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GCB Digest Spring 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 $2,000.00The GCB DIGEST A publication of the Georgia Council of the Blind An affiliate of the American Council of the Blind An organization promoting a hand up and not a hand out Spring 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 GCB Digest Assistant Editor: Misty Ingram, 706-766-9732, carefreemm@aol.com Table of Contents: From your Editor GCB Presidential Message GCB Board Meeting Minutes GCB Member Profile: Dawn Wright GCB Chapter News Georgia Guide Dog Users, GGDU, News GCB In Memory of GCB Announcements GCB Conference-Convention Information From Your Editor, by Amanda Wilson Hello, GCB Family. We thank each one who has submitted articles in this issue of our magazine. If you have any change of address, telephone number, email address, or desired change of format, please inform our GCB treasurer, 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 Misty Ingram, the GCB assistant editor, for the many hours she has worked on the magazine, for her editing skills. 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 who made suggestions. GCB Presidential Message, Keith Morris Greetings! I hope that this year has been good to everyone and pray it will continue to be a good year. I was able to go to the mid-year meeting in Washington, D.C. and speak with some of the Representatives and Senators and to let them know what agenda ACB is seeking to accomplish this year. They and their staff were all very kind and willing to listen. Now we will see what the results will be. The best part of the trip was getting to meet Coach Vince Dooley and getting a picture made with him. Glad I was wearing my Georgia Bulldog bowtie!! I am looking forward to the convention on April 28th and 29th. We have a great place in Gainesville, Georgia, to have the event. The convention committee has done an excellent job in getting everything ready. I can’t thank them enough for their hard work and dedication to this effort. We are looking forward to seeing everyone there. Hopefully we will have some special guests who will be able to enlighten us on the direction of blind services, at the state level. There will be a tour of the Northeast Historical Center and other activities in which you will be able to participate. Who is ready for more tandem bike riding? Don’t forget the basket auction on Friday night. Bring your money and your determination to take the basket you want home! Let’s have a great time at this year’s convention!! GCB Board Meeting Minutes, Betsy Grenevitch GEORGIA Council of the Blind Board Meeting The Center for the Visually Impaired, CVI 739 West Peachtree Street, Northwest Atlanta, GA 30308 Saturday, October 22, 2016 Call to Order: Keith called the meeting to order at 10:30 AM. Invocation: Fred McDade gave the invocation. Roll Call: Keith Morris, President; Philip jones, First Vice-President; Fred McDade, Second Vice-President; Betsy Grenevitch, Secretary; Marsha Farrow, Treasurer; Alice Ritchhart , Member at Large Representative; Jerrie Toney, Athens; Deborah Lovell, Augusta; Cecily Nipper, East Georgia; Diane Roberts, Greater Hall County; Judy Presley, Greater Hall County; Ron Burgess, Northwest; Amanda Wilson, Rome Floyd County; Marj Schneider, Savannah; Chester Thrash, representing South Atlanta; Rodrick Parker, Parliamentarian; Steve Longmire, Web master; Anisio Correia; Todd Turansky; Kathy Morris; Ann Sims. Greg McDuffie from Columbus did not attend this board meeting. Georgia Guide Dog Users, GGDU did not have a representative at this meeting. President's Report: Keith Morris spoke with Dawn McAllister about forming a new chapter around the Byron/Macon area. She is supposed to get back with Keith Morris about this possibility. Secretary's Report: Betsy Grenevitch made a motion that the minutes be accepted as sent out. Deborah Lovell seconded the motion. It was unanimously approved. Treasurer's Report: Main checking: $2549.43; $500 of this is designated for the older blind which was a private donation; there is also $259.27 in the legislative fund so the actual balance available is $1789.98. Al and Cora Camp Scholarship: This fund is fed by the Way Financial Investment: $1355.88 Conference Account: All funds were moved back over to the checking account except $550.26. Approximately $30 of this will be utilized for our Secretary of State fees that will need to be paid in 2017. We left this amount in the account because this is the only account with a debit card. Money Market Account: $5740.56 About $.30 interest was earned on this in the last year. Long-term investment: The initial amount invested was $17 thousand. The amount now is $17424.04. Evan Barnard account CD: These are funds Evan received for his Braille trails project: $900.85. This account has accrued $.34. Way Financial money market account: $65,034.21 at the end of September Entire assets: $92,657.40. Marj Schneider wanted to know what the older blind money was for. Marsha Farrow explained that the $500 is designated for devices for those in the older blind category. Guidelines are being worked on for this committee. Keith has appointed Marsha to chair a committee to work on these guidelines. They are looking to have providers and individuals who are blind on this committee. Jerrie Toney said on the conference we had $215.08 to the good so we didn't go in the hole. We also received $27 from Judy for the fundraising category. Marj explained that the money from the cart fundraiser would go toward the scholarship for new attendees at the state conference-convention. The rest of the fundraiser money goes to the general fund. Finance Report: Jerrie Toney gave this report. The finance committee has a sample of the 2017 budget ready. It can be emailed out to anyone who would like to receive it. Jerrie Toney and Marsha Farrow are working on the Charities Commission needs. Everyone has received a copy of the budget up to date. She expressed how she appreciated everyone's help on her committee. Keith Morris announced that Jerrie Toney is now chair of the finance committee. Fundraising: Alice Ritchhart gave this report. The fundraising committee is working on the Braille Rally and was not able to meet with the car club because of Hurricane Matthew. The Braille Rally will probably take place in April or May. She suggested that we sell the RFID card holders from ACB that would have their logo and our logo on them. This would give us more advertisement. They hold up to six credit cards. Marj Schneider talked about Macy's Shop for a Cause. She explained that you pay $5 for a shopping pass and the person who has the pass gets a 25% discount over a particular weekend. Our organization also gets to keep the money from the passes. Now that we are signed up we can do this any time this fundraiser is offered. Augusta, Athens, Savannah, Atlanta, and Rome sold some passes. She reminded the chapters to send their money to Marsha Farrow from their sales. She suggested we could rise quite a bit of money with this fundraiser if chapter members just get involved and tell their friends about it. We raised about $100 for GCB. Amanda Wilson talked about the Amazon Smiles program. There was concern because you have to give your bank information. Roderick suggested we could open up an account just for this program. Jerrie wanted to know if we could use PayPal to receive the money. Amanda asked Steve to check this out on Amazon. Roderick explained that Amazon wants a way to provide a clear bank trail where the money is going. He said that because of wanting a bank trail PayPal may not work. Deborah Lovell made a motion that this gets referred back to the finance committee. Judy Presley seconded the motion. It was approved unanimously. Marsha Farrow thanked Steve for being the third signer on the conference account. Legislative Committee: Betsy Grenevitch gave this report. She talked about the need for us to find a representative who would be willing to carry the Braille Literacy Bill. She also said that Michelle's class is willing to help out with the Blind Day at the Capitol again this coming year. Membership Committee: Amanda Wilson gave this update. We gained 11 new members from the conference and convention. We will be gaining at least one chapter from the Byron, Warner Robins, and Macon area. She wants all the chapters to send in information about their activities, officers, deaths, and other news to update the website. Roderick Parker wanted to know the total membership in GCB for 2016 and Amanda Wilson said it was 184. GCB Digest: The GCB Digest is on the national Federation for the Blind, NFB NewsLine. If you need a change in format or have a new address let her know. At Large Update: Alice Ritchhart has set up a calling post line to keep in touch with the at-large members. Technology Committee: Steve Longmire gave this report. They have not had a meeting recently because of working on projects with his business. He is planning on having a meeting in the next week or so. They are going to change the GCB website. It will be set up so you can do your own updates for your chapter on the site. He will give any training that is needed to do this. He thanked Robin Oliver for working on the front page of the website. Marj Schneider wanted to know if it would be possible to do written step by step instructions of how to edit a page. He said this could be done. Roderick Parker made a recommendation that each chapter identify someone to make the changes on their chapter page. Transportation: Alice Ritchhart had nothing to report until she gets a committee together. Phil Jones has agreed to serve on this committee. She still wants to get to Bainbridge to find out what is going on down there with their transportation. She asked for any other volunteers on this committee. Convention Report: Marj Schneider did not really have a report. Marsha said the financial report for the convention has been sent out. She felt it was a real successful conference. She felt things came together in very crucial ways. She collected some feedback from Valerie about hospitality and how to do that as well or better at future conferences. Deborah wondered how many attended and it was stated that 66 attended. Everyone seemed to like the hotel except for some accessibility issues. Those issues need to be looked into for future conference and conventions. Marsha Farrow stressed that we did gain new members from the conference and convention as well as new attendees. Marj Schneider stated that the conference and convention has helped the Savannah chapter with the Center in Savannah. Another positive thing that took place was the networking between the Lions of Georgia and GCB. Elaine Byron and Jackie from the Center, as well as Marsha and Rita Harris will be assisting at the Christmas camp. Ed Johnson spent most of the conference with us networking with anybody he could talk to. Networking the Camp with GCB is going to help GCB network with the younger people in GA. Ed Johnson is now a member of GCB. Future of Conferences and Conventions: Marj Schneider suggested that a committee be formed to look into this topic. She thanked the members who served on the committee: Alice Ritchhart, Deborah Lovell, Marsha Farrow, Jamaica Miller, Rita Harris, and Betsy Grenevitch. She talked about the importance of meeting face to face at these conferences and conventions. The committee is looking at making these a day and a half event. These could include small group sessions, a reception, etc. It would be of a more reasonable size. It would be affordable and manageable. We are also looking at a different time of year such as the 3rd or 4th weekend in April or early May. Having the convention in August is really close to the time of the national convention. The committee wants to poll the members to get their input about moving the conference and convention to the spring. She asked chapter presidents to speak to their members about this idea and to send their feedback to her so she can gather it in a more central way and we can move ahead. They talked about two ideas as to where to hold the next conference and convention. Two ideas the committee came up with were Columbus and/or Gainesville. Marj Schneider asked for input about how those present felt about having spring conference and conventions. Roderick Parker suggested we look at data at what differences would take place if the time of year was changed. Marj Schneider asked the presidents to email her with the results from their chapters. Her email address is marjschneider@bellsouth.net. Georgia Guide Dog Users, GGDU: Betsy Grenevitch gave this report. She stated that the day at the airport where we saw the new relief areas. TSA is requiring all airports that have over 10 thousand planes pass through in a year to have relief areas. Steve Mayers who is over the ADA and customer complaints at the airport set up this meeting. Ricondo Associates, who is one of the main designers of these areas, had two representatives at this meeting. Alice Ritchhart mentioned that the relief areas have to be within a 15-minute walk from where the airplanes fly into. By December there will be a secured relief area in every concourse of the Hartsfield-Jackson airport. The first one was 20 feet past B33 on the right and the second one is at C19 straight across from Starbucks. Deborah Lovell mentioned that there is an app that lists where all of the guide dog relief areas are located at airports throughout the country. Scholarship Committee: Betsy Grenevitch called 2 of the scholarship winners and they gave updates. While waiting for Betsy to call the scholarship winners Alice brought up the point that we needed three more people on the scholarship committee since we're changing the way we are doing things with new guidelines. Keith Morris said he spoke with Debbie Williams and she definitely wants to continue 'as the chair of that committee. He appointed Deborah Lovell, from Augusta, on this committee. Ann Sims suggested that the winners write updates for the Digest. Marsha also suggested that we put something about the scholarship winners on our website as well.
Old Business: Paul Grenevitch, Marj Schneider, and Kay McGill are working on the GCB brochure. Marsha Farrow said GCB is continuing to work on getting 'liability insurance that we can afford for our organization. Jerrie Toney is sending information we have gathered to get some feedback from the Boswell Group. The price we have received so far is $2 thousand annually. Marsha had asked a rep from Grimes to come on the phone and speak with us at our board meeting but never received a response. If you have anyone who knows liability insurance and willing to give us personal opinions and guidelines we would certainly appreciate it. Marj Schneider wanted to know what liabilities this type of insurance would address. She was wondering if someone could advise us how necessary this type of insurance is. She is concerned that this is a way of insurance companies just pulling in more money. Marsha Farrow explained that what we had before was bonding insurance which basically meant that the President and the Treasurer were bonded... If they stole from the organization, they would officially have to be arrested and that insurance would have helped recuperate the money they would have stolen. When we have our conferences if somebody gets hurt at the conference they could sue every member of the board without having any insurance. The newsletter and website are not currently covered as far as content is concerned. In some states now you cannot obtain a hotel if you do not have liability insurance. We might be able to go through a company like National Lloyds that will ensure events. This insurance would protect the board of directors and the membership at large from legal consequences. Roderick Parker stressed that directors and officer’s insurance is what most organizations have. Propone Partners would be good for us to check with. They will do an assessment of the organization to help us become compliant concerning insurance. They will ask a lot of questions and then give a report back to the organization based on these questions. Keith will talk to Roderick about this organization. Kth Morris told about pianos that he worked on at the Lions Camp. Two of the pianos could not be repaired. He took a piano to the camp that cost $450 and tuned it and the other one there he also tuned. New Business: Alice Ritchhart told us about the hearing she attended in Savannah. Anybody with a sensory disability is up the creek. Their goal is to place several hundred thousand people into jobs. They are going back to general counselors. Not everybody was going to have the opportunity to comment at these hearings because of their location. Alice said that because of the upcoming changes the sensory disability groups need to come together and speak out. Greg Schmeig is no longer going to be 'the director of GVRA. Alice said we needed to work with the deaf, deaf-blind, and NFB on these issues. She said if we don't make ourselves heard we are going to be left behind and left out. Anisio Correia said that people from GVRA says RSA is looking at them as a model. He suggested we develop a dialog with Mr. Casey. He said we need to develop a position paper so that we can present that to him. Alice Ritchhart made a motion that the legislative committee would reach out to the other service providers and organizations to get together to work on a position paper, and take on doing a position paper, to meet with Casey to find out where he stands on sensory issues, and to meet with folks on the board who are supposed to be looking out for our interests, and that would include Vincent Martin, Fay Logins, and for the deaf Bob Green. Amanda seconded the motion. RODERICK condensed the motion to say that she moves that the legislative committee make an alliance with the organizations involved with sensory issues. The motion carried. Marj Schneider suggested that we take the talking points developed for the public hearings and modifying and expanding those and ask for comment and feedback from others on those points. These points do reflect our position on the Project Horizon. Roderick Parker wanted us to understand that he is a member of various parliamentarians, but he does not have any major titles that GCB keeps giving him. Life Membership coverage: Is GCB paying national dues or just state dues? Right now we will not ask our life members to pay the state their $7 dues. Roderick recommended we amend the Bylaws that we will cover both state and national dues for life members. Alice moved we make an amendment to the bylaws that we pay national dues for the lifetime members. Announcements: Marsha Farrow discussed the Lions Camp and asked people to let her know if they had anyone who would enjoy attending the Christmas camp .Marj Schneider suggested that we have a board meeting at the camp so people can become more familiar with it. Marsha suggested we make it a strategic planning weekend. Keith Morris said that at the January meeting Roderick will discuss officer duties and Roberts Rules of Order. This meeting will be on January 21. Adjourned: We adjourned at 12:57Pm. Respectfully submitted by, Secretary Betsy Grenevitch GCB Member Profile: Dawn Wright Dawn Wright is a member of the Rome Floyd County chapter. She is a teacher for the visually impaired in the Rome City School district in Rome, Georgia. She has always loved working with children, particularly those with special needs, but she found her love for visually impaired students approximately 6 years ago. She was asked to work as a one-on-one para-professional for a student who is blind, and little did she know how that would change the direction of her life. Dawn chose to obtain her master’s degree in special education with a focus on visual impairments from the University of South Carolina, and she is now planning on beginning her doctorate with a focus on literacy and students with visual impairments. Each day is full of new adventures and challenges as she strives to provide her students with access to the materials that are available to their sighted peers and also give them experiences and opportunities that sometimes are not readily available to them. There’s nothing more rewarding to her than seeing the look on a student’s face as they experience the touch of something they have heard of but never fully understood, or to see them learn the beauty of Braille. Dawn loves the fact that she gets to offer these students an education in the public-school system right alongside their sighted peers. She believes this gives them so many opportunities to learn to advocate for themselves and prepare for life in a world that is not always friendly or easily accessible to those without sight. It is often a hectic and challenging job, but the rewards are far greater than the struggles and Dawn looks forward to continuing to expand her knowledge and resources to better serve each student. GCB Chapter News The Athens chapter officers are Jerrie Toney, President; Jamaica Miller, First Vice-president; Earnest Dean Second vice-president; Evan Bradford, Secretary; Robin Oliver, Treasurer. 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 reported that they are holding an iOS voiceover seminar. This event will be held on Saturday, September 30, 2017 at the Saint Marks United Methodist Church in Augusta. Training will focus on using the iPhone with voiceover. Topics that will be covered are social media, shopping, adaptive games and an open forum. Cost of the seminar is $10 which includes lunch. Additional information and registration information will be available at the GCB State Conference in Gainesville, Georgia. The Augusta chapter officers are Deborah Lovell, President; Stanley Lopez Vice-president; Ron Worley, Secretary and Kathy Morris, Treasurer. Meetings are held at the Columbia County Main Library on Evans Town Center Blvd, 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 in January, they who read Braille talked about what it means to them and how important it is for students with visual impairments to learn Braille. Next, Anne led us in a trivia game about the life of Louis Braille. In February, Ed Johnson from the Lions Camp for the blind spoke to them about the transition the camp is going through. They are presently enlisting the help of the blind to make the camp function better going forward. The camp will also be under new management. In March they held a symposium on transportation in which various members reported on the public transportation available in the counties where they live. They discussed ways to contact our local representatives, participate in town meetings, etc. to encourage leadership to consider low-cost transportation for the visually impaired. They stated that in April they are going to be discussing safety in our homes. A representative from the fire department will be teaching us some safety techniques. The East Georgia chapter officers are Cecily Nipper, President; Ann Wheeler, First vice-president; Phil Jones, Second vice-president; Linda Williams, Secretary; Linda Cox, Treasurer; Elsie Aguilar and Rosetta Brown, Board Members. 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 Dirk Jones, President; Donald Hicks First vice-president; Greg McDuffie Second vice-president; Lisa Jones, Secretary; William Miles, Treasurer and Otis Smith, Chaplain. 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 officers are Diane Roberts, President; Judy Presley, Vice-president; Sue Heskett, Secretary; Roy Carder Treasurer. Board members are Don Linnartz, Harvey Roberts, and Bob McGarry. 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 officers are Ron Burgess, President; Fred McDade as Vice-president; Charles Stubblefield as Secretary and treasurer; Robert Sprayberry, Chaplain. Meetings are held on the first Tuesday of every other month at the Bank of Lafayette Community room located at 104 North Main Street in Lafayette, Georgia at 2:00 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 January meeting that Rebecca Arayan from the Georgia radio Reading service told them about all of the different ways we can listen to their service. You can use a radio, your iphone, your ipad, your computer or your home phone. At the February meeting, they played Braille bingo. Everyone brought lots of cool items for the braille bingo winners. They reported that at their March meeting that Dawn Wright, Rome City School District vision teacher spoke about being a TVI, a teacher of the visually impaired. They played a game of trivia and had more cool prizes for the winners. The Rome Floyd County chapter officers are Marsha Farrow, President; Carolyn Dillard, Vice-president; Amanda Wilson, Secretary; Suzanne Jackson. Treasurer; Martha Craig, Chaplain, Bronwyn Rumery, Mark Kinsley, and Terrecia Standridge, Board Members. Meetings are held at the Rome Floyd County Library at 205 Riverside Parkway, 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 email at marshafarrow@windstream.net. The Savannah Chapter reported that at their March meeting they welcomed two guest speakers from the Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision, Fabian Hinostroza, vision rehabilitation specialist and social worker Anika Futch. Both Fabian and Anika discussed their work with clients and as a group they discussed challenges for people who are newly blind and issues around current cell phone technology. They also talked about the current lack of access to the center, that there are no sidewalks in the area and no bus stops nearby. The Savannah chapter hopes that they can help the center in its efforts to change that situation, and they hope to continue to build their relationships with the center staff and clients. More recently, the Savannah chapter member, Kim Harrison, spoke to participants in the center's peer support group about the activities of the Georgia Council of the Blind, and in particular the Savannah chapter. Kim got a positive response and they hope to have some new attendees at upcoming Savannah chapter meetings. The Savannah Chapter officers are Marj Schneider, President; Bob Walls, Vice-president; Teresa Brenner Secretary; Jon Bairnsfather, Treasurer. Their Board Members are Jan Elders and John McMillon. Meetings are held at the conference room at J. C. Lewis Ford 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 Metro Chapter reported that on Thursday, February 16, they celebrated Chris Baldridge's birthday by meeting at O'Charlie's in Tucker, Georgia. Other friends besides our chapter members were also invited, and Chris Baldridge had around 15 folks there. It was a very nice party. Then, on Tuesday, March 7, we celebrated Chester Thrash's birthday which was on Saturday, March 4, by meeting at Zesto's in Forest Park, Georgia. Fortunately, the MARTA now goes into Clayton County, making it possible to use restaurants in Forest Park, Morrow and Jonesboro. We enjoyed this celebration for Chester Thrash very much, although some of us overate those foot-long hot dogs and overdrank those delicious milk shakes! Brent has been keeping us up to date with MARTA news each month, and Chris has been sending out cards and remembering those who need our prayers. Our President, Lisa Jones, would certainly appreciate everyone's prayers as she has been ill for some time now. She did feel like making the last chapter meeting, we are happy to report. We salute Maquatia Dutton, our faithful member who calls everyone each month to remind us of our meeting time and place. We appreciate all the hard work Steve Longmire does as our chapter Treasurer and as the Web Master for GCB. He encourages everyone to continue to check the Web site and give him information for updates. Just check in to www.georgiacounciloftheblind.org and see what is going on in our state. More personal news: John M. Sims decided to retire from tennis after playing over 70 years! He had a fall back in November, hurting his head and most of all, his pride. He got well and went back and played a few times, but he felt shaky and was afraid he might fall again. He stopped just before Christmas and sent all of his tennis equipment, including his shoes, to his son, Anthony, in Toledo, Ohio. He hopes Anthony will carry on the tennis tradition. Barbara Graham has a new volunteer from the Center for the Visually Impaired, and she is enjoying all the help from this fine lady. People who are visually impaired and blind in the Atlanta area may contact The Center for Visual Impairments, CVI, and ask for a volunteer to help in various ways including grocery shopping, general shopping, transportation, reading, and many other needs. The number to call is 404-875-9011. In April, we hope to celebrate Sam Howard's birthday. He has not announced where he would like to celebrate, but we think it will probably be a good barbecue place, like Old Hickory House in Tucker, Georgia. His birthday is April 19. They are trying to think of a good fundraiser for the chapter. If any of you out there have any suggestions for us, please let us know and they will be glad to consider them. We used to be involved in the Belk Charity Days, but they haven't been able to do that for a few years now. Hopefully, they will see you all during the upcoming Convention/Conference in Gainesville, Georgia. Thanks to all who are working hard on preparing for that fine weekend. The South Metro Atlanta chapter officers are Lisa Jones, President; Brent Reynolds, Vice-President; Chris Baldridge, Secretary; Steve Longmire, Treasurer; Maquatia Dutton and Sam Howard, Board Members. 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 The Georgia Guide Dog Users, GGDU, will hold its Spring Meeting on April 28th at the Ramada Inn Lanier Center in Gainesville, GA at the time of 4:00 PM till 6:00 PM. Deanna Izzo will be our guest speaker. Deanna is a Field Representative for the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind. Deanna will speak on the topic of how puppy raisers are chosen, and the aspect of puppy training. Rita Harris, President of GGDU had a great experience as a first-time attendee at the ACB mid-year meeting and Legislative Seminar. Being prepped on the imperatives that were to be presented to the representatives was very informative. It was extremely exhilarating being on Capitol Hill. For more information about the Georgia Guide Dog Users, please contact Rita Harris at 706-474-0404, or via email at rita@livinglifeteam.net GCB In Memory of: Vance Princeton Barnes of Gainesville, GEORGIA, passed away peacefully at his residence on Thursday, January 26, 2017 after a short battle with cancer. Born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1931, the only child of the late Ezra Elihu and Kathleen Chatham Barnes, he lived in Morningside and graduated from Grady High School and Emory University in Atlanta, GA. He served in the Army during the Korean War as an Instructor at Fort Benning, GA in Light and Heavy Weapons and was honorably discharged having achieved the rank of Sargent. During his service, he received the National Defense Service and Good Conduct Medals. A lifelong salesman, he owned Vance P. Barnes Equipment Co. for many years. Vance never retired and continued to make deals until shortly his death. He loved to dance, loved meeting and talking with people, looked for the good in all and truly lived his motto to "always be friendly." He is preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Jane Gale Barnes, and is survived by sons and daughters-in-law David and Martha Creager Barnes of Houston, TX, Thomas and Lynn May Barnes of Greensboro, NC, Joseph and Mimi Lindborg Jove-Barnes of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Richard and Dr. Bridgett Moore Barnes of Valdosta, GA and eight grandchildren: Jessica, Rebecca (Jonathan) Goodwin Swann, Lois, Katherine, Benjamin, Cameron, Jon and Tucker and cousin Nancy (Mrs. Donald) Newman. The family wishes to thank the staff and Vance's many friends at Smoky Springs Senior Living in Gainesville, GA, as well as the First Presbyterian Church, Gainesville, Halcyon Hospice, his caregivers and internist Dr. Lin Zoller, III, son of his lifelong friends Linwood and Myra Zoller of Gainesville, GA. A memorial service WAS held at 10:00 am, on Wednesday, February 8, 2017, at First Presbyterian Church, 800 South Enota Drive, NORTHEAST, IN Gainesville, GEORGIA 30501. Rev. Lee Koontz conducted the memorial service. A reception followed the service in the Parlor. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you make a contribution to the B.A.S.I.C.S. Class Mission Fund of First Presbyterian Church, in Gainesville, Georgia. Jeanne Jordan Ebbs departed life on this earth on Saturday, January 21, 2017. Jeanne and her husband Paul lived in Flowery Branch, GA until Paul passed away in 2009. For the past seven years Jeanne has been an active and beloved resident of the Smokey Springs Independent Living Home in Gainesville, Georgia. A memorial service at Smokey Springs was held on Thursday January 26, 2017, a celebration of life for her extended family and friends will is held in early August at the University Yacht Club in Flowery Branch, Georgia. Jeanne was born in St. Louis, MO on July 29, 1922 and graduated from Kirkwood High School. During this time in her life she met her future husband Paul Allen Ebbs who attended a nearby high school. Jean went on to attend Washington University in Saint Louis where she was a member of the Kappa Gamma sorority. Jeanne married Paul in February 1946 upon his return from service with the US Navy in the Pacific Theater during World War II. The couple moved many times in the subsequent years due to Paul’s work as a marketing and customer relations’ executive with the Shell Oil Company. They lived and raised their family in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Connecticut, until finally settling in Dunwoody, GA in 1966. Jeanne enjoyed tennis, sewing, community service, and was an avid fan and longtime attendee of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. She stayed active in a local chapter of the Kappa Gamma Sorority, continuing her commitment to helping and mentoring young ladies. In retirement she and Paul became active with the Coast Guard Auxiliary of Lake Lanier. You could often find Jeanne on her powerboat “Squidge”, a nickname from her husband, patrolling and keeping the waters of Lanier safe. Jeanne is survived by four children: Jeanne White, Elizabeth Tully, and Paul and Will Ebbs. “Grammy” is also survived by twelve grandchildren and, to date, nineteen great-grandchildren with two more expected arrivals soon. Jeanne is predeceased in death by her parents Iola Green and Owen Jordan of Saint Louis, her beloved husband Paul, her sister Ruth, and tragically, her adored granddaughter Loni. Jeanne’s strength and love has enriched lives and hearts and set the moral guideposts for all who trace linage to her. Gone but never forgotten. Memorial Park Funeral Home, 2030 Memorial Park Road, Gainesville, GA 30504 is in charge of arrangements. GCB Announcements: Out of Sight The time is right to join Out-Of-Sight! We are a group of blind fun-loving, congenial, and interesting people from all over the world, who use our screen-readers and microphones to play games, chat, learn, and socialize on our own internet TeamTalk server. We have a full schedule of activities every day and evening and you can drop in whenever you wish. We display our musical talents and play music in our music rooms. You can get help with your computer, your iPhone, your cooking, and your chess game, or you can just simply have fun! We also have a book-discussion group and Bible groups. There is no end to the stimulation, excitement, and camaraderie you will experience, and it is all free! It is like a burst of fresh air and sunshine coming into your life. To join us and receive your materials, simply send your real name, a preferred nickname if any, your email address, and your phone number to oosnhq@gmail.com. We sum it up by saying: "Catch the vision--it's Out of Sight. ACB Announcement American Council of the Blind Convention announcement Extra! Extra! the convention is moving one day forward! Convention dates are Friday June 30th through Friday, July 7th. Our first tours will be on June 30th with final tours on July 7th. Our opening general session will be held Saturday evening, July 1st with general sessions Sunday through Wednesday morning, and all day on Thursday the 6th followed by our banquet that evening. Most affiliates and committees will hold their events one day earlier than in the past. As always there are a few exceptions. The auction will be held Monday evening, July 3rd and the Friends-in-Art Performing Arts Showcase on Tuesday the 4th. The exhibit hall will be open Saturday, July 1st through Wednesday, July 5th. Don't miss out on the fun! Make your hotel reservations today! Room rates at the Nuggett are $89 single or double; there is an additional $10.00 per night charge per person for up to four people per room. Applicable state and local taxes are currently 13.4%. Effective June 2016 there is also a $2.00 per day tourism tax added to each room. When you make your reservation, one night's stay will be charged to your credit card. To make reservations via telephone call 1-800-648-1177 and ask for Group Code GACB17. You may also make reservations online by visiting our website www.acb.org. Contact Janet Dickelman, convention coordinator with any questions via email at janet.dickelman@gmail.com, or by phone at 651-428-5059. GCB Conference-Convention Information Spring into Action with GCB! Georgia Council of the Blind Improving the lives of Georgians with vision loss for 61 Years and counting! Tours held on April 28, 2017 2017 GCB Convention & Conference held on April 28 and 29, 2017 in beautiful Gainesville, Georgia. Make your plans and join us! There will be a tour to the Northeast Georgia History Center on Friday, April 28, 2017 and Tandem Biking on Saturday, April 29, 2017. On Friday evening there will be a Welcome Reception held at the hotel beginning at 7:00 pm and ending at 9:00 pm. The Guest Speaker this year will be Matt Simpson, a Silver Medalist winner at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. The Welcome Reception will include finger foods and beverages for all to enjoy. On Friday evening to close the Welcome Reception, there will be a Live Auction of Theme-filled baskets and items donated by Chapters and At-Large members. Auction items and their starting bids can be viewed on the GCB website. Beginning on Saturday morning, there will be informative programming throughout the day. There will be a luncheon filled with great food and fun! GCB Board Members and Guests will hold a business and a board meeting. Make your reservations now at the Ramada Inn Lanier Center in Gainesville, Georgia. The room rate is $90.00 per night plus tax. The Ramada Inn Lanier Centre is located at 400 EE Butler Parkway in Gainesville, Georgia 30501. the phone number is 770.531.0907. When you call to book your rooms are sure to say that you are with the Georgia Council of the Blind. If you have any questions please con tact Judy Presley at 706-878-2962, or via email at hoyal@windstream.net or Marsha Farrow at 706-859-2624, or via email at marshafarrow@windstream.net.

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