Positive Note

November 21, 2022

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

From:  Marty R. McKenzie, President

Positive Note 1893

843-939-8091  marty2music@outlook.com


Dear Federation Family,


What an exciting weekend we had at the Board Retreat held from November 18-20, 2022 at the Rocky Bottom Retreat and Conference Center of the Blind!  A great time of excellent food, fellowship, fun, and hard work took place as the Rocky Bottom and  NFB of SC State Boards met. After 2 years of meeting in larger spaces, we returned to the familiar Conference Center Board Room and addressed many topics impacting the NFB of Sc. We want to thank everyone who assisted with the retreat in any way at all. A special thank you to Gerald McMurray who drove a van from North Augusta, picked up members in Columbia and transported them to Rocky Bottom. The kitchen crew, led by First Vice President Lenora Robertson, was wonderful as always. Thanks to Glenda Culick, Trent Tedder, Isaiah Nelson, Carolyn Phillips, Carolyn Jackson, Julie Bible, Susanne Bryant and Gerald McMurray for all they did to assist with food preparation and serving for the retreat.


Norma Crosby, President of the Texas affiliate, and her husband, Glenn, President of the National Seniors Division, joined the board for a weekend of learning and fellowship. Norma is currently serving as my mentor as the new South Carolina affiliate president. Both Norma and Glenn provided great information inside and outside of the board room over the weekend. I had an opportunity to get to know them better and I am enthralled with their deep knowledge of the Federation. Thank you to Norma and Glenn for attending our Board Retreat!


Congratulations to the SC Association of Black Leaders division, as the board approved their constitution on Saturday. This is an exciting opportunity for our members, and it aligns with the National organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Currently, there are 18 members in this newly formed division. If you want additional information about membership and meetings, please contact President Derique Simon at 864-398-9437 or via e-mail at deriques@icloud.com. Congratulations to the elected board and all of the members of our newest division!


Chairman Ed Bible gave an excellent report on the Federation Center of the Blind. Construction is almost complete and Successful Transitions plans to complete their move to the Center by the second week in December. The Federation Center Board worked tirelessly to renovate the Center over the past 2 years, and it looks great! Groups are now renting the facility again, which has not happened in some time. Congratulations to the Federation Center Board on a job well done!


The Friends of Rocky Bottom fundraising campaign will continue through December 31, 2022. Currently, we have almost $3,000 in hand with sponsors at most levels. Check out the Friends of Rocky Bottom Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100064427634169 for additional information and share, share, share! Individuals, businesses, chapters and divisions are all asked to support this fundraiser. We need to generate income to assist with the winter months as well as anticipated infrastructure improvements that are required during the coming year. Please contact Chairman Thom Spittle at 803-331-3344 or via e-mail at nfbsc.lab.4@gmail.com for additional information and ways that you can contribute.


The fellowship among members at Rocky Bottom was excellent! Chairman Spittle organized a social hour in Osterneck Cottage Friday evening and hot beverages and cookies were enjoyed by all. Fond memories surface for me spending time in Osterneck Cottage. Saturday evening brought an exchange of bags containing items used for holiday cooking and a time of music, which everyone enjoyed. Some folks sang along while others enjoyed a time of fellowship. It was a wonderfully memorable Board Retreat!


The Braille Readers are Leaders contest will begin December 5, 2022 and conclude on January 23, 2023. There are competitions for k-12 as well as adults. The adult competitions are divided into beginning, intermediate and advanced braille readers. The Braille Literacy committee will also assist with this opportunity. Let’s make South Carolina proud in this competition!  To learn more or register visit https://www.actionfund.org/programs/braille-readers-are-leaders.


The Fundraising committee  will conclude the Pets fundraiser this week. The drawing will take place on November 26. If you have not participated in this fundraiser and wish to do so, please contact Debra Canty at debracanty2021@gmail.com or Andrew Adams at adams.andrewd@gmail.com. Please consider participating and sharing this fundraiser with others outside our Federation family.


Here is David Houck’s Federation fun fact for this week! Let’s continue to read and learn together about our rich history in South Carolina.


Carey Burris is a native of Anderson. He and his lovely wife Helen are blessed with one son and two daughters. Carey attended the public schools of Anderson. He is a veteran Federationist, having joined the Anderson Chapter more than 30 years ago in 1975. From the beginning, Carey was recognized as a potential leader and he fulfilled this prediction. He served many terms as President of the Anderson Chapter. Additionally, Carey served a number of terms on the Board of Directors of the NFB of SC. Carey attended many state and national conventions. Carey remarks that every chapter President should participate in the annual Christmas Board Retreat at RBRCCB.  His wife, Helen, also helped out with “the kitchen crew” preparing the meals. Attending both board meetings, Carey stated that these were very informative meetings. Carey had a distinguished career as he was employed by Clemson University for 29 years in their Horticulture program. The university had great confidence in Carey's ability and he served in Horti-therapy, teaching graduate students more about different disabilities. A personal tribute to Carey is in order as he conducted the first Walk-A-Thon in Anderson beginning in 1995. This PR initiative grew as Carey contacted other Upstate chapters including Oconee, Greenville, Spartanburg, Greenwood, and Abbeville’s participation in the Walk-A-Thon. When asked about his hobbies Carey responded, "I'm an exercise freak."  Carey is respected across the state.