Official Newsletter of the
Michigan Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired
Affiliate of the American Council of the Blind
Joe Sibley, President
For General Inquiries
Phone: Toll-Free (888)956-2284
By Email: email@example.com
On the web: www.blindmi.org
Facebook: Search for Michigan Council of the Blind
"Like" us to receive updates!
Chapters in Michigan
Highlights of This Issue:
Marketing and Public Relations
For Your Information – Timely Tidbits
Committee Reports and Chapter Updates
Important Dates To Remember
Next Newsletter Deadline: May 1, 2013
Next MCBVI Board Meeting: April 20, 2013 via phone
From the President
By Joe Sibley
I’m sitting here with lots of snow and ice outside my home. While I am no longer a fan of winter as I was when I was much younger, it is pretty, and I appreciate the fact that Michigan has four distinct seasons. Granted, winter isn’t my favorite season but it does remind us that spring is approaching soon. Spring is a time when a frozen world wakes up and comes back to life. Spring is a time for planting seeds in anticipation of the harvest later in the year.
Let’s think about that as it applies to MCBVI. Spring is the beginning of a new year, and a time for planting new seeds. New seeds can include a new member that you invite to a meeting, or perhaps a new project that we need to focus our attention on, either a problem or a new idea. Once these seeds are planted we all need to pitch in together to take care of the field through the season, fellowshipping and assisting the new members, or working together on the projects. We don’t want to end up with a patchy field at harvest time, with growing successes here and there, wouldn’t it be better if we all tend the field and we can all bring in the harvest of a very successful year with many accomplishments and valuable new members? My point here is that MCBVI is your organization, not mine or the board’s, it belongs to every one of us, and every one of us has a stake in bringing this organization to where it could be for the benefit of every blind and visually impaired citizen of Michigan and beyond. I know we have a lot of untapped talent in MCBVI. Where can you help? I know what a blessing MCBVI and our members have been to me since losing my sight, let’s share that with others.
I am also cautiously optimistic about a new spring for blind rehabilitation services in Michigan. I am honored to have been appointed to the Michigan Commission for Blind Persons, the advisory board to the new Bureau of Services for Blind Persons. I am very impressed with the other members of the commission, I believe that we can help to move the BSBP forward, keeping the great, and tweaking the not so great, but doing so in a positive productive manner. Stay tuned.
We have many projects on the table this year, bringing our website to the next level, developing our student chapter, seeding new chapters and building up the chapters we have. I’m excited about 2013 but it will take many hands to make it all work.
You will be seeing more about our 2013 convention which will be September 12 – 15 in Lansing. The theme selected is “Changing Lives, Changing Times, a Positive Attitude Makes a Difference”, and it really does. We are in a period of changing times in the world, both for the blind, and people in general. If we push forward through changing times using a positive productive approach, we can accomplish so much more than with a negative critical attitude. We have demonstrated that time and time again. Please join us in September, the convention is one of my favorite experiences every year, and I would love to share that with you.
Just one more thought to keep on your radar. At our convention in 2014 in Kalamazoo you will have to elect a new president of MCBVI, as my third term will end and I must step down. My time as your president has been a wonderful challenge and has helped me grow personally, and I thank you for that opportunity. We need to start thinking about who is getting ready to step into this role.
So, stay warm through whatever cold weather we have left, and get ready
For another wonderful Michigan spring and summer!
Marketing and Public Relations
By: Dr. Ron Milliman, Chair, and ACB PR Committee
Did you know that there is a wealth of free marketing and public relations information available to you from your American Council of the Blind's national office and from our ACB website? Here is a list of what you can obtain free just for the asking or downloading:
The Press Release Handbook for ACB Affiliates and Chapters (Revised 2013
The Guerrilla Marketing Handbook for ACB Affiliates and Chapters (Rev. 2013)
The PSA Handbook for ACB Affiliates and Chapters (Rev. 2013)
White Paper: Creating a Media Kit for Your ACB Affiliate or Chapter (Rev. 2013)
White Paper: Are You a Senior Citizen Struggling with Vision Loss? (Rev. 2013)
White Paper: Are You the Parents of A Blind Child?
Each of these documents is detailed, thorough and free for you to use. The titles are all self-explanatory, except possibly for our Guerrilla Marketing Handbook. The Term Guerrilla Marketing was first coined by Jay Conrad Levinson several years ago. It is defined as free and low-cost marketing and promotional methods that can be employed by firms and organizations with very limited budgets that will allow them to compete effectively with other firms and organizations with much larger budgets. In short, it is the business equivalent of David versus Goliath. To give you a more specific idea of what is in our Guerrilla Marketing Handbook; here is the table of contents:
Chapter One: Getting Started: Planning, Developing and Launching Your Guerrilla Marketing Campaign
Chapter Two: Free Bulletin Boards and Calendar Listings
Chapter Three: Free Placement of Flyers and Brochures
Chapter Four: Creating Effective Media Releases
Chapter Five: How to Develop Your PSA Campaign
Chapter Six: Guest Appearances
Chapter Seven: Newsletters, Articles, Radio & TV Programs, and Podcasts
Chapter Eight: More Powerful Guerrilla Marketing Techniques (Includes such effective techniques as using Business Cards and Stationery, Friends Day, Coloring Sheets and Placemats for Restaurants, Promotional Videos, Radio and Telephone Reading Services, Telephone Hotlines, The Importance of Web Sites, Exchanging Links, and Using Blogs, E-mail Listservs, and Using Social Media)
Chapter Nine: Promotable Special Events
Chapter Ten: Putting It All Together: Your Integrated Guerrilla Marketing & PR Campaigns
Our other handbooks and materials are equally complete and even include sources for obtaining recommended items such as Braille Business cards. These handbooks and white papers can be obtained by calling Sharon Lovering in our ACB office in Arlington, Virginia (202) 467-5081 or toll free: 800) 424-8666) or going to our ACB website at http://acb.org/node/266 or contacting me at 270-782-9325 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further, if our MCBVI affiliate or any of our chapters need more direct assistance, the resources of the ACB PR Committee are always available. All that is needed to obtain assistance is to contact me, Ron Milliman; again, my phone number is 270-782-9325, and my email address is email@example.com .
By: Dr. Ronald E. Milliman
Developing Your Organization's Financial Goals
It is not unusual for the members of a non-profit organization to say something like: "We should have a fundraiser of some sorts so we have more money to work with." This is really not the right approach. You first must determine, specifically, what your organization needs the money for; that is, does your organization need funds to enhance its grant program or to be able to offer one or more student scholarships, to launch a public education program? Precisely why does your organization need money?
Once you have determined the reason why your organization needs the money, the next question to be answered in your fundraising plan is: "How much money will we need to generate to support or pay for the defined need?" The answer to this second big question will lead you to the answer to the next key question: "What are we going to have to do to raise the amount of money needed?" Here is where you develop your very inclusive list of possible fundraising projects. If all your organization needs are a few hundred dollars, you will have lots of viable options from which to choose, such as a Pancake breakfast or maybe a Chili or Spaghetti supper. However, if your organization needs to raise several thousand dollars, your range of possible options will be much more limited. In this latter situation, it may require not one, but a combination of cash generating efforts, e.g. two or three fundraising events such as a trivia night fundraiser, a Chili Cook Off, and a Cutest baby contest with a few sponsors, combined with a direct mail solicitation campaign
Your organization may have on-going needs requiring a continual fundraising project. To meet this need, you might consider such fundraising possibilities as creating a cookbook and selling it through local book stores and gift shops or maybe on-going eBay listings or store through which your organization sells items donated by its members and the local community.
As outlined above, your organization’s clearly defined monetary goals help the organization to ensure it generates enough funds to fulfill its needs. It is important that your financial goals be realistic, measurable, and time specific. It is easy to talk, to dream, but it is critically important to be realistic. Raising money usually takes a concerted effort on the part of several of your organization’s members. Be realistic! Based upon your previous experiences, are you likely to get the needed cooperation and effort out of your membership, or is your organization like most organizations where all of the work is achieved by a very small proportion of your members. Your organization’s goals need to be realistic as well. Of course, it would be wonderful to be able to offer three student scholarships of $3,000 each, but given the size of your group and the level of membership participation and effort you are likely to obtain when trying to raise the money to fund three scholarships at $3,000 each, you might need to be more realistic and reduce your goal to one scholarship funded for $2,000.
Your goals also need to be measurable. That is, you need to be able to measure your goals in terms of specific targets. For instance, you might have the end objective to raise $5,000 to purchase a new piece of much needed equipment. To achieve this end goal, you might launch three fundraisers over a six month period of time such as a trivia night fundraiser with the target of it generating $2,500; a Walk-A-Thon with the target of it raising another $1,500, and a Spaghetti supper targeted to bring in the final $1,000. If your trivia night fundraiser ends up doing better than targeted and brings in $3,000, you exceeded your goal of $2,500 by $500, and based upon your measured results, it could be considered a resounding success. However, if the weather turns out to be cold and rainy on the day of your Walk-A-Thon, and consequently, it only generates $900.00, it ends up falling short of your targeted amount by $600, and it would be considered a very marginal success; after all, $900 is better than nothing. Even still, when you net out the net revenue from the first two fundraisers, you are $100 short of your targeted amount for those first two events. So, now, in order for your organization to reach its needed amount of $5,000, your Spaghetti supper must bring in at least $1,100. Since you have been able to measure your progress toward your end goal of $5,000, your members know they have to really work extra hard to generate the dollars needed from your Spaghetti supper. You might also have some other measurable targets like the number of people from the community you want to get involved with each event, e.g. you want to bring in at least eighty people from your local community to participate in your trivia night event, and you are targeting at least 60 people to take part in your walk-a-thon, and another 125 people to come to your Spaghetti supper. These are all measurable targets that will help you determine how successful your fundraisers turn out to be. Obviously, as you can see, not all targets are financial. It might be just as important to engage people from your community as a means of educating them about your organization, what it does, and the various programs it offers by telling them about your organization. Then, you can reinforce what you tell them by giving them your organization’s brochure and other informational materials about your organization and its programs.
Finally, your goals should be time specific. This means that you should have a start time and an ending date. It is also important to establish sub-goals with associated dates for achieving each of your sub-goals. For instance, let’s say your organization decides that it is going to put on a trivia night fundraiser to support your student scholarship program. To fully accomplish this, it will require obtaining a venue in which to hold it, launching a full-scale promotional effort, securing a host or spokesperson and the master of ceremonies, obtain the commitment from several people to serve as volunteers, seek out lots of prizes and awards, nail down some tasty H'ors deurves and beverages to offer for added revenue, obtain at least two, non-competing sponsors, obtain a large repertoire of tested and proven trivia questions and score cards, obtain a sound system, and secure a way of processing credit cards. Each of these aspects of the event needs to have a timeline associated with it for getting it done. Some of these components can be worked on simultaneously while some must precede or follow others. Finding a suitable venue is a very important step that must be finalized very early in the event’s execution process. Next, it is important to find a master of ceremonies that is preferably a well-known personality in your community, someone who is funny, with a strong, up-beat personality that will be able to keep your trivia night participants entertain for the duration of the event. Once these first two very important components are taken care of, your group can begin focusing on creating and distributing the promotional materials, flyers, posters, media releases, and perhaps even a PSA to air on local radio and TV stations. At the same time your promotional campaign is being worked on, some other members of your organization can go to local businesses to obtain donations of prizes and awards, and another group of members can seek donations of the desired H'ors deurves and beverages. Each of these components should have a timeline as to when they need to begin and when they should be completed. As you can see, some components need to be done before you can do some of the others, but then, some components of the total project can be worked on simultaneously.
You should create sub-committees to work on the various components of the fundraising project. Again, using the trivia night fundraising event as an example, you could create separate sub-committees to find the venue, obtain the master of ceremonies, to get the needed prizes and awards, to handle the promotional aspects, etc. Each of your sub-committees should have someone in charge that will be responsible for getting his/her committee’s task accomplished. This is where it is vitally important to have enough competent, reliable people in your organization to manage each of the committees in a manner that will encourage the participation of all of the committee’s members. Some sub-committees might consist of only two or three people, while some others might involve a lot more work and hence, require a larger number of members, like five or seven. Each committee should be as small as possible to achieve the task for which it is responsible. Small committees are much more manageable than large ones.
After every fundraising special event, you need to conduct a debriefing, to seek feedback from as many of your different participation segments as you can. This means you need to seek feedback about the event, its pluses and minuses, its strengths and weaknesses, from:
1 The participants
2 The members of your organization that were involved
3 Any volunteers that assisted your organization
4 The master of ceremonies
5 Any vendors that may have been involved
You need to find out what went really well, and what didn’t. It is important for people to provide honest feedback. Most participants are quite willing to share with you what they really thought went especially well or what they enjoyed and liked, but it is more difficult to get them to tell you what didn’t go well and what they didn’t enjoy or like. So, you need to let them know that it is important for you to know not only what they thought was great, but you also need to know what could be improved or eliminated altogether if your organization decides to do another event like it again. Usually, people are willing to share the negative aspects with you if they feel they are really helping you and not being perceived as someone just complaining.
For Your Information
Braille Authority Adopts UEB
O n November 2, 2012, the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) adopted Unified English Braille (UEB). UEB will eventually replace the current English Braille American Edition.
UEB is based on the current literary braille code and was developed with input from many people, primarily braille readers, who worked to achieve an optimal balance among many key factors. Those factors include keeping the general-purpose literary code as its base, allowing the addition of new symbols, providing flexibility for change as print changes, reducing the complexity of rules, and allowing greater accuracy in back translation.
Letters and numbers will stay the same as they are in the current literary code. There will be some changes to punctuation, but most will remain the same. Some rules for the use of contractions will change. Nine contractions will be eliminated, and some contractions will be used more often. A FAQ providing more detail about changes is available on the BANA website.
After implementation, the official braille codes for the United States will be Unified English Braille; Nemeth Code for Mathematics and Science Notation, 1972 Revision and published updates; Music Braille Code, 1997; and The IPA Braille Code, 2008.
More detailed information about UEB and the motion that BANA passed can be found on the BANA website at www.brailleauthority.org.
US Postal Service Will Stop Saturday Mail Delivery
According to a USPS press release dated Feb. 6, 2013, the mail and package carrier will no longer offer delivery of regular mail on Saturdays beginning the week of August 5, 2013. Mail will be delivered only during the week, while packages will still be delivered six days per week.
The Postal Service cites this need for change due to its growing package delivery business and budget struggles due to changes in communication habits, such as an increase in electronic communications The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
Earned Income Tax Credit -- Find Out If You Qualify
If you earned less than $45,060 (single, or $50,270 if you're married and filing jointly) last year, you may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The maximum credit for tax year 2012 is $5,891. Even if you don't owe any tax or are not required to file, you must file a tax return in order to claim the credit.
FDA Approves Argus II Retinal Implant
The US Food and Drug Administration recently approved the Argus II retinal implant device for those who have Retinitis Pigmentosa. The user using the device is fitted with the implant inside the retina which is used with a pair of glasses with a mounted camera worn by the user. Those who have been using the device are able to see the placement of objects and large letters. Developers of the product expect the device will improve over time. Right now they are working with insurance companies to see if the cost of the device and related surgery can be covered. The cost of the device is currently $100,000. inquiries regarding the Argus II can be directed to the Second Sight public
information line at (855) 756-3703.
Constitution and Bylaws
By Wayne Lepiors, Chair person
At this time there is nothing to report. However, if anyone would like an amendment to either the constitution or bylaws let me know. Then it can be discussed. Contact me at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org .
By Casey Dutmer, Chairperson
Our next state convention will be September 12-15 in Lansing. The Convention Bureau discussed a possible comity night which could be a fund-raiser and would defray convention costs. Details are being worked on for the Convention Bureau to expand marketing and then we will not need to do all of it ourselves. More information concerning the comity night will be announced at a later time. A suggestion for programming was to have someone from the Department of Treasury talk to us about solicitor’s licensing. For the banquet speaker Joe Sibley is working on getting the human jukebox and saw this person perform. The theme for this year’s convention will be "Changing Lives, Changing Times: A Positive Attitude Makes a Difference."
The 2014 state convention will be at The Four Points By Sheraton Hotel in Kalamazoo. The hospitality room will be different in this location since food will need to be purchased from the hotel. This will go towards the cost of the meeting rooms. If we purchase meal packages, food for hospitality, and room rates then meeting room costs will be lower. Costs for hotel rooms will be the state rate and currently it is $79 per night. The next convention committee meeting will be held on February 21 at 7:30pm.
By Carla Fields, Chairperson
No nominees have been selected yet. The positions that we will hold elections for are as follows: First Vice President currently held by John Jarzyna, Second Vice President Sharmese Anderson, Treasurer Charis Austin and Assistant Secretary Mary Sibley. Nominations have not yet met to discuss nominees.
Publications and Public Relations
By Donna Rose, Chairperson for both
The newsletter came out faster in November than ever before. It takes team work and I want to thank everyone for getting their items to me and Malaina timely.
It would be helpful if when submitting content that you save it in Areole 14 point font if possible before sending it. If you don’t know how to do this don’t worry about it, but if you can it would help with final formatting which is actually the most time-consuming part of putting a newsletter together. Also, when submitting your chapter updates, please give us the phone number of the person who is the contact point for your chapter. If you have a comment on the new format, font size or anything else related to it please contact me at 517-489-2233 or email@example.com. This newsletter belongs to you, so let me know how to make it better.
On the public relations front, I have attended two meetings this year of the ACB PR committee to learn about social media and using Facebook. I just downloaded a book for kids on learning to write HTML so that I can learn how to use it on web pages and such too. I have submitted the beginnings of text for a new brochure to Joe for his comments. There are a lot of decisions as to the content, photos and design of such a document. It will reflect who we are as an organization and needs to look professional. We may have found a source where we can get it printed for less money than originally researched.
I am currently on the convention committee so I can participate on the public relations aspect of that too.
By Malaina VanderWal, Chairperson
Resolutions committee has not met yet but I plan on setting up a date very soon with the committee which will hopefully work for everyone. If anyone is interested in joining the committee please contact me at Malaina@iserv.net. My E: mail address will also be at the end of this newsletter.
Technology January 2013
By Jackie Boomstra, Chairperson
The MCBVI website has been transferred to a new committee which will be responsible for maintaining and keeping it updated.
The goals for 2013 are:
1. The technology committee is looking into establishing audio programming on MCBVI Radio for 3 hours per week. We will be contacting other state affiliates who already have this established for information and assistance in getting the programming started. The date and time will be announced later.
2. The technology committee will continue streaming the MCBVI convention on ACB radio and would like to add streaming the MCBVI State Convention business meeting on MCBVI radio only. This will provide the opportunity for people in our state who cannot attend the convention to be informed on what MCBVI is doing.
3. We will begin offering training opportunities on technology issues to enhance the skills of MCBVI members. If there are any issues you would like to see included in trainings please email me or contact me at the email address or phone number listed at the end of this report.
4. We will be Adding new members to our committee. If you are interested in serving on this committee please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 616-648-0045. We look forward to a great year of adventure in technology.
Blue Water League – Port Huron
By Gerald Clay President
January is off to a chillier start, but with a brighter note we have made it thru our elections and all has remained the same. Since our plans of attending winter camp in Battle Creek have been squashed, we will now be attending a pizza party at the Dorsey Steak house instead of the fun filled week end with the cereal city lions club. The BWL is currently working on a couple of fund raisers to help offset the cost of events through the year. And with a friendly reminder to all. The Blue Water League would like to invite everyone to come attend one of our functions. On a final note the
BWL would like to wish all a safe and happy year!
Capital Area Council of the Blind CACB, Lansing
By Donna Rose
Our chapter is in the midst of rewriting our bylaws which were lost a long time ago. We would like to eventually get a charitable nonprofit status with the IRS (501c3) so donors could get a tax deduction for their donations, and so we can apply for a solicitor’s license through the State. We are hoping to approve our bylaws before June’s meeting.
Some of our members have responded to a request from a school to come and speak to some of the kids about blind/VI issues. A committee might be forming to do such future presentations.
We wish you all the best in the coming year. If you are nearby let us know so we can visit.
Kalamazoo Council of the Blind (KCBVI)
By Sharmese Anderson, President
We provided an Ice Cream Social to the Family Community Career Leaders of America (FCCLA). Students volunteered to help us at the Kalamazoo 51st Holiday Parade. We also hosted a Christmas Party at the University Roadhouse.
Visually Impaired Persons for Progress VIPP – Grand Rapids
By Karla Piper and Malaina VanderWal
All of us from VIPP hope that everyone is doing well and the holidays were all you hoped! Our annual Soup and Sub fund-raiser earned 441.25 a success. We plan to also have a Culvers fund-raiser in May. Our VIPP group was fortunate to attend the wonderful Holiday Pops concert at DeVos Hall on December 6. The Thorn Apple Valley Lions Club graciously purchased tickets for all of us to enjoy the concert. Thank you so much to Greg and Diane Wheby in VIPP for organizing this event with their Lions Club. The front row seats were delightful and the music was lovely! The Pops concert included a great variety of music; children’s and adult’s choirs, solo singing and piano playing, beautiful orchestra presentations, a sing-along, and even some comedy and impersonations. It was a night to remember, and we, at VIPP, deeply appreciate the generosity of the Lions Club for sponsoring this magnificent concert!
On February 9, we will have a game night at the club house of two of our members and in April a trip to the Bolder Ridge Zoo is planned!
Summary of the MCBVI Winter Board Meeting
Submitted by Deb Wild, MCBVI Secretary
The MCBVI winter board meeting conducted by teleconference was held on 01/19/13. It began at 10:05 a.m. and ended at 12:30 p.m. All officers were present except Michael Geno. All five chapters were represented. We had a quorum. Both the meeting agenda and the minutes from the summer board meeting were approved.
President Sibley reported we spent about $1,000.00 last year on teleconference meetings, so we decided to try a non-toll free number. The Michigan Commission for Blind Persons, a seven-member advisory board, had their first meeting this past Thursday, 01/17/13. They divided into 3 subcommittees which will work on three priorities: the Business Enterprise Program (BEP), the Training Center for the Blind and direct vocation rehab services. That same day the 16-member Michigan Council for Rehabilitation Services board met, on which another MCBVI/VIPP member, Trina Edmonson, was appointed to serve.
Pam Berryman, our second vice president, passed away, so Joe appointed Sharmese Anderson, president of the Kalamazoo Council, as second vice president.
Joe discussed our web site which is out of date. It will be developed into a site with much more content and will be more professional looking. The web site will be taken out of the technology committee. Joe is looking for assistance with chairing grants. He also is looking for someone to assist to locate information/resources both on the internet and by making phone calls.
The financial report for 2012 submitted by Matt Livingston was reviewed. The 12/31/12 reconciled checking account balance was $2,361.04. The 12/31/12 total investment portfolio balance was $43,428.76. Total income for 2012 was $4,575.17. Total expenses for 2012 were $7,547.81. The financial report was approved as submitted. The Detroit Northwest funds were discussed. They could be used to form another chapter or could eventually go into the general fund. No decision was made.
The proposed 2013 budget was reviewed. After some discussion the proposed budget was approved as submitted. We are still paying for the toll-free numbers which is the Sprint bill of $525.00. It was decided that Joe talk to Michael Geno about the sprint toll-free numbers.
Regarding the 2012 convention, Casey Dutmer reported there were issues with the Best Western Plus Hotel. They changed salespeople after our convention. There were problems regarding what we owed the hotel. Sharon and Casey went through the contract and charges and sent a check and a complete copy of a statement itemizing things for which we did and did not pay. We made about $722.00, some of it from sponsors. The 2013 convention will still be at the Best Western Plus Hotel in Lansing. We will offer similar meal plans to those offered last year. Room rates will remain $79 a night. The dates are 09/12 to 09/15/13. The theme is “Changing Lives, Changing Times: A Positive Attitude Makes A Difference.”
We need sponsorships from chapters and companies, a program chairman and an exhibit chairman. A Comedy activity as a fundraiser on Thursday night is being explored, as is the Michigan Princess Riverboat.
Kalamazoo has submitted a Bid for the conventions of 2014 and 2015. The hotel will be the Four Points by Sheraton which is Accessible by all transportation. Right now the room rates are $79.00 per night. A $500.00 deposit is required per year to reserve our spot for 2014 and 2015. The executive committee approved spending $1,000.00 to send to the Sheraton to reserve the 2014 and 2015 conventions. The contracts are confirmed and signed. Sponsorships are more important for the 2014 and 2015 conventions. In the hospitality room we will not be able to bring much food. Most items will have to be purchased through hotel catering. Whatever services we use from the hotel, such as meal options, banquet options and catering options, the cost of these would go toward meeting room costs. If high enough sales, the meeting room costs would go down. Tours and other details will be explored.
We need a grants chairman. We do get grant requests. There was no activity for scholarships. Casey reported for legislation that there was not a lot going on directly involving the blind. The executive order is in place. The Blue Cross Blue Shield bill was vetoed by the governor. Michigan got $31 million for health care exchange from the federal government. There were no decreases in public transportation funds. ACB is involved in negotiations regarding accessible prescription labeling. They are working on trying to move forward with some of the pharmacies.
Membership dues are slowly coming in. We passed an amendment stating any renewing members getting their dues in late, their checks will be returned. Charis will be trained in doing membership online this year. Using credit cards or PayPal for collecting dues continues to be explored.
We had 3 newsletters last year. We will be switching from cassettes to CDs. We will invest in a simple duplicator. A priority goal is to get the new MCBVI brochure published. There was nothing new to report for constitution and bylaws. The amendment concerning youth membership was passed at convention. Resolutions have not met yet. Accessible prescription labeling was discussed. It was decided that President Sibley and Casey Dutmer, chair of legislation, write a letter to the Michigan Pharmacists’ Association and attach a copy of the resolution we passed last fall.
Nominations have not met yet. The offices up for election are first and 2 nd vice president, assistant secretary, and treasurer.
Regarding technology, the web site will be going to its own committee. Technology updated it last year to include convention information. They plan to establish programming for 3 hours a week on MCBVI radio, date and time to be determined. They will continue to stream the MCBVI convention on ACB radio/world. They will explore streaming the Sunday morning business meeting on MCBVI radio. They are exploring training in technology skills and products for MCBVI members.
There was no fund development committee report. Work was done on MCBVI convention sponsorship material. Chapter charters were discussed. Each chapter can use our (501) (C3) status but needs its own solicitor’s license. Bookkeeping needs to be in order. Supporting OUB was discussed. We gave them $500.00 last year. It was decided to discuss this further. Chartering a bus to attend the ACB convention in Columbus was discussed. We need to decide the dates we want to attend. It was decided to refer this to the executive committee. Our next board meetings are 04/20/13 and 07/20/13.
Contact the Editors:
Donna Rose, Editor
Toll Free: 877-254-6397
Malaina VanderWal, Assistant Editor
Upcoming Deadlines for 2013 Newsletter Submissions:
May 1, 2013
August 1, 2013
November 1, 2013
First Vice President
Second Vice President
Immediate Past President