[nfbmi-talk] Fw: MSFL 2010 Spring Newsletter

J.J. Meddaugh jj at bestmidi.com
Wed Apr 28 15:43:29 UTC 2010

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Kevin Ridsdale" <help at msfl.org>
To: "Kevin Ridsdale" <ksridsdale at msfl.org>
Sent: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 7:49 AM
Subject: Fw: MSFL 2010 Spring Newsletter

Happy Trails
Michigan Ski for Light Newsletter

Volume 4, Number 1
Spring, 2010
Editor’s note: We always need articles and ideas for the newsletter. Anyone 
who would like to volunteer to send an article or information may contact 

President’s Corner, by Kevin Ridsdale
Visions 2010 is an opportunity for people to experience products and 
services designed for people who cannot read print due to visual or physical 
limitations. Visions provide these consumers with a hands-on opportunity to 
try new low- and high-tech products.

Visions 2010 will be held on Wednesday, May 12, 2010, from 10 am to 4 pm
WashtenawCommunity College, Morris Lawrence Building, Ann Arbor, MI 48105.

The Michigan Ski for Light Summer Boardmeeting will be held at the home of 
John Root in Haslett, Michigan, on Saturday, June 12. For anyone interested, 
there will be golfing at Hawk Hollow (Mini-Hawk par 3 course) starting at 11 

MichiganSki for LightClothing and 2011 Wristbands Are Available
Order through the website www.msfl.org

MSFL Hoodies: $30.00, and add $3.00 for size 2XL or larger.
MSFL Sweatshirts: $25.00, and add $3.00 for size 2XL or larger.
MSFL 2011 wristbands: $2.00

Pictures Online from the 2010 Michigan Ski for Light eventprovided from Jim 
Ellickson and Bill Richards.
Link to Jim’s pictures,


Link to Bill’s pictures,

1. Go to Photo archives.
2. Search for pictures.
3. Catagory MichiganSki for Light (stay in the category).
4. Search line 2010 MSFL gets all of the pictures.

The January 2011 Michigan Ski for Light eventwill be held on January 14-16, 
2011. Website registration will open on October 1, 2010. We have MSFL DVDs 
free for anyone to use as fundraisers, and 2011 wristbands for fundraisers, 
as well.

MichiganSki for Light Event 2010, by Lois Alexander
Michigan Ski for Light 2010 had just enough snow, lots of sunshine, and an 
abundance of fun, fellowship, and laughter! Kathy Emig, retiring president 
of MSFL opened the 35th year the event with warm words, "This is like a 
family reunion. We are all a big family, including the participants, guides, 
park services, and Lions Club. No one is a stranger here." She noted that 
she did not know anyplace else you could go for a weekend where everyone 
becomes so cohesive in two days. Kevin Ridsdale, the new president, reported 
that this year’s event had 22 VIP (visually impaired participants), 1 (MIP) 
mobility impaired, 30 guides, 10 worker bees, and 30 folks housed at 
Westminster Camp where the CMU (Central Michigan University) students stay.

Everyone had great things to say about the weekend. Carol Ardis, from Grand 
Rapids, a first time attendee worker bee, noted, "Its great! A very positive 
experience. Everyone had fun! It was great watching the VIPs and MIPs 
enjoying themselves. Everyone participated."

Morgan Kuzava, a CMU student who had never skied before said, "I enjoyed it 
a lot! I even learned to ski! I definitely want to come back next year."

Steve and Jeff Couch, twelve-year-old twins from Flushing, attended for the 
first time. Donna Posont brought the twins, whom she met at Camp Tuhsmeheta. 
On Sunday morning, Jeff revealed that his feet hurt, more from dancing all 
evening that from the skiing! He was having such a good time that he did not 
want to leave the weekend! His brother agreed, noting that the whole weekend 
was awesome. Steve said, "The skiing was stupendous!" Donna has attended 
MSFL for five years, and says it just keeps getting better. She reported she 
had the most wonderful guides, Jessie Campbell, and Mark Bassord (all the 
way from England), because they helped her to visualize the beauty in the 
nature around them.

Jim Carter, a guide from Diamondale, revealed that it is a great learning 
experience for him. He used skills he learned last year to guide his VIP 
this year. "I've met a lot of really nice people this week that I would not 
have otherwise met."

Nino Pacini from Grosse Pointe reports that he enjoys the networking and 
meeting people from all over the state. He enjoys sharing information and 
technology. His wife, Marie Pacini, conveyed that they have been very 
involved in the MSFL International and want to get involved at the state 
level. She said, "Michigan Ski for Light is just so cool. We want to make 
sure it continues.” Both VIP's, they will be training guides at the 
International Ski for Light in Provo, Utah, during the first week in 
February. Nino helped train the guides this year at the MacMullan Center, 

G. John Schmidt, a guide from Minnesota, has also been very involved in the 
International Ski for Light. Attending the event at Higgins Lake for the 
first time, he has previously been involved in 4 regional events in the 
Black Hills area, and 4 events in Norway. John advised, "We all have a 
message and obligation in life and we owe it to share and help others."

John was attending as a guide to Ivonne Mosquera, also a first time MSFL 
attendee, who is very involved in sports. She loss her vision at age 2 and 
has been participating in marathons and triathlons for several years. As a 
matter of fact, Ivonne won the Gold Metal at the World Triathlon 
Championship in Australia. She completes on the USA Triathlon team. Her 
first Ski for Light was in 2005 at the International event in Granby, 
Colorado. There, Ivonne won the Jan Haug award, given for a first time 
participant that demonstrated the most inspiration. The prize was a full set 
of skis that she uses now. Ivonne said that her favorite part about MSFL was 
that it is such an inclusive and embracing setting.

Michaela Root, the new MSFL secretary, has been attending MSFL for 16 years, 
since she was 8 years old. She indicates that the event has had an impact on 
her since the time she was young. She says, "I get a lot of joy out of 
helping people, seeing them smiling and giggling. This may be their only 
time to get outside in the winter. It makes me happy."

Her father, John Root, has been involved in the organization for 33 years. 
He too reports that he enjoys people having a good time. He enjoys seeing 
the VIPs and MIPs realize that they can do something like this and sees the 
confidence they develop by participating in the skiing.

Debbie Wahr, from DeWitt, MI, has been a participant for eleven years. She 
proudly displays the pins from MSLF on her hat. She keeps coming back 
because she loves to cross country ski and this is the only time each year 
that she has a chance to do it.

Bill Richards was one of the founders of MSFL. He still attends at age 82 
and loves meeting everyone and watching the group have a wonderful time. 
Bill had a great time talking with everyone telling stories, taking pictures 
of the event, and sharing memories of the many events.

MSFL is all about people and relationships. There is a great amount of 
preparation for MSFL, as well as work during the weekend to make it happen. 
We share in gratitude for all those who make the weekend possible.

The following article concerns “birding” for the blind and visually impaired 
in the Detroit area:
My name is Rochelle Breitenbach. I am a member of the Detroit Audubon 
Society. I would like to know if you know of any blind or visually impaired 
people (and friends/family) who may be interested in learning about birding. 
It's a fun way to be outdoors while you are waiting for snow! Migration and 
nesting season are fast approaching, so this is the perfect time for 
beginners to learn and practice identifying songs and calls of birds common 
to SE Michigan.

Our plan is to schedule several listening/practice sessions according to the 
availability of the attendees, and then go out into the field some time in 
mid-May so they can show off their new skills. We frequently use the 
Southfield Recreation Center for meetings and events, but there is 
flexibility according to participant needs.

I have focused on the blind and visually impaired because I believe this is 
an under served population who would really enjoy a program like this, but 
anyone is more than welcome to attend the sessions and outings. I understand 
there may be transportation and other challenges, but I figure one step at a 
time. First step: find interested people. Oh, by the way, there is no charge 
for this program.

For more information on the Detroit Audubon Society, you can visit our 
website: www.detroitaudubon.org. Please call me with any questions and for 
more info. Please also give my name and number to any potential 
participants. Rochelle Breitenbach: home - 248 698 3549or cell - 586 202 

Ski for Light International News
The 36th annual 2011 Ski for Light International Week will take place from 
January 30 through February 6, 2011, in the Rocky Mountains at Snow Mountain 
Ranch in Granby, Colorado. Snow Mountain Ranch, near Winter Park and part of 
the YMCA of the Rockies, has more than 80k of wide and wonderfully groomed 

It is consistently rated one of the top Nordic venues in the country. Seven 
previous SFL events have been held there, dating from 1992 through most 
recently 2006, so you can tell from our return in 2011 that we have had 
great experiences there in the past.

New this year will be the lodging arrangements. We will be staying on the 
grounds of Snow Mountain Ranch in their three hotel buildings. This will 
allow attendees to ski from their hotel building right on to the trails.

Come back to this site www.sfl.orgin July for more information about SFL 
2011, and easy-to-complete online application forms.

Char Kimball, a guide and an active member of the West Michigan Coastal 
Kayakers’ Association, wrote the following article about Kayak for Light 
2009. Thanks to everyone who turned out for Kayak for Light this year!

This was the 10th year that it was offered, and 32 guides showed up to offer 
help to 24 participants. We had 30 boats on the water, and we want to thank 
Lee’s Sporting Goods for the use of their boats as well as their people.

Chris Lee worked construction until 1992 when he joined the family business 
that his dad started in 1954. When asked about his interest in helping with 
Kayak for Light, he said he has always loved being outdoors. He was a scout, 
liked backpacking, kayaking, and canoeing. He loves the water. Besides that, 
he said, “It beats doing paperwork!”

Rocky and I had the pleasure of interviewing some of the participants in 
this year’s Kayak for Light. Most of them came because of their involvement 
with the Commission for the Blind. Here is what we learned from this very 
interesting group of people:

Alex, 22, is from Flint. This was her first time kayaking and she stated, 
“It was fun! I want to come back.” When she is not kayaking, she enjoys 
playing music.

Chris, 30, was also here as a first-timer. People told him he was a natural 
at kayaking. “I love it!” he said. He writes short stories and poetry.

Jessica, 33, is from Holland. “It’s fun!” she said. She did not want to come 
out of the water.

Osman, 19, is from Hastings where he will be a senior this year. “It was so 
cool!” he said about his first time kayaking. He is on the wrestling team, 
runs track and plays glow ball.

Norma, 41, is from Sterling. Although this was her first time in a kayak, 
she has canoed, gone tubing, and rafting. She said it felt good and she 
really liked it. Now her daughter, Skye, aged 19, can guide her.

Kristin, 17, is a junior at Coopersville High School. It was her first time 
and she thought it was pretty cool. “It’s less tiring than canoeing”, she 
said. She likes to read and listen to country music. She sings in her school 

Kim, 23 and Diana, 26, are sisters. It was their 2nd time kayaking. They 
both agree that it is enjoyable. They also enjoy playing music, reading 
books and camping at state parks.

Sherry, 48, is from Kalamazoo. She has been to Kayak for Light for the ten 
years that it has been held. “I’m a dare-devil”, she said. “Fast is good.” 
(Rocky said it takes 2 guides to keep up with her). She plays goal ball (the 
ball has bells in it). This year she even went skydiving. “It was awesome!”

Geri, 53, is from Farmington Hills. She is attending for the 4th time. She 
came with her son Jason and his girlfriend, Kaitlin. She says she will try 
almost anything. She participates in Ski for Light, rides tandem bikes, and 
is looking for a kayak partner on the east side of the state.

Rich and Nancy Newman came along to help guide. They have been 
canoeing/kayaking for 50 years. Rich said Nancy would not marry him until he 
bought a kayak. Their youngest son, Bill, has been kayaking since he was 3 
and has written 2 Guidebooks for Sea Kayaking.

David and Hunter Halley, from Richland, attended the WMCKA Symposium and 
heard about Kayak for Light. They have tandem kayaks so they decided to come 
and help guide. Hunter really enjoyed it and said, “It was a piece of cake.”

Tim and Jackie are from Kalamazoo. They work for The Commission for the 
Blind as the Activity Center Directors. They love their jobs, applying what 
they learn at the center. They are both legally blind and serve as role 
models for their students.

Bill and Anne Keith have been organizing the Kayak for Light for 10 years. 
We are thankful for their hard work and dedication to this event. Ken 
Nesbitt, who is both a WMKCA as well as a G.L.A.C. member, has become the 
co-chair of this event, along with the Keith’s.

Kayak for Light will be held this year on Saturday, July 10, 2010, from 10 
am to 4 pm at the same location: Ramona Park, Portage, Michigan. Lunch will 
be provided.

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Kevin Ridsdale <ksridsdale at yahoo.com>
To: msfl <ksridsdale at msfl.org>
Sent: Wed, April 28, 2010 7:41:09 AM
Subject: MSFL 2010 Spring Newsletter

Best regards,

Kevin S. Ridsdale
Ph: 248-210-3154 cell
Ph: 734-513-5423 home 

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