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Winter 2006 Bulletin



Published by


Web Site:

Affiliate of the American Council of the Blind


3119 Spring Street

Davenport, IA 52807

PHONE: (563) 344-8787

1-888-404-5562 (Toll Free)



3912 Southeast Fifth Street

Des Moines, IA 50315

(515) 284-0505



817 – 6th Street

West Des Moines, IA 50265

(515) 277-1167



4013 - 30th Street

Des Moines, IA 50310

(515) 279-4284



Mike Hoenig, President, Davenport, (563) 344-8787

Donna Seliger, Immediate Past President, Des Moines, (515) 284-0505

Gary Patterson, First Vice President, Des Moines, (515) 278-2686

Elsie Monthei, Second Vice President, Des Moines, (515) 277-0442

Jo Ann Slayton, Secretary, Des Moines, (515) 279-4284

Dick Natale, Treasurer, West Des Moines, (515) 277-1167

Dee Clayton, Director, Des Moines, (515) 282-1275

Lucille Dunlavy, Director, Council Bluffs, (unlisted phone)

Dorothy Janvrin, Director, Fort Dodge, (515) 573-6043

Cathy Kula, Director, Cedar Rapids (319) 378-8233

Mavis McVeety, Director, Des Moines, (unlisted phone)

Robert Nesler, Director, Dubuque, (563) 557-0987

Gloria O’Neal, Director, Waterloo, (319) 235-5687

Barb Richmond, Director, Newton, (641) 791-6574

Shirley Wiggins, Director, Cedar Rapids, (319) 362-7138


FOR THE NEXT ISSUE - ****March 15, 2007 ****


Anyone who cannot read this print bulletin or finds it difficult to have it read or wish an e-mail or cassette may receive a copy at no charge. Please contact Jo Slayton at (515) 279-4284 to request an alternative format. Cassette readers are always invited to keep their copy of the Bulletin. However, if you would like to return cassettes when you are finished with them, please place in a NEW standard mailing envelope, write “Free Matter For the Blind” in the upper right hand corner, and return to the editor using the address on the front of this bulletin. Also, please remember to contact the editor if your address changes. The Post Office rarely provides us with a new address when someone moves. We want to make sure that anyone who wants to receive a bulletin gets one!


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) 279-4284, or write Iowa Council of the United Blind, 4013 30TH Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50310.


President’s Notebook………………………………………………………..4

ICUB Treasurer’s Report…………………………………………………….6

Some Must Hear Their Way Along…………………………………………6

Shopping Made Easier……………..………….……..………………………8

After 150 Years, School Plans Makeover…………………………………9

A Message From ACB’s Executive Director………………………….…13

The MMS “Two For One” Program……………………………………….13

Quiet Cars Are Coming…………………………………………………….16

In Memoriam

John Powers…………………………………………………………..17

Chapter Reports

Cedar Rapids…………………………………………………………18


Des Moines…………………………………………………………..20

T’was The Night Before Thanksgiving………………………………….20


By Mike Hoenig

Where has this year gone? It seems only yesterday that I wrote to you with the anticipation of spring, and now I'm beginning to think of Christmas! I hope that you're enjoying the return to cooler weather and the many fall activities that make Iowa such a special place.

A big thank-you to Shirley Wiggins, the staff and volunteers of Low Vision Enhancement, and the rest of our Cedar Rapids friends for hosting ICUB's fall board meeting on September 9. Vicky's tenderloins arrived in good form from Vinton and were unbeatable! The board spent considerable time discussing the 2007 state convention, which will be held May 4-6 at the Airport Four Points Sheraton. Thanks to the many board members who have already stepped up to the plate by volunteering to chair or serve on convention committees. We promise another interesting program, a great selection of exhibits, and an exciting and interesting ACB representative.

And speaking of conventions ... Remember that the 2007 ACB National Convention will be held in Minneapolis from June 30 through July 7. Your state board, in partnership with the Des Moines chapter, is exploring options for chartering a bus and offering financial assistance to members interested in attending. National convention is a unique experience, and it may be some time before it's held this close to Iowa again. Y'all come, now, you hear!

Always looking for an opportunity to promote Iowa, yours truly has been working with ACB Tour Coordinator Berl Colley on a possible pre-convention tour to Mason City on June 29. Thanks to Bob and Jeanne Jensen who spent two days acquainting Berl with spots such as Music Man Square and the Pioneer Museum, I'm very optimistic that many ACB-ers will be visiting River City in June!

On September 16, the great spot was the Dubuque Eagles Club, which once again hosted the Dubuque Association banquet. This event just keeps getting better and better. It's so much fun meeting up with friends, and we were once again treated to some great music during dinner. An inspirational speaker from the Dubuque area captured our attention by reliving her lengthy and harrowing trip back to Iowa on the heels of 9/11, then sharing some great tips for successful living.

ICUB is the proud owner of a new tape duplicator. After nursing our 20-something year-old duplicator far beyond its life expectancy, Creig finally called and said, "It's time." I want to personally thank Creig for coaxing that old duplicator through issue after issue of the bulletin, and am glad that we're able to provide him with some new equipment. As Creig shopped around for the best buy, he discovered that tape duplication is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. We're committed to making the cassette version available as long as possible, so let's hope that our new duplicator will serve us for many years to come.

Those of you with Internet access should visit our website at Webmaster Gary Patterson has updated the site, and located software which will allow us to upload information at no cost to ICUB. Thanks, Gary, for your diligence and your willingness to continue to help ICUB with this important outreach.

On October 27, the ICUB policy committee had a productive discussion with Iowa Department for the Blind Director Allen Harris. He responded to our concern about the disproportionate number of NFB members participating in IDB-sponsored events such as Pathfinders and transition summer camps by urging ICUB members to apply for these positions. He went so far as to say that he would prefer students having the opportunity to interact with members of both consumer organizations. So, my challenge to you is to take Mr. Harris up on this suggestion by contacting Meghan Johnson at the Department to learn more about these programs and to serve in whatever capacity best suits you.

At this year's state convention, we passed a resolution creating the Linda Dietrich Volunteer Award. I would appreciate hearing from any of you who would like to serve on the award selection committee. Be thinking, too, of individuals you would like to nominate to receive this award. And while we're on the subject of awards, we are also seeking nominations for the Marie Hoenig Memorial Perkins Brailler Award. If you know a worthy student in grades K-12 who could benefit from a Perkins Brailler, please contact me for nomination materials.

Earlier in this column, I wrote about the great time I had at our Dubuque banquet. I truly believe that the fellowship which we enjoy at such events is the glue which holds us together. Whether it's attending a chapter meeting, traveling to an upcoming Christmas party, or volunteering for a committee, we all need to take advantage of that connection to each other which makes us strong. Enjoy the rest of the fall, attend an ICUB event, and have a Blessed Holiday Season.


By Dick Natale



Raymond James Invest $25,255.22

Cr Union - Savings 7,916.86

U S Bank checking 12,031.13 1st National

Checking $ 3,684.21

CD 1st National 5,000.00 1st National CD


Total ICUB assets $50,203.21 Total Marie Hoenig $23,684.21



GROSS SALES $70,628.00



ADJ AD COSTS 23,572.31




Sarasota Herald-Tribune, FL, USA

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

By Lisa Miller

MANATEE COUNTY-Debbie and Frela Grubb have guide dogs, but like most blind people they rely mainly on their hearing to safely cross busy streets. At most area intersections, the Grubbs must listen for cross-traffic to stop, then wait until they hear parallel traffic start moving before they enter the street.

They have to just trust that motorists see them. Crossing busy streets such as Manatee Avenue in Bradenton, Tamiami Trail in Sarasota or Marion Avenue in Punta Gorda is one of the most dangerous things blind people do in their quest to remain independent.

Debbie Grubb has been hit twice by inattentive drivers, and her husband has had numerous close calls. Things are safer at a few select intersections-about a dozen in Manatee and Sarasota counties-where an audible signal such as a voice, chirp or beep lets people know when it is safe to cross the street. Even though the audible signals are fairly inexpensive-about $1,500 to cover each crosswalk, or $6,000 for a complete intersection-local and state transportation officials haven't made them a priority. But the Grubbs want to change that.

Debbie Grubb is president of Florida's Council of the Blind, and is using her position to work with the state Department of Transportation and local officials to get more audible signals installed across the state. Audible signals are only installed now if requested by a blind or visually impaired person. Requests are either routed to the state or the county, depending on which agency owns the road.

The Grubbs asked for two signals near their home along Manatee Avenue in West Bradenton, but it took more than two years to get them installed. County and state officials say the delay results from a lack of funding. Transportation projects that affect a larger population are ahead of audible signals on a priority list, said DOT spokeswoman Cindy Clemmons-Adente. Also, the audible signals can increase in cost at intersections with more lanes.

But Grubb isn't budging, and she's pushing to make the installation process easier and faster. "Driving is a privilege, but access for pedestrians is a civil right," she said. Florida has the third-highest blind population in the nation, with more than 1 million people over the age of 45 being visually impaired. California has the highest blind population, and New York is in second place. Grubb plans to show local and state transportation officials how important the audible signals are for blind people who don't want to be confined to their homes. She also wants to help officials identify which intersections could use an audible signal. The signals also provide a safe crossing for children, the elderly and those who are color-blind, Grubb added.

The Grubbs are filming a public service announcement, which will be aired on local television stations, to remind drivers to watch out for blind pedestrians. Crossing a street is frightening without the audible signals. With guide dogs Bonnie and Magic at the lead, the Grubbs stood on the corner of Manatee Avenue and 43rd Street West recently. After finding the crosswalk button, they pushed and waited, listening as cars pass by.

When the light changed, a woman's voice told them it was safe to cross Manatee Avenue, then they heard a series of chirps.

Debbie Grubb said it is the initial signal that is most important because it reduced the dangerous hesitation factor.

"Sometimes you're wasting a lot of time and energy waiting, then you'll go, but can find yourself in the intersection in the middle of traffic," she said. Ideally, the Grubbs would like to see audible signals along every intersection on Manatee Avenue. Having some in downtown Bradenton is another necessity, as well as increasing numbers in Sarasota and Charlotte counties, so more visually impaired people can get out of their houses and into the community.


By Donna Seliger

Going shopping can be a real hassle but the worse part is having to give the cashier your personal information in order to check out.

About five years ago we began hearing that the ATM’s at banks would be accessible to the blind and visually impaired. Now, it is common to visit an ATM and find that it has an earphone jack so one can hear the commands as well as a Braille keypad.

Because we have advocates like Lainey Feingold and Linda Dardarian, both attorneys from California, one more hurtle to accessibility is behind us.

A year ago Wal-Mart agreed to put at least three accessible point of sale machines in each store. For the most part, the project has been completed. This means we no longer have to give out our confidential information, but can enter it privately and independently.

Just recently Safeway and its subsidiaries have agreed to begin installing accessible equipment in their stores across the country. In addition, Trader Joe’s (an East and West coast chain) will install point of sale accessible machines in their stores. Both Safeway and Trader Joe’s have agreed to meet with representatives of the blindness community each year to get feedback and suggestions for the ongoing project.

It is up to us to ask at each location where the accessible machines are located. If we don’t use them all the time and effort that was put into the structured negotiations will be for nothing.

Stay tuned for more news on accessibility in the future.


Austin American Statesman, TX, USA

Friday, October 20, 2006

By Francesca Jarosz

New dorms will allow students to be more independent.

From the outside, the Texas School for the Blind and Visually

Impaired is a brick wall and iron-rod fencing that protects its 36-acre campus from the traffic at the busy intersection of Lamar Boulevard and 45th Street. Inside, it's a place where students come from across the state to live and learn to function on their own.

In the cooking classroom, students listen to the sound of their knives on the cutting board to help them slice fruit and cheese and feel their way around the cabinets to put supplies back in place. During a weekly reading session, about 15 elementary students take turns sharing poems and stories in Braille aloud.

Caption: Chase Cichorz plays the keyboard in a dorm at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Administrators plan to ask the Legislature for $68.5 million to create a town square atmosphere. Larry Kolvoord

In the gym, high school cheerleaders stretch their arms out at their sides to form perfectly straight lines for a routine.

"They provide a lot of normal experiences that I wouldn't have otherwise gotten," said Brandy Wojcik, a 1999 graduate who's getting her teaching certification from the University of Texas at Austin.

As the school wraps up its 150th anniversary year, administrators say that plans to improve the outside of the campus will further its mission inside.

The school received $36.5 million from the state Legislature to replace the 90-year-old dorms with home-style residences where students can learn independent living skills.

Administrators also are asking for $68.5 million at the next legislative session. They want to create a town square atmosphere with a fine arts center, dining hall, swimming pool and activities center around an administrative and classroom building. The setup will cater to the school's mission of serving students 24 hours a day.

"Every waking moment on this campus is an opportunity to learn," Superintendent Phil Hatlen said. "It doesn't matter if it's the classroom or the dorm."

The Sixth Texas Legislature established the school in 1856 as the Blind Institute. By 1857, the school had three students.

This year, the school hosts about 150 of the state's 7,800 people younger than 22 who are eligible for special education services because of visual impairment, which includes blindness and low vision. Most live on campus and are bused home on weekends.

The school also provides resources for all the state's visually impaired students, such as summer camps, curriculum guides and teams that assist teachers at local schools.

William Daugherty, president of the Council of Schools for the Blind, said the Texas school is recognized nationally for its faculty and development of teaching strategies.

Many classes have teacher's aides, and none has more than seven students, so teachers can focus on each student's needs.

In a morning Braille class, teacher Jeri Cleveland sat at a table

surrounded by three students. She guided 19-year-old beginning reader Calvin Scott's hand along a row of Braille, stopping to help him figure out words when he had trouble. Every once in a while, she would answer questions of two more advanced students. At another table, a student worked one-on-one with a teacher's aide.

"When you're learning Braille, it's an individual thing," said Cleveland, who attended the school in the 1960s and has taught there for 15 years.

The school also provides resources such as speech-language therapists, social workers and a full-time residential staff that plans after-school activities and stays with students in the evenings.

These amenities, along with education and operating costs such as transportation, food and health services, break down to about $70,000 per student per year. That average includes the cost of the programs that serve all 7,800 students with visual impairments statewide, Hatlen said.

Parents and students say the extensive resources make a difference. Teresa Kashmerick and her family moved to Elgin so her daughter, who is hearing- and visually impaired, Natasha, could attend the school as a day student at age 6.

Kashmerick said that in her daughter's kindergarten class at a public school in Bellingham, Wash., she got special education services only once a week.

Since Natasha, now 12, has attended the blind school, Kashmerick said, she's noticed a huge improvement in the girl's communication skills.

"(Staff members) know how to get into her world instead of trying to make her fit into our world," Kashmerick said. "She knows that people are there to help her."

The nature of the student body has changed over the years. For the first century, the school's students were just blind or visually impaired. Today, administrators say, about 70 percent have at least one other disability, such as deafness or autism.

Students must be referred to the blind school by their parents, teacher and public school if their needs are too great to be met within their local districts.

While they're on campus, the goal is to make students confident and self-sufficient, said Gloria Bennett, director of community resources. Teachers focus on helping students use other senses to compensate for their impaired sight.

Paulette Kamenitsa, who has taught at the school for 37 years, imports authentic instruments to help her fifth- and sixth-grade class learn about indigenous cultures. In a recent class, four students sat in a semicircle on the floor around her, passing around a rain stick, drum and rattles.

To help students with higher-level math, a tough subject for many students who are blind because of its abstract nature, Susan Osterhaus, who has taught at the school for 28 years, uses multisensory tools such as an audio graphing calculator and materials to create geometric shapes.

Hatlen said the school will continue to build upon the success it

established over 150 years. He wants to add outreach efforts such as a team that travels the state to help local schools assess children with visual impairments and offer training on strategies for teaching math.

"We're really very proud of our past, and we're satisfied with our

> present," Hatlen said. "But we look for a future that will make this an even better school."


By Melanie Brunson

Hello all.

I wanted to alert you to the fact that you may hear some new voices if you call either of ACB's offices starting today. We have added some people to our ranks in both offices.

First, as of October 18, we have a new Controller in

Minneapolis. His name is Lane Waters. He has hit the ground

running, so to speak, and I am very excited to have him on board.

If you call the Washington office, you may hear a new voice or two as well. A couple of ACB's members have stepped up to help answer phones and otherwise keep things running smoothly. Doug Powell will be working with us three days a week, and in fact, started this morning. Amanda Lee will be coming in two days a week. Doug and Amanda are both members of the Northern Virginia chapter of the Old Dominion Council of the Blind. In fact, Doug is currently chapter

president. They are both very capable, talented people and we are quite pleased to have the benefit of their knowledge and skill. They came to us separately with offers of assistance, and both offers were accepted with enthusiasm, because Patricia will be leaving us for a time to have her baby. She will be leaving on the 13th of November and will probably not be back until next year!

Please join me in welcoming all of these folks to our offices.

Thanks very much.

The MMS "Two-for-One" Program

With Free FM Scanner Radio -- Plus an Opportunity to Win a Talking Microwave!!

By Dr. Ronald E. Milliman, Chair, MMS Program Committee

Would you like to be able to help your state affiliate or an affiliate of your choice, and at the same time, assist the ACB at the national level too? Well, now you can by participating in the greatly improved, "Two-for-One," Monthly Monetary Support (MMS) Program.

PLUS: While they last!!

As a token of our deepest appreciation for your participation in the ACB MMS Program, we, the ACB President, ACB Board, and MMS Program Committee, are delighted to send you a pocket-sized, FM Scanner Radio when we receive your first contribution. This hi-quality, little FM radio comes complete with Ear Bud earphones and batteries for your FM listening enjoyment.

But that's not all!! As a new participant, your name will go into a drawing for a fabulous Hamilton Beach Talking Microwave. The drawing will take place shortly following the 2007 ACB National Convention. Someone has to win!! Maybe it will be you!!

The ACB board unanimously approved a major change in the MMS Program that should meet with widespread acceptance by all of us who are members of the ACB and by all of our non-member supporters. First, however, before I go into the changes, I want to very briefly describe the MMS Program for those who may not know what it is.

The MMS or Monthly Monetary Support Program is a way for each of us to financially support our organization to whatever amount we can afford on a regular, monthly bases. An amount we designate and completely control is automatically deducted from our bank, credit card or debit card account each month by the ACB and is used to fund the many critical needs of our organization. We completely control the amount that we give and from which account it is taken. It begins when we indicate we want it to start and ends when we let ACB headquarters know we want it to end. In the past, all amounts given to the ACB by participating in this funding program went entirely to support ACB national activities. However, the ACB Board very significantly changed the MMS Program, greatly improving it and making it even more attractive for each of us to participate.

Now, when you take part in the MMS Program, the funds are deducted from the account you designate, on a regular, monthly bases, as before, but with the change implemented by the ACB Board, you can designate to have all of the funds go to the national organization or you can, alternatively, designate an amount up to 50% of the net amount of your deduction to be given to an affiliate of your choice. This change allows you the choice of helping both the national organization and an affiliate of your choice at the same time. You can help two levels of our organization with one monthly deduction, thus, two-for-one! The affiliate you choose can be any of the state affiliates or any other ACB affiliate you wish.

At the national level, we need funds to support our many programs that help all of us. For an example, each issue of the Braille Forum requires several thousands of dollars to create, publish in the many alternative formats and distribute to our members and other persons who share common interests in blindness issues. Funds are needed to pay the salaries of our national staff that are so totally dedicated to our efforts and do such a yeoman's job with everything they do. Funds are needed to pay rents on the space for our offices and the related utility bills. Our staff is busy every minute of their working days fighting for our rights, fighting for new programs that will be in our best interest, fighting to maintain existing laws and programs that benefit blind people, to expand the use of audible traffic signals, to increase the use of descriptive audio for TV and movies, to at least maintain or increase our SSI and SSDI benefits, fighting to increase our employment opportunities, and fighting for many, many other issues and programs, far too many to list here. Without the diligence and never-ending efforts of the ACB staff, we would all be much worse off. The ACB staff is our voice on capital hill, and we need to support them by helping to fund their efforts.

In like manner, the various affiliates that make up the ACB also need funding to support their activities, such as on-going public education campaigns, scholarships, social events, defraying the costs associated with attending the state and national conventions, The Washington Seminar, etc. So, by participating in the ACB Monthly Monetary Support Program, you can split your contribution and support both the national organization and your favorite affiliate, both, at the same time, with a single contribution, two-for-one!

Some members can afford more or less than others, and we certainly realize and respect that. All we are asking is that you help fund your affiliate and our national programs with whatever monthly amount you can afford. We equally value everyone's contribution.

To get started, you can call the ACB financial office at 1-800- 866-3242 and have a form sent to you, or alternatively, you can access the forms on our ACB website at: If you prefer, even better yet, you can call me, and I can help you fill them out over the phone and submit them to our business office for processing. My phone number is 270-782-9325.

If you have any questions, you can call our ACB Executive Director, Melanie Brunson, at 800-424-8666, or you can call me directly at: 270-782-9325 or e-mail me at and Melanie or I will answer your questions and assist you any way we can.


By Sue Turner (WCCO) Minneapolis

Chances are the newer your car is, the harder it is to hear coming.

Cars are being made quieter all the time. And hybrid cars shut off completely at intersections. While that may mean less noise pollution for most of us, it can be a safety hazard for the visually impaired.

Nicki Coby's experience crossing one St. Paul intersection six weeks ago is becoming typical. Relying on street sounds and traffic noise, Coby thought it was safe to cross. However her guide dog stayed put -- it may have saved her life.

"The only reason I figured out that he was trying to avoid a car, was because the person opened their car door and yelled a direction at me and someone else honked," said Coby.

"It can definitely be an issue," said Charlie Gatrell, the sales manager at White Bear Lake Superstore, a GM dealership in the Minneapolis suburbs.

"[Automakers] keep trying to find ways to get cars quieter," said Gatrell, who has never had a request for a louder vehicle.

The problem is so new that some advocacy groups for the blind are just beginning the process of gathering statistics. Just this past weekend, the National Federation for the Blind, meeting in Baltimore, hosted a conference on quiet car and pedestrian safety. Organizers will relay their ideas and recommendations to car makers and policymakers.

"When I'm traveling down Nicollet Mall [there is not] a lot of parallel traffic, buses, not as frequently not as many taxis," said Lolly Lijewski, advocacy manager for the Metropolitan Center for Independent Living in Minneapolis.

Lijewski and Coby say they have nothing against quiet cars.

"I really respect trying to help the environment, don't want to take away from that, but be aware of a blind person," Coby said.

That awareness includes not honking, yelling or racing a car engine when a visually impaired person is in a crosswalk. Not only is it rude and insensitive, but it scares guide dogs.


John Powers (1922-2006)

PARKERSBURG - John Powers, 84, of Harrison, Ark., formerly of Parkersburg, died Tuesday, Nov. 7, at the Harrison Nursing Home, Harrison, of natural causes.

He was born Oct. 20, 1922, near Waterloo, son of Reisen Hammon and Inez Richardson Powers. He married Lorna Brake Jan. 14, 1950, in Waterloo. She preceded him in death Nov. 15, 2002.

He received his education from the Iowa School for the Blind, Vinton. Mr. Powers worked as a machinist for John Deere Co. in Waterloo for 37 years, retiring in 1981. He was a member of the Independent Living Advisory Committee at the Iowa Department for the Blind and was a member of the Iowa Council of the United Blind.

Survived by: a son, John (Deb) of Yellville, Ark.; a daughter, Lolynn (Tom) Menuey of Evansdale; four grandchildren; and four great-granddaughters.

Services: 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Redman-Schwartz Funeral Chapel, Aplington, with burial in the New Providence Cemetery, New Providence. Public visitation from 4 to 7 p.m. today at the funeral home, and for an hour before services Saturday.

Memorials: may be directed to the family.


Cedar Rapids Chapter

By Shirley Wiggins

I want to start this report with many thanks to all who made our picnic even a better success than we have ever had, 72 present. September found 4 of us attending the Dubuque banquet. A good time was had by all, and as usual the food was excellent. October 19th brought 10 of us together at Tommy's restaurant for our first meeting since the August picnic. It was time to elect officers and board members and after some discussion, Ruth Hamdorf made a motion to keep everything the same. The motion carried. Officers remain: President, Shirley Wiggins; Vice President, Eldred Gerrholdt; Secretary, Judy McCarty; Treasurer, Dove Tanner; Board members, Ruth Hamdorf and Kathy Kula. I don't know how long this can go on, but with no one wanting to be an officer, it seems this is how it has to be. It's us, or lose another chapter and I'm not ready for that to happen. As I've said before, we may be a small group, but we're mighty and won't go down. We then paid dues and talked over the Christmas party. Our Christmas party is December 2nd at the pizza ranch in Vinton. The address is 219 W. 4th St. You are welcome to come any time after 11:00 A.M. There will be good food, good fellowship, an auction--not as big as last year's, but it seems we have some nice things. We will also have a gift exchange. I hope that this year we can find time to get in 2 or 3 Christmas songs. We'll be looking for you.

Right after having our chapter Christmas party the 2nd of December, the support group has a Christmas party on the 6th. There will be a speaker at the support group party. She is bringing news of a new program for seniors which will provide rides for grocery shopping. Then we will sing, and hopefully get a solo out of Jonathan Ice. We have a gift exchange and many good wishes for the new year. Our support group has had some interesting speakers. We have been pushing for better bus stops and are getting them. A gentleman from the transportation center took our complaints in September and I have heard good results. In October, one of the people from our public library brought us up to date on all that is available to us who are blind or with low vision. In November, Dr. Winters spoke about assistance available to people with low vision. She is now at the low vision enhancement location 2 mornings a month.

Have a good thanksgiving day, and don't forget to give thanks. No matter what's going on around us, we all have much to be thankful for.

Dubuque Association of the Blind

By Bob Nesler

Five of our members attended the picnic in Cedar Rapids and had a good report back from them.

Our annual banquet was well attended by Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and our Dubuque crowd. We were sorry that our friends from Waterloo couldn’t make it this year. The Swiss steak dinner was great. The sing-along with our entertainers was much fun and the auction brought good bargains. It was good to have our ICUB President, Mike Hoenig, there.

We just had our holiday dinner this week at Eichman’s Restaurant with 18 in attendance. We were provided with a separate room. Both food and service were tops.

We had our election of board and officers. It was unanimous to continue with the same board and officers.

The chapter has a 12 passenger van reserved to go to Vinton on December 2 with 12 members going. We are looking forward to that and hope to see many of you there.

Des Moines Chapter

By Dee Clayton

Well, would you believe winter is almost here and everyone is thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas. In August we rented a van and loaded it up for the Cedar Rapids picnic. That is always a fun time visiting with old friends and meeting some new people. Then in September a smaller group traveled to Dubuque for their annual banquet. I can tell you those chapter members who didn’t go missed out on a great meal and program.

We held our November chapter meeting on the third because of the Columbus Day holiday. The membership elected me for president again. The others who were elected are: Elsie Monthei, vice president, Donna Seliger, recording secretary; Sandy Feldman, corresponding secretary; Dick Natale, treasurer; and directors Sherran Keir, Kim Lawson, Bob Palmer, Bob Seliger, J. R. Swank and Viki Whitaker.

The Des Moines Chapter Christmas Dinner will be on December 9, at The Judges, 210 Court Avenue. Three entrees will be offered for the cost of $15 each. We welcome anyone who wants have a great meal and a good time. The meal will be served at noon followed by an auction and a visit from Santa. Please call Donna Seliger at 515-284-0505 if you are interested.

Guess that’s all for now. Have a happy holiday season everyone.

T'was the night of Thanksgiving

T'was the night of Thanksgiving, but I just couldn't sleep, I tried counting backward, I tried counting sheep. The leftovers, they beckoned - the dark meat and white, But I fought the temptation with all of my might! Tossing and turning with anticipation, the thought of a snack became infatuation. So...I raced to the kitchen, flung open the door and gazed at the "fridge", full of goodies galore. I gobbled up turkey and buttered potatoes, Pickles and carrots, beans and tomatoes. I felt myself swelling so plump and so round, 'Till all of a sudden, I rose off the ground. I crashed through the ceiling, floating into the sky with a mouthful of pudding and a handful of pie. But I managed to yell as I soared past the trees... "Happy eating to all - pass the cranberries, please." May your stuffing be tasty...may your turkey be plump. May your potatoes'n gravy have nary a lump. May your yams be delicious...may your pies take the prize. May your Thanksgiving dinner stay off your thighs.






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