Positive Notes

1683

November 14, 2018
Memo To: Executive Officers, Board Members, Chapter & Division Presidents & Others
From: Frank Coppel, President
Positive Note 1683
Greetings Fellow Federationists:

Friday, November 9, I had the pleasure of being the guest speaker at the first annual Donor Appreciation luncheon hosted by the Belvedere chapter of the NFB of SC. Approximately thirty to thirty-five individuals consisting of chapter members and sighted persons from the Belvedere community were in attendance. The program was excellent as it provided the audience information regarding the purpose and programs of the NFB and the NFB of SC as well as the important work the Belvedere chapter was doing to educate the surrounding community about the true nature of blindness. As stated to me in an email written to me by Constance Miller, “Events like these give message to those who do not know much about the National Federation of the Blind, and helps to build momentum. And hopefully, bring in new membership.”
I am certain by now Board members of RBRCCB and the NFB of SC as well as Chapter and Division Presidents have received their letter regarding the Rocky Bottom Christmas Board Retreat on November 30-December 2. Please notify the State Office as soon as possible of your intentions for attending this Retreat, in order that we may have an accurate head count to purchase food for the four meals being served (Saturday breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Sunday breakfast) as well as making the necessary sleeping accommodations. We will celebrate the Christmas season together on Saturday evening. If you would like to participate in the gift exchange, please bring a gift with a value of at least $10 to be placed under the Christmas tree. Men should bring a man’s gift, and women should bring a woman’s gift. Additionally, it would be wonderful if people would bring baked items for the Christmas party such as cookies, cakes and pies.
We are also planning to invite the members of the Rocky Bottom Baptist Church to our Christmas festivities Saturday evening for the purpose of recognizing and thanking them for their generous financial support to RBRCCB this past year. Additionally, we are asking each board member and chapter president who will be attending the Board Retreat, to contribute such items as Toothbrushes, toothpaste, Kleenex, shower jell, shampoo, lady’s and men’s socks, and candy.
These will be placed in gift bags and will be donated to residents of a small assistive living facility located in Pickens and which is owned and operated by Jimmie Masters a member of the RBRCCB Advisory Board. I am confident we will have near 100 percent of our board members in attendance and we will have an excellent turnout of Chapter and Division Presidents present for the weekend.
I trust all of you are continuing to work extremely hard selling your 2019 Las Vegas National Convention tickets. As has been the case in previous years, the costs of each ticket is $1. The drawing will be held at the conclusion of the Statewide Seminar scheduled for Saturday, January 5, 2019. The individual who purchases the winning ticket will receive $300, the seller of the winning ticket will receive $100 and the chapter who sells the most tickets will receive $300. If you are lucky and purchase bus tickets yourself, you could win a grand total of $400! We are expecting a large turnout of our members to attend the 2019 national convention in Las Vegas so Let’s work very hard selling these bus tickets in order that we may be able to provide transportation to as many of our members as possible.
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.
There are several members in the NFB of SC who are ordained ministers. In this week’s Positive Note we are featuring Rev. Charles Cauthen, age 84, who resides in Kershaw and is Chaplain of the Chesterfield County Chapter. Rev. Cauthen was born and raised in Lancaster County and attended the Lancaster County public schools. Following high school he went to work at Grace Bleachery, where they bleach cloth, for seven years. Then he took a job as a Sears’s service employee until 1960 when God called him into the ministry. He enrolled in and graduated from Fruitland Baptist Bible College in Hendersonville, NC. In 1970 he first pastored the Charlesboro Baptist Church in Charlesboro, SC. Then he pastored Bethel Baptist Church until 1977 when he moved to North Carolina where he preached at Beachland Baptist Church for 21 years, located between Monroe and Waynesboro, NC. After that he retired and moved back to South Carolina. He then pastored at Deep Creek Baptist Church in Chesterfield and he still preaches today although he lost his vision in the year 2000. He has been married to his wife Vergie for 63 years and they have three daughters, eight grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren. Rev. Cauthen first found out about the Federation when Cathy Thompson worked with him after losing his sight while preaching at Deep Creek. Ms. Thompson was able to secure a number of adaptive technologies for him which enables Rev. Cauthen to continue on in the ministry. The Cauthen’s first joined the Kershaw-Heath Springs Chapter when it met in the bowling alley in Kershaw. After that they joined the Chesterfield County Chapter where he remains the chapter’s Chaplain. They have attended one Columbia NFB of SC Convention. He tells me that some of the members still converse with the former Chesterfield County Chapter President Dorcas Campbell who now resides in Las Vegas and will turn 97 in December. Nancy Reyes, the new chapter President is dealing with some health issues, however, they had 13 members at their November 8 meeting and two new members joined the chapter which is still very active. When Rev. Cauthen had sight, his hobby was oil painting and he enjoyed golf. He states that his lovely wife Vergie is always faithful and supports him in his ministry as well as in service to the blind. His life’s verse comes from Philippians 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Let’s give thanksgiving for faithful members like Rev. Charles and Vergie Cauthen for their service in the ministry and to the blind.

Final Thought: Are you old enough to remember when each public school day began with the Pledge of Allegiance, a patriotic song, a short scripture reading and a prayer?

1682

 

November 7, 2018

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

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1682

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

We have two announcements from the weekly President’s Notebook of November5-9.  “After voting in the 2018 midterm election, blind and low vision voters are encouraged to complete our 2018 Blind and Low Vision Voter Experience Survey. Blind and low vision voters who cast their ballot at an early voting center, local polling place on Election Day, or by absentee ballot, should complete the survey at https://www.surveymonkeycom/r/9BBTKZP.”

“From November 1 to November 25, the national student division, with support from our national organization, is accepting applications from students who are in need of financial assistance to attend the 2019 Washington Seminar. Please distribute the below link and encourage students to apply. We need the student voice more than ever! Call Kathryn Webster at 203-273-8463 with any questions.”

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScy9KzkQGSNvmSBSSPdCobgPxtitBaR3NIax2zXhOWpv28OPA/viewform.

The NFB is now accepting applications for the national scholarship program which began this past Thursday, November 1, 2018 and will end on march 31 2019.  This annual program offers thirty scholarships worth from $3,000 to $12,000 to eligible students, from high school seniors beginning their freshman year in the fall semester of 2019, up through graduate students working on their PhD degrees. Go to www.nfb.org/scholarships for complete rules and requirements.  I would like to strongly encourage many of our students from South Carolina to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity and take the time to apply for one of these national scholarships.

We have an announcement from Chris Danielsen, public information director for the National Federation of the Blind.  “The National Federation of the Blind is proud to present brand new radio public service announcements for airplay on local radio stations throughout the United States. Most of the spots are only thirty seconds long, which is usually the preferred length, but we also have a 60-second announcement featuring President Riccobono. In addition, two of the spots are in Spanish. The spots include general announcements about the NFB, as well as messages specifically targeted to parents of blind children, blind parents, and people who are experiencing vision loss but who may not yet identify as blind.  All the announcements are available for you to hear and download at https://nfb.org/psas. We have hired a contractor to distribute the announcements to radio stations across the nation. However, a personal message from an affiliate or local chapter will substantially increase the likelihood that the announcements will receive airplay. Please plan to reach out to your local stations to let them know that the National Federation of the Blind wants to reach blind people and people who are losing vision in every community.“

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.

In this week’s Positive Note we are highlighting Steve Cook who I am certain most of you know but are not aware of how many things he is involved in concerning serving the blind both in and out of the federation.  Steve Cook was born and raised in Lancaster, SC.

He attended attend school in the Lancaster public school system.  Steve’s mom and dad still live in Lancaster.  He had a brother two years younger than him that passed away in 1989 when he was 20 and he has a sister that also lives in Lancaster and she has two daughters and one grandson.   His youngest brother currently lives in Monroe, NC.  He and his wife just had a daughter that was born in January of this year premature.  She is doing great, Steve loves it every time they come down and he gets to see and hold her.  In the late 80’s, the Commission for the Blind found Steve Cook a job at Burger King in Lancaster.  At this time he had really good vision for someone that was legally blind.  He used to ride a moped to work every day.  In 1990 Steve had a cornea transplant and once his eye healed, he was able to drive.  He went to work for Walmart in Lancaster.  Then his vision started to become worse after his corneas rejected.  Then Steve met Shannon in 1997 at Rocky Bottom the same year he joined the NFB.  He went to the Commission for the Blind to learn JAWS and computers and was in the first Alamo class they had in the call center in 2001.  He learned about every piece of assistive technology he could get his hands on to learn how to use it.  Then he received a call from Ed Bible one day asking him if he would like to be a vampire?  He said, “please explain?” Steve went to work for the Red Cross as a person making outbound phone calls to previous donors to set them up to come in and donate blood again.  During this time Jennifer Bazer worked at the Commission teaching the Red Cross program to people in SC and across the country.  Jennifer moved to Florida and that left the Commission without a person to teach the Red Cross software to people.  Ed Bible interviewed Steve for this position and he was hired on with the Commission for the Blind.  Then he became a JAWS instructor when the Red Cross moved their call center to Atlanta and started closing some of them.  Around 2009, Steve received a promotion to his current position as an Assistive Technology Consultant.  He also wears many hats at the Commission, and one of his favorite hats is his Newsline Administrator hat for the Newsline program.  Steve Cook’s first involvement in the federation was when Martha Robertson invited him to an NFB meeting in the Rock Hill area when he lived in Lancaster.  He has attended all state conventions since 1997 with the exception of the one in 2016.  The reason he missed then is due to Shannon having a medical procedure.  He has attended approximately six National conventions.  Steve Cook has been elected to the following offices:  Computer Science president, 2010 to 2018 and currently is the first vice president; first vice president of the Columbia chapter; he was just elected to the state board this year and he is also on several statewide committees.  Steve is also involved with Rocky Bottom, NFB of SCNet, manages the NFB Face Book page, he is the Web content person for the NFB of SC website, and he promotes different functions for the NFB on social media and on the NFB list serve.  Steve Cook’s hobbies include learning new assistive technology, reading, sports, the Dallas Cowboys and the South Carolina Gamecocks, not to mention NASCAR races.  Steve and Shannon attend enjoy being involved in the NFB and Steve has had his guide dog for nine years as of this past July from Fidelco.  Few have involved themselves more fully in federation activities and philosophy, both as a volunteer and in his career in service to the blind.  We salute you Steve as well as his lovely wife Shannon Cook!

Final Thought:  Thanksgiving comes early this year on November 22 so start counting your blessings!

 

1681

 

October 31, 2018

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

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1681

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

In a couple of days, NFB of SC and RBRCCB Board members as well as chapter and division presidents should be receiving letters regarding the 2018 Christmas Board Retreat which will occur at Rocky Bottom the weekend of November 30, December 1, and December 2.  This will be a busy time since we will be holding two Board meetings beginning with the RBRCCB Board of Directors meeting Saturday, December 1, at 9:30 a.m. and ending with the NFB of SC Board meeting at 2:00 p.m.  Saturday evening will be a time for observing the Christmas season, singing carols, fellowship, and eating delicious desserts.  If you are planning to attend, please contact the Federation Center (803) 254-3777 or return the reply card enclosed with your letter in order for us to have an accurate head count for meals.  If you cannot attend, please contact me at (803) 796-8662 or email me at frankcoppel@att.net prior to November 30.  I hope we will have a large turnout.  Make plans to be there!

I am sure all of you are working very hard to sell your $1, 2019 Las Vegas National Convention tickets.  Money raised from this fundraiser will be used to financially assist those members who will be attending the NFB national convention July 7-12, 2019 in Las Vegas.  Remember, the drawing will be held at the conclusion of the Statewide Seminar on January 5, 2019.  The individual who purchases the winning ticket will receive $300, the seller of the winning ticket will receive $100 and the chapter who sells the most tickets will receive $300.

This is an important reminder to get out tovote either in early voting or on Election Day, Tuesday, November 6. As has occurred in recent elections, there will be a blind-voter-experience survey available sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind. More details on the survey will be included in next week’s Positive Note.

We have an announcement from Isaiah Nelson.  “The third annual Thanksgiving Dinner will be held on Thursday, November 22, 2018 at the Federation Center located at 119 S. Kilbourne Road, Columbia, SC, 29201.  The time of the dinner will be 2:00 o’clock p.m.  The menu consists of:  baked turkey, baked chicken, ham, rice and gravy, dressing, mac and cheese, potato salad, green beans, lima beans, cranberry sauce, sweet potato soufflé, dinner rolls and sweet potato pie and cake.  Drinks will also be served with meals.  The cost of the meal is Fifteen ($15.00) for adults and Seven ($7.00) Dollars for children 5 thru 12 years old.

If you are planning to attend this dinner please bring your money to the Columbia chapter meeting in November.  Also, you may call Dorothy Barksdale at 803-765-1622 if you are planning to attend so that we can get an accurate number of people attending.”

Finally, according to an article written by Caroline Simon from USA TODAY, South Carolina’s favorite Halloween candy is;  Skittles (118,870 pounds), Second Favorite: Candy Corn (97,610 pounds), Third Favorite: Hot Tamales (39,738 pounds).  There you have it.  Enjoy!

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.

In the spotlight this week we highlight a Sumter Chapter member who has made it possible for the Sumter chapter and her chapter President and NFB of SC Second Vice President Debra Canty to be highly successful.  I am speaking of Diana Singleton.  Diana was born in Hartsville, SC and raised in Sumter, SC.  She attended Sumter High School.  She is the oldest of six children. Her parents had four girls and two boys. Her father passed in 2005 and a sister passed in July 2018. Diana has been married for 37 years. They have two children.  Their son, Dr. Tremain Singleton married La’Kia Sharda Singleton who is a Nurse Practitioner. Their daughter Crystal Gilmore who is a Registered Nurse, is married to Julius Gilmore II, a Computer Programmer. They have two beautiful granddaughters, Khloe and Juliana Gilmore.

Diana has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.  She worked at South Carolina Department of Environmental Control, in the Division of Children’s Rehabilitative Services for 30 years. She retired in May 2010.

Debra Canty and Diana Singleton have been friends since the third grade. When she became blind and later became the President of the Sumter Chapter, Diana followed and she put her to work doing a variety of things.  Diana attends chapter meetings and helps with meals as needed, spearheading our Annual Barbecue sales, helping with the Annual Sweetheart Dance to raise money for the Federation Center, helping with the Sumter Chapter Christmas Gala, and any tasks the chapter or the president requests.  She has driven to and from the Washington Seminar and once from Washington DC because the driver had a family emergency. She drove members to Rocky Bottom and state and national conventions.  She worked with the Columbia Chapter’s annual dinner sale this year, attended the Washington seminar in January and volunteered in the exhibit hall at the National and State conventions.

Her hobbies are reading, traveling and learning about other chapters.  She attends Ebenezer Presbyterian Church in Dalzell, SC.  Diana is the president of the Neighbors Reunion. The Neighbors Reunion is where neighbors come together with past and present neighbors to celebrate the whole weekend, by socializing, reconnecting and worshipping from Friday to Sunday.  Let’s congratulate Diana Singleton who has dedicated her life to the blind in the Sumter Chapter and beyond and to others in helping them to live the life they want!

We extend our deepest sympathy to Columbia Chapter member Joe Urbanek in the loss of his mother Mary Urbanek who passed away on Thursday, October 25.  Mrs. Urbanek was one of the finest people I’ve ever known.  She provided service to a number of Columbia chapter members including considerable transportation.  We first met Mrs. Urbanek many years ago when she lived in Sumter.  She will be greatly missed.

 

Final Thought:  “Skip the trick and give a treat by contributing to the NFB of SC, Rocky Bottom Retreat and Conference Center of the Blind or to the Federation Center of the Blind.  Remember, its tax deductible, so you get something out of it too!”

 

1680

 

October 24, 2018

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

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1680

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

I am pleased to announce the National Seniors Retreat held at Rocky Bottom and sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind Seniors Division this past week was a tremendous success.  Although there was excitement on Monday afternoon as a result of a horrible accident that occurred approximately 100 yards from the entrance to Rocky Bottom and which unfortunately resulted in the death of a truck driver, the overall training provided to the twelve seniors who participated in the program was well received.  As I reported last week, twelve seniors from across the country were encouraged to use their sleep shades during such training as cane travel, Braille, cooking class, and other independent living activities.  Each afternoon, seniors participated in a group discussion designed to assist individuals to cope more effectively with their visual loss and to answer questions related to blindness issues.  On Thursday afternoon, we traveled to a nearby apple orchard where the seniors were asked to wear their sleep shades and utilize the cane skills they learned during the week.  Friday afternoon, closing ceremonies were held and each participant received a Braille/print certificate designed by Tracy Spittle which recognized their accomplishments during the program.  I would like to take this time to thank everyone who contributed in any way to make this program a huge success.  I would like to recognize the instructional staff which consisted of Liz Lewis, Shelley Coppel, Tom and Linda Anderson from Kansas, and Ruth Sager.  Other staff included Michael Hartz, Christine Filter, the nurse, Barry Chavis, Carolyn Phillips, Tiffiny Mitchell, who donated drinks for the week, and Linda Bible.  Of course, many thanks goes to Lenora Robertson, Ellen Taylor, JW and Ora Bell Smith for their outstanding work in the kitchen.  Finally, a very special thank you goes to Ruth Sager, President of the National Seniors Division, for her willingness to hold this training program at Rocky Bottom.  President Sager was pleased with the facilities at Rocky Bottom and she indicated to me she is considering to hold a similar training program for seniors in the fall of 2019.

Congratulations to the Anderson Chapter and their President Krystal Reece and member Roxie Reed for holding a very successful Meet the Blind Month activity at a shopping mall in the Anderson area on Saturday October 20.  I understand from Carey Burris members walked through the mall using their white canes.  Other members manned a table and disseminated NFB literature to the public.

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.

This week we spotlight a valued Associate member of the NFB of SC who has made an impact on the federation.  You may recall that he won the Associate Member of the Year Award at the 2018 NFB of SC Columbia Convention this past August.  I am speaking of Larry Warrington whose lovely wife Valerie also won the Donald C. Capps Award at that same convention in August.  Larry was born in Baltimore, Maryland and he moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with his mother when he was 8. So, he has lived most of his life in SC.  Larry attended Myrtle Beach High School, and upon graduating from there, he went to Newberry College. In 1993 he graduated from Newberry with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Accounting.

At the beginning of his career Larry Warrington worked in accounting for a small construction company in Newberry, and then in 1998 he went to work with the SC Office of the State Auditor. In his time at the auditor’s office, he earned his CPA license and progressed to the position of Audit Manager.

Valerie and Larry have been married since June, 2001, though they dated a number of years before then. They met through Valerie’s cousin who worked with him at the construction company in Newberry.

Larry got involved with the Federation through Valerie. He first started by taking her to chapter meetings and it steadily progressed from there. He began providing transportation for local chapter members and assisting with local fundraisers before becoming involved at the state level. He has helped with Fun Day at Rocky Bottom and with Board Retreats. He has assisted with streaming the State Conventions and with the Midlands Gives campaigns. He also assisted Valerie with her duties as Treasurer by getting mail from the Center, taking deposits to the bank, and with data entry.  He has never been to a national convention, but he has been to 20 State Conventions, and numerous state-wide seminars.  He has helped with streaming of the SC State Conventions since 2009. Generally, this involves finding a site on which to broadcast the convention, and monitoring the broadcast during the day.

In his spare time, Larry loves to play with his daughter Alivia and watch college football. He also enjoys doing projects around the house.  With his wife Valerie being President of the Newberry Chapter and Treasurer of Rocky Bottom and the NFB of SC, they work together as a team which deserves our respect for their dedication of time, energy and resources, making a difference in the federation.

 

Final Thought:  “Braille places the world at your fingertips!”

 

1679

 

October 17, 2018

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

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1679

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

Hello from Rocky Bottom where Shelley and I are participating in a week long training program for seniors sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind Seniors Division.  Shelley and I traveled to Rocky Bottom on Friday, October 12, to do some last minute preparation prior to the start of the program which began on Sunday, October 14, and will conclude on Saturday, October 20.  Twelve seniors representing nine states (Utah, Oklahoma, Michigan, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Florida, New Jersey and South Carolina) are learning blindness skills such as: cane travel, Braille, home management, organizational skills, and assistive technology.  These seniors are wearing a sleep shade while learning these skills and they are participating in daily group discussions which are designed to reinforce appropriate choices when encountering a variety of blindness issues.  Although there have been NFB groups such as the National Association of Parents of Blind  Children (NOPBC) and a group of students from the Louisiana Center for the Blind’s summer program who have conducted  similar programs in the past at Rocky Bottom, we have not had this type of training occur at our facilities for many years.  It is my hope this important program occurring this week will lead to other national divisions and state affiliates of the NFB to utilize Rocky Bottom for workshops, meetings and future training programs.

We have an announcement from Steve Cook, NFB of SC Website Content Administrator. “It is time to begin thinking about upcoming events for 2019 in the NFB of SC!  If you have an event in 2019 and you would like for the information to be posted on the NFB of SC website.  Send it to me at steve.cook@nfbofsc.org.  This is a great way to bring in people to the NFB and let them know about local events in your area!  Be sure to include as much information for the event as possible.”

Constance Miller, President of our Belvedere Chapter says, “The Belvedere Chapter had its White Cane Awareness Walk and Meet the Blind Month activity this past Saturday, October 13th, at the North Augusta Recreation Center, from 10:00 a.m. until noon. We walked on the greenway.  We handed out NFB flyers and information on the white cane.”

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.

As all of you know, October is Meet the Blind Month and this is an important event as the blind need to do everything possible to improve relations with sighted persons.  In last week’s Positive Note we provided readers with the White Cane Safety Day Proclamation signed by Gov. Henry McMaster.  Federationists across the state are giving a lot of attention to promoting public awareness and you have my appreciation.  One of the memorable legislative initiatives I recall was the White Cane Law which was authored by our founder, Dr. Jacobus tenBroek.  Some valuable information is provided in the White Cane Law adopted by this state in the late Summer of 1972.  The preamble of the White Cane Law which is prominently displayed in the Center’s Legislative Hall of Fame states that, “It is the policy of this State to encourage and enable the blind, the visually handicapped, and the otherwise physically disabled to participate fully in the social and economic life of the State and to engage in remunerative employment.”  The section creating the White Cane Safety Day is as follows, SECTION 43-33-50. White Cane Safety Day.   Each year, the Governor shall take suitable public notice of October fifteenth as White Cane Safety Day. He shall issue a proclamation in which:

(a) He comments upon the significance of the white cane;

(b) He calls upon the citizens of the State to observe the provisions of the White Cane Law and to take precautions necessary to the safety of the disabled;

(c) He reminds the citizens of the State of the policies with respect to the disabled herein declared and urges the citizens to cooperate in giving effect to them;

(d) He emphasizes the need of the citizens to be aware of the presence of disabled persons in the community and to keep safe and functional for the disabled the streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways, public buildings, public facilities, other public places, places of public accommodation, amusement and resort, and other places to which the public is invited, and to offer assistance to disabled persons upon appropriate occasions.”

You will note that this important legislation is the basis of equal treatment of the blind in society.  When we approached the SC General Assembly several decades ago about the White Cane Law, as I recall, there was not one vote against the bill in either the House or the Senate.  The White Cane Law created the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.  I am glad to have this opportunity of providing you with the actual language used in the statute and we are indebted to Dr. tenBroek for authoring this invaluable tool.

 

Final Thought:  “Learning new skills makes one more independent.  Sharing those skills with others makes many independent.”

 

1678

 

October 10, 2018

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

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1678

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

We have an announcement from Thom Spittle, President of the Computer Science and Technology Division.  “The Computer Science & Technology Division of the NFB of SC will be holding a workshop this Saturday, October 13, 2018, at the Federation Center of the Blind, 119 S. Kilbourne Road Columbia, SC, from 10am to noon.  This is a free workshop. This workshop will focus on the Seeing AI app for IOS, but there will be plenty of time to get help on any tech related issues you may have.  If you have any questions, or would like us to hold a spot for  you at the workshop, call 803-402-3526, and leave your name and a contact number.  See you there.”

We have an announcement from Debra Canty, President of the Sumter chapter regarding her chapter’s Meet the Blind month activities.  “The Sumter Chapter members were involved as we introduced ourselves to the community, raised blind awareness at the Sumter County Fair and was given information on other people who are blind and offer them information as well. We offered information on blindness, offered bus fund tickets, gave away candy, brochures, Braille cards, Kernel books, chapter information and we met so many people interested in our display of blind paraphernalia. Kudos to Lee and Laura James for decorating the informative fair booth on blindness. There were (30) members that attended church last Sunday, where Herbert Boykin raised blind awareness during the morning service. Another area church invited us to their Wednesday evening program and Jan Lewis demonstrated technology and shared how she lives the life she wants. We plan to be out and about in the community and especially during October observing blind awareness month.”

As state president, I appreciate those individuals and chapters who have notified me regarding their chapter’s Meet the Blind Month activity and I will continue to share this information in future Positive Notes.  As I have already stated previously, a Meet the Blind Month activity is a great way to educate the public about blindness and to recruit new members to your chapter.

Governor McMaster has proclaimed October 15, 2018, as White Cane Safety Day.  Below, is his proclamation:

 

“State of South Carolina – Governor’s Proclamation

 

WHEREAS, the white cane is a simple yet effective tool of independence that contributes to the self-sufficiency of the blind and visually impaired and symbolizes their ability to achieve a full and independent life and their capacity to work productively in competitive employment; and

WHEREAS, the white cane is a symbol of dignity and determination as well as a tangible reminder that individuals with impaired eyesight are able to go, to move, to be, to compete and to contribute with all others in society and to lead full, independent and productive lives; and

WHEREAS, established by the National Federation of the Blind, the annual observance of “White Cane Safety Day” emphasizes the need for all Americans to be aware of the presence of disabled persons in our communities and to work together to keep the streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways, public buildings and facilities, and places of public accommodation amusement and resort safe and functional for the disabled; and

WHEREAS, the 2018 observance of “White Cane Safety Day” provides an opportunity for people across the Palmetto State and the nation to renew their dedication to eliminating barriers for the blind and visually impaired and to recognize their value as individuals, employees and productive members of our communities.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Henry McMaster, Governor of the great state of South Carolina, do hereby proclaim October 15, 2018, as WHITE CANE SAFETY DAY throughout the state and encourage all South Carolinians to show respect for those who carry the white cane, to honor their many achievements, and to reaffirm our commitment to improve access to basic services and opportunities for blind and visually impaired persons.

Henry McMaster, Governor, State of South Carolina”

 

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.

As we approach mid-October, we continue to note that there are those who often work behind the scenes but are essential to a local chapter’s growth and progress.  In the Conway Chapter I have heard Chapter President Levern Wilson speak highly of one of his members who put the Conway Chapter on the map with area blind people.  I am speaking of Patsy Roberts.  Patsy tells me that she was born in Conway but was raised in Aynor.  By the way, Patsy attended the public schools in Aynor.  For those of you who remember the late M. B. “Red” Shaw who worked with Scout Troop 424, the Columbia Chapter and the Federation Center of the Blind for decades, will be interested to note that Patsy had Red’s son,  J. Marion Shaw as a Teacher in one of her classes.  Patsy has two brothers, one of which is deceased.  She has four children and 15 grandchildren.  Patsy has been married to Doug Roberts for fourteen years and Doug has been the Pastor of the Pee Dee Freewill Baptist Church for twenty-seven years.  Patsy is church secretary and also plays the piano.  Patsy learned of the Conway Chapter of the NFB of SC through Levern Wilson and they joined the chapter in 2007.  Patsy and Doug have attended most all of the state conventions since then and in fact have even conducted the Sunday morning Devotional and Memorial Service.  Patsy has a hobby doing public service for the Conway Chapter.  She has developed a chapter letterhead, brochures, a web site and a Facebook page.  As I remember it, once she launched the Facebook page, several area blind people contacted the Conway Chapter, not knowing before that one had existed in Conway.  She says that she helps out in any way Levern asks her to.  I know the Conway Chapter is planning their annual Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner, the details of which will be set at their October meeting.  It is quite an event to attend.  Conway is also looking forward to working another Belk Charity Days as Levern asked the Center for a tax-exempt donation letter for the upcoming fundraising event.  Let’s all salute Patsy and Doug Roberts for their dedication to the blind in the Greater Conway area and beyond!

 

Final Thought:  “This October 8 we celebrated Columbus Day as Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492.  480 years later on October 15, 1972 the Model White Cane Law was passed in South Carolina and each October 15 “White Cane Safety Day” celebrates first class treatment for all blind South Carolinians.  And 500 years after 1492 in 1992 the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed by Congress, making state White Cane Laws federally recognized.”

 

1677

 

October 3, 2018

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

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1677

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

As we begin October, Meet the Blind Month appears to be in full swing.  We have an announcement from the SC State Library’s Talking Book Services regarding a special event occurring later this month.  “The South Carolina State Library’s Talking Book Services will host an author talk by Michael Hingson for Blindness Awareness Month on October 18, 2018. Hingson, a blind survivor of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, will tell his life story and detail how he and his guide dog made it out of the Twin Towers alive. His talk begins at 6:00 p.m., with a reception opening at 5:00 p.m. and a book signing afterward.

Who is Michael Hingson?

On September 11, 2001, a blind man escaped the World Trade Center by walking down 78 flights of stairs with his guide dog. Days later, America fell in love with Mike and Roselle and the special bond that helped them both survive one of the country’s darkest days. Following the 9/11 tragedy, Michael was featured on the Larry King show five times. According to King, “Michael Hingson is an international hero honored and awarded by top organizations worldwide.” He now travels the world as a keynote and inspirational speaker who can motivate audiences to action. He has also put his experience in a book called Thunder Dog (DB 73300) which is available from us and downloadable from BARD.  This program is free and open to the public. Registration is required because seating is limited.

Date: Thursday, October 18, 2018 Time:5:00PM – 7:30PM Campus: South Carolina State Library Location: First Floor.  Limited seating is still available.  Go to the below link to register: https://statelibrary.sc.libcal.com/event/4422232.

We have two very important announcements from our national President, Mark Riccobono which appeared in this week’s President’s Notebook.  “After almost a decade of negotiations, drafting, and advocacy, the Marrakesh Treaty is closer than ever before to becoming a reality in the United States. On Tuesday September 25, 2018, at 7:19 p.m. EST, the US House of Representatives unanimously passed the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act (S. 2559). The bill will now go to the president for his signature. This is a major victory for the members of the National Federation of the Blind; because of our hard work, soon blind people all across the globe will enjoy a vast collection of accessible materials. Special thanks to Scott LaBarre who has been serving as the principal negotiator on the Federation’s behalf for all of these years. Read our press release about this tremendous development at https://nfb.org/us-house-representatives-passes-marrakesh-treaty-implementation-act.

National Federation of the Blind Night at Camden Yards:  The Orioles organization dedicated the September 18 game to the National Federation of the Blind in honor of our forty-year anniversary in Baltimore. Our members passed out Braille alphabet cards and the Orioles player and coach jerseys had the names in Braille. One of those shirts will be sent to the Baseball Hall of Fame and the rest were auctioned off, with the proceeds coming to our national office. I was honored to throw out the first pitch.”

This is a reminder there will be s second teleconference call on October 9 at 7:00 p.m. to discuss updated information regarding transportation arrangements for those additional individuals who are still interested in attending the 2019 NFB national convention in Las Vegas.  The call in number is (862) 902-0241.  The access code is 358-8716.

 

As all of you recall, Hazel Arms, a member of our Greenville Chapter and a long time Federationist, passed away on June 5, of this year.  Visitation for Hazel will be held on Sunday, October 7, from 2:00 to 2:45 p.m. with the memorial service following at 3:00.  Services will be held at the Thomas McAfee Funeral home Northwest Chapel, 6710 White Horse rd., Greenville, SC 29611.

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.

This week we are spotlighting another longtime federationist who has served and continues to serve the blind in many ways.  I am speaking of Patricia Tuck who has resided in Greenville for the past few years.  Patricia was born in 1941 and was raised in the Jacksonville, Florida area.  She attended the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind in St. Augustine.  Once she completed high school she continued her education at St. John’s River College (St. John’s River runs from south to north through the Jacksonville area) where she took general college courses and majored in Spanish.  After receiving her Associates degree, she attained to her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Florida in Gainesville; again majoring in Education and Spanish.  Patricia Tuck used her Spanish by working with missionaries in South America.  She then worked two years at the SC Commission for the Blind in Greenville but then achieved her Master’s degree at Western Michigan University where she studied Rehabilitation Teaching.  Following this accomplishment, Patricia Tuck again worked with the SC Commission for the Blind for over 25 years until she retired.  She did rehabilitation teaching and loved it.   After that she moved back to Florida for a time operating a Hot Chili Peppers Chihuahua Kennel where she raised and sold Chihuahuas. I recruited her and she was very active in the Greenville Chapter, holding several chapter offices including President.  Patricia was involved in growing chapter membership, legislative advocacy and she tells me she has attended most national conventions until recent years and every state convention.  This includes her tine living in Jacksonville, Florida where she served in official capacities and she even served as Secretary of the NFB’s national Deaf/Blind Division.  She has attended two senior blind camps and although she broke her leg earlier, she plans to attend the Spring Senior Camp as her leg should be well mended.  Outside the federation, Patricia is a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church which is across the street from where she lives.  She attends Sunday services, the Women’s group and is active in various church and senior events.  She is Vice President of the NFB of SC Greenville Chapter and collected three loads of items for their recent Yard Sale fundraiser.  She always wants to help wherever she can.  Let’s salute Patricia Tuck for her outstanding service to the blind and others.

 

Final Thought:  “When Autumn falls, so do the leaves, the temperatures and the sound of candy going into Halloween trick or treat bags.”

1676

 

September 26, 2018

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

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1676

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

With October 1, just around the corner, I hope many of our chapters have Meet the Blind Month events already planned.  On Saturday, October 27, the Columbia Chapter will hold a Step It Up Walk at the Drew Wellness Center at 9:00 a.m.  The cost to walk at least one mile is $20.  I hope to hear from other chapters regarding your Meet the Blind Month activity, and I will share this information in the Positive Note.

During the next few weeks, I will be formulating committees for 2018/2019.   If you wish to serve on a committee or Chair a committee, please let me know and I will try very hard to accommodate you in regards to your expressed interests.  Also, if you would like to know the purpose and function of a particular committee, you can call me at (803) 796-8662 or you can email me at frankcoppel@att.net.  NFB of SC committees are extremely important as they carry out the business of the Federation between Conventions and Board meetings.  The list of committees are as follows; Legislative committee, Resolutions committee, Membership committee, Scholarship committee, Public Relations committee, Social Media committee, Finance committee, Braille Literacy committee, Fund Raising committee, White Cane Walk-a-thon committee, Donald C. Capps Award committee, Associate Member of the Year Award committee, Employer of the Year Award committee, Educator of the Year Award committee, PAC Plan (pre-authorized contribution plan) committee, and Sun Shares (Shares unlimited NFB) committee.

We have an announcement from Tiffiny Mitchell, chairperson of the 2019 Las Vegas National convention Transportation committee. “We will hold another conference call on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. to discuss new information regarding additional transportation opportunities to the national convention. We will be able to answer some questions also, so please be thinking of what you’d like to ask during the call.  The call in number is (862) 902-0241.  The access code is 358-8716.  To keep the background noise to a minimum, once you have entered the conference, please press *6 to mute your phone.  If you would like to make a comment press the same keys to unmute.  Also, please state your name before asking a question or making a comment.  This will help ensure that everyone can hear all comments and get the most from the information provided.  If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call at (803) 603-2098.  I look forward to talking to you soon!”

Finally, we need to continue to keep those members in our thoughts and prayers who may be encountering hardships as the result of the terrible flooding in Conway, Horry county, Georgetown, and Florence county.  If any of these members need assistance please do not hesitate to call the state office at (803) 254-3777.

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.

A cruise has been one of the nation’s most enjoyable activities.  It enables passengers to visit many places around the world.  Some of you know that David and Darlene Houck took an Alaskan cruise and land tour.  A number of our members have taken cruises leaving Charleston for the Caribbean.  Many years ago Betty and I took a cruise.  The late Dr. Kenneth Jernigan, longtime President of the NFB, disliked airplanes but liked to go on cruises.  Upon hearing that Betty and I were celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary in 1989, Dr. Jernigan invited us to join him on a cruise.  He made reservations on the QEII (Queen Elizabeth II) securing discounts, etc.  We departed from New York City Harbor and several days later we landed at South Hampton, England where we spent the next several days.  The QEII is an enormous ship.  However, because of its age I believe it is no longer in use.  While on the QEII I enjoyed fabulous food and great entertainment.  Several different orchestras played during the evening hours which I enjoyed.  I even made up Rotary on the QEII, meeting other Rotarians from around the world who were also making up Rotary.  I enjoyed spending time on the huge deck.  The ladies enjoyed shopping.  This unforgettable cruise was not without incident.  While in the North Atlantic Ocean, a vicious storm shook the gigantic QEII.  Passengers were asked to return to their respective cabins.  During the storm I happened to be in the dining room and I observed the storm was causing the cabinets to open wide with the dishes flying everywhere.  I was glad when the storm was over.  On the cruise Dr. Jernigan learned of the loss of property by several of our members because of Hurricane Hugo which also occurred in 1989.  Soon thereafter we received a $10,000 check from the national office arranged by Dr. Jernigan.  In late 1989 we held a board meeting at Rocky Bottom which was used to distribute these funds to blind persons affected by Hurricane Hugo.  It is my understanding that President Mark Riccobono is putting together a fund to assist blind persons who were affected by Hurricane Florence.  The NFB is a very caring organization and I’m proud to be a member.

 

Final Thought:  “Never be afraid of learning something new; you might find it easier than you thought.”

 

1675

 

September 19, 2018

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

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1675

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

Since 2015, during the third week in September, I have been dictating the Positive Note from Rocky Bottom where Shelley and I would normally be directing the fall session of senior camp.  However, due to travel and uncertain weather conditions this past weekend caused by Hurricane Florence, a decision was made Thursday afternoon, September 6, by the Commission for the Blind and RBRCCB to cancel the fall senior camp.  Monday, I contacted chapter presidents along the coast to determine if they were safe or needed any assistance as a result of the hurricane.  I was informed although most of them lost power anywhere from 15 to 26 hours, their damage from the storm was minimal and power had been restored by Sunday evening or Monday morning.  Our Federation family needs to continue to keep our members living on the coast in our thoughts and prayers as this part of the state may encounter issues as a result of potential flooding.  We also need to especially keep those individuals living in North Carolina who have experienced hardship from the storm in our thoughts and prayers as well.

It is time to turn our attention toward Meet the Blind Month which is held during the month of October.  This is an extremely important event, because it provides our members the opportunity to educate the public of the programs and services offered by the National Federation of the Blind.  Meet the Blind Month activities can also be used as a recruitment tool to introduce blind individuals to our organization.  It is my hope many of our chapters and divisions are planning activities in their respective communities to promote this worthwhile event.  Let me know if your chapter or division will be having a Meet the Blind Month activity and I will be glad to share this information in the Positive Note.

I have been told by Tiffiny Mitchell, Chairperson of the 2019 Las Vegas national convention transportation committee, we have fulfilled our obligation of securing twenty seats for the current contract with American Airlines.  In an effort to maximize the largest possible turnout of South Carolinians wanting to attend the Las Vegas national convention, I have asked Tiffiny to continue to monitor on a weekly basis American Airlines’ nonstop group rate airfare from Charlotte to Las Vegas.  Remember, as with this current contract, a minimum of ten people are needed to qualify for a group rate.  Once a new contract is signed, individuals will again have two weeks to make a $50 deposit to reserve and hold their seat.  If you are interested in attending the 2019 National convention but were unable to sign up for this current contract, I would encourage you to contact Tiffiny Mitchell at (803) 603-2098.  I would also strongly encourage chapter presidents and others to share this very important information with all of your members.

During the next few days or so, all of you should be receiving your 2019 Las Vegas national Convention tickets.  Let’s do all we can to raise the necessary funds to financially assist as many of our members as possible to attend the National Convention in Las Vegas.  As we have done previously, tickets will cost $1.  Remember, the winner of the winning ticket which will be drawn on January 5, 2019 at the Statewide Seminar will win $300, the seller of the winning ticket will receive $100, and the Chapter selling the most tickets will win $300.

I am sadden to report Jan Crosby, a member of our Columbia chapter, brother, William age 63, passed away unexpectedly Monday, September 17.  All of us in our Federation family need to keep Jan and her family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

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.

This week we are spotlighting a valued Associate member.  Our Associate members do everything they can to support the blind and the federation in many ways locally, statewide and nationally.  Without their kind assistance, many of us might be hard pressed to get some things accomplished.  This week we are spotlighting the wife of JW Smith, our Greenville Chapter President, Mrs. Ora Bell Smith.  Born and raised in Laurens County, Ora Bell attended public school there as well, completing her education at Bryson High School.  She later moved to Greenville.  She was raised by her grandparents on a farm where they raised chickens and hogs as well as vegetables and potatoes.  You can imagine the canning of vegetables and making of jams like blackberry preserves.  Ora Bell became a good cook and has used this talent among others extensively.  September 1, 2018 marked JW and Ora Bell Smith’s 28th wedding anniversary.  JW had a degenerative eye disease but that never bothered Ora Bell.  They have 8 children, 25 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and 5 great-great-grandchildren.  I am sure that their family reunions are quiet large gatherings.  JW and Ora Bell have attended 5 national NFB conventions and every state convention since they joined in 2001.  Ora Bell drives the van for the Greenville Chapter and Senior Camps.  She also cooks for the chapter, works as part of the kitchen crew at Senior Camps, RBRCCB Fun Day weekends, and the Rocky Bottom Christmas Board Retreats.  She also helps the chapter Treasurer and in any other way she can be of service.  Her hobbies include baking cakes and cookies and sewing.  The Smith’s attend Old Shady Oak Baptist Church in Simpsonville where Ora Bell likes to cook for church events.  I have heard that Ora Bell’s vanilla cake which David and Darlene Houck won at the Center auction was very delicious and did not last long.  Let’s salute Ora Bell Smith for her help to President JW Smith, the Greenville Chapter, Senior Campers, Rocky Bottom visitors and guests and to others like her church and extended family members for all her hard work and love in doing all that she accomplishes.

 

Final Thought:  “Have white cane will travel.  Got Braille?  Have good blindness skills, will live well.  Got Federation spirit, you will go far and help others to do so.”

 

1674

September 12, 2018

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

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1674

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

Before we turn our attention to other activities in the NFB of SC, I would like to share with you numbers regarding the Fun Day Festival which occurred at Rocky Bottom on September 1.  Considering the limited time we had to plan for this event, we were able to raise approximately $4,000 in net proceeds.  We were able to sell 694 tickets state wide and after paying out $850 in prize money we were able to clear $2,620 in Fun Day tickets sales.  Frank Loza, of the Belvedere chapter won the $550 as he bought the winning ticket two hours prior to the drawing.  The Columbia chapter won $300 for finishing first place selling 131 tickets, Linda Bible, the resident manager of Rocky Bottom, finished second place selling 80 tickets, Sumter chapter finished third selling 70 tickets, and Rock hill chapter finished fourth selling 66 tickets.  The auction was very successful as we were able to raise $1,346.

I am sure most of you have heard by now, that the 2019 NFB National Convention will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Mandalay Resort hotel next year from July 7-12, 2019.  At the NFB of SC Board of Directors meeting held during the state convention, I appointed a committee chaired by Tiffiny Mitchell to investigate ways how the state organization could best financially assist our members to attend the 2019 National convention.  Thursday evening, September 6, a teleconference meeting was held and Tiffiny presented the following information to the more than twenty people who were on the conference call.  The date we will be flying to Las Vegas will be Saturday, July 6, 2019 and we will be returning from Las Vegas on Saturday, July 13, 2019.  Currently, the group rate for a round trip, nonstop ticket on American Airlines from Charlotte to Las Vegas is $439 which includes taxes and fees.  A minimum of ten people are needed to qualify for a group rate.  Because seats on flights were going quickly, Tiffiny felt we needed to sign a contract with American Airlines as soon as possible.  For this reason, she is planning to sign a contract with American Airlines on September 21, 2018.  Once Tiffiny signs a contract, individuals will have fourteen days to make a $50 deposit to reserve and hold their seat.  The deadline to pay your $50 deposit is October 5, 2018.  Airline tickets must be paid in full ($439) to American Airlines no later than June 6, 2019.  To assist members financially, the NFB of SC will provide transportation to qualified individuals from Columbia to the Charlotte airport and from the Las Vegas airport to the hotel.  If you want further information regarding these arrangements, feel free to contact Tiffiny Mitchell at (803) 603-2098.  Let’s do all we can to have a maximum turnout of South Carolinians in Las Vegas next year for our national convention!

We have an announcement from Isaiah Nelson, president of the SC School for the blind Alumni Association.  “Greetings!  Those of you who would be interested in going to Spartanburg on Saturday, October 20, 2018 to assist  in developing future plans for activities and programs for the SC School for the Blind, I would like to take this time to invite you to a planning meeting. The cost of the trip will be fifty ($50) dollars which includes your dues, lunch and gas.  The van will be leaving from the federation center at 8:00 a.m. on the above-given date.  All monies should be paid no later than Thursday, October 11, 2018.  If you have any questions or interested in this meeting, feel free to contact me at (803) 413-2434.”

Finally, I would like to say to all of our chapters and members who are located on the coast and who are in the path of Hurricane Florence, you are in our thoughts and prayers.  If you need any assistance, please do not hesitate to call on us.

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.

President Coppel’s figures on the Fun Day Festival are most impressive.  We appreciate the extensive work which was done on the Fun Day Festival.  There’s another funding program which greatly benefits all three entities, the NFB of SC, the Federation Center and Rocky Bottom.  This is known as the “Living Memorial Program.”  At about the same time the Fun Day Festival came into being in the early 1980’s, the living memorial program was also established.  Bill Richardson who served on the Advisory Board of the Federation Center, approached me about creating a federation living memorial program.  He provided us with a copy of a living memorial form he had used elsewhere and all we needed to do for the Federation Center was changing the wording on the form.  Not long thereafter we received a contribution from a contributor who wanted to assist the federation by remembering a loved one who had passed away.  Throughout the years this program grew.  Today it’s not unusual to receive more than one living memorial each week.  My granddaughter, Laura Setters who lives in Louisville, recently sent a living memorial for her dear mother and my daughter, Beth Holdcraft, whose portrait is displayed prominently in the board room at Rocky Bottom.  Laura explained that the $90 contribution was to go for the 90 years of my life.  Incidentally, a record breaking number of greetings about my birthday were received.  Living memorials for the federation come from persons in all walks of life.  Federationists also participate in the living memorial program.  Recently we received numerous living memorials given in memory of Mary Maness, a member of the Union Chapter.  These memorials were generous and raised funds in excess of $300.  A number of years ago, Ben Rushton, a member of the Edgefield County Chapter, who lost his sight in an automobile accident.  His wife divorced him because of his loss of sight and she also wanted custody of their children.  Frank Coppel went to the court hearing and Frank was very persuasive.  The judge granted custody of the children to Ben Rushton.  Recently Ben passed away.  Memorials in his memory were received from contributors from throughout the state, as far as from Charleston.  I hope that members from throughout the state will participate in this program when the situation presents itself.  We must support our statewide programs and this is an excellent way of doing so.

As I dictate this Positive Note Tuesday we are concerned about the reports we are receiving from the weather bureau regarding Hurricane Florence.  I hope all of you remain safe.  I vividly recall Hurricane Hugo which occurred in September 1989 as I was attending a board meeting of the SC School for the Deaf and Blind.  We agreed to spend the night at the School and I recall Betty and I stayed in the Walker Hall apartment.  I liked everything except the twin beds.  Late that night I woke up and thought I heard a person talking but it turned out to be my dear wife who had her small radio and she was playing it under the cover.  When I asked about it she said she was trying to get Hurricane Hugo news from Columbia.  We did receive damage to our property but our next door neighbor had serious damage to his roof as a large tree fell across his roof.  Let’s all keep everyone in our thoughts and prayers.

 

Final Thought:  “Thought without action is meaningless.  Action without thought is reckless.”

1673

 

September 5, 2018

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

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1673

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended and volunteered their services at the Fun Day Festival held at Rocky Bottom this past Labor Day weekend.  When considering the fact plans for Fun Day did not begin in earnest until after July 15, the turnout for this event was good as approximately 45 federationists attended the festivities on Saturday, September 1.  All of us need to work harder to attract more of the public to attend as well as encourage more of our members to sell their Fun Day tickets and to attend the Fun Day festivities.  The weather this weekend was spectacular and everyone appeared to have a great time enjoying each other’s company and raising money for Rocky Bottom.  All things considered, I truly believe the 37th annual Fun Day Festival was successful.  Next week I will share with you the breakdown of the proceeds regarding this year’s Fun Day festival.  Many thanks go to Lenora Robertson, Ellen Taylor, Glenda Ulick and the rest of the “Food Crew” for preparing four outstanding meals Saturday and Sunday morning.  I would like to especially thank Valerie and Larry Warrington, their niece, Haily, and Libby Farr for helping where ever needed.  I would also like to recognize David and Darleen Houck, Linda Bible, Jennifer Bazer for their assistance on Saturday as well as Jeff Baser who did a great job handling the duties of auctioneer.  RBRCCB is an extremely important and vital program of the NFB of SC and all of us as members need to work diligently and creatively in the years to come to increase the amount of monies raised during the Fun Day Festival.  As I have stated many times, Rocky Bottom belongs to all of us.  We need to work “as one team with one goal” and be proud we have such a unique facility in South Carolina.

We have an announcement from Tiffiny Mitchell, Chairperson of the 2019 NFB national convention transportation committee.  “By now, just about everyone has heard that the 2019 NFB National Convention will be held in Las Vegas next year from July 7-12.  Our committee is preparing to find out approximately how many in SC plan to attend and use the transportation arranged by the state organization.  We will hold a conference call on Thursday, September 6, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.  We are asking that you call in to find out more information about transportation arrangements thus far. We will be able to answer some questions also, so please be thinking of what you’d like to ask during the call.  The call in number is (862) 902-0241.  The access code is 358-8716.  To keep the background noise to a minimum, once you have entered the conference, please press *6 to mute your phone.  If you would like to make a comment press the same keys to unmute.  Also, please state your name before asking a question or making a comment.  This will help ensure that everyone can hear all comments and get the most from the information provided.  If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call at (803) 603-2098.  I look forward to talking to you soon!”

We have an announcement from Thom Spittle, president of the Computer Science and Technology Division. “Hi Everyone. The Computer Science Technology Division will be holding a training workshop and help session on Saturday, September 15, 2018. At the Federation Center of the Blind, 119 S. Kilbourne Rd., Columbia, SC 29205, from 10am to Noon.  This session will cover the Seeing AI app for iPhones.  There will also be a help session for those of you who need help getting started, or with a specific problem with your device.  If you would like to attend, please email Thom Spittle at thom3of5@gmail.com, or call the CSTD Helpline at 803-402-3526, and leave your name and that you would like to attend.  If you would like to help with the workshop, please contact Thom Spittle in one of the above ways.  As always, if you have any Workshop suggestions, or need help, call the Helpline at 803-402-3526.”

I am extremely sad to report to all of you, Ruth Weeks, a charter member of our state organization passed away on Saturday September 1, at 10:00a.m.  “Miss Ruth” as she was affectionately known by many of our members, was one of a small group of blind individuals who came together with their leader, Dr. Samuel M. Lawton, to form the Aurora Club of the Blind in Spartanburg, SC in 1944.  As you recall during the presidential report at our state convention, I stated next year will mark the seventy-fifth anniversary for this organization and I recognized Ruth Weeks who was present at the convention as being the only living charter member. Funeral Services will be held at 2 on Wednesday, September 05, 2018 at Una First Freewill Baptist Church with Rev. Kenneth Cash officiating. Interment will be at Good Shepherd Memorial Park.  I know Ruth Weeks will be greatly missed and all of us in our federation family need to keep her family and friends in our thoughts and prayers.

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.

This week we are saddened to report the passing of our charter NFB of SC member Ruth Weeks of Spartanburg.  The following is her obituary from the Spartanburg Herald Journal:

“Cowpens, SC– Ruth Weeks, 99, passed away on Saturday, September 01, 2018. She was the daughter of the late Clara Crosby Weeks. She was a member of Una First Freewill Baptist Church and worked at Spartanburg County Courthouse for twenty-eight years.

Survivors include a niece, Mary Stone of the home; two nephews, Don Adams of Inman and Joseph Adams of Spartanburg; many great nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by a sister, Rosie Adams; a brother, Bill Crosby.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 on Tuesday, September 04, 2018 at Stribling Funeral Home. Funeral Services will be held at 2 on Wednesday, September 05, 2018 at Una First Freewill Baptist Church with Rev. Kenneth Cash officiating. Interment will be at Good Shepherd Memorial Park.

The family is at the home of Don and Lucille Adams, 103 Conifer Road Inman 29349.

The following is my spotlight article on Ruth Weeks which was published in the Positive Note in 2009:

“A very special lady, Ruth Weeks of Spartanburg, truly deserves to be in the “spotlight.”  Ruth will celebrate her 90th birthday in July.  Born in Kershaw, most of her life was spent in Spartanburg.  At age seven in 1926, Ruth enrolled in the School for the Blind.  Herbert Hoover was President and she remembers the 1929 Great Depression.  At School Ruth was recognized for her singing talents.  To the best of my knowledge Ruth is the only living charter member of the Federation, then known as the Aurora Club.  She was present in 1944 when our founder, Dr. Sam Lawton arranged for the first gathering of the blind in Spartanburg.  In the 1920’s and 1930’s when Ruth was in School, there were no televisions, computers, cell phones, microwave ovens, or stereo technology but there was one very valuable program featuring Braille literacy.  When Ruth entered the School in 1926, there were not many automobiles on the road except for the Model T Ford which many of us remember.  Having been a member of the federation for 65 years (1944 – 2009), Ruth only missed a few meetings of the Spartanburg Chapter.  She has attended most of the state conventions and was honored for her years of service in August of 2000 receiving the NFB of SC Presidential Citation and was further honored with a standing ovation from the Banquet audience.  As previously stated, there were very few jobs available to Ruth during her long career but she did assist in jury selections in the courthouse as all prospective jurors were drawn by Ruth.  Ruth is an avid reader and fully utilized Braille when she started School in 1926.  One of Ruth’s favorite activities is attending Senior Blind Week at RBRCCB.  She let me know that she wants to attend Senior Camp this year as well.  Congratulations to Ruth Weeks who has been blessed in living a very long life, making many hundreds of friends both in the federation and in other places.”

Ruth was very special and will be missed.  Our thoughts and prayers are with her friends, family and the members of the Spartanburg Chapter.  As many of you are aware, Ruth Weeks did attend the August 2018 NFB of SC convention in Columbia.

 

Final Thought:  “Longevity with a purpose touches the lives of many.”

1672

 

August 28, 2018

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

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1672

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

This upcoming weekend many of us will be traveling to Rocky Bottom to attend the 37th annual Fun Day Festival.  Over 45 Federationists are planning to be at Rocky Bottom on Saturday, September 1, to participate in all the festivities.  One of my favorite activities during Fun Day is the auction which will take place Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m.  Many thanks go to Jennifer Bazer and Valerie Warrington who have been very instrumental in securing items for the auction.  Items for the auction include a photograph signed by Clemson head football coach Dabbo Sweeney, a black and silver football autographed by the Carolina Panthers, tickets to River Bank Zoo, Wonderworks in Myrtle Beach and Dollywood, gift baskets, and bakery items just to name a few.  We will be selling yard sale items and we will also be selling RBRCCB merchandise.  Four meals will be served throughout the weekend.  Times for meals are as follows; Saturday, September 1, breakfast 8:30, lunch 12:00, and supper 6:00 p.m.  Sunday, September 2, breakfast 8:30.  You will need to see Valerie Warrington and pay $30 for adults and $15 for children under twelve years of age to cover all four meals including the lunch  on Saturday.  Those individuals who are attending the Fun Day Festival Saturday and who are only eating lunch will need to pay Valerie and Larry Warrington $8 for adults and $4 for children.

It is extremely important we all do what we can to sell as many $5 Fun Day tickets as possible as this greatly contributes to the overall profits of the festival.  Remember, the winning ticket drawn will yield $50 to the seller and $500 to the buyer or $550 if you bought your own ticket.  The chapter selling the most tickets will receive $300 for its treasury!  Please mail your ticket stubs and money to the Federation Center no later than Thursday, August 30 or bring your stubs and money to Rocky Bottom on Saturday, September 1, and give them to David Houck.

We need to do all we can to support Rocky Bottom.  There needs to be a large Federation turnout for this very important fundraising event.

We have an announcement from Tiffiny Mitchell, Chairperson of the 2019 NFB national convention transportation committee.  “By now, just about everyone has heard that the 2019 NFB National Convention will be held in Las Vegas next year from July 7-12.  Our committee is preparing to find out approximately how many in SC plan to attend and use the transportation arranged by the state organization.  We will hold a conference call on Thursday, September 6, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.  We are asking that you call in to find out more information about transportation arrangements thus far. We will be able to answer some questions also, so please be thinking of what you’d like to ask during the call.  The call in number is (862) 902-0241.  The access code is 358-8716.  To keep the background noise to a minimum, once you have entered the conference, please press *6 to mute your phone.  If you would like to make a comment press the same keys to unmute.  Also, please state your name before asking a question or making a comment.  This will help ensure that everyone can hear all comments and get the most from the information provided.  If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call at (803) 603-2098.  I look forward to talking to you soon!”  Finally, I know many of you would like to join Shelley and I in wishing Dr. Capps a very happy ninetieth birthday as he will be celebrating this special occasion on Thursday, August 30.

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.

Two weeks ago I gave a short history of the Osterneck Cottage.  I realized a couple of days later I did not include the screened in porch when Osterneck was being expanded.  Throughout the years many of us have enjoyed the screened in porch which overlooks Chimney Top Creek.  This creek provides an outstanding acoustical sound as the waters cascade over the rocks in the creek.  The porch also features several high back type chairs which provide much enjoyment.  I have spent many hours occupying one of these chairs enjoying the creek.  The porch opens into the dining hall and dining room.  The porch also provides an outside exit down a flight of stairs.  No doubt some of you will enjoy the screened in porch at this week’s Fun Day.

About ten years after Osterneck was completed, the Conference Center was dedicated in July 1991.  Some 500 persons from throughout the area attended the dedication of the center in July 1991.  It was the largest gathering to date in the area. The Conference Center has a deck which is nice but it is not enclosed but it is enjoyed just the same.  The Conference Center deck is used for open air gatherings and live music, etc.  Because the Conference Center is much larger than the rest of the facilities, it afforded an opportunity for many blind people to contribute to the center.  Some 300 dining room chairs were needed to accommodate seating.  The late LP Armstrong-Garrett who was an associate member, owned and operated General Sales of Columbia and ordered the 300 chairs.  These dining room chairs are still in use.  They are of high quality.  We paid $45 per chair but the retail price was $75.  There is an area on each chair providing for the installation of a name plate.  Most of these 300 chairs were purchased by the blind.  When a blind person made a contribution new plates were engraved with the person’s name and were sent from Columbia to Rocky Bottom.  No doubt many have their name plates on the chairs.  The late Vern Freeman of the Salem Lions Club installed the name plates as they were delivered to him.  Mr. Freeman would set a day aside to travel from Salem to Rocky Bottom to meticulously install each and every name plate.  There were other contributions.  The late Odell Austin, former President of the Orangeburg Chapter loved Rocky Bottom.  He also took pride in his business dealings.  One evening when several were present, Odell was talking about his business success and I approached him about giving a substantial contribution accompanied by his name in a prominent place in the center.  After the meeting that day Odell agreed to make a contribution of $10,000.  To the best of my knowledge this is the largest contribution to the center by a blind person.  Incidentally, the most expensive item for the new center was the commercial kitchen which was valued at $75,000.  Mrs. Garrett who had helped with the chairs also got the commercial kitchen at a substantial discount.  Some blind persons and others also made substantial contributions having their name placed on different rooms in the center.  Once again, for the second straight year we have been unable to participate in the Fun Day weekend but we wish much success in this most important occasion.  Meanwhile I’ll celebrate a special day in my life as I will have my 90th birthday take place this Thursday, August 30.  A lifelong friend has invited me out to dinner and this is appreciated as well as other greetings, cards, etc.

 

Final Thought:   “Sinful pleasures will make you worthless.  Holiness will make you priceless.”

1671

 

August 22, 2018

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

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1671

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

Before we turn our attention to the Fun Day Festival at Rocky Bottom on September 1, Shelley Coppel has an announcement regarding the 2018 state convention.  “Greetings!  I want to give a big shout-out to everyone who participated in the talent showcase at our state convention.  It takes a certain gumption to get in front of folks and entertain!!!  From the students, to us more mature folks, the range and level of talents displayed was truly wonderful!  Thank you again, let’s do it again!!!”

As I have been reporting during the last few weeks in the Positive Note, the thirty-seventh annual Rocky Bottom Fun Day Festival will take place Labor Day weekend, August 31-September 2.  If you would like to make a reservation for the weekend you can contact me at (803) 796-8662 or call the Federation Center at (803) 254-3777.  We have already begun to receive requests for sleeping accommodations, so I would strongly encourage you to call and reserve a room at Rocky Bottom as soon as possible.  This information is extremely important as we need an accurate head count as to the amount of food we need to purchase for the weekend.  Four meals will be served including three on Saturday, September 1, and breakfast on Sunday morning, September 2.  Adults will be charged $30 and children will be charged $15 under twelve years of age to cover all four meals including the lunch on Saturday.  Those individuals who are only attending the Fun Day Festival Saturday will need to pay Valerie and Larry Warrington $8 for lunch.  I hope you are continuing to sell your $5 Fun Day tickets as this greatly contributes to the overall profits of the Fun Day Festival.  Remember, the seller of the winning ticket will receive $50 and $500 to the buyer of the winning ticket.  If you purchase your own ticket, you will receive $550.  The chapter selling the most tickets will receive $300 for its treasury!  Thus far, we have only sold 148 tickets statewide.  I know we can do much better, so let’s get busy and do what we can to sell as many tickets as possible during the next ten days!  I would like to thank Lenora Robertson and her “food crew” (Ellen Taylor and Glenda Culick) for all of their hard work preparing menus for the Fun Day weekend.  I would also like to thank Tiffiny Mitchell who has agreed along with the assistance of others in donating soft drinks and water for the weekend.

We have an announcement from Jennifer Bazer.  “Hello NFB of SC Family!  Fun Day at Rocky Bottom will be held Saturday, September 1.  One of the highlights of Fun Day is the auction which is always fun and can be hilarious at times.  Please consider donating new items including, but not limited to: gift cards, electronics, homemade cakes and pies, jewelry and more. Even if you feel your item is small, we are grateful for the contribution as we can make gift baskets of small items to make a great auction item.  Please contact Jennifer Bazer if you would like to donate an item at 803-960-9977 or jhipp25@sc.rr.com.  Thank you for your continued support of Rocky Bottom!”

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.

This week we spotlight the spouse of a hard working federationist who in her own right works just as hard as her husband in support of the blind locally, statewide and nationally.  I am speaking of Ed Bible’s lovely wife Julie Bible.

Julie was born in Concord, NH and was the oldest of five children being the only girl.  Her father was in the Air Force and she and her brothers grew up in the military moving around the country attending many schools.  One of the places they were stationed when Julie was a baby was Greenville, SC. They lived overseas and she started school in Okinawa.  The last place they were stationed before her father retired was in Rome, NY where she attended her last two years of high school at Rome Free Academy.  One of her young brothers was deaf and it was a challenge communicating, but she and he became close.  She met Ed during her Junior year in high school who was the first blind person she ever met.  He was a Senior and also grew up in the Air Force.  They rode the bus together. He asked her to read to him for one of his subjects during study hall.  He went on to college and Julie went to USC after graduating (Utica School of Commerce) and trained to be a medical secretary.  They lost touch for a while, until he came home from college on break and looked her up.  They started dating and got married right before his senior year at Syracuse University.  Julie got a job at Syracuse University working at the college infirmary for four years and then worked at an extended care facility doing medical transcription, until they moved to South Carolina in 1978, after Ed’s father retired from the Air Force and moved back to South Carolina where they were from and where Ed was born.

After arriving in SC, they stayed with Ed’s parents until Ed found a job in Columbia.  They moved there and bought a house and Julie went to work for Bankers Trust of SC and stayed there over 20 years (now Bank of America).  Then she went to work for Richland School District One as a secretary in Special Education for 14 years, retiring 3 ½ years ago.  They’ve been married for 45 years, had two children, Jennifer and Ashton.  They have two grandchildren, Sally turning 1 year old and Ethan, age 6.

In 1985 they became friends with Frank and Gail Copped, after Ed went to work at the SC Commission for the Blind.  Frank and Gail were involved with the NFB and because of them Julie and Ed became involved.  They attended their first National Convention in Chicago in 1988.  Since then they have attended most national conventions and almost every state convention.

Julie has helped with the annual Columbia Chapter BBQ for over twenty years as the hostess and getting out the BBQ deliveries, has driven van loads of people to Rocky Bottom, statewide picnics, and other events.  She has taken groups of people to Washington, D.C. on more than one occasion for the Washington Seminar. She is a member of Mt. Hebron United Methodist Church in West Columbia and has been on mission trips with them to Rocky Bottom to do repairs.  She loves helping others whenever the need arises. She was awarded Associate Member of the Year in 2007.  In her spare time she enjoys gardening and spending time with her grandchildren.  During the Labor Day weekend Ed and Julie will be attending an NFB National Leadership Seminar.  Let’s salute Julie for her many years of service to the blind.

 

Final Thought:   “Sharing is a great gift.  One size fits all and it is easy to exchange.”

1670

 

August 16, 2018

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

From: Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1670

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

This past weekend, the sixty-second annual State Convention of the NFB of SC was held in Columbia and from all indications it was extremely successful. 170 individuals attended this year’s convention which began Friday afternoon with the meeting of the NFB of SC Board of Directors and other division and committee meetings. Hats off to Tiffiny Mitchell and the Columbia Chapter for doing a great job as host chapter of this year’s convention and getting the festivities of the weekend off to a resounding start with an excellent reception Friday evening. This year we were honored to have Shawn Callaway, member of the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind and the NFB affiliate president of the District of Columbia, as our National Representative. Mr. Callaway gave a thorough National report and his banquet address Saturday evening was outstanding. The NFB of SC recognized Valerie Warrington of Newberry, as the recipient of the Donald C. Capps Award, Tracy Spittle of Columbia as the recipient of the Educator of the Year Award and Larry Warrington, of Newberry as the recipient of the Associate Member of the Year Award. The NFB of SC also recognized Dr. Marvin Efron, a longtime friend, for his many years of dedication and commitment providing quality low vision services to the blind of the state as he was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. Another highlight of the banquet was the awarding of scholarships totaling over $5,000 to three outstanding college students. I also like to thank the membership of the NFB of SC for their awesome generosity which was demonstrated during the Banquet fundraiser. We were able to quickly raise over $9,600 which will be used to promote the programs of the NFB of SC. Elections were held Sunday morning and the following individuals were elected as officers; president, Frank Coppel, first vice president, Lenora Robertson, second vice president, Debra Canty, secretary, Shannon Cook, and treasurer, Valerie Warrington. Individuals elected to board positions were; District two, Steve Cook, of Columbia, District four, JW Smith, of Greenville , District six, Garrett Mosely of Darlington, and the two members-at-large Jamie Allison of Cherokee and Tiffiny Mitchell of Columbia. One of the most exciting aspects of this convention was the large contingent of students who were in attendance. Their energy and enthusiasm was felt by everyone throughout the weekend. I am extremely proud to announce the NFB of SC has a new addition to our Federation family as he South Carolina Association of Blind Students was organized Friday evening. As all of you know, many details need to be considered when planning and presiding over a state convention. I would like to thank David Houck who did a great job coordinating registration, the exhibit hall, and taking care of many other details of the convention. Finally, I would like to thank Director Jennifer Bazer and the staff of Successful Transitions who were very instrumental assisting students to the convention as well as organizing our new division.

In approximately two weeks, we will be holding the annual Fun Day Festival during the Labor Day weekend (August31-September 2). Four meals will be served including three on Saturday, September 1, and breakfast on Sunday morning, September 2. The board voted to charge $30 for adults and $15 for children under twelve years of age to cover all four meals including the lunch on Saturday. Those individuals who are only attending the Fun Day Festival Saturday will need to pay Valerie and Larry Warrington $8 for lunch. Room reservations for the weekend are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. If you need to make a reservation for the Fun Day weekend, you can call the Federation Center (803) 254-3777 or call me (803) 796-8662 no later than August 24. I hope you are selling your $5 Fun Day tickets as this contributes to the profits. Remember, the winning ticket drawn will yield $50 to the seller and $500 to the buyer or $550 if you bought your own ticket. The chapter selling the most tickets will receive $300 for its treasury! We need to bring new items for the auction which will take place on Saturday afternoon September 1, starting at 1:30 p.m. Let’s have a great turnout for the Fun Day Festival as Rocky Bottom very much needs our financial support.

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.

Information I have received concerning last weekend’s NFB of SC convention was unquestionably an outstanding event. Congratulations to President Frank Coppel and others who put together a very good agenda. Also I want to congratulate David Houck and the home office on their usual convention activity. Now we turn our attention to the annual Rocky Bottom Labor Day Fun Day Festival which is just around the corner or two weeks from now. I trust that we will have a great turnout for the Fun Day Festival which needs our support. Let’s review a little history. We acquired the Rocky Bottom property from Pickens County in October 1978. We promised to develop this old 4-H Club Camp to Pickens County and we have done just that. The late Jerry Whittle was the first Rocky Bottom Resident Manager who provided this service without charge. Jerry stayed in what is now known as room 5 in Osterneck Cottage. While Jerry was Resident Manager, room 5 became known as the “Oconee Room” because Jerry was from that area. Incidentally, several years ago Rocky Bottom hosted political events with politicians using what is now the Conference Center. Among political leaders using Rocky Bottom was Lyndon Banes Johnson who was Vice President at that time. Others included Sen. Strom Thurman and Gov. Carroll Campbell who gave the dedication speech in July 1991 when the beautiful new Conference Center facility was completed. When we acquired the property in the fall of 1978, no facility was deemed livable. The only building that offered promise was then known as the Chastain Cottage but it had not been used in a long time. It was necessary to have a well drilled for water and this was coordinated with a Greenville well drilling business. When the Conference Center was built it was necessary to have another well drilled. In early 1979 several of us went up in January when it was freezing cold. We did what we could to improve the cottage as we were raising funds as early as 1979 as we recognized we needed to expand the cottage. Following the success of the statewide fundraiser, we concentrated on a much larger attempt to provide rest rooms and a downstairs Resident Manager’s apartment, and a Dining Hall which would accommodate up to 60. Osterneck Cottage was named after a blind gentleman, David Osterneck who contributed the first $5,000. Mr. Osterneck who was from Myrtle Beach and in Columbia receiving training at the Commission, attended a Columbia Chapter meeting and after hearing a presentation of this project, Mr. Osterneck promptly made his financial commitment. The first Federation board meeting held at Rocky Bottom was in December of 1980 where the board met and was accommodated. The first Fun Day Festival was held on October 24, 1981 where 400 attended, netting a profit of $1,259.72. Hopefully this gives you some interesting information.

 

Final Thought:   To live the life you want is to realize it is all about “we: and not just about “me”.

 

1669

 

August 6, 2018

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

From: Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1669

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

This coming weekend, August 10, 11 & 12, many of us will be attending the sixty-second annual State Convention of the NFB of SC. The State Office has been extremely busy during the past few weeks producing print and Braille agendas, Braille menus, name tags, and handling many other details for the convention. If you want a sneak preview of the agenda, it has been posted on the NFB of SC list serve, web site, and Newsline. I would encourage you to please check out the exhibits this year after you register and pick up your convention packets. A few of the exhibitors we will have this year are VFO (formerly Freedom Scientific), the SC Assistive Technology program, and Sprint Vision Accessibility. The theme for the convention this year is “you can live the life you want”. As we have done in past years, we will be conducting our annual banquet fundraiser Saturday evening, August 11, to help fund the NFB of SC. We need individuals as well as chapters and divisions to step up and contribute during the banquet which will greatly help to fund our state organization. We will have door prize drawings throughout the convention as usual. Lenora Robertson of Rock Hill is the Chairperson of the Door Prize Committee. All door prizes should be given to Lenora soon after you arrive to the State Convention. As we have done for many years, we will be conducting a memorial service and devotion Sunday Morning of the Convention.   Please give Dorothy Barksdale names of individuals in your chapter who have passed away since last year’s state convention. You can reach Dorothy by calling (803) 765-1622 or emailing her at dcbarksdale@bellsouth.net.

We have an announcement from Shelley Coppel. “Greetings! I would like to request that all participants for the Talent Show contact me at the Senior Division table in the exhibit hall as early in the day Friday as possible. I want to be certain that everything is properly coordinated! I would also appreciate the help of anyone who would like to volunteer time at the Senior Division table where we will be selling jewelry. Thank you and I will look forward to seeing all seniors at our meeting at 5 p.m. Friday afternoon in Palmetto I.

We have an announcement from Thom Spittle, the newly elected President of the Computer Science and Technology Division. “The Computer Science & Technology Division of the NFB of South Carolina will be holding an open house on Friday, August 10th at the State Convention from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in room Capital I. Please drop in and see what is new with the CSTD. We have some new things coming up and you won’t want to miss them. This open house is for all state members.”

I’m saddened to report the passing of Patricia Warrington, the mother of Larry Warrington of our Newberry Chapter. Let’s keep the Warrington family in our thoughts and prayers during this time.

The 2018 NFB of SC convention promises to be one of the best ever and I am looking forward to seeing many of you this weekend.

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.

All of us in this big program of service to the blind under the banner of the NFB of SC are excited as our state convention is now upon us. While our health conditions and other circumstances prevent us from attending the convention, all of you across the state will be in our thoughts and prayers. The NFB of SC got its beginning in April of 1956 as there was a statewide meeting held in Columbia at the YWCA where a constitution was adopted and officers and board members were elected. At that time there were three local organizations in Spartanburg, Columbia and Charleston. Three months later in July 1956 it was my good fortune to attend the NFB national convention in San Francisco. I learned a lot. At that convention banquet, Dr. tenBroek, our national President presented me with a charter for the NFB of SC. A special seminar following the convention was conducted by Dr. tenBroek who presided over the meeting. In 1956 some 1,800 blind persons received monthly income then known as Aid to the Needy Blind (ANB), but for a long time the program has been known as Supplemental Security Income (SSI). South Carolina’s blind were nearly at the bottom of this national program. Upon my return to Columbia, my fellow members joined me to correct this inequity. In doing so we learned that hundreds of thousands of dollars of state funds restricted to ANB were in fact diverted to raises for other officials. We threatened litigation if the state funds were not returned to the blind as required by law. By now I had been threatened by agency officials but I wasn’t deterred. I recall our Founder, Dr. Samuel Miller Lawton joined me in making our presentation to the Ways and Means Committee. Our federation attorney, Eugene F. Rogers provided us with legal advice. Soon thereafter these funds were distributed to the needy blind of the state. I don’t think this would ever have occurred if I did not attend the 1956 national convention. Attending the national convention took me away from my job for three weeks and I’m still grateful to my employer, Colonial Life, for going the extra mile in support of this work. President Coppel and his fellow officers have put together an excellent agenda and this will be an outstanding convention. It will be our pleasure to participate in the Saturday banquet proceedings in which we will be able to help fund this program at this special occasion. I’m confident our members will respond. Today, 62 years later, state programs for the blind are much better and we’re grateful for support from different directions.

 

Final Thought:   “NFB and NFB of SC Conventions are like a battery recharger that helps you live the life you want.”.”

1668

 

August 1, 2018

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

From: Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1668

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

Here are a few friendly reminders regarding this year’s state convention which is only nine days away.

  1. Please do not forget to come and participate in the NFB of SC Board of Directors meeting which will be held on Friday afternoon, August 10, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in Capital I.
  2. Of course, Lenora Robertson of Rock Hill is the Chairperson of the Door Prize Committee. All door prizes ($5 or more) should be given to Lenora soon after you arrive at the State Convention.
  3. Please continue to consider how much you and your chapter would like to financially give to the banquet fundraiser Saturday evening which will greatly help to strengthen the NFB of SC.
  4. I have again asked Dorothy Barksdale to be responsible for the Memorial service which is usually held on Sunday morning at the convention. Please send Dorothy the names of those members who passed away since last year’s state convention. Dorothy can be reached at (803) 765-1622 or you can email her at dcbarksdale@bellsouth.net
  5. The deadline to pay your $80 preregistration fee is August 3, which is only couple of days away. Please mail your $80 preregistration fee for this year’s State Convention to the Federation Center of the Blind, 119 S. Kilbourne Rd. Columbia, SC 29205. All preregistration fees are nonrefundable and nontransferable. If you wait until after the deadline of August 3, the registration will increase to $100.
  6. This year, the exhibit area will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Friday, August 10. Please make an effort to visit the exhibit area and let the exhibitors know you appreciate their participation in our convention.
  7. Openings still remain if you would like to participate Saturday afternoon, in the “NFB has talent showcase”. All talent is welcome! If you would like to participate, please call Shelley Coppel at (803) 796-8662 or email her at frankandshelley51@gmail.com.

The end of summer is always a busy time in the NFB of SC. Three weeks after the conclusion of the state convention, federationists from across the state will be traveling to RBRCCB on August 31, to participate in the Fun Day Festival. Most of us will be arriving on Friday evening, August 31. Four meals will be served including three on Saturday, September 1, and breakfast on Sunday morning, September 2. The board voted to charge $30 for adults and $15 for children under twelve years of age to cover all four meals including the lunch on Saturday. Those individuals who are only attending the Fun Day Festival Saturday will need to pay Valerie and Larry Warrington $8 for lunch. Room reservations for the weekend are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. If you need to make a reservation for the Fun Day weekend, you can call the Federation Center (803) 254-3777 or call me (803) 796-8662 no later than August 24. I hope that you are selling your $5 Fun Day tickets as this contributes to the profits. Remember, the winning ticket drawn will yield $50 to the seller and $500 to the buyer or $550 if you bought your own ticket. The chapter selling the most tickets will receive $300 for its treasury! We need to bring new items for the auction which will take place on Saturday afternoon September 1, starting at 1:30 p.m. Let’s have a great turnout for the Fun Day Festival as Rocky Bottom very much needs our financial support.

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.

Last week public television did a 60th year documentary on Ted Williams. It is genuinely believed that Mr. Williams was the greatest baseball hitter of all time. His entire career was with the Boston Red Sox. At the present time all-time greats include such players as Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, etc. The 1958 NFB convention was held in Boston, MA. Four delegates from the NFB of SC attended the 1958 convention. They included Lois Boltin Tucker, the late John Cooley of the Spartanburg Chapter, and Billy Potter with my being the fourth attendee. Betty was unable to make the trip as she was only a month away from giving birth to our second child. Her physician was correct as Beth was born on August 7, 1958. The four of us boarded the train in Columbia and a strange incident occurred shortly after boarding the train as the conductor insisted he take me to the rest room. After this went on for an excessive time, I finally told the conductor my problem was blindness and I do not have any kidney ailment. I also told him I knew the way to the rest room. To this day I do not what caused him to pester me. Upon our arrival to the convention hotel we discovered that none other than Ted Williams resided in the same hotel. He was not outgoing but he was polite. By the way, Mr. Williams was a loyal American, participating for a total of five years in World War II and the North Korean War. I managed to shake his hand in the hotel lobby. I had the good fortune of attending a baseball game in historic Fenway Park participated in by the Red Sox team. This was my third NFB convention. The first two being in San Francisco and New Orleans. I recall the issue of creating a limited number of terms in the NFB constitution. I supported the administration who did not support limited terms and I spoke supporting unlimited terms. The administration’s position won by a large margin. Dr. Jacobus tenBroek, NFB Founder, gave me my first assignment, placing me on a special study committee in West Virginia called for by the Governor and carried out by the NFB. This special team lasted a week, affecting my work situation and having to find someone to take care of the children as Betty did all of the driving as we visited several blind West Virginians. The 1959 convention, held in Santa Fe, was when I received my second national assignment. Much to my surprise, I was not only elected to the national board but I was also elected to the Second Vice President’s office. You will note that my participation in the 1958 NFB convention was followed by further development in the national organization. It all got its beginning 60 years ago in Boston which is also a famously historical American city. Ironically enough, the Boston Red Sox now features a star outfielder who attended and played baseball from the Gamecocks who is Jackie Bradley, Jr.

 

1667

 

July 25, 2018

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

From: Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1667

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

I am very pleased to announce Shawn Callaway will be our national representative for this year’s state convention. Shawn serves on the National Board of Directors of the NFB and he is the President of the Washington D.C. affiliate. Shawn will do a great job as national representative, and he will add a great deal to our convention.

There are only nine days remaining (August 3) to pay your $80 preregistration fee for the 2018 NFB of SC state convention which will be held at the Columbia Marriott Hotel the weekend of August 10-12. The $80 preregistration fee will cover the Friday evening reception, the Saturday luncheon and the Saturday evening banquet as well as a continental breakfast Saturday and Sunday morning. Please send your $80 preregistration fee to the Federation Center of the Blind, 119 S. Kilbourne Rd. Columbia, SC 29205. We are offering a discount for families with children regarding the preregistration fee. Parents will pay the $80 preregistration fee and each child eighteen years of age or younger will pay $20. We are also offering a discount to college students in the amount of $50 during the preregistration period. After August 3, the registration fee will increase to $100.

This year, the exhibit area will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Friday, August 10. Please make an effort to visit the exhibit area and let the exhibitors know you appreciate their participation in our convention. Everyone is welcome to attend the NFB of SC Board of Directors meeting which will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon, August 10. The reception Friday evening promises to be a great deal of fun. The theme for the reception will be “Marti Gras night” and there will be live music, food and dancing. Let the good times roll! The last agenda item on Saturday afternoon of the convention will be the first annual “NFB Has talent Showcase”. All talent is welcomed! This should be a lot of fun as we will have judges and prizes for the most talented acts. If you wish to participate, you can contact Shelley Coppel at (803) 796-8662 or you can email her at frankandshelley51@gmail.com no later than August 1.

As I reported last week in the Positive Note, we will be holding the annual Fun Day Festival during the Labor Day weekend (August31 – September 2). Four meals will be served including three on Saturday, September 1, and breakfast on Sunday morning, September 2. The board voted to charge $30 for adults and $15 for children under twelve years of age to cover all four meals including the lunch on Saturday. Those individuals who are only attending the Fun Day Festival Saturday will need to pay Valerie and Larry Warrington $8 for lunch. Room reservations for the weekend are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. If you need to make a reservation for the Fun Day weekend, you can call the Federation Center (803) 254-3777 or call me (803) 796-8662 no later than August 24. I hope that you are selling your $5 Fun Day tickets as this contributes to the profits. Remember, the winning ticket drawn will yield $50 to the seller and $500 to the buyer or $550 if you bought your own ticket. The chapter selling the most tickets will receive $300 for its treasury! We need to bring new items for the auction which will take place on Saturday afternoon September 1, starting at 1:30 p.m. Let’s have a great turnout for the Fun Day Festival as Rocky Bottom very much needs our financial support.

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.

This week we are spotlighting one of our more musical members. In fact, there are many musical members like Parnell Diggs who plays guitar and sings, Sarah Massengale who has sung at many events including NFB of SC conventions RBRCCB special events, and baseball games singing the National Anthem, Jim Jackson who is Minister of Music in his church, and Marty McKenzie who plays an excellent piano. These are only a few. Today we are spotlighting Doug Hudson who likes to play the Saxophone and the Piano and likes to sing. Born and raised in Bishopville, Doug attended K-6th grade at SCSDB and 7th grade through 12th at Sumter High School. He then received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at USC. For the past three decades Doug Hudson has guided many listeners on eight or nine area radio stations to their destinations safely as he did their radio station traffic reports. Doug has also worked part-time in various vending concession stands, performed light assembly line work and was a bell ringer for the Salvation Army. Using his musical talents, Doug Hudson played and sang both solo as well as in a variety of bands. His musical performances included a wide range of styles from gospel to country and western, rock and roll, disco and beach music. He has played and sang in a variety of churches as well. In 1974 Doug first joined the Sumter Chapter where he was its Vice President for a few years. Then he moved to Columbia where he joined the Columbia Chapter. He is active in the chapter’s annual barbecues and promotes the federation wherever he can. He attended the 1974 Chicago NFB convention and eight NFB of SC conventions over the years. His hobbies include singing, swimming and bowling. He once served as the Minister of Music at Grace Nazarene Church and he now attends the Shepherd Nazarene Church in Lexington. He still sings and plays in many area churches. Let’s salute Doug Hudson this week as someone who “lives the life he wants” in a variety of ways.

 

Final Thought:   “In good times and bad, we know that people give because you meet needs, not because you have needs.” – Kay Sprinkel Grace