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Winter 2019

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An Affiliate of the American Council of the Blind

Carrie Chapman, President

200 Parkview Dr.

Waukee, IA 50263



Don Wirth, Co-Editor

921 – 9th St., #208

Ames, IA 50010



Sandy Tigges, Co-Editor

2904 - 34th St.

Des Moines, IA 50310



The ICUB Bulletin is available in large print, via email, and on an NLS-compliant digital audio cartridge. To subscribe to the cartridge edition, please contact the Iowa Department for the Blind Library at 515-281-1323 or 800-362-2587, option 2. Please direct other questions about format and address changes to Co-Editor Don Wirth.

Table of Contents

President’s Message 3

A Christmas Memory 6

Hot Buttered Rum 10

Selecting ICUB as a Beneficiary 11

Meet the Board: Rose Stratton 11

Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School Update 14

Donating Your Vehicle to Benefit ICUB 15

A Golden Anniversary 15

In Memory of Those We Have Lost 18

News You Can Use 21

ACB Diabetes in Action Tupperware Fundraiser 22

Shopping to Benefit ICUB 24

Des Moines Chapter Update 25

Coming Together to Benefit Others 26

ICUB Calendar of Events 27

ICUB Officers and Board Members 34

President’s Message

Carrie Chapman

Dear ICUB members and friends!

Can you believe this year is almost over? We have less than five months before our 2020 state conference and convention, which is scheduled for April 3-5, 2020. We are looking forward to the new location at the Courtyard Marriott, 2405 SE Creek View Drive in Ankeny. Have you reserved your room yet? If not, you can do so by calling 515-422-5555. You have until March 28, 2020, to make reservations at the convention room rate of $99 per night +12% tax. Make sure to ask for the group rate for the Iowa Council of the United Blind to obtain it. The convention committee is hard at work, so watch for more details coming soon.

In September, the Commission for the Blind met to discuss, among other things, changing the library’s name, moving Orientation Center students out of the dormitory area and into apartments, and establishing a 4Plus program at the Department, which would involve moving 4PLUS students into the building. Following the recommendation of the Library Advisory Committee, the Commission voted to change the library’s name to The Iowa Library for the Blind and Print Disabled. Although the Commission approved the Department’s budget which reflects the program changes for Orientation and the 4PLUS initiative for next year, many steps will need to be taken before proposed changes are put into place. We will keep you informed as more information becomes available. I encourage you to attend Commission meetings and the director’s monthly forum, both of which you can do by phone or in person. If you would like to get announcements regarding these meetings, please contact Janice Eggars at 515-281-1336, and ask to be added to the mailing list. You can find other ways to voice your opinion on Department issues in the last Bulletin.

At the beginning of October, I attended the banquet of the Dubuque Association of the Blind, which was celebrating its fiftieth anniversary. I was honored to have the opportunity to speak on behalf of ICUB and to be a part of such a celebratory occasion. It was a great event and well attended. Congratulations, Dubuque, on your golden anniversary!

In the last issue, I mentioned I had participated on a disability panel with Senators Tom Harkin and Kirsten Gillibrand. Afterwards I received an e-mail from a local Lions’ Club member who asked if I would be interested in speaking at one of their meetings. I was happy to do so, and joined them at the Iowa Cubs’ Clubhouse in downtown Des Moines. About 15-20 people were present, and I once again had the opportunity to talk about our organization. They were very interested in ICUB and impressed with all the things the Des Moines Chapter does. A big thanks to Lori Trujillo-Roush, Des Moines Chapter President, and everyone else who volunteers their time and effort to plan and work these events. Your hard work and dedication do not go unnoticed.

A few weeks ago, Rosemary Russell, Linda Gonzalez, and I had the opportunity to visit and speak at a senior center on the south side of Des Moines. We were able to connect and talk with several people who had an interest in learning how to deal with blindness and low vision. The three of us really enjoyed speaking to them and hope we will have another chance to do so.

Lastly, I have a quick update regarding ICUB’s efforts to get accessible absentee ballots in Iowa. I am happy to say we are making real progress and hope to have more information to share at the beginning of the year.

Please feel free to reach out to me anytime with any questions, concerns, or ideas you might have. I can be reached at 1-866-436-0141 or by email at: .

Stay warm and have a wonderful holiday!

Carrie Chapman, President

A Christmas Memory

Sandy Tigges

I have many warm memories from the eighteen years I directed the Department’s Orientation Center. Heated discussions in the Business of Blindness class, filling in for instructors in Braille and Home Ec Classes, and picking apples at a nearby orchard come to mind. Under sleepshades, students and staff shared experiences as we climbed to the top of the Elk Horn windmill, found our way through corn mazes, and camped and hiked trails at Sugar Creek Camp in Wisconsin. Of course, I especially enjoyed the many treats the students proudly brought to my office, which they had made in Home Ec or brought back from a cane travel route. Most of all, though, I recall with pleasure the many traditions Orientation staff and students shared during the holiday season.

The Center’s Christmas preparations began the week after Thanksgiving with our annual visit to Murphy’s Tree Farm to cut down the Christmas tree. Snug in our coats, hats, gloves, and sleepshades, we climbed off the Center bus and onto the hay rack, which Mr. Murphy pulled with his tractor to the section with the tallest trees. We would need a twelve to fourteen footer to do justice to that high ceiling in the Rec Room. Cynthia “CIP” Qloud enthusiastically called students from one tree to another, showing them how to use their hands to determine the fullness of a tree and their canes to check its height. Other staff worked with those who were hesitant walking on uneven ground, demonstrating how to use their canes to find holes, bumps, and mounds of snow.

Once consensus was reached on which tree was best, students took turns crawling under it, wielding a limb saw to cut it down. Excitement grew as each cut was made, and everyone cheered as they heard the final creak and the tree fell. Students then paid for the tree from their treasury, Mr. Murphy wrapped it in wire, and we put it on the truck for its journey to its new home.

After enjoying a warming soup lunch prepared by Home Ec students and with sleepshades again in place, we all headed to the Rec Room for an afternoon of holiday decorating. Some students never had the opportunity to decorate a tree, while others didn’t think they could do it after losing their vision. I recall one woman whose husband had told her there was no point in getting their tree down from the attic since she wouldn’t be able to decorate it anymore. (She later proved him wrong.) With Christmas music playing, students explored the Christmas decorations they had brought up on a cart from Industrial Arts. Everyone worked together. Some climbed a ladder to wrap the tree in lights, others hung ornaments on the tree, and still others placed decorations on the fireplace mantle, in windows, and on tables. Some traveled to Walgreen’s to buy more lights and ornaments, after they learned they could tell by touch if a string of lights was burned out. In the days to follow, I smiled every morning as I came into the building and inhaled the fragrance wafting from that wonderful tree.

The next project was to plan the Christmas party. In Home Ec Class, students would decide with instructor Mary Clarke what kind of food they wanted to serve. One year it might be appetizers, another year soup and dessert, and still another a full turkey dinner. Whatever the choice, the food was always served buffet style, giving students the experience of going through a line and serving themselves. In Cane Travel class, students might shop for a gift to put under the tree for the gift exchange. In Communications, they would wrap their presents and Braille name tags. Some younger students had never learned how to wrap a gift, while older ones didn’t think they could do it without vision. And then it was time to select the games. I recall playing dreidel with Hershey’s kisses as the prize, a scavenger hunt with clues written in Braille, blindfold musical chairs, Name That Tune with Larry Sidwell tooting out the notes on his tuba, and creative gift exchanges so intense you never knew what you were going to end up with. One year, I got a large box so heavily wrapped in duct tape that it took me fifteen minutes and Dave Hauge’s Leatherman to get to the Starbuck’s gift card inside. Students and staff often invited their family members to join in the fun, which made the party even more festive.

The tree came down the day the Center’s Christmas break began. There was a hint of sadness in the air as students packed up ornaments and decorations for the next year’s group of students to use. The tree was either given to a homeless center or carried out to the alley where it always seemed to disappear overnight. A vacuum cleaner picked up the loose pine needles, and the furniture was put back in place. The Rec Room became bland and empty without the sparkle of holiday decorations and the smell of fresh pine.

In the last Business of Blindness class before the break, I would play a recording of Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory, his recollections of Christmases as a young boy growing up in Mississippi. The themes are the importance of traditions and the family and friends who remain a part of our lives even though we may never see them again. The story was fitting, since several students would often complete their training at this time, ready to begin their new lives with the new year. Although these graduates may not ever be in contact with the staff or their fellow students again, they—and I—would never lose the memory of Christmas in the Orientation Center with those we love.

Hot Buttered Rum

Sandy Tigges

This yummy recipe came from my brother, Austin Healey. He lives in Wisconsin, a state even colder and snowier than Iowa. And, yes, that is really his name!

1 cup butter, softened

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup sifted powdered sugar

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened

Rum of your choice

Cinnamon sticks

Combine butter, sugars, and spices. Fold in softened ice cream. Freeze in a sealed container. For each cup, combine 2 tablespoons of the mixture with ½ cup hot water and 3 tablespoons of rum. Stir with a cinnamon stick.

Selecting ICUB as a Beneficiary

If you or a friend would like to remember the Iowa Council of the United Blind in your will, you may do so by using the following language: “I grant, devise, or bequeath unto the Iowa Council of the United Blind, a non-profit charitable organization, the sum of ______ dollars, ____ percent of my net estate, or the following stocks and bonds (please list them) to be used for its worthy purposes on behalf of blind persons.” If your wishes are more complex, you can have your attorney call 515-279-4284, or write to the Iowa Council of the United Blind, 4013 - 30TH Street, Des Moines, IA 50310.

Meet the Board: Rose Stratton

Don Wirth

Editor’s Note: This is the next in a series of articles to introduce or re-introduce our readers to members of the Board of Directors of ICUB.

Rose Stratton lives in Maquoketa. She is an Iowa girl who was born in Richmond as one of 10 children. Her family later moved to Cedar Rapids. She attended the School for the Blind in Vinton from 1942 to 1954.

When I asked Rose if she had worked outside of the home, she said no. Her husband Bob worked at Clinton Motors and then had a bike shop. “I was just at home,” she said. As we talked more, I found out that “just at home” came after she married Bob in 1968. Before that, she worked for more than 8 years for various businesses, including Collins Radio in Cedar Rapids. Also that staying at home included running a child care service with as many as six children at a time. Oh, she also managed the books for Bob’s bike shop – making the invoices, collecting payments, making the deposits, and keeping the records. It wasn’t quite the cooking, cleaning, and household care I usually think of when I think of someone who doesn’t work outside the home.

Rose was born with congenital cataracts. She had surgeries at the age of 3 but never fully regained her sight. She had trouble as a student at the Catholic school she started in as a child. They advised that she be sent to the School for the Blind in Vinton, which she attended for the next 12 years. She made many friends and still maintains an active interest in the happenings at the school.