June 12-13, 2021
The 85th annual convention was called to order by Zelda at 8:37 a.m. Zelda welcomed everyone to the convention. She gave instructions on how to use Zoom. The opening ceremony began with a recording of the West Point Band playing the National Anthem. This was followed by a recording of John Wayne reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. The invocation was given by Cole Roberts. A recording from North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum welcoming those in attendance was played. The business meeting was called to order at 8:53 a.m.
Zelda reported that this year NDAB has offered over 150 Zoom sessions to our members and friends. She thanked the NDAB board for their dedication. She was happy to report that we have remained financially solid despite the pandemic. Though the investment funds of NDAB fluctuated, they are currently at an all- time high. During the year she attended the virtual ACB Leadership Meetings including Zoom visits made with the office staff of Senator Hoeven and Senator Cramer and directly with Congressman Armstrong.
She stated that she feels the greatest accomplishment of NDAB in the past year is the passage of HB 1253. This bill allows all individuals who “cannot read or mark a paper ballot” the option of voting absentee electronically. The bill was signed into ND law in April.
Gretchen read the secretary’s report from the May 23rd board meeting. Allan Peterson made a motion to approve the report as read. Shereen Faber provided a second. Motion carried.
Rebecca Anderson gave the Treasurer’s report.
The Membership report was given by Ali Engraf. As of June 6th there were:
192 paid members
7 new members
67 sighted members (34.9%)
92 visually impaired members (47.9%)
33 blind members (17.1)
125 blind/visually impaired (65.1%)
3 lifetime members
1 honorary member
4 member deaths
Development Director Report
Allan Peterson gave the Development Director report. He thanked everyone for their involvement with fundraising.
Loris Van Berkom gave the camp report. This year is NDAB’s 50th annual camp. Camp dates are August 8-15. The banquet theme is “Celebrating 50 years”. Jenny Hunt is the new Camp Grassick Director. Elks Camp Grassick has a COVID Plan for the 2021 Camp Season. It and a NDAB COVID Liability Policy will be sent out with the applications. No masks will be required but campers may wear a mask if they choose. There is a new sewer system and new sidewalks at camp. Also, the cabins have been painted. Due to water and sewer issues, campers will not be able to stay in cabin 22. It may be able to be used for classes if needed. Letters will be sent out the end of June. Rick Feldman thanked Loris for her work getting camp ready.
A recorded report from Robert Hart was played. The Giving Hearts Day Committee created their own content. Some of it was very general and can be used in the future. The committee also created internal and external email and mailing lists. Facebook has content creators that create content on a regular basis. Plans for the future are to find a different external e-mail marketing platform.
Dining in the Dark
The Dining in the Dark report was given by Janelle Olson. The Minot Lions would like to host a Dining in the Dark event again. The date will be October 28th. More information will come out later.
Lexee Steffan gave the editor’s report. There are 22 members who receive the Promoter digitally, 4 receive it in braille form, 4 print/postage, and 98 e-mail, 33 none and there were 3 deaths. This brings the total to 191.
Legislative and Advocacy
Allan Peterson reported that he and Zelda are the registered lobbyists for NDAB. There were five resolutions adopted by the board earlier in the year. This year individuals had access to ExpressVote, an accessible voting machine, which provided the opportunity to vote independently during early voting or at the poll the day of election. However, the current paper absentee ballot did not allow one to vote without assistance. NDAB worked with the legislature and had an amendment written up to support electronic absentee voting. Mary Schneider, House Representative from Fargo, and Jim Silrum, Deputy Secretary of State, were consulted for correct language of the amendment. ND Protection and Advocacy supported the amendment and passage of HB 1253. Testimony in favor of the amendment was provided by NDAB members Janelle Olson, Allan, and Zelda.
Allan also reported on the Lions Video Magnifier program. There are about 150 different units that are out and 15 available. The purchase of a few scanners is being considered.
Sports and Recreation
Trampes Brown gave the report for sports and rec. A video was shown of members participating in different activities to be used for outreach. The fall retreat will be held at Wesley Acres Sept 17-19. The committee has been considering a virtual fitness and workout program. The program, Spirit Club, is from Maryland. The club works with individuals of all disabilities. We have met with them and offered tips on how they can give better descriptions to make their exercise videos more accessible for people with vision loss.
Our speaker was Robert (Bob) Prentice from Wessington, SD. He spoke about how our attitudes affect us and those we encounter. His message contained an emphasis on kindness.
Break was taken for lunch. Roll call was taken.
The meeting continued with unfinished business at 1:00 p.m.
Olga Neal Memorial Committee Report
The committee report was given by Shereen Faber. The committee brought forth two recommendations to the convention body. One was Little Rooms for infants and toddlers with vision loss and other disabilities who qualify. The rooms are housed at NDVS/SB and to then sent to the child’s home. The rooms have different textures for tactile senses and make noise. Each room costs $2,600 and the committee recommended the purchase of two rooms at a cost of $5,200.
The second recommendation is to purchase two benches for Elks Camp Grassick. The benches would be maintenance free and made of a composite material. The benches will have backs and arms.
Shereen made a motion on behalf of the committee for a do pass for the Little Rooms and benches. Evelyn Hildebrand seconded the motion. Discussion was held.
Mike Beck made a friendly amendment not to exceed $7,000 on the cost of the two projects. The amendment was seconded by Cole Roberts. Motion was changed to purchase two little rooms and two benches not to exceed $7,000. Discussion was held on the motion to amend.
Brant Adams made a motion to separate the two questions, Lexee Steffan seconded. Motion passed. Trampes made a motion to extend the debate for 20 minutes, Shereen seconded. Voting was held and motion passed.
Debating was continued about the benches for Camp Grassick. Mike Beck made a friendly amendment that the benches should not exceed $1,540. Cole Roberts seconded. The friendly amendment was voted on and passed. The motion was then voted on and passed.
Next discussion was held on the purchase of the two little rooms. The total for the two rooms would be $5,250. Discussion was held. Mike Beck called for question and Tracey Wicken seconded. Voting was held on the call to question and passed. Voting was held on the motion to purchase two little rooms, not exceeding $5,500. Motion passed.
Cole Roberts made a motion that a plaque be put on the benches not to exceed the amount approved for the benches, Robert Westermeyer seconded. Allan Peterson made a friendly amendment to defer the cost of the plaques and plaque selection for the benches to the board. Lexee Steffan seconded the friendly amendment. Friendly amendment passed. Voting was held on the motion. Motion passed.
Brant Adams made a motion to consider Trampes Brown’s proposal of a teen camp and the scholarship. Lexee Steffan seconded. Motion failed.
The resolutions were read to the convention body. Resolutions had been previously reviewed by the board and they recommended a do pass. All resolutions were passed by the convention body.
Vice President-Alexandra Engraf or Cole Roberts (1 year
Development Director-Allan Peterson
Director #3-Millisa Miller
Director #2-Dawn Freemont or Doug Stip
Promoter Editor-Beth Bakke-Stenehjem
ACB alternate-Allan Peterson
President-Allan Peterson made motion to cease nominations and cast a unanimous ballot for Trampes Brown. Mike Beck seconded this motion. Motion passed.
Vice President- Alexandra Engraf and Cole Roberts. There were no nominations from the floor. Allan Peterson made a motion to cease nominations. Robert Westermeyer seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Treasurer-Rebecca Anderson. Allan Peterson made a motion that nominations cease, and a unanimous ballot be cast. Dawn Freemont seconded. Motion passed.
Secretary-Gretchen Campbell. Kathy Larson nominated Helen Baumgartner. Allan Peterson made a motion that nominations cease. Doug Puetz seconded. Motion passed.
Development Director-Allan Peterson. Doug Puetz made a motion that nominations cease and a unanimous ballot be cast. Robert Westermeyer seconded. Motion passed.
Director #3-Milissa Miller. Mickey Teubner made a motion that nominations cease, and a unanimous ballot is cast. Ruth Phalen seconded. Motion carried.
Director #2-Dawn Freemont, Doug Stip. Cole Roberts nominated Bob Moore. Allan made a motion that nominations cease. Cole Roberts seconded. Motion carried.
Promoter Editor-Beth Bakke Stenehjem. Allan made a motion that nominations cease and a unanimous ballot be cast. Doug Puetz seconded. Motion carried.
ACB alternate-Allan Peterson. Mickey Teubner made a motion to cast a unanimous ballot. Doug Puetz seconded. Motion carried.
Candidates spoke on their behalf. Gretchen withdrew her nomination as secretary. Nominations were opened for secretary. No nominations were brought forward. Shereen made a motion that nominations cease, and a unanimous ballot be cast for Helen Baumgartner. Robert Westermeyer seconded. Motion carried.
Meeting recessed until Sunday, June 13th at 11:00 a.m.
Sunday June 13, 2021
The meeting resumed at 11:00 a.m. Roll call was taken.
Helen Baumgartner had requested this topic be added to the agenda. She recommended that NDAB no longer use DIAL NDAB because information is inaccurate, outdated and there are issues with the server. She felt that it is not worth the cost for the technical issues that we have encountered. Helen made a motion to discontinue DIAL NDAB. Cole Roberts seconded. Discussion was held. Motion passed.
Current geographical eligibility guidelines require NDAB members living outside of ND to pay for their camp room and board. Brant Adams made a motion for members from any state to attend camp at no cost. Shereen Faber seconded. Discussion was held. Motion failed.
Rebecca Anderson, treasurer, presented the budget. Discussion was held. Allan Peterson made a motion to approve as presented and amended. Robert Westermeyer seconded. Motion carried.
Invitation to 2022 Convention
Milissa Miller invited everyone to the 86th Annual NDAB convention. It will be held in Fargo at the Holiday Inn Express June 10th-12th, 2022.
Selection of 2023 Convention
Paul Olson proposed that the 2023 NDAB State Convention be held in Grand Forks. Lexee Steffan made a motion to accept the invitation. Robert Westermeyer seconded. Motion carried.
Vice President-Ali Engraf
Development Director-Allan Peterson
Director #3- Milissa Miller
Director #2-Doug Stip
Promoter Editor-Beth Bakke Stenehjem
ACB Alternate-Allan Peterson
Those elected were congratulated. Appreciation was expressed to Mark Kueffler, Gretchen Campbell and Shereen Faber for their service on the board and to Lexee Steffan for being our editor. The Convention Planning Committee and others who helped with the 2021 Convention were thanked for their efforts.