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GCB Digest Spring 2018 (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 and not a hand out Spring 2018   GCB officers for 2018-2020: President, Alice Ritchhart, 912-996-4213, alice.ritchhart@comcast.net First Vice-President, Philip Jones, 770-713-3306, brilman1952@bellsouth.net Second Vice-President, Jamaica Miller, 706-316-9766, mai2@bellsouth.net Secretary, Betsy Grenevitch, 770-464-0450, blindangel@joimail.com Treasurer, Marsha Farrow, 706-859-2624, marshafarrow@windstream.net Member at Large Representative, Valerie Hester, 912-398-9985, valerie_hester@yahoo.com Digest Editor: Amanda Wilson, 770-547-4700, moonrocks@bellsouth.net Assistant Editor: Misty Ingram, 706-766-9732, carefreemm@aol.com   Table of Contents: From Your Editor Presidential Message GCB Board Meeting Minutes, from January 2018 Member profile: Rosetta Brown The Center for the Visually Impaired, CVI, information GCB Chapter News Georgia Guide Dog Users News In Memory Of: Anne Dilley, Lincoln Ritchhart, Alice Ritchhart’s nephew and Ann Sims Conference and Convention overview 2018 Annual Business Meeting minutes from 2017 2017 Conference and Convention Report Vacationing with ACB ScripTalk GCB Announcements   From Your Editor, by 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. Thanks to everyone who makes our GCB Digest such a big success. I particularly want to thank Misty Ingram, assistant editor, for the many hours she has worked on the magazine, for her editing skills. I want to thank our president, for their presidential message with information about important events, legislation, and projects. I also appreciate the contributions from each member who sent articles and who made suggestions.   GCB Presidential Message, Keith Morris Dear Fellow GCB members, My time as President has come to an end. I have been so honored to serve you for the last 4 years Thank you for the confidence you have had in me as your President. We have accomplished much and are more united than we had been in a long time. But our work is not over. Let’s get behind our new President and officers as they prepare to lead us. Give them your support and serve wherever you are asked. Let’s keep our state strong and going forward. Fond farewell,   Georgia Council of the Blind Board Meeting Minutes, Betsy Grenevitch Georgia Council of the Blind Board Meeting Minutes St. Mark United Methodist Church 2367 Washington Road Augusta GA 30904 Saturday, January 20, 2018 Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by President Keith Morris at 10:46 AM. Invocation: President Keith Morris gave the invocation. Roll Call: President, Keith Morris; First Vice-President, Phil Jones; Secretary, Betsy Grenevitch; Treasurer, Marsha Farrow; Athens, Jerrie Toney; Augusta, Deborah Lovell; East Georgia, (by phone) Cecily Nipper; Greater Hall, Dianne Roberts; Northwest, (by phone) Ron Burgess; Rome, (by phone) Philip Dillard; Savannah, Marj Schneider; South Atlanta, (by phone) Lisa Jones; GGDU, DJ McIntyre; Member at Large Representative, Alice Ritchhart; Parliamentarian, Roderick Parker, Digest Editor, Amanda Wilson, Steve Longmire , web master. Guests: Deborah Lovell introduced 16 soldiers from Fort Gordon who were present to assist us as volunteers during our meeting. Other members and guests who were present included: Mark Armstrong, Evan Bradford, Jamaica Miller, Harvey Roberts, Steve Longmire, Dexter Durrante, Sonia Grier, Don Grier, Tiyah Fowlkes Mansah, Ron Worley, Heather Lopez, Stanley Lopez, Todd Tura sky and Kay Armstrong. President’s Report, Keith Morris: Roderick Parker will be leading the GVRA panel at our upcoming GCB conference and convention. President Keith Morris has spoken to Debbie Williams concerning leading the scholarship committee, and she wants to chair the committee again this year. The deadline for submitting applications for scholarships will be on April 17, 2018. He also spoke with her about doing a gospel show fund raiser like her father, Al Camp, used to do. President Morris introduced his state senator, Senator Lee Anderson. Senator Anderson greeted us and thanked the soldiers for their service. He serves District 24. Senator Anderson assured us that he is here to help us in any way that he can. He told us that communication is necessary for our needs to be made known. Secretary’s Report, Betsy Grenevitch: Betsy Grenevitch made a motion that the latest minutes with the correction of the GARRS email address, be approved as they were sent out. Deborah Lovell seconded the motion and the motion was unanimously approved. Treasurer’s Report, Marsha Farrow: The following amounts are the totals in each of our accounts. Main checking account: $6315.53. $5085.30 of this amount is designated for the Older Blind Fund. We really have $1230.23, minus some checks that have been written. Al and Cora Camp Scholarship Fund: We gain interest from the Way Financial Investment fund which was given to us by the Atlanta chapter when it closed. This account now has $3762.33. We received $207.03 on January 2, 2018 from the Way Financial investment fund. Money Market Account: $5741.29. This account gained $15 last year. Evan Barnard account: $901.52. This account will be reaching it maximum in May 2018. It gained $33 last year. GCB long-term investment: $17,864.10. We made $350.11 from interest in 2017. This account will mature on May 20, 2021. GCB conference account: $1303.07. There is $302.50 in this account which is designated to help someone to be able to attend the 2018 conference and convention. Way Financial Investment: As of December 2017, this account has $65,885.48. We now have liability insurance with Philadelphia Insurance Company which costs $892 annually. We do not know if this price will change next year. We have $1 million coverage for our directors and board members. It would cost between $350 and $400 to insure a conference and convention. We donated $464 out of the Older Blind Fund toward transportation for the Christmas Lions Camp. Jamaica Miller donated $25 to the Older Blind Fund in memory of Brandi Jones who passed away in November. Marsha Farrow thanked Amanda Wilson for keeping up with the membership dues on the AMS system. We now have 167 members who have paid their dues. The treasurer’s report will be filed for audit. Convention Report, Dianne Roberts: Marsha Farrow has now received the contract from the hotel and she will be working on it this coming week. As soon as the contract is signed the GCB website will be flooded with information about the upcoming conference and convention. The theme for the conference and convention was voted on by the Hall County chapter. The theme was contributed by the Athens chapter, “Advocate, Educate, and Motivate”. The conference and convention will be held on May 3-6, 2018 at the Ramada Inn Lanier enter in Gainesville, GA. Thursday will be for early arrivals and the only activity on that evening will be hotel orientation and early registration. Friday Activities: There will be a guided tour of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens in Gainesville; two fitness sessions with Dawn Wells with Fitness, Covington, GA; GGDU business meeting and luncheon; evening reception: a bluegrass benefit fundraiser open to the public; and game time with Tommy Woodyard. We hope to bring back the chair massage team as well. Saturday Activities: The business meeting, which will include elections, will be held in the morning. We will have a luncheon that will also include a skit. In the afternoon there will be a GVRA panel with Roderick Parker moderating. GCB members can submit questions you would like to have answered by the panel. We have confirmations from Paul Raymond, Shirley Robinson, Kay McGill, and Denine Woodson that they will be present for the panel. Registration: Online registration will be available. The registration will be about $30 this year. This will also include the Friday evening reception. The cost for the hotel is $90 plus taxes and fees. Breakfast is included with this price. Meals: On Friday, boxed lunches will be available to purchase for $14. The lunch includes: Choice of smoked turkey or sweet ham on a Kaiser roll served with potato chips, pickle spear, a whole fruit, chef’s choice dessert, and bottled water or soda. The buffet luncheon on Saturday will cost $15. The menu will be coming soon. Digest Report, Amanda Wilson: Amanda Wilson thanked those who help her put the Digest together. She is now spending $50 on the large print version and $50 on the Braille version. There are 10 large print readers, 15 audio readers, and five Braille readers. If you would like to be interviewed for the Digest, please let Amanda Wilson know. She is beginning to interview organizations around Georgia who serve the blind and visually impaired. If you know of any organization that she could interview, please let her know. Finance Report, Jerrie Toney: The committee went over the 2017 budget as well as the 2018 budget. For 2017, we were in the hole for our operating costs because of the cost of the liability insurance. We increased the operating cost budget up to $1500 for 2018. Marsha Farrow explained that we increased our dues by $3 to help with the cost of this insurance. Amanda Wilson has considerably cut the cost of the production of the Digest. We are receiving donations, but they are usually designated. We used a $100 gift card from discretionary funds to give to a counselor, Sandra Pugh, who gave it to someone in the Dallas area who did not have money for his ten-year-old daughter’s Christmas gifts. A local Lions Club also donated a CD/radio to her. Deborah Lovell made a motion that the 2018 budget be adopted. Phil Jones seconded the motion, which was unanimously approved. Georgia Guide Dog Users, Betsy Grenevitch: Betsy Grenevitch announced that GGDU will be having a meeting and lunch at the upcoming GCB conference and convention on Friday, May 4, 2018. They are still working on finding a speaker. Leadership Scholarship, Marj Schneider: The committee members were Alice Ritchhart, Betsy Grenevitch, and Fred McDade. The draft guidelines for the Leadership and first timer's scholarships were sent out for review by board members. The leadership scholarship would go to someone who shows potential for leadership in GCB. There is also a potential scholarship for GCB members who have never had the opportunity to attend a GCB conference and convention in the past. Applications for these scholarships will be reviewed by the scholarship committee. Alice Ritchhart reminded us that we had already voted at a previous meeting that the funds for the first timer's scholarship would come from the conference and convention account. Marj Schneider moved that we approve the Leadership Scholarship Guidelines and Procedures document, which was unanimously approved. After having the First-Timers Guidelines and Procedures read, Marj Schneider moved that we accept this document. The guidelines were unanimously approved. Membership, Amanda Wilson: We discussed different places where the GCB brochure could be sent. All chapters have submitted their dues. We currently have nine active at-large members. Alice Ritchhart will be sending out another calling post message to remind at-large members to pay their dues. Amanda Wilson is trying to start a chapter in Cartersville with 10 members. She has not received any news about the potential Macon chapter. Legislative, Betsy Grenevitch: Betsy Grenevitch brought up the need to work on the legislation concerning service animals. She asked Marj Schneider to talk about the problems with the current version of the bill. Marj explained that the current version of the bill asks the Department of Human Services to issue information cards for those with service animals. This department does not know anything about service animals. The card could cause a lot of problems and confusion because it could be construed as being mandatory. We would like this bill to be pulled until we can sit down with legislators and work on it together. NFB of Georgia is trying to get “The Parents Bill of Rights” passed so that a baby cannot be snatched from a blind parent. They would like to see this bill attached to a bill that is dealing with adoption. The NFB of Georgia will be holding a blind Day at the Capitol on February 11, 2018. Alice Ritchhart recommended that we help the NFB with this bill because these situations are still happening. Nominating Committee, Deborah Lovell: The members on the committee include Judy Presley and Cecily Nipper. We will be holding elections at the upcoming GCB Conference and Convention. If anyone is interested or knows of anyone who is interested in an officer position on the board, please let Deborah Lovell know. Older Blind Fund, Marsha Farrow: We paid transportation for eight adults who attended the Lions Camp and were also volunteers. There were 35 people at the camp. Michael Brown, our scholarship winner for 2017, was the camp leader. He led the counselors and was very involved. There were two other visually impaired camp counselors. Each GCB chapter now has a box containing GCB large print and regular print brochures, 25 signature guides with GCB logos, note pads with contact information for the GCB on each pad and “20/20” pens with GCB labels. These items are to be handed out to older people who are blind, since they were purchased with the older blind funds. If you know of someone who is 55 years of age who needs a device, service, would like to attend an activity or needs transportation to a doctor’s office, please contact Alice Ritchhart, Jerrie Toney, Teresa Brenner, Phil Jones, Robin Oliver or Marsha Farrow. Technology and Website, Steve Longmire: The GCB brochure is now available in electronic and print format. You can find the brochure on our website by going to: www.georgiacounciloftheblind.org Go to the media center link and you will find it in a Microsoft Word version and/or PDF formats. GCB is already registered at www.amazonsmiles.com. When you make purchases from Amazon, you do it from this webpage and a small donation goes to GCB. You will be able to fill out the GCB conference and convention registration form on the GCB website and pay through PayPal. You will also have the option of filling out the form online and then printing it off and mailing it. New Business: Alice Ritchhart needs to know if people are hearing back from counselors when they are being contacted. President Keith Morris announced that the Leadership Scholarship committee is now dissolved. Phil Jones brought up a concern about needing to set a pattern for our conference and convention. He said it is too expensive to hold all long conference and convention events. We will discuss this further at the business meeting in May. Announcements: The Hall County Chapter had an attempt to defraud their bank account back in November via email. Dianne’s email may have been hacked and an email was sent to their treasurer requesting funds to be sent to a vendor for a GCB expense. They have now taken protective measures and have a committee who is drafting language to add to the Greater Hall County chapter bylaws to prevent this from happening in the future. Roderick Parker recommended that someone make a motion that the state treasurer meet with chapter treasurers to develop a policy that all chapters will follow. Betsy Grenevitch made a motion that Marsha Farrow will meet with all chapter treasurers to come up with a state policy for all chapter treasurers to follow concerning potential fraud. Marsha Farrow seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved. Marsha Farrow told us that Cecily Nipper is ready to send birthday cards to anyone in GCB who would like to send their state representative or senator a birthday card. Alice Ritchhart will be going to the American Council of the Blind midyear legislative seminar in Washington, D.C. Alice Ritchhart is purchasing a sound system from Marj Schneider and donating it to GCB for use at meetings. Next Meeting: Our next meeting will be held at our conference and convention in May, 2018. President Keith Morris thanked the volunteers and the Augusta chapter for hosting our board meeting. Adjourned: Deborah Lovell made a motion, and it was seconded by Ron Burgess to adjourn the meeting. The meeting was adjourned at 1:26 PM. Respectfully submitted by, Betsy Grenevitch, GCB secretary   GCB Member Profile: Rosetta Brown Like many grandparents who have lost their sight and hearing, Rosetta Brown of Conyers, Georgia found herself increasingly more isolated. Phone conversation or email exchanges with out of state grandkids were extremely challenging. Rosetta Brown, who is 59 years-old, was born blind and slowly lost her hearing as she aged. Only recently did she admit she needed help hearing. That was around the time she also found out about the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program, which is promoted as iCanConnect. The program offers communications technology to help people like Brown, engage in distance communications, like skyping with a grandson or corresponding with friends overseas via email. Rosetta Brown comments, “I just don’t have the words to explain how exciting this is for me and how very significant this is to me.” After she met with a representative of iCanConnect Georgia, and an assessment of her communication needs was conducted, Brown received tools that not only magnified her computer screen, but also read the text aloud so she could follow along. “Just to have these things, helps me to communicate with others,” Brown stresses. “It just opens doors to me that have not been open to me before! It is just like a life-changing event!” iCanConnect provides modern communications, technology like smartphones, braille devices, computers, software and much more. In addition, there is one-on-one training for people with combined hearing and vision loss, with no cost if the consumer meets the disability and income guidelines. The Georgia Council for the Hearing Impaired (GACHI) administers iCanConnect Georgia. Rosetta Brown credits the meticulously hard work of program manager, Stephanie Jackson, for helping determine what tools she needed to help her communicate. “We were able to provide her with useful technology that matched her skills,” says Jackson. “Being able to get life changing equipment to continue with her independence and correspond via email and Internet, is a feeling only the recipient can describe.” A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Rosetta Brown is an avid volunteer who also writes poetry and articles in publications for the blind. She hopes to have her first book of poems, entitled “Rosebud in Full Bloom”, published soon. “I’d like to see every deaf-blind person in America be able to receive the communication devices to empower their lives, as it has helped significantly with empowering my life,” she says. ICanConnect is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at: www.iCanConnect.org. Click on “State Partners” to find each state’s contacts. The website is accessible to users with low vision and those who use screen readers, and it features video that is both audio described and captioned. Information about iCanConnect is also available by calling 1-800-825-4595 Voice or 1-888-320-2656 TTY. Rosetta Brown calls her new laptop “a miracle.” “It is rare that Christmas comes in February,” said the 62-year-old grandmother from Conyers, Georgia. “However, it did for me. My new laptop came just in time. “Rosetta Brown received an Acer Aspire laptop, an iPhone and JAWS screen reading software through iCanConnect, the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program, a resource she learned about from a friend. Prior to receiving her equipment, she struggled to hear clearly on the phone, and had trouble using Skype, email and faxing. Rosetta brown was born with blindness, but had some vision restored through surgery at two years old. Later, glaucoma took her vision completely. She began losing her hearing early in life and now wears hearing aids. Rosetta Brown, who lives with her husband, uses her new laptop and smartphone to stay in touch. Her texts make voice calls and uses Skype and FaceTime to talk with family members - including her sisters, son and grandchildren in Virginia and Maryland. She also connects with friends in Hawaii, Senegal, Mali, England, France and China. In addition, she uses her equipment to take online courses from the Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and to communicate during conference calls with state and national organizations, including the American Council of the Blind and the East Georgia Chapter of the Georgia Council of the Blind, where she serves as a board member and public relations chair. “ICanConnect has made an awesome difference in my life by helping me communicate instantly with my family, friends and my community,” said Rosetta Brown. “It has opened up global communications for me too, which I never imagined could be possible.” Rosetta Brown said she constantly recommends iCanConnect to others. “ICanConnect has enabled me, and countless other individuals who are deaf-blind, to receive much-needed equipment and professional training,” she said. Local iCanConnect trainers are available to help solve problems and answer questions, from delivery to installation, and throughout the training process, and Rosetta is immensely grateful for their support. “The iCanConnect team is awesome,” she said. “ICanConnect makes communication accessible to people who are deaf-blind,” she said. “It assists people who have been isolated to communicate with the world.”   Center for the Visually Impaired, CVI Information The Center for the visually impaired Whether you’re experiencing vision loss for the first time, or have never had full vision, the Center for the Visually Impaired can help you. Our rehabilitation services are both comprehensive and varied, and we serve people of all ages. If we don’t have the exact service you’re seeking, we can point you to other resources. To apply to any of the services below, click here. To refer anyone to these services, click here. Here’s a summary of CVI’s core programs and services: The Florence Maxwell Low Vision Clinic shows you how to make the best use of whatever vision you have. Clinics are in Midtown Atlanta, Cumberland, Suwanee, Fayetteville and Griffin – and serve people age 5 and older. The New View adult rehabilitation services program provides training on how to navigate every aspect of your life with visual impairment. From using new technology to adjusting to new routines to sharing experiences with others, New View gives you the knowledge you need to live more independently. The STARS (Social, Therapeutic, Academic, and Recreational Services) program provides school-aged youth with the skills and self-confidence to live with vision loss. Comprehensive programming takes place year-round in four components: after school, mentoring, summer camp, weekend recreational events. The BEGIN program is for children just beginning life. It serves children under 5 as well as parents, teachers and child care providers. And it includes everything from assessment of vision to counseling to group activities. A complete schedule and description of support groups is provided for those who may benefit from sharing the experience of vision loss with others. InfoLink is an information resource created by CVI to promote services, seminars, events, products and organizations that may be of interest to the visually impaired community and their families. CVI also offers links, downloads and other resources for those seeking more information on living with blindness or visual impairment. The Center for the visually impaired also includes the VisAbility Store. Open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. The VisAbility Store is located on the first floor of the CVI building, the VisAbility Hub is the best source for people impacted by vision loss. With convenient shopping options available in person and online, the VisAbility Hub provides access to more than 1,000 products that can help make your life a little easier. Whether you are blind, visually impaired, or simply can't see the way you used to, VisAbility has specialized items created for your specific needs. Known for exemplary personal service, upon arrival a VisAbility Hub associate will personally assist you in finding the products best suited for your needs. They are knowledgeable, experienced and offer professional advice and product training.  
GCB Chapter News The Athens chapter of the Georgia Council of the Blind hosted its music night event on Friday March 23rd, 2018, in partnership with Multiple Choices Center for Independent Living, Inc. at Hendershot's Coffee and bar. It was a great time had by all! Our meeting was on Saturday, March 24th, 2018, with special guest speaker Pete Hayek from the Georgia Libraries for Accessible Statewide Services, GLASS. They have invited Rebecca Arayan, executive director of the Georgia Radio Reading Service, GARRS, to speak at their next meeting. The Athens chapter will hold its annual picnic on Saturday June 2nd from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at Memorial Park located at 293 Gran Ellen Drive, Athens, GA 30606. If anybody wants to join us, we are at Pavilion #3 and all are welcome to enjoy food and friends. The Athens chapter officers are Jerrie Toney, president; Jamie Teal, first vice-president; Ernest Bowles-Dean, second vice-president; Evan Bradford, secretary; and Robin Oliver, treasurer. Their meetings are held at MULTIPLE Choices at 145 Barrington Drive in Athens, Georgia on the fourth Saturday at 10:30 AM. For more information about the Athens chapter please contact Jerrie Toney at 706-461-1013, or via email at jerriemt2@gmail.com. The Augusta Chapter officers are Deborah Lovell, president; Stanley Lopez, vice-president; Ron Worley Secretary; Kathy Morris treasurer. Chapter meetings are held at the Friedman Branch Library which is located at 1447 Jackson Road, Augusta, Georgia, on the second Saturday at 1:00. For more information about the Augusta chapter, please contact Deborah Lovell at 706-726-4054, or via email at lovell.d2000@gmail.com. The East Georgia Chapter wants everyone to know that Linda Cox is going to be a Grandmother. Her daughter, Patricia Cox Ganger and husband Arthur, are excitedly expecting their first baby girl in June. Their Chapter was invited to attend the Baby Shower which was held at The Magnolia Room in Tucker Georgia. Fifty guests were treated to a spectacular, delicious luncheon provided by our gracious hostess. Patricia was a lovely expectant mother dressed in pink and white, greeting and thanking her guests. They were regaled by various entertainment and door prizes were given. Carle, Patricia’s sister audio described the event for individuals with visual impairments. They received description of each baby gift with much fun and laughter. An Artist’s wife gave the baby, Paintings of Rainbows, which Patricia has always admired. The East Georgia Chapter members, who attended this memorable event were Barbara Brooks, Great Grand Mother; Linda Cox Grand Mother; Patricia Cox Ganger’s mother; Carle Cox Wahyudi, Aunt; Janet Hardin, Great Aunt; Cecily Nipper Jr.; Anne Wheeler; Cecily Nipper Sr.; Dot Davis; Linda Williams and Rosetta Brown. The event ended with the entire group being captured on film. The East Georgia Christmas program was canceled due to dangerous weather conditions. Elsie Aguilar sang, "Feliz Navidad" as a tradition at our January meeting. They celebrated Louis Braille’s Birthday, singing happy Birthday to him. Anne Wheeler conducted the Braille program, using tennis balls in a muffin tin to show us how to make Braille letters with our Oreo cookies. Elsie Aguilar demonstrated her Perkins Braille writer to show how to write a get well note to Mrs. Brooks and a congratulations letter to Patricia and Arthur Ganger. Lucas Montalvo served as our Braille expert. Andrew Pregenzer assisted with the program as well. In February, Anne Wheeler introduced their speaker, Ken Mitchell from Disability Link. He started as a volunteer and is now the assistant director. Disability Link is one of nine Centers for Independent Living in Georgia and serves twelve counties in the metro Atlanta area. The five main services they offer are information referral; independent living skills; advocacy, self-advocacy and system advocacy; peer support; and transition from institution to community; youth to adult. Disability Link has an office in Tucker, Georgia. The only requirement for membership is to say that you are a person with a disability. In March, Anne Wheeler introduced their speaker, our own Rita Harris. Rita Harris is the founder of “Living Life Team.” Living Life Team meets the second Thursday of each month at 11 am, at the Morgan County Library. In April, Hal Simpson with Georgia Blind Sports will present a program on darts for the blind. In May, they will take a field trip to the state botanical gardens in Athens. Rita Harris is going on a mission trip to West Africa in July. She will take donated Glasses and canes to people with visual impairments in Ghana. The East Georgia chapter is donating to assist Rita Harris on her Missionary journey. AT their April, Cecily Nipper Jr. introduced their speakers. Cecily Nipper, Sr. is an Arts and Crafts expert. instructed us on personally designing our floral arrangements. Cecily Nipper Sr. provided an array of beautiful flowers of several species. They were able to select from several unique styles of vases. Attractive ribbons added to their vases made a perfect gift for Mother’s Day. After completing their lovely floral arrangements, they posed with their creations for a picture. Attractive ribbons added to the vases, which made them perfect gifts for Mother’s Day. Ann Dilley passed away in February. She was fifty-five years old and the last of three founding members of the East Georgia Chapter. Louise Jones mother passed away recently, she was ninety-three years old. Louise Jones hopes to be able to attend the next chapter meeting. Under The direction of Cecily Nipper, a memorial fund in the memory of Brandy Jones has been established. A Focus 14-Bluetooth Braille note taker valued at $1500 was donated to the East Georgia chapter by VFO / Freedom Scientific in memory of Brandi Jones. Brandy Jones’ sister Era Jarrard has contributed a generous amount to the memorial fund. The tickets are on sale for $5.00, and we will sell them at the GCB convention in Gainesville. Tune in to see if you are the winner of the Focus 14. Information will be on our Face Book page, EastGAGCB on how to buy tickets online very soon. Checks, cash, pay pal and possibly credit cards will be accepted. Lucas Montalvo placed 3rd in the Braille Challenge at the Georgia Academy for the Blind in Macon. Neb Houston is sick, and we ask your prayers for his recovery. Phil Jones is serving on the GCB Older Blind Committee, working to provide things for older adults who are no longer able to receive services from vocational rehabilitation. He reports big changes are occurring at Georgia Radio Reading Services, GARRS, due to listener feedback. Local newspapers are being added. New website GARRS.org includes program library with all newspaper, magazine, and books for ten years. They have added an hour-long program produced and recorded by individuals with visual impairments “Cooking in the Dark”, out of Texas. Sarah Maddox recently attended the, Tim Tebow Night to shine prom. She will also be participating in the World of Hope beauty pageant. Elsie Aguilar is in El Salvador vacationing with family until May. The East Georgia chapter officers are Cecily Nipper, President; Ann Wheeler, First vice-president; Phil Jones, Second vice-president; Linda Williams, Secretary; Linda Cox, Treasurer; Elsie Aguilar, Brenda Maddox, and Rosetta Brown, Board Members. The East Georgia Chapter meetings are held on the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 AM at the Covington First United Methodist Church which is located at 1113 Conyers Street in Covington, Georgia. For more information about the chapter, please contact Cecily Nipper at 770-786-1551, or via email at roses828@comcast.net. The Greater Hall County chapter reported that they strive to have exciting and informative guest speakers at every meeting. Their guest for January was Arona Elk, mobility instructor. In February, they had Bryan Hood who is the Murrayville librarian. This library has technical equipment for the visually impaired. In March, they had Elaine Cone from Legacy Link and Nancy Daugherty from Medicare. In April, they had Maria Tuck who is the ADA Coordinator for Hall County. Their pet project is giving financial assistance to children with visually impairments to attend summer camp. This year they paid the $350 fee for 2 students to attend the Lions Club camp in Waycross, Georgia. For the first time they paid $200 for 1 student to attend the STARS summer camp at the Center for Visual Impairments, CVI, in Atlanta, Georgia. They partner with the Gainesville Lions Club for assistance with the $75 fee for bus transportation to and from Macon to the Lions Camp in Waycross, Georgia. They are looking forward to their July and August break from meetings to regroup for another exciting year. The Greater Hall County chapter officers are Diane Roberts, president; Judy Presley, vice-president; Sue Heskett, secretary; Roy Carder, treasurer. Their board members are Don Linnartz, Bob McGarry and Harvey Roberts. Their meetings are held at the Smokey Springs Retirement Residence at 940 South Enota Drive in Gainesville, Georgia, on the second Saturday at 10:00. For more information about the Chapter, please contact Diane Roberts at 770-932-1112, or via email at harveyroberts2@att.net. The Northwest Chapter reported that they had a great meeting in March. They had people who are sighted and blind that came to their meeting to find out more about the Georgia Council of the Blind in the Lafayette area. The Chapter wants everyone to know about their next meeting. They will be hosting representatives from the Signal Center which is in Chattanooga, Tennessee. We will have to get an update on their speaker in the next GCB Digest. Chapter officers are Ron Burgess, president; Fred McDade, vice-president; Bethany Kinsey, secretary; Charles Stubblefield, treasurer; Robert Sprayberry, Chaplain. Chapter meetings are held on the first Tuesday at the Bank of Lafayette Community room, 104 North Main Street in Lafayette, Georgia at 2:00 pm. For more information, please contact Ron Burgess at 706-638-1132. The Rome Floyd County chapter reported that they have had great meetings this year. They have new members, and past members who have come back to be a part of this chapter. Their officers are Marsha Farrow, president; Dr. Philip Dillard, vice-president; Tonia Clayton, secretary; Suzanne Jackson, treasurer; Martha Craig, Chaplain; Tracey Estil, Quinn Smith and Mark Kinsley board members. Their meetings are held at the Rome Floyd County Library at 205 Riverside Parkway, in Rome, Georgia, on the third Tuesday, at 11:00 am. For further information, please contact Marsha Farrow at 706-859-2624, or via email at marshafarrow@windstream.net. The Savannah chapter is pleased to welcome two new members who have joined in recent months. They are also happy to report good attendance at our monthly meetings since the start of 2018. At our April 5 meeting they heard from Norman Bremmer, an instructor of aikido whom SCB member David Newman invited to present to them on this Japanese martial art. David has become an enthusiastic aikido student and he wanted his teacher to talk with us about the philosophy of aikido and how someone could study it who was blind or visually impaired. Norm explained that Aikido stresses self-defense, but not going on the offensive against a potential attacker. This was a topic that generated lively discussion among the group. April’s meeting also included discussion of our continuing efforts to find events where we might hand out GCB brochures and do some fundraising for our chapter. They have not been successful so far, but they are continuing to seek those opportunities. They do are planning to participate in Belk Charity Day again this spring. They had an update from member Jack Lewis about issues related to our local transit service, Chatham Area Transit, CAT. Jack and others had been experiencing significant problems in recent months, drivers not stopping to pick people up, drivers not letting people off at their requested stops and the automated announcements of stops not working. After jack sent a letter to CAT outlining these issues, new administrators running CAT have taken steps to make improvements that will especially benefit blind and visually impaired riders. Jack has been giving us monthly updates and of course there are still concerns that need to be addressed and they need to be involved in committee meetings or other discussions that take place. Looking ahead, since our regular meeting date of the first Thursday of the month would conflict with the GCB conference and convention in May, they are delaying it until Thursday, May 10, 2018. That meeting will be a conference call with Mel Scott, the owner of Blind Alive, a Pennsylvania-based company that produces exercise programs especially for the blind. Mel, who is blind herself, will talk with us about the offerings of Blind Alive and how the programs were developed. They will be inviting any other GCB members who would like to learn about Blind Alive to call in as well. The conference call phone number will be circulated in advance. Beyond May, we are looking forward to a summer afternoon picnic on Saturday, June 2, 2018, at the home of chapter member Vivian Loesch, who lives on a lake and knows how to throw great parties. Our June meeting will be held at LIFE, Living Independence for Everyone, where they will have a tour with staff member Denise Howard of the latest devices and gadgets for the blind and visually impaired. With all these plans in the works for interesting meetings, who knows what the rest of the summer will bring. The Savannah Chapter officers are Marj Schneider, president; Bob Walls, vice-president; Teresa Brenner, secretary; Jon Bairnsfather, treasurer. Board members are Jan Elders and John McMillon. Meetings are held at the conference room at J. C. Lewis Ford, 9505 Abercorn Street, Savannah, Georgia. Meetings are on the first Thursday of every month at 6:00 pm. For more information, please contact Marj Schneider at 912-352-1415, or via email at marjschneider@bellsouth.net. The South Atlanta Chapter of the Georgia Council of the Blind reported, in January the speaker was Nicole Williams, who is with, “Buther Up”. Nicole sells soaps and other products. This was a fundraiser for our chapter. She gave us samples and presented her products. Our members were able to touch and smell many items and some members bought some items from Nicole Williams. On January 2, 2018, John Sims celebrated his 88th birthday At Folks Restaurant on Levista Road in Tucker. At the February meeting Brent Reynolds talked about MARTA versus the union, concerning MV Transportation. Chris Baldridge celebrated her birthday on Monday, February 19, at O’ Charlie’s Restaurant in Tucker, Georgia. Dick Cannon suggested that chapter members talk about their lives, achievements, and accomplishments. Therefore, at the March meeting, Maquatia Dutton, one of the chapter members spoke about her life, accomplishments, and achievements. Chester Thrash celebrated his birthday on Monday, March 5, 2018, at Zestos fast-food restaurant in Forrest Park, Georgia. At the April meeting, Brent Reynolds gave a report on the Transportation Bill. It passed on March 29, 2018. It was signed by the governor. Ann Sims passed away on Monday, April 16, 2018. Her funeral was held at the First Baptist Church of Jonesboro, on Thursday, April 19, 2018. Sam Howard celebrated his birthday on Tuesday, April 24, 2018, at Outback Steakhouse on Levista Road in Atlanta. The Chapter officers are Lisa Jones, president; Brent Reynolds, vice-President; Chris Baldridge, secretary; Steve Longmire, treasurer. Meetings are held at the Piccadilly Cafeteria, 1715 Howell Mill Road in Atlanta on the second Thursday from 4:00 until 6:00 pm. For more information, please contact Lisa Jones at 404-556-8987.   Georgia Guide Dog Users, GDDU News: The Georgia Guide Dog Users officers are Betsy Grenevitch, Interim president, Teresa Brenner, vice-president, Marj Schneider, secretary, Alice Ritchhart, treasurer, Dottie Langham, Director. For more information about the Georgia guide Dog Users group please contact Betsy Grenevitch at 770-464-0450, or via email at blindangel@joimail.com. You can visit their web site by going to: www.georgiaguidedogusers.org.   GCB In Memory of: Annie Inez Reid Dilley a past member of the East Georgia chapter of the Georgia Council of the Blind was born on April 18, 1959 and passed away on February 8, 2018. A perpetual care giver, she cared for her grandparents and her parents until they passed through the Golden Gates. She cared for cousins, siblings, nieces and nephews over the years. She picked up the nickname 'AYAH' over the years, which mean 'Caregiver' in India. In Nov. 2002 she married Don Dilley She will be missed. She beat Cancer twice, but in the end, it was a long battle with the effects of chemo which took her at the age of 58. Lincoln Marshall Ritchhart, Alice Ritchhart’s nephew passed away on April 4, 2018. Lincoln Marshall Ritchhart was born on March 8, 1995 in Indianapolis IN, to William E. and Sheila A. Hall Ritchhart. Lincoln attended the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. While Lincoln was attending ISBVI he enjoyed working in the green house and as part of the housekeeping department in the school’s work-study program. Lincoln loved the computer and made friends all over the world. He also loved country music and loved to sing. Visitation was held on Sunday, April 8, 2018, from 4:00 pm until 8:00 pm. The services were held at the Shirley Brothers Irving Hill Chapel. The funeral services were held on Monday, April 9, 2018, at 11:00 am at Hunter Road Bible Church. Lincoln is survived by his mother, Sheila A. Ritchhart; father and step mother, William E. and Julia J. Ritchhart; brother, Joshua Chamberlain Ritchhart and aunts, uncles, cousins and friends from all around the globe. Ann Stephens Sims who was a member of the South Atlanta chapter of the Georgia Council of the Blind, and passed away on Monday, April 16, 2018. Ann was born on August 32, 1938. She was a retired Library Clerk with the Georgia Department of Education, and a member of Jonesboro First Baptist Church. She was preceded in death by a daughter, Donna Sims Roper. Surviving are her husband, John M. Sims; children, A.J. Sims, J.D. & Terrie Sims, Anthony & Faith Sims, Johnathon Sims, Stephen Whitfield, Rebecca Sims, and Susan Randall; 10 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. Her funeral service was held at 2:00 pm, on Thursday, April 19th in the Chapel of Jonesboro First Baptist Church. Interment followed the funeral service at College Park Cemetery. The family received friends at the church for one hour prior to the service.   GCB Conference and Convention Overview The Georgia council of the Blind held its sixty-second conference and convention at the Ramada Inn in Gainesville, Georgia from Thursday, May third, until Sunday May 6th, 2018. Registration was on Thursday, May 3, 2018 and the layout of the facility was explained. Dinner was either in the hotel or in the community. The hospitality room was the scene of much talk and socializing. Friday, May 4, 2018, many GCB members had breakfast in the hotel restaurant. Some GCB members who arrived on Friday morning took time to register for the conference and convention. The GCB conference and convention began with the Color Guard presentation; Mayor's welcome; and Senator Butch Miller, who welcomed us to Gainesville, Georgia. All Exhibitors gave us a short introduction, and they answered questions from the audience. Then, Dawn Wells, with Angel eyes Fitness and Nutrition, led us in a chair fitness session. The Georgia Guide Dog Users, GGDU group had a Luncheon; a business meeting, and a speaker. Many GCB members ate lunch in the hotel or went out for lunch. Dawn Wells with Angel Eyes Fitness and Nutrition led us in a dance session. Many GCB members went on the tour of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens in Gainesville, Georgia. Some GCB members received chair massages from Rodrick Parker. The Welcome Reception followed. We listened to The Front Porch Gliders who play bluegrass music. We sang and danced along to their music. We passed the hat to collect funds for the GCB general fund. Tommy Woodyard and his mother, Mary Woodyard, assisted us in playing trivia games. It was a lot of fun. They gave each of us a bag of treats. The GCB members held their annual Business meeting. We discussed the committees within the GCB and remembered the following people who left us in the past year. They include Evelyn Rudy, Brandy Jones, Jim Parham, Virginia Harris, Gerald Hancock, Anne Dilley, Lincoln Ritchhart, Alice Ritchhart’s nephew and Ann Sims. We held elections. Deborah Lovell from the Augusta chapter was the nominating committee chairperson. She announced the slate of officers for the upcoming term of 2018 until 2020. They were Alice Ritchhart, president, Philip Jones, first vice-president, Ron Worley, second vice president, Betsy Grenevitch, secretary, Marsha Farrow, treasurer and Valerie Hester as the member at large representative. The following officers were elected. They are Alice Ritchhart, president, Philip Jones, first vice-president, Jamaica Miller, second vice-president, Betsy Grenevitch, secretary, Marsha Farrow, treasurer, Valerie Hester, member at large representative. Then, we had our GCB Lions annual Luncheon. We heard from Len Cutuli, who is the District Governor of the Georgia Lions Club. Keith Morris, our GCB president, presented many members with presidential certificates for service and appreciation. The Athens chapter and the East Georgia presented some of their members a loving cup and certificates of appreciation. The greater Hall County chapter held a comedy skit. Mary Woodyard gave audio description of the skit. Next, we held the town hall meeting with a panel of four persons from the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency GVRA. They talked for ten minutes and then they answered questions from many Georgia Council of the Blind members. These GVRA panelists include Kay McGill, Paul Raymond, Shirley Robinson, and Denine Woodson. Finally, we had our GCB Board meeting where we swore in our new officers and discussed our next board meeting. We are looking forward to next year’s conference and convention. We would like to express our sincere thanks and gratitude on behalf of the membership of GCB, to all our convention volunteers The way you all witnessed to us was a beautiful thing to behold indeed! You witnessed to us by taking time from your busy schedules to spend time with us. You gave witness by all the kind and gentle assistance to us to find our needed locations. You seemed to just appear at our sides when we needed you most. Actions truly speak louder than words. All your help enabled us to have fun and fellowship and accomplish some much-needed work in our organization. GCB Annual Business Meeting Minutes from 2017 Georgia Council of the Blind, Annual Business Meeting April 29, 2017 Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by President Keith Morris at 10:55 AM. Roll Call: Keith Morris, GCB President; Philip Jones, GCB First Vice-President; Fred McDade, GCB Second Vice-President; Marsha Farrow, GCB Treasurer; Betsy Grenevitch, GCB Secretary; Alice Ritchhart, Member at Large Representative; Roderick Parker Parliamentarian; Jerrie Toney, Athens chapter; Deborah Lovell, Augusta Chapter; Cecily Nipper, East Georgia Chapter; Diane Roberts, Hall County chapter; Judy Presley, Hall County chapter; Charles Stubblefield, Northwest chapter; Amanda Wilson, Rome Floyd County Chapter; Lisa Jones, South Atlanta chapter; Chester Thrash, South Atlanta chapter; Marj Schneider, Savannah chapter and Rita Harris, Georgia Guide Dog Users. Loving Cup Awards: A loving cup was given to Judy and Hoyal Presley. In Loving Memory: In loving memory was presented by Cecily Nipper. Dr. Otis Stephens passed away in 2017. He was the former President of the American Council of the Blind and acclaimed author. Greater Hall County Chapter, Mr. Vance Barnes passed away on January 26, 2017. He was the Vice-President of the Greater Hall County chapter from 2015-2017, Mrs. Edwina Bagley passed away on June 17, 2016. She was the wife of former President Richard Bagley; Mrs. Jeanne Ebbs--January 2017--Faithful member; Mr. Hank Singleton passed away on March 16, 2017. He oversaw calling all committee members. Mayella McDonald from the Northwest Chapter passed away in 2017. Tim Kelly’s mother passed away in 2017. Deborah Lovell’s mother passed away in 2017. We had a moment of silence and then a prayer by Fred McDade. Secretary's Report: Betsy Grenevitch asked that the minutes be approved that were sent out recently for last year's annual business meeting. Deborah Lovell moved, and Amanda Wilson seconded that the minutes be approved. Minutes were approved. Treasurer's Report: Marsha Farrow told us we had 73 members in attendance at the 2016 conference/convention in Savannah. We rose over $750 in our auction items and the grocery gift cart. The conference/convention last August brought in enough funds that we did not lose money on the event. Last year we gave five $700 scholarships to Timothy Jones, Tommy Woodyard, Kianna Hamilton, Heather Logue, and Aubrey James. As of April 27, 2017, the following were the balances for GCB accounts. Main checking account: $3718.71. $1900 of that amount is our Older Blind Fund for devices. $1600 was recently donated to that fund. Conference account: $2951.82; Al and Cora Camp Scholarship: $2817.98; GCB Money Market: $5740.85; Evan Barnard CD: $901.19; Long-term Investment: $17,601.50; this will mature in March 2021. It earned $343 in interest just last year. The Way Financial Investment: in January we had $67,471.6; February: $68,534.30; March, $67,845.05. We use a portion of this interest to fund our scholarship account. The treasurer's report will be filed for audit. Committee Reports: Marj suggested that the committee reports not be sent out in advance as people do not have time to read the reports before the meeting. It will be noted that a brief report be given by each chair at the meeting for discussion. Keith Morris asked if there were any questions about the committee reports that were submitted in writing to the membership. There were no questions. Membership: Alice Ritchhart brought up concern about the Columbus chapter. Keith Morris spoke with Cliff Jones, and he said to count them as zero as they're not sure what is going to happen with the Columbus chapter because Dirk Jones is having health problems. Cliff, Greg McDuffie, and William Miles are thinking about holding on to the chapter if possible and building it back up, but if not, they will be in touch with us and let us know. Resolutions: 2017-1: Thank You to the Northeast Georgia History Center. It was passed. Resolution 2017-2: Thank you to the Ramada Inn Lanier Center. Marsha Farrow made a motion to add a thank you to the Resolution for the $200 donation made by the hotel today to GCB. It was seconded by Cecily Nipper. The resolution was passed. Resolution 2017-3: To thank the Greater Hall County Chapter. This resolution was passed. Leadership Scholarship guidelines: Betsy Grenevitch presented the Leadership Scholarship requirements. They are based on the scholarship guidelines used for the ACB Leadership Scholarship sponsored by J. P. Morgan. Marj Schneider stated that it is not clear what people are applying to do. The guidelines need to mention such things as the ACB and GCB conferences. Marj recommended that what this is for be stated more clearly. How do your account for a member at large to be included since they are not in an affiliate? Marj Schneider made a motion that this policy as it is written right now be referred to the committee for revision. She wants the committee to include exactly what this scholarship is for and to clarify the language of an affiliate versus at-large members. It was seconded by Alice Ritchhart. The motion carried. New Business Membership Dues: Alice Ritchhart made a motion that GCB increase its dues from the $12 annually to $15. It was seconded by Paul Zane. Cecily brought up concern about dues being a hardship to new members and Marsha talked about chapters assessing those special hardship cases. The motion carried. Liability Insurance: Marsha Farrow talked about the liability insurance needed to cover GCB directors and officers. We also could need liability insurance to cover our events. If we were covered for both it would cost about $1300 per year. We are hoping Mr. Stephens will be coming to our board meeting in July to talk with us about this insurance. Quotes will be sent out to the board when they are available and then we would have to decide which insurance we will purchase. Vashaun Jones is going to give Jerrie Toney information about another possible company for liability insurance. Assisting the Paralympians: Alice made a motion that GCB give a $250 sponsorship to the upcoming youth goalball regional event to be held in May in Georgia. Jerrie Toney seconded the motion. Deborah Lovell offered a friendly amendment that with this $250 we sponsor a social for this gathering and advocate for the youth to become members by sharing information about our organization. The amendment failed. The original motion was approved unanimously. Teresa Brenner made a similar motion, that we use $250 to provide a social event to help these kids know about GCB. After some discussion Teresa Brenner withdrew her motion, for it to be brought up at a later board meeting after someone speaks to Hal Simpson about this possibility. Alice Ritchhart will speak to Hal about doing a social and what it would take to host such an event. Lions Camp Swimming Pool: Keith Morris said it will cost $45 thousand to repaint the pool. Keith suggested a motion be made that GCB contribute some money to the Lions Camp for this project. Brenda Knight made a motion that we donate $500 to give toward the pool at the Lions Camp. Marsha Farrow seconded the motion. After some discussion, Teresa Brenner made a motion that we table the decision until the July board meeting. Note: I did not hear who seconded the motion on the recording. The motion was unanimously approved. Conference Site 2018: Betsy Grenevitch made a motion that we hold our 2018 Georgia Council of the Blind conference and convention in Gainesville, Georgia. Deborah Lovell seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously. Announcements: On September 30, 2017 there will be a Technology Expo in Augusta, which will focus on Voiceover and IOS. It will cost $15, which includes lunch. Adjourn: The meeting was adjourned at 12:12 PM. Respectfully Submitted by Betsy Grenevitch, GCB Secretary   GCB Conference and convention Report from 2017 Item Name: Total Collected: Total Cost: Difference: Memo: Speaker Expenses: $718.74 Parliamentarian: $229.00 $229.00 $0.00 Money deducted from the GCB Expenses that is allotted for the Parliamentarian. Door Prizes: $225.00 225 $0.00 Petty Cash: $75.00 $21.00 $54.00 $54.00 was returned to the checking account. $21.00 was returned to Ann McCade for her dietary issues. Hospitality Room: $180.00 $115.04 $64.96 Keith was reimbursed $115.04 for hospitality room. Auction: $645.00 $0.00 $645.00 Auction results: Reader/Driver: $0.00 $45.00 ($45.00) Peggy Chapman assisted with reading and driving for the GCB Convention. Venders Fee's: $445.00 $0.00 $445.00 Ramada Donation: 200.00 $0.00 $200.00 Donation from the hotel. Massage Donations: $111.00 $0.00 $111.00 Students donated these funds. Welcome Reception: $685.00 $630.89 $54.11 Luncheon: $715.00 $782.57 ($67.57) 65 signed up Chattooga Printing: $225.00 Convention programs and supplies. Registrations: $1,000.00 $0.00 $1,000.00 40 registrations $20.00/ 8 registrations 8 at $25.00 Massages: $150.00 $75.00 $75.00 15 members signed up gave students $75.00 Tandem biking: $60.00 12 members signed up Donations: $231.88 Georgia blind sports association: $250.00 Members voted to donate $250.00 for sponsorship Totals: $4,951.88 $3,317.24 $1,634.64   GCB Vacationing with ACB If you are thinking about taking a vacation, and are not sure about traveling alone do I have a suggestion for you? Would you be interested in taking a cruise through Ireland with friends from the American Council of the Blind? Below are listed some travel opportunities for 2019 and 2020 with Dave Kronk and the ACB family. Alaska! WE are going back to Alaska on May 26, 2019. This cruise will be for ten days. It will leave San Francisco on the Grand Princess. We will cruise to Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Tracy Arm Fjord and Victoria British Columbia before heading back to San Francisco on Jun 5, 2019. What’s also good about this cruise is that we will be in Victoria from 7:00am to 2:00pm giving us a chance to see the Island during the day. Pricing starting for an interior cabin $2532.00; ocean view cabin $2689.00; private balcony cabin, $3492.00; mini suite, $3807.00. All prices are per person based on double occupancy. Rates include 10-day cruise, port charges, taxes and gratuities. I am planning on seeing how would like to come in 2 days before the cruise and take a tour of the wine country which would be an additional cost. Rates are subject to change without notice. Ireland Going to Ireland on November 1-8, 2019, this trip will be limited to a certain number of people I can take. Therefore, if you want to go you will need to make your deposit as soon as possible. Escape to the lush landscapes; charming cities; and friendly people of Ireland. This trip will take place during the low season. You can experience it all without the crowds. You will avoid going during the high seasoned prices. This Ireland tour is an ideal introduction to the Emerald Isle for first-time visitors who have limited time. You’ll relish in some of Ireland’s most magnificent scenery as well as its most famous towns. You’ll start and end in Dublin, and you’ll also have overnights in Ennis, Killarney, and Waterford. Highlights of this tour includes the 668-foot Cliffs of Moher on Ireland’s west coast, where you’ll savor breathtaking views of these sheer cliffs dropping into the ocean, and the Ring of Kerry, a 100-mile panoramic drive through rugged and awe-inspiring landscapes. Words cannot capture the magnificence of this natural beauty; it must be witnessed in person! You’ll also have time to enjoy bustling Dublin, the “Fair City,” Adare with its pretty thatched cottages; medieval Waterford, home to the famous crystal; and Kilkenny, one of Ireland’s prettiest and liveliest towns. From the scenic beauty to the unique interactions and experiences with the down-to-earth locals, this Ireland trip is sure to delight all of your senses, and at a price you just can’t miss! Itinerary: Day 1 ARRIVE IN Dublin, Ireland. A hundred-thousand welcome! Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax in Ireland’s capital city. This evening meets your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel. Dinner included. Day 2 DUBLIN The morning’s orientation drive in the “Fair City” includes statue-lined O’Connell Street, elegant Georgian squares with their tall red brick townhouses, colorful doors and wrought iron-decorated windows, Oscar Wilde’s Trinity College, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The afternoon is at leisure for you to explore the city further, or you could join an optional excursion to the Guinness Storehouse and learn all about the world-famous beer: from how Guinness is made to the ancient craft of barrel-making in the cooperage. The evening ends with a sample of “The Black Stuff,” followed by dinner. Breakfast included. Day 3: Your day begins with a drive to Galway, a popular seaside destination and a buzzing cosmopolitan center with colorful shops and a busy cafe and bar culture. Then, a scenic route takes you across the limestone plateau of The Burren with its strange and beautiful karst landscape to the 668-foot CLIFFS OF MOHER, where you savor the breathtaking panorama of the Clare coast. Breakfast included. Day 4 ENNIS–RING OF KERRY–KILLARNEY A day full of splendid scenery as you head south and stop at quaint Adare with its pretty thatched cottages. Continue to Killorglin on Dingle Bay to join the famed RING OF KERRY for a 100-mile panoramic drive around the island’s southwestern tip. There is plenty to focus your camera on here: sparkling seascapes, mountains dotted with brightly colored farmhouses, winding lanes bordered with subtropical vegetation, and the breathtaking panorama of the Lakes of Killarney from Ladies View. Travel on to the popular resort of Killarney for an overnight stay. Breakfast included. Day 5 KILLARNEY–BLARNEY–WATERFORD Across the Kerry Mountains and through County Cork, the route brings you to Blarney, renowned for its magical Kissing Stone. There is time here for lunch, to walk up to the castle, and to shop for traditional Irish handicrafts. In the afternoon, proceed via Cork to Waterford, a stronghold founded by the Danish Vikings, and home to the famous crystal. After dinner this evening, enjoy an IRISH COFFEE DEMONSTRATION. Breakfast included. Dinner included. Day 6 WATERFORD–KILKENNY–DUBLIN Kilkenny, one of Ireland’s prettiest towns with medieval cobblestone streets and Old-World charm, is your first destination today. You will have time to discover the town on your own, visit the castle or the Design Centre or simply wander through the charming streets and be part of the Irish day-to-day life. Then, travel back to Dublin, and tonight, as a fitting farewell to Ireland, consider an optional evening with dinner, followed by dance, song, and laughter. Breakfast included. Day 7 Dublin; Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. Breakfast included. Price: $1513.00 per person based on double occupancy. Single Rate: $2013.00. Your deposit is $250.00 per person and is non-refundable. Price includes tour as outlined, gratuities and transfers. What is not included is your round-trip air, insurance or optional tours. Vacation Highlights of Dublin include a welcome dinner; an orientation drive; orientation of the Cliffs OF Moher. Savor the spectacular views of ADARE. Admire the thatched cottages; RING OF KERRY; Scenic peninsula drive; KILLARNEY; Visit the popular resort town of Blarney. Visit the famous village of Waterford. Visit Ireland’s oldest city. You can watch them make Irish coffee in KILKENNY. Visit the medieval towns. Meals: Full Irish breakfast daily; 2 three-course dinners with wine and choice of menus including a welcome dinner in Dublin. Optional tours for additional cost: Dublin; Guinness Storehouse Visit & Supper. Guinness is known the world over - take this opportunity for a guided tour of the brewery, learn of its history, its role in Dublin life and affiliated trades. As well as the tour, enjoy a pint in the Gravity Bar and take in the 360 degree view before enjoying an Irish-themed dinner. Price Range: $50 - $100. Taylors Irish Night includes a three-course dinner with wine and Irish coffee; enjoy an interactive evening of traditional Irish dancing and music. Price Range: $50 - $100. Ennis Bunratty Castle Medieval Banquet; Step back in time at Bunratty Castle's original Irish Medieval Banquet. Enjoy a four-course feast and wine, then sit back and let your medieval hosts entertain you with music and story-telling on an unforgettable night. Price Range: $50 - $100. Waterford Pub Evening For local Irish flavor, take a scenic drive to a traditional pub with a local musician ready to entertain you and give you wonderful memories of this beautiful country. Two drinks of your choice are included. Price Range: Under $50. Mississippi River Cruise: America Paddle Wheel boat will leave on March 28 and end on April 4, 2020. The boat will leave Memphis, Tennessee, and travel to New Orleans, Louisiana. We will visit Vicksburg National Military Park. As the paddlewheel laps gently against the water and the stars illuminated the night sky. Our on-bard historian gives a captivating lecture detailing all you are about to witness the following day at Vicksburg National Military Park. After a hearty southern inspired breakfast, you will be greeted by our private tour guide who will stay with you throughout the day to answer questions and provide additional knowledge. Your guide will take you through the restored ironclad gunboat, U.S.S. Cairo, the battlefield where the Siege of Vicksburg took place, and the over 1,300 monuments dedicated to the brave souls who lost their lives. Natchez, MS. On our leisurely Natchez city tour our expert local guide will build upon the lecture you received the night prior by our onboard historian and provide you with an insider’s perspective into the city’s rich history and the preserved influences of the Native American, European, and African cultures. We’ll be greeted at the historical landmark Longwood Plantation home known for remaining incomplete to the day, as the Union workers left immediately to go fight in the Civil War. St. Francisville, LA Rosedown Plantation Tour: The affluent ambiance of the Rosedown Plantation is evident the minute you step on the property. As you walk down the flowered path lined with towering oaks towards the Main House you will be greeted by our lively resident expert Tammie Miller. As you tour the home, Tammie delves deep into the family history of Daniel and Martha Turnbull, and how their experiences helped shape the Main House into a home. At the conclusion of your tour, time is set aside to peruse the grounds on your own or relax in a rocking chair on the front porch with cold refreshment and some of Tammie Miller’s freshly made cookies. Baton Rouge, LA Historic Baton Rouge City Tour The vibrant history of Louisiana is eminent throughout the state’s capital. After breakfast you will be greeted at the ship, by Philippa Blair and her visitor center representatives, as they welcome you to Baton Rouge with vibrant Mardi Gras beads. Your first stop is the Louisiana Old State Capital where you will experience a one of a kind interactive film made with the help of Disney, which will bring you face to face with the ghost of the castle, Sarah Morgan. Afterwards, Baton Rouge native Ira Bobin will serve as our tour guide and will bring you to the Louisiana State Museum, a completely interactive museum with three floors of displays detailing each different region of Louisiana. Oak Alley, LA. Oak Alley Plantation: The famous ancient oaks bordering your path to the mansion are your first sight on stepping ashore will be the perfectly aligned 300-year-old trees. These trees form a canopy which set a particularly grand entrance for our arrival. Southern Belles enjoying the shade of the leafy canopy greet us on arrival and are our guides for the day. In small groups, we bring you through the antebellum plantation’s many stately rooms and show you why it has earned the name “Grande Dame of The Great River Road.” After the tour, we invite you to join us for a special gathering with mint juleps on the west lawn before a visit to the popular gift shop which is known for their world-famous pralines. Pricing: Balcony: $6170.00; Owner Suite: $7305.00. Price includes: 7-day cruise aboard the beautiful America Paddlewheel boat, meals, bear and wine during lunch and dinner, taxes tours that are outlined. What is not included is your air, transfers or hotel stay. I am planning on going into Memphis for 2 nights, so we can tour Graceland. The deposit is $500.00. If you are considering on taking one of these wonderful trips contact Dave Kronk at 618-409-0143 or via email at sdkronk@htc.net. I Hope to see some of you on board.   GCB ScripTalk Anyone with vision loss who struggles to identify and manage their medications could benefit from accessible prescription labels. A growing number of pharmacies are offering this service for free upon request. Accessible prescription labels are usually available in talking, large print or Braille formats. The most commonly offered accessible label is ScripTalk. The pharmacy places a ScripTalk RFID label on the prescription and encodes all the legal label information into the label. Patients can hear the information spoken to them using either a ScripTalk reader or the ScripTalk app. Most pharmacies provide this service FREE since it is an ADA accommodation. ScripView labels are small booklet affixed to the bottle which has the label information printed in large print. No more bulky sheets that get separated from the bottles! Braille is provided as label tape and can supplement the ScripTalk label if you need a quicker way to identify a bottle. Each participating pharmacy chooses which options they will provide. Talk to your pharmacist about accessible prescription label options. They may not even know that such a thing exists! You can call En-Vision America at 1-800-890-1180 for help finding a pharmacy or approaching your pharmacy about offering this service. Please be sure to call us if one of the pharmacies listed below says they do not offer the service. We can help educate the pharmacist on how to get involved. Here are a few locations that already provide the service: Walmart & Sam’s Club – ScripTalk; Winn Dixie, Harvey’s and Bi-Lo-ScripTalk, ScripView and Braille; PharMoore Pharmacy 3422 Sixes Rd. Suite 106, Canton – ScripTalk; LoCost Pharmacy 11155 Abercorn St., Savannah – ScripTalk; Caremark - ScripTalk, ScripView and Braille; OptumRx - ScripTalk, ScripView and Braille; Aetna- ScripTalk, ScripView and Braille; Humana - ScripTalk and Braille; Express Scripts ScripTalk and Braille; Kaiser Permanente Georgia ScripTalk; CVS Mail-Order; Walmart Mail-Order. Please note that Walgreens and Publix are not ScripTalk providers, but they do offer other accessible label solutions for free. For more information please contact Sharla Glass, Sr. Marketing Outreach Specialist, En-Vision America, 825 4th Street W, Palmetto FL 34221, http://www.envisionamerica.com,941-702-6602, 1-800-890-1180 ext. 152, Fax: 309-452-3643. En-Vision America is an innovative technology company specializing in enhancing the lives of people who are visually impaired, print impaired and blind. Since 1996, En-Vision has been a pioneer in the assistive technology field, inventing and perfecting the i.d. mate audible bar code scanner and ScriptAbility accessible prescription labels, including ScripTalk audible labels, large print and Braillelabels and prescription readers.   GCB Announcements Georgia Council of the Blind Board Meting The next Georgia Council of the Blind board meeting will be held on Saturday, July 21, 2018 at 10:30 am. The Georgia Council of the Blind, GCB, board meeting will be held on the phone. The phone number is1-605-475-4120 and the access code are 8189279. If you have any questions please contact Alice Ritchhart, at 912-996-4213, or via email at alice.ritchhart@comcast.net. GCB Committees: If you wish to serve on a Georgia Council of the Blind committee please contact Alice Ritchhart at 912-996-4213, or via email at alice.ritchhart@comcast.net. GCB has the following committees, conference and convention; constitution and bylaws; GCB Digest/newsletter; finance/older blind ; fundraising; legislative; membership; nomination; public relations; scholarship; technology or transportation. GCB Digest Deadlines; The deadline for GCB Digest articles is as follows: Monday, June 25, 2018 Monday, September 25, 2018

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