Positive Notes

1665

 

July 11, 2018

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

From: Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1665

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

Shelley and I had a wonderful time attending the 2018 NFB national convention. This was my thirty-sixth convention and this year’s convention ranked high on my list as one of the best conventions I have had the pleasure of attending. Approximately 2,500 federationists and visitors were in attendance during this year’s festivities in Orlando Florida.   South Carolina was proud to have seventy-nine delegates registered placing us in ninth place in the overall attendance which I feel was a pretty good turnout considering the fact we did not charter a bus. Included in our delegation to help put us in 9th place, were 16 students and 11 staff from our Successful Transitions program. They were in attendance during a significant part of the general sessions, and enthusiastically participated in activities such as Rooky Roundup, Youth Track activities, and National Association of Blind Student meetings. The convention had many outstanding presentations which dealt primarily with the need to have accessible technology as well as presentations from a member of congress, a former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, and inspiring stories of blind individuals who succeeded in transforming their dreams into reality. During the general sessions there was a great deal of enthusiasm and energy which was felt throughout the ballroom. Of course, President Riccobono’s Presidential Report and Banquet address were outstanding. President Riccobono’s banquet speech Sunday evening emphasized the importance of diversity to our movement and he enlightened the audience regarding the major role blind women have played in shaping the history of our organization.   The highlight of the convention as always is the Banquet. The NFB handed out thirty scholarships and these young men and women were extremely impressive. Many thanks goes to Tiffiny Mitchell and all of the volunteers who helped to man the South Carolina table in the Exhibit Hall during the convention. I am pleased to announce our efforts in the Exhibit Hall raised over eight hundred dollars for the NFB of SC. The NFB national convention at times reminds me of a large family reunion and for Shelley and I it was wonderful to reconnect and visit with friends we have not seen for a long period of time. Although I was extremely proud of the approximately eighty South Carolinians who registered for this year’s convention, it continues to be very disappointing to me to see the extremely poor attendance from our delegation at most of the general sessions. One of the primary purposes of the national convention is to become more familiar with issues facing the blind on a national level and this is very difficult to do if you are not present at the general sessions.

There are only a few days remaining to make your hotel reservations for the 2018 NFB of SC State Convention which will be held at the Marriott Hotel in Columbia August 10-12. Rates for this year’s convention are $109 per night for up to four in a room. In addition to the room rates there will be a tax, which at present is 14 percent. The deadline to make reservations is July 15, 2018. If you wait until after July 15, to make your hotel reservation, the hotel may not have an available room for you and you may be required to pay the standard room rate. You can make your room reservations by calling the Columbia Marriott reservation toll free telephone number (800) 593-6465 or (803) 771-7000 and inform the reservationist you are reserving a room for the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina state convention.

One of the convention agenda items we are considering at this time, is an“ NFB Has Talent Showcase) which will occur during the Saturday afternoon session of the state convention. 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.

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’s Positive Note spotlights a local Columbia Federation member who has served the movement for many years. I am speaking of Jean Sutton, the wife of Mike Sutton of Columbia. Jean was born in Spartanburg and raised in Inman. She attended the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind through eleventh grade and then transferred to Chapman High School in Inman where she graduated. Following high school she attended the University of South Carolina where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. After graduating from USC Jean graduated from Midlands Technical College, focusing in the area of Medical Transcription. It is to be noted that after completing Midlands Tech Jean Sutton went to work at the Veterans Hospital applying her medical transcription credentials. This past Friday, July 6, she retired from the VA Hospital after a 36 year work history. One year Jean Sutton was recognized as the Disabled Employee of the Year by the VA Hospital. Mike and Jean have been married for 37 years with their anniversary being on August 1. It seems that Jean as well as Mike have two anniversary dates to celebrate! Jean tells me that now she is retired, she plans to become more active in the Columbia Chapter. Mike and Jean have attended a dozen national conventions and many more state conventions. Jean has canvassed the annual barbecues and has worked on the contact committee and she sang along with Doug Hudson at the June Columbia Chapter meeting. After meeting Mike Sutton she learned of the federation as Mike was a member of the Lancaster Chapter. Mike and Jean are members of the Calvary Chapel in Cayce and Jean says she has taught Sunday School and sang in the choir. Jean has a beautiful singing voice. Jean’s hobbies include reading and keeping up with current events, not to mention spending more time with her husband, Mike. Mike has been involved in many leadership positions over the years and Jean has been quite supportive of Mike’s endeavors as well. We salute Jean Sutton who has applied herself academically, vocationally and in many ways with the federation. She has learned well how to lead the life she wants.

 

Final Thought:   When you attend NFB conventions you always bring home more than you brought with you like enthusiasm, information, and many new federation friends.

 

1664

 

July 3, 2018

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

From: Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1664

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

When you receive this edition of the Positive Note, Shelley and I will be in Orlando, Florida attending the 2018 NFB national convention. We are arriving in Orlando Monday afternoon, July 2, and our plans are to attend the National Seniors division seminar on Tuesday, July 3. On Wednesday, July 4, we are planning to pick up our convention packet and spend the remainder of the day in the Exhibit Hall. On Thursday, July 5, we are planning to attend the NFB national board meeting in the morning and in the afternoon, work in the exhibit hall at the South Carolina table. If you are planning to arrive to the convention later this week, and you did not pre-register, please be sure to register for the convention which is necessary to receive the special hotel rates. I will provide you with more details regarding the convention next week; so stayed tuned!

There are only twelve days remaining to make your hotel reservations for the 2018 NFB of SC State Convention which will be held at the Marriott Hotel in Columbia August 10-12. Room rates are very affordable. Rates for this year’s convention are $109 per night for up to four in a room. In addition to the room rates there will be a tax, which at present is 14 percent. The deadline to make reservations is July 15, 2018. The Marriott Hotel has set aside a block of rooms for the NFB of SC until July 15. If you wait until after July 15, to make your hotel reservation, the hotel may not have an available room for you and you may be required to pay the standard room rate. You can make your room reservations by calling the Columbia Marriott reservation toll free telephone number (800) 593-6465 or (803) 771-7000 and inform the reservationist you are reserving a room for the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina state convention.

I would also encourage you to go ahead and pay your $80 preregistration fee for the state convention which 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 eight teen 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 will increase to $100.

Congratulations to David and Darleen Houck who are the proud grandparents of twin girls born Thursday evening, June 28. Katie Grace weighed six pounds and Emily Elaine weighed five pounds 15.8 ounces. We understand the twins, Mama, daddy and grandparents are all doing great!

Congratulations to Charles Black who on June 15, 2018, received the SC State exceptional employee award which is awarded once a year to an accomplished employee. The award, sponsored by the Commission for the Blind is given to an exceptional employee with the drive, motivation and knowledge to succeed. The award is given by the South Carolina Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities

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.

Happy July 4th! In last week’s Positive Note I reported that Betty and I were celebrating our 69th wedding anniversary. Among those who made congratulations was my longtime friend, Joe Ruffalo who is the President of the NFB of New Jersey and a member of the NFB Board of Directors. Joe and the NFB of NJ are special to Betty and me. The following comments are excerpts from the August 1990 Braille Monitor article, “New Jersey, Land of Potential.”

“I like a challenge; I always have. When challenged the most, I work best. In early May I was contacted by our National Office. There was a clear tone of urgency in the telephone call. I was told that the then president of the NFB of New Jersey had resigned her office, having accepted a position with the New Jersey Commission for the Blind. And, as if that were not enough, I was also advised that the 1990 New Jersey Convention had been scheduled some time ago for June 2 in Newark but that nothing had been done about a convention program. After hearing about this distressing situation, I was asked whether or not I would be willing to go to New Jersey for the express purpose of recruiting the best possible person to serve as state president. In addition, the assignment included recruiting new members across the state and restoring the vitality and enthusiasm of the affiliate. It might even include reorganizing the whole thing. On top of this I would have the unenviable responsibility of putting together a substantive convention agenda. Going to New Jersey would mean an absence of at least ten days. My May calendar listed a number of scheduled events and commitments but I would still have the responsibility and obligation as a caring Federationist to do what I could to assist other state affiliates. Arriving in Newark in northern New Jersey on Sunday afternoon, May 27, 1990, we traveled for the next week in search of prospective Federationists. Somewhat resistant at first, after I shared the successful fifty-year NFB story, the blind of New Jersey liked what they heard and seemed merely to be waiting to be approached. Relying upon more than thirty years of putting state conventions together, by Wednesday, May 30 (three days after Betty and I had arrived in Newark) the convention arrangements for the following Saturday had been completed. My son Craig drove from New York City on convention day as he was of great assistance. By cultivating the understanding and friendship of the Gateway Hilton Hotel management, I was able to get all of the convention programs printed without charge, including banquet tickets and convention badges. The hotel even agreed to give a $50 door prize for the lucky winner to dine in their fancy restaurant. There was a 25% increase in the convention attendance over the previous year’s NFB of NJ convention. In my National Report I encouraged participants to attend the upcoming Dallas NFB Convention, spoke of the Braille Monitor magazine, and expounded on the NFB National Center for the Blind. In the business session I exposed the tremendous potential of the NFB of NJ. By the close of the convention, new officers were elected for the NFB of New Jersey. Yes, I am glad I went to New Jersey and met the challenge head-on. Federationists need to work together, and I predict good things ahead for the New Jersey affiliate. Today the NFB of New Jersey is much stronger than it was a few months ago, and because of this our entire national organization has also been strengthened. Truly, New Jersey is a land of great Federation potential.”

 

Final Thought:   Becoming an exceptional federationist comes when you realize it’s my time to step up, whatever the circumstances.

 

1663

 

June 27, 2018

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

From: Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1663

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

In the next few days, many of us will be traveling to Orlando Florida to attend the 2018 NFB National Convention. I am very pleased to announce the NFB of SC will again have a table in the Exhibit Hall at this year’s convention. Tiffiny Mitchell, co-chairperson of the NFB of SC Fund Raising committee, has done a great job securing items such as pork skins (ranch and original), preserves to sell and we will also be conducting a 50/50 raffle as well. She has also done a great job recruiting volunteers to man the table. Please check out the South Carolina table (D16) and help support the state organization!

It is gratifying to know that many of you across the state are making the necessary sacrifices to attend the National Convention, and we urge all of you to participate fully, attending all sessions which are important in our Federation growth and service.

If you did not pre-register, please be sure to register for the convention on Wednesday morning, July 4, which is necessary to receive the special hotel rates. For those of you who are unable to attend this year’s national convention, the NFB will be streaming part of it, including the board of directors meeting, general sessions, and the banquet. More information can be found at nfb.org/convention/2018/stream, including how to access the Spanish streaming. This year, the NFB is partnering with 195 The Globe, an internet radio station run by blind Federationists, for our English stream. Let’s have a great 2018 National Convention and I look forward to seeing many of you in Orlando!

Please continue to make your hotel reservations for the upcoming 2018 NFB of SC state convention which will be held August 10-12 at the Marriott Hotel in Columbia. Although room reservations are increasing significantly during the past few weeks, rooms are still available for Thursday, August 9, Friday, August 10, and Saturday, August 11. Room rates are very affordable. Rates for this year’s convention are $109 per night for up to four in a room. In addition to the room rates there will be a tax, which at present is 14 percent. I would suggest if you have not made your room reservation as yet you may want to do so by calling the Marriott Hotel’s toll free Reservations number at (800) 593-6465 or you can call (803) 771-7000 and inform the reservationist you are reserving a room for the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina state convention. Remember, you need to make your room reservation at the Marriott no later than July 15. If you wait until after July 15, it may be extremely difficult to reserve a room.

Shelley and I would like to take this opportunity to wish Don and Betty Capps a very happy and blessed sixty-ninth wedding anniversary which was celebrated this past Monday, June 25. Thank you to both of you for your outstanding service to the blind of this state and nation and to your many years of dedication making it possible for the blind to live the life they want!

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 very special longtime federationist from Laurens. I am referring to our Laurens Chapter Associate Member Doris Bell who stood alongside her husband Bob in all he accomplished throughout his life in the federation. Doris Bell was born in Greer and at ten years of age her family moved to Laurens where she graduated from High School. Then she attended the Nashville School of Business in Middlesburg, TN and later attended Greenville Technical College where she studied in their School of Interior Design.   Interior design was her passion as Doris performed interior design at the Country Shop in Laurens but she also did interior design on her own and gained a good reputation for her work. She was also the Director of the Family Court Cottage in Laurens where she applied her interior design skills. Doris Bell first met Bob Bell on July 5, 1947, as she puts it, “I met a blind man on a blind date.” They were married for 65 and one-half years until Bob passed away. While Bob Bell was very active in the federation locally, statewide and nationally, Doris was with him in all that Bob did, being ready to go with only a moment’s notice. They had two sons, Robby and Mark and Doris requests that you keep them in your prayers as each have health issues to deal with. Doris also has six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren which occupy much of her time presently. In 1974 Bob Bell retired from Laurens Glass due to his eyesight and while at the Commission in Columbia earlier he found out about the NFB of SC. They became involved in the Greenville Chapter in 1970 and Doris says that after the 1974 Chicago National Convention she became an enthusiastic federationist. “The federation is not just local but statewide, national and worldwide in its outreach.” Doris estimates that her and Bob organized or reorganized at least 15 local chapters over the years. The Laurens Chapter was organized on November 14, 1973. Doris served as the van driver, chapter secretary and interior decorator in the chapter and she raised 90% of the needed funding to establish the Bell center in Laurens in 1981 with her letter writing campaign. Van driving was not limited to chapter meetings but was extended to state functions, state and national conventions, Washington Seminars, etc. Bob and Doris Bell worked extensively with Rocky Bottom since its beginning. Doris used her decorating skills extensively in all the facilities. It seemed at times Doris and Bob were as much in Columbia as in Laurens. Doris observed Mary Calhoun was always left out of activities as she was a senior citizen. This prompted Bob Bell to begin the Senior Camp program which Frank Coppel now does such a fine job on as well. Seniors need activities designed for them just as we do for blind children Doris observed. Aside from interior design Doris likes flower arranging and working with children. They refer to Doris as “Ma Bell.” Doris has been active in Rocky Springs Presbyterian Church as she taught Bible School, was District Chairman, sang in the choir and sang duets in other churches. Three or four weeks ago Doris suffered a heart attack and is now in hospice at home. She would like to hear from you with cards or letters sent to 2759 Bellview Church Rd., Laurens, SC 29360 or you can call her at 864-682-3447 but if you call, let it ring for a while so she can answer it or call back later. Doris Bell has given her life in the service of the blind, children, seniors and anyone she can help so they can “live the life they want.” Betty and I celebrated our 69th wedding anniversary on Monday, June 25.

Final Thought:   “Becoming an exceptional federationist comes when you realize it’s not what I can get out of the federation but what I can put into it to help others.” – Doris Bell

1662

 

June 20, 2018

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

From: Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1662

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

Congratulations to the Columbia chapter for sponsoring another successful BBQ fund raiser. At the chapter’s monthly meeting this past Thursday evening, members were given a thorough breakdown of the top ten ticket sellers and the net proceeds for this year’s fund raiser. Kudos to Tiffiny Mitchell, Chapter President, the chapter board and other members who assisted in making this project a tremendous success. By the way, the sixty-fifth annual BBQ fund raiser of the Columbia chapter raised over $8,200 in net proceeds.

Excitement is beginning to build for the upcoming 2018 NFB of SC state convention which will be held August 10-12 at the Marriott Hotel in Columbia. I spoke with our events coordinator at the Marriott Hotel and she informs me room reservations are increasing significantly. Room rates are very affordable. Rates for this year’s convention are $109 per night for up to four in a room. In addition to the room rates there will be a tax, which at present is 14 percent. After speaking with our events coordinator yesterday, There are a limited number of rooms still available for the $109 rate Thursday, August 9. I would suggest if you have not made your room reservation as yet you may want to do so by calling the Marriott Hotel’s toll free Reservations number at (800( 593-6465 or you can call (803) 771-7000 and inform the reservationist you are reserving a room for the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina state convention.

Remember, you need to make your room reservation at the Marriott no later than July 15. If you wait until after July 15, it may be extremely difficult to reserve a room. I would also encourage you to go ahead and pay your $80 preregistration for the convention which 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 eight teen 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 will increase to $100. The program for the convention is shaping up nicely. We are working very hard to have a surprise or two for Saturday morning which hopefully will create excitement and set the tone for the convention.

I like to this time to recognize all the Dads and Granddads in our federation family and I hope all of you had a wonderful Father’s Day this past Sunday.

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’s spotlight shines on another longtime federation member from the Upstate area. I am speaking of Vernon Smith, President of the Union County Chapter. Vernon was born in Greenville and lived for a short while in Ketton, SC until his family settled in Jonesville in Union County. Vernon graduated from Jonesville High School where he then worked as a janitor for a time. There is not much in Jonesville as even shopping requires a trip to Union. Vernon heard about the federation while at the Commission for the Blind. He attended the Union Chapter organizing meeting in 1979. Since that time Vernon Smith has served as Social Director, Vice President and President off and on until 1993 when he was elected the Union Chapter President until now. Vernon has attended all but five national conventions and he plans to be in Orlando in a few weeks. He has attended most every state convention since becoming a member. The Union Chapter may be small with fewer than a dozen members but they do get their name out just about every year in the local media. Vicki Trammel, one of their longtime members, is helpful in the chapter. Vernon tells me that she just got back from a cruise and she is going to visit the country of Norway. You may recall Mary Maness, a longtime member who was active in the chapter, passed away recently. The NFB of SC has received several living memorials in her memory totaling $360 to date. Vernon Smith attends Bethel Baptist Church in Jonesville where he serves on their Trustee Board and Usher Board. He says blind people can certainly be church ushers. Vernon’s hobbies include watching the news and he is an avid NASCAR fan of Ford drivers like Kevin Harvick and Joey Lugano who are currently ranked second and third in NASCAR points standings. Having become diabetic, Vernon Smith takes walks to control his blood sugar and to keep in shape. Let’s salute Vernon Smith who “lives the life he wants” by serving others.

 

Final Thought:   “Your history does not determine your destiny.”

1661

 

June 13, 2018

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

From: Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1661

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

This week a very important program is taking place in the NFB of SC. The program occurring this week is Children’s Camp which is being held at RBRCCB. The camp began June 10, and will conclude on June 16. The camp is under the direction of Jennifer Bazer who appears to have assembled an excellent staff of blind and sighted volunteers who are assisting her in providing a meaningful and fun filled camping experience for the approximately twenty-five children attending camp.

If you have not done so already, I would strongly encourage you to make your hotel reservations for the 2018 NFB of SC State Convention which will be held at the Marriott Hotel in Columbia August 10-12. Room rates are very affordable. Rates for this year’s convention are $109 per night for up to four in a room. In addition to the room rates there will be a tax, which at present is 14 percent. The deadline to make reservations is July 15,2018 (which is only four and one half weeks away). There will also be a limited number of rooms available for the $109 rate Thursday, August 9, for those individuals wanting to arrive to the hotel a day prior to the official start of the convention. If you pay in advance, your reservation will be guaranteed: however, you will not have to pay as long as you arrive by 6:00 p.m. Any amount you pay, of course, will be applied toward your bill. The Marriott Hotel has given the NFB of SC a block of rooms to reserve until July 15. If you wait until after July 15, to make your hotel reservation, the hotel may not have an available room for you and you will not be eligible for the convention room rate of $109. You can make your room reservations by calling the Marriott toll free reservation telephone number (800) 593-6465 or (803) 771-7000 and inform the reservationist you are reserving a room for the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina state convention.

We have an announcement from Shelley Coppel, President of the Seniors Division. “I would like to announce our next National Senior Division conference call. June 21 at 4 p.m. eastern time. The topic will be a question and answer session with the Senior Division Board hosting as the moderators, with questions being asked by family members or friends of a blind senior about their blindness. Maybe you are not sure how to interact any more around them or maybe you don’t understand the changes in their vision. These and many more questions can be answered for you. The phone number for the call is: 1-515-603-3166; the access code is: 759633 pound.”

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 our spotlight member takes us to Rock Hill. Lynn Hornsby is a longtime federationist who is active in the Rock Hill Chapter. Born and raised in Camden, Arkansas and later residing in Little Rock, Lynn attended public schools there. She then attended Henderson State College in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. After marrying Clarence Hornsby, she had two children. Moving to South Carolina where Clarence took a job with Bowater, he moved up the ladder to become President of the plant he worked in. Lynn went on to Winthrop University where she received her BA in English. She worked at the Library until she lost her sight which kept her from driving. She retired at that time, taking care of her family. Aside from her two children, she has one granddaughter. She was married to Clarence for 59 years. Lynn Hornsby heard about the federation from Winnifred Spears’ husband and she received a recommendation from another person as well. She has been active in the Rock Hill Chapter since 1975 or 1976, serving first as President and then as Treasurer for many years. Lynn is also known for being NFB of SC Scholarship Committee Chairperson for several years and she believes Shannon Cook is doing a good job in this position today. Lynn has attended one national convention and just about all the state conventions since becoming a member. Lynn was appointed to the Board of Commissioners of the Commission for the Blind and served for 14 years, including the hiring of Commissioner Jim Kirby. Lynn Hornsby is a member of St. John’s United Methodist Church in Rock Hill where she is the President of the United Methodist Women. She is also an avid Talking Book reader and a competitive Scrabble player. In fact, this week she is flying to Texas to visit a longtime friend who, between the two of them over the years, have accumulated over ½ million Scrabble points each. She keeps in touch with Margaret Wiggenraad from the Netherlands who many of you will remember was active with Rocky Bottom for a time while her husband Jaap worked with Clemson University. Living in a retirement community keeps her active and she also volunteers time with the Red Cross. It is amazing how active our federation members are, like Lynn Hornsby, who “lives the life she wants.”

 

Final Thought:   Father’s Day: “The quality of a father can be seen in the goals, dreams and aspirations he sets not only for himself, but for his family.”

1660

 

June 6, 2018

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

From: Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1660

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

Saturday, June 2, was a typical hot summer’s day, however, this did not appear to stop approximately 120 federationists representing nine chapters of the NFB of SC from attending the statewide picnic which was held at Saluda Shoals Park in Columbia. As promised, there were no speeches or program, just a great deal of food, fun and fellowship. Special thanks goes to Tiffiny Mitchell, Chairperson of the Statewide Picnic Committee, as well as to the volunteers who helped to make this event a huge success. Our last Statewide Picnic was held fourteen years ago on May 29, 2004. I believe it is very important for us as a federation family to come together in this type of setting at least once a year and I would love to see us resume this tradition on a yearly basis.

Please continue to make your hotel reservations for the 2018 NFB of SC State Convention which will be held at the Marriott Hotel in Columbia, August 10-12. Room rates are very affordable. Rates for this year’s convention are $109 per night for up to four in a room. In addition to the room rates there will be a tax, which at present is 14 percent. The deadline to make reservations will be July 15, 2018. There will also be a limited number of rooms available for the $109 rate on Thursday, August 9, for those individuals wanting to arrive to the hotel a day prior to the official start of the convention. If you pay in advance, your reservation will be guaranteed: however, you will not have to pay as long as you arrive by 6:00 p.m. Any amount you pay, of course, will be applied toward your bill. The Marriott Hotel has given the NFB of SC a block of rooms to reserve until July 15. If you wait until after July 15, to make your hotel reservation, the hotel may not have an available room for you and you will not be eligible for the convention room rate of $109. You can make your room reservations by calling the Marriott toll free reservation telephone number (800) 593-6465 or (803) 771-7000 and inform the reservationist you are reserving a room for the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina state convention.

I am very sad to report to you three members of our federation family passed away during this past week. Vernon Smith, President of our Union Chapter, informed the state office on Wednesday afternoon, May 30, that long time chapter member Mary Maness passed away on Tuesday, May 29. Yesterday morning, we received the sad news regarding the passing earlier this week of Ruby Bryant a longtime federationist and blind licensed vendor. Ruby was very active at one time in the Columbia and Florence chapters as well as a leader in the Blind Merchants Division. Last evening, Shelley and I along with others received the very sad news Hazel Arms a longtime member and leader in the Greenville chapter and Seniors Division passed away at approximately 8:15 p.m. Hazel was a hard working federationist who enjoyed raising money for her chapter, Rocky Bottom, the Seniors Division and for the NFB of SC.   She especially loved Children’s Camp at Rocky Bottom where she volunteered as a worker for many years. These three individuals will be greatly missed and we, as a federation family, need to keep these three individuals and their families 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 spotlighting a special federationist who has been the President of three local chapters not to mention President of the School for the Blind Alumni Association. I am speaking of Milton Tant. Milton Tant was born and raised in Easley, SC but later moved to Augusta, GA for a while before moving to Aiken, SC. Milton then attended the SC School for the Blind in Spartanburg where he graduated in 1967. Milton has always loved to meet with the students at the School and for ten years he was the Alumni Association President. Completing high school, Milton moved to Augusta, GA where he worked as a massage therapist at the YMCA for ten years. After that time Milton became a blind vendor at the Commission for the Blind where he worked at Consolidated Apparel in Jackson, SC then at the main Post Office on Assembly St. in Columbia and last at the Rest Area on 1-95 South which is just north of Florence. Milton worked 32 years in the Business Enterprise Program. Milton tells me that he has been happily married to Melinda, celebrating 12 years as of April 23. Milton has been President of three local federation chapters including Florence, Cherokee and he is presently the Spartanburg Chapter President. The Spartanburg Chapter meets monthly on the second Saturday at the Mountain View Nursing Home where Milton resides. They are growing and now have 20 members. Milton says he has attended 5 national conventions and 25 state conventions. He hopes to be strong enough to attend the Columbia Convention in August. Milton’s hobbies include reading, sports (and anyone who knows Milton knows Clemson is his team) and being blessed to have people read tings to him from his computer. Milton says he would like to thank Dr. Capps for his example as much has been learned from the love and support of the Capps over the years. One more thing about Milton, he has suffered a stroke and as much as he loves to attend Rocky Bottom (especially Senior Camp) and federation events like the June 2 statewide picnic, he is a fighter and although he cannot walk he can still be President of the Spartanburg Chapter. As was stated before, if at all possible, he will try to attend the August 10 to 12 state convention. Milton welcomes visitors at the Mountain View Nursing Home in room 306A west wing, which is located at 340 Cedar Springs Road in Spartanburg; so stop by when you get the opportunity. Milton is a good example of someone who does not let his circumstances stop him as he “lives the life he wants!”

 

Final Thought:   Father’s Day: “The quality of a father can be seen in the goals, dreams and aspirations he sets not only for himself, but for his family.”

1659

 

May 30, 2018

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

From:  Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1659

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

Congratulations to Lavern Addison, member of our Charleston Chapter, and Donnie Johnson, member of our Laurens chapter, who have been selected to receive a Kenneth Jernigan Scholarship which will allow each of them to attend this year’s national convention in Orlando.  The Kenneth Jernigan Scholarship is designed to financially assist individuals to attend a national convention for the first time.  I am certain Mr. Johnson and Ms. Addison will take full advantage of this wonderful opportunity and they will return to South Carolina full of energy and enthusiasm for the federation and share all they have learned with their fellow chapter members.

Between now and the beginning of August, I will be spending much of my time planning the program for the 2018 NFB of SC state convention.  If you have any thoughts regarding program items for the agenda, please contact me at (803) 796-8662 or you can email me at frankcoppel@att.net.

Please continue to make your hotel reservations for the 2018 NFB of SC State Convention which will be held at the Marriott Hotel in Columbia August 10-12.  Room rates are very affordable.  Rates for this year’s convention are  $109 per night for up to four in a room.  In addition to the room rates there will be a tax, which at present is 14 percent.  The deadline to make reservations will be July 15, 2018.  There will also be a limited number of rooms available for the $109 rate Thursday, August 9, for those individuals wanting to arrive to the hotel a day prior to the official start of the convention.  If you pay in advance, your reservation will be guaranteed: however, you will not have to pay as long as you arrive by 6:00 p.m.  Any amount you pay, of course, will be applied toward your bill.  The Marriott Hotel has given the NFB of SC a block of rooms to reserve until July 15.  If you wait until after July 15, to make your hotel reservation, the hotel may not have an available room for you and you will not be eligible for the convention room rate of $109.  You can make your room reservations by calling the Marriott toll free reservation telephone number (800) 593-6465 or (803) 771-7000 and inform the reservationist you are reserving a room for the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina state convention.

We are also accepting your $80 preregistration fee for this year’s State Convention.  Please send your $80 preregistration fee to the Federation Center of the Blind, 119 S. Kilbourne Rd. Columbia, SC 29205.  As we did last year, we are offering a discount for families with children regarding the preregistration fee.  Parents will pay the $80 preregistration fee and each child eight teen 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.

All preregistration fees are nonrefundable and nontransferable.  As in past years, the $80 preregistration fee will cover the reception on Friday evening, continental breakfast Saturday morning, the luncheon, banquet on Saturday and a continental breakfast Sunday morning.  The deadline to accept your $80 preregistration fee is August 3.  If you wait until after the deadline of August 3, the registration will increase to $100.  Save $20 and preregister early!

Shelley and I hope to see a large turnout of Federationists attend the NFB of SC statewide picnic which is scheduled for Saturday, June 2, at Saluda Shoal Park from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  The state picnic committee Chaired by Tiffiny Mitchell has done a great job planning for this event.  Remember, there will not be any program, just food, fun and fellowship.  Shelley and I look forward to having a great time and seeing many of you there on Saturday.

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.

Today we spotlight a longtime member of the NFB of SC who, along with her husband, has a distinguished career in service to the blind and as a federation member.  I am speaking of Shannon Cook.  Shannon was born and resided in Columbia until she was 11 months old.  Her parents then moved to Bamberg, SC where her mom grew up.  She lived in the same house that her mom grew up in.  She shared a room with her Nana while growing up.  She received her education at Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School, graduating 10th in the Class of 1991, then she graduated from the College of Charleston with a Bachelor of Sociology with a minor in psychology in 1995, later graduating USC with a Master of Social Work in 1999.  Shannon and Steve have been married for14 years, or 5345 days as of May 30, 2018.  Shannon began her career at Verizon Wireless for approximately 18 months, leaving in early 2004.  She then began working at the SC Commission for the Blind as a Counselor and Service Coordinator with the Older Blind Program after the national convention in 2004.  July 7th will mark 14 years at the agency.   Shannon Cook was recruited into the federation by Parnell Diggs in May of 1991 by inviting her to a student division meeting.  Shannon (and Steve of course) has attended 10 national conventions and 25 state conventions.  In her 27 years of membership in the NFB, Shannon has been the President of the Greater Bamberg County Chapter, Student Division President, Treasurer of the Columbia Chapter, Secretary of the Computer Science and Technology Division, and a member of the NFB of SC Board of Directors.  Shannon’s hobbies include being an avid reader, reading around 125-150 books per year.  She enjoys cleaning and organizing.  Steve and Shannon also love to watch The Big Bang Theory and Live PD.  She enjoys spending time with her husband Steve, cuddling with their dogs, and spending time with friends.  Many people know Shannon for making pumpkin bread in the fall.  She uses her mother’s recipe.  Shannon’s mother died 20 years ago, so it means a lot to her that people like it so much.  Let’s give a hearty salute to Shannon Cook who “lives the life she wants.”

 

Final Thought:   “America is hope. It is compassion. It is excellence. It is valor.” – Paul Tsongas

1658

 

May 23, 2018

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

From: Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1658

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

If you have not done so already, I would strongly encourage you to go ahead and make your hotel reservations for the 2018 NFB of SC State Convention which will be held at the Marriott Hotel in Columbia August 10-12. Room rates are very affordable. Rates for this year’s convention are $109 per night for up to four in a room. In addition to the room rates there will be a tax, which at present is 14 percent. The deadline to make reservations will be July 15, 2018. There will also be a limited number of rooms available for the $109 rate Thursday, August 9, for those individuals wanting to arrive to the hotel a day prior to the official start of the convention. You can make your room reservations by calling the Marriott toll free reservation telephone number (800)593-6465 or (803)771-7000 and inform the reservationist you are reserving a room for the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina state convention.

We are also accepting your $80 preregistration fee for this year’s State Convention. Please send your $80 preregistration fee to the Federation Center of the Blind, 119 S. Kilbourne Rd. Columbia, SC 29205. As we did last year, we are offering a discount for families with children regarding the preregistration fee. Parents will pay the $80 preregistration fee and each child eight teen 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.

All preregistration fees are nonrefundable and nontransferable. As in past years, the $80 preregistration fee will cover the reception on Friday evening, continental breakfast Saturday morning, the luncheon, banquet on Saturday and a continental breakfast Sunday morning. The deadline to accept your $80 preregistration fee is August 3. If you wait until after the deadline of August 3, the registration will increase to $100. Save $20 and preregister early!

There is only eight days remaining to preregister for the 2018 NFB National Convention in Orlando Florida. If you preregister prior to May 31, registration for convention will cost $25 and a banquet ticket will cost $65. After May 31, the cost for convention registration will increase to $30 and the cost of a banquet ticket will increase to $70. Save $10 and also skip the need to stand in line for a long period of time at the convention by purchasing your convention registration and banquet ticket by the May 31 deadline.

It is not too late to make your hotel reservations for the 2018 NFB National Convention in Orlando Florida. The date of this year’s national convention will be July 3, to July 8, 2018 and will be held at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort. The 2018 room rates are singles and doubles, $88; and triples and quads, $93. In addition to the room rates there will be a tax, which at present is 12.5 percent. No charge will be made for children under seventeen in the room with parents as long as no extra bed is requested. Please note that the hotel is a no-smoking facility. For 2018 convention room reservations you can call the hotel at (866) 996-6338. You may also write directly to the Rosen Shingle Creek, 9939 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, Florida 32819-9357. The hotel will want a deposit of $100 for each room and will want a credit card number or a personal check. If you use a credit card, the deposit will be charged against your card immediately, just as would be the case with a $100 check. If a reservation is cancelled before Friday June, 1, 2018, half of the deposit will be returned. Otherwise refunds will not be made.

We have an announcement from Shelley Coppel, president of the Seniors division. “Greetings from the Senior Division, “I would like to encourage all seniors and interested people to join in this Thursday, May 24, at 4 p.m. eastern time…To a conference call sponsored by the National Senior division. The topic: The staff from the Louisiana Center for the Blind is having a discussion about how they conduct training for blind seniors. The phone number to call is: 1-515-603-3166; the access number is: 759633 pound.”

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.

The decade of the 60’s was very difficult as it was, among other things, intimidating and there were other challenges. The NFB had problems with some agencies which intimidated blind persons who wanted to join the federation. In 1960 I wrote to President John F. Kennedy (a US Senator at that time) concerning the right of blind people to organize without harassment or intimidation by some agencies. I received a letter from President Kennedy stating that he would support federal legislation preventing such future occurrences from happening. In 1861 the Columbia Chapter headed up the erection of the Federation Center of the Blind. The Center has tremendously progressed in serving blind South Carolinians for more than 50 years. In 1962 the first group of blind persons spent the weekend at Rocky Bottom. This activity had its origin in 1958 because of a grateful Colonial Life policyholder we had paid a claim on even though technically we could have denied the claim. He arranged for us to use his mountain cottage in May of 1958. At that time I got to know Mr. and Mrs. Gus Ross who were residents of Rocky Bottom and they were helpful in our first 1962 visit. In 1964 the state convention was held in Charleston. Although a relatively small state organization, the blind voted to establish a separate state agency serving the blind. After two years of hard fought battles, in May of 1966, Gov. Robert E. McNair signed the Commission Bill into law. This has proved to be a very wise decision as the Commission has been providing outstanding service since that time. The NFB of SC appreciates its relationship with the Commission, School and the Library for the Blind. At the 1968 convention of the NFB we were successful in having the convention to vote for the 1969 national convention to be held in Columbia, South Carolina. In July 1969 the NFB of SC hosted the national convention. It was held in the Wade Hampton Hotel with the overflow being accommodated by the Columbia Hotel and USC. During the outstanding 1969 convention the Governor hosted the Reception in the Governor’s Mansion. South Carolina Governor Robert McNair stood by the then NFB President Dr. Kenneth Jernigan as they greeted the delegates from throughout the nation. To the best of our knowledge this was the only national convention reception to be held at a Governor’s Mansion. There were many other federation successes during the decade of the 60’s but we’re glad to furnish you these activities as described herein.

 

Final Thought:   “The right path is not always the easy path – It is harder to give someone a hand up than to pull someone down.”

1657

 

May 16, 2018

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

From: Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1657

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

This past Saturday evening, May 12, Shelley and I along with 48 other Federationists attended the Columbia Fireflies’ minor league baseball game. It was Community Organization night at the ball park and the NFB of SC was the featured organization. Not only did we watch a very competitive baseball game and fireworks display, but we also distributed a great deal of NFB literature and Braille alphabet cards to individuals attending the game. Thom Spittle did an outstanding job throwing out the ceremonial first pitch and we had an excellent 60 second video PSA announcement appearing on the score board prior to the start of the game as well as three excellent 30 second PSA announcements which were announced at various times between innings. I would like to thank Anthony Nelson for his assistance in distributing NFB materials throughout the evening. Many kudos go to Thom Spittle and Ed Bible for their leadership in organizing this Public Relations project for the NFB of SC. This is a very effective and fun way to publicize the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina and I hope many of you will use this information to raise awareness as to who we are and what we do as an organization in your local communities.

The much anticipated NFB of SC state picnic which will be held at Saluda Shoals Park in Columbia on Saturday, June 2 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. is only 3 and ½ weeks away. I know much hard work has been done in the areas of planning for food and scheduling a variety of activities for the afternoon. If you want to bring a side dish, call Tiffiny Mitchell, Chairperson of the state picnic committee, at 803-603-2098. No meetings, just food, fun and recreation! A pie throwing contest is also being held. Vote for your favorite candidate to get hit with a pie by contacting Steve Cook at 803-254-0222 prior to the picnic or you can cast your vote on Saturday, June 2. Votes are $2 each or three for $5. Monies collected from this fun fundraiser will go to the NFB of SC.

We have received a phone call from Lavern Wilson, President of our Conway Chapter, who reports that Kay Ellen Bernardo, longtime member of the Conway chapter passed away recently. Even after she moved from the Conway area to Calimesa, California, she kept making donations to the chapter. She will be greatly missed. All of us need to keep the Bernardo family 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.

In this week’s Positive Note we are featuring another McKenzie, Marty McKenzie, President of the Clarendon County Chapter. When I informed Marty we had already featured Padgett last week, he stated, “That is fascinating as folks can look out of my back door at my home and see Padgett’s home.”   Marty was born and raised in Lake City, South Carolina. He has lived in the Barrineau community for his entire life. He is the third of four boys and is the only one who is blind. His Mom and one brother continues to reside with him. His Father passed away in 1996. Marty graduated with honors from Kingstree Senior High School in 1986. His Teacher of the Visually Impaired, Mrs. Margery B. Holliday, was extremely instrumental in his success. He attended USC Columbia during his freshman year and then transferred to Francis Marion College. He experienced a serious illness during his undergraduate work and graduated with a B.A. in English with a secondary teacher certification in 1992. He was the last graduating class of Frances Marion College before it moved to University status. He immediately moved to graduate school at USC – Columbia and earned a Master’s of Education with emphasis in Visual Impairments in 1994. In 2007, he enrolled at Nova Southeastern University in Florida and earned his Educational Specialist Certificate (Ed.S.) in educational leadership/administration. He held every administrative credential except that of superintendent. He could have achieved that but chose not to do so. Marty McKenzie began his career as a teacher of the visually impaired at A.C. Flora High School in 1993. He worked there until 1997 when he began to work at the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind as an Access Technology Consultant. He served in this capacity until 2004 when his time was split and he became the Access Technology Coordinator for SCSDB Vision Outreach and the Statewide Vision Consultant for the SC Department of Education, Office of Exceptional Children. He served in this capacity until 2010 when he became the Principal of Vision Outreach, succeeding Elizabeth McKown. He served in this capacity until 2014 when he was split again and now serves as the Principal of Vision Outreach Services and the Statewide Vision Consultant for the SC Department of Education, Office of Special Education Services. Marty was recruited by Tim Cox and David Bundy in 1992 when he was a graduate student. He joined the Student Division and the Columbia Chapter and attended there until 1997 when he moved his residence back to Lake City, South Carolina. Mrs. Patty Filyaw, his former music teacher, recruited him to participate in the Clarendon County Chapter of the NFB of SC. He became the President in 2001 when Mrs. Patty decided to step aside. Marty still serve as the Chapter President. The Convention voted him in as the District 6 representative in 2000 and he served until 2016 on the Board of Directors of the NFB of SC. Marty received the Donald C. Capps Award and the NFB of SC Teacher of the Year Award. Marty loves to read and constantly keeps a book available in audio format from the SC State Library. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the SC State Library. He loves spending time with close friends and Federation folks. Marty began to work as a church organist in 1985 when he was a high school senior. He served as the organist of Floyd Chapel Pentecostal Holiness Church from 1985 until 2003. He now serves as organist at Cornerstone Ministries from 2003 until the present. During these years, he has also served as a deacon and has completed the weekly bulletin for most of this time frame. Marty values relationships and his faith above all else in this life. As he has grown older, his time seems much more precious. He adores his church and Federation families and loves every minute of being a Federationist. Marty works hard to achieve balance in his life. Congratulations to Marty McKenzie who “lives the life he wants.”

 

Final Thought:   “Success comes from not being afraid to grasp every opportunity.”

1656

 

May 9, 2018

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

From: Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1656

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

There is only three weeks remaining to preregister for the 2018 NFB National Convention in Orlando Florida. If you preregister prior to May 31, registration for convention will cost $25 and a banquet ticket will cost $65. After May 31, the cost for convention registration will increase to $30 and the cost of a banquet ticket will increase to $70. Save $10 and also skip the need to stand in line for a long period of time at the convention by purchasing your convention registration and banquet ticket by the May 31 deadline.

If you have not done so already, please make your hotel reservations for the 2018 NFB National Convention in Orlando Florida. The date of this year’s national convention will be July 3, to July 8, 2018 and will be held at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort. The 2018 room rates are singles and doubles, $88; and triples and quads, $93. In addition to the room rates there will be a tax, which at present is 12.5 percent. No charge will be made for children under seventeen in the room with parents as long as no extra bed is requested. Please note that the hotel is a no-smoking facility. For 2018 convention room reservations you can call the hotel at (866) 996-6338. You may also write directly to the Rosen Shingle Creek, 9939 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, Florida 32819-9357. The hotel will want a deposit of $100 for each room and will want a credit card number or a personal check. If you use a credit card, the deposit will be charged against your card immediately, just as would be the case with a $100 check. If a reservation is cancelled before Friday June, 1, 2018, half of the deposit will be returned. Otherwise refunds will not be made.

Also, if you have not done so already please make your hotel reservations for the 2018 NFB of SC State Convention which will be held at the Marriott Hotel in Columbia August 10-12. Room rates are very affordable. Rates for this year’s convention are $109 per night for up to four in a room. In addition to the room rates there will be a tax, which at present is 14 percent. The deadline to make reservations will be July 15, 2018. There will also be a limited number of rooms available for the $109 rate Thursday, August 9, for those individuals wanting to arrive to the hotel a day prior to the official start of the convention. You can make your room reservations by calling the Marriott toll free reservation telephone number (800) 593-6465 or (803) 771-7000 and inform the reservationist you are reserving a room for the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina state convention.

We are now accepting your $80 preregistration fee for this year’s State Convention. Please send your $80 preregistration fee to the Federation Center of the Blind, 119 S. Kilbourne Rd. Columbia, SC 29205. This year the NFB of SC board of directors voted again to offer a discount for families with children regarding the preregistration fee. Parents will pay the $80 preregistration fee and each child eight teen years of age or younger will pay $20. The board also voted to offer a discount to college students in the amount of $50 during the preregistration process.

All preregistration fees are nonrefundable and nontransferable. As in past years, the $80 preregistration fee will cover the reception on Friday evening, continental breakfast Saturday morning, the luncheon, banquet on Saturday and a continental breakfast Sunday morning. The deadline to accept your $80 preregistration fee is August 3. If you wait until after the deadline of August 3, the registration will increase to $100. Save $20 and preregister early!

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 featuring a longtime federation member. I am speaking of none other than Padgett McKenzie from our Clarendon County Chapter. Padgett was born and raised in the Lake City area of Clarendon County. He attended school at the School for the Blind at Cedar Springs in Spartanburg. His first job was at the Association of the Blind workshop in Columbia making brooms. This he did for four years. Then he went to Greenville to study becoming a medical transcriptionist. He put this skill to work in Columbia at the Good Samaritan Hospital, the State Hospital, Richland Memorial and Baptist Hospitals. After completing this work, Padgett became a canteen operator at State Printing in Columbia for five years. After this he retired and moved back to Lake City. Padgett has been married to Emily for 48 years and they had a boy and a girl and two grandchildren. Padgett joined the federation when the late James Sims invited him to a Men’s Supper meeting at the Federation Center in 1963. He joined the Columbia Chapter actively participating, serving two years as chapter President and as Vice President and Secretary. After moving to Clarendon County in 1998, they joined the Florence Chapter in 2000 and then have been members of the Clarendon County Chapter ever since. He has attended three national conventions in Chicago and also in Houston, New York and Orlando. He has attended about twenty state conventions. Padgett likes to read and he follows the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees in baseball. He is a member of the LDS Church in Florence. He and Emily love Rocky Bottom and enjoy going to Senior Camp. Let’s salute Padgett (and Emily of course) McKenzie for their five decades of service to the blind.

 

Final Thought:   “Failure will never overtake me if my determination is to succeed.” – Og Mandino

1655

 

May 2, 2018

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

From: Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1655

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

I want to take this opportunity to thank those of you who participated in the Midlands Gives fund raising event which was held in Columbia yesterday. I want to especially thank Valerie and Larry Warrington for all of their hard work during the past few months with this project which made it possible for the NFB of SC and Rocky Bottom to again participate in this program. I also want to thank Jennifer Bazer and our staff from the NFB of SC’s Successful Transitions program for their assistance yesterday as they were stationed at businesses located in Columbia, Irmo, and Lexington to raise funds through Midland Gives to assist Rocky Bottom. I would also like to recognize the Greenville and Rock Hill Chapters for their generous contributions of $250 and $100 respectively made to the Midland’s Gives program to assist Rocky Bottom.

Congratulations to Thom Spittle for his work in securing a date to have a NFB of SC Night at the Columbia Fireflies minor league baseball game on Saturday, May 12, beginning at 6:00 p.m. Thom Spittle will be throwing out the first pitch of the game. This will be a wonderful opportunity for us to educate the public about blindness and the NFB of SC, as we will be handing out NFB literature and displaying an audio and video PSA announcement for our organization on the score board. We currently have a block of tickets with seats located behind the first base dugout. Tickets are only $5. If you would like tickets, and be part of this special and fun evening, call David Houck at (803) 254-3777.

We have an announcement from Shannon Cook, Chairperson of the NFB of SC Scholarship Committee. “Scholarship Season has begun in the NFB of SC! Since the state convention is August 10-12, the deadline for all scholarship applications is June 15th. The committee will select the top three applicants, and they will be notified prior to the convention. The Scholarship Committee will meet via teleconference on July 15th, and winners will be notified soon thereafter. The updated scholarship application is now available at www.nfbofsc.org. Please also remember that the scholarship program operates on donations exclusively. If you or your chapter would like to contribute a scholarship or make a donation to the Metro Fund, please get in touch with both me, Shannon Cook, and Valerie Warrington, NFB of SC Treasurer. Also, please help us get the word out about the program. If you or someone you know is in school full time, please let them know about the program. Thank you. For those who get their completed applications in by May 15th, their name will be entered in a drawing for a $25 gift card. A scholarship committee member cannot write a letter of recommendation for an applicant. This is to eliminate the perception of unfairness or a bias toward that individual.”

We also have an announcement from Tiffiny Mitchell, chairperson of the NFB of SC state picnic planning committee, regarding the Saturday, June 2, state picnic to be held at Saluda Shoals park in Columbia from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. “There will be a teleconference held on Sunday evening, May 6, at 7:00 to further discuss plans regarding the state wide picnic. The number for the teleconference is (862)902-0241. The access code is #3588716. Please join the teleconference Monday evening and let’s continue to plan a great picnic!”

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’s spotlight falls upon an active and longtime serving local chapter President. In fact he has been its President since the chapter’s inception in the year 2000. I am speaking of none other than Bob Martin who heads up the Hilton Head Island Chapter. The chapter averages about 25 members. Bob Martin was born in Trenton, New Jersey where he was also married. He has three children and eight grandchildren. He attended Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey where he earned a degree in Chemical Engineering. He then went to Loyola University in Chicago where he received his MBA in Business. He served in the Army Reserves for 22 years where he retired as a Colonel. He worked at the John M. Roebling Company in the steel industry where he performed wire coating. This company built the George Washington and Brooklyn Bridge in New York City and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Later he worked at Hobart Brothers which did welding equipment where he was a Director. Bob Martin also worked as the General Manager of Airco where he worked in the plastics industry for fifteen years. After this he retired to Hilton Head. As Hilton Head Chapter President Bob Martin likes to secure adaptive equipment for those with low vision such as Zoomtext software, assistive reading devices and talking book machines. When adaptive equipment is turned in when it can no longer be used, he will donate the equipment to the Beaufort County Schools to be used by blind and low vision children. Bob is also a representative for the Optelec Company. Bob Martin likes to play bridge as a hobby. He serves on several Cypress community committees including one for those with low vision. Bob Martin enjoys helping people and deserves a hearty salute for his efforts on behalf of the blind and others in Hilton Head.

It happened during the 65th annual barbecue – a phone call came into the Federation Center about mid-morning from NFB of SC President Frank Coppel, causing all barbecue production to grind to a halt for a minute as it was announced that Frank Coppel’s daughter Laura had birthed twin boys at 7:41 and 7:42 a.m. Luke came in at 4 pounds and 13 ounces while Hayden came in at 5 pounds and 2 ounces. It was reported that the twins were in good health and their parents and grandparents were also doing fine. Everyone clapped and shouted for joy about the birth of the twins as barbecue production got underway once again.

 

Final Thought:   “Any job very well done that has been carried out by a person who is fully dedicated is always a source of inspiration.” – Carlos Ghosn

1654

 

April 25, 2018

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

From: Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1654

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

The RBRCCB Board of Directors and the NFB of SC Board of Directors discussed during their meetings on Saturday, April 21, our participation in the Midlands Gives fund raising program.

What is Midlands Gives? Hosted by Central Carolina Community Foundation, Midlands Gives is a 24-hour online giving event that brings the region together as one community, raising money and awareness for local nonprofits in 11 Midlands counties.

When is Midlands Gives? Midlands Gives will take place online on Tuesday, May 1, 2018, from 12:00 am to 11:59:59pm, Eastern Time.

How does it work? Central Carolina Community Foundation has set up an online giving platform at MidlandsGives.org with searchable profiles of participating nonprofits. All donations will be processed through this website, which allows nonprofits and donors to track the giving on May 1st via the site’s leaderboards.

If you would like to donate to Rocky Bottom Retreat and Conference Center, click on the below link. https://www.midlandsgives.org/rockybottom If you would like to donate to the National Federation of the Blind of SC (NFB of SC), click on the below

https://www.midlandsgives.org/NFBOFSC

This year, Jennifer Bazer and staff from the Successful Transitions program will be stationed in several locations around Columbia on May 1, to raise funds through Midland Gives to assist Rocky Bottom. If you are uncomfortable using a computer to make a donation or do not have one, you can call the Federation Center, (803) 254-3777 on Tuesday, May 1, and we will assist you with your donation. I am asking all chapter and division presidents to please share this information with your members and I strongly encourage all of us to make a concerted effort to spread this information to local businesses, neighbors, friends, and family which will greatly help to financially support Rocky Bottom and the NFB of SC with this wonderful fund raising opportunity!

If you have not done so already, please make your reservations for the upcoming 2018 Orlando National Convention. The date of this year’s national convention will be July 3, to July 8, 2018 and will be held at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort. The 2018 room rates are singles and doubles, $88; and triples and quads, $93. In addition to the room rates there will be a tax, which at present is 12.5 percent. No charge will be made for children under seventeen in the room with parents as long as no extra bed is requested. Please note that the hotel is a no-smoking facility.

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

 

It is time for you to preregister online for the 2018 NFB National Convention in Orlando Florida. If you preregister prior to May 31, registration for convention will cost $25 and a banquet ticket will cost $65. After May 31, the cost for convention registration will increase to $30 and the cost of a banquet ticket will increase to $70. Save $10 and also skip the need to stand in line for a long period of time at the convention by purchasing your convention registration and banquet ticket by the May 31 deadline. To mail in your preregistration please download the pdf version and mail to NFB no later than May 31st. Please Note: All convention preregistration and banquet sales are final.

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.

It’s finally here – that’s right – this Thursday the 65th annual barbecue will be held as usual at the Federation Center of the Blind. Speaking of the Center, over the weekend we were looking at some old pictures, mainly of family members, going back as far as the 1940’s. There were several pictures of Betty when she was a teenager and she was beautiful. Some years ago, Betty had put these pictures in safe keeping and even though some pictures were as much as 75 years old, they were still in good shape. While most of the pictures were of family, there were a few federation pictures. One of the pictures we ran across was of the April 1961 groundbreaking ceremony of the Federation Center as its construction was commenced at that time. It took six months to build the Center. It was dedicated on October 15, 1961. In the groundbreaking picture it included both federation and other officials including Senator Hyman Rubin who secured land from the City of Columbia to build the Center. Senator Rubin also provided a substantial amount of funding. The picture of the groundbreaking appeared in The State newspaper and it may be the only news clipping now available with so much time having elapsed. In a few days we plan to take the newspaper clipping to the Federation Center and place it in the board room/library. It will be available for anyone to review including the groundbreaking ceremony article. Nine years later in 1970 the first expansion was constructed. Eight years later in 1978 the second expansion was completed. The Center is the hub of the NFB of SC and its affiliates. There is another significant development which occurred and I want to share it with you. During the 1983 barbecue the Center’s Board of Directors interviewed a handsome young couple for the Executive Director’s position. David Houck and his lovely wife Darlene were interviewed by the board and after an excellent presentation, the board voted unanimously to hire David. That decision has proved to be one of the best things which happened in the NFB of SC to all concerned. David went to work as Executive Director on April 29, 1983. David has participated in all 35 of the barbecues. Darlene is right by his side. I believe we are going to have a good turnout for the barbecue this Thursday. I believe I had a good year. Final Thought – “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”

 

Final Thought:   “The larger the mass of food, the more energy it will take to cook. This energy input should be distributed over a larger time period or the surface of the food will receive a disproportionate amount of that energy.” – Albert Einstein (He’s clearly referring to low- and- slow cooking here)

1653

 

April 18, 2018

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

From: Frank Coppel, President

Positive Note 1653

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

Just a friendly reminder – the Spring meetings of the Rocky Bottom Retreat and Conference Center of the Blind Board of Directors and the NFB of SC Board of Directors will be held at the Federation Center of the Blind this Saturday, April 21 , 2018. The RBRCCB Board of Directors meeting will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. and will adjourn at 12:00 noon. The NFB of SC Board of Directors meeting will begin promptly 1:00 p.m. and adjourn at 4:00 p.m. There will be much to discuss a both meetings, and so I would like to strongly encourage Federation members who are not on either board to come Saturday and actively participate in the meetings.

You can now begin to make your hotel reservations for the 2018 NFB of SC State Convention which will be held at the Marriott Hotel in Columbia August 10-12. Room rates are very affordable. Rates for this year’s convention are $109 per night for up to four in a room. In addition to the room rates there will be a tax, which at present is 14 percent. The deadline to make reservations will be July 15, 2018. There will also be a limited number of rooms available for the $109 rate Thursday, August 9, for those individuals wanting to arrive to the hotel a day prior to the official start of the convention. You can make your room reservations by calling the Marriott toll free reservation telephone number (800) 593-6465 or (803) 771-7000 and inform the reservationist you are reserving a room for the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina state convention.

We have an announcement from Shelley Coppel, President of the NFB of SC Senior Division. “On April 19, at 4:00 p.m. eastern time, the National Senior Division will host a nationwide conference call. The topic will be: Newsline, moderated by Scott White from our National Center. He will discuss current and upcoming features of Newsline. Please join us. The conference call number has changed, here is the current number: 515-603-3166. The access code is: 759633 pound”

We also have an announcement from Tiffiny Mitchell, chairperson of the state picnic committee. “Attention all NFB of SC members! We are having a NFB of SC state picnic on Saturday, June 2, 2018 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Saluda Shoals state park in Columbia. There will not be any program or speakers, just great fun fellowship and food. We are planning a variety of activities for the day including a pie throwing contest as a fun way to raise money for the state organization. Voting will begin this Saturday, April 21, and end May 15, to select the three lucky individuals from throughout the state who will be on the receiving end of the pie throwing contest. You can vote as many times as you would like. One vote will cost $2 and three votes will cost $5. Please mail all votes and checks to Steve Cook, 2446 Harrison Rd., Columbia, SC 29204.”

Finally, Kudos and many thanks to the members of the Chesterfield County chapter and their President Nancy Reyes for sending a generous contribution this week to the NFB of SC, Rocky Bottom, the Federation Center of the Blind, and the NFB of SC Metro Scholarship fund.

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.

Thirty-one years ago in 1987 I visited a beautiful home in North Augusta occupied by two pleasant and congenial individuals. These persons were Essie Kaney and her late husband, James. Essie was born in Barnwell County. She has one sister and two granddaughters and two great-great grandsons. Their family also includes one brother and one son. Essie is a graduate of Allendale High School. There’s much more to cover on Essie who is in the spotlight this week because of her success in the federation for over a quarter of a century. She has served a total of 17 years as President of two chapters – N. Augusta and Belvedere. She also has served as the Vice President of the Belvedere Chapter. She is 100% in attending state conventions. Essie has also attended at least 17 national conventions. She proudly wears around her neck a beautiful Louis Braille commemorative coin with the necklace highlighting this very attractive Braille coin. In the past she has also walked five miles in the Imagination Fund March for Independence in Atlanta. A proud senior, Essie is very active in all three levels of the federation, local, state and national. She is “fit as a fiddle.” Always industrious, Essie was highly successful in sales. For many years she worked in pharmaceuticals and also as an Avon representative for seven years. Incidentally, Essie and her late husband James have loved RBRCCB from its inception and have been very supportive and continue to be financially supportive of this program. Now retired, Essie enjoys traveling, both on land and water as she (and James) have traveled throughout the country and they especially enjoy cruises. Still very active, a week ago Essie traveled with fifty-one other NFB of SC members to tour the NFB National Center in Baltimore. Her hobbies also include working with her “flowers.” She enjoys her church participation and has been a member of Bell Ridge Baptist Church for 28 years. For these reasons and many other positive reasons, I’m proud to make Essie Kaney the spotlight feature of the week.

 

Final Thought:   “Barbecue is popular because it combines the maximum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity.” – George Bernard Shaw.

 

1652

 

April 11, 2018

 

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

 

From: Frank Coppel, President

 

Positive Note 1652

 

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

 

 

On Friday, April 6, Shelley and I along with fifty other Federationists from across the state, traveled to Baltimore, Maryland for the purpose of visiting our National headquarters of the NFB. Members representing seven chapters, (Columbia, Charleston, Upper Dorchester County, Belvedere, Lancaster, Sumter, and Lee County) comprised one of the largest groups to ever attend the Jernigan Institute from South Carolina. I was very pleased to have NFB of SC State officers Second Vice President, Debra Canty, Secretary, Dorothy Barksdale, and state board members Isaiah Nelson, Loretta Green, Tiffiny Mitchell, and Linda Dizzley joining us on the trip. We were also pleased to have David Houck, Executive Director of the Federation Center of the Blind, and his wife Darleen in attendance as well. When we finally arrived to the Jernigan Institute late Friday evening, we were warmly met by staff who showed us to our rooms and who had prepared a wonderful meal waiting for us upon our arrival. The day long program began at 8:00 Saturday morning with a recorded message from President Riccobono, who could not be with us as he was attending the state convention of the NFB of Missouri. President Riccobono’s outstanding message will appear as an audio file on the NFB of SC list serve and on our website in the very near future. I encourage all of you to listen to what our national president had to say. The remainder of the morning was spent discussing NFB philosophy and taking a tour of our National Center. During the afternoon session, the group heard from various staff members regarding Newsline, programs and activities of the Jernigan Institute, and advocacy and policy. Saturday evening, some of our group visited the Harbor area in Baltimore where we ate dinner either at the Cheese Cake Factory or Phillips Seafood Restaurant. Others remained at the center and enjoyed the fellowship and relaxation after a very busy day. Maurice Peret, our excellent host for the weekend, did a wonderful job planning the agenda for Saturday and making certain our needs were address throughout the weekend. Since returning from our trip, I have received a great deal of positive feedback from those who attended this weekend and I feel each person has a better understanding of our goals, purpose and philosophy of the National Federation of the Blind. For some of our members, the seminar sparked a renewed feeling of ownership and commitment to improve the quality of life of blind people. I would like to thank Tiffiny Mitchell and Shelley Coppel for all of their assistance this past weekend. A very special thanks goes to Isaiah Nelson and Loretta Green who did an outstanding job organizing and planning the Baltimore trip. During the morning session of the program two very important questions were asked of each individual in the group which I believe set the tone for the entire weekend. The questions were: “Why do you need the NFB, and, “Why does the NFB need you.” These are two questions all of us need to think a great deal about, if we want to continue to build a Federation.

 

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.

 

The 65th annual barbecue sponsored by the Columbia Chapter will take place on Thursday, April 26. The first barbecue held at the Federation Center was in 1962 or some 56 years ago. This has become a huge project but the proceeds are highly profitable and this helps us to assist the blind in various ways. Our Columbia Chapter President, Tiffiny Mitchell is doing a great job in coordinating this year’s barbecue fundraiser. I am especially proud of the members who are participating in the three night canvas. For instance, in the first of three nights of canvassing, there were 17 canvassers and their guides who canvassed neighborhood streets nearby the Federation Center on Tuesday evening, April 10.. The weather was not good for canvassing. When everyone returned to the Center and the totals were tallied, 118 barbecue tickets were sold totaling $1,180 plus $458 was collected in donations, totaling some $1,638. There are still two more nights of canvassing on Thursday, April 12 and Monday, April 16. Columbia Chapter members are also working hard selling tickets on their own. Thus far, my own ticket sales and donations are coming along nicely. I have found it necessary to work harder this year than in the past in order to meet the goal that I have established. This project has been ongoing since the middle of March consuming a lot of time and effort. Both our blind and sighted members give considerably of their time and energy in this great and worthwhile undertaking.

 

 

 

Final Thought:   “Barbecue brings out the best in people.”

 

1651

 

April 4, 2018

 

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

 

From: Frank Coppel, President

 

Positive Note 1651

 

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

 

 

On Friday, March 30, the 18th annual Vision Summit was held at the Archives building in northeast Columbia. Approximately 100 people were in attendance which included teachers of the visually impaired, parents of blind children, and other individuals who worked in the field of blindness. The NFB of SC was well represented as Valerie Warrington and Casey Eubanks participated on a panel entitled “from my prospective” which dealt with how they successfully handled their a visual impairment on a daily basis. Other members present were Ed and Julie Bible, Thom and Tracy Spittle, and David and Darleen Houck. Our own Marty McKenzie presided over the conference and did an excellent job. Each conference participant received a packet which included information regarding the assistive technology training programs offered at the Federation Center of the Blind. The NFB of SC is pleased to see how much this conference has grown over the years as we were honored to host the first Vision Summit which was held at the Federation Center during the last 1990’s.

 

We have an announcement from Debra Canty, President of the Sumter chapter. “The Sumter chapter will have chicken and pork BBQ sandwiches available for sale April 21, at the RBRCCB and NFB of SC board of directors meetings. The BBQ chicken sandwich will sell for $5 and the pork BBQ sandwich will sell for $6. If you are interested in purchasing a BBQ sandwich, please contact Debra Canty at (803)775-5792 to place your order. The Sumter chapter has conducted this event for many years as proceeds from this fund raiser helps to financially assist chapter members to attend the national convention. .”

 

We have an announcement from Tiffiny Mitchell, Chairperson of the NFB of SC state picnic planning committee, regarding the Saturday, June 2, state picnic to be held at Saluda Shoals state park. “There will be a teleconference held on Monday evening, April 9, at 8:00 to further discuss plans regarding the state wide picnic. The number for the teleconference is (862)902-0241. The access code is #3588716. Please join the teleconference Monday evening and let’s plan a great picnic!”

 

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.

 

I trust that your Easter was meaningful and uplifting. Over the Easter weekend I reminisced regarding the many Easters I have celebrated. During my early childhood my mother over Easter would take us to Reedy Creek Baptist Church which is one of the oldest churches in the state. My first away Easter was at the SC School for the Deaf and Blind in 1939. I recall that those students who lived nearby the School would be able to go home for Easter but those of us who lived a distance from the School had to stay at the School. I was at the School for Easter in 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, and 1944. I chose to take my Junior and Senior years at Mullins High School where I grew up. While I was a student at SCSDB I never dreamed that I would later serve on the Board of Commissioners of the School for a quarter of a century beginning in 1980 until 2005. This was the period Dr. Sheila Breitweiser was hired as SCSDB President. It’s my understanding that all students at SCSDB today are bussed home for Easter. That’s certainly better than having to be away for this special Easter season. Some time ago I was asked when my most meaningful decades in which I served was and I promptly said, “the decades of the 1950’s and 60’s,” as both of my children, Beth and Craig were born in 1955 and 1958. My federation participation first occurred in 1953. Beginning in 1959 we moved into in our current residence in our frame house, residing there for some 60 years. We were able to enjoy picnics and other occasions with our children. Of course Betty got new outfits for both children which we showed off at our church – Kilbourne Park Baptist Church. One of the things we enjoyed doing on Easter in the 1950’s and 60’s was holding an Easter Egg Hunt in the back yard. Betty would color several eggs which were utilized in the Easter Egg Hunt. In those days for a period extending for 25 years, we had two Cocker Spaniels which were wonderful pets. Their names were Penny and they participated in the hunt also. It didn’t seem to matter where the eggs were placed in the back yard to hide them from Penny as she always managed to find the eggs before Craig and Beth would find them. One of the standards during Easter was the chocolate bunny although it is not as prevalent today as it was in the 1950’s and 60’s.

 

 

 

Final Thought:   “Happiness is being content by not comparing what you have with what others have.”

 

1650

 

March 28, 2018

 

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

 

From: Frank Coppel, President

 

Positive Note 1650

 

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

 

 

If you have not done so already, please make your reservations for the upcoming 2018 Orlando National Convention. The date of this year’s national convention will be July 3, to July 8, 2018 and will be held at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort. The 2018 room rates are singles and doubles, $88; and triples and quads, $93. In addition to the room rates there will be a tax, which at present is 12.5 percent. No charge will be made for children under seventeen in the room with parents as long as no extra bed is requested. Please note that the hotel is a no-smoking facility.

 

For 2018 convention room reservations you can call the hotel at (866) 996-6338. You may also write directly to the Rosen Shingle Creek, 9939 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, Florida 32819-9357. The hotel will want a deposit of $100 for each room and will want a credit card number or a personal check. If you use a credit card, the deposit will be charged against your card immediately, just as would be the case with a $100 check. If a reservation is cancelled before Friday, June, 1, 2018, half of the deposit will be returned. Otherwise refunds will not be made. The schedule of the convention is as follows; Tuesday, July 3, Seminar Day, Wednesday, July 4, Registration and exhibits, Thursday, July 5, National Board Meeting and division and committee meetings, Friday, July 6, Opening General Session, Saturday, July 7, General session, Sunday, July 8, Banquet.

 

It is time for you to preregister online for the 2018 NFB National Convention in Orlando Florida. If you preregister prior to May 31, registration for convention will cost $25 and a banquet ticket will cost $65. After May 31, the cost for convention registration will increase to $30 and the cost of a banquet ticket will increase to $70. Save $10 and also skip the need to stand in line for a long period of time at the convention by purchasing your convention registration and banquet ticket by the May 31 deadline. To mail in your preregistration please download the pdf version and mail to NFB no later than May 31st. Please Note: All convention preregistration and banquet sales are final.

 

We have an announcement from Loretta Green regarding the bus trip to our national center in Baltimore. “We will leave the Federation Center of the Blind in Columbia at 8:00 a m. on Friday, April 6. Please make sure to tag your luggage. For those who would like to get on the bus in Florence, we will make a stop at the Florence mall which is exit 160 a off of Interstate 95 around 9:00 A.M. Contact persons are Loretta Green at 843-276-9649 and Isaiah Nelson at 803-413-2434.”

 

We have an announcement from Krystal Reece, President of the Anderson chapter. “The Upstate Seminar will be held on April 14, 2018 from 10 am to 2 pm @American Legion 1301 E. Greenville St., Anderson, SC 29621. Cost to attend is $10 per person. We hope that all Upstate chapters will get involved and attend. Please bring any items you would like to auction off at the seminar. Lunch will be provided @ 12. We hope to see you there.”

 

Finally, April 1, is Easter Sunday and Shelley and I would like to take this time to wish all of you a very happy and blessed holiday.

 

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.

 

It is a pleasure this week to spotlight Tommy McNeil, a longtime member of the NFB of SC. Tommy was born in Greenwood. He has served as President of the Greenwood Chapter for several terms. Tommy was born into a prominent Greenwood family. His mother taught school for many years including Senator John Drummond. Both of his parents are now deceased. Tommy briefly attended SCSDB but later returned to Greenwood, attending the public schools. Subsequently he received some training at the Vocational Rehabilitation agency. Beginning in 1970, he was at the Commission for the Blind for 16 weeks. Incidentally, Tommy stayed with his aunt on Wheat St. in Columbia where he lived independently. Tommy reports that after he received his 16 weeks of training and adjustment at the Commission, he returned to Greenwood but recalled that the then Commissioner, Dr. Fred L. Crawford went to Greenwood to personally see him to determine what he desired. For six years Tommy worked in a mop and broom shop in Greenwood. He returned to the Commission in order to learn massage therapy, becoming a masseur. Giving his very best in securing suitable employment, Tommy obtained a job with the YMCA in Columbia for three months. He decided to have a career as a masseur, returning to Greenwood after training and has been working as a masseur since 1983. He has been employed for over three decades in this same type of employment utilizing his home during this entire period. Tommy joined the federation in 1974 and has served faithfully for this entire period of time. Tommy has attended most every state convention since joining the federation. Tommy has attended more than ten national conventions. His hobbies include reading and listening to baseball games. He is a longtime member of the Greenwood United Methodist Church located on Main St. Tommy is highly respected by federation members across the state. He is known to have a good track record and is further known for his honesty and integrity. Once the Department of Transportation attempted to recall the Greenwood chapter’s van in order to to give it back to DOT. The NFB of SC was responsible for the van staying in the sole possession of the chapter with our state President, Parnell Diggs, negotiating the matter efficiently. The NFB of SC spotlights Tommy for his four decades of service in the NFB of SC and for his steadfast commitment to the organization.

 

 

 

Final Thought:   “Accomplishment multiplies by the number it applies to.”

 

1649

 

March 21, 2018

 

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

 

From: Frank Coppel, President

 

Positive Note 1649

 

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

 

 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended the 2018 Leadership Seminar sponsored by the NFB of SC this past Saturday. Approximately eighty people were in attendance at the seminar representing the entire state from Greenville to Charleston. During the morning session, the audience heard from David Houck who presented an over view of the history of the NFB and the NFB of SC. The morning session concluded with a very frank and informative discussion led by Ed Bible regarding the South Carolina Commission for the Blind and the rights and responsibilities of consumers. Again, a very special thanks goes to the Federation Center of the Blind who covered the expense of the lunch. The afternoon session consisted of an excellent presentation made by Sabrina Sanders, Benefits Specialist from the Sc Commission for the Blind, who gave a detailed description of SSI and SSDI benefits and work incentive features in the Social Security program. The remainder of the afternoon dealt with the upcoming national and state conventions and chapter issues. How to conduct an effective chapter meeting was presented and many good suggestions by the audience were discussed as to how chapters could raise funds and attract new members. At the conclusion of the seminar, the 2018 Orlando National convention bus ticket drawing was conducted. Congratulations to the Columbia chapter for selling the most tickets (875) and winning the first place prize of $300. Second place goes to the Sumter Chapter with a total of 309 and third place goes to the Upper Dorchester County chapter who sold 165 tickets. Overall, 2,310 tickets were sold state wide. The buyer of the winning ticket was Carter Monteith of Rock Hill who received $300 and the seller was Jim Carter from Rock Hill who received $100. We will need to work much harder next year if we are going to charter a bus to the 2019 national convention.

 

The Spring meetings of the Rocky Bottom Retreat and Conference Center of the Blind Board of Directors and the NFB of SC Board of Directors will be held at the Federation Center of the Blind on Saturday, April 21, 2018. The RBRCCB Board of Directors meeting will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. and will adjourn at 12:00 noon. The NFB of SC Board of Directors meeting will begin promptly 1:00 p.m. and adjourn at 4:00 p.m. I look forward to having all board members in attendance and I strongly encourage any Federation member to come and to actively participate in the meeting.

 

We have an announcement from Jamie Allison, President of our Cherokee County chapter. “It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that our long-time Cherokee chapter member, Mr. Allen Davis, went to be with the Lord during the early morning hours of March 17th. Mr. Davis was an alumnus of the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind and his wife, Carrie, has also been an associate member of our chapter for many years.   Visitation will be at the Pacloet Road Baptist Church at 2:00 pm with the funeral services immediately following at 3:00 pm. An online obituary and guest book can be viewed and signed by following this link: http://www.blakelyfuneralhome.com/obituary/allen-davis.               We know that most people across the state will not be able to attend the services, but we covet your prayers for the Davis family and our chapter during this most 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.

 

My son Craig and I have just returned from a most impressive memorial service in memory of Wanda Sheck who passed away on Friday, March 9. There was a good turnout for the service including several blind persons. The NFB of SC was well represented by President Frank Coppel and state Secretary Dorothy Barksdale.

 

Beginning this week we will be busy working to sell as many barbecue tickets as possible which will be held on Thursday, April 26. It hardly seems possible that this year’s barbecue celebrates its 65th anniversary which began in 1954. The only member who is still living that I can think of at the moment other than myself who participated in the first barbecue was Lois Boltin Tucker. So many successes have taken place in this long period of time. Each barbecue plate in 1954 cost us $1.00 and we sold it for $1.50. In 1954 the chapter sold about 200 plates, earning $100 and at that time we thought this was great. Really it was as the chapter had never sponsored any fundraiser before and this was a good beginning. Some members who originally objected had their minds changed when the results of the first barbecue was history. On a personal note, I was young and in my 20’s in 1954 whereas with the coming of the 30th of August, it will be my 90th birthday. During the past 65 years literally thousands of barbecue plates have been sold and this resulted in funding for the chapter for many thousands of dollars. We have also made a lot of friends during that project and our members have gained confidence in participating. Our three canvas nights will bring in several thousands of dollars. Also, the neighbors in our neighborhood which surrounds the Federation Center for the most part know about the annual event and we are received quite well by many of those who participate. Our members do an excellent job in serving the plates and no doubt we will have good participation again. In the mid 1950’s the barbecue was held in the Township Auditorium sponsored by the late Senator Walter Bristow. Following that we met at the Jefferson Hotel located in downtown Columbia before the Federation Center was ready for occupancy in 1962. Others who picked this fundraising event came to realize how valuable this barbecue fundraiser really is. While the Columbia Chapter owns the Center, meetings statewide are also held there. For example, I understand last Saturday’s Leadership Seminar was very successful with nearly 100 in attendance. The Center Board of Directors will be meeting this Friday at the Center to cover its quarterly meeting.

 

 

 

Final Thought:   “With longevity comes your legacy.”

 

1648

 

March 15, 2018

 

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

 

From: Frank Coppel, President

 

Positive Note 1648

 

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

 

 

Happy ST. Patrick’s Day! I am pleased to announce we have approximately eighty people who are planning to attend the NFB of SC’s Leadership seminar this Saturday at the Federation Center of the Blind. We have not held a Leadership Seminar SINCE 2014 and with the overwhelming response WE HAVE RECEIVED FROM OUR members, it is evident THESE TYPE OF SEMINARS NEED TO BE HELD MORE OFTEN. Remember, the Orlando bus ticket drawing will be held at the conclusion of the Leadership Seminar. If you have not turned in your ticket money or stubs please do so by this Saturday, March 17.

 

We have an announcement from Krystal Reece, President of the Anderson chapter. “The Upstate Seminar will be held on April 14, 2018 at 10am-2pm at the American Legion, 1301 E. Greenville St., Anderson, SC 29621. Cost to attend is $10 per person. We hope that all Upstate chapters will get involved and attend. Please bring any items you would like to auction off at the seminar. Lunch will be provided at 12 noon. We hope to see you there.”

 

We have an announcement from Shelley Coppel, President of the NFB of SC Seniors Division. “First Senior Division Conference Call, Spring 2018: When: Thursday, March 22, 2018. Time: 4:00 Eastern, 3:00 Central, 2:00 Mountain, 1:00 Pacific. Phone number 1-515 603-3166 Code: 759633Pound. Facilitators are Arthur Schriber and Diane McGeorge— Downsizing—Transitioning to a new home: When to move? Where to move? What to take?”

 

I am sad to report Wanda Sheck, a long time Federation member of the Columbia Chapter passed away early Friday morning, March 9. Wanda will be greatly missed as she actively participated in chapter activities. To mention a few: she drove for many chapter meetings, assisted with our Barbecue fund- raiser, drove numerous times to Rocky Bottom as she truly loved our camp, she was a dear friend and mentor to countless numbers of friends of our Federation family, and these are only a few examples of Wanda’s love for blind people. All of us need to keep Steve and Brandon in our thoughts and prayers. A Memorial service for Wanda Sheck will be held at the Church of the Harvest, Tuesday, March 20, at 1:00 p.m.

 

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 section of the weekly Positive Note is dedicated to the loving memory of Wanda Sheck (63) who passed away on Friday morning, March 9. Wanda had extensive health problems. However she had looked forward to having her leg prosthesis fitting which was scheduled to be done on March 9 but she passed away in her sleep earlier that morning. She is survived by her husband Steve Sheck and her son Brandon Roof. The Memorial Service is scheduled to occur on Tuesday, March 20 at 1:00 p.m. at the Church of the Harvest located at 4865 Sunset Blvd., Lexington, SC 29072. Rev. Ken Jumper, Pastor of the Church of the Harvest and a friend to the blind is officiating. I first met Wanda when she was a toddler. Someone contacted me and reported that a blind mother and her baby were in considerable need and requested that I look into it. Wanda’s mother was the late Irene Hudson Doyle. I made the visit to their West Columbia home on New Year’s Day 1958 and found the report made to me to be accurate. I made arrangements for the needed items to be delivered to their residence. From that day forward Irene and her precious daughter Wanda became lifelong members of the federation. As the years went by Wanda enjoyed her federation participation, especially in the Rocky Bottom program. Wanda was among the first group of federationists to travel to Rocky Bottom in 1962. Incidentally, Wanda’s death brought the remaining 1962 survivors down to five which includes three Capps (Betty, Craig and myself), Barry Chavis and Donna Hancock. Like most children Wanda liked to play but she had the misfortune of stepping on a splinter during her 1962 visit which penetrated the foot and had to be removed immediately. The removal hurt and Wanda resisted but as soon as the splinter had been removed, she returned to playing with the other children. Wanda was always faithful in her service to the federation and Rocky Bottom. Several years ago I needed to travel to Rocky Bottom but Betty was not able to drive at that time. I called upon Wanda and she was very pleased that I would request her to do this service. When her husband Steve was Columbia Chapter President, she was the First Lady and was always at his side. In more recent years she assisted Steve in his vending facility business. All of us who knew Wanda will miss her. We are keeping Steve and Brandon in our thoughts and prayers at this time.

 

Final Thought:   “A good test of one’s character is this: Are you more concerned about how others affect you or are you more concerned about how you affect others?”

 

1647

 

March 7, 2018

 

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

 

From: Frank Coppel, President

 

Positive Note 1647

 

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

 

 

Please continue to contact David Houck at the Federation Center of the Blind either by phone or by mail, if you are planning to attend the Leadership Seminar which will be held on Saturday, March 17, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. We need to have this information by Wednesday, March 14, in order for us to have an accurate head count for lunch which is free of charge. We are expecting a good crowd to be present for the seminar as we already have approximately thirty people to sign up thus far.

 

It is time for you to preregister online for the 2018 NFB National Convention in Orlando Florida. If you preregister prior to May 31, registration for convention will cost $25 and a banquet ticket will cost $65. After May 31, the cost for convention registration will increase to $30 and the cost of a banquet ticket will increase to $70. Save $10 and also skip the need to stand in line for a long period of time at the convention by purchasing your convention registration and banquet ticket by the May 31 deadline. Please Note: All convention preregistration and banquet sales are final.

 

We have an announcement from Shannon Cook, Chairperson of the NFB of SC Scholarship Committee. “Scholarship Season has begun in the NFB of SC! Since the state convention is August 10-12, the deadline for all scholarship applications is June 15th. The committee will select the top three applicants, and they will be notified prior to the convention. The Scholarship Committee will meet via teleconference on July 15th, and winners will be notified soon thereafter. The updated scholarship application is now available at www.nfbofsc.org. Please also remember that the scholarship program operates on donations exclusively. If you or your chapter would like to contribute a scholarship or make a donation to the Metro Fund, please get in touch with both me, Shannon Cook, and Valerie Warrington, NFB of SC Treasurer. Also, please help us get the word out about the program. If you or someone you know is in school full time, please let them know about the program. Thank you.”

 

Shelley and I are looking forward to being with those of you who are planning to travel to Baltimore, Maryland the week end of April 6-8 to visit and tour the Jernigan Institute (our NFB National Center). Isaiah Nelson tells me there are only five seats remaining on the charter bus and if you would like to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity, you need to contact Mr. Nelson at (803) 413-2434 immediately. . Also, those of us who have not paid in full their $100 charge to ride the bus need to do so, by mailing your payment to Isaiah Nelson, Po box 12063, Columbia, S.C. 29211, no later than March 15.

 

Finally, I would like to report as to the amount of funds raised at the third annual Sweet Heart dance. Total revenues were $1,140, expenses $500 for catering, leaving a net profit of $640. Kudos to Debra Canty and her committee for their hard work planning this fund raising project. I also would like to especially recognize all of you who came to the dance and for your financial support for the NFB of SC.

 

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’s Positive Note is spotlighting an active member of the Columbia Chapter. I am delighted to spotlight Katie Jackson. She was born and raised in Newberry County. She attended the public schools there as well. She has four children, fourteen grandchildren, nineteen great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. For a time she worked at Camron, a railroad equipment company, as an engineering clerk. When she got laid off, she went to the Commission for the Blind for vocational services. It was at that time she was introduced to the NFB of SC by attending a Columbia Chapter meeting in 1991. While Katie took an internship at the Federation Center of the Blind, she became active in the Columbia Chapter in the early 1990’s, especially in working on the Barbecue Committee, canvassing and selling tickets.   Katie furthered her education at Midlands Tech where she earned an Associate degree in Human Services. She eventually took a position with the US Forestry Service in their Human Resources Department where she was employed for fifteen years until she retired. She has been the Treasurer of the Columbia Chapter for the past two years. Katie has attended two Florida NFB national conventions and many state conventions going back to the 1990’s. She is a member of the Right Direction International Church where she served on the Hospitality Committee and now serves as a “Seasoned Citizen.”   She likes to watch inspirational TV programs and although she cannot read like she used to, a CCTV donated to her by the Federation Center has helped a lot in her Treasurer’s duties in the Columbia Chapter. We salute another federationist who does not let age hinder her federation duties and opportunities.

 

 

 

Final Thought:   “Be yourself – Everyone else is already taken.”

 

1646

 

February 28, 2018

 

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

 

From: Frank Coppel, President

 

Positive Note 1646

 

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

 

 

You can now begin to make your reservations for the upcoming 2018 Orlando National Convention. The date of this year’s national convention will be July 3, to July 8, 2018 and will be held at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort. The 2018 room rates are singles and doubles, $88; and triples and quads, $93. In addition to the room rates there will be a tax, which at present is 12.5 percent. No charge will be made for children under seventeen in the room with parents as long as no extra bed is requested. Please note that the hotel is a no-smoking facility.

 

For 2018 convention room reservations you can call the hotel at (866) 996-6338. You may also write directly to the Rosen Shingle Creek, 9939 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, Florida 32819-9357. The hotel will want a deposit of $100 for each room and will want a credit card number or a personal check. If you use a credit card, the deposit will be charged against your card immediately, just as would be the case with a $100 check. If a reservation is cancelled before Friday, June, 1, 2018, half of the deposit will be returned. Otherwise refunds will not be made. The schedule of the convention is as follows; Tuesday, July 3, Seminar Day, Wednesday, July 4, Registration and exhibits, Thursday, July 5, National Board Meeting and division and committee meetings, Friday, July 6, Opening General Session, Saturday, July 7, General session, Sunday, July 8, Banquet.

 

The Kenneth Jernigan Scholarship committee is now accepting applications for the 2018 National conventional in Orlando Florida. The Jernigan scholarship program is sponsored by the NFB and is designed to financially assist first time attendees to attend the NFB National convention. To apply, you must complete the necessary paperwork with a letter of recommendation from your state president and submit this information to the Jernigan Scholarship committee by April 15, 2018. If you are selected, you will be notified by the committee by May 15, 2018. For more information, please read the article in the December issue of the Braille Monitor which describes the process in more detail.

 

Unfortunately, I have been informed there continues to be quite a few chapters who have not submitted their state dues for 2018. Please send in your state dues as soon as possible since the deadline for accepting dues was January 31. Submitting your $10 state dues is extremely important as it helps us to continue to carry out the programs of the NFB of SC. When you submit your state dues, please provide current contact information such as, address, phone number and email address if you have one. These things do change and if we do not have updated information, we cannot keep you up to date on what’s going on.

 

The 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 placing the spotlight upon one of the NFB of SC’s most versatile and talented members. I am speaking of none other than Valerie Warrington, longtime President of our Newberry Chapter. Valerie was born and raised in Newberry. Many of you know her mother Elizabeth Farr of Newberry who also supports Valerie’s efforts in the federation.

 

After completing her high school education, Valerie received her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Clemson University and her Master’s in Accounting and Information Technology form the University of Maryland, University College. She has put her education to good use. Valerie began her career in the private sector in the manufacturing industry and later accepted a position with SCANA services. She also worked briefly in public accounting before taking time off to help raise her daughter. Valerie returned to work a few years later with the State Treasurer’s Office where she is currently employed. Of course, Valerie did receive her CPA designation. Valerie has been married for 16 years to her wonderful husband, Larry, and they have a 4 year old daughter, Ali, who is an absolute handful. She keeps her parents busy playing outdoors and with her toys. She attends preschool at Newberry Academy. Valerie and Larry both enjoy attending her school music programs and other school events. Valerie learned of the NFB of SC while attending the teen program at the Commission for the Blind. Someone mentioned the NFB and the programs the organization offered. Since there was no Chapter in Newberry at that time, it was suggested that she contact Dr. Capps which she did and the rest is history. Valerie organized a Chapter in Newberry and she was elected president. She has been actively involved in the NFB of SC ever since. Valerie has attended every state convention since 1989 and she has attended five national conventions over the years. I do not want to neglect to state that Valerie and Larry do stream our state conventions live on the internet in their capacity as members of the Computer Science and Technology Division. Valerie is currently president of the Newberry Chapter and is Treasurer of the NFB of SC and Rocky Bottom. She also serves as Treasurer of the Computer Science and Technology Division. Valerie and Larry are active member of St. Phillips Lutheran Church. In her spare time Valerie enjoys being with her family and making crafts with her daughter. With the inception and expansion of the NFB of SC’s Successful Transitions program and all the work required to keep Rocky Bottom operational financially, she has applied her accounting and CPA knowledge well in her Treasurer’s duties in the federation. Her hard work and dedication are truly to be commended.

 

 

 

Final Thought:   “In youth we learn; in age we understand.” – Marie Von Ebner-Eschenbach

 

1645

 

February 21, 2018

 

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

 

From: Frank Coppel, President

 

Positive Note 1645

 

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

 

 

On Saturday evening, February 17, Shelley and I had a wonderful time attending the third annual Sweetheart Dance Sponsored by the NFB of SC. Approximately 51 individuals were in attendance and it was very apparent everyone enjoyed all the festivities of the evening. The Federation Center was beautifully decorated with pink table cloths as well as a balloon bouquet on each table. Individuals enjoyed a delicious dinner after which time people appeared to be having fun listening to the music, dancing or just talking with each other. Many great door prizes were handed out which greatly added to the festivities of the evening. I would like to thank Ernest Gallman who provided the music for the evening. I would also like to thank Corey and Tanisha Gibbons, Debra Canty’s son and daughter-in-law for volunteering their time to decorate the Federation Center. Thanks also goes to Jennifer Bazer who was responsible for securing a variety of door prizes for the evening. A ery special thanks goes to Debra Canty, our Fundraising Chairperson and her committee for putting together this event. Many kudos for a job well done!

 

Remember, on Saturday, March 17, 2018 the NFB of SC will host a Leadership Seminar at the Federation Center of the Blind from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Lunch will be provided. All members are encouraged to attend and there will be no charge for the seminar. Come and learn about the history of the NFB and NFB of SC, your rights and responsibilities as a consumer of the South Carolina Commission for the Blind, Social Security benefits, and any general chapter issues you would like to discuss. If you are planning to come to the seminar, please contact David Hock at the Federation Center of the Blind (803) 254-3777 no later than Wednesday, March 14, in order that we can have an accurate head count for lunch. Since the inclement weather prevented some chapters from attending the Statewide Seminar, the Orlando bus ticket drawing will be held on March 17 at the Leadership Seminar. As of this date we have only sold approximately 2,000 tickets, so let’s do all that we can to sell more tickets!

 

On Thursday, February 8, I along with Shelley, Lenora Robertson, Ellen Taylor, and Shannon Cook traveled to Pageland, SC to attend the Chesterfield County Chapter meeting to bid farewell to Ms. Dorcas Campbell who is moving to Las Vegas to live with her grandson. Miss Dorcas is ninety-five years old and for the past eight years, she has been the President of the Chesterfield County chapter. Under her excellent leadership, the Chesterfield County chapter has participated fully in all programs of the NFB of SC and the chapter is widely recognized in the Pageland-Jefferson area. From the comments made by everyone at the meeting, it was very evident Miss Dorcas was truly loved and will be missed a great deal. Nancy Reyes, a longtime member of the chapter, was elected President and I am very confident she will do an excellent job in this role.

 

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 chapter president who has enriched the lives of many in the NFB of SC. This will become obvious as we go along. James Nelson, President of the Georgetown Chapter of the NFB of SC is 72 years old and is a native of the Georgetown area and farming has been his occupation. He grew up in the Georgetown public schools but after graduation, he did attend a trade school in Columbia. Always a hard worker, he taught his family to work hard and give voluntarily of themselves. Having a large family, many who are legally blind, his family members were charter members of the Georgetown Chapter when it was organized on Friday evening, May 6, 1988 as Maggie Floyd was elected Vice President and Sarah Nelson was elected Secretary. In fact, over the years members of the Nelson family became members and even officers in the Columbia, Spartanburg and Detroit Chapters of the NFB. James has been Georgetown Chapter President for some 15 years. James and his lovely wife Merline have attended several Senior Blind Camps at Rocky Bottom. They have attended several NFB conventions including Atlanta, Orlando, Louisville and Detroit. They have attended between 25 to 30 state conventions, not to mention Statewide Seminars. His hobbies include singing and working in his yard growing vegetables. He is also part of a gospel singing group. If you know Isaiah, Anthony, Gail and Rogers, Sarah, Jonathan, and Takalah to name a few, you can see that all of them have served the federation well because of the upbringing of James and Merline. Congratulations go out to James Nelson for his federation service and that of his extended family.

 

 

 

Final Thought:  “Ninety-nine percent of failures come from people who make excuses.” ― George Washington (1732–1799)

 

1644

 

February 14, 2018

 

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

 

From: Frank Coppel, President

 

Positive Note 1644

 

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day! Speaking of Valentine’s Day, I hope to see many of you at the third annual Sweetheart Dance which will be held at the Federation Center of the Blind on Saturday, February 17, from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. The evening promises to be a fun and enjoyable experience with a professionally catered dinner, door prizes, music and dancing. Tickets to this event will only be $25 for an individual and $45 per couple. Please make checks payable to the NFB of SC and please note the memo line for Sweethearts Dance. You can purchase your tickets for the dance at the door Saturday evening, however, if you are planning to do this, we ask that you contact David Houck at (803) 254-3777 prior to the event to confirm your reservation. Please contact Jennifer Bazer at 803-661-6622 or jhipp25@sc.rr.com if you would like to contribute a door prize.   If you have any questions regarding this fundraising event, please contact Debra Canty, NFB of SC fundraising Chairperson, at 803-775-5792 or via email at debra.canty@frontier.com. Remember, this is a fund raiser for the NFB of SC so let’s have a great turnout this Saturday evening.

 

We have an announcement from Shelley Coppel, President of the NFB of SC Seniors division. “Since the inclement weather prevented some chapters and individuals from attending the Statewide Seminar on January 6, the Seniors division drawing for the power air-fryer XL, and a $50 Visa gift card will be held some time during the Sweetheart Dance. If you have money or ticket stubs, please bring them with you to the dance Saturday evening. Thank you and good luck!”

 

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

 

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day, we raise the expectations of blind people because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want: blindness is not what holds you back. Joining me for comments in this Positive Note is the President Emeritus of the NFB of SC. Here is Dr. Capps.

 

Today is Valentine’s Day, the one day of the year when we demonstrate our appreciation to those we love. In elementary schools across the country children are exchanging Valentines cards with each other along with those candy hearts that have sayings like, “Be mine” on them. Young people and adults show their love for each other by giving flowers, candy or by going out to dinner. Throughout the Federation similar things are going on today as well. However, we as federationists demonstrate our love for each other in many ways. Locally in chapters statewide the blind in our communities reach out in service to our fellow blind by planning activities, programs and opportunities for learning and leadership for their fellow blind, offering independence, productivity and fellowship. This Saturday the Federation Center of the Blind is hosting a Sweetheart Dance for the NFB of SC as a fundraiser, providing a romantic evening for federationists to have a fine dinner, dancing, door prizes and fellowship. The Federation Center also offers adaptive computer training for the blind and Successful Transitions provides for blind high school students preparing to go to college or to enter the work force. Rocky Bottom Retreat and Conference Center of the Blind shows its love for the blind statewide with annual fishing expeditions, camps for the senior blind, camps for blind children, the Labor Day Fun Day weekend fundraiser, Christmas board retreats and many opportunities to visit and enjoy the pristine mountainous atmosphere. The NFB of SC shares its love for blind South Carolinians by passing 44 pieces of legislation through the General Assembly affecting all the state’s blind whether or not they are federationists. This is also true with the annual Washington Seminar concerning federal legislation affecting the blind nationally. Our NFB of SC Statewide Seminars, Leadership Seminars and state conventions, not to mention statewide divisions, scholarships and awards are designed to recognize the accomplishments and challenges faced by the blind continuously. Nationally, the NFB offers much support, programs and conventions, etc. which give back to the nation’s blind, enriching all of our lives. As you can see, Valentine’s Day is demonstrated not just today as we show our love for each other but it is demonstrated every day by our federation growth, philosophy and outreach to all the blind.

 

 

 

Final Thought:   The 2017 hurricane season devastated areas from Texas to Florida and from Puerto Rico to the US Virgin Islands. A common theme from those who lost everything was, “Tough times don’t last but tough people do.”

 

1643

 

February 7, 2018

 

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

 

From: Frank Coppel, President

 

Positive Note 1643

 

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

 

 

 

As I wrote in last week’s Positive Note, I was very proud to have fifteen individuals from the NFB of SC attend the 2018 Washington Seminar. I was especially impressed with the four students from our Successful Transitions program who accompanied our delegation and who participated fully in all of the activities in Washington D.C. The students were Taivon Hardy, from Orangeburg, Wallace Stuckey, from Columbia, Matthew Duffle Hoffman, from Lancaster, and Chase Hanna, from Spartanburg. It was very evident these four young men did their homework as they were very knowledgeable of this year’s legislative agenda and actively participated in our discussions with our Congressional delegation.   I hope that this experience will foster on-going participation with the NFB of SC.

 

We have an announcement from Debra Canty, Chairperson of the NFB of SC fund raising committee, regarding this year’s Sweetheart Dance which will be held on Saturday evening, February 17. “Mega thanks to all of you who have made your $25 or $45 donation towards the Sweethearts Dance tickets. Instead of actual tickets, there will be a list at the door for admittance. Also, thanks to those who have donated the give-a-ways for the dance. Please continue to secure your tickets and the give-a-ways as well.”

 

We also have an announcement from Shelley Coppel, President of the NFB of SC Seniors division. “Since the inclement weather prevented some chapters and individuals from attending the Statewide Seminar, the Seniors division drawing for the power air-fryer XL, and a $50 Visa gift card will be held some time during the Sweetheart Dance. If you have money or ticket stubs, please mail them to me at Shelley Coppel, 847 Jefferson st., West Columbia, SC 29169 prior to February 17. Thank you and good luck!”

 

On Saturday, March 17,2018 the NFB of SC will host a Leadership Seminar at the Federation Center of the Blind from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Lunch will be provided. All members are encouraged to attend and there will be no charge for the seminar. Come and learn about the history of the NFB and NFB of SC, your rights and responsibilities as a consumer of the South Carolina Commission for the Blind, Social Security benefits, and any general chapter issues you would like to discuss. Since the inclement weather prevented some chapters from attending the Statewide Seminar, the Orlando bus ticket drawing will be held on March 17 at the Leadership Seminar. As of this date we have only sold approximately 2,000 tickets, so let’s do all that we can to sell more tickets!

 

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day, we raise the expectations of blind people because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want: blindness is not what holds you back. Joining me for comments in this Positive Note is the President Emeritus of the NFB of SC. Here is Dr. Capps.

 

We are delighted to spotlight Jennifer Bazer who has worked hard to be of service to her fellow blind and others. She has a very bright future as she already is providing outstanding service to Rocky Bottom, the NFB of SC and NFB both locally and nationally.   Jennifer Bazer was born and raised in West Columbia, SC. She attended Lexington District Two public schools. She graduated from Winthrop University Cumm laude in Psychology and Spanish and then went on to receive her Masters in Social Work from the University of South Carolina. She began her career at the South Carolina Commission for the Blind as the counselor at the Ellen Beach Mac Rehabilitation Center where she conducted individual and group counseling for newly blinded adults. Jennifer held other positions at SCCB including training individuals to be blood donation recruiters for the American Red Cross all over the U.S. In 2004, she moved to St. Petersburg, Florida to pursue employment at Freedom Scientific as a multiuser sales representative. During that job opportunity, she attended NFB national conventions representing Freedom Scientific in the exhibit hall as well as attending the general sessions as an NFB member; however, her NFB affiliation began in the Student Division over 25 years ago. Jennifer returned to Columbia in 2007 to become an Employment Consultant for SCCB developing and finding jobs for people who are blind. She married Jeff Bazer in November of 2008. They have two children; Cade 8 and Kaylin 4 and a half. “Being a single parent is the hardest thing I do on a daily basis, but I serve a Mighty God who provides for me and the children every day,” says Jennifer. Although Jeff and Jennifer divorced in September of 2017, both Jennifer and Jeff are active in the NFB and co-parenting their two young children. In 2014, Jennifer was the voice of all blind South Carolinians speaking out and helping pass the Blind Persons’ Right to Parent Act. She serves on the board of the Columbia chapter as well as the Rocky Bottom Board. She loves directing Children’s Camp at Rocky Bottom one week out of the summer. Later in February, she will attend the Leadership Seminar at the national headquarters in Baltimore. She currently is the Director of the NFB of SC Successful Transitions raising expectations of youth who are blind by providing self-advocacy, career readiness, work-based learning experiences and college exploration. Jennifer attends Mt. Hebron United Methodist Church in West Columbia where she is involved in mission work. Mt. Hebron has also supported numerous trips to Rocky Bottom performing general maintenance, painting, pool restoration and much more. Jennifer believes in JOY: Jesus, Others and Yourself, and is passionate about helping people who are blind. She actively participates in the NFB locally, statewide and nationally. “I am living the life I want as a child of God, a mom, a sister, an aunt, a daughter and a member of the NFB family!”

 

 

 

Final Thought: “The reason you can’t hear a dog whistle is because dogs can’t whistle!”