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GCB Digest Fall 2012 (Text Version)

THE GCB DIGEST A publication of the: GEORGIA COUNCIL OF THE BLIND Affiliate of the AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND An Organization Promoting a Hand Up, Not a Hand Out FALL 2012   GCB Office 850 Gaines School Road Athens, GA 30605 706-208-7132 1-888-519-3988 info@georgiacounciloftheblind.org GCB President: William Holley 185 Weatherly Woods Drive Winterville, Georgia 30683 706-410-4945 bill850@yahoo.com GCB Webmaster: Steven Longmire info@sunbright.biz GCB Website: WWW.georgiacounciloftheblind.org Editor: Amanda Wilson 45 Rocky Circle, Northeast White, Georgia 30184 770-547-4700 moonrocks@bellsouth.net Assistant Editor: Suzanne Jackson 131 Cannongate 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 Interview with Teresa Brenner GCB Convention Overview GCB Chapter News Let’s Talk GCB Georgia Guide Dog Users News Georgia Guide Dog Users: Top Dog Workshop Update GCB Passing’s GCB Celebrations   From Your Editor 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 eEmail at jerriemt2@gmail.com. Thank you 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 have supported me in so many ways. Please know that we are starting to put the GCB Digest on CD; if you would like to receive your GCB Digest on CD, please let us know. Amanda Wilson, Editor GCB Presidential Message By William Holley Hello. GCB (Georgia Council of the Blind) Family members, It is my hope this article finds you all in the best health and spirit. On behalf of the GCB officers, I would like to personally thank you for re-electing this leadership team to our second term in office. During our convention in Savannah (which I believe was one of the best I ever attended), our members committed this leadership team to continue the task of growing and developing GCB. Our plan to strengthen the membership of GCB remains our number one goal. We have already started the process of working with GCB affiliates by offering and providing training for affiliate Board of Directors. Additionally, the GCB Leadership Team will be requesting a meeting with the GVRA (Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency), Executive Director, Mr. Greg Schmieg. The purpose of the meeting is to take advantage of his open invitation to include advocates and providers in the development of the new Standalone Agency. As you may recall, many of our questions went unanswered during the development of the GVRA. Although we have received notes from the Executive Director’s report, there are still many unanswered questions. You, as individual members, had an opportunity to participate in the decision making process by attending the GRVA Planning Sessions in September 2012. Please see the schedule below: Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency Planning Sessions: Monday, September 10, 2012, in Valdosta at the Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, Conference Center Brooks Hall/Building 500, 4089 Val Tech Road, Valdosta 31602 9:00 - 12:00 Tuesday, September 11, 2012, Albany VR Office, 1107 East Broad Avenue from 9:00-12:00PM. Wednesday, September 12, 2012, Macon at the La Quinta Inn & Suites, 3944 River Place Drive, Macon 31210, 478-475-0206, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM. Monday, September 17, 2012, at the Goodwill Career Center, 154 Hicks Dr. Rome, 9:00 -12:00 Wednesday, September 19, 2012, Savannah at the Disability Adjudication Services, Training & Conference Center, 450 Mall Blvd., 9:00- 12:00 Thursday, September 20, 2012, in Augusta at the Augusta Technical College, Jack B. Patrick Information Technology Center Building 1000 ITC Auditorium 9:00 - 12:00 PM. Friday, September 21, 2012 Athens in the Oglethorpe-Oconee Room, 150 Evelyn C. Neely Drive, Athens 30601 9:00 - 12:00 PM. Monday, September 24, 2012, in Gainesville at 2756 Atlanta Highway, 9:00 - 12:00 PM. Tuesday, September 25, 2012 Atlanta at 1630 Phoenix Blvd. Rm 150, College Park 9:00- 12:00 Tuesday, September 25, 2012 in Decatur at the Decatur Library Conference Center, 215 Sycamore St. 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM. Wednesday, September 26, 2012 in Columbus at the Columbus VR Office, 233 12th Street, Suite 402, 9:00 - 12:00. Friday, September 27, 2012 in Newnan at 1575 Highway 34 East, Suite A, 9:00 AM until 12:00 PM. We look forward to seeing you in Rome on October 27, 2012 at our fall board meeting. Remember, Each One Reach One, Each One Teach One.   GCB Board Meeting Minutes by Robin Oliver GCB Board Meeting, April 28, 2012 MULTIPLE choices President Bill Holley called the meeting to order. A moment of silence was followed by the Roll call. Members Present: President, Bill Holley; first Vice-President, Keith Morris; Second Vice-President, Steve Longmire; Secretary, Robin Oliver; Treasurer, Jerrie Toney; Athens, Daniel Myers; Augusta, Chris Chavous; Bainbridge, Paddy Dale, via phone; Columbus, Greg McDuffie; East Georgia, Phil Jones via phone; Rome/Floyd County, Tonia Clayton; Savannah, Kim Harrison; GCB-L, Betsy Grenevitch; GGDU, Alice Ritchhart. Secretary Report: The minutes had been emailed to the board members. All of the present representatives with the exception of Alice, who did not receive the minutes, voted and moved to accept the report. Treasury Report: The treasury report was emailed to the board members. Some of the points of interest: Savings Balance: $11,408.58, CD Balance: $11,309.35. The report was filed to audit. GCB Legislative: Alice was appointed to chair the legislative committee. The feeling of being stabbed is heavy in the air, with the HB 1146 VR stand-alone agency. Representatives have been non-responsive, but Alice will continue to advocate for the blind, and Bill the disabled Community as a whole. On HB 227, vote the way that suits your area. Statewide, this is just more highways, roads and bridges, and no transportation to travel on them. Savannah 2012 "GCB Community, Keeping the Unity" We had two winners in the name the convention theme: Ann Sims gave us the “GCB Community, Keeping the Unity” and Sheila Chavous “GROWING, CHANGING, BUILDING” has been added to the logo. Vendors: Steve & Jerrie are recruiting vendors. Transportation: Bill is getting a bus that will transport for 50 dollars round trip per person. Social Activities The convention committee is investigating tours for the members. Marion Badie is planning a Talent show and a quiz bowl. GCBL Reception: The Inn at Ellis Square has a free breakfast, and the Lions are sponsoring a welcome reception. Betsy questioned calling it a GCBL reception and wondered who gave permission to do so. Bill stated that this was a way to get the Lions involved, but we can change the title. Registration/Awards Deadlines for registration: $25 until June 15, $30 June 16, July 15, and $35 afterwards. The banquet is $35. The deadline for Awards including scholarship is June 15. Please nominate a deserving member. There will be a silent auction basket to raise funds for the general fund. Alice stated that according to our constitution, funds raised by auctions are slated for scholarship. Betsy stated that information was not getting out to all the membership, including her. Bill said that we will look into using Call Post, emailing and phoning. Public Relations/Technology Committee Report Steve reported the committee is working on the website, Face book. Amanda is checking out Twitter. Your feedback is needed for the website and the GCB Digest. Deadline for Digest is May 10. Membership Committee Report. Keith reported that the committee was looking for ways to stimulate growth and getting and keeping the current membership involved. Bill and Heather Lopez will be working on this. Leadership Committee Revised Conflict of Interest Agreement has just been revised, and all board members should please sign and send them in. The next board meeting will be in Savannah at the convention. GCB Treasurer’s Report by Jerrie Toney April 1 - April 30, 2012: Beginning Balance: $6,240.28 Total Amount of Deposits: $6,229.34 Total Amount of Checks: $441.14 Total Debits: $65.00 Combined Amounts of Checks and Debits: $506.14 Ending Balance: $11,963.48 Scholarship Balance: $3,356.55 Savings Account Balance: $11,408.58 Ending Savings Account Balance: $11,409.33 CD Balance: $11,306.46 Ending CD Balance: $ 11,309.35 Total Combined Amounts: $38,038.71 Portfolio: $67,642.74 May 1, through May 31, 2012: Total Amount of Deposits: $3,150.36 Total Debits: $140.60 Combined Amounts of Checks and Debits: $240.60 Ending Balance: $14,873.24 Beginning Balance: $11,963.48 Scholarship Balance: $3,624.20 Savings Account Balance: $11,409.33 Ending Savings Account Balance: $11,410.10 CD Balance: $11,309.35 Ending CD Balance: $11,312.14 Total Combined Amounts: $41,219.77 Portfolio: $66,051.10 June 1, through June 30, 2012: Beginning Balance: $14,873.24 Total Amount of Deposits: $715.00 Total Amount of Checks: $1,537.95 Total Debits: $1,849.36 Combined Amounts of Checks and Debits: $3,387.31 Ending Balance: $12,200.93 Scholarship Balance: $4,574.20 Savings Account Balance: $11,410.10 Ending Savings Account Balance: $11,410.85 CD Balance: $11,312.14 Ending CD Balance: $11,315.02 Total Combined Amounts: $39,501.00 Portfolio: $68,715.20 Interested in acquiring copies of the 2012 treasurer’s reports, budget and/or 2012 convention report? Make your request known by contacting the GCB office: Multiple Choices Center, 850 Gaines School Road, Athens 706-208-7132, or via email jmt2@bellsouth.net   GCB Interview: Teresa Brenner Teresa Brenner lives in Byron, Georgia. She lives in the house she grew up in. As a child she was sighted and lived a normal healthy life. She attended Fort Valley High School in Peach County, Georgia and graduated in 1967. After graduation, she headed to Atlanta to attend Draughon Business College. It was here that she began to notice something happening with her vision, and after a visit to Dr. Charles Cooper in Atlanta, she learned that she was losing her vision. The diagnosis was Stargardt’s disease, a genetic disease causing the loss of central vision. This began her long journey as a person with a disability. As she lost her vision, she was beginning her life as a wife and mother. She raised three children with only the benefit of a very strong magnifier, from the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota. She spent the next 31 years of her life struggling to work (secretarial), play, and do the everyday things an adult is expected to do in a sighted world, with only her magnifier to depend on. In 1998, after a divorce, and realizing that she would have to go back to work to support herself and two of her three (3) children (ages 5 and 16), she was faced with the reality that she was not prepared. She had left her next to last job in the field in which she was trained because she couldn’t read small print any longer. Her last paid job was working in a factory packing foam meat trays. She spent the next 18 years raising children, volunteering with Boy Scouts of America, chaperoning band students, volunteering at school, and many other jobs that she didn’t count as experience. Then one day something even more horrible happened. Her trusty magnifier broke and she couldn’t function without it. One of the calls that she made asked if she had ever heard of Vocational Rehabilitation, then told her that they could help her get training to go back to work. If you can imagine being in a dark room and all of a sudden, being bombarded with thousands of very bright lights. That’s how overwhelming the information is to a person who has been “in the dark” about services. She spent two years at a school for the Blind, learning computers. There were so many areas of training that she needed to prepare technically, physically, as well as emotionally. It took a few more years, an 8 month employment at a call center, more vision loss, another move to Savannah, and more training there, to achieve a level of confidence and knowledge to find employment at an agency that provided training for the Blind to find her perfect job. During all this time following 1998, she took every opportunity to further her advocacy skills, and to be a voice for her peers. She graduated from Partners in Policymaking in 2006, attended meetings and became a community voice for the blind. She served as President of the Savannah Council of the Blind from 2008 to 2011. She participated in community planning committees at the Metropolitan Planning Commission in Savannah, served as Co-Chair of the Advisory Committee on Accessible Transportation from 2008 to 2011, participated in meetings for the Savannah Chatham Council on Disabilities, and countless meetings representing Savannah Council of the Blind on behalf of the Blind and Visually Impaired community. In February 2011, she received a Certificate as a Peer Support Leader for Project Independence, which is a part of the Vocational Rehabilitation Agency. When Teresa moved to Savannah, Brian Leighton was her first contact with respect to advocacy on a local and county level. He introduced her to the Savannah Council of the Blind where she met people who were such amazing advocates for people with visual impairments making our community a great place to live. Alice Ritchhart was one of the first people on the State level who Teresa met and was influenced by her heart for helping people with visual impairments becoming well rounded individuals. Teresa says there are so many people that she considers friends and fellow advocates, that she can't name them all.   GCB Convention Overview Georgia Council of the Blind 55th State Conference/Convention “GCB Community, Keeping the Unity” Welcome to the Georgia Council of the Blind (GCB) State Conference/Convention. It is our intent to provide you with a fun filled informative three (3) days of events and activities. Our theme “GCB Community, Keeping the Unity” is very appropriate for the Georgia Council of the Blind 55th State Conference/Convention. The host chapter for this year is the Savannah Council of the Blind which was chartered 10 years ago and remains one of the strongest Chapters advocating for the rights of individuals with disabilities. This 2012 State Convention gives our participants an opportunity to build unity among individuals with disabilities in our communities. Our goal is to continue striving to elevate the social, economic, and cultural levels of the blind. For over 40 years, GCB has been working toward providing a forum for views of the blind, improving education and rehabilitation, and broadening vocational opportunities for the visually impaired. This year GCB convention events and programs include: educational programs, legislative action, scholarships, peer support, technology, exhibits, and social activities. Program and Activities Thursday, August 2, 2012 Registration Various Tours and Activities are available in Savannah. Please check with Hotel Front Desk. Friday August 3, 2012 Awards Reception: Sponsored by Georgia Lions Council of Governors, Speaker Pat Powell, and District Governor 18B Presentation of Chapter Awards, Chapter Representatives, Chapter Awards Loving Cups Daniel Myers, Athens; Bill Holley, Athens; Jae Cosby, East Georgia; Clifford Jones, Greater Columbus; Phyllis Jehu, Greater Hall; Teresa Brenner, Savannah. Presidential Certificates: Maraiya Latulippe, Athens; Joe James, Athens; Diane Miller, Athens; Jae Cosby, East Georgia; Patricia Cox, East Georgia; Dirk Jones, Greater Columbus; Gwen Pitts, Greater Columbus; Gregory McDuffie, Greater Columbus; Genie Rae O'Kelley, Greater Hall; Sue Hesket, Greater Hall; Bronwyn Rumery, Rome Floyd; Ramona Collum, Rome Floyd; Debbie Moon, Rome Floyd; Dr. Philip Dillard, Rome Floyd; Suzanne Jackson, Rome Floyd; Loretta Thomson, Savannah. GCB Quiz Bowl Marion Badie and Guest MC Kimberly Smith The Quiz bowl was lots of fun. We had fun answering the questions. Thanks to Mario for organizing this fun activity for us. Saturday August 4, 2012 Opening Session Welcome: Savannah Council of the Blind, President Kim Harrison. Proclamation Savannah Public Official Information Session Paul Raymond, Director of Blindness Services Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency 2720 Riverside Drive, Suite 132 P.O. Box 7566 Macon 31209 478-751-6234 Fax: 478-314-6814 paul.raymond@gvra.ga.gov Kay McGill, Project Independence Program Manager Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency 755 Commerce Drive, Suite 615 Decatur 404-638-5208 TTY: Call GA Relay 711 Fax: 404-638-5201 kay.mcgill@gvra.ga.gov Beverly Hunter, NFB News Line The National Federation of the Blind of Georgia 315 West Ponce De Leon Avenue Suite 1020 Decatur, Georgia 30060 404-371-100 1-866-316-3242 Fax: 404-371-1002 www.nfbga.org Introduction of Conference/Convention Theme: “GCB Community, Keeping the Unity” Panelists: William K. Holley Jr., President, Georgia Council of the Blind Panelists: John Sanford, Director of Disability Rights, Lansing Michigan Robin Blount, Education Director Parent to Parent Georgia, Inc. Rik Opstelten, Training and Technology Assistant Specialist, Easter Seal, Project Action. Charles Schrauth, CPC President, Management Search and Consulting LLC Exhibits Hall Opens Workshops: Disability/Employment Disability/Advocacy Disability/Transportation Luncheon Events and Activities Georgia Council of Blind Lions Georgia iPhone Users Work Shop Reports The workshops were very informative. Election results: President Bill Holley (Acclamation); First Vice-President Keith Morris (Acclamation); Second Vice President Steve Longmire (challenged from floor nomination of Augusta's Chris Chavous); Secretary Robin Oliver (Acclamation); Treasurer Jerrie Toney (Acclamation); Member at Large Rep. Debbie Williams (Tim Kelly declined a nomination from the floor). GCB General Business Meeting August 4, 2012 The Inn at Ellis Square Savannah, GA President Bill Holley started the business meeting immediately following the elections. First business was addressing the Atlanta West Chapter to be reinstated into GCB. The membership voted unanimously to welcome Atlanta West back. Membership Committee: Keith Morris thanked Amanda Wilson advising the membership committee on the recently held meeting. It was a very good turnout. The committee wants to gain members in the Macon area, and forming additional chapters in the Atlanta & Decatur area. This includes Henry, Clayton & Douglas counties. Public Relations Technology Committee: Steve Longmire reported that the website is in the process of being revised. Now working on Face Book & Twitter. If you can help, please let Steve & Amanda know. Amanda (GCB Editor) stated the deadline for articles for the next Digest is September 10. The Digest is scheduled for October 10 release. Amanda wants to include interview articles of members in the Digest. If you want to be included in these articles, please let her know. Finance Committee: Jerrie Toney thanked Kathy Morris for the help she receives from her. The finance report was accepted as emailed to be filed to audit. There was no need or desire to have it read aloud. Constitution Committee: Robin Oliver reminded all that the Constitution Committee is made up of the chapter secretaries. If there are any amendments you would like to see, submit them in writing (email is fine) to the committee. Leadership Committee: The leadership committee no longer exists as it was made up of the board. Bill has appointed each officer to a committee and they, if they so desire to have one, can pick their own co-chair. Robin & Amanda requested to chair a Sunshine Club Committee. Bill instructed them and anyone else who may want to form a committee to submit the request in writing. The meeting was adjourned. GCB Banquet Introduction of Keynote Speaker: GCB President, Bill Holley Keynote speaker was John Thomas Sanford, III. He has been a practicing attorney in the state of Michigan since 1978. At present, John has served as the director of the Office of Recipient Rights, Department of Community Health since 1985. As the director, he is responsible for overseeing the rights protection of mentally ill and/or developmentally disabled recipients who are hospitalized in state psychiatric facilities or centers who serve persons with developmental disabilities. Presentation of GCB Scholarship Awards: Debbie Williams. This year's recipients of the Al Camp Scholarship are: Willie Lee Timmons, Mario Badie, Crystal Kinney, Enedina Velez, Patricia Cox, Rashi Goel and Paul Grenevitch. All recipients said to tell GCB that they are thankful for these scholarships. Presentation of Special and Outstanding Recognition Awards: Judy Presley and Awards Committee Members; Gerald Pye Community Service Award: Bill Holley June Willis Guiding Eyes: Jermaine Smart Walter R McDonald: Teresa Brenner Special Awards Presentations GCB President, Bill Holley: Jack Lewis was awarded a special award, but he was unable to attend the banquet at the convention. President Bill Holley is planning to present this award to Jack in person. GCB Al Camp Scholarship Raffle winner was Lila Scott (Jerrie Toney's mom). We sold $166 worth of tickets, so $83 was up for grabs; Bree pulled for her grandmother and she pulled the Jack of Clubs, therefore winning $11 which Ms. Skippy donated to the next pot. We received a $17 donation for the pot, so at the October board meeting, we will start with $100 in the kitty. The Chapter Baskets silent Auction for the General Fund raiser results are as follows: Athens "Tekkie on the Go basket went to Anne Wheeler for $227; Augusta s Chef Tools basket went to Virginia Smelts for $45; East Georgia's Peach of A Day basket went to Wanda Daniel (a guest from the Oconee Library) for $70; Greater Columbus’ Wine & Bath Relaxation basket went to Suzanne Barnes for $25 (this one was a live bid); Greater Hall’s Wine & Treats basket went to Stella Cone for $55; Metro Atlanta’s Georgia Products Plus basket went to Cora Camp for $30; Rome/Floyd Night at the Movies basket went to Jerrie Toney for $25; Savannah's Savannah Delight basket went to Todd Saylor (Sonia's husband) for $150. The total amount of money collected during the silent basket auction totaled to $627. GCB Talent Show Hosted by Marion F. Badie and Guest MC Ryan Roberson The talent show was lots of fun. Thanks to Marion for organizing this fun event for us. Sunday, August 5, 2012 GCB Necrology Service hosted by Jimmie Burke Remembering Wanda Martin, Diane Healy, Al Camp and Crawford Pike. Many people told fond memories of these four members who have passed away since our convention in 2011. GCB Board of Directors Meeting We had a short board meeting. We are planning our next board meeting which will be in Rome, Georgia, on Saturday, October 27, 2012. Vendors: Visual Enhancements, Inc. GaRRS Georgia Radio Reading Service 260 14th Street, NW Atlanta GA 30318, 404-685-2820 1-800-672-6173, garrsinfo@gpb.org, Sun Bright Web Designs & More, 3535 Peachtree Road, NE, Suite 520-153 Atlanta GA 30326 404-234-5820 www.sunbright.biz Buhter Up 678-827-1160 www.buhterup.com Board of Regents www.usg.edu VISTAS Center 337 South Milledge Avenue, Suite 200 Athens GA 30605-1061 706-583-8001, Fax: 706-583-8844 pchavis@charter.net www.vistascenter. Life Cil Living Independence for Everyone (LIFE) 1721 East Travis Street Savannah GA 31406 478-741-1425 TDD: 478-743-8359 Fax: 478-743-8359 www.lifecil.com Gospel Light Foundation for the Blind 448 Winder Highway Loganville GA 300522 770-601-4196 ministries@glfb.org www.glfb.org/ Jamie's Beads by Design Georgia Hand Made Boxes We hope that these vendors and many more come to Augusta in August of 2014.  
GCB Chapter News The Atlanta West Chapter The Atlanta West chapter is excited about becoming active again with GCB. Our next meeting is September 15, 2012. We will swear in Jim Holland as our new president. October 6, 2012, we will host a fund raiser featuring The Chattahoochee Pickers", a classic country group. We are working on holiday plans and invite all of GCB to come back to Carrollton and join us again. For more information about the, contact Steve or Joan Estes at 7700-456-7709, or via email at gdl77@bellsouth.net The Athens Chapter Our July meeting was our annual picnic at Memorial park in Athens on July 28. About 30 people were present. Also, total of about 12 members and other people attended the convention from our chapter. At the Welcome Reception on Friday night, chapter awards were given by our chapter. Three Presidential Certificates were given out. Jamaica Miller has people that help her out with assisting her, and they also help out by assisting our chapter with doing various things. those persons were the ones that were awarded the Presidential Certificates. They were: Diane Miller, Joe James, and Miraya Latulippe, Bill Holley and Daniel Myers, were awarded the Loving Cups from our chapter. To chapter members, thank you for recognizing me with awarding me one of the Loving Cups. I have that Loving Cup displayed in a certain place at my residence here in Athens. Our August meeting was held at Multiple Choices on Saturday, August 25th. Our September meeting will be a telephone conference call on Saturday, September 22. Time will be announced later. Our October meeting is Saturday, October 20, 2012, at 10:30 at Multiple Choices. The GCB State Board Meeting will be in Rome, GA, on Saturday, October 27. One of our chapter's annual fund raisers, will be during the first weekend in November. In this fundraiser, members of our chapter will ask various restaurants in Athens to set up as to where and when people eat at their restaurant on a certain day or a certain night. Then a percentage of the meal cost goes to our chapter. Our chapter's meeting for December will be announced later. The chapter meetings are on the fourth Saturday, 11:00 - 1:00 pm at Multiple Choices, 850 Gaines School Road. For more information about the Athens chapter, contact Daniel Myers at 706-850-7472 or via email at danielhmyers@live.com. The Augusta Chapter The Augusta chapter had 8 new people at their meeting. The chapter had their annual picnic on Saturday, September 29, 2012 at Diamond Lakes Park. The chapter meetings are at the Columbia County Main Library, Evans Town Center Blvd, Evans, GA., on the second Saturday at 1:00. For more information, contact Christopher Chavous at 706-737-4341 or via email at cccmayo@yahoo.com The Bainbridge Chapter The Bainbridge chapter members are planning more fundraisers for their chapter. The chapter meetings are on the second Saturday at the library. For more information about the Bainbridge chapter, contact Tonya Wright at 229-248-0087. The Chattooga County Chapter The chapter reports that their August meeting was at the newly remodeled McDonald’s and 9 attended. Everyone had a wonderful time sharing personal stories of dealing with vision loss. Mary Turnipseed continues to devote her time to her Hadley School for the Blind Braille Course. She has been studying for three years. She is close to the completion of all of Hadley’s Braille courses. Ann Sims was instrumental in Mary obtaining her own Perkin’s brailler. Please attend The 2012 Victorian Christmas Windows Event in Summerville on December 2nd. Open for hands on experience will be the famous song writer Fannie Crosby. The life size figure of Fannie Crosby will be in the Chattooga Court House. Fannie was blind and became famous as a song writer from the Victorian era. Fannie wrote Blessed Assurance, among thousands of other hymns that we sing every week in our churches. Saunya Jones, middle school Braille student, who is currently home schooled, will provide Braille words of some of Fannie’s songs and serve as a hostess on the day of the event. Saunya teaches others about her white cane and Braille. She is a positive example of how to succeed with vision loss. The entire town will be filled with living history of Christmas from the story of Jesus to Charles Dickens. For more information, contact Marsha Farrow at 706.859.2624. Our chapter would like to wish Jan Morris, our wonderful helper in a million ways, a very Happy September Birthday! The meetings are monthly and times and locations vary according to space availability at the local Library. For more information, contact Marsha Farrow at 706-859-264 or via email at marshafarrow@windstream.net The East Georgia Chapter The East Georgia chapter reports that in June, their chapter and the Georgia Radio Reading Service had a super picnic. The picnic was a fund raiser for both the chapter and GARRS. About 60 people attended and we made $299. The chapter also gained a few new members. The picnic was open to blind and sighted alike. Everybody agreed that it was a huge success. The chapter gave Jae Cosby a loving cup and a presidential certificate at the state convention in Savannah. Patricia Cox received a presidential certificate as well. At our August meeting, we found a donor for a student who needed a CCTV. He already had one for school, and he needed one for home. We also bought a refurbished computer for someone who needed one. We also gained two new members. We're holding elections in October. Our annual Christmas Party will in December. Our chapter is going and growing! The chapter meetings are on the second Saturday in Conyers. For more information about the, contact Phil Jones at 770-713-3306, or via email at brilman1952@bellsouth.net. The Greater Columbus Chapter In August, the Greater Columbus chapter members attended the state convention in Savannah. The Greater Columbus chapter gave Clifford Jones a loving cup. Dirk Jones, Gwinn Pitts and Gregory McDuffie received presidential certificates. The chapter meetings are held on the first Saturday of each month at the Columbus Public Library, 3000 Macon Road 1PM-3PM. For more information, contact Gregory McDuffie: 706-330-8185 or via email at gregory.mcduffie@yahoo.com. The Greater Hall County Chapter The Greater Hall County Chapter will resume our meetings on Saturday, September 8th. Our chapter did not meet during July and August. In August, at our state convention in Savannah, Phyllis Jehu received a loving cup. Genie Rae O’Kelly and Sue Hesket received presidential certificates. The Hall County Chapter meetings are held on the 2nd Saturday of the month at the Smokey Springs Retirement Residences which is located at 904 South Enota Drive, Gainesville, GA. For more information about the chapter, please contact Richard Bagley at 770-983-1213, or via email at richardbagley@bellsouth.net. The Metro Atlanta Chapter Friday, September 14, 2012, we had another picnic in the Jess Lucas Park in Hapeville. It was a beautiful day, and 14 members and friends had a fun time together playing games, eating hotdogs with all the trimmings, and enjoying fellowship. Later, we were shocked and saddened to learn of the death of one of our former members, Adam Shapiro. He told us a few weeks ago that he was planning on joining our chapter again, and we were looking forward having him back with us. Adam will be tremendously missed by not only his GCB family but many friends in NFB and other organizations. In October, Tamara Rory will be bringing our program. We will meet at our Decatur location at Piccadilly on the second Friday evening from 5 until 6:30. Come and join us. The chapter meetings are on the second Friday 5:30pm to 6:30 PM, at the Piccadilly Cafeteria in the Suburban Plaza, 2595 North Decatur Road, Decatur, Georgia. For more information about the chapter, please contact Ann Sims at 404-767-1792 or via email at brailleteacherann@bellsouth.net. The Northwest Chapter The Northwest Chapter meets on the second Tuesday every other month at the Bank of Lafayette Community Room at 7:00pm. For more information about the chapter, please contact James Howard at 706-996-4417. The Rome Floyd County Chapter The Rome Floyd County chapter went to some local restaurants this summer. In June, we went to 333. In July, the Steak house in Rome. In August, several members went to Savannah for our state convention. The chapter gave presidential certificates to Bronwyn Rumery, Ramona Collum, Debbie Moon, Dr. Philip Dillard, and Suzanne Jackson. We had a great time, and we are looking forward to going to Augusta in August of 2013. The chapter meetings are at 11:00 at the Rome library, on the 3rd Tuesday. For more information about the chapter, please contact Amanda Wilson at 770-547-4700, or via email at moonrocks@bellsouth.net. The Savannah Chapter The Savannah chapter had a good time bowling this past month. We played two games and Jermaine Smart won the first game and John McMillan won the second game. In August, the chapter was our host city for our state convention. We had a blast! Thanks to everyone. The chapter gave Teresa Brenner a loving cup and Loretta Thomson a presidential certificate. The chapter meetings are the third Tuesday of every month at 6:00 pm in the conference room at the J. C. Lewis Ford, 9505 Abercorn Street. For more information about the chapter, please contact Kim Harrison at 12-228-1190, or via email at dkimharrison@gmail.com. The Stephens County Chapter The Stephens County chapter meets at the Shiloh Fire Department. For more information, please contact Cora Camp at 706-886-3894.   Let's Talk GCB 2012 Calendar Welcome to Let's Talk GCB. This is a conference call not only for Georgia Council of the Blind members, but also to individuals who are interested in finding others like themselves to share social and/or advocacy activities. The meetings are held the fourth Tuesday at 8 pm hosted by a different chapter and/or affiliate. The numberf is 1-218-844-3388 and the PIN is 58422. We are looking forward to talking with you. February 28: Stephens/Convention convention contest announcement) March 27: Rome/Floyd & Membership April 24: Athens/East GA May 22: Chattooga/Northwest June 26: Bainbridge/Greater Columbus July 24: Savannah/PR & Technology August 28: Augusta/Convention September 25: Metro Atlanta/Greater Hall October 23: GGDU & GCBL November 27: Legislative Cmtee/Members @Large Georgia Guide Dog Users 139 Altama Connecter #188 Brunswick, GA 31525 Saturday October 13, The Georgia Guide Dog Users will meet in Atlanta at the Center for the Visually Impaired, 739 West Peachtree Street NW Atlanta. http://cviga.org/directions/index.shtml 10:30 AM until 3:00 PM. The morning session will be GGDU business, which will include elections of four officers to our GGDU board, president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. Lunch will be at CVI, followed at 1:30 PM by an interactive discussion with Sue Martin on her peak experiences with our dogs. Have there ever been times when you and your guide dog seemed to be perfectly attuned to each other? Are there experiences that have stuck with you for years, experiences to which you return in your memory over and over again? This interactive presentation will provide an opportunity to share those experiences with other guide dog handlers. What elements do these peak experiences have in common? Can memorable experiences be manufactured or are they completely spontaneous? Many members shared their own peak experiences. Sue Martin trained with her first dog at The Seeing Eye in 1985. She is currently matched with her fourth dog, a German Shepherd named Kismet. Sue worked in the field of blind rehab for over 20 years and now works for the Department of Veterans Affairs as an analyst. Sue lives in Springville, Alabama with her husband Jim, two other dogs and a cat. When not working or writing, Sue enjoys long walks, hiking, and taking care of her plants. Sue began writing about her experiences and her adjustment to blindness after learning of the death by suicide of a friend of several acquaintances. Sue’s own blindness is the result of a suicide attempt with a gun. By sharing her experiences, Sue hopes that she can give hope to those who are depressed, to those who are adjusting to acquire vision loss, to those who are dealing with adversity of any kind. The working title of Sue’s book is “Out of the Whirlpool”, scheduled for publication in spring of 2013. For more information about this event, please contact Marj Schneider at 912-352-1415, or via email at marjschneider@bellsouth.net Georgia Guide Dog Users TOP DOG Registration Now Open The Southeast Regional Top Dog workshop, January 11-13, 2013, is coming to the Hostess City, Savannah, Georgia, and registration is now open. Georgia Guide Dog Users, Dixieland Guide Dog Users and Guide Dog Users of Florida will welcome guide dog handlers, puppy raisers and many dogs and puppies from the Southeast and around the country to the Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites Gateway Conference Center at 17 Gateway Boulevard East in Savannah for three days of workshops, exhibits, fine Southern food and hospitality, an optional city tour, and the chance to visit with old friends and to make new ones. The complete schedule of events will be circulated in advance. What follows are program highlights: A Top Dog tradition, the Blessing of the Guide Dogs; A panel discussion on current advocacy issues for guide dog handlers; A veterinarian speaking on the basics, ears, teeth and flea prevention; An interactive session on peak experiences with our dogs; An optional Red Cross certification course in canine first aid; A banquet speaker who will inspire us with her story. Online registration is available at the website, www.topdogworkshop.org or by phone and mail. Registration phone number for registrar Sally Benjamin is 850-588-9070. The registration cost for Top Dog 2013 is $25. When you register, you will be able to choose two lunch and two dinner meals priced very affordably and you may opt for a Friday afternoon tour of Savannah’s historic district for a cost of $25. Room rates at the Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites Gateway will be $89/night plus 13% sales tax. These conference rates will apply from Thursday, January 10, 2013 through Sunday, January 13, 2013, as well as three nights prior to and following the event. If you choose to, you could stay as many as nine nights at the special event rate. Up to four people can share these comfortably sized rooms, and a hot breakfast is included in the room rate. Located off of exit 94 from I95, the hotel is15 miles from the Savannah Airport and about the same from both the Amtrak and Greyhound stations. It is located 18 miles from Savannah’s downtown and historic district. Make reservations at the Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites at 912-925-2700, and mention group code GGD (Good Good Dog). The event is also listed under the name of Georgia Guide Dog Users. The deadline for registration and hotel reservations is December 11, 2012. For further event information or a registration form, send emails to, 2013topdog@gmail.com Marj Schneider, Event Coordinator Remembering Elizabeth Bickel Mrs. Elizabeth Bickel, age 95, went home to be with Jesus Sunday, September 2, 2012. Elizabeth was born on June 27, 1917. She retired from Georgia Co-Op for the Blind and worked a Concession stand at the Federal Building and Macon City Hall. She was an active member of the Salvation Army with over 60 years of service. Mrs. Bickel was preceded in death by her husband, Leroy Bickel; and her grandson, Christopher Mason. Survivors include children, Mary Anna Jenkinson, Helen, Rebecca (Eddie) Mason, Ft. Valley, and Dorothy (Mike) Collins, Macon; a sister, Mary Steed Williams, Commerce; brother, Warren Toney, Commerce; eight grandchildren; nineteen great-grandchildren; and six great-great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held on Wednesday, September 5, at 11 a.m., at the Bass United Methodist Church. Major Don and Daphanie Vick will officiate. Burial will be at 3:30 p.m. at Webbs Creek Baptist Church Cemetery, 647 Webbs Creek Road. Commerce GA 30529. The family will greet friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, September 4, at Monroe County Memorial Chapel in Forsyth. Monroe County Memorial Chapel, Forsyth, has charge of the arrangements. Remembering Mr. Crawford Pike Mr. Crawford Pike August 21, 1933 - April 6, 2012 Mr. Crawford Pike was born on August 21, 1933 in Tallapoosa County, Alabama. He was born with cerebral palsy, which caused him to become visually impaired. Mr. Pike did not start school until he was eleven years old, when his mother enrolled him in the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind in Talladega, Alabama. He graduated in 1955. He furthered his education at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama, where he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Education in 1958. He later earned his Master’s Degree in Library Science from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Mr. Pike met Ms. Desma Prasher at the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind. They were married on July 12, 1958 and their only child, Joyce Pike was born on August 8, 1959. Mr. & Mrs. Pike were married over 53 years. They loved each other very much, and when you saw one of them, you would see the other one. They were active in their church, the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind Alumni Association, where Mr. Pike was a former President, the Alabama Council of the Blind, and the Georgia Council of the Blind. They were also active in the American Council of the Blind and attended many ACB conventions. Mr. Pike returned to the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind as a teacher and a part-time librarian. When the library was relocated to Montgomery, Mr. Pike moved to Columbus, Georgia, in 1976. He was the Director of the Talking Book Center for 18 years. Mr. Pike always tried to hire at least one visually impaired person to work in the talking center. Mr. Pike was always willing to assist the talking book patrons in any way that he could. He also served as an advocate for the visually impaired, giving them advice on ways to cope with some of the numerous problems that they will encounter as a person living with visual loss. Mr. Pike cared for the patrons of the talking book center. He retired in 1994. Mr. Pike loved college football and he was an avid Auburn fan. He was also a fan of the University of Georgia Bulldogs. He enjoyed country music and was in a group with his wife and a friend. He enjoyed horse racing and the Kentucky Derby. He was a voracious reader and he enjoyed reading talking books. Mr. Pike was an excellent conversationalist, and he was interested in local, state, and national politics and all kinds of legislation concerning the visually impaired as well as other disabilities. Mr. Pike was a former member of the Mayor's Committee for People with disabilities. Mr. and Mrs. Pike saved the Greater Columbus Chapter from folding after the President wanted to stop meeting because only about five people were attending our meetings. That is when Jimmie Burks called the Pikes, because she knew that they cared about individuals with visual impairments. She knew they had worked for years with the Alabama Council of the Blind. The Pikes joined the Greater Columbus chapter and became involved. He served as president until he became ill in 2007. They had to move to an Assisted Living Center. Mr. Pike gave freely of his talent, time, and financial resources to our chapter. Mr. Pike never took any money from our chapter because they always paid their own way to different functions, but they would always donate to our chapter when we had fundraisers. He even donated some coins which he could have sold for a good price. Mr. Pike would sing at our annual gospel benefit which was our main fundraiser each year. Mr. Pike was willing to help us because he cared about people with visual impairments. All of the members of the Greater Columbus chapter will always be grateful to him for his support. We will always appreciate his enthusiasm and zest for life and how he refused to allow his physical disabilities to stop him from obtaining his goals and from living his life to the fullest. Everyone from the Greater Columbus chapter asks for your prayers for Ms. Desma Pike during this difficult time of losing her faithful husband. GCB Celebrations: We would like to wish the following a happy birthday or anniversary. If you wish to have your birthday or your anniversary celebrated by our GCB family, please let us know when it is and we will send you a card to celebrate your special day. JULY Joan Estes 7-10, Linda Bandy White 7-10 Leo Healy 7-15 Roy & Brenda Wooten July 20; anniversary Kathy Coursey-Boes 7-27 Jamaica Miller 7-31 AUGUST Jose and Maia Santamaria 8-1; anniversary Jeffery Toney 8-6 Joshua Taylor 8-7 Keith Morris 8-9, Joyce Everly 8-9 Debbie Moon 8-12, Jamie Teal 8-17 Virginia Smelts 8-20, Lila Scott 8-22 Ann Sims 8-31 SEPTEMBER Melissa Crawley 9-1, Jim Holland 9-1 Lisa Jones 9-3 Wint Barton 9-4 (deceased in 2010, born 1912) Michael and Jamie Teal 9-6, anniversary Hoyal and Judy Presley 9-8, anniversary Jae Cosby 9-13, Janice Reid 9-13 Clifford Jones 9-16, Tonia Clayton 9-20 Maia Santamaria 9-22, Jose Santa Maria 9-24, Suzanne Jackson 9-25 Bruce Cox 9-26, Jackie Woods 9-26 David Holzclaw 9-27 June Willis 9-29, Kathy Morris 9-30 OCTOBER Heather Lopez 10-1 Maquatia Dutton 10-3, Christopher Chavous 10-3 Quinn Smith 10-4 Sheila Chavous 10-6 Roger and Sheila Rousey 10-7; anniversary Robin Oliver 10-8 Grady Coursey 10-10 Richard Jehu 10-12 George Barton 10-17 Scott and Bronwyn Rumery 10-17, anniversary Ted Brackett 10-19.

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