Call 1 (706) 799-5225             Donate to GCB      Apply for a GCB Scholarship       ACB Radio       GCB Krogers ® Awards       2018 GCB Convention-Conference

GCB Logo on top of a picture of 3 GCB members performing at the 2012 state convention
Home Chapters & Affiliates How to Join Blindness Resources GCB Digest Events Media Center

GCB Digest Online

GCB Digest Winter 2017 (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 Winter 2017 GCB officers: GCB President: Keith Morris 770-799-5225, keithmorris53@icloud.com GCB First Vice-President: Philip Jones, 770-713-3306, brilman1952@bellsouth.net GCB Second Vice-President and Chaplin: Fred McDade, 706-278-4084 GCB Secretary: Betsy Grenevitch, 770-464-0450, blindangel@joimail.com GCB Treasurer: Marsha Farrow, 706-859-2624, marshafarrow@windstram.net GCB Member at Large Representative, Alice Ritchhart, 912-996-4213, alice.ritchhart@comcast.net GCB Digest Editor: Amanda Wilson, 770-547-4700, moonrocks@bellsouth.net Table of Contents: From your Editor GCB Presidential Message GCB Board Meeting Minutes GCB Chapter News Georgia Guide Dog Users GCB Member Profiles GCB In Memory of GCB Announcements GCB Blind Day at the Capital Save the Date: GCB Conference Announcement From Your Editor, Amanda Wilson Hello, GCB Family. We thank each one who has submitted articles in this issue of our magazine. If you have any change of address, telephone number, email address, or desired change of format, please inform our GCB treasurer, Marsha Farrow at 706-859-2624, or via email at marshafarrow@windstream.net. Thanks to everyone who makes our GCB Digest such a big success. I particularly want to thank Suzanne Jackson, assistant editor, for the many hours she has worked on the magazine, for her editing skills and for her outstanding reading of the GCB Digest. I want to thank our president Keith Morris, for his presidential message with information about important events, legislation, and projects. I also appreciate the contributions from each member who sent articles and the ones who made suggestions. GCB Presidential Message, Keith Morris My, how time flies! It seems that I was just sitting down to write the President’s message for 2016 and now it’s time to write one for 2017! We have had a lot of accomplishments for 2016. We have re-written our constitution and by-laws and look forward to keeping them up to date from here on out. We had a great convention/conference in Savannah in August. Thank you, Marj Schneider, for putting a great convention together. The hotel was great and everything was very easy to navigate. We will be changing the time of our convention this year to the last weekend of April. We will see how it works and look forward to another great time. We will be discussing this more at the board meeting on Saturday, January 21, 2017, at the Center for the Visually Impaired, CVI. The Blind day at the Capitol will be on Tuesday, January 24, 2017. We hope to have a large turnout for this event. Everyone please try to be there for this time to speak with your representatives. Look forward to great things in 2017 and hope you will be there with us to make it great. GCB Board Meeting Minutes, Betsy Grenevitch Georgia Council of the Blind Board Meeting The Clarion Conference Center and Suites Savannah, Georgia August 7, 2016 Call To Order: The meeting began at 10:15 AM. Roll Call: The board members present were: President, Keith Morris; First Vice-President, Robin Oliver; Second Vice-President, Fred McDade; Secretary, Betsy Grenevitch; Treasurer, Marsha Farrow; Member at large Representative, Alice Ritchhart; Athens , Jerrie Toney; Augusta, Deborah Lovell; Columbus , Cliff Jones; East Georgia, Phil Jones; Hall, Judy Presley; Northwest , Ron Burgess; Rome, Amanda Wilson; Savannah, Marj Schneider; South Metro, Lisa Jones; Webmaster, Steve Longmire; GGDU, Dory Israel. Other members who were present at the board meeting included Tyia Mensah, Teresa Brenner, Kathy Morris, Ellen Roberts, Rodrick Parker, Charles Stubblefield, Kay McGill, Todd Turansky, Sheila Adams, Chester Thrash, Jamaica Miller, Evan Bradford, and Ansley Sproull, and Ernest Dean. Secretary's Report: Betsy Grenevitch made a motion to accept the minutes as they were sent out after the previous board meeting. Alice Ritchhart moved and Deborah Lovell seconded the motion. It was approved. Treasurer's Report: Marsha Farrow gave the balances for our accounts as of August 1, 2016. GCB main checking: $4056.08; Al and Cora Camp Scholarship Fund before the $3500 in scholarship this year. We have $4385.98 now we have $885.98.Gcb money market account: $5740.45; Evan Barnard account: $900.85; long-term investment account: $17,340.52. We’ve gained $340.52 in interest and we will be gaining some more interest as of August 20. Conference account: $3162.01; Way Financial money market account Triad Advisor Portfolio which feeds our scholarship account. The amount in the scholarship account as of June 2016 is $63,113.46. Budget Update: This report is as of July 25, 2016. The budget report will be at the end of these minutes. Marsha Farrow explained the Clarion required us to have a credit card so $500 from the $1,000 was moved to the credit card account. As cash came in and checks came in we started to put more money into the GCB conference account. We will put all the money that came in from this conference over to the conference account and let you all know the final balance in that account. Fundraising: Alice Ritchhart said we made $218 on the grocery cart raffle; $72 on the sweet treat raffle; $374 on the silent auction; and $129 on the smoothies. The total raised was $793 in fundraising. Alice Ritchhart made a motion that another person from the finance committee be assigned to the checking account to be able to sign with the treasurer. Betsy Grenevitch seconded. Marsha Farrow wanted to amend it that this person would be only on the conference account. Keith Morris, Marsha Farrow, and Jimmie Burkes are currently on the conference account. Alice Ritchhart accepted this amendment. Installation of Officers: Betsy Grenevitch installed the new officers who were elected at the business meeting the previous day. The new officers are: President, Keith Morris; First Vice-President, Phil Jones; Second vice-president, Fred McDade; secretary, Betsy Grenevitch; treasurer, Marsha Farrow; and member at large representative, Alice Ritchhart. Note: Deborah Lovell installed Betsy Grenevitch as secretary. New Business: Alice Ritchhart wanted a meeting Monday night at 7:00 to discuss the hearings coming up concerning Vocational Rehabilitation. Marj Schneider suggested that notes be taken at this meeting and sent out to the members so they would know what was discussed and the talking points. Marj Schneider talked about Macy's Shop for a Cause. The dates for people to shop are August 26-28, 2016. You sell each ticket for $5 each and the chapter keeps half and sends the other half to GCB. Alice Ritchhart mentioned that Keith Morris needs to make a new committee to work on the Older Blind Committee. She also mentioned that there needs to be at least 3 more people on the Scholarship committee. Next Board Meeting: The next board meeting will probably be on October 22, 2016. We will let you know before then. Adjourn: We adjourned at 12:08 PM. Respectfully Submitted Betsy Grenevitch, GCB Secretary GCB Budget Report as of July 25, 2016 Projected Revenue: Budget Item Projected Revenue Actual Revenue Difference Notation Membership Dues $2,544.00 $1,815.00 $729.00 Interest Income $150.00 $133.45 $16.55 Vehicle Donations $1,000.00 $0.00 $1,000.00 Fund Raisers $1,000.00 $70.00 $930.00 MMS Program $300.00 $96.00 $204.00 GCB Donations $1,230.92 GCB Conference/Convention $1,000.00 $25.00 $1,025.00 Judy Presley gave $25.00 door prize money back from GCB 2015 convention that was not given out. Total Projected Rev $5,994.00 Total Collected $3,370.37 Difference $2,623.63 Total Projected Expenses $6,310.00 Total Projected Rev $5,994.00 Difference Projected Expenses: President's travel $1,250.00 $914.80 $335.20 this will cover convention expenses, visitations to local chapters, and other special presidential duties. Operation Costs $500.00 $223.80 $276.20 This will cover the Website, fees to the Georgia secretary of State, calling post, Post Office Box and any other operating cost GCB accrues GCB Awards $200.00 $0.00 $200.00 this will cover GCB Annual Awards. GCB Digest $600.00 $540.71 $59.29 This will cover the printing costs for the Braille and Large Print Edition of the Digest, mailing costs of Large Print information to sighted members. These costs may be deducted either from the Digest funds or from the operating supplies funds. Office Supplies $300.00 $96.89 $203.11 this will cover stamps, mailing supplies, paper and other office supplies. ACB Membership dues $1,060.00 $875.00 $185.00 this will cover the $5 dues for GCB memberships. Discretionary funds $200.00 $0.00 $200.00 this will cover the President's and/or Officers' utilization for special projects. Legislative Projects $500.00 $240.53 $259.47 Parliamentarian $300.00 $170.00 $130.00 this will cover the Parliamentarian at the GCB Board meetings. Public Relations: $400.00 $0.00 $400.00 Brochures and printing. GCB Conference/Convention $1,000.00 $0.00 $1,000.00 Total Projected Expenses $6,310.00 Total Spent 3061.73 Difference $3,248.27 REGIONS VISA CARD #7256 as Revenue Allotted: $125.00 Revenue Spent: $50.00 In-Kind Donation Estimated as In-Kind $2,000.00 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 Winter 2017 GCB officers: GCB President: Keith Morris 770-799-5225, keithmorris53@icloud.com GCB First Vice-President: Philip Jones, 770-713-3306, brilman1952@bellsouth.net GCB Second Vice-President and Chaplin: Fred McDade, 706-278-4084 GCB Secretary: Betsy Grenevitch, 770-464-0450, blindangel@joimail.com GCB Treasurer: Marsha Farrow, 706-859-2624, marshafarrow@windstram.net GCB Member at Large Representative, Alice Ritchhart, 912-996-4213, alice.ritchhart@comcast.net GCB Digest Editor: Amanda Wilson, 770-547-4700, moonrocks@bellsouth.net Table of Contents: From your Editor GCB Presidential Message GCB Board Meeting Minutes GCB Chapter News Georgia Guide Dog Users GCB Member Profiles GCB In Memory of GCB Announcements GCB Blind Day at the Capital Save the Date: GCB Conference Announcement From Your Editor, Amanda Wilson Hello, GCB Family. We thank each one who has submitted articles in this issue of our magazine. If you have any change of address, telephone number, email address, or desired change of format, please inform our GCB treasurer, Marsha Farrow at 706-859-2624, or via email at marshafarrow@windstream.net. Thanks to everyone who makes our GCB Digest such a big success. I particularly want to thank Suzanne Jackson, assistant editor, for the many hours she has worked on the magazine, for her editing skills and for her outstanding reading of the GCB Digest. I want to thank our president Keith Morris, for his presidential message with information about important events, legislation, and projects. I also appreciate the contributions from each member who sent articles and the ones who made suggestions. GCB Presidential Message, Keith Morris My, how time flies! It seems that I was just sitting down to write the President’s message for 2016 and now it’s time to write one for 2017! We have had a lot of accomplishments for 2016. We have re-written our constitution and by-laws and look forward to keeping them up to date from here on out. We had a great convention/conference in Savannah in August. Thank you, Marj Schneider, for putting a great convention together. The hotel was great and everything was very easy to navigate. We will be changing the time of our convention this year to the last weekend of April. We will see how it works and look forward to another great time. We will be discussing this more at the board meeting on Saturday, January 21, 2017, at the Center for the Visually Impaired, CVI. The Blind day at the Capitol will be on Tuesday, January 24, 2017. We hope to have a large turnout for this event. Everyone please try to be there for this time to speak with your representatives. Look forward to great things in 2017 and hope you will be there with us to make it great. GCB Board Meeting Minutes, Betsy Grenevitch Georgia Council of the Blind Board Meeting The Clarion Conference Center and Suites Savannah, Georgia August 7, 2016 Call To Order: The meeting began at 10:15 AM. Roll Call: The board members present were: President, Keith Morris; First Vice-President, Robin Oliver; Second Vice-President, Fred McDade; Secretary, Betsy Grenevitch; Treasurer, Marsha Farrow; Member at large Representative, Alice Ritchhart; Athens , Jerrie Toney; Augusta, Deborah Lovell; Columbus , Cliff Jones; East Georgia, Phil Jones; Hall, Judy Presley; Northwest , Ron Burgess; Rome, Amanda Wilson; Savannah, Marj Schneider; South Metro, Lisa Jones; Webmaster, Steve Longmire; GGDU, Dory Israel. Other members who were present at the board meeting included Tyia Mensah, Teresa Brenner, Kathy Morris, Ellen Roberts, Rodrick Parker, Charles Stubblefield, Kay McGill, Todd Turansky, Sheila Adams, Chester Thrash, Jamaica Miller, Evan Bradford, and Ansley Sproull, and Ernest Dean. Secretary's Report: Betsy Grenevitch made a motion to accept the minutes as they were sent out after the previous board meeting. Alice Ritchhart moved and Deborah Lovell seconded the motion. It was approved. Treasurer's Report: Marsha Farrow gave the balances for our accounts as of August 1, 2016. GCB main checking: $4056.08; Al and Cora Camp Scholarship Fund before the $3500 in scholarship this year. We have $4385.98 now we have $885.98.Gcb money market account: $5740.45; Evan Barnard account: $900.85; long-term investment account: $17,340.52. We’ve gained $340.52 in interest and we will be gaining some more interest as of August 20. Conference account: $3162.01; Way Financial money market account Triad Advisor Portfolio which feeds our scholarship account. The amount in the scholarship account as of June 2016 is $63,113.46. Budget Update: This report is as of July 25, 2016. The budget report will be at the end of these minutes. Marsha Farrow explained the Clarion required us to have a credit card so $500 from the $1,000 was moved to the credit card account. As cash came in and checks came in we started to put more money into the GCB conference account. We will put all the money that came in from this conference over to the conference account and let you all know the final balance in that account. Fundraising: Alice Ritchhart said we made $218 on the grocery cart raffle; $72 on the sweet treat raffle; $374 on the silent auction; and $129 on the smoothies. The total raised was $793 in fundraising. Alice Ritchhart made a motion that another person from the finance committee be assigned to the checking account to be able to sign with the treasurer. Betsy Grenevitch seconded. Marsha Farrow wanted to amend it that this person would be only on the conference account. Keith Morris, Marsha Farrow, and Jimmie Burkes are currently on the conference account. Alice Ritchhart accepted this amendment. Installation of Officers: Betsy Grenevitch installed the new officers who were elected at the business meeting the previous day. The new officers are: President, Keith Morris; First Vice-President, Phil Jones; Second vice-president, Fred McDade; secretary, Betsy Grenevitch; treasurer, Marsha Farrow; and member at large representative, Alice Ritchhart. Note: Deborah Lovell installed Betsy Grenevitch as secretary. New Business: Alice Ritchhart wanted a meeting Monday night at 7:00 to discuss the hearings coming up concerning Vocational Rehabilitation. Marj Schneider suggested that notes be taken at this meeting and sent out to the members so they would know what was discussed and the talking points. Marj Schneider talked about Macy's Shop for a Cause. The dates for people to shop are August 26-28, 2016. You sell each ticket for $5 each and the chapter keeps half and sends the other half to GCB. Alice Ritchhart mentioned that Keith Morris needs to make a new committee to work on the Older Blind Committee. She also mentioned that there needs to be at least 3 more people on the Scholarship committee. Next Board Meeting: The next board meeting will probably be on October 22, 2016. We will let you know before then. Adjourn: We adjourned at 12:08 PM. Respectfully Submitted Betsy Grenevitch, GCB Secretary GCB Budget Report as of July 25, 2016 Projected Revenue: Budget Item Projected Revenue Actual Revenue Difference Notation Membership Dues $2,544.00 $1,815.00 $729.00 Interest Income $150.00 $133.45 $16.55 Vehicle Donations $1,000.00 $0.00 $1,000.00 Fund Raisers $1,000.00 $70.00 $930.00 MMS Program $300.00 $96.00 $204.00 GCB Donations $1,230.92 GCB Conference/Convention $1,000.00 $25.00 $1,025.00 Judy Presley gave $25.00 door prize money back from GCB 2015 convention that was not given out. Total Projected Rev $5,994.00 Total Collected $3,370.37 Difference $2,623.63 Total Projected Expenses $6,310.00 Total Projected Rev $5,994.00 Difference Projected Expenses: President's travel $1,250.00 $914.80 $335.20 this will cover convention expenses, visitations to local chapters, and other special presidential duties. Operation Costs $500.00 $223.80 $276.20 This will cover the Website, fees to the Georgia secretary of State, calling post, Post Office Box and any other operating cost GCB accrues GCB Awards $200.00 $0.00 $200.00 this will cover GCB Annual Awards. GCB Digest $600.00 $540.71 $59.29 This will cover the printing costs for the Braille and Large Print Edition of the Digest, mailing costs of Large Print information to sighted members. These costs may be deducted either from the Digest funds or from the operating supplies funds. Office Supplies $300.00 $96.89 $203.11 this will cover stamps, mailing supplies, paper and other office supplies. ACB Membership dues $1,060.00 $875.00 $185.00 this will cover the $5 dues for GCB memberships. Discretionary funds $200.00 $0.00 $200.00 this will cover the President's and/or Officers' utilization for special projects. Legislative Projects $500.00 $240.53 $259.47 Parliamentarian $300.00 $170.00 $130.00 this will cover the Parliamentarian at the GCB Board meetings. Public Relations: $400.00 $0.00 $400.00 Brochures and printing. GCB Conference/Convention $1,000.00 $0.00 $1,000.00 Total Projected Expenses $6,310.00 Total Spent 3061.73 Difference $3,248.27 REGIONS VISA CARD #7256 as Revenue Allotted: $125.00 Revenue Spent: $50.00 In-Kind Donation Estimated as In-Kind $2,000.00
GCB Chapter News: The Athens Chapter reported that they were invited by Sandy Creek Park naturalists to present to families and children at the Sandy Creek Nature Center. They attended the “Scary Oozy Slimy Day Event” which was held on Saturday October 22nd from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM. Sandy Creek naturalists reached out to the Athens chapter by contacting Jerrie Toney and Jamaica Miller through the Athens chapter website. Sandy Creek Nature Center emailed our chapter, and they explained, “The event typically celebrates all creepy, crawly and gross things of the world, but they expanded beyond that to fit a theme. This year, our theme is ‘Light in the Dark.’” The Athens chapter members brought tactile objects and various smells along with blindfolds, brailed children’s books, and brailed bookmarks saying “Reading is For Everyone”. They also brought adaptive technology such as talking alarm clocks and talking books. They were visited by groups of parents, children, and friends donning wicked costumes for the Halloween-based event. Jamaica Miller and her mother Diane interacted with families by reading children’s books aloud using the braille imprinted on the pages. Visitors to our station enjoyed interacting with adaptive devices and played with talking books and clocks. Jerrie Toney and Evan Bradford led an activity for children to feel objects and smell fruits while blindfolded. This was challenging for the children since they had to guess these objects such as a tangerine, a can opener, a shell, wet prunes, and even a cactus - without the use of sight similar to being blind. Half of the children could not guess these contents, but after they took off their blindfolds, they knew more about the object than they could see. The Athens chapter reached out to dozens of visitors enjoying a chilly fall night at Sandy Creek Nature Center. Next year, they hope to give people the experience of sensing things in the dark once again! The Athens chapter reported that they met together at the Blind Pig Tavern in downtown Athens on Saturday, December 3, 2016, at 1:00 PM. We celebrated our annual holiday luncheon. They dined at the Blind Pig, enjoying burgers, sandwiches, and salads. Members and visitors alike experienced good fellowship together. After lunch, they traveled to visit the double-barreled cannon located outside of City Hall. A good time was had by all! The Athens chapter officers are Jerrie Toney as president; Jamaica Miller as first vice-president; Earnest Dean, as second vice-president; Evan Bradford, as secretary; Robin Oliver as 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 held its Christmas Party on Saturday, December 3, 2016, at Deborah Lovell’s house. All members were in attendance, we think we are the only chapter that had 100% participation. Good food and fellowship were had by all. Members had a white elephant exchange. Our next meeting will be on Saturday, January 14, 2017, at 11:00 am, at the Columbia County Library. The Augusta chapter officers are Deborah Lovell as president; Stanley Lopez as vice-president; Ronald Worley as Secretary; Kathy Morris as treasurer. Their meetings are held at the Columbia County Main Library on Evans Town Center Blvd. in Evans, 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 reported that during their October meeting, they elected their Board of Directors for 2017. They are Cecily Nipper as president; Ann Wheeler as first vice-president; Phil Jones as second vice-president; Linda Williams as secretary; Linda Cox as treasurer; President Emeritus Neb Houston; Brenda Maddox; Elsie Aguilar and Rosetta Brown as board members. Our sincere appreciation is extended to Brenda Knight, Chairman of The Nominating committee for much Patience and diligence. Second Vice-President, Phil Jones has also been elected as First Vice-President of The Georgia Council OF The Blind. He advocates tirelessly for the rights of the Deaf/Blind around the globe. Congratulations to each of you as we look ahead to an exciting year of service. The East Georgia Chapter reported that they held their Christmas party on Saturday, December 10, 2016, at 10:00 am at the Covington First United Methodist Church fellowship hall in Covington, Georgia. The East Georgia chapter members invited their Family and Friends to attend their Christmas meeting. They had a potluck lunch was held, and new unwrapped toys were collected for Toys for Tots. They also held a talent show where people played instruments, sang, recited poetry, and did impressions. For more information about the East Georgia chapter, please contact Cecily Nipper at 770-786-1551, or via email at roses828@comcast.net. The Greater Columbus chapter officers are Gregory McDuffie as President; Dirk Jones as first vice-president; Clifford Jones as second vice-president; Lisa Brooks as secretary; William Miles as treasurer; Otis Smith as Chaplain. Their meetings are held at the Columbus Public Library at 3000 Macon Road in Columbus, Georgia on the third Friday from 10:30 until 12:00. For more information about the Greater Columbus chapter please contact Gregory McDuffie at 706-330-8185, or via email at gregory.mcduffie@yahoo.com. The Greater Hall County chapter had their Christmas luncheon on Saturday December 10, 2016, at 11:30 am, At Luna's Restaurant on the square in Gainesville, Georgia. They will be joined by the Gainesville Lions Club. Each member who attended the Christmas luncheon brought a $10 child's gift unwrapped gift or toy to be given to the Gainesville Lions Club. The Greater Hall County chapter officers are Diane Roberts as president; Judy Presley as vice-president; Sue Heskett as secretary; Roy Carter as treasurer. Their board members are Don Linnartz, Evelyn Rudy 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 Greater Hall County chapter, please contact Diane Roberts at 770-932-1112, or via email at harveryroerts2@att.net. The Northwest chapter reported that they held their Christmas party on Tuesday, December 6, 2016 at 6:30 pm. They met at the Dairy Dip where they had lots of good food and good fellowship with each other. The Northwest chapter is sad to report that Mayella McDonald passed away recently. They will have their next meeting on Tuesday, January 3, 2016 at 7:00 to discuss appointing a new secretary. The Northwest chapter officers are Ron Burgess as president; Fred McDade as vice-president; Charles Stubblefield as treasurer; Robert Sprayberry as Chaplain. Chapter meetings are held on the first Tuesday of every other month at the Bank of Lafayette Community room, which is located at 104 North Main Street in Lafayette, Georgia at 7:00 pm. For more information about the Northwest chapter please contact Ron Burgess at 706-638-1132. The Rome Floyd County chapter reported that at their September meeting they gave George Barton and Phillis Edson loving cups for their service to the Rome Floyd County chapter. We sang happy birthday to Suzanne Jackson, Tonia Clayton, Maia Santamaria, Martha Craig, and George Barton. Marsha Farrow stated that the GCB board meeting will be on Saturday October 22, 2016, at the Center for the Visually Impaired, CVI, in Atlanta, Georgia. The Rome Floyd County chapter reported that in October, due to the library having its annual book fair, we traveled to the Villas Retirement Center where we had our October meeting. Marsha Farrow talked about the different services that an individual who is visually impaired can receive from Vision Rehabilitation Services VRS. She stated that a VRS counselor would come to your house and assist you with learning mobility skills, independent living skills, braille or any other things you would need to be an independent person with a visual impairment. Marsha Farrow talked about the Georgia Council of the Blind. She stated that we have monthly meetings to support each other. We eat laugh and have fun. We discuss a wide range of issues that concern people with visual impairments. We discussed the Talking book program. We stated that you could receive books on digital cartridges through your mail box. At their November meeting they heard from Gary Payton who is with Vanda Pharmaceuticals. He told them all about Vanda Pharmaceuticals. He told us about how sleep disorders can affect individuals who are visually impaired. The Rome Floyd County chapter reported that at their December meeting that they held their elections. The Rome Floyd County chapter officers for 2017, are Marsha Farrow as president; Carolyn Dillard as vice-president; Amanda Wilson as secretary; Suzanne Jackson as treasurer; Martha Craig as Chaplain; Casey Owens, Mark Kinsley, and Terrecia Standridge as board members. The Rome Floyd County chapter reported that they enjoyed their Christmas luncheon! George Barton played several Christmas carols on the grand piano for us. Suzanne Jackson Read a chapter to us out of the book “the Greatest Christmas Pageant Ever” by Barbara Robinson. Dawn Wright who is the vision teacher for the Rome city Schools brought her student Marcus and his family to our meeting. The Rome Floyd County chapter 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 about the Rome Floyd County Chapter, please contact Marsha Farrow at 706-859-2624, or via mail at marshafarrow@windstream.net. The Savannah Chapter reported that in November, they held their elections. Their new officers are: Marj Schneider as President; Bob Walls as vice president; Teresa Brenner as secretary: Jon Bairensfather as treasurer; their board members are Jan Elders and John McMillon. The Savannah chapter held their annual Christmas party on Thursday, December 1, 2016, at red lobster in Savannah, Georgia. In lieu of exchanging gifts, we brought toys to donate for toys for tots. An amazing time was had by all the Savannah chapters meetings are held at the conference room at J. C. Lewis Ford, which is located on 9505 Abercorn Street in Savannah, Georgia. They are still meeting on the first Thursday of every month at 6:00 pm. For more information about the Savannah chapter, please contact Marj Schneider at 912-352-1415, or via email at marjschneider@bellsouth.net. The South Atlanta Chapter held their Christmas party on Thursday, December 8, 2016, from 4:00 pm until 6:00 pm. Their Christmas party dinner was held at the Barbecue Kitchen which is located at 1437 Virginia Avenue in Atlanta, GA 30337. The members of the South Metro Chapter invited Braylee, who is a student in the Begin program at the Center for the Visually Impaired, CVI, to be their guest at their Christmas party. Braylee, and her parents Taylor and Scott, and her sister Carlee will were given presents and dinner at this party. The South Metro council of the Georgia council of the Blind officers are Lisa Jones as president; Brent Reynolds as vice-President; Chris Baldridge as secretary; Steve Longmire as treasurer; Maquatia Dutton Barbara Graham, and Sam Howard as board members. The South Metro chapter meetings are held at the Barbecue Kitchen in College Park, Georgia, on the second Thursday from 4:00 until 6:00 pm. For more information about the South Metro Atlanta chapter, please contact Lisa Jones at 404-556-8987. Georgia Guide Dogs Users, GGDU News, Rita Harris 2016 has been a great year! GGDU partnered with Ricondo & Associate to implement dog relief areas in Hartsfield International Airport. We are currently working to get legislature passed to Prohibit Fake Service Animals. GGDU will have a fundraiser of selling pet collapsible water bowls for $10.00 each. We had a successful election of officers who are Rita Harris as President; Dori Israel as Vice-President; Marj Schneider as Secretary; and Alice Ritchhart as Treasurer. We are looking forward to pass the amendment for past presidents to continue serving on the board. We would like to thank Betsy Grenevitch for her dedication and commitment of four years serving as President. She did an outstanding job in the role of being President and is a great asset to GGDU. We are looking forward to great accomplishments in 2017. For more information about the Georgia Guide Dog Users, Please contact Rita Harris at 706-474-0405, or via email at rita@livinglifeteam.net. GCB Member profile: Kianna Hamilton is attending Georgia Southern University where she will major in communication studies and vocational rehabilitation, and she is going to minor in public relations. Kianna Hamilton states that her goals are to keep at least a 3.5 GPA in college. She wants to finish college in four years. She wishes to pursue her dreams. She wants to be an inspirational speaker or an advocate to other students with disabilities. Kianna Hamilton was born with cataracts in both eyes. She lives in Augusta, Georgia. Her favorite sport is soccer. She says that it is hard to play because of her visual impairment. Her favorite food is Chicken Alfredo. Her greatest challenge in life was to overcome was to complete all the requirements to graduate high school. Kianna states that it was such a struggle to get where she is now. She says that she is grateful for all of the support she received from others. Kianna states that having a visual impairment is not easy to deal with at all. Kianna sates that she took a trip to Florida. She states that it was an exciting experience. She states that it is a trip that she will never forget. For more information about Kianna Hamilton please contact her at 706-993-6671, or via email at kianna.hamilton1@gmail.com. Thomas Woodyard states that his fall semester has been full of ups and downs. His Japanese class is going extremely well, and he is very excited about learning Japanese. He has applied for a summer program in Oxford, England and he hopes to complete a few of his Comparative Literature credits overseas. He is a little conflicted this semester about his career objectives. He did some job shadowing with both speech therapy and law. The specific areas of law I observed were estate planning, real estate and disability law. He is leaning more towards law as of this time as his ultimate career goal. Two classes were a great challenge for Thomas this semester. They were Statistics and Biology. He decided to drop the Statistics to focus on the Biology. There was a tremendous amount of scientific reading for this class with 54 computer quizzes that check his reading comprehension. He is working through it but he will be happy to finish this class. The Biology lab that went with this class was also a challenge but not as much as the class. He has definitely learned that he does not want to be Biology major. Next semester, He will be continuing with Japanese, taking Communications, Marine Environment (it’s required to take another Science) and United States History from Precolonial to 1865. In addition to classes, Tomas has been active in the Franklin Residential College and the Foreign Language Partner Program. We are paired with vising international students and his partner is from Japan which has been nice for both of us to practice our respective language! Thomas’s favorite on campus activity is still the University of Georgia, UGA Disability Resource Center Speaker's Bureau where he speaks out about accessibility issues on campus. We are trying to get more audible cross walks on campus this semester. He has also really enjoyed going to the home football games and he looks forward to going to some other sports arenas this year. Go Dawgs@! For more information about Thomas Woodyard, please contact him by email at thomas.woodyard25@uga.edu. Evan Barnard reported that he has been busy since the opening of the Whispering Woods Braille Trail. He has taken some time off to apply to colleges He had two major knee replacement surgeries which went well. He is doing great. He is now a freshman at the University of Georgia and he is majoring in ecology. He is continuing his work with the visually impaired community and expanding the organization Nature for All. He has some exciting news to share with us. While doing research for another Braille trail project, he found information on a Braille trail in another state. He started to search for other Braille trails online and soon found there are many Braille trails as well as sensory gardens in other states and even in other countries. The trails were difficult to find, as there is no directory or way to look up trails other than searching published articles online. Evan decided to create a new website at www.naturefortheblind.com with a directory of all the existing Braille trails and sensory gardens, listing them by state and by country. Here is the incredible part - there are 140 Braille trails and sensory gardens in 17 countries around the world, including 89 in 30 different United States, US, states! The website also provides information and links for schools and summer camps for the blind and other educational resources as well as organizations for blind sports. Evan is continuing to add more trails and gardens to the directory as they are built or as people notify him about them. If you know of any additional Braille trails or sensory gardens that are not listed on the website, or if you have other outdoor or educational resources to share, please email Evan Barnard at evan.barnard@nature4all.org. He is hoping that this new website will prove to be an excellent resource for the visually impaired community around the world. For more information about Evan Barnard or his website please contact him at 770-940-11244, or via email evan.barnard@nature4all.org. Timothy Jones reports that his final grades for this semester are not yet in, but he made all A’s and the President’s List at Mercer University last semester, Spring of 2016, and prior to that the Dean’s List for fall of 2015, so he’s been working diligently! He was in fact, due to his high grade average, he was invited to join Phi Beta Sigma this semester, which is a fraternity open only to those with superior GPA’s among the college population. Timothy does not know if he has told us, but LAST year, Christmas of 2015, the President of Mercer University, Dr. William D. Underwood, had Timothy play for the annual Faculty Christmas Party, sponsored by the President at his home on the Mercer University campus. Many of the faculty members present and their families were impressed with his playing, a program of mixed classical music and Christmas specials. His schedule this semester has concentrated on his major Music, specifically organ, with piano secondary, with him taking classes in Music Theory, Musicianship which involves a good deal of ear training, so his natural “perfect pitch” has been a great plus!), Music History (a VERY text-heavy course—and his Braille textbook doesn’t always arrive on time for his completing assigned reading, so that’s been a challenge, Organ Literature, and organ and piano lessons. This plus the expectation that a music student will practice a minimum of 20 hours a week for his major for EACH instrument he is majoring in, which means he’s been pretty busy! He forgot to mention he’s also singing in the Mercer University Choir. He had hoped to join Mercer Singers a more select group, but they had an overabundance of baritones this year, and didn’t need him. With the Choir, he sang on Sunday, November 13, 2016, in a performance together with the Mercer Singers and the Choral Society of Middle Georgia the “Requiem” by John Rutter, at Mulberry Street United Methodist Church in Macon, Georgia. The Choir is now beginning work on its annual performance of portions of Handel’s “Messiah”, to be presented on Friday, December 9th and 10th at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Macon, Georgia, at 7:30 pm. The next week will be his fall semester finals, and then—home for Christmas! Mercer’s schedule is a bit later this year than last year, so he won’t be home until Thursday, December 15, 2016, otherwise he would have LOVED to have come to play for any GCB Christmas parties or other gigs in the area—or even just to get to see everyone again! If there “are” any GCB gatherings for after that date, do let us know! Timothy states that he has had many challenges in attending college as a student with a visual impairment. He states that it is difficult in getting the school to supply him his textbooks in accessible format as required by law. Mercer University is willing, but sometimes “schedules” don’t work out, and the books arrive late which has forced him into some creative “work arounds”! As all students with visually impairments are very familiar with!) He states that he has FINALLY gotten his music professors to understand that while he does read Braille music and that ability is crucial for him to have, as a music major—it is NOT synonymous with, or comparable to, a SIGHTED musician learning a piece of music in print. Timothy stated that his professors are finally beginning to understand how much longer—and what a cumbersome process reading multi-line Braille music is, keyboard music, such as for piano, with multiple notes in both right and left hand, or organ, which adds the THIRD part of the pedal, and what he meant when he tried to explain to them earlier that it is FAR easier for a musician who is blind if they have the ear and the ability to learn a piece first by ear and THEN consult the Braille score for “fine-tuning.” Timothy came up with a good analogy to help them, as sighted musicians, understand: Imagine you have an organ score in front of you in a small book of music of that piece. The book is divided into three sections. The first section is the RIGHT hand only, the second is the LEFT hand only, and the third is the PEDAL parts for the feet. To learn this piece, you must FIRST learn the right hand, and then the left hand, then the pedal, flipping back and forth from section to section to compare what notes/chords are played together, then put them ALL TOGETHER without being able to look at the music while doing so! Timothy states that he could not have done this without the help and support of all the members of GCB. It was through working with a GCB member Betsy Grenevitch, that he was able to learn braille music, so thoroughly through the Richard Taesch program, and he COULD NOT HAVE SURVIVED as a music major without that skill. Timothy says to say thank you, thank you, and thank you, to Betsy Grenevitch! Timothy states that the blessing of the scholarships that GCB has given him has been God’s miraculous provision for him to be able to go to Mercer University. Finally, Timothy states that just having all of you as a resource, and knowing you “have our back”, so to speak, is an encouragement and a joy. For more information about Timothy Jones please contact him at 7700-212-0416, or via email at casioplayer@bellsouth.net. GCB In Memory of: Serena Long Kelly Macon, Georgia December 14, 1929 - September 15, 2016 Mrs. Serina Kelly 86, passed away Thursday, September 15, 2016. A Celebration of her Life was held at 3:00 PM Sunday in the Mausoleum Chapel of Macon Memorial Park Cemetery. Rev. Stephen N. Johnson will officiate. The family greeted friends following the service and burial was private affair in Macon Memorial Park Cemetery. Mrs. Kelly was born in Dodge County, Georgia the daughter of the late Kathryn Alice Lassiter Long and John Solomon Long. She was retired from Georgia Cooperative Services for the Blind where she served concessions at the United States Postal Service. Mrs. Kelly was a member of New Heights Baptist Church and was a 30 year member of the Georgia Council for the Blind. Mrs. Kelly is survived by her husband, David L. Kelly 97; still lives in the house on Alabama Street across Vineville Avenue from the school, children, Tim Kelly of Macon; daughter, Kathy (David) Self of Milledgeville; grandchildren, Kelly and Jon Self. May Ella Rebecca McDonald Lafayette, Georgia September 5, 1953 Ms. May Ella Rebecca McDonald age 63 of Lafayette, Georgia, passed away on Friday, December 16, 2016. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Calhoun. She passed away at the Park Ridge Hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee. May Ella McDonald was born on September 5, 1953, in Walker County to Lila Leatherwood McDonald and the late James Lafayette McDonald Jr. She was a member of Oakman-Ranger United Methodist Church. May Ella McDonald is an alumna of Lafayette High School, and is a graduate of the Registered Nursing Program and Erlanger Medical Center; she worked in various hospitals in the area. Later she attended and became a certified teacher through the University of Michigan. She taught at the Georgia Northwest Technical College in the “G.E.D.” program before retirement. May Ella Rebecca McDonald was the secretary of the Northwest chapter of the Georgia Council of the Blind. May Ella McDonald is survived by her mother, Lila McDonald and special friends, Larry Ware, Linda Mott and Janis Harwood. In addition to her father, James Henry Lafayette Jr., she was preceded in death by her paternal grandparents, James Lafayette McDonald Sr., and Lily May (Veatch) McDonald; and her maternal grandparents, Sam Henry Leatherwood and Ella Virginia (Owen) Leatherwood. Her funeral services were conducted on Monday, December 19, 2016, at 1:00 pm, at Oakman-Ranger United Methodist Church with the Rev. Genevieve DeHoog officiating, assisted by Rev. Tom Lanford. Her burial followed in the Hopewell Cemetery in Oakman, Georgia. The family received friends from noon until the funeral hour of 1:00 pm, at the Oakman-Ranger United Methodist Church. You may leave the family online condolences at www.thomasfuneralhomecalhoun.com Thomas Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements for May Ella McDonald. GCB Announcements: Out of Sight Announcement Join a Free voice Chat Community on the Web! Hey Folks! Would you like to have lots of fun and meet other blind or visually impaired individuals from across the country and around the world? Do you like challenging interactive games, old time radio, adaptive cooking techniques, a book club, chess instruction, product presentations, real time technical assistance with your computer, Bible Study, a weekly talent showcase, programs to learn about the iPhone, and lots and lots more? Our community is made up of a set of free voice chat rooms that are extremely user friendly, and all you need is a microphone to get started! To become a member and join our Out-Of-Sight free chat community goes to the website, at, www.out-of-sight.net Hope to see you soon! “Catch the vision--it’s Out of Sight!” GCB Blind Day at the Capital Please come and join us for our Blind Day at the Capitol on Tuesday, January 24, 2017. We will be meeting at the Coverdell Legislative Office Building in Room 307. We will be meeting there at 8:30 am. We will be having a guest speaker, Linda Shephard, who will be teaching us how to work with legislators. Please invite as many of your blind friends who could benefit from this talk. We are also hoping to hear from some other legislators as well. Please RSVP to Betsy Grenevitch at 70-464-0450, or via email at blindangel@joimail.com. This would help us to know how many are planning on attending and how many would need a sighted guide to help them visit their representative and senator. We are not guaranteed to have enough people but it would help us in planning as much as we can for this part of our time at the Capitol. Some of us may have to go in groups. We hope to see many of you there. GCB Board Meeting Announcement The Georgia Council of the Blind board meeting has been changed to Saturday, January 28, 2017. The Georgia Council of the Blind board meeting will be held at Disability Link which is located at 1901 Montreal Road, Suite #102, in Tucker, GA 30084. The phone number is 404-687-8890. The toll free phone number is 1-800-239-2507. Their web site address is http://disabilitylink.org. We have the room from 9:30 am until 22:00 pm. If you cannot come to the meeting in person you can call in and listen to the board meeting by calling 1-218-339-0420, and the passcode is 155648#. If you have any further questions please contact Keith Morris at 706-799-5225, or via email at keithmorris53@icloud.com. Save the Date: The Georgia Council of the Blind will hold its annual conference on Friday, April 28, and Saturday, April 29, 2017 in Gainesville, Georgia. If you have any questions, please contact Diane Roberts at 770-932-1112, or via email at harveryroerts2@att.net; or Judy Presley at 706-878-2962, or via email at hoyal@windstream.net. Happiness is a basket of Golden Retriever puppies.

Georgia Council of the Blind
Constitution and Bylaws    Contact GCB   Committees, Awards and Eligibility Requirements    Site Accessibility
Click here to  email any feedback or problems with this website.