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Winter 2001 Bulletin


Published Quarterly by


Affiliate of




3912 SE 5th St.

Des Moines, Iowa 50315

(515) 284-0505

1-888-404-5562 (Toll Free)



2012 - 40th Place

Des Moines, Iowa 50310

(515) 279-2817



1437 Guthrie

Des Moines, Iowa 50316

(515) 263-1441



4013 - 30th Street

Des Moines, Iowa 50310

(515) 279-4284



ICUB Officers and Directors 2

Notice to Readers 3

President’s Report 3

ICUB Host Committee ACB Convention 2001 5

National Committee Members 6

2000 Des Moines Chapter Raffle Summary 7

Expanded Newspapers Read in Iowa 8

For Immediate Release - Scholarships 10

National Scholarships Announced 11

Deceased (Cecelia Witte) 12

She Teaches the Blind to Focus on Self-Esteem 13

I’m Fine 16

Cedar Rapids Chapter Report 17

Cedar Valley Council of the Blind - Waterloo Iowa News 18

Des Moines Chapter Report 19

Dubuque Association of the Blind 21

Not for Me 22


President, Donna Seliger

Des Moines, 515/284-0505

1st V.P., Michael Hoenig

Davenport, 319/344-8787

2nd V.P., John Taylor

Des Moines, 515/279-2817

Secretary, JoAnn Slayton

Des Moines, 515/279-4284

Treasurer, Michael Barber

Des Moines, 515/263-1441

2-Year Directors

1-Year Directors

Julie Bedard

Des Moines, 515/243-8593

Shirley Conrade

Dubuque, 319/582-7383

Sue Hergert

Coralville, 319/337-7691

Monty Habben

Sioux City, 712/258-6160

Dorothy Janvrin

Fort Dodge, 515/2\573-6043

Dick Natale

West Des Moines, 515/277-1167

Shirley Wiggins

Cedar Rapids, 319/362-7138

Sylvester Nemmers

Des Moines, 515/276-2729


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 may have your attorney call (515) 279-2817, or write Iowa Council of the United Blind, 2012 - 40th Place, Des Moines, Iowa 50310.

Anyone who cannot read this print bulletin or finds it difficult to have it read may receive a cassette copy at no charge. Cassette readers are invited to return this Bulletin for re-use. Please help us keep you better informed.



APRIL 1, 2001


by Donna Seliger

Before I get into details about ICUB business, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year.

The 2001 American Council of the Blind national convention will be held in Des Moines from June 30 through July 7, and we are the host affiliate.

A host committee has been formed, and everyone is working to put together the best convention possible. We have a unique situation because we are using five hotels and the Convention Center for meetings. Three of the hotels are connected to the skywalk system as well as the Convention Center. Because everything is so spread out, we will need a great many volunteers to assist in many different ways. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone who has never been to a national convention to come, take in the convention, exhibits, and also volunteer to help.

There are still plenty of rooms available at a rate of $60 per night plus applicable tax. I am holding five rooms at the Savery Hotel (which may already be full) and 15 rooms at the Marriott for any Iowa people wishing to attend. Please call 1-800-451-2625 and ask for ACB housing. If you want one of the rooms I am holding, indicate that to the person you talk with. I will relinquish these rooms by February 1.

Following this article is a list of the Iowa Host Committee members. If you are interested in helping with the convention, please feel free to contact any committee member or myself at 1-888-404-5562.

By the time you receive this Bulletin, we will have had the second convention planning meeting as well as the ACB mid-year meetings. However, there will be a meeting of the ICUB board and the Iowa Host Committee on March 3, 2001 at the Department for the Blind. Notice of this meeting will be sent out later.

ICUB will not hold its usual annual convention, but will have a shortened version on July 1, 2001 at 2:30pm tentatively scheduled in the Assembly Room at the Department for the Blind. At this meeting, we will conduct elections and other business according to our Constitution.

There will be an updated report of the 2001 ACB Convention in the next Bulletin, but in the meantime, stay warm and call me with any comments or concerns.


Committee Chair

Donna Seliger


Religious Services & Invocations

Debbie Caldbeck


Entertainment before Sessions

Arlo & Elsie Monthei


Entertainment at ACB Hospitality Nights

Dee Clayton

Theresa Philpott



Press Room

Gary Patterson


Convention Office

JoAnn Slayton



Linda Curfman


Information Desk(s)

Viki Whitaker



Bob Seliger

Dee Clayton




Mike Barber



Registration Packet Coordinator

Jeannie Miller


Registration Packet Inserts

Frank Strong


Gospel Sing-Along

Shirley Wiggins


Welcome to Iowa Party


Ads for Program

John Taylor


Door Prizes

Gloria O’Neal


List of Restaurants

Bob Seliger


Iowa Suite Food/Beverages

Dick Natale


Iowa Suite Hostess

Rita Crawford


Vending Machine Braillists

Jeannnie Miller

Rita Crawford



LeRoy Saunders


John Horst


Jerry Annunzio


Margarine Beaman

Press Room

Penny Reeder

Information Tables

Sharon Keeran

Ardis Bazyn

Convention Office

Jean Mann



Diane Bowers

Mike Smitherman

Guide Dog Users

Kent Stanley


by John Taylor

This year our effort received very generous cash gifts of $335 and of this amount, Bobby Palmer, one of our members, contributed $300.

The Des Moines Chapter has completed another very successful raffle which benefited our State organization, groups which sold tickets, and of course, our prize winners. The drawing was held on December 18, 2000.

Raffle tickets sold totaled


Payments to groups which sold tickets, other than the Des Moines Chapter


Total raffle expenses which included some prize acquisitions, raffle license, Iowa sales tax, postage and printing of tickets


Total contributed to the Iowa Council of the United Blind


We extend our warmest thanks to all who helped sell tickets, and our congratulations to our winners. We also express our deep appreciation to those who provided raffle prizes which greatly benefited our raffle results.

The following is a list of our prize winners, along with the names of the persons who sold the winning tickets:


Won by

Sold by

$500 Savings Bond

Sue Hergert, Coralville

Sue Hergert

Waterford Crystal Thomas Jefferson Hurricane Lamp, Younkers

Carl Beall, Waukon

Shirley Wiggins

$200 HyVee Gift Certificate

Edward Schmalen, West Bend

Edward Schmalen

$200 SuperValu Gift Certificate

Judy Warwick, Webster City

Edna Mae Bourne

$100 WalMart Gift Certificate

Leonard Webb, Moorland

Janice Hendrickson

$50 Casey’s Gift Certificates

Valerie Monroe, Webster City

Eppie Frette

$50 Lowe’s Gift Certificate

Michael Burbridge, Cedar Falls

June Belz

$50 Pork Producers Gift Certificate

Rose Davis, Fort Dodge

Bernie Hensley

$25 Target Gift Certificate

Tommy Ford, Sioux City

Tommy Ford

The Raffle Committee gratefully acknowledges the donation of raffle prizes by the following Iowa businesses: Younkers, HyVee, SuperValu, Wal-Mart, Casey’s, Lowe’s, The Iowa Pork Producers, and Target.


by Sally VanderLinden

IRIS, Iowa Radio Reading Information Service for the Blind and Print Handicapped, Inc., has developed a network to cover most of the state of Iowa that includes broadcasts from National Public Radio stations WOI-FM in “Ames; KTPR-FM in Fort Dodge; KSUI-FM in Iowa City/Cedar Rapids and Dubuque; KWIT-FM in Sioux City; KHKE in Waterloo/Cedar Falls and Mason City/Clear Lake, all 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Newspapers now read on the IRIS Network include the Des Moines Register, 9AM to 12 noon, Monday through Saturday, and 9AM to 1PM on Sunday. The Register is repeated in the evening, 6PM to 9PM, Monday through Saturday, and 5PM to 9PM on Sunday; Fort Dodge Messenger, 8AM to 9AM; Iowa City Gazette 8AM to 9AM; and Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier, 8AM to 9AM.

At the end of December, IRIS has nearly 2,000 radios in homes, retirement centers, hospitals and care centers. IRIS also is broadcast on Iowa Public Television’s SAP (secondary audio program) Channel 11 in central Iowa and Channel 12 in eastern Iowa. In addition, three communities carry IRIS programming on their public access channels: Indianola, Maquoketa, and West Branch.

IRIS currently lists 221 volunteer readers in the four areas that read local news: Des Moines, Fort Dodge, Iowa City, and Cedar Falls. Not included in that figure are the Della Gamma sororities from the University of Iowa and Drake University. The Delta Gamma sorority emphasize blindness and print handicapped as their national service project.

Some IRIS schedule changes involve the repeat of the Wednesday noon “Midweek Shopping Cart,” from Thursday at 9PM to Wednesday at 9PM, and the “Lux Radio Theatre” now plays on Thursday nights at 9PM.

A new program schedule is now available from the IRIS office in large print, Braille or cassette. Call 1-877-404-4747, toll free, or 243-6833 in the Des Moines area.


John Taylor, Chair, Scholarship Committee

2012 40th Place

Des Moines, Iowa 50310-3832


The Des Moines Chapter Iowa Council of the United Blind is pleased to announce availability of one $1,500, one $1,000, and one $500 special needs scholarship grant for the 2001-2002 school year. The program is open to any post-secondary, full-time, blind Iowa student who expects to be involved in a training program during the 2001-2002 school year, including college, trade or mechanical, or other similar activity.

The completed application and the attachments, together with the most recent transcript of grades, one letter of recommendation and a certification of legal blindness provided by a doctor or rehabilitation agency should be submitted no later than April 15, 2001.

Applications will be evaluated on the basis of:

1. Scholastic achievement

2. Work experience and/or extracurricular and community activities, and

3. Neatness and appropriateness of the completed application form and attachments.

The Selection Committee expects to make its decision by June 30, 2001.


The American Council of the Blind is pleased to announce its 2001-02 Scholarship Program. Scholarships of $500 to $2,500 are made available to legally blind students pursuing post-secondary education or technical/vocational training in various fields of study. Areas include, but are not limited to, business administration and marketing, physical and computer sciences, advocacy, social services, and education. These awards are made based on academic excellence, community interaction, and leadership qualities.

Applications are available from the ACB National Office at 1-800-424-8666, or on our website at The packet is also available in alternative formats for informational purposes only. All applications and supporting documents must be submitted in print by February 1, 2001. The scholarships will be presented at the ACB 40th Annual National Convention in Des Moines, Iowa, during the week of June 30 through July 7, 2001. Most scholarship winners are expected to be present at the convention if they have reached their 18th birthday. ACB will pay all reasonable costs connected with convention attendance.

The American Council of the Blind is a national membership organization. Its members are blind, visually impaired, and sighted individuals who are concerned about the dignity and well-being of blind people throughout the nation….

DECEASED (printed in Des Moines Register 12/14/00)

Cecelia Witte, Waukee

Cecelia Thoma “Cece” Witte, 77, of Waukee died of cancer Tuesday at home. Services will be at 10:30AM Friday at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Waukee, of which she was a member. Burial at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Dallas Center.

Mrs. Witte was born in Pocahontas and had lived in Montana, Des Moines, Audubon, Mitchellville, and Arlington, Va., before moving to Waukee 24 hours ago. She was a homemaker and a member of Waukee Women’s Club.

She is survived by her husband, Jim; two daughters, Becky Criswell of Runnells and Melanie Witte of Madison, Wis.; two sons, Mark of Clive and Ted of St. Paul, Minn.; two sisters, Lucy Heun of Fort Dodge and Marigene Lennon of Barnum; two brothers, Cletus Thoma of Barnum, and Jerome Thoma of Clare; and three grandchildren…

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Central Iowa, Iowa Department for the Blind or the church’s building fund. Brandt Funeral Home in Dallas Center is handling arrangements.


by Bob Borsellino - Reprinted from the Des Moines Register

There were a dozen of them sitting around the table. They had come from Waterloo and West Des Moines, from Georgia and Hawaii. The age spread went from late teens to early 60s.

In front of the room was Sandy Tigges. She knew what each of them has been through. She went through it herself in the mid 1960s when she was a teenager growing up in Davenport. Like every other high school kid, she was trying to fit in but it wasn’t working out. When she was 14 she started having eye problems and every day she was losing more of her vision. She kept trying to adjust, trying to make believe this was going to be OK. Treating it, she says, like a temporary health problem, the way you’d treat a broken leg.

But this was no minor setback. In time she would be totally blind.

“The worst part was that I just felt like I could never do the things I wanted to do -- go to college, get married, have a family. I felt like I was losing my future, losing everything.”

These days Tigges can smile about that. She’s got a Ph.D. in English and American Lit, a husband who’s a state social worker, and two kids -- a daughter at Drake Law School and a son at Hoover.

She works down at Fourth and Powell at the state Department of the Blind. She spends her days trying to build self-confidence in other folks who have lost their vision. Her job is to convince these folks that it’s OK to be blind. Losing your eyesight doesn’t make you a bad person.

Sometimes it’s a tough sell, sometimes impossible.

The folks who make up their particular class had spent the morning learning some practical skills. Brian sat in front of a computer, surfing the Net and checking his e-mail. This computer had a program called JAWS -- Job Access With Speech -- and it spoke to Brian. So it also helped with his listening skills, something else blind people have to deal with.

Jeannie was in shop class, using a power saw to build furniture. Her teacher, David Hague, says the idea is “not to turn people in carpenters and machinists. It’s to build their confidence. Let them see they could do things they never thought blind people could do.”

And Julie and Stacy were in home ec, whipping up a three-course meal that included spinach balls, bourbon chicken, Parmesan potatoes and pumpkin cheesecake.

Some were in the pool and weight room. Some were in the library.

By the time they got to Tigges’ class -- called “the Business of Blindness” -- they were feeling pretty loose. Tigges even got them laughing as they talked about the difference between 20/1,600 vision and 20/2,000. They talked about folks who can’t bring themselves to admit they’re blind, folks who are more comfortable with the term “visually impaired.”

And they talked a lot about the stigma of carrying a cane, using it to get around.

That was particularly important in this season as they head home for the holidays and spend time with family and friends, people who knew them when they could still see. People who offer them an arm to hold and say: “Do you really need that cane?”

Around the table they talked about well-meaning parents, brothers, sisters, former co-workers who say things like: “You do so well I forget you’re blind.”

Tiggest picks up on that line, compares it to “You do so well I forget you’re inferior,” and wonders if there’s any point getting in people’s faces about it.

Stephanie says that’s the kind of line her father uses, and Greg says it reminds him of his sister, “who’s finally getting over the fact that her little brother can’t see.”

They go on like that for about an hour. Tigges keeps things moving, talking about the trauma and self-doubt each of them is dealing with. Several say they’re impressed with her ability to connect, to understand how they feel.

She makes light of it, but later, alone in her office, she mentions that people still feel it’s shameful to be blind. And the worst part, she says, is that “even blind people feel that way. I would have thought we’d gotten past that by now.”


Submitted by Beulah Maddalozzo

There’s nothing whatever the matter with me.

I’m just as healthy as I can be,

I have arthritis in both my knees

And when I talk, I talk with a wheeze.

My pulse is weak and my blood is thin,

But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.

I think my liver is out of whack

And a terrible pain is in my back.

My hearing is poor, my sight is dim,

Most everything seems to be out of trim,

But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.

I have arch supports for both my feet,

Or I wouldn’t be able to go on the street.

Sleeplessness I have night after night.

And in the morning I’m just a sight,

My memory is failing, my head’s in a spin,

I’m peacefully living on aspirin.

But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.

The moral is, as this tale we unfold,

That for you and me who are growing old,

It’s better to say, ‘I’m fine’ with a grin

Than to let them know the shape we’re in.

(Author unknown)


by Shirley Wiggins

Hello and Happy New Year.

Dues were paid in October, and Dove Tanner and I shared with the others the good time and food given at the Dubuque banquet the 30th of September.

Officers were elected in November. They are as follows: Pres. Shirley Wiggins; Vice Pres. Eldred Gerholdt; Secretary Judy McCarty; Treasurer Dove Tanner. Board members: Anna Dresner and Mable Moore.

Final plans were made concerning the Vinton Christmas Party which was held the 2nd of December.

As usual Dove Tanner and I had the pleasure of buying toys for the WMT. Christmas tree.

I can’t say enough about the Linn County Support Group for the Blind. I am so proud of them. We have 25 to 35 present every month. We now have Leo Greco announcing our meeting monthly from WMT. A.M. radio. Leo is heard every Sunday morning.

We had announcements, discussions, and some trivia games in October. November was in keeping with Thanksgiving. Perle Feuerhelm provided the entertainment.

We of course had a Christmas party in December. We had a gift exchange and peanut butter fudge was passed around. Our program was provided by Anna Dresner. She told us some about herself and accompanied her singing with a guitar. I’m wondering if Anna, Perle, Ruth and I might come up with a few quartet numbers?

Does anyone remember that this is Braille Literacy month? I do wish I.C.U.B. would keep in mind Braille Literacy when they send out pages of print material that totals never hear.


by Helen Cunningham

At our October meeting we handed out raffle tickets and had election of officers. Ray O’Brien-President, Don Franklin-Vice President, Helen Cunningham-Secretary, Louise Cegler-Treasurer, and our board members are Judy O’Brien, Larry and June Belz and Steve Cegler.

The 1st of october Steve Cegler fell down 15 steps and broke his wrist in two places, bruised his ribs. They also had their 53rd wedding anniversary on October 24. They traveled to Aurora, Illinois for Thanksgiving with their daughter and family.

Don Franklin spent Thanksgiving with his sister in North Washington Iowa and her family

Larry and June Belz went to Stanhope, Iowa for their Thanksgiving with her sisters.

On December 10, 2000 Cedar Valley Council had its Christmas dinner at the Village Inn in Waterloo, Iowa, and a good time was had by all.

Steve and Louise Cegler and Helen Cunningham traveled to Vinton, Iowa for the Christmas party. We really enjoyed it and hope we can go next year.

Also, Ray and Judy O’Brien had their 29th wedding anniversary the 30th of October. They went out to dinner.

I guess we are all a well traveled group and we love to eat.


by Mike Barber

In October, ten members of the Des Moines Chapter appeared before the Des Moines City Council to accept a Proclamation, signed by the Mayor of Des Moines, proclaiming October 15 as White Cane Safety Day. Mike Barber thanked the Mayor and members of the City Council for the open lines of communication we’ve enjoyed as we strive to improve the lives of the blind in the greater Des Moines area.

We regret to inform you that Nellie Groen, long-time member of the Des Moines Chapter, fell and broke her hip back in December. Nellie is recovering at the Parkridge Care Center in Pleasant Hill.

On December 9, the Des Moines Chapter held its annual Christmas party at the Masonic Temple. The delicious meal we enjoyed was prepared by the ladies of the Eastern Star and some of their husbands.

During this meeting, we held our annual elections. Following is a list of the officers and board members elected:

President, Michael Barber

Vice-President, Dee Clayton

Recording Secretary, Gary Patterson

Corresponding Secretary, Donna Seliger

Treasurer, Dick Natale

Board Members: Teresa Philpott, Linda Curfman, Sharon Keir, Jeanie Miller, Elsie Monthei and Don Owens

We continue to make preparations for the upcoming 40th anniversary ACB Convention to be held in Des Moines June 30-July7. Our heart-felt thanks go to both Rita Crawford and Jeanie Miller for the countless hours they’ve spent putting Braille labels on all the beverage machines and the washers and dryers in the Marriott Hotel. They will also be doing the same in the other four hotels which will house convention attendees.


by Inez Schultz

Marsha Bowers attended our October meeting. She told of the move across the parking lot. Her address is still 2915 McClain Drive, Cedar Falls, IA 50613. Thelma Kerth took money for the Vinton Christmas party and arranged for our trip there. The Vinton party and the auction were discussed. We thank Vinton for giving DAB the possibility of another good fundraiser. It is a good time to get together and we thank Shirley Wiggins.

Topics discussed at the meeting were a newsline for Dubuque, IRIS will have the Telegraph Herald in time, financial news available on IRIS, and contact person for IRIS is Becky Cox. We talked about grocery and delivery in Dubuque. With all the snow since then, this proved to be useful. The opening of the new Post Office on the Northwest Arterial and Spanish Translators needed at court hearings as possible job offers were ruled out.

Joe Weigel visited us at our November meeting. Joe now covers 14 counties, but is willing to speak and spend time in our area. He also attended meetings of the Tri-State Blind. We thank him for taking time to keep us informed.

Bob Nesler spoke of dealing with employers and treatment of newly blind older employees and what can be done in order for them to keep their positions in the labor force.

December Christmas party at Vinton was a success. It was great to get together. DAB came with a full van and a car. A group took the van to make a Christmas visit to those in the nursing home in Vinton. DAB hopes to see everyone again next year.

The March 2001 meeting will be at Finley Hospital, but in a different room. Officers for the year will be Bob Nesler-President, Darwin Reber-Vice President, Inez Schultz-Secretary, and Mary Thelam Kert-Treasurer, with Virg Hosch, DeLores Reber and Gene Scholtes on the board. Dues are paid for the year. Member Martin Schultz has been ill at Mercy Hospital and is now at Sunnycrest Manor. Marylou Schappel is a member even though she is not well enough to attend the meetings. We wish them and everyone God'’ blessing in the new century.

Happy 2001 everyone!


Submitted by Beulah Maddalozzo

When we were living those “good old days”

They didn’t seem so good.

We read by the light of a kerosene lamp

And we heated our homes with wood.

We carried water up the hill

To wash with, cook and scrub.

We took our baths behind the stove

In a galvanized laundry tub.

I can still smell the old lye soap

And feel the sting and hurt

When some of it got in my eye

But it really got the dirt.

We slept on cornshuck mattresses

Sometimes three in a bed

If you were late you got the foot

The early ones got the head.

We waded, snow and ice and mud

To get to the seat of learning

We drank from a cup by the water pail

On a bench where the teacher put it.

And whatever ailment anyone had

The Rest were sure to get it.

In winter we milked in a drafty barn

While the wind whistled through the cracks.

And the swirling snow, while you were inside

Filled up your fresh made tracks.

A little house at the end of the path

Half hidden by brush and weeds

In summer heat and winter cold

Served other family needs.

Now you may look with envying eyes

To those times if you are twenty

But I have been through those “good old says”

And once, my friend, is plenty!

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