February 7, 2018
Memo To: Executive Officers, Board Members, Chapter & Division Presidents & Others
From: Frank Coppel, President
Positive Note 1643
Greetings Fellow Federationists:
As I wrote in last week’s Positive Note, I was very proud to have fifteen individuals from the NFB of SC attend the 2018 Washington Seminar. I was especially impressed with the four students from our Successful Transitions program who accompanied our delegation and who participated fully in all of the activities in Washington D.C. The students were Taivon Hardy, from Orangeburg, Wallace Stuckey, from Columbia, Matthew Duffle Hoffman, from Lancaster, and Chase Hanna, from Spartanburg. It was very evident these four young men did their homework as they were very knowledgeable of this year’s legislative agenda and actively participated in our discussions with our Congressional delegation. I hope that this experience will foster on-going participation with the NFB of SC.
We have an announcement from Debra Canty, Chairperson of the NFB of SC fund raising committee, regarding this year’s Sweetheart Dance which will be held on Saturday evening, February 17. “Mega thanks to all of you who have made your $25 or $45 donation towards the Sweethearts Dance tickets. Instead of actual tickets, there will be a list at the door for admittance. Also, thanks to those who have donated the give-a-ways for the dance. Please continue to secure your tickets and the give-a-ways as well.”
We also have an announcement from Shelley Coppel, President of the NFB of SC Seniors division. “Since the inclement weather prevented some chapters and individuals from attending the Statewide Seminar, the Seniors division drawing for the power air-fryer XL, and a $50 Visa gift card will be held some time during the Sweetheart Dance. If you have money or ticket stubs, please mail them to me at Shelley Coppel, 847 Jefferson st., West Columbia, SC 29169 prior to February 17. Thank you and good luck!”
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 2,000 tickets, so let’s do all that we can to sell more tickets!
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 delighted to spotlight Jennifer Bazer who has worked hard to be of service to her fellow blind and others. She has a very bright future as she already is providing outstanding service to Rocky Bottom, the NFB of SC and NFB both locally and nationally. Jennifer Bazer was born and raised in West Columbia, SC. She attended Lexington District Two public schools. She graduated from Winthrop University Cumm laude in Psychology and Spanish and then went on to receive her Masters in Social Work from the University of South Carolina. She began her career at the South Carolina Commission for the Blind as the counselor at the Ellen Beach Mac Rehabilitation Center where she conducted individual and group counseling for newly blinded adults. Jennifer held other positions at SCCB including training individuals to be blood donation recruiters for the American Red Cross all over the U.S. In 2004, she moved to St. Petersburg, Florida to pursue employment at Freedom Scientific as a multiuser sales representative. During that job opportunity, she attended NFB national conventions representing Freedom Scientific in the exhibit hall as well as attending the general sessions as an NFB member; however, her NFB affiliation began in the Student Division over 25 years ago. Jennifer returned to Columbia in 2007 to become an Employment Consultant for SCCB developing and finding jobs for people who are blind. She married Jeff Bazer in November of 2008. They have two children; Cade 8 and Kaylin 4 and a half. “Being a single parent is the hardest thing I do on a daily basis, but I serve a Mighty God who provides for me and the children every day,” says Jennifer. Although Jeff and Jennifer divorced in September of 2017, both Jennifer and Jeff are active in the NFB and co-parenting their two young children. In 2014, Jennifer was the voice of all blind South Carolinians speaking out and helping pass the Blind Persons’ Right to Parent Act. She serves on the board of the Columbia chapter as well as the Rocky Bottom Board. She loves directing Children’s Camp at Rocky Bottom one week out of the summer. Later in February, she will attend the Leadership Seminar at the national headquarters in Baltimore. She currently is the Director of the NFB of SC Successful Transitions raising expectations of youth who are blind by providing self-advocacy, career readiness, work-based learning experiences and college exploration. Jennifer attends Mt. Hebron United Methodist Church in West Columbia where she is involved in mission work. Mt. Hebron has also supported numerous trips to Rocky Bottom performing general maintenance, painting, pool restoration and much more. Jennifer believes in JOY: Jesus, Others and Yourself, and is passionate about helping people who are blind. She actively participates in the NFB locally, statewide and nationally. “I am living the life I want as a child of God, a mom, a sister, an aunt, a daughter and a member of the NFB family!”
Final Thought: “The reason you can’t hear a dog whistle is because dogs can’t whistle!”