[NFBMO] FW: 57th NFB of Missouri Convention Highlights

Daniel Garcia dangarcia3 at hotmail.com
Tue Mar 26 01:35:06 UTC 2019

Hello, Missouri Federationnists:

Below you can read a message I sent to my chapter with convention highlights. Though the beginning focuses on items of interest  to Kansas City Chapter members, I think this could be informative to others who were not able to attend state convention this year.


Daniel Garcia, Corresponding Secretary
National Federation of the Blind of Missouri
dangarcia3 at hotmail.com
(816) 621-0902
Live the life you want

From: dangarcia3 at hotmail.com
Sent: Monday, March 25, 2019 7:16 PM
To: Kansas City Chapter
Subject: 57th NFB of Missouri Convention Highlights

Dear Kansas City Chapter Members & Friends:

Our 57th NFB of Missouri Convention was just fabulous. If you were not able to attend, don't worry, I will provide you with brief highlights.

At the beginning of the March 16 chapter meeting, we had $945.05 in our King & Queen Fund. The annual chapter auction yielded $869 and there were $200 in additional donations. This means that we went to convention with $2014.05 in the King & Queen Fund. We sold popcorn from Popcorn Heaven at convention and we ended up with $2144.05. This amount was enough this year for Kansas City to win the King & Queen Trophy. Since our King & Queen Candidates John & Vivian Bliss could not attend convention, Jeff Giffen and Laurice Cason agreed to replace them. We could not have won though without the Bliss's hard work throughout the year and on behalf of the chapter I want to thank them and acknowledged their contributions to the NFB.

The Roy Zuvers traveling Trophy again went to the Jefferson City Chapter this year. From the beginning of convention last year through March 6, our chapter donated $3805.35 to the NFB of Missouri. The Jefferson City Chapter donated $3869.

The NFB of Missouri Blind Merchants Division was dissolved and is now a special interest group headed by Gene Fleeman. Whereas divisions have to have officers, special interest groups are more like committees requiring only a chair. Their funds are held in trust by the state affiliate as restricted funds. The NFB of Missouri's Parents of Blind Children Division was also dissolved into a special interest group. It will be headed by Linda Coccovizzo of the Kansas City Chapter.

With regards to elections, I started convention as a board member of the state affiliate and I was then elected to the position of Corresponding Secretary. Our Chapter Treasurer, Jeff Giffen, was elected to the state affiliate board to fill a 1 year term as a result of a vacancy created when Melissa Kane of the Jefferson City Chapter was elected to the position of affiliate first vice president. It goes without saying that Shelia Wright of the Kansas City Chapter still continues to be our affiliate president. The new state board is as follows: Shelia Wright, President; Melissa Kane, First Vice President; Jenny Carmack, Second Vice President; Daniel Garcia, Corresponding Secretary; Becky Boyer, Recording Secretary; Carol Coulter, Treasurer; Amy Wilson, Board Member; Eugene Coulter, Board Member; Jeff Giffen, Board Member; Robin House, Board Member; Dacia Cole, Board Member; Christopher Tisdal, Board Member; Roger Crome, Board Member.

Julie McGinnity had served as affiliate first vice president from 2017 and now works at the National Center for the Blind in Baltimore. She was presented with the NFB of Missouri's Kenneth Jernigan Award. This award is given to a Federationist who has performed outstanding service to his fellow blind over a prolonged period of time. The National Representative was Norma Crosby, a member of the National Board of the NFB and President of the NFB of Texas. She gave a banquet speech in which she explained that during her childhood she struggled to understand whether she was blind or not. The sighted kept telling her she "could not see well." Her counselor, whom she referred to as the "rehab guy" added to the confusion by giving her a Braille watch and then telling her she did not need to learn Braille since she was not blind. Eventually Norma found her way to the NFB and she also found the clarity that allowed her to live the life she wanted as a blind person. The NFB of Missouri awarded 1 student scholarship this year in the amount of $1000 to Mitchell Thomas.

During the Saturday General Session we heard various speeches. One of them was by Charles "Chaz" Davis, a blind Paralympian who ran in the California International Marathon, the Boston Marathon, and competed in the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. He talked about how he initially became depressed as a result of his blindness. He thought his life as a runner was over, but then he started to run again and found he could still live the life he wanted as a blind runner.

The convention passed a resolution commending Bob Watson, a reporter for the Jefferson City Tribune, for his work in helping bring public awareness of the NFB. We also passed 2 constitutional amendments. The first amendment requires chapters to vote in new members. The second amendment provides for special interest groups to become a Division of the NFB of Missouri and also gives the affiliate the right to dissolve a division that fails to hold a regular meeting at state convention.  A small change in the bylaws now clarifies that the deadline for the Jernigan Award nominations, tenBroek Award Nominations, and Rittger's applications is February 1.

There was a first time convention welcome seminar on Friday afternoon. All of our first timers certainly had a good time at convention.

If you were not able to attend this year's convention, start planning for the 58th Convention of the NFB of Missouri to be held in St Louis from March 26 through March 29, 2020.

Best Regards

Daniel Garcia, President, Kansas City Chapter
National Federation of the Blind of Missouri
dangarcia3 at hotmail.com
(816) 621-0902
Live the life you want.

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