Do not forget to purchase your tickets to attend the third annual Sweetheart Dance sponsored by the NFB of SC which will be held on Saturday, February 17, 2018 at the Federation Center of the Blind from 5:00 p.m. to 9 p.m.  The evening promises to be a fun and enjoyable experience with a professionally catered dinner, door prizes, music and dancing.  Tickets to this event will only be $25 for an individual and $45 per couple.  Please make checks payable to NFB of SC and mail to:  NFB of SC, c/o David Houck, 119 S. Kilbourne Road, Columbia, SC 29205.

Please note the memo line for Sweethearts Dance. Please include an address so that tickets can be mailed once payment has been received. Deadline to purchase tickets is Tuesday, February 6, 2018.  We are asking all chapter presidents to contribute a door prize for this special event including: gift cards, cash or assembled gift baskets. Please contact Jennifer Bazer at 803-661-6622 or jhipp25@sc.rr.com if you would like to contribute a door prize.   If you have any questions regarding this fundraising event, please contact Debra Canty, NFB of SC fundraising Chairperson, at 803-775-5792 or via email at debra.canty@frontier.com.

On Saturday, March 17, 2018 the NFB of SC will host a Leadership Seminar at the Federation Center of the Blind from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Lunch will be provided.  All members are encouraged to attend and there will be no charge for the seminar.  Come and learn about the history of the NFB and NFB of SC, your rights and responsibilities as a consumer of the South Carolina Commission for the Blind, Social Security benefits, and any general chapter issues you would like to discuss.  Since the inclement weather prevented some chapters from attending the Statewide Seminar, the Orlando bus ticket drawing will be held on March 17 at the Leadership Seminar.  As of this date we have only sold approximately 2000 tickets, so let’s do all that we can to sell more tickets!

We have an important announcement from Steve Cook, President of the Computer Science and Technology Division.  “The Computer Science & Technology Division needs your assistance!  Our website www.nfbofsc.org is for everyone to use.  We can use this for recruiting new members, posting upcoming events pertaining to your chapter or division, election results, updated contact information, newsletters, material designed especially for your chapter, applications, etc. Please contact Steve Cook at (803) 254-0222 or cookcafe@sc.rr.com to have information posted on our website.  Let’s all work together to keep each other well informed!  (Please note: if you would like to send any photos to go along with your information, please identify each and describe the photo with any relevant names, places, or events.)  Thank you for your participation.”

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.

We are pleased to honor the First Lady of the NFB of SC, Mrs. Coppel by spotlighting her in this week’s Positive Note.  Also this is the first Positive Note of the New Year where it’s appropriate that we recognize at this time the First Lady as our first Positive Note spotlight of 2018.

Shelley Coppel was born in Moscow, Idaho and was raised in Orofino, Idaho.  Orofino means “fine gold” in Spanish as there are gold mines in the area.  After graduating high school in 1970, Shelley graduated from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon in 1975 with a Bachelor’s degree in Music majoring in Piano.  She lost her vision at that time but following graduation she attended the Commission for the Blind in Boise to obtain her blindness skills training.  Shelley received her Master’s degree in K-12 Special Education for teaching blind children from Bingham Young University in June of 1977.  This led her to Edinburg, Texas where she was a regional consultant in an Educational Service Center working with blind children.  She then moved in 1979 to the Nebraska Commission for the Blind where she worked in vocational rehabilitation teaching a variety of blindness skills and adaptive aids.    In 1982 she married her first husband Jim Bruns where they also adopted Jason Bruns in 1988.  She then retired from rehabilitation services to be a stay at home mom although she did work some part-time vending in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Shelley moved to Columbia for a few years in 1998 until 2006.  In October of 2006 she took a position teaching organizational skills at the Colorado Center for the Blind.  This was an exciting time because everyone was so enthusiastic about employment and the NFB philosophy was heavily applied.  Shelley met Frank Coppel and moved back to Columbia and they were married in April 2011 and they make an excellent team.  She is very much involved in the NFB of SC, having received the Donald C. Capps Award, worked in Children’s Camps and Senior Camps, is President of the NFB of SC Senior Division, is Secretary on the National Senior Division Board, and is involved with all aspects of federation activity including Washington Seminars.  With her service to blind seniors, at the 2017 NFB Convention in Orlando, Shelley participated significantly with blind seniors, having been quoted in a recent issue of the Braille Monitor.  She has attended about 30 national and seven state conventions, not to mention her work with her husband, Frank Coppel who is NFB of SC President and is the RBRCCB Board Chairman.  Her hobbies include traveling, singing in the church choir, music and crocheting but her greatest love is for tending to her four grandchildren with two additional twin grandsons which are due in May.  As you can see, Shelley Coppel has many talents and she enjoys living the life she wants.


Final Thought:  “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  –  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.