[vendtalk] After the Event - LoneStar BLAST 2014

Mike Vandervoort vandervoorts at sbcglobal.net
Sun Nov 23 00:03:41 UTC 2014

Just wanted to be the first to tell everyone what a great time Mary & I had
at BLAST this year.  Good to meet up with so many people again and get
reconnected besides getting the latest and greatest in training and what is
happening around the country.  

It is hard to make each year’s BLAST better than the last, but I think it
was done, and thanks to all who helped make that happen!  Thank you NABM
Leaders and Members, NFB, NFBEI, Michael Hooks, Texas BET Program and
Managers, Texas ECM, Nicky, Kevan, Bridgette, Cheryl, and everyone else!

Thank you President Riccobono for sharing your thoughts with us and for
visiting the Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired.  

Thank you Dr. and Mrs. Maurer for your speech and for visiting Criss Cole.  

Even though we Texans are going through a very difficult time with our
legislative process, your visits, thoughts, and sharing can help to sustain
us through the coming ordeal.  I hope the exchange can continue.

Certainly, by the numbers, there were more registrants in Austin this year
than in past events.  So, how can it be done better next year and beat this
year’s records?  I do not know, but with the help of you all, it can be

In the meantime, if what I hear from the Washington reports, there may be a
need for a lot more people to make a loud noise in the not so distant
future.  I hope everyone stays informed and will remain highly motivated to
get out there and do our individual and collective best to protect and grow
our program.

Also, just wanted to let you know that the Texas Criss Cole Rehab Center
folks were truly blown away and expressed their thanks for being invited to
attend.  They are energized and filled with new information, motivation, and
ideas about how to help blind people achieve their dreams.

It was said we should DREAM, then PLAN, then we can go and JUST DO IT! Yeah!

Well, OK, then! I have dreamed of BLAST being in Hawaii for YEARS.  I DREAM
that it will be there before I retire or drop dead.  If it is ever planned
to be there, then I MOST CERTAINLY WILL BE THERE!  OK, I know, I know.  I
will be quiet and I promise to get just as excited if BLAST is planned to be
in New Jersey, or elsewhere.  I promise!

Mike Vandervoort
Abilene, Texas

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