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GCB Digest Winter 2014 (Text Version)

THE GCB DIGEST A publication of the Georgia Council of the Blind An Affiliate of the American Council of the Blind An organization promoting a hand up Not a hand out Winter 2014   Georgia Council of the Blind Office 145 Barrington Drive, Athens GA 30605, 706-850-4025, info@georgiacounciloftheblind.org, www.georgiacounciloftheblind.org GCB President: William Holley 185 Weatherly Woods Drive, Winterville GA 30683, 706-410-4945, gcbill850@yahoo.com GCB Webmaster: Steven Longmire, info@sunbright.biz GCB Digest Editor: Amanda Wilson 45 Rocky Circle, NE, White GA 30184, 770-547-4700, moonrocks@bellsouth.net GCB Digest Assistant Editor: Suzanne Jackson 131 Cannon Gate Circle, Sharpsburg GA 30277, 770-463-1127, susieb@numail.org TABLE OF CONTENTS From Your Editor, Amanda Wilson GCB Presidential Message, William Holley GCB Board Meeting Minutes, Robin Oliver GCB Treasurer’s Report, Jerrie Toney GCB Thank You Letter, Enedina Velez GCB Awards Guidelines, Judy Presley GCB Member Profile, Krystian Whitfield GCB Accessible Technology Article, Judy Presley GCB Chapter News Georgia Guide Dog Users News, Betsy Grenevitch Georgia State-Wide Coalition on Blindness News, Jerrie Toney GCB Chattooga County Chapter Closing Out, Marsha Farrow GCB in Memory of: Mrs. Jane Cushing, Mr. Samuel Timpone, and Dr. Roland Wear GCB Celebrations GCB State-Wide Conference/ Convention Invitation From Your Editor, Amanda Wilson Hello, GCB Family. We thank each one who has submitted articles in this issue of our magazine. If you have any change of address, telephone number, email address, or desired change of format, please inform our GCB treasurer, Jerrie Toney at 706-208-7132 or via Email at jerriemt2@gmail.com. Thanks to everyone who makes our GCB Digest such a big success. I particularly want to thank Suzanne Jackson, assistant editor, for the many hours she has worked on the magazine, for her editing skills and for her outstanding reading of the cassette tapes. I want to thank our president, William Holley, for his presidential messages with information about important events, legislation, and projects. I also appreciate the contributions from each member who sent articles, who made suggestions to make the magazine better, and supported me in so many ways.   GCB Presidential Message, William Holley “There is little hope for us until we become tough minded enough to break from the shackles of prejudice, half-truths, and downright ignorance.” Martin Luther King, Jr. Happy New Year GCB Family Members! I hope this message finds you and your family members in the best of health and spirits. We have learned a great deal about our organizational operations and membership over the past years. As a result, our accomplishments have been instrumental in the development of GCB. Through the use of technology (Technology Committee) the Mission, Goal, and Purpose of GCB is a lot clearer. The development of our website has been, and will continue to be, instrumental in helping to educate our membership as well as individuals in the Blind community. Our committee structure provides opportunities for members to communicate with GCB leadership and each other. The GCB finance committee performed respectfully in managing the financial affairs of the organization. Also, it allowed for full participation of each chapter and at-large members to be involved in the financial affairs of GCB. The GCB membership committee meets on a quarterly schedule and is able to discuss issues pertaining to the recruitment/retention of GCB members. This was accomplished by participating in conference calls setup by GCB officers and/or appointed members. The GCB Convention committee is a great addition to the operation of our organization. This committee helps us to realize the need to use the event to educate ourselves about disability issues as well as socialize with each other. We are able to recognize the importance of the organization as a unifying tool to help us have a better understanding of each other. While GCB continues to struggle, with the legislative agenda which is not developed by us, we can agree or disagree to support issues that are not in our best interest. GCB has made a lot of progress and we are not the same organization that started out in 2010. We are now in a position to grow. Our infrastructure is solid and we have a direction. The future of this organization will depend on our ability to manage our development, administer our affairs, and coordinate our events. In order to accomplish full organizational development let us encourage the following: 1. Increase our visibility by marketing ourselves. 2. Continue to educate ourselves and new members. 3. Stay focused on our cause which is our mission. 4. Remain dedicated to our purpose. If we believe in ourselves we will become the number one organization that truly advocates not only for the Blind but all disabilities. Remember not to ever quit or give up on yourself. GCB Board Meeting Minutes, Robin Oliver Georgia Council of the Blind August 3, 2013 Board Meeting Minutes Augusta Marriott Hotel Augusta, GA President Bill Holley called the meeting to order at 3:40 PM. After a moment of silence the roll was called. The following GCB members represented the board: President, Bill Holley; 1st Vice-president, Keith Morris; 2nd Vice-president, Steve Longmire; Secretary, Robin Oliver; Treasurer, Jerrie Toney; Athens, Daniel Myers; Augusta, Chris Chavous; Chattooga, Marsha Farrow; representing Greater Columbus, Cliff Jones; representing Northwest, Fred McDade; Rome-Floyd , Amanda Wilson; representing Savannah, Mario Badie. We had 12/18 members present, so a quorum was present. The Secretary asked if there were any corrections or additions that needed to be made to the April 20, 2013 Board Meeting Minutes that had been emailed out. There were none, Fred McDade motioned that the minutes be accepted as emailed, motion was properly seconded, and the board members voted to accept the minutes as presented. The Treasurer asked if there were any questions or corrections on the treasurer’s report that was emailed out. There were none, Robin Oliver motioned that the report be filed to audit as emailed, it was properly seconded, and the board voted that the report be filed to audit. After much discussion on the location of the October board meeting, the choices came between Athens and Atlanta on the 4th Saturday of October as to avoid a conflict of dates for 2nd Vice President Keith Morris. The vote was 7/6 in favor of Athens. Therefore, the next GCB Board meeting will be October 26, 2013 at the new GCB offices in Athens at 145 Barrington Dr. We will choose another location for the next in person meeting. Convention Finance Committee: A Convention Finance Committee has been established with Chris Chavous as Chair. Bill motioned that the Convention Finance Committee operate from a separate banking account, and that Chris and his committee operate their account. Marsha seconded the motion, after much discussion and stating that this will make life easier on the treasurer, not to deal with convention finances, the board voted to approve the motion. Charles Stubblefield had a question of allowing young people ages 15-17 to become associate GCB members. Marsha pointed out from a national point of view, that there is a liability issue if you do so. They can visit, but if they become members you will need insurance. Fred McDade motioned that the meeting be adjourned, it was properly seconded, and the board voted to adjourn at 3:59 PM. GCB Board Meeting Minutes Oct. 18, 2013 MULTIPLEchoices Athens, GA 30605 10:00 AM President Bill Holley welcomed all and called the meeting to order. After a moment of silence, the roll was called. Representing the Board: President Bill Holley; 2nd Vice-president, Steve Longmire; Secretary, Robin Oliver; Treasurer, Jerrie Toney; Athens, Daniel Myers; Augusta, Chris Chavous; Chattooga, Marsha Farrow; Greater Columbus, Greg McDuffie (via phone); representing Greater Hall , Judy Presley (via phone); representing Metro Atlanta, Chester Thrash; Northwest, Ron Burgess (via phone); Rome/Floyd, Amanda Wilson and GCB members Sheila Chavous, Mike Teal , and Joseph Weaver. Secretary Report: August 3, 2013 Minutes: The minutes had been previously disseminated and there were no changes needed to be made. Jerrie motioned that the minutes be accepted as disseminated, it was properly seconded and the board representatives voted its approval. Treasury Report: Sheila Chavous read the highlights from the Treasury Report: Total combined Balance = $32,965.62 Portfolio = $72, 404.90. Marsha wondered if the Reno 50/50 was a line item and where does it appear. Jerrie stated that it appears in the Al Camp Scholarship fund. Robin motioned that the report be filed to audit, it was properly seconded, and the board voted to file to file the report to audit. Convention Committee Report: Convention Chair Chris Chavous reported: A: 1 Day Event had an attendance of 25 people, noting that Augusta may have been difficult for some people to travel to for 1 day, so it was a good turnout though slightly disappointing. We did learn that the choice of the Marriott was a good one as a convention location, as it is quite a convenient location to other Augusta attractions. The 1 Day Event also served as a planning session for the 2014 convention. (B) 2014 Convention - Chris is inviting all chapters to send a representative to the convention committee, in order to achieve true representation from the entire state for the entire state. The next meeting will be October 28 at 8:00. You can always contact Chris and he will help you get involved in the planning and ultimate success of the 2014 convention. Chris is looking into different tours. Marsha noted that the Marriott should be urged to add more Braille signage there was not any braille signs on the guest rooms doors at the hotel, as it did not meet the standards we had been told they had, or the standards that we (GCB) have voted to deal with. Bill stated that the Braille signage is noted in our contract and that will be handled. We thanked Chris for all of his hard work that he did on the convention. Technology/GCB Digest Report: Webmaster Steve stated that we are receiving lots of compliments on our resource, with special note to Jerrie for the resource page. People are googling and finding us, they are asking about chapter meetings and services. He will work with the convention committee to make registering and publicity for the convention easier and more effective. Membership input & feedback is still very much needed with this continuing work in progress that is actually working. Marsha wondered what it would take to get an Amazon ad link to our website. Steve knows that Google has such a site and he'll look into signing us up. He extended an open invitation to anyone and everyone to the Technology meetings on the 2nd Thursday of the month. Judy noted that the Hall chapter picked up a new member through the website. We have received some donations from people seeing our website. GCB Digest Editor, Amanda reported that the GCB Digest was being edited & recorded and the next issue will be out at the end of October. Membership Committee: Amanda reported from their Oct. 14 meeting, that Denise Boehner from Savannah came up with a lot of good ideas, such as going to your local colleges and low vision clinics and getting them involved with your chapter. Chris agreed but noted that coming up with ideas is fine but we needed to work on implementation of the ideas. Bill stated that the ideas should be put into the Digest and on the website as a way to disseminate to the chapters and members. Chris stated that we need the fresh ideas and growth, and positively suggested that we stop sounding like a broken record always saying "we’re going to see about this or we need to do something about it.’. Marsha motioned that we put $250 aside for GCB signature guides with our phone number, email address and a line of text on them, to distribute and hopefully increase membership. Robin seconded. There was some discussion about whether wallet or keychain type would be used. Marsha had done research and found the wallet type to be more economical. Robin stated that during a discussion she had with Kay McGill that Kay noted from her experience that the signature guides with key chains tend to get thrown away, while the signature guides without key chains are kept and used. The board voted to carry the motion. Legislative: President Bill reported that GCB 2014 legislative agenda will focus on the Blind Services funding and the budget for GVRA. He will speak with Paul Raymond to see if we can get an account of the funds. Jim Wilson is in charge of GVRA finance committee and Marsha stated he has no problem discussing the funding. GCB will focus on the impact of the funding on us. Marsha stated that public comment is needed, and can be made both in person or you can make a prerecorded message. Marsha suggested that GVRA Board member Fay Loggins, first blind person to receive a law degree from UGA and a former GCB member, be a convention guest. Bill states start from scratch at the beginning and focus on Blind Services funding. President’s Report: Unity, GCB we are only as strong as our membership numbers, and our numbers have been faltering. Recruitment and retention goes like a hand in glove, and our retention has been the pits. Also, we are losing membership through age and not replacing them with youth. We consider youth in the age range of 18-40's. We have a habit of not using our members, and if you don't use them you lose them. People come and if you are not an officer, they just get to sit. We should embrace new member’s ideas. Bring them in and give them something to do. People come because they want to do something. We (GCB) tend to cluster in small groups and tend not to think outside our circles. According to the American Foundation, we have over 200,000 blind people in Georgia; even if we round down to 100,000, there is no reason why our membership shouldn’t be 500+. We have to go out and embrace others, walk up to people you don’t even know and invite them to your group. We have to learn to work as a unit to promote GCB. At this present rate of growth, GCB will cease to exist. People with different opinions breed politics, but we have to go beyond that, and focus on the growth of GCB; we don’t have to be all kissy kissy, but we can fight to make sure our organization survives. We are in a survival race. Education is an ongoing process. We need to get the Lions involved and educate them about the true us. We need to teach the sighted that we are nothing to be scared of. We have to educate people on who we really are. We should not always be reactionary, but we must be progressive about teaching others; Ron believes education is important. Blindness is nothing that we are ashamed of, but we thrive on doing things as well, if not better, than those who have their "sight." Bill stated this message comes from the heart and soul, we need to do this for each other, we don't need to be put down or placed aside, not for what we look like, because what does a blind person look like? Start looking within and we can then start reaching out with a lot more purpose. Social events such as picnics can help be a unifying setting. Marsha stated that Rome is very active, and Chattooga is joining them. Rome is inviting deaf-blind individuals. Even though she herself is very political, they don't focus a lot on politics. The Rome Lions Club is very active in assisting them. “Forever Cured” by Ricki Lewis, is a book that Judy recommends; this book is about an 8 year old boy whose sight is cured through the use of gene therapy. Housekeeping: There was some discussion on how can we grow our organization if we can't even get the chapter presidents to attend board meetings, let alone committee meetings. Chapter Presidents voiced their opinions, Marsha feel that we should adhere to our Constitution, and invoke probation or maybe certain groups should be social support and become members at large, Chris stated that when he took on the office of President that he was informed that he or a representative had to be at the board meetings and he felt it wasn't fair to the members who made the effort to attend. And Amanda thought it wasn't right for those who didn't come to complain about not getting information. Marsha motioned that we inform our local chapter/affiliate presidents that attending the board meetings is not a choice, it is a mandatory situation, either in person or by phone, and if they do want to come in by phone they need to make sure they make a connection with somebody so they will be able to do that and we emphasize the importance that our organization cannot function without leadership. That was the long motion version. The Nutshell versions is this: we will send out a letter, clearly stating the importance of attending these board meetings, and that without attending the board meetings or being on the phone, there will be consequences. Bill stated that we will give the local affiliate/chapter members the chance to address their leaders before we take disaffiliation procedures. Chester seconded the motion. Marsha added that if for some catastrophic reason, a chapter is unable to attend, that they notify the GCB President and/or Secretary so it can be added to the records. The board voted unanimously to carry the motion. Old Business: Reno 50/50 - instead of the normal raffle, we took up donations, and contributed it to the fund. Fourteen dollars was collected bringing the total to $132. New Business Fundraising at this point consists of Amanda, Marsha and Heather Lopez. There was some misunderstanding as who was to bring the group together. Bill said he would help. Bill would like to hold a duck race on the Savannah River; we have some plastic ducks donated to the Athens Heritage Lions Club. We would like to get the assistance of the Augusta Lions Club, as well as AFLAC. We will see if the Columbus chapter can speak to them, we can name the race after them if they sponsor it. Amanda will put out communication for the Fund Raiser, and she can invite members to join. Amanda and Marsha are checking on continuing Al Camp musical fundraiser in Rome. Most likely it will be held at a different time of year. We will ask the Rome Lions for their assistance again. Bill will send the Rome Lions a thank you note from GCB, for all the assistance they have given to Rome/Floyd. Marsha will send Bill the contact information. The Convention committee had agreed to do a Basket Auction again, but this time it will be an open auction. Marsha had asked about using the cell phone to take payments. Robin stated that she was already looking into the matter, and was planning to report at the next convention meeting. Public Relations: We will check with GaRRS to see if they are still willing to assist us with this matter. Joseph says he will be glad to work with the professional Bill brings in. PR is important to make sure we reach a large number of people from all ranges of disabilities to promote our theme "GCB Community - Together Reaching beyond Ourselves." Amanda asked about GCB phone lines running through Multiplechoices. Bill explained that MULTIPLEchoices had encountered some trouble with its phone provider and we switched to Charter, who had promised to give us a 1-800 line. Hopefully, this problem will be straightened out soon. The MULTIPLEchoices staff has been instructed to pass all calls and messages to the GCB staff. Bill would like to continue to run the phone through MULTIPLEchoices, as this provides GCB with free phone service. All anyone has to do is use the 877-549-1020, ask for GCB and if for some reason you don’t need to get connected, let Bill know. Marsha suggested getting 1 cell phone; that way we won't have to change numbers again. Joseph suggested that if for some reason we had to pay for phone service, switch to a Virtual PBS system, which will provide you with a web interfaced number, and the price his church pays is $24.99 a month. Announcements: November 7 - Athens Heritage breakfast fundraiser at FATZ November 12 - Northwest GA meeting November 16 - Rome bake sale A lot of fundraising ideas got tossed about, places to check out: McDonalds allows people to come in and work. Team with a Lions chapter and participate in a FATZ breakfast. Woodmen of the World (ww.woodmen.org) a different kind of Life Insurance Company: they're not-for-profit, and will do matching funds on a local level. Barnes & Noble support literary groups; we may need to start a book club. Bill stated that if you want to be a leader you should remember this when it comes to working it: You (leaders) wear a sweat suit in the morning, a Business suit in the afternoon, a Tuxedo in the evening and an apron to work in after it's over. At 1:36 PM, Robin motioned that the meeting be adjourned, it was properly seconded, and third, fourth and the motion were unanimously carried. Respectfully submitted, Secretary Robin Oliver GCB Treasurer’s Report, Jerrie Toney June 1 through June 30, 2013: Beginning Balance: $10,940.95; Total Amount of Deposits: $100.00; Total Debits: $0.00; Total Combined Amounts of Checks and Debits: $0.00; Ending Balance: $11,040.95; Al Camp Memorial Scholarship Balance: $5,752.18; Savings Account Balance: $11,416.33; Ending Savings Account Balance: $11,416.71; CD Balance: $ 11,337.68; Ending CD Balance: $11,338.80; Total Combined Amounts: $39,548.26; Portfolio: $74,670.70 July 1, 2013 through July 31, 2013 Beginning Balance: $11,040.95; Total Amount of Deposits: $502.80; Total Amount of Checks: $1,235.68 Total Debits: $791.54; Total Combined Amounts of Checks and Debits: $2,027.22; Ending Balance: $9,516.53; Al Camp Memorial Scholarship Balance: $6,318.28; Savings Account Balance: $ 11,416.71; Ending Savings Account Balance: $11,417.10; CD Balance: $ 11,338.80; Ending CD Balance: $11,339.95; Total Combined Amounts: $38,591.86 Portfolio: $73,794.56 August 1 through August 31, 2013: Beginning Balance: $9,516.53; Total Amount of Deposits: $213.96; Total Amount of Checks: $793.77; Total Debits: $293.9; Total Combined Amounts of Checks and Debits: $1,087.75; Ending Balance: $8,642.74 Al Camp Memorial Scholarship Fund Balance: $1,564.28; Savings Account Balance: $11,417.10 Ending Savings Account Balance: $11,417.49; CD Balance: $ 11,339.95; Ending CD Balance: $11,341.11; Total Combined Amounts: $32,965.62; Portfolio: $72,404.90 September 1 through September 30, 2013: Beginning Balance: $8,642.74; Total Amount of Deposits: $0.00; Total Amount of Checks: $357.40; Total Debits: $0.00; Total Combined Amounts of Checks and Debits: $357.40; Ending Balance: $8,285.34; Al Camp Memorial Scholarship Fund Balance: $2,180.38; Savings Account Balance: $11,417.49; Ending Savings Account Balance: $11,417.88; CD Balance: $ 11,341.11; Ending CD Balance: $ 11,342.26; Total Combined Amounts: $33,225.86; Portfolio: $72,687.76 October 1 through October 31, 2013: Beginning Balance: $ 8,285.34; Total Amount of Deposits: $380.00; Total Debits: $0.00; Total Combined Amounts of Checks and Debits: $566.08; Ending Balance: $8,099.26; Al Camp Memorial Scholarship Fund Balance: $2,502.43; Savings Account Balance: $ 11,417.88; Ending Savings Account Balance: $11,418.26; CD Balance: $ 11,342.26; Ending CD Balance: $11,343.29; Total Combined Amounts: $33,363.24; Portfolio: $73,842.47 November 1 through November 30, 2013: Beginning Balance: $8,099.26; Total Amount of Deposits: $840.00; Total Amount of Checks: $0.00; Total Debits: $0.00; Total Combined Amounts of Checks and Debits: $0.00; Ending Balance: $8,939.26; Al Camp Memorial Scholarship Fund Balance: $2,511.43; Savings Account Balance: $11,418.26; Ending Savings Account Balance: $11,418.59; CD Balance: $11,343.29; Ending CD Balance: $11,344.35; Total Combined Amounts: $34,213.63; Portfolio: $72,126.66 December 1 through December 31, 2013: Beginning Balance: $8,939.26; Total Amount of Deposits: $181.50; Total Amount of Checks: $0.00; Total Debits: $29.95; Total Combined Amounts of Checks and Debits: $29.95; Ending Balance: $9,090.81; Al Camp Memorial Scholarship Fund Balance: $3,177.53; Savings Account Balance: $11,418.59; Ending Savings Account Balance: $11,418.88; CD Balance: $ 11,344.35; Ending CD Balance: $11,345.38; Total Combined Amounts: $35,032.60; Portfolio: $70,551.82 Anyone interested in acquiring copies of the 2013 treasurer’s reports, budget and/or 2013 convention report? Please contact the GCB office or call 706-850-4025 info@georgiacounciloftheblind.org. GCB Thank You Letter Enedina Velez Dear Georgia Council of the Blind, Thank you for the scholarship. Since my first year of college, this scholarship money has greatly helped me be able to continue at Middle Tennessee State University “MTSU”. I had the necessary funds to focus on my studies and, without your help, I would have had to go back to Georgia and find another college. It worried me that in another college, I would not have reached my potential and gotten my own needs addressed in a timely manner. I had already completed five semesters with one left over to graduate and MTSU has provided and kept their promise of educating me. I finished all of my semesters with excellent grades and a wealth of knowledge. I am truly happy and assured that this college is the best option for me. I am very grateful to the donors like you, who have given their time and wealth to help others like me be able to stay in college and ultimately get a bachelor’s as a special education teacher. Truly there are no words to express how grateful and blessed I feel to receive this scholarship all of the years I had applied for the GCB scholarship. Thank you, Enedina VelezWilliam Holey at 706-410-4945 or via email at gcbill@yahoo.comWilliam Holey at 706-410-4945 or via email at gcbill@yahoo.com THE GCB DIGEST A publication of the Georgia Council of the Blind An Affiliate of the American Council of the Blind An organization promoting a hand up Not a hand out Winter 2014   Georgia Council of the Blind Office 145 Barrington Drive, Athens GA 30605, 706-850-4025, info@georgiacounciloftheblind.org, www.georgiacounciloftheblind.org GCB President: William Holley 185 Weatherly Woods Drive, Winterville GA 30683, 706-410-4945, gcbill850@yahoo.com GCB Webmaster: Steven Longmire, info@sunbright.biz GCB Digest Editor: Amanda Wilson 45 Rocky Circle, NE, White GA 30184, 770-547-4700, moonrocks@bellsouth.net GCB Digest Assistant Editor: Suzanne Jackson 131 Cannon Gate Circle, Sharpsburg GA 30277, 770-463-1127, susieb@numail.org TABLE OF CONTENTS From Your Editor, Amanda Wilson GCB Presidential Message, William Holley GCB Board Meeting Minutes, Robin Oliver GCB Treasurer’s Report, Jerrie Toney GCB Thank You Letter, Enedina Velez GCB Awards Guidelines, Judy Presley GCB Member Profile, Krystian Whitfield GCB Accessible Technology Article, Judy Presley GCB Chapter News Georgia Guide Dog Users News, Betsy Grenevitch Georgia State-Wide Coalition on Blindness News, Jerrie Toney GCB Chattooga County Chapter Closing Out, Marsha Farrow GCB in Memory of: Mrs. Jane Cushing, Mr. Samuel Timpone, and Dr. Roland Wear GCB Celebrations GCB State-Wide Conference/ Convention Invitation From Your Editor, Amanda Wilson Hello, GCB Family. We thank each one who has submitted articles in this issue of our magazine. If you have any change of address, telephone number, email address, or desired change of format, please inform our GCB treasurer, Jerrie Toney at 706-208-7132 or via Email at jerriemt2@gmail.com. Thanks to everyone who makes our GCB Digest such a big success. I particularly want to thank Suzanne Jackson, assistant editor, for the many hours she has worked on the magazine, for her editing skills and for her outstanding reading of the cassette tapes. I want to thank our president, William Holley, for his presidential messages with information about important events, legislation, and projects. I also appreciate the contributions from each member who sent articles, who made suggestions to make the magazine better, and supported me in so many ways.   GCB Presidential Message, William Holley “There is little hope for us until we become tough minded enough to break from the shackles of prejudice, half-truths, and downright ignorance.” Martin Luther King, Jr. Happy New Year GCB Family Members! I hope this message finds you and your family members in the best of health and spirits. We have learned a great deal about our organizational operations and membership over the past years. As a result, our accomplishments have been instrumental in the development of GCB. Through the use of technology (Technology Committee) the Mission, Goal, and Purpose of GCB is a lot clearer. The development of our website has been, and will continue to be, instrumental in helping to educate our membership as well as individuals in the Blind community. Our committee structure provides opportunities for members to communicate with GCB leadership and each other. The GCB finance committee performed respectfully in managing the financial affairs of the organization. Also, it allowed for full participation of each chapter and at-large members to be involved in the financial affairs of GCB. The GCB membership committee meets on a quarterly schedule and is able to discuss issues pertaining to the recruitment/retention of GCB members. This was accomplished by participating in conference calls setup by GCB officers and/or appointed members. The GCB Convention committee is a great addition to the operation of our organization. This committee helps us to realize the need to use the event to educate ourselves about disability issues as well as socialize with each other. We are able to recognize the importance of the organization as a unifying tool to help us have a better understanding of each other. While GCB continues to struggle, with the legislative agenda which is not developed by us, we can agree or disagree to support issues that are not in our best interest. GCB has made a lot of progress and we are not the same organization that started out in 2010. We are now in a position to grow. Our infrastructure is solid and we have a direction. The future of this organization will depend on our ability to manage our development, administer our affairs, and coordinate our events. In order to accomplish full organizational development let us encourage the following: 1. Increase our visibility by marketing ourselves. 2. Continue to educate ourselves and new members. 3. Stay focused on our cause which is our mission. 4. Remain dedicated to our purpose. If we believe in ourselves we will become the number one organization that truly advocates not only for the Blind but all disabilities. Remember not to ever quit or give up on yourself. GCB Board Meeting Minutes, Robin Oliver Georgia Council of the Blind August 3, 2013 Board Meeting Minutes Augusta Marriott Hotel Augusta, GA President Bill Holley called the meeting to order at 3:40 PM. After a moment of silence the roll was called. The following GCB members represented the board: President, Bill Holley; 1st Vice-president, Keith Morris; 2nd Vice-president, Steve Longmire; Secretary, Robin Oliver; Treasurer, Jerrie Toney; Athens, Daniel Myers; Augusta, Chris Chavous; Chattooga, Marsha Farrow; representing Greater Columbus, Cliff Jones; representing Northwest, Fred McDade; Rome-Floyd , Amanda Wilson; representing Savannah, Mario Badie. We had 12/18 members present, so a quorum was present. The Secretary asked if there were any corrections or additions that needed to be made to the April 20, 2013 Board Meeting Minutes that had been emailed out. There were none, Fred McDade motioned that the minutes be accepted as emailed, motion was properly seconded, and the board members voted to accept the minutes as presented. The Treasurer asked if there were any questions or corrections on the treasurer’s report that was emailed out. There were none, Robin Oliver motioned that the report be filed to audit as emailed, it was properly seconded, and the board voted that the report be filed to audit. After much discussion on the location of the October board meeting, the choices came between Athens and Atlanta on the 4th Saturday of October as to avoid a conflict of dates for 2nd Vice President Keith Morris. The vote was 7/6 in favor of Athens. Therefore, the next GCB Board meeting will be October 26, 2013 at the new GCB offices in Athens at 145 Barrington Dr. We will choose another location for the next in person meeting. Convention Finance Committee: A Convention Finance Committee has been established with Chris Chavous as Chair. Bill motioned that the Convention Finance Committee operate from a separate banking account, and that Chris and his committee operate their account. Marsha seconded the motion, after much discussion and stating that this will make life easier on the treasurer, not to deal with convention finances, the board voted to approve the motion. Charles Stubblefield had a question of allowing young people ages 15-17 to become associate GCB members. Marsha pointed out from a national point of view, that there is a liability issue if you do so. They can visit, but if they become members you will need insurance. Fred McDade motioned that the meeting be adjourned, it was properly seconded, and the board voted to adjourn at 3:59 PM. GCB Board Meeting Minutes Oct. 18, 2013 MULTIPLEchoices Athens, GA 30605 10:00 AM President Bill Holley welcomed all and called the meeting to order. After a moment of silence, the roll was called. Representing the Board: President Bill Holley; 2nd Vice-president, Steve Longmire; Secretary, Robin Oliver; Treasurer, Jerrie Toney; Athens, Daniel Myers; Augusta, Chris Chavous; Chattooga, Marsha Farrow; Greater Columbus, Greg McDuffie (via phone); representing Greater Hall , Judy Presley (via phone); representing Metro Atlanta, Chester Thrash; Northwest, Ron Burgess (via phone); Rome/Floyd, Amanda Wilson and GCB members Sheila Chavous, Mike Teal , and Joseph Weaver. Secretary Report: August 3, 2013 Minutes: The minutes had been previously disseminated and there were no changes needed to be made. Jerrie motioned that the minutes be accepted as disseminated, it was properly seconded and the board representatives voted its approval. Treasury Report: Sheila Chavous read the highlights from the Treasury Report: Total combined Balance = $32,965.62 Portfolio = $72, 404.90. Marsha wondered if the Reno 50/50 was a line item and where does it appear. Jerrie stated that it appears in the Al Camp Scholarship fund. Robin motioned that the report be filed to audit, it was properly seconded, and the board voted to file to file the report to audit. Convention Committee Report: Convention Chair Chris Chavous reported: A: 1 Day Event had an attendance of 25 people, noting that Augusta may have been difficult for some people to travel to for 1 day, so it was a good turnout though slightly disappointing. We did learn that the choice of the Marriott was a good one as a convention location, as it is quite a convenient location to other Augusta attractions. The 1 Day Event also served as a planning session for the 2014 convention. (B) 2014 Convention - Chris is inviting all chapters to send a representative to the convention committee, in order to achieve true representation from the entire state for the entire state. The next meeting will be October 28 at 8:00. You can always contact Chris and he will help you get involved in the planning and ultimate success of the 2014 convention. Chris is looking into different tours. Marsha noted that the Marriott should be urged to add more Braille signage there was not any braille signs on the guest rooms doors at the hotel, as it did not meet the standards we had been told they had, or the standards that we (GCB) have voted to deal with. Bill stated that the Braille signage is noted in our contract and that will be handled. We thanked Chris for all of his hard work that he did on the convention. Technology/GCB Digest Report: Webmaster Steve stated that we are receiving lots of compliments on our resource, with special note to Jerrie for the resource page. People are googling and finding us, they are asking about chapter meetings and services. He will work with the convention committee to make registering and publicity for the convention easier and more effective. Membership input & feedback is still very much needed with this continuing work in progress that is actually working. Marsha wondered what it would take to get an Amazon ad link to our website. Steve knows that Google has such a site and he'll look into signing us up. He extended an open invitation to anyone and everyone to the Technology meetings on the 2nd Thursday of the month. Judy noted that the Hall chapter picked up a new member through the website. We have received some donations from people seeing our website. GCB Digest Editor, Amanda reported that the GCB Digest was being edited & recorded and the next issue will be out at the end of October. Membership Committee: Amanda reported from their Oct. 14 meeting, that Denise Boehner from Savannah came up with a lot of good ideas, such as going to your local colleges and low vision clinics and getting them involved with your chapter. Chris agreed but noted that coming up with ideas is fine but we needed to work on implementation of the ideas. Bill stated that the ideas should be put into the Digest and on the website as a way to disseminate to the chapters and members. Chris stated that we need the fresh ideas and growth, and positively suggested that we stop sounding like a broken record always saying "we’re going to see about this or we need to do something about it.’. Marsha motioned that we put $250 aside for GCB signature guides with our phone number, email address and a line of text on them, to distribute and hopefully increase membership. Robin seconded. There was some discussion about whether wallet or keychain type would be used. Marsha had done research and found the wallet type to be more economical. Robin stated that during a discussion she had with Kay McGill that Kay noted from her experience that the signature guides with key chains tend to get thrown away, while the signature guides without key chains are kept and used. The board voted to carry the motion. Legislative: President Bill reported that GCB 2014 legislative agenda will focus on the Blind Services funding and the budget for GVRA. He will speak with Paul Raymond to see if we can get an account of the funds. Jim Wilson is in charge of GVRA finance committee and Marsha stated he has no problem discussing the funding. GCB will focus on the impact of the funding on us. Marsha stated that public comment is needed, and can be made both in person or you can make a prerecorded message. Marsha suggested that GVRA Board member Fay Loggins, first blind person to receive a law degree from UGA and a former GCB member, be a convention guest. Bill states start from scratch at the beginning and focus on Blind Services funding. President’s Report: Unity, GCB we are only as strong as our membership numbers, and our numbers have been faltering. Recruitment and retention goes like a hand in glove, and our retention has been the pits. Also, we are losing membership through age and not replacing them with youth. We consider youth in the age range of 18-40's. We have a habit of not using our members, and if you don't use them you lose them. People come and if you are not an officer, they just get to sit. We should embrace new member’s ideas. Bring them in and give them something to do. People come because they want to do something. We (GCB) tend to cluster in small groups and tend not to think outside our circles. According to the American Foundation, we have over 200,000 blind people in Georgia; even if we round down to 100,000, there is no reason why our membership shouldn’t be 500+. We have to go out and embrace others, walk up to people you don’t even know and invite them to your group. We have to learn to work as a unit to promote GCB. At this present rate of growth, GCB will cease to exist. People with different opinions breed politics, but we have to go beyond that, and focus on the growth of GCB; we don’t have to be all kissy kissy, but we can fight to make sure our organization survives. We are in a survival race. Education is an ongoing process. We need to get the Lions involved and educate them about the true us. We need to teach the sighted that we are nothing to be scared of. We have to educate people on who we really are. We should not always be reactionary, but we must be progressive about teaching others; Ron believes education is important. Blindness is nothing that we are ashamed of, but we thrive on doing things as well, if not better, than those who have their "sight." Bill stated this message comes from the heart and soul, we need to do this for each other, we don't need to be put down or placed aside, not for what we look like, because what does a blind person look like? Start looking within and we can then start reaching out with a lot more purpose. Social events such as picnics can help be a unifying setting. Marsha stated that Rome is very active, and Chattooga is joining them. Rome is inviting deaf-blind individuals. Even though she herself is very political, they don't focus a lot on politics. The Rome Lions Club is very active in assisting them. “Forever Cured” by Ricki Lewis, is a book that Judy recommends; this book is about an 8 year old boy whose sight is cured through the use of gene therapy. Housekeeping: There was some discussion on how can we grow our organization if we can't even get the chapter presidents to attend board meetings, let alone committee meetings. Chapter Presidents voiced their opinions, Marsha feel that we should adhere to our Constitution, and invoke probation or maybe certain groups should be social support and become members at large, Chris stated that when he took on the office of President that he was informed that he or a representative had to be at the board meetings and he felt it wasn't fair to the members who made the effort to attend. And Amanda thought it wasn't right for those who didn't come to complain about not getting information. Marsha motioned that we inform our local chapter/affiliate presidents that attending the board meetings is not a choice, it is a mandatory situation, either in person or by phone, and if they do want to come in by phone they need to make sure they make a connection with somebody so they will be able to do that and we emphasize the importance that our organization cannot function without leadership. That was the long motion version. The Nutshell versions is this: we will send out a letter, clearly stating the importance of attending these board meetings, and that without attending the board meetings or being on the phone, there will be consequences. Bill stated that we will give the local affiliate/chapter members the chance to address their leaders before we take disaffiliation procedures. Chester seconded the motion. Marsha added that if for some catastrophic reason, a chapter is unable to attend, that they notify the GCB President and/or Secretary so it can be added to the records. The board voted unanimously to carry the motion. Old Business: Reno 50/50 - instead of the normal raffle, we took up donations, and contributed it to the fund. Fourteen dollars was collected bringing the total to $132. New Business Fundraising at this point consists of Amanda, Marsha and Heather Lopez. There was some misunderstanding as who was to bring the group together. Bill said he would help. Bill would like to hold a duck race on the Savannah River; we have some plastic ducks donated to the Athens Heritage Lions Club. We would like to get the assistance of the Augusta Lions Club, as well as AFLAC. We will see if the Columbus chapter can speak to them, we can name the race after them if they sponsor it. Amanda will put out communication for the Fund Raiser, and she can invite members to join. Amanda and Marsha are checking on continuing Al Camp musical fundraiser in Rome. Most likely it will be held at a different time of year. We will ask the Rome Lions for their assistance again. Bill will send the Rome Lions a thank you note from GCB, for all the assistance they have given to Rome/Floyd. Marsha will send Bill the contact information. The Convention committee had agreed to do a Basket Auction again, but this time it will be an open auction. Marsha had asked about using the cell phone to take payments. Robin stated that she was already looking into the matter, and was planning to report at the next convention meeting. Public Relations: We will check with GaRRS to see if they are still willing to assist us with this matter. Joseph says he will be glad to work with the professional Bill brings in. PR is important to make sure we reach a large number of people from all ranges of disabilities to promote our theme "GCB Community - Together Reaching beyond Ourselves." Amanda asked about GCB phone lines running through Multiplechoices. Bill explained that MULTIPLEchoices had encountered some trouble with its phone provider and we switched to Charter, who had promised to give us a 1-800 line. Hopefully, this problem will be straightened out soon. The MULTIPLEchoices staff has been instructed to pass all calls and messages to the GCB staff. Bill would like to continue to run the phone through MULTIPLEchoices, as this provides GCB with free phone service. All anyone has to do is use the 877-549-1020, ask for GCB and if for some reason you don’t need to get connected, let Bill know. Marsha suggested getting 1 cell phone; that way we won't have to change numbers again. Joseph suggested that if for some reason we had to pay for phone service, switch to a Virtual PBS system, which will provide you with a web interfaced number, and the price his church pays is $24.99 a month. Announcements: November 7 - Athens Heritage breakfast fundraiser at FATZ November 12 - Northwest GA meeting November 16 - Rome bake sale A lot of fundraising ideas got tossed about, places to check out: McDonalds allows people to come in and work. Team with a Lions chapter and participate in a FATZ breakfast. Woodmen of the World (ww.woodmen.org) a different kind of Life Insurance Company: they're not-for-profit, and will do matching funds on a local level. Barnes & Noble support literary groups; we may need to start a book club. Bill stated that if you want to be a leader you should remember this when it comes to working it: You (leaders) wear a sweat suit in the morning, a Business suit in the afternoon, a Tuxedo in the evening and an apron to work in after it's over. At 1:36 PM, Robin motioned that the meeting be adjourned, it was properly seconded, and third, fourth and the motion were unanimously carried. Respectfully submitted, Secretary Robin Oliver GCB Treasurer’s Report, Jerrie Toney June 1 through June 30, 2013: Beginning Balance: $10,940.95; Total Amount of Deposits: $100.00; Total Debits: $0.00; Total Combined Amounts of Checks and Debits: $0.00; Ending Balance: $11,040.95; Al Camp Memorial Scholarship Balance: $5,752.18; Savings Account Balance: $11,416.33; Ending Savings Account Balance: $11,416.71; CD Balance: $ 11,337.68; Ending CD Balance: $11,338.80; Total Combined Amounts: $39,548.26; Portfolio: $74,670.70 July 1, 2013 through July 31, 2013 Beginning Balance: $11,040.95; Total Amount of Deposits: $502.80; Total Amount of Checks: $1,235.68 Total Debits: $791.54; Total Combined Amounts of Checks and Debits: $2,027.22; Ending Balance: $9,516.53; Al Camp Memorial Scholarship Balance: $6,318.28; Savings Account Balance: $ 11,416.71; Ending Savings Account Balance: $11,417.10; CD Balance: $ 11,338.80; Ending CD Balance: $11,339.95; Total Combined Amounts: $38,591.86 Portfolio: $73,794.56 August 1 through August 31, 2013: Beginning Balance: $9,516.53; Total Amount of Deposits: $213.96; Total Amount of Checks: $793.77; Total Debits: $293.9; Total Combined Amounts of Checks and Debits: $1,087.75; Ending Balance: $8,642.74 Al Camp Memorial Scholarship Fund Balance: $1,564.28; Savings Account Balance: $11,417.10 Ending Savings Account Balance: $11,417.49; CD Balance: $ 11,339.95; Ending CD Balance: $11,341.11; Total Combined Amounts: $32,965.62; Portfolio: $72,404.90 September 1 through September 30, 2013: Beginning Balance: $8,642.74; Total Amount of Deposits: $0.00; Total Amount of Checks: $357.40; Total Debits: $0.00; Total Combined Amounts of Checks and Debits: $357.40; Ending Balance: $8,285.34; Al Camp Memorial Scholarship Fund Balance: $2,180.38; Savings Account Balance: $11,417.49; Ending Savings Account Balance: $11,417.88; CD Balance: $ 11,341.11; Ending CD Balance: $ 11,342.26; Total Combined Amounts: $33,225.86; Portfolio: $72,687.76 October 1 through October 31, 2013: Beginning Balance: $ 8,285.34; Total Amount of Deposits: $380.00; Total Debits: $0.00; Total Combined Amounts of Checks and Debits: $566.08; Ending Balance: $8,099.26; Al Camp Memorial Scholarship Fund Balance: $2,502.43; Savings Account Balance: $ 11,417.88; Ending Savings Account Balance: $11,418.26; CD Balance: $ 11,342.26; Ending CD Balance: $11,343.29; Total Combined Amounts: $33,363.24; Portfolio: $73,842.47 November 1 through November 30, 2013: Beginning Balance: $8,099.26; Total Amount of Deposits: $840.00; Total Amount of Checks: $0.00; Total Debits: $0.00; Total Combined Amounts of Checks and Debits: $0.00; Ending Balance: $8,939.26; Al Camp Memorial Scholarship Fund Balance: $2,511.43; Savings Account Balance: $11,418.26; Ending Savings Account Balance: $11,418.59; CD Balance: $11,343.29; Ending CD Balance: $11,344.35; Total Combined Amounts: $34,213.63; Portfolio: $72,126.66 December 1 through December 31, 2013: Beginning Balance: $8,939.26; Total Amount of Deposits: $181.50; Total Amount of Checks: $0.00; Total Debits: $29.95; Total Combined Amounts of Checks and Debits: $29.95; Ending Balance: $9,090.81; Al Camp Memorial Scholarship Fund Balance: $3,177.53; Savings Account Balance: $11,418.59; Ending Savings Account Balance: $11,418.88; CD Balance: $ 11,344.35; Ending CD Balance: $11,345.38; Total Combined Amounts: $35,032.60; Portfolio: $70,551.82 Anyone interested in acquiring copies of the 2013 treasurer’s reports, budget and/or 2013 convention report? Please contact the GCB office or call 706-850-4025 info@georgiacounciloftheblind.org. GCB Thank You Letter Enedina Velez Dear Georgia Council of the Blind, Thank you for the scholarship. Since my first year of college, this scholarship money has greatly helped me be able to continue at Middle Tennessee State University “MTSU”. I had the necessary funds to focus on my studies and, without your help, I would have had to go back to Georgia and find another college. It worried me that in another college, I would not have reached my potential and gotten my own needs addressed in a timely manner. I had already completed five semesters with one left over to graduate and MTSU has provided and kept their promise of educating me. I finished all of my semesters with excellent grades and a wealth of knowledge. I am truly happy and assured that this college is the best option for me. I am very grateful to the donors like you, who have given their time and wealth to help others like me be able to stay in college and ultimately get a bachelor’s as a special education teacher. Truly there are no words to express how grateful and blessed I feel to receive this scholarship all of the years I had applied for the GCB scholarship. Thank you, Enedina Velez
GCB Awards Guidelines Awards Committee Chair: Judy Presley P. O. BOX 231, Helen GA 30545-0231, 706 878 2962, hoyal@windstream.net Rhoda Walker Award, suggested by Rhoda's sister, Helen Wasileski The recipient can be a blind or sighted individual Services rendered must be of non-paying status. Services may be any endeavor in the field of teaching, service, and betterment of life for the blind. The recipient must provide public awareness through speaking, seminars, and/or demonstration. There must be involvement of the educational field/teaching braille. The recipient must push any Rhoda Walker Committee: Anne Wheeler 2199 Floyd St., Covington GA 30014, 770 786 5778, 678 480 2783, awheel@bellsouth.net Heather Lopez 3226 Peninsula Dr., Augusta GA 30909-0603, 706-739-1129, heatherlopez78@comcast.net Barbara Graham 116 Edinburgh Ct., Alpharetta GA 30004, 678 319 0450, bobbiegraham511@bellsouth.net The June Willis Guiding Eyes Award The recipient can be either sighted or legally blind. The sighted recipient of the June Willis Guiding Eyes Award (who must be a GCB member) shall be known to GCB members through attendance at GCB state activities, and through his/her willing assistance and service to the blind and visually impaired. June Willis Guiding Eyes Committee: Keith Morris 3359 White Oak Rd., Thomson GA 30824, 706/595-1465, mkumorris@yahoo.com Richard Bagley 8855 Oliver Mill Rd., Lula GA 30554, 70-983-1213, richardbagley@bellsouth.net Teresa Brenner 249 Avera LN., Byron GA 31008, 912-247-04466, tabrenner49@gmail.com The Walter R. McDonald Award The award shall be presented to an outstanding visually impaired individual who has, through his/her leadership and service, contributed significantly to the betterment of the blind and visually impaired community, and who has demonstrated by deeds and achievements his/her dedication to the principles incident to blindness espoused and practiced by the late Walter R. McDonald. The recipient may or may not be a member of the Georgia Council of the Blind. Walter R McDonald Committee: Robin Oliver 90 Fourth St., Apt. #8201, Athens GA 30601, 706-548-7401, gcbfyi@yahoo.com Amanda Wilson 45 Rocky Cir., NE, White GA 30184, 770-547-4700, moonrocks@bellsouth.net Ron Burgess 203 Glenn ST., Lafayette GA 30728, 706-638-2-1132, The Gerald Pye Community Service Award The recipient must be an active legally blind member of GCB in good standing. He or she must have demonstrated superior service to his or her community in a number of ways that exemplify the work of Gerald Pye. The candidate must be nominated in writing by a GCB member who knows firsthand of the candidate's community services; innovation involving blindness or blind people. Examples of this service must be included in the written recommendation. Gerald Pye Community Service Award Committee: Cecily Nipper 41 Butler Bridge Rd, Covington GA 30016, 770-786-1551, roses828@comcast.net Marion Badie P. O. Box 60395, Savannah GA 31420, 912 247 5345, badiem@aol.com Clifford Jones 1804 Susan Ln., Columbus GA 31906, 706-569-9881, cliffjones916@gmail.com All GCB awards shall be presented periodically at a GCB state convention. All awards committees shall be appointed at the January board meeting. Nominations for all awards shall be submitted to the respective award committee chairpersons in writing (including e-mail) no later than June 15, 2014. Nominations shall include the name of the candidate, plus the reason the candidate deserves the award. Each award committee chairperson shall read to his/her committee members all award nominations. The decision for selecting the award recipient shall be made by all members of that committee. Scholarship Award Committee Debbie Williams 1477 Nebo Rd., Dallas GA 30157, 770-595-1007, Debbie_teaches@comcast.net Granger Rick 1307 Chester Pl., McDonough GA 30252, 770-898-9036, Granger_ricks@bellsouth.net Tom Ridgeway 1071 South Pine Knoll Dr., Macon GA 31204, 478 474 3577, tom.ridgeway1944@att.net Dr. Phillip Dillard 116 Wiley Dr., Cedartown GA 30125, 770-748-829, philip.dillard@yahoo.com Bill Holley 185 Weatherly Woods Dr., Winterville GA 30683, 706-410-4945, Gcbill850@yahoo.com The deadline for receipt of scholarship information is June 15, 2014. . Scholarship applications may be obtained from Debbie Williams at the address above or via our web site at http://www.georgiacounciloftheblind.org. GCB Member Profile, by Krystian Whitfield Krystian Whitfield is a member of the Greater Hall County chapter. She states that she was born with oculocutaneous albinism. Her skin, hair and eyes are in the normal range of light color, but she is still just as sensitive to the sun. She is legally blind and lives with her mom in north Georgia. She is twenty-six, and enjoys taking pictures. She does not use photo editing software because mostly she cannot see the operating buttons. Although she is legally blind, she notices changes in colors, details, shadows, and she has since she was a child. Krystain always has her camera with her. She loves to photograph nature; landscapes; animals; weather; buildings; and people. Her favorite is to take an object and photograph it from different angles so she has to guess at what she is looking at. She enjoys sharing her work and showing the world how she sees the world as a person with a visual impairment. She has no college experience and everything she knows she has taught herself. She would love to get a degree in something like combat photography, food photography or commercial photography. She has been discouraged from going to school to obtain one of these degrees due to her disability. She knows that if she chose this path as her career that it will be tough, but she has faith in herself. She also wants to encourage others out there who have a disability that no matter what it is, to go after it and do what makes them happy. Krystain says, “You can do anything you set your mind to.” She has started a Facebook page for her art work and the address for that is KNW Photography - A legally blind photographer. I hope that she will pursue her dream. GCB Accessible Technology By Judy Presley I Devices The latest rage in the blindness community is all of the new I Phones, I Pods, I Pads and all of the other I Devices. I hope that when everyone is having fun with these new and wonderful things they will remember how their use became possible. If it were not for organizations like ACB and NFB, these things would not have been made accessible for you. These organizations worked hard and long to bring it to the attention of our government and companies that we needed to be able to use these devices also. I hear so many blind people say that they don’t bother to belong to blindness organizations. As for me, I will always work hard for my GCB Chapter and ACB. I think that the old saying applies: “United We Stand, Divided We Fall”. There is definitely strength in numbers. So the next time you pick up your fun new gadget, you might think about ACB and NFB and what it has made possible for you. GCB Chapter News Athens Chapter In December, we had a Christmas lunch at a local restaurant. On Monday, March 24, 2014, they are having their annual music night fundraiser at the Blind Pig restaurant on Baldwin Street in Athens from 6:00 until 10:00 pm. We have the same officers; they are Daniel Myers as president; Jerrie Toney as first vice-president; Pete Hayek, as second vice-president; Robin Oliver as secretary; Bill Holley as treasurer. We meet every fourth Saturday of the month at Multiple Choices Center for Independent Living, 145 Barrington Drive, Athens, GA 30605. For more information about our chapter, please contact Daniel Myers at 706/850-7472, or via email at danielhmyers@live.com Augusta Chapter We have the same officers; they are Chris Chavous as president: Alicia Morris as Vice-president and secretary; and Sheila Chavous as treasurer. Our meetings are held on the second Saturday of each month at the Columbia County Main Library, Evans Town Center Blvd, Evans, GA., at 1:00. For more information about our chapter please contact Chris Chavous at 706-737-4341 or via email at cccmayo@yahoo.com. The Bainbridge Chapter We have the same officers; they are Tonya Wright as president; Paddy Dale as first vice-president: Keith Carter as second vice president; Gloria Hampton as secretary and treasurer. Our meetings are held on the second Saturday of each month at the South West Georgia Regional Library, 301 South Monroe St, Bainbridge, GA 39819 at 1:00 pm. For more information, about our chapter, please contact Tonya Wright at 229/248-0087. East Georgia Chapter We have new officers and board members for 2014. They are Christine Obrien as president; Neb Houston as first vice-president; Patricia Cox as second vice-president; Cecily Nipper as Secretary; Anne Wheeler and Linda Cox as co-treasurers; and The 3 board members are Elsie Aguilar, Dot Davis and Phil Jones. The East Georgia chapter reported that their Christmas party was a fantastic event. In addition to the great food, they collected a generous amount of toys for Toys for Tots. They played games and they had a talent show. In fact the talent show was so good that it was suggested that they make it an annual event. Our Chapter monthly meetings are held on the second Saturday of the month at the Conyers, Georgia Presbyterian Church, and 911 Main Street in Conyers, GA at 10:00 a.m. For more information about our Chapter, please contact Christine O’Brien at 678-425-2447 or via email at jcbethga@windstream.net. Greater Columbus Chapter We have the same officers; they are Gregory McDuffie as president; Dirk Jones as first vice-president; Ronnie Aldridge as second vice-president; Kara English as secretary; William Miles as treasurer; Otis Smith as Chaplain; Jonathan Barron as assistant chaplain. Our meetings are held on the third Friday of each month at the Columbus Public Library, 3000 Macon Road, from 10:30AM-12PM. For more information about our chapter please, contact Gregory McDuffie at 706/330-8185 or gregory.mcduffie@yahoo.com. The Greater Hall County Chapter We have the same officers and they are Richard Bagley as president; Judy Presley as vice-president; Sue Hesketh as secretary; Ted Brackett as treasurer. We had our Christmas lunch/party at Luna's restaurant in Gainesville. Good food and wonderful fellowship was enjoyed by all. Our meetings are held at the Smokey Springs Retirement Residence, 940 South Enota Drive, Gainesville, Georgia, on the second Saturday of each month. For more information about our chapter, contact Richard Bagley at 706-983-1213, or via email at richardbagley@bellsouth.net. Metro Atlanta Chapter We had our Christmas party in December where we gave gifts to a child who is visually impaired that attends the STARS group, which is through the Center for the Visually Impaired, CVI. We have the same officers except for one change. Brent Reynolds as president; Al Jones as first vice-president; Maquattia Dutton as second vice-president; Chris Baldridge as secretary; Steve Longmire as treasurer; John Sims as assistant treasurer. Our meetings are held on the second Friday of each month at the Picadilly Cafeteria, 2226 North Druid Hills Road at 4:30 until 7:00 pm. For more information about our Chapter, contact Brent Reynolds at 404/814-0768 or jbr@samobile.net. Northwest Chapter Our chapter has the same officers; they are Ron Burgess as president; Frederick McDade as vice-president; Mayella McDonald as secretary; Charles Stubblefield as treasurer; and Robert Sprayberry as chaplain. Our meetings are held on the second Tuesdays of every other month at the Bank of Lafayette Community Room, 405 West Main St, Lafayette, GA 30728 at 7:00 pm. For more information about our chapter please contact Ron Burgess at 706/638-1132. Rome/Floyd County Chapter At our September meeting, we heard about some upcoming meetings. The Georgia Guide Dog Users are meeting in Athens on Saturday, September 28, 20133; The Georgia Council of the Blind is having their board meeting in Athens on Saturday, October 19, 2013; the Georgia State-wide Coalition on Blindness is meeting in Macon on Saturday, November 2, 2013. Our Chapter is planning a bake sale fundraiser in Rome at Kroger on either November 16, or 23. Marsha Farrow gave us a great deal of information about what is going on with the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency. We continue to hope that Marsha’s Chattooga County Chapter will join our Chapter. Lydia, with the talking book library, told us about BARD, an app for Iphones to download books. Marsha and Martha presented Philip and Carolyn with the Rhoda Walker award that was announced in Augusta. Martha nominated them for this award. We sang Happy Birthday to Tonia and Suzanne and enjoyed birthday cupcakes. At our October meeting, Amanda confirmed that our bake sale will be on November 16 and Amanda will send out an email giving further details. Rebecca announced that on Saturday, December 7, from 10:30 to 3:30, there will be a meeting of the Georgia Association of Deaf/Blind. This will be held at Pleasant Valley North Baptist Church and there will be a catered lunch. We are all invited. Marsha told us exciting news from Ophthalmic Technologies about the success of implanting telescopes to restore vision. She advised anyone interested to consult his/her vision specialist. For more information, call her office at 770-432-7280 and ask for Gloria Fisher. Edytha told us that she has been diagnosed with a benign inoperable brain tumor, which leaves her unable to tend to her regular duties at times. She says Saunya, who is thirteen, has been an invaluable help to her, even tending to the younger sister at night. Saunya told us of her decision to become a Christian and be baptized. She sang a lovely verse of “Burdens Are Lifted at Calvary”. We were very pleased and excited that 16 members were prepared to pay their 2014 dues. We sang happy birthday to Martha and George. Marsha brought Martha and George beautiful birthday cakes, which they took home and ate all by themselves. In November, Marsha told us that she recently attended a convention in Savannah of people who are involved in Vision Rehab Therapy. She told us that, starting in January, she will share info at each meeting concerning dealing with vision loss. She also shared that she and Amanda are the state fund raiser committee persons. One of the main fund raising projects has for several years been the Bluegrass gathering in Stephens County. This benefits the Al Camp Scholarship Fund, which helps visually challenged students with needs besides tuition. Mr. Al Camp was blinded in Korea and spent the rest of his life “giving back”--helping those in the blind community in any way he could. He died last year, and it is the hope of the committee to continue the Bluegrass fundraiser. They have obtained permission from Trinity UMC in Rome to use their facilities on June 7 of next year. We look forward to participating in this fun day. Marsha will find out more info on emcee, musicians, etc. Suzanne read a tender Thanksgiving poem entitled “I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie”, and an essay on saying the blessing. At our December meeting, we ate a wonderful meal. While we ate, Terecia told our favorite story that Allen first told, about the Christmas tree that took over their bedroom. Martha brought Christmas cards for everyone; Bronwyn had homemade ornaments and a trivia game. George entertained us with a beautiful concert of Christmas music, and then we had a sing-along of old favorites. We have the same officers; they are Amanda Wilson as president; Tonia Clayton as vice-president; Suzanne Jackson as secretary and treasurer; Dale Allen as chaplain. We meet every Third Tuesday at the Rome Floyd County Library, 205 Riverside Parkway Northeast, Rome, GA 30161, from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm. For more information about our chapter please contact Amanda Wilson at 770/547-4700 or moonrocks@bellsouth.net. Savannah Chapter They have the same officers. They are as follows: Kim Harrison as president; Marj Schneider as Vice-president; Denise Boehner as secretary; and Loretta Thomson as treasurer. The Savannah chapter reports that they had a Christmas party on December seventh at Barnes restaurant. They had fun, good food and they had their Yankee swap. In January, they are considering doing a Community service project. They have a face book page. It is called Savannah Council of the Blind. They collected dry dog and cat food and gave it to the Meals on Wheels program for people who have pets. Our meetings are held on the first Thursday of every month at 6:00 pm in the conference room of J. C. Lewis Ford, 9505 Abercorn St. in Savannah. For more information about our chapter please contact Kim Harrison at 912-228-1190 or dkimharrison@gmail.com. West Georgia Chapter WE have the same officers; they are as follows: Steve Estes as president; John Tisinger as vice-president; Joan Estes as secretary/treasurer. Our chapter meetings are held on the 3rd Saturday of each month, at the Carrollton library, 710 Rome Street, Carrolton GA 30117 at 11:0 is. For more information about our chapter please contact Steve Estes at 770/456-7709 or stestes@bellsouth.net.   Georgia Guide Dogs Users (GGDU) News We had our fall meeting on Saturday, September 28, 2013, at the Athens-Clarke Library, 2025 Baxter Street, Athens, GA 30606.We had a time with children and parents from the area, allowing them to ask questions about guide dogs. We had a discussion concerning the petition from Canine for Companions. We walked to Jason’s Deli for lunch. We had a short business meeting. We had a Christmas swap over the phone. Six Girls and five service dogs exchanged presents with each other. It was a lot of fun and hopefully it will become an annual tradition. We are still selling our lighted armbands. Marj can mail them out to anyone if she receives a check for $10 made out to GGDU and sent to her home address which is Marj Schneider, 212 Oxford Drive, Savannah GA 31405. Please visit our web site to find out more about Georgia Guide Dog Users at www.georgiaguidedogusers.org. Georgia State-Wide Coalition on Blindness News, Jerrie Toney The Georgia State-Wide Coalition on Blindness meeting was held in Macon, Georgia. We met at The Wingate by Wyndham Macon Hotel. Our moderator was Anisio Correia. We heard from the following speakers: Brent Bass, Executive Director of the Georgia Radio Reading Service (GARRS), Paul Raymond, Director of Blind Services; Kay McGill, Project Independence; Alice Ritchhart, Coalition chair; Stella Cone, Outreach Librarian for Georgia Library for Accessible Statewide Services (GLASS). We elected the following officers. They are Vashaun Jones, as chair; Louis Narimatsu, as vice-chair; Betsy Grenevitch, as recording secretary; Kay Zimpher, as assistant recording secretary; and Corresponding secretary was not filled at this time. There were four breakout sessions where we discussed the topics of education, employment, policy and transportation. The next meeting of the Georgia State-Wide Coalition on Blindness will be in Savannah on Saturday, April 26, 2014. The Coalition is supporting two important pieces of legislation this year. The first piece of legislation is HB 700, which is the bill that speaks to having braille signage on the doors and common areas of the Georgia Capitol. The next piece of legislation is in support of the Braille Literacy bill (HB 18); contact me if you would like to receive a copy of this bill. The blindness organizations around the state of Georgia participated in Blindness Awareness Day, which was held on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 in Atlanta. The speakers were Representative Keisha Waites, Barbara Chandler, Kevin Harris, Adam Hinchliffe and Garrick Scott. They discussed the Braille Bill, the lack of braille signage on the Coverdell Legislative Office Building, how to effectively reach your representatives, deaf blind funding as well as how we can work as one to make a difference. GCB Chattooga County Chapter Closing Out, Marsha Farrow The Chattooga County Chapter has been a vital support to many visually impaired children and adults for more than a decade. Unfortunately due to the lack of participation due to the death of so many members, we did not have the number of adults who were visually impaired to serve as leaders to keep our Chapter going in 2014. Those of us who remain active have agreed to join the Floyd County Chapter and will utilize the remainder of our small Treasury of $235.00 to purchase much needed items for students Saunya Jones and Terra Hall. We hope to purchase a Pen Friend for Saunya and personal care items for Terra. Both of these students reside in Chattooga County and their parents were long time members of the Chattooga County GCB Chapter. Editha Jones continues to be a member of the Floyd County Chapter. Our remaining funds were raised with the intention of being spent inside our County and donors were told their donations would be utilized in Chattooga County for our own residents with severe vision loss. We will send copies of all of our final banking and purchase Reports to our GCB State Office in accord with our GCB Constitution. GCB In Memory of: Mrs. Jane Brock Tonks Cushing died at her home at Lanier Village Estates in Gainesville, Georgia, on Sunday, April 28, 2013. She died peacefully, with family close, at the age of 92. Jane married Neal Estabrook Tonks in 1946, one year after he returned from combat in WWII. Jane taught college and high school biochemistry for a number of years prior to leaving NJ, and then continued at St. Vincent's Academy in Savannah until she retired in 1992. Over the years, she did extensive volunteer work, including her last involvement with the Garden Club of Savannah. Her husband Neal died in 1983, and Jane remarried in 1992 to Bill Cushing. In addition to her husband Bill, Jane leaves four children and their spouses who treasured her and will miss her very much - Gretchen and husband Jim Hartling in Philadelphia; Rick and wife Cis (Kuntz) of Cumberland Center, ME; Neal (Cutter) and wife Julie of Charleston SC; William and wife Debbie of Athens GA. Jane was also dearly loved by Bill's daughters and their husbands, Lisa and Bill Kent and Marilyn and Kevin Swindall, along with 11 grandchildren and two of their husbands in the combined Tonks-Cushing clan, plus one new great-grandchild. Jane was a true teacher - patient and caring and wise. She treasured loyalty and compassion in those she knew, and she valued keen intellect and an inquisitive mind over all things. A small memorial service was held in Gainesville at the Lanier Village Estates chapel. Mr. Samuel "Sam" J. Timpone, 93, of Gainesville, formerly of Smyrna, died on Thursday, the 28th of November 2013. Sam was a World War II veteran serving in the U. S. Army in Alaska. He retired from Randall Brothers, Inc. in 1983. Surviving are his loving wife of 67 years, Sara Fain Timpone; son and daughter-in-law, Bill and Andrea Timpone of Gainesville; daughter and son-in-law, Bobbie and Phil Larkins of Atlanta; grandchildren, Mickey Timpone, Connor Timpone; Phil Larkins, Jr. (Catherine), Lindsey Ford (Kevin); 1 great granddaughter, Alexandra Larkins; and nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be conducted on Monday, the 2nd of December at two o'clock at Patterson's Arlington Chapel with Reverend Joey Hatchell officiating. A private family interment will follow at Westview Cemetery. In Lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Elachee Nature Science Center, 2125 Elachee Drive, Gainesville, GA 30504. Friends are cordially invited to visit with the family on Monday from one o'clock until the hour of service at H. M. Patterson & Son Arlington Chapel, 173 Allen Road, NE, Sandy Springs, Georgia 30328. Dr. Roland F. Wear, 90, of Gainesville, died Monday, May 27, 2013 at Willowbrook at Lanier Village Estates. Memorial services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 4, 2014, in the chapel at Lanier Village Estates. Survivors include his wife, Jane L. Wear, Gainesville; daughter, Dr. Deborah Wear-Finkle, Maine; grandson, Kyle Finkle, Maine; sister, Nancy W. Doupe, Chicago, Illinois. A number of nieces and nephews also survive. Those wishing to send online condolences may do so at masonward.com. Mason & Ward Funeral Home, 1190 McEver Road, Gainesville, Ga. 30504 is in charge of arrangements. GCB Celebrations Happy birthday or anniversary to the following people: Chester Thrash 3-4; David and Christina Holtzclaw anniversary 3-10; Anne Wheeler 3=14; Jeff and Debbie Williams anniversary 3-18; Steve Estes 3-19; Kristin Whitfield 3-22; Debbie Williams 3-23; Sean Hogue 3-23; Editha Jones 4-1; Janet Hardin 4-11; Linda Cox 4-16; Daniel Myers 4-19; Sam Howard 4-19; Jan Elders 4-25; Danny Payne 4-28; Terecia Standridge 4-30; Sarah Maddox 5-2; Willie and Annie Harris anniversary 4-8; Brenda Maddox 5-10; Chris Ingram 5-10; Barbara Graham 5-11; Roger and Editha Jones anniversary 5-15; Peter Leffel 5-26; Judy Presley 6-2; Tom and Alice Ridgeway anniversary 6-4; Barbara Brooks 6-10; Phil Jones 6-10; Amanda Wilson 6-16; Keith and Kathy Morris anniversary 6-16; Al Jones 6-20; Frances Sweet 6-22; Danny and Suzanne Jackson 6-22; Dr. Philip and Carolyn Dillard 6-24; Dale Allen 6-28; M. J. Stubblefield 6-30; Bob and Anne Wheeler anniversary 6-30. GCB State-Wide Conference/ Convention Invitation SAVE THE DATE: Friday, August 1, until Sundya, august 3, 2014 You are invited to attend the Georgia Council of the Blind conference/convention which will be held from Friday, August 1, until Sunday, august 3, 2014, in augusta, Georgia. The conference/convention iss going to be held at the Marriott Convention Center on 2 Tenth Street, in Augusta, Georgia 30901.The Georgia Council of the Blind Conference/Convention will offer informative educational programs as well as recreational and social interaction with members and non-members from all over the state of Georgia. There are 4 Awards presented at the GCB conference/convention. They are as follows: The Gerald Pye Community Service Award; The Walter R. McDonald Award; The Rhoda Walker Award (suggested by Rhoda's sister, Helen Wasileski); The June Willis Guiding Eyes Award. For more information about the GCB awards please read the article above or visit the GCB web site at www.georgiacounciloftheblind.org. For more information about our conference/convention please contact the co-chair persons of the convention committee. Co- chairs: William Holey at 706-410-4945 or via email at gcbill@yahoo.com Amanda Wilson at 770-547-4700 or via email at moonrocks@bellsouth.net

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