(Editor's Note: The Grand Valley Chapter of NFBCO is only a year-and-a-half old but, as you can see from their second newsletter, these Federationists have the spirit and are putting it into action!
FALL QUARTER 2015
The ultimate purpose of the National Federation of the Blind is the complete integration of the blind into society on a basis of equality. This objective involves the removal of legal, economic, and social discriminations; the education of the public to new concepts concerning blindness; and the achievement by all blind people of the right to exercise to the fullest their individual talents and capacities. It means the right of the blind to work along with their sighted neighbors in the professions, common callings, skilled trades, and regular occupations.
To contact our local Federation:
- Board Members:
- Nathan Hecker (President) 605-610-7959
- Steve Davis (Vice President) 970-241-9638
- Elaine Davis (Secretary) 970-778-7246
- Cassidy Martorana (Treasurer) 970-250-4167
- Margaret Williams (Member at Large) 970-314-7676
To make donations send check or money order to:Ntl Federation of the Blind of CO
c/o Nathan Hecker
751 Glenwood Avenue
Grand Jct., Co. 81501
Your donations are greatly appreciated!"
Words from our President:By Nathan Hecker
We have been staying busy in Grand Junction! In the beginning of August we had a successful fundraiser at Kannah Creek Brewing Company, and would like to give them special thanks; we look forward to another Firkin fundraiser with them next year!
The work of our Grand Valley Chapter can already be seen in the lives of our members. Margaret Williams and Alice Besiack attended the Seniors in Charge program held at Colorado Center for the Blind (CCB) and both have benefited from their experience at CCB. Later on in this newsletter Margaret Williams shares her interesting and exciting story and experience as a senior student of the Seniors in Charge program
I am excited to see the NFB in action. Our Vice President Steve Davis and I gave remote testimony at Colorado Mesa University to the Colorado legislature's Interim Study Committee on Vocational Rehabilitation Services for the Blind alongside other advocates and activists. We spoke about the need for separate services for the blind in Colorado! We made sure that Grand Junction was not left out and let them know the NFB is across the state! We also spoke with the local department of vocational rehabilitation services in Grand Junction, and I am excited to announce that Lorraine Hutchison will be speaking at our chapter meeting in October! We also briefly met with a member of the CMU Educational Access Services staff in order to reach out to blind students attending CMU. In our discussion, we talked about assistive technology, and let them know we are here if they run into any problems.
We are working toward holding fundraisers in the near future; follow us on Facebook to find out more information on our upcoming events. We also are excited about our upcoming state convention in Colorado Springs, and are providing some aid in funds, as needed, to those who want to attend the convention!
I'd like to give additional thanks to our members for their hard work, St. Matthews Episcopal Church for providing transportation to us, and our supporters for their encouragement. Without each and every one of you we would not be able to make the Grand Valley Chapter what it is! If anyone has any questions please do not hesitate to contact one of our board members! We all strive and work hard for a better life and encourage one another in the motto, “live the life you want”!
Appreciating our community, Flexibility is the keyBy Elaine Davis
Every community presents its assets or strengths and its special and wonderful challenges. it is our work as the Federation to bring out and enhance the strengths of our communities and to overcome community challenges. We, in our efforts, work to enhance the quality of life for blind people and for all in our communities.
We would like to thank the Center for Independence for supporting us since our inception. The Center has helped us in our chapter efforts through their encouragement, their time spent with us, assistance and by their constructive ideas on building a strong and resilient chapter.
We heartily thank the Kannah Creek Brewing Company for our recent Firkin Fundraiser which was a lot of fun and a big success.
Lastly, we would like to thank St. Matthews Episcopal Church for supplying monthly transportation to our meetings. This has helped greatly in bringing in new members.
As a chapter of the Federation we as blind people can contribute to our changing communities and help bring about a better and richer life for all. In doing this, flexibility is the key for this is one of our greater keys of success and longevity as a chapter.
Our community and the NFB, becoming involvedBy Steven Davis
As it has been said many times “Life is what you make it” and that is ever so true with us. Our lives then are what we make them and for all of us we must each shape and determine our own lives.
All of us are blessed or, if you will, fortunate in that we live in a great nation, state, and community where we all can make a difference. We, each, as informed and active citizens of our community, state, and nation can shape our own future determine and bring about opportunity for all of us and determine the quality of our own lives.
The National Federation of the Blind, for over seventy years, has actively been working for the greater opportunity, security, and quality of life for all blind people. We as Federationists believe that it is ourselves who must determine this greater opportunity, security, and quality of life for all of us. We, each, then as blind people can determine our own future and aid others in doing so and can positively help shape our communities and our nation and can make a difference.
How might we become even more active and greater self determined citizens as blind people? Becoming active participants in our local chapter is a very positive and effective way or means of transforming our lives, shaping our futures for the good and guaranteeing opportunity for all blind people.
How do we do this?
- Become self determined.
- We, each might examine our lives not necessarily in terms of our blindness, but rather in terms of what we want out of life. The National Federation of the Blind asserts that “blindness does not define us or our future” but rather it is our desires and motivation in life.
- Become informed.
- All influential and active members of their community must become informed. We as members of our communities and as members of the blind community must become knowledgeable about the issues, including our blindness which we now or potentially may face.
- Become involved.
- Those who affect their lives and shape their communities often become active within organizations and groups who represent their common interests. Becoming active in the National Federation of the Blind represents a way to significantly promote and challenge our blindness and to ensure opportunities for ourselves and others as blind people.
- Become self reliant.
- One who is self reliant helps shape the world in which he or she lives. But most importantly those who are self reliant may achieve their dreams and live the life they wish. The National Federation of the Blind asserts that blind people can, “given the right skills”, achieve their dreams and live their desired life.
We can contribute to and control our own lives and aid others in doing so.
Join the National Federation of the Blind and participate in the challenging of blindness. As a participant in the community, state, and national efforts of the National Federation of the Blind, you can make a difference and in doing so you will help shape the opportunity and future for us all.
Upcoming MeetingsBy Elaine Davis
We here at NFBCO Grand Valley Chapter are currently changing our dates and times of our meetings. We will be meeting at the Center for Independence at 740 Gunnison. Our next meeting will be Saturday, September 12th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
In October, our meeting will be Saturday, October 3rd from 10:00 a.m. -- 12:00 p.m.
In November our meeting will be Saturday, November 7th from 10:00 a.m. -- 12:00 p.m.
Come join us in our lively discussion, WE HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!
Our Blindness, Our challengeBy Elaine Davis
Our local chapter of the state affiliate is active and hard at work in encouraging blind people to transform their lives to have a vision as to what is possible and to achieve their desired goals.
Two of our senior members, Alice Besiack and Margaret Williams, attended the Senior’s in Charge program at the Colorado Center for the Blind (CCB) this last month.
Margaret Williams who is visually impaired is a capable and active member of the community and our local affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado and is an inspiration to many here.
Margaret learned a variety of skills in challenging and taking control of her blindness. Margaret gained confidence in her reading Braille and was able to read some words. She feels that the techniques that she learned in reading Braille were very useful. Margaret also discovered the use of the long white cane which she proudly employs now in her traveling with greater confidence. In her wanting to attend the Senior’s in Charge program, she expressed an interest in baking and decorating a cake which she learned to do while at CCB. She also learned how to thread a standard sewing needle having a small eye which she hasn’t been able to do since losing much of her vision.
Margaret tells us that someone who is newly blind can also take these classes. They teach you how to use mobility skills, Braille classes, Daily living skills, cooking, woodworking, technology just to name a few. She has expressed that attending CCB has increased her confidence and desire to challenge her blindness and pursue even more her interests. She has also expressed the idea that all of one’s senses may be employed in life’s adventure and that blindness is only a characteristic and not a barrier. Margaret is planning to continue her effort in tackling Braille and wants to be a fluent Braille user.
Margaret feels that attending CCB’s Seniors in Charge program is for her a life changing experience and has given her a different outlook on what it means to be blind. She would recommend this program to all blind seniors.
Come one, come all and rally with us, its state convention time again!By Elaine Davis
Come and join us at this year’s state convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado. here you will see us in action in carrying forward the work of the Federation. It is expected that a large attendance of enthusiastic Colorado Federationists and others will attend, learn, and help shape our continuing work as we march toward greater equality and opportunity for all blind people.
This year’s convention will be held at the Antlers Hilton which is located at 4 S. Cascade Avenue in Colorado Springs. The convention will be held from Thursday, October 29th through Sunday, November 1st. Hotel rooms will be $89 per night excluding taxes.
Registration before October 19th:
Registration - $20
Friday and Saturday lunch - $20 each
Saturday banquet - $35
Registration after October 19th:
Registration - $25
Friday and Saturday lunch - $25 each
Saturday banquet - $40
Come join us in the hard work and fun, and help us make this year even better.
Margaret’s CornerBy Margaret Williams
This month Margaret has given a cool treat to try Watermelon pie
- ¼ c. boiling water
- 1 package 3 oz. watermelon jello
- 1 1/2 containers cool whip
- 2 c diced watermelon
- 2 ready-made graham cracker pie crusts (either 8 or 9 inch)
- Directions for pie
- Pour water over jello in large bowl
- Stir until well dissolved
- Let cool for 5 minutes
- Mix ½ container of cool whip in bowl
- Fold in rest of cool whip with 2 cups diced watermelon
- Pour mixture in pie crust
(Makes 2 pies)
A glimpse of fall, Upcoming eventsBy Elaine Davis
It is beginning to get cooler and the leaves are falling from the trees. And even now this fall finds us, the Grand Valley Chapter, hard at work.
We the Grand Valley Chapter are looking ahead to several possible fundraisers and other events:
We will be having a cookie sale October 9th.
Where: City Market 200 Rood Avenue
When: October 9th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
COME AND JOIN US AND HAVE FUN!
We are also looking forward to White Cane Day on Thursday, October 15th when we will promote the progress made by blind people in determining their own lives. We are also excited about the state convention held in Colorado Springs from October 29th through November 1st. We expect a good representative membership from the Grand Valley Chapter to attend.
Our chapter this fall will be doing some tandem bicycling with Colorado Discoverability. Further information will be given as details become available.
This fall will indeed be a busy final quarter of the year for us.
Where do we go from here?The Grand Valley Board
The Grand Valley Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado (NFBCO) is just over one and a half years since its formation in February 2014. We have overcome many challenges and look forward to continued growth and a meaningful and vibrant chapter.
It is often daunting to form a new organization in a community. This challenge is often compounded by the lack of knowledge of members and potential members as to the nature of the new organization. A major challenge for any new organization is the welding of its diverse membership into a cohesive and vibrant whole.
The Grand Valley Chapter is vibrant and forward looking and although our meetings may become somewhat disorderly at times the excitement can be felt in the air. Even though members may be unsure in how things are going to be accomplished nevertheless a “can do” attitude is shown in chapter enthusiasm.
We, as a chapter, are beginning to address the issues as possibly plaguing many chapters and are also addressing common challenges based by us all as blind people. As a chapter, we are beginning to make small inroads in contacting various businesses throughout the community and are striving to form meaningful relationships with key organizations within our local area.
This newsletter, in its purpose to inform our chapter members and others as to blindness and to promote and engage our members in the work of the National Federation of the Blind, will be presenting informative and meaningful articles on blindness, the work of the Federation in its effort toward security, opportunity, and equality for blind people. This newsletter will also present challenges of blindness based by our community and how such challenges may be overcome.
We as a chapter are looking forward to a fruitful year and are hoping to meaningfully promote self reliance and to carry forward the work of the Federation.
Come and join the Grand Valley Chapter in challenging blindness. Come, live, grow, and learn—“LIVE THE LIFE YOU WANT”.