Silhouette of people standing together

The Promoter November 2014

December 15th, 2015 by

Official Publication of the North Dakota Association of the Blind

Available in four formats: large print, e-mail, braille and cassette tape

Editor: Kathy Larson              klarson@dia.net

 

“Not he who lacks sight, but he who lacks vision is blind.”

“We strive to enhance the way of life for people who are blind or visually impaired,

To encourage employment opportunities, and to educate the public about sight loss.”

 

Table of Contents

 

Greetings from the President 2
Note from the Editor 3
Welcome New NDAB Members 3
Members of Our NDAB Family 4
NDAB Membership Renewal Notice 5
Family Adjustment Seminar 5
NDAB Summer Camp 2014 6
From Fair Hills Resort to Summer Camp 7
Member News From Around the State 9
Brenda Bruins Shares Recipes 14
Donations and Memorials 15
Constitutional & Initiated Measures 16
Candy’s Corner 18
Black Hills Ski For Light 2015 19
San Francisco Airport - New Technology 20
Distribution of Currency Readers 20
Saturday Surprise 21
Genealogy  and Your Family History 22
NDAB Board Meeting Minutes 9/14/14 22
Free Booklet Introduces Readers to UEB 25
Find Any DVD with Audio Description 25
Legislative Report Fall 2014 26
NDAB Member 2014-2015 PIP Article 27
NDAB PIP Member Report Form 29
Let’s Talk About Vision 30
You Are a Work of Art 33
NDAB Roster 34

 

 

Greetings from the President

Hello Team NDAB:

Wow, what a great fall we have had this year, just beautiful, my favorite time of year! Reminds me of sun filled fall days, long walks across the country side or down some old dirt road on the way to my favorite fishing hole. I crave time to walk down a long tree row with the sound of a pheasant in the distance, a light breeze coming through the trees and the rustle of the colorful fallen leaves as I walk. Take some time, my friends, to enjoy this wonderful time of year, slow down and enjoy the journey. Put aside the smartphones, Internet, social media, computers, television, and take some time for yourself, for this world spins much too fast and soon we forget how fast time really does travel.

 

“Fish On!”

Well, once again camp was absolutely fantastic! What a great week! This year’s banquet theme was “Gone Fishin’,” definitely one of my favorites. There was a great bunch of new campers and some faces we haven’t seen for a few years; it was absolutely wonderful. Thank you to all you campers and staff for making my week the best! For those of you who haven’t been to camp for a few years, I encourage you to take a week and invest in yourself, and spend a week with us next year.

 

Loris and Rick, no words can describe to you how much I appreciate all the work you do to make camp happen and run as smoothly as it does. I am exceedingly grateful for your time, knowledge, and continued willingness to serve as co-camp directors. You are both simply the best! Thank you to all of you who attended camp, no matter what role you might have played, for without you camp would not exist. Again, what a fantastic week! “Fish On! Fish On!”

“In Everything Give Thanks”

As I sit here watching another autumn sun go down, I think of the coming months with Thanksgiving and Christmas near at hand. The Bible says, “In everything give thanks” and this is a time of year when I like to spend more time focusing on my many blessings and giving thanks to the Lord and the people who have blessed my life with their presence, love, and wisdom. For many years you, my NDAB family, have given me so many of these blessings I can no longer count them, and I am eternally grateful. You have given so much to my life: hope, love, faith, friendship, happiness, laughter, peace, motivation, determination, a passion for helping others and so much more.  NDAB members, you may not realize by reading my few words on this page the difference you make in people’s lives, but please for just a moment think about the lives you touch; I think it may surprise you. You are awesome! You have given me a passion for NDAB’s future and the future generations of NDAB members, to give them the blessings and opportunities generations of NDAB members, past and present, have given to all of us.

Don’t be shy; introduce that person you meet today or tomorrow to NDAB. Give them the opportunity to learn about NDAB, our mission, our family, and share with them the gift someone once gave you - NDAB!

I wish you well and a Happy Holidays Season!

Creating our future today, together!

Mark Kueffler, President

 

 

Note from the Editor

I echo the words of those who have sent in articles for this issue, “Where has the time gone!” I can hardly believe we are in the middle of October. Indian summer is with us at the moment, and that is fantastic!

 

Thanks again to those of you who submit quotes for the newsletter. Keep them coming! I’ve not received any “book reviews” on a favorite book you might have read, but maybe you’ll share something for the next Promoter.

 

Helen sent in these quotes:

“Courage is…what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also…what it takes to sit down and listen.” --Sir Winston Churchill

“It isn’t life that weights us down – it’s the way we carry it.” --Elizabeth Potier

“What makes greatness is starting something that lives after you.” --Ralph W. Sockman

Loris shared these quotes:

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” --Helen Keller

“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” --Maya Angelou

They say that age is all in your mind. The trick is keeping it from creeping down into your body. --Author Unknown
As in prior Promoters, I will end the issue with an article written by Steve Goodier, a favorite writer of mine.

Kathy Larson, Promoter Editor

15225 59th St NW, Williston ND  58801-9560.

klarson@dia.net

 

 

Welcome New NDAB Members

We welcome the following new members to NDAB: Todd Fahlstrom from Moorhead, MN, Sandra Parizek from Valley City, Helen Arntzen from Bottineau and Morgan VanWell from Fargo.

 

 

 

 

 

Members of Our NDAB Family

 

Marilyn-Gene Rhandee Nelson, 68, Minot, died Friday, September 12, 2014, in her home. Marilyn graduated from Minot High School in 1964. She attended Minot Business College, Minot State University, the University of Wisconsin, and in 1985 the Santa Fe Community College where she was able to tutor and teach after graduation. She once worked for the Minot Daily News as a librarian and the Minot Vocational Workshop on 2 occasions, once as a bookkeeper and finally as a counselor. She also had worked for the State of Minnesota, the State of Wisconsin, and the State of Florida as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor until illness forced her to retire. After retiring she was able to pick up the gift of Poetry which was published in Europe as well as the United States of America. Marilyn enjoyed her Bible Studies, singing (until forced to quit after a train derailment), writing poetry, crocheting and traveling with her son Todd. She was a member of Our Saviors Lutheran Church, Minot, North Dakota Association of the Blind, NDCAC, Zonta International, the Minot Community Development Committee, and the local support group for the Blind and Visually Impaired Individuals.
Survivors: son, Todd Michael Merritt, Minot; brothers, Roger (El Rita) Nelson, Bismarck, ND and Mark (Pat) Nelson, Omaha, NE and three nieces and one nephew.

******

 

We have lost still another dear NDAB member. Viola Lillehaugen, 103, died peacefully at Madonna Towers in Rochester, Minnesota, on October 11, 2014.

 

Viola Mariam Sandford was born to John and Augusta (Nowek) Sandford January 17, 1911, in Walsh County, North Dakota. As a young girl she worked with her dad in his garage in Whitman, ND, selling gas acid fixing tires. As a teenager she was able to drive her Model T to Fordville, ND, for her last two years of high school. She graduated from Mayville State Teachers College and taught school for twenty-six years in Nelson and Walsh counties. After retiring from teaching she picked potatoes in the fall for several years.

She married Tollef Lillehaugen on June 6, 1934, and they farmed in Walsh county for 58 years until his death in 1992. Viola continued to live in their home on the farm until she was 101 years old. At that time she moved into assisted living in Rochester, MN.

Viola was a member of Sarnia United Church, was active in Ladies Aid where she held several offices, was a charter member of Whitman Homemakers for seventy-seven years, an active Farmers Union member, served  as President of the Nelson County Cancer Society, and in 1987 became active in the ND Association of  the Blind after being diagnosed with Macular Degeneration. She continued to help support the NDAB  walk-a-thons and walked in the last one when she was 96 years old. She enjoyed needlework, quilting,  traveling, cooking, baking, and spending time with her friends and family. Even when she became legally  blind due to Macular Degeneration she continued to make quilts not only for her family members, but for  Lutheran World Relief and to children terminally ill with AIDS in hospitals throughout the country. She  made and donated 1,000 quilts. Every stitch contained a lot of love, patience, and dedication that can be  treasured for a lifetime.

Her warmth, strength, and determination kept her going for many years. All of her family members kept telling her that she was an inspiration to all of us. Viola always said, "I am proud of the six children we had.  They all have families I am proud of. I think our family is special because we are close, caring, and loving."

She is survived by her children Vern (Linda) Lillehaugen, Helen (Adolf) Walser, Maynard (DeLores) Lillehaugen, Lyle (Scherion) Lillehaugen, Carol Jean (Jay) Stephens, and Barbara Swalley; fifteen grandchildren, twenty seven great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Tollef Lillehaugen; her brother, Edmund Sandford; her sister, Evelyn Skjervem; and her son-in-law, Kirk Swalley.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, October 25 at 10:30 a.m. at Sarnia United Lutheran Church in Whitman, North Dakota, with visitation beginning at 9:30 a.m. On Friday, October 24, visitation will be held from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. at Aaker Funeral Home in Lakota, North Dakota, with a Prayer Service at 7:00 p.m.

Viola supported and would be honored if memorials would be sent to West Forest Cemetery Fund or North Dakota Association of the Blind (www.NDAB.org).

 

******

 

Please keep Mark Ketterling in your prayers as he heads to the University of Minnesota on November 17. He is scheduled to have a surgical procedure to resolve a blockage leading to his pancreas. If you would like to send him greetings, send to: 401 7th Ave SE, Jamestown ND  58401.

 

NDAB Membership Renewal Notice

 

This is your official notice that your 2015 NDAB Membership renewal form will be mailed out the end of December. Dues in the amount of $15.00 must be sent to the treasurer by February 1st.

No action needs to be taken at this time. You are just being notified so you will keep a watch out for the renewal form. If you have not received it by January 1st, please contact me.

Thank you,

Zelda Gebhard, Membership Chair at zgeb@drtel.net or 701-493-2399

 

 

Family Adjustment Seminar

By Janelle F. Olson

Are you wondering about the current status of NDAB’s Family Adjustment Seminar? Well, the report is quite short. It is still being looked at from all sides. Stand by. A report will be made to the board at the next meeting which has been set for November 23rd. We will keep you posted.

 

 

 

 

NDAB Summer Camp 2014

The 44th annual NDAB Summer Camp was held August 10-17 at the Elks Camp Grassick. Twenty-six campers and twenty staff made up the forty-six in attendance. We welcomed six new campers and one new instructor. The new campers were as follows: Morgan VanWell from Fargo, Cole Roberts from Bismarck, Frank Eller from Belcourt, Helen Arntzen from Bottineau, Wanda Wigness from Minot and Todd Fahlstrom from Moorhead. Dianne Giessinger from Minot joined the staff. We missed those staff and campers who were unable to attend due to health issues, work Schedules or family commitments.

The weather for most of the week was perfect! Daytime temperatures were in the 70’s and 80’s with cool mornings and nights. It got hot and muggy on Friday just in time for our banquet and dance. It rained off and on all day Saturday but remained quite warm.

Tom Capes made the transition from camper to instructor this year. The classes and instructors were as follows: Lawn Chair Macramé – David McCloud and Tom Capes, Caning – Mike Hoeppner, Basket Weaving – Paula Anundson and Dave Sundeen, Handicrafts – Whitney Engbrecht, Arm Knitting – Karlyn Frantsen and Kathy Larson, Round Loom Knitting – Helen Baumgartner, New Camper Orientation – Janelle Olson and Mark Kueffler, ND History, Source of Services & Eye Diseases, Treatments and Research – Allan Peterson, Walking & Diabetes 101 – Melissa Miller, Leisure Activities and Mobility and Orientation – Becky Monroe, Bread Basics – Zelda Gebhard, Norwegian Language and Dance – Kathy Larson, Strike Up the Band, Yoga and Fish Philosophy – Janelle Olson, Chair Exercise – Susan Jorgenson, Life Guard – Dan Mimnaugh, Nurse – Kathy Johnson, Co-Directors – Loris Van Berkom & Rick Feldman. Mark Kueffler, Susan Jorgenson, Milissa Miller and Dianne Giessinger helped with several classes where ever they were needed.

The evenings were filled with activities. Sunday night began with our traditional receiving line followed by a mixer that was a version of musical chairs without chairs. Several fishing bobbers were passed around the circle, eliminating those who were holding one every time the music stopped, at which time they had to introduce themselves and relate a short fishing story. Rick Feldman hosted the Monday night trivia contest as Dan popped and served us popcorn. Each member on the winning team received a fishing hat, a bag of gummy worms, a bag of goldfish crackers and a promise of getting a boat delivered to their home the following week. On Tuesday night, Helen hosted Blackjack in the Dining Hall and Becky called bingo in Cabin #7. Wednesday night was filled with the casino night gift exchange followed by hayrides sponsored by Dan. Thursday evening began with a great talent show co-hosted by Mark Kueffler and Milissa Miller and ended with a pizza party in the Dining Hall. “Gone Fishin’”, the Friday night banquet theme, planned by Kathy Larson and her daughter Angie Branson, transported us to a calm lakeside setting. We feasted on a delicious picnic lunch with lake water punch to drink and mud cups complete with worms for dessert. Janelle Olson shared fishing memories   and challenged us to think about what we had caught that week. The Jim Geiger Band rounded out the night with great dancing and listening music. Auctioneer George Schatz from Mandan along with other NDAB members conducted our Saturday night auction where we took in $5057.50.

We invite guests to visit on Wednesday from vision related agencies, and we were pleased to welcome three visitors this year. NDSV/School for the Blind Superintendent Paul Olson and Talking Book Coordinator Elaine Legg came from Grand Forks and Russ Cusack, Vocational Rehabilitation Administrator, came from Bismarck.

Sunday morning devotions, planned by Rom Thielman, preceded a great breakfast of eggs, sausage, biscuits and caramel rolls. Our final good-bye’s via our receiving line brought closure to our week.

There are so many thanks to extend after such a successful week because it takes the entire group working together to make it happen! Thanks to all of the instructors who spend many hours before camp begins preparing and then working diligently all week. Thanks to all of the campers who faithfully attend the classes and contribute their personalities into the mix. Thanks to Mike, Tom and David McCloud and anyone else who helped with the set-up of classrooms on Sunday. Thanks to Janelle for waking us up in the morning with coronet melodies and for leading the flag raising, to Mary Stip and Wanda Wigness for holding the dining hall doors open as we went in and out for each meal and evening activity, to Dan and Karlyn for sharing readings each morning, to the NDAB Concert & Marching Band for sharing musical talents as they marched parade style up and down the hill, to Clowns Missy and Mike and Parade Marshall Dan who added to the parade festivities, to Melissa Petersen and Kathryn Schmidt for lining up people to lead the table grace for each meal, to Zelda Gebhard and her Bread Basics students for all of the delicious bread they shared for meals and donated for the auction, and to all those who hosted the evening activities. Thanks to   everyone in the Big Boys Club who faithfully worked hard setting up and tearing down for all of the activities. Thanks to Ruth Phalen and Donna Hepper and their set-up crew for the auction, to George Schatz and his helpers for conducting the auction and to everyone else who helped with the auction with their time, talent and money. A special thanks to Dan for so efficiently and graciously hosting us at the Elks Camp Grassick and to the cooks and kitchen staff for providing such scrumptious meals and snacks along with such great service!

After a great week in this magical place, we left Camp Grassick revived and refreshed and ready to face another 51 weeks in the sighted world. We keep our memories from the week close in our hearts and look forward to next summer when we can meet again along the shores of Lake Isabel!

Submitted by Loris Van Berkom and Rick Feldman, Co-Camp Directors

 

From Fair Hills Resort to NDAB Summer Camp

For two years now, the Bread Basics Class at NDAB Summer Camp has made Grandma Kaldahl's Famous Brown Bread. It has become a favorite with many of the campers when we have shared it at meal time in the dining hall, and this year it caused a friendly bidding war at the Camp Auction. Anytime a loaf of bread brings a bid of $135.00 it has to be pretty special!

A friend of mine who happens to be a very good cook shared the recipe with me. She and her family had vacationed for years at the Fair Hills Resort. While there they had so enjoyed the bread that she had asked for the recipe. She knew that I am always looking for new bread recipes to share with my bread class at camp. This one caught my eye as it contains molasses and both graham and rye flour.

This year after the auction it had been suggested that perhaps I could share the recipe in the Promoter, and I am delighted to do so. I would also like to share some history and some commonalities NDAB Summer Camp has with Fair Hills Resort.

Fair Hills Resort has been in operation for decades and is still going strong as is NDAB Summer Camp.

The resort is located just outside of Detroit Lakes, MN, on Pelican Lake. Of course our camp is also located on a lake - Lake Isabel just outside of Dawson, ND.

There are all kinds of activities to do at the resort which stimulate healthy appetites and food is served to the group family style with platters of Grandma Kaldahl's Famous Brown Bread.

We also enjoy activities and healthy appetites that are satisfied with good food and good company.

The resort is famous also for its hootenanny in the evening which features talent from staff and guests alike not unlike our talent show.

I believe it is no coincidence that Grandma Kaldahl's bread now graces both our dinner tables and theirs. It is a rich, satisfying wholesome bread that is meant to be enjoyed by hungry campers where ever they are.

If you weren't lucky enough to be the final bidder on either of the loaves sold at the auction, or even if you were and are longing for another slice, you will find the recipe below. I do have a warning for you. You may have a difficult time finding graham flour. If so, you can substitute it with whole wheat flour. The texture will not be the same but it will work.

Graham flour is whole wheat flour that is milled in a special way that was invented by Rev. Sylvester Graham, a Presbyterian pastor who noted that the refined flours were not as healthy for the people to eat. To make graham flour the bran or outer covering of the wheat kernel is removed as well as the wheat germ. They are ground coarsely. The remainder of the kernel or the endosperm is ground finely and then mixed with the coarsely ground bran and wheat germ. Graham flour is also used to make graham crackers and is what gives them the unusual texture that we all love.

Recipe:

Grandma Kaldahl's Famous Brown Bread

Dissolve 1 package of dry yeast (2 tsp) in ¼ cup warm water with 1 tsp sugar added.  Stir to dissolve. Let set for 10 minutes then put in a large mixing bowl along with 2 cups warm water.

Add:

½ cup sugar

¼ cup melted shortening

1 cup graham flour

½ cup rye flour

2 tsp salt

¼ cup dark molasses

Stir in above ingredients and add 2 cups white bread flour. Put 1 cup of bread flour on counter in a circle and then dump contents of bowl in the center. Dough will be very soft at this point. Knead dough for 4 to 5 minutes. Let the dough rest while you wash the mixing bowl and grease it and two loaf pans.

Continue kneading until dough is smooth and elastic adding flour to counter as necessary to keep from sticking (you will use approximately 1 more cup). Place dough in the greased bowl and cover and let rise until double. Form into two loaves and place in greased pans. Let rise until double and bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

As I searched the Fair Hills web site, I noted there are still members of the Kaldahl family on the staff at the resort. It seems that they have a rich tradition of "family" returning each summer to experience the joy of those who have been there before them. Aah, one more thing we have in common!

Let's give thanks for the traditions that seem to abound far and wife of sharing summer sun and fun with those we come to care about. Also, I am certain that if I had had an opportunity to meet Grandma Kaldahl that she and I would have very likely had much more in common than just the love of baking bread.

Have a piece of bread and while you do so, don't be surprised if  you feel sunshine on your nose, sand between your toes and hear the rustle of the cottonwood leaves making music in the trees.

Zelda Gebhard

 

Member News from Around the State

 

Bismarck News

Submitted by Bob Vandal

 

Hi NDAB! I hope everyone is doing well. It is hard to believe that summer is past and we have gone through fall and now I wait for spring. I hope you see that I left out the W word! Oh well, time goes so fast that I am watching for the spring lawn fertilizer sales.

 

Mavis Anderson informed me that a nice crowd of Høstfest participants made it to the Heritage Center. They enjoyed the Center even though not all the wings are open yet. They will be open soon I'm sure because the grand opening is November 2nd.

 

Donna Hepper and her husband Rudy had a wonderful time in Oregon this summer. They have family living out there and they enjoyed the opportunity to watch their 13-year old granddaughter  participate in a rodeo. She competed in roping, barrel racing and other rodeo events. She took the all-around. In addition, Donna told me that on October 27th through the 29th there is a legislative workshop at the Kelly Inn in Bismarck. Donna and Zelda will be attending. There may be other members from other parts of the state as well.

 

Bobby Westermeyer said that the V.I.P. Group met at the HuHot Mongolian Grill in September and will meet at the Hong Kong in October.

 

Genie Lang was just getting over a flu bug when I spoke with her. Otherwise she had nothing to report.

 

Dick Veal had nothing to report other than he did make it to camp to drop off chair frames. He enjoyed getting the chance to see everyone.

 

Bev Austin didn't have anything for the Promoter but she says hi to everyone. She has been feeling a little bit better but wishes she could have made it to camp.

 

On the home front, the leaves have been picked up once and that is the way it will stay until they all fall. I don't pick up leaves just to have something to do. My daughter came back from Panama about four weeks ago. She went on behalf of Berklee's Music Therapy Department. She was one of six chosen to go where they all had to give presentations on the merits of music therapy. They were trying to promote therapy in Panama.

 

Fargo News from Shereen Faber

Well here we are once again in autumn. Early this morning before sunrise we had a Blood Moon if anyone with enough vision to take it in; I guess it was really something to see. We will be having another one in April and another one in September. This is very unusual to have four Blood Moons within 18 months.

My benefit was held September 7th and it was a successful, blessed, and just a plain fun day. I had so much help from classmates, two of my cousins from Minneapolis, my niece from Thailand, of course my mom and daughter, and a lot more. Any of you with a sweet tooth, the bake sale was ginormous. Lots of happy tears as there were people that came that I didn’t believe in my wildest dreams would come. Thank you to all of my NDAB friends who were able to come and join in the fun. The bathroom modifications have not yet started as our friend who built my ramp and deck and was also going to do the bathroom had a stroke on September 29th. Now we are in the process of getting outside bids. So, say some prayers for our friend Bill for his recovery.

We have had a few plays since our last issue. The only one that I have attended is “Judgment at Nuremberg” which was a very powerful play. Before the play started a 91-year old gentleman by the name of Merle McMorrow got up and spoke. I could have listened to him for two hours. He has written the book “From Breckenridge to Bastogne: The Accounts of World War II Paratrooper Merle McMorrow.” If anyone is interested in purchasing a book, you may call Merle directly at 701-232-1738. The cost is $12.00.

Ruthie Poer has moved once again. Hopefully this will be her last move for quite a while. She had to move from her previous location because of smokers living right above her, and as we all know, Ruthie and smoke don’t mix.

Missy Miller went on a road trip with her mom and brother to Kansas to St. Benedictine College for a family weekend with her niece and nephew. Don’t know any details yet, but it sounded like it would have been a lot of fun.

We went to Jesse Shirek’s benefit. They had a lot of neat stuff at the silent auction and had boards that you could buy spots for the bigger items. They had a spaghetti meal, and boy do those Horace people know how to make some good spaghetti.

I am, at the time of this writing, in the process of getting a prosthetic, finally. It is quite the process but I hope to be somewhat walking by thanksgiving.

In closing, I want to thank everyone for your support and prayers. I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and talk to you next year!

Grand Forks News

Submitted by Ruth Phalen

My, how time flies! It’s turned from summer to fall (and we know winter won’t be far behind). It seems it was just last week that we were at camp together! I was able to go and enjoyed seeing old friends, meeting new campers and learning a new skill – as usual I came home determined to make another scarf (arm knitting) immediately so I wouldn’t forget how. But guess what? The yarn is still on the table and hasn’t been touched since I put it there. I do keep busy, am slow and just don’t accomplish much. Health problems play a part in what I do, but I’m on the go.

Olga Neal has been such a big part of NDAB for a long time and I know you readers always want to know about her. I just talked to her and she said she’s doing well and her voice sounded good. She has her good days and her bad days. I think we all know about those. She does get lonely, and again, I think those of us who live alone know about those times. But with good friends, good services and her braille books to read she manages well. She gets “meals on wheels” so gets along fine without doing much cooking. She really is doing fine.

One thing that started again this fall was meeting with the Senior Support Group which meets at the Canter. In September our speaker was from the Senior Center with a program named “Options.” The Options Counselor, Kalin Ault, talked about services that are available to us either right there at the Center or that could be accessed elsewhere. Also present was her assistant, the Resources Student Intern, Lynn McGarry. The group is a fun group and most of us have been together for several years. There are always questions and joking so no speaker finds the reception lacking. Our group leader is Tracy Wicken, a former Rehabilitation Specialist, now at North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind. Also present at the meeting was Margo Lentz, a former Rehabilitation Specialist, now at ND Vision Service/School for the Blind, and our new Rehabilitation Specialist, Wendy Dahlberg, who had just started the job. We almost had more speakers and leaders than listeners but not quite! I understand our October meeting will feature Wendy so we can get to know her and give her a chance to know us.

I will try to do better next time to get more news to you about NDAB members, but with the poor representation we had at camp I don’t think there are many of us here.

I do hope everyone is enjoying life and not working too hard. Fall always brings more to do, but take it easy.

 

News from the Lake Region

Submitted by Carol Schmitt

Hi everyone from Grace Sharbono and Carol Schmitt. We hope you are all enjoying these up and down fall days. Grace and I are planning on getting a support group for persons with visual impairment going in the Lake Region. As we both have lots of other plans for the month of October, we hope to have our first meeting in November. We plan on meeting at the Senior Center. Stay tuned for the next Promoter!

Grace is planning on spending some time with her two brothers and a sister in the state of Missouri, coming soon she hopes.

I helped to celebrate my Granddaughter’s third Birthday last week. A fun time was had by all. I am also planning on spending some time with my three sisters in the Denver area, coming soon I hope! I am also looking forward to a visit from my daughter and son-in-law sometime during this month. Other than that, we are both enjoying whatever nice days the fall has in store for us. Have a great Thanksgiving with friends and family, and a wonderful Christmas Season!

 

Minot Area News

By Doug and Mary Stip

Time flies! Here is our news from “Why Not Minot!”

We had three new campers from the Minot/Belcourt area this year. They were Frank Eller from Belcourt and Dianne Giessinger and Wanda Wigness from Minot. They enjoyed their week at camp and plan to come back next year.

Wanda and Lenny (Haabak) went to Deadwood the middle of September for the annual Deadwood Jam. She said they had already gotten snow, six inches of it, too! She is also planning a trip with a friend to Arizona in November.

Dianne Giessinger went to Vegas to attend her niece’s wedding. She also was brave enough to go on a zip line for the first time in her life. Way to go, Dianne!

Mary Jo Hamilton has been busy with her grandkids as it is their sports season. Soccer is over for them and now it is time for hockey. She has recently done a television ad for Stan Mosser about a new device called an ORCAM. The ad aired on KXMC-TV.

Mary’s son Chad and granddaughter Jenna were up for a couple of days in July. One of the things Jenna wanted to do was try out the new Sonic in southwest Minot and that was one of our outings we did together.

We went to the Twin Cities to celebrate our 14th anniversary. (Where have the years gone?) This was our first trip to the Cities in more than three years and it was quite an adventure. First, Amtrak now arrives at Union Depot in St. Paul. It’s a beautiful old depot and it reopened to passenger train traffic last spring with some $243 million in renovations made to it.

We had fun learning the light rail, which now extends to St. Paul and other areas with the Green and Red lines. (The Blue line serves Minneapolis and Bloomington.) The Green Line takes passengers into St Paul and goes past TCF Bank Stadium where the Vikings will play the next two seasons. Since the game with the Patriots was Sunday the 14th, we spent part of Saturday the 13th learning the route we would need to take the next day. We had a lot of fun, despite the Vikings’ 30-7 loss to the Patriots.

Then it was time for Høstfest the first week in October. For the second straight year we made Spud Hogs for the Red Cross. Høstfest volunteers were honored at the Doc Severinsen concert September 30th. What a performer! Eighty-seven years old. He was Johnny Carson’s bandleader for 30 years before taking his band on the road.

We were invited to have a booth representing NDAB for the Lions’ membership drive, which was held Tuesday, October 7th at the new Roosevelt Park Zoo Visitor Center. There were some people who took brochures and I even talked up our 2015 NDAB Convention with one of the visitors. There is also a good possibility for us to represent NDAB at a fair sponsored by Independence, Inc. later in October.

Finally, I am happy to report after many months, I am back to work! At this writing I am being trained by IHeart Media. It is good to be back in radio again for the first time in more than two decades. It’ll be weekends, part-time, but that’s OK with me.

If anybody has any news for Minot please let us know. Until the next issue, Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

Williston Wanderings Fall 2014

By Loris Van Berkom

“Happy Fall” to all of our NDAB friends! I’m not quite sure where the summer went but time seems to be marching by faster and faster! The holidays will soon be upon us.

Brenda Bruins continues working at the nursing home here in Williston. Her mobile home now sports a newly built deck, steps and larger entrance which give her more room and storage.

Carol Scallon and family made a quick trip to Arizona in September for a niece’s wedding. She now has twenty-seven kindergarten children in her classroom. The school district is looking for another teacher so that load can be split.

Janelle Olson and her husband flew to Chicago after camp to see their son. She balances her busy work schedule with visits to her mother-in-law at the nursing home almost every day. She narrowly escaped another flying trip down a set of cement steps but was saved just in the nick of time by her cane. One of these days, her luck for free flights is going to run out and it will cost her dearly!

I had a nice conversation with Luella Asleson. She just celebrated her 92nd birthday on October 10th. She lives in our local nursing home where she has a great view of the outdoors.

Steve Skjei spent most of September at his home in Iowa. His wife will be joining him soon here in Williston where he lives with his father. We missed him at camp this year but he will hopefully be able to come back to help out again next year.

Jean Cote and her friend Florence are very faithful at attending our local support group which meets the second Saturday of the month. We meet at noon at Gramma Sharon’s Family Restaurant for a no host luncheon.

Susan Jorgenson and her husband will be going on a two week cruise on the Rhine River in November. They will spend a couple of days in Amsterdam before boarding the ship and will end up in Budapest.

Building plans for Sheryl and Dan Gerhardt’s apartment attached to their son’s home in Campbellsville, Kentucky, are still on hold. Dan has been told that his lungs are now cancer free which is great news. However, he is critically anemic so further tests are planned to determine the source of blood loss which is causing the anemia.

Kathy and Stan Larson enjoyed a few days at the Norsk Høstfest in Minot. Part of an afternoon was spent with a Norwegian cousin of Kathy and her sisters who’d never been to ND before. In November, the Larsons will be joining the Jorgensons on the Grand European River Cruise along the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers. They’ll see the highlights of Holland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary, extending their journey with three extra days in Prague, Czech Republic, with friends from England. Kathy says she needs to have a lot of Christmas preparations done before then!

I enjoyed spending two days at the Høstfest in Minot listening to some great music and tasting some great Scandinavian food. Amtrak carried me to St. Cloud over the Columbus Day weekend so I could attend my oldest grandson’s confirmation.

As the holidays approach, we all tend to get so busy that we forget to take time to enjoy each day and all of our blessings. Below is my wish for all of you.

"Take Time"

Take time to think; it is the source of power.

Take time to read; it is the foundation of wisdom.

Take time to play; it is the secret of staying young.

Take time to be aware; it is the opportunity to help others.

Take time to love and be loved; it is God's greatest gift.

Take time to laugh; it is the music of the soul.

Take time to be friendly; it is the road to happiness.

Take time to dream; it is what the future is made of.

Take time to pray; it is the greatest power on earth.

Author Unknown

 

 

Brenda Bruins Shares Recipes

“Crunch Cake” and “Caramel Bars” are recipes from the cooks at camp.

 

Crunch Cake

1 box German chocolate cake mix

5 egg whites

1/3 cup water

Bake at 350º for 25 to 30 minutes or until done.

Topping:

1 container Cool Whip

6 Butterfinger candy bars, crushed

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup Carmel topping

When cake is cooled, poke holes all over the cake. Drizzle with caramel and sweetened condensed milk and half the crushed candy bars. Spread whipped topping on cake and remaining candy bars.

 

 

Caramel Bars

2 cups flour

2 cups oatmeal

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup margarine, melted

¼ cup cream

1 teaspoon baking soda

Mix and press ¾ of this mixture into a 9 x 13-inch pan. Bake at 350º for 10 minutes.

Melt 50 caramels in ¾ cup cream. Remove crust from oven. Sprinkle 1 cup of chocolate chips & 1 cup of nuts (optional). Pour melted caramels over this.

Add remaining mixture and bake 15 to 20 minutes.

 

 

Banana Bread Cookies

2½ cups flour

¾ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup mashed bananas

½ cup sour cream

½ cup butter

½ cup sugar

½ cup brown sugar

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Optional – ½ cup mini chocolate chips and ½ cup walnuts

Bake at 350º for 10 to 12 minutes.

 

 

Donations and Memorials

NDAB has received the following donations and memorials since the last edition of the Promoter:

Donations:

Dick Veal, Mark Kueffler, Brenda Bruins, Carol Schmitt, Susan Jorgenson, Morgan VanWell, Missy Miller, Kathryn Schmidt and Grace Sharbono

$325 from the Boeing Company

Total Donations: $752.50

Memorials:

Ruth Geske in memory of Michael Pitman and Adrian Cihak

Shereen Faber in memory of Michael Pitman

Evelyn Hildebrand in memory of Marilyn Nelson

Karen Tearson in memory of Viola Lillehaugen

Total Memorials: $165.00

Total Donations and Memorials: $917.50

Thank you for all your donations and memorials to NDAB. We appreciate your support and generosity.

Helen Baumgartner, NDAB Treasurer

 

 

 

Constitutional and Initiated Measures on the 2014 Ballot in North Dakota

By Allan Peterson

There are no less than eight measures on the 2014 North Dakota Ballot. Below is the wording of each of these eight measures together with some additional comments about them to help answer questions you may have about them. FYI: I did adapt the content of this article from an Email message that I received from Rick Holman who serves as a legislator from North Dakota Legislative District 20. I did get his permission to share what he had written about them. I thought that it was a fairly neutral treatment of these measures and I’m offering it for your use, as you may choose.

When considering any ballot measure, it's important to note the difference between a constitutional action and legislative or statutory proposal. A constitutional change requires a vote of the people to be enacted, but also requires a vote of the people to make any changes should some part of the new law not be doing what was intended. Extra scrutiny must be given to any action that changes the constitution.

Constitutional Measure #1 - Protection and Recognition of Right to Life

The past 63rd ND Legislative Assembly adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 4009, which would create a new section to Article I of the Constitution of North Dakota, to provide that "the inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected."

Comments on Measure #1: Supporters say that it will effectively stop all abortions in North Dakota. Opponents say that with additional court challenges to existing law this change in the ND Constitution may stop in-vitro fertilization, may change medical directives for end-of-life decisions and decisions to save the life of a mother giving birth. North Dakota would be the first state to have this law. Although this measure has a religious connotation, clergy are divided on its theological merits. This law has many possible consequences opening up potential challenges to existing law. These would likely be played out in court at State's expense.

Constitutional Measure #2 - Prohibiting the Imposition of Mortgage and Transfer Taxes The past Legislative Assembly adopted 2013 House Concurrent Resolution No. 3006, which would create a new section to Article X of the Constitution of North Dakota. This section would prohibit the state and any political subdivision of the state from imposing mortgage taxes or any sales or transfer tax on the mortgage or transfer of real property.

Comments on Measure #2: This measure will prohibit any local actions to tax the transfer of real estate. There currently is no entity doing this in North Dakota. This law will have no effect at this point in time.

Constitutional Measure #3 - Higher Education Commission

The past 63rd Legislative Assembly adopted House Concurrent Resolution No. 3047, which would create a new section to Article VIII of the Constitution of North Dakota and repeal Article VIII, Section 6, of the Constitution of North Dakota, for the purpose of replacing the current State Board of Higher Education with a three-member commission that would be charged with overseeing and administering the provision of public higher education at sites that include Bismarck, Bottineau, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Fargo, Grand Forks, Mayville, Minot, Valley City, Wahpeton, and Williston.

Comments on Measure #3: This measure will dramatically change the way we govern and manage higher education in North Dakota. Supporters have brought this to the voters in reaction to recent problems with higher education management. Opponents indicate that it may threaten accreditation of our entire system as well as the many programs that insure that our graduates have credentials that are acceptable anywhere in the world. It also takes away the "mission" of a school allowing this three member full-time board to make changes in the traditional operation of our eleven schools of higher education which would include where something is taught or researched, what is taught or researched and who is hired. The current organization was put in place by a vote of the people over 70 years ago when the governor got involved in faculty decisions.

Constitutional Measure #4 - Fiscal Impact of Initiated Measures

The past 63rd Legislative Assembly adopted House Concurrent Resolution No. 3011, which would require that initiated measures that are estimated to have a significant fiscal impact be placed on the general election ballot. This measure also would prohibit the approval for circulation of any petition to initiate a constitutional amendment that would make a direct appropriation of public funds for a specific purpose or require the Legislative Assembly to appropriate funds for a specific purpose.

Comments on Measure #4: This measure adds additional restrictions to the ability of the general population to use the referral process to propose changes if the new law would dedicate funds to a certain purpose. This is an attempt to shift power from the people to the legislature by limiting the types of issues that would be allowed for collection of signatures.

Initiated Constitutional Measure #5 – Clean Water, Wildlife, and Parks Trust and Fund

This initiated constitutional measure would create a new section to Article X of Constitution of North Dakota. This section would create a clean water, wildlife, and parks trust and clean water, wildlife, and parks fund for grants to state agencies, political subdivisions, tribal governments, and nonprofit organizations for water quality, natural flood control, wildlife and fish habitat, natural and recreation area acquisition, and youth nature and outdoor education projects. Under the measure, funding would be provided through 5 percent of the state's share of the oil extraction tax. Ten percent of this amount would be placed in the trust and 90 percent in the fund. The fund would be administered by a commission consisting of the governor, the attorney general, and the agriculture commissioner (Industrial Commission). The commission would be advised by a 13-member citizen accountability board. The commission would be required to allocate at least 75 percent and no more than 90 percent of the revenue deposited in the fund annually. The funds in the trust would be invested by the State Investment Board and earnings from the trust would be transferred to the fund. The measure would prohibit the spending of the earnings and principal of the trust until after January 1, 2019, and the expenditure of principal of the trust would require at least a two-thirds vote of each house of the Legislative Assembly. The measure would require that the financing through the oil extraction tax would be voted on by the electors of the state every twenty-five years.

Comments on Measure #5: This measure will dedicate five percent of the oil extraction tax for the Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks Trust Fund. This is a good concept, but has many loose ends. The new advisory board would, with current income, be given 150 million dollars each year to spend on a variety of issues. Because it's a percentage of the tax, the dollar amount will most likely increase in time. Since this is also constitutional it does not allow the legislature or governor to make adjustments to how the money is used. It also requires that three-fourths of the money be spent or dedicated each year.

Initiated Statutory Measure #6 - Equal Parental Rights and Responsibilities

This initiated statutory measure would amend North Dakota Century Code Section 14-09-06.2 to create a presumption that each parent is a fit parent and that the awarding of equal parental rights and responsibilities is in the best interest of the child. The measure would provide that the presumption is rebuttable only by clear and convincing evidence to the contrary. The measure also provides a definition of equal parenting time.

Comments on Measure #6: This measure has been around before and was previously defeated. When the welfare of the children should be the prime focus in the unfortunate situation that a family is divided, this moves the rights of the parents above those of the children requiring courts to change how they would look at the situation. The health and welfare of the children becomes secondary as both parents are given equal status in areas such as visitation, living arrangements and financial support. The court must have convincing evidence to make changes.

Initiated Statutory Measure #7 - Pharmacy Operation

This initiated statutory measure would remove the existing requirement that to qualify to receive a permit to operate a pharmacy, the applicant must be a licensed pharmacist or must be a business entity with majority ownership by one or more licensed pharmacists.

Comments on Measure #7: This measure has also been around before and was defeated. Supporters feel that the major national companies will be able to lower the price of drugs. Rural drugstores are in opposition to this as they feel they don't have the marketing money to show their side. Presently, retailers such as Walmart can have a pharmacy but must do it by leasing space to a licensed pharmacist.

Initiated Statutory Measure #8 - Classes to Begin After Labor Day

This initiated statutory measure would require elementary and high school classes to begin after Labor Day.

Comments on Measure #8: This measure would require schools to start after Labor Day keeping classroom activities out of the month of August. Sports activities can still begin as they do now and school will end a week or two later in the spring.

 

 

Candy’s Corner

 

This past summer I finally decided I was tired enough of relying on sighted assistance in order to order my prescription refills to make a change in the situation. I had heard that Walgreen’s and CVS offered plans that enabled blind and visually-impaired people the opportunity to access their prescription information independently. After doing some investigating, I chose to go with CVS, and visited one of their retail establishments here in Fargo, where I was told that I needed to call their national toll-free number to set things up. I then called 800-861-4363 and spoke to a helpful person who worked with me to get things going.

I needed sighted assistance at this point because I had to give CVS my current prescription numbers, my health insurance information, and a number for my payment card. From this point on, however, I have been able to handle everything without help.

A few days later, my ScripTalk station arrived. It is about the size of a smallish book. The buttons are easy to distinguish from one another and I was able to learn how to use it quickly. It operates on batteries, or with an AC adapter. Once I began receiving my medications in the mail from CVS, I simply turned on the ScripTalk station, placed the specially-designed prescription bottle on the station, and pressed a button to hear, in a clear voice:

  1. Name of the medication and how many pills were in the bottle.
  2. Instructions for use.
  3. Date of the prescription.
  4. How many refills are remaining.
  5. Doctor’s name.
  6. The phone number of CVS.
  7. The prescription number.
  8. Any warnings that might apply.

Now, when I need a refill, I can call CVS and place my order. No need for additional help from anyone else! The only thing I need to be careful of is to order my meds soon enough to allow for the 5-10 days that are required for delivery. I have to admit, that that is a change for me, since I was used to waiting until I was almost out of something before I ordered it. It is also very nice to be able to check and review the warnings and instructions associated with each type of medication. Since I take several different kinds of medications, I sometimes worried that I might be confusing them. The charges are billed to our credit card. If you have any questions, call CVS at 800-861-4363, or if I can I would be happy to answer your questions as well.

 

 

Black Hills Regional Ski for Light 2015

Submitted by Paul Olson--NDVS/SB

It’s time to start thinking about signing up for the 35th annual Black Hills Regional Ski for Light event! It is an excellent opportunity to experience downhill, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. The dates for this year’s event are January 26-29. The banquet will take place Thursday evening and hotel check-out Friday morning January 30th. If you would like to visit with a yearly participant about the event, you are encouraged to contact Dave Sundeen at 701-847-3139.

In previous years, a bus has been chartered to the annual event and we would like to do so again this year. We would like to send out a special thank-you to Judy’s Leisure Tours for arranging for the charter bus for departure from various communities in North Dakota. The bus will depart for South Dakota on Sunday January 25th and return on Friday the 30th. It is an excellent opportunity to sit back, relax, visit, sleep and leave the driving to an expert. There is room for participants, volunteers and space to store your luggage. Sign-up early to reserve a seat on the bus; tickets for the bus will cost $15 round-trip and part of the $15 will be used to ensure a reservation on the bus. Make your non-refundable check or money order payable to: North Dakota Association of the Blind and mail to Helen Baumgartner, Treasurer, NDAB, 402 12th Ave NW, Mandan, ND  58554.

Black Hills Regional Ski for Light has e-mailed or mailed out applications for the event. The cost for the event for one week is $200. This includes five nights lodging based upon double occupancy, four lunch meals, one evening meal and a banquet ticket. The $200 also covers all equipment rentals. Please note that Black Hills Regional Ski for Light may be providing partial scholarships for those who qualify for financial need. To obtain an application for a scholarship please contact Tracy Perdue at 605-341-3626. All scholarships must be approved by the Ski for Light board. Please note that in order to receive a scholarship you must be willing to share a room with another Ski for Light participant. The application deadline for this year is November 30th. All applications will be processed on a first-come first-serve basis, so you are encouraged to get your application in as soon as possible.

Amy Osvold, NDVS/SB Rehab Teacher, will be the contact for participants in western North Dakota. She can be reached by calling 701-857-7634 or emailing abrunner@nd.gov. Jessica Bolt, NDVS/SB teacher, will be the contact for participants in eastern North Dakota. She can be contacted by calling 701-795-2700 or emailing Jessica.bolt@gmail.com. They can provide assistance with applications, raffle tickets, bus transportation questions or any other questions regarding the event.

Black Hills Regional Ski for Light 2015 will be a great place to connect with old friends and give you the opportunity to make some new ones. We hope to see you there!

 

San Francisco Airport Introduces New Technology SFO Terminal 2

 

San Francisco International is about to make life decidedly easier for blind and visually impaired travelers. The airport has teamed up with Indoo.rs to unveil a Bluetooth beacon system that will help these passengers find their way through Terminal 2 using only their phone. When users walk past one of the 500 transmitters, their devices will announce nearby points of interest; they can find flight gates, ATMs, information desks and power outlets without asking for help. An early version of the necessary app also has a directory for sighted visitors. The guide technology only works on iOS devices so far, but The Verge understands that it will eventually support Android-toting guests as well. Indoo.rs expects the service to be available either late in the third quarter or early in the fourth.

 

 

Distribution of Currency Readers

 

Currency readers are being provided at no cost to blind or visually impaired people who are either U.S. citizens, or are legally residing in the U.S. or any of its territories. Between now and January 2015, only those individuals who are currently eligible to receive braille and talking book services from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) are eligible to receive these currency readers. The program was rolled out during the NFB and ACB conventions, but only those individuals who are current users of the NLS services could apply. A brief form was completed by each individual requesting the information necessary to verify the person’s eligibility with NLS prior to issuance of the scanner.

 

Those who did not attend the July conferences may still have the opportunity to receive a scanner. Other current patrons of a library that is part of the NLS network, as well as users of the BARD download program, can sign up for a free currency reader. There are several ways to sign up. If you want to sign up by phone, you can either call your library, or you can call NLS at 1-888-NLS-READ (that’s 1-888-657-7323). Your request will be noted in your account with NLS. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing started mailing the units to people at the addresses they have on file with the National Library Service in September.

 

Remember that until January 2015, only individuals who are users of the NLS braille and talking book program are eligible. It is not currently possible to order one on behalf of someone else or for an organization. Parents or legal guardians of children under age 18 can request them on behalf of the child, but the child must be a current user of the NLS program.

 

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing plans to expand the program beginning in January 2015. At that time, they will make currency readers available to people who are not part of the NLS program. In order to receive a free currency reader, one must obtain certification from a medical professional that they are blind or visually impaired. The form that is required can be downloaded from www.bep.gov. This form can also be used by anyone who might like to sign up for a free currency reader and at the same time, apply to receive access to braille or talking books from NLS. The form can be downloaded, completed, and mailed to NLS at the address provided on the application.

 

Please allow six to eight weeks to receive your currency reader, especially if you order it near or after January 2015.

 

The currency readers that are being distributed by the government will read the denomination of U.S. banknotes only. Users can have this information spoken out loud or listen to it through earbuds plugged into a jack on the machine. The machine can also be set to emit vibrations or tones instead of speaking the information out loud. For those readers who are familiar with the iBill money readers from Orbit Research, this is the unit that is now being distributed by the government.

 

 

Saturday Surprise

By Loris Van Berkom

Saturday, September 12, 2014, had begun like any other Saturday. I had washed some clothes and done some house cleaning before going to our vision support group meeting which is held at noon the second Saturday of every month at one of our local restaurants. Later that afternoon when I retrieved my mail, I was surprised to open one of the business size envelopes to read this question. “Why is Loris VanBerkom eligible for a Free Quote on these special car insurance rates when many other ND drivers aren't?” Well, that immediately got my attention. Was I really someone special and if so, why?

I read on. “Out of 483,097 drivers in North Dakota, Loris VanBerkom is one who qualified. Good news, Ms. VanBerkom, you qualify! You are on the 21st Century Auto Insurance select list of pre-qualified ND drivers. This could represent a potential savings for you of $521 a year on your car insurance, plus valuable added benefits.”

I totally missed the fact that I could save $521 a year on car insurance that of course, I didn’t need. No one had ever told me that I was a qualified North Dakota driver before! I wonder if the Department of Motor Vehicles was aware of this exciting information! Had they been keeping this life changing news from me on purpose? Why had I assumed all these years that my legal blindness stood in the way of being a qualified North Dakota driver?

The letter included an 800 number that I could call to get a quote so I called and talked to a very nice lady. First I asked her how she knew that I was a qualified North Dakota driver. She really wasn’t expecting that question and after a couple seconds of silence, she asked me if I had ever had my license suspended for any reason. Of course, I answered “No” because that was the truth. I still wanted to know why her company deemed me a qualified North Dakota driver and she said that perhaps my name was on their marketing list which probably came from other insurance companies. Then I told her that I really appreciated their confidence in my abilities as a driver but that I had never had or would probably ever have a North Dakota driver’s license due to vision loss. She apologized profusely and offered to take my name off of their marketing list.

My elation   at being a qualified North Dakota driver was short lived but the entire episode put a huge smile on my face for the rest of the day. I can hardly wait to see what the mail carrier brings to me next week!

 

 

Genealogy and Your Family History

 

Are you interested in genealogy and working on your family tree? There is a user group called “Genealogy for the Blind.” If you are a JAWS user, you might want to join the group. The purposes for this group are:

 

  1. Provide instruction on how to use Family Tree and other FamilySearch products with JAWS and other screen readers.
  2. Give instructions on how to use new features in Family Tree with JAWS.
  3. Encourage users to provide solutions on how to use features in Family Tree which are only partially compatible with JAWS.
  4. Provide information about features on Family Tree which are not compatible with JAWS.
  5. Encourage users to work on their family history.
  6. Provide an easy way for blind users to share ideas about how to use Family Tree and other FamilySearch products with JAWS.

 

If you would like to be part of the group or have suggestions for a different name, write to Renee at renee.carter@cox.net or call 480-250-1199.

 

 

NDAB Board meeting        Sept. 14, 2014

Members present via phone conference: Mark Kueffler, Helen Baumgartner, Michelle Zentz, Donna Hepper, Zelda Gebhard, Dianne Giessinger, Sherry Shirek. Both  Janelle Olson and Allan Peterson dialed in later.

The agenda for the meeting was approved with the following additions; Correspondence received by Helen,   three new membership applications, and to move The Vision Statement topic to the beginning of new business. Motion made by Michelle to approve the agenda as amended, seconded by Helen,   and motion passed.

Minutes of the 8-3-14 meeting were amended with one spelling error. Motion made by Helen to adopt the corrected minutes, seconded by Michele,   and the motion passed.

Secretary’s report: Dianne thanked Michele for writing the minutes of the 8-3-14 meeting as she was unable to attend.  She also reported that our former member Marilyn Nelson from Minot passed away on 9-12-14.

Treasurer’s report: Helen reported there is $170,216.96 currently in the investment and  she gave  information on other financial updates.

Membership report: Zelda stated how many applications she had sent out and received and Helen stated the dues had been received from three applicants. They are Helen Arntzen, Morgan VanWell and Sandra Parizek.  Michele moved to approve their membership applications, Donna seconded the motion, and motion passed.

Strategic Planning Report- Mark presented report that the leaders of the four goals and Dianne met Saturday afternoon at 3:00Pm in Cabin 7 during Summer Camp. The organizational forms were discussed and explained. Dianne agreed to join Group 2 goal with Michelle. Times were discussed to have individual telephone calls with Mark to go over specific questions with leaders. The next Strategic Planning meeting was set for Sunday, October 26at 6:30 PM via telephone conference.

Publicity report: Sherry reported that the Minot area lions have invited NDAB to attend their membership drive event at The Roosevelt Zoo education Building on Oct. 7, 2014.  Mary Lou and Doug Stip, Wanda Wigness and Dianne Giessinger will attend the event.  Sherry is sending the NDAB display case to Dianne for the event.

Financial Report: Allan reports that there is a total of $1442 received since last report.  $400 from Lions, $1000 from charitable gaming sites, and donations collected at the camp auction. He will be sending out donation letters soon to the Lion’s and charitable gaming sites.

Legislative Report - Allan reported that he has mailed copies of the 3 resolutions that were passed at the 2014 Convention with cover letters to the agencies and institutions that have the responsibilities for governing the areas that were addressed in the resolution.

Family Adjustment Seminar: Janelle stated there are no new updates.  The committee has had 1 meeting.

 

Old Business:

  • White cane safety day- Sherry had nothing new to report.
  • Amazon Smiles Program- when a customer makes a purchase using the Amazon Smiles page, a designated percentage goes to approved nonprofit organizations.NDAB received a letter stating someone chose NDAB to receive a portion of their purchase as we are listed as one of the qualifying organizations.  Donations directed to NDAB would go into the account set up with Pay Pal. Michele moved that NDAB sign up with Amazon Smiles Program and Allan seconded the motion,   and the motion passed.
  • 2015 Convention- Zelda reports that the contract has already been signed for the facility and the dates with the Gladstone of Jamestown. Paula Anundson and Zelda are working on going to Jamestown to look over the facility. Reminder to board that we are hosting the convention so all members have to be on board to help with this large endeavor.

Resolution-Youth Participation: Originally submitted to board June 13, 2014and tabled at August meeting due to time restraints. Resolution states: NDAB shall pay the membership dues for Students making application to receive an NDAB scholarship for the first time for that calendar year and recipients of the four (4) scholarship awards that register and attend the state convention will receive a $250 stipend during Saturday’s award banquet to defray travel and convention costs.  Clarification; at the end of the calendar year Zelda would forward a renewal application to the recipient for the next year’s membership dues. Michele moved the resolution be passed, Zelda seconded it, and the motion passed.

  • Strategic Plan Goal II. Vision statement-Allie Engraf and Paul Griffin have agreed to work on this objective.   When it is completed the Executive Board will be responsible for reviewing the organization’s mission and vision at least every 5 years during the strategic planning process. The estimated cost for the cash prizes will be $225. Michelle made the motion to approve the stated time frame for review and the cash amount. The motion was seconded by Janelle, and passed.
  • Jesse Shirek update on his medical status- Sherry shared that there will be a Benefit Spaghetti Supper and silent auction sponsored by the Fargo Lions Club on Sept. 27.There are matching funds up to $5000 offered.  Jesse will have 5 different optical medical procedures done in Oct.  They include a shunt for his glaucoma, corneal transplant, lens implant, iris implant and a vitrectomy.  The iris implant will require follow-up in Minneapolis so the Fargo Lions Club is helping with some of these expenses.  Sherry asked if she would have the okay from the board to send a bulk email to the entire membership as it was too late to place the information in the previous Promoter.  The request was approved by consensus.   Zelda volunteered to do the mass e-mail once she receives the materials from Sherry.
  • Legislative Training Institute- Allan stated the North Dakota Disability Consortium will be holding a mock session of a ND legislative session that will take place Oct. 27-29, 2014 at the Kelly Inn in Bismarck. They have offered state rate for the hotel of $95 per night.The registration fee is $25. They are asking for sponsoring organizations.  The organization would get their logo displayed at the event.  The sponsoring fee is $100 and with this donation the organization may have two registration fees waved.  Sherry moved to pay the $100 sponsoring fee, Michelle seconded the motion, and motion passed.    Zelda made a motion for a $25 scholarship to be made available for any NDAB member that wishes to attend the training, Sherry seconded the motion, and the motion passed.
  • Review of the Participation Incentive Program- The question is the Plan working as proposed was discussed. Everyone is encouraged to report their involvement.  Clarification was given that board members may not participate in the program.   Additional discussion involved getting a second display case to increase the number of public relation events reported in the program. The cost of the original display case cost was $300-$350.  Sherry suggested a second case be obtained for the western part of the state. Consensus of the board was in agreement for Sherry to purchase a second case from the Public relations budget of which she would receive reimbursement from the treasurer.  More discussion followed regarding the Participation Incentive Program. Sherry moved to discontinue the program and Donna seconded the motion,   the motion failed the vote.  Program will be kept in place as is and be reviewed next year.
  • Promoter- discussion occurred regarding the State Library’s recall of cassette tape player machines as they are going digital.When Helen checked with them last year for a slot to record the Promoter digitally they did not have any available openings.  Helen will check again with the state library for a time slot.  Michele moved that a committee be formed by the president to check into what is available digitally for production of the Promoter and they are to report back to the board at its next meeting.  Janelle seconded the motion and the motion passed.

 

Announcements:

Helen reported that she received a thank you card from Alli Engraf for the stipend to attend the ACB convention as it gave her a personal and professional opportunity.

Helen asked if anyone has received a letter from Kevin Vannett from Lions in regard to a donation from NDAB to help fund a screening machine that will be used for Preschool children to detect eye problems.  No one had, so Helen will ask Kevin to email the letter so the request maybe reviewed before a decision is made.

 

Next Board meeting is set for Nov. 23, 2014 at 6:30 PM.

Meeting adjourned at approximately 9:30 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Dianne Giessinger, Secretary

 

 

Free booklet introduces braille readers to Unified English Braille

The Braille Authority of North America (BANA) recently published a resource to help current braille readers become more familiar with Unified English Braille (UEB) and to assist braille readers, transcribers, teachers, and families as they make the transition to UEB. The UEB Reader, a resource designed to introduce braille readers to UEB, incorporates into one document several key resources found on the BANA website. The UEB Reader includes content from BANA's publication, Overview of Changes from Current Literary Braille to UEB, as well as several example documents transcribed into UEB for readers to use as practice. The hardcopy braille booklet is available free of charge. For more information, contact: Kim Charlson, BANA Board member and director, Braille & Talking Book Library, Perkins School for the Blind, 175 North Beacon Street, Watertown, MA 02472; e-mail: kim.charlson@perkins.org; phone: 617-972-7248 617-972-7248; website: www.brailleauthority.org.

The official date for implementation of UEB is January 4, 2016.

 

 

Find Any DVD with Audio Description

 

Please visit ACB's own Audio Description Project web site at www.acb.org/adp. Click on the DVD tab and from there you'll be able to find any DVD that's been released with audio description. When you click on a particular DVD, you'll be taken to the amazon.com web page where you can purchase that DVD and be assured that you'll receive the version that does indeed have description (some versions of the same DVD do not include description).

 

For more information about audio description, please visit www.audiodescribe.com

Legislative Report Fall 2014

By Allan Peterson

To borrow a line from Ed Sullivan when he addressed his audience, “It’s a really big show!” On our state’s upcoming legislative scene, the “really big show” is most likely to be the general election that will take place on November 4. For better or worse your opinions excluded, the outcome of the election will do much to determine what will or will not happen until the next election is held in 2016. Whatever the outcome, be assured that the need for our advocacy to promote policies that will help people with blindness and other disabilities to live more productive and fulfilled lives won’t go away anytime soon.

Because I believe it to be so important, in terms of what may or may not happen policy wise, I’m choosing to devote most of my attention to this November’s election in writing this article. Above all else, I add voice to the plea, “Please vote, it’s your right!” Vote, whether you choose to use the accessible voting machines that are available at all polling sites in North Dakota, or vote with the aid of a trusted friend or family member, or vote using an absentee ballot – by all means be sure to vote!

Remember too, THAT IN ORDER TO VOTE, YOU NEED A VALID ND ID that has your current ADDRESS and date of birth. (If you need more information, go to the North Dakota Secretary of State’s Website www.vote@nd.gov or contact your county auditor.)

In this year’s nationwide general election that will be held on Tuesday, November 4th, each of the 435 offices in the U.S. House of Representatives will be up for election. So, just in case you may be wondering, the number of House seats that any one state has is allocated on the size of that state’s individual population base. Because North Dakota’s population base is comparatively quite small, it has only a single seat in the U.S. House of Representatives - this lone seat in the U.S. House is currently held by Congressman Kevin Cramer   and, as you may well be aware, this seat is one of the most contested races in this year’s statewide election in North Dakota.

As someone very interested in our state’s politics, I have found it interesting to note that earlier in North Dakota’s history, North Dakota had 3 representatives, but lost this representation over time, as its population base shrank in comparison to other states like California, Florida and Texas whose population base rose at a much faster pace than did that of North Dakota’s.

In each of the U.S. nationwide general elections, a third of the seats in the U.S. Senate are up for election. Each of the 50 states in the nation is allotted 2 U.S. Senators who serve a six year term. Senator Hoeven has two years left on his term, so his seat will come up for election in the 2016 general statewide election and Senator Heitkamp’s seat will be up for election in 2018.

Because the race for the occupant of the White House isn’t on the ballot this year, the elections that don’t include the presidency are sometimes described in the media as mid-term elections; it could also be described as a mid-term election on a statewide basis because the race for the governor’s office isn’t on the ballot either. However, it’s important to realize that there are a number of significant statewide offices which are up for election on this year’s ballot. They include the positions for Commissioner of Agriculture, Attorney General, the Secretary of State, Tax Commissioner, one two-year and one six-year term on the Public Service Commission and a six-year term on the North Dakota Supreme Court.

On a more local level, our representation in North Dakota’s Legislature is divided into forty-seven separate state legislative districts. Each district has one senator who serves a four-year term in the State Senate and two representatives who serve four-year terms in the North Dakota House of Representatives.

In this fall’s general election, only half of the State Legislative Districts will have a race for a position in the State Legislature. It is the odd numbered districts that will have an election for the State Senate and House this time. In two years, it will be the even numbered districts’ turn to have their races for offices in the State Legislature.

So, if you live in an odd numbered district, you will have the opportunity to vote for a candidate for the state senate and two candidates for the North Dakota House of Representatives. It is possible that a half of the composition of the legislature could change hands in any election, but given our recent political history, that outcome is highly unlikely – reality says it’s quite likely that the Republicans will once again retain their firm grip on the reins of state government in North Dakota.

The next phase on the political scene, after elections are over, will be the next sessions of the North Dakota Legislature and the next session of the U.S. Congress. In January of 2015, the next session of Congress (the 114th) will convene in our nation’s Capitol. The new sessions of Congress begin with a new slate of legislation, meaning that any legislation that wasn’t enacted during the prior session will need to be reintroduced before it can be considered again. Bottom line, what this says is that the job of advocacy is hard work that never stops!

On a state level, on January 6th of 2015, the next session of the North Dakota Legislature will be convening. It will be composed of those who were elected from the odd numbered districts and the “holdovers” from the even numbered districts. We will then need to be “on our toes” to closely monitor the policy activities of what will then be the 64th session of the North Dakota Legislative Assembly. In that regard, we invite and welcome your participation with Zelda and me, as we will be facing this challenge together with you as members of NDAB!

 

 

NDAB 2014-2015 Member Participation Incentive Program

The Participation Incentive Program provides an exciting opportunity for you as a member to make a real difference in your organization and earn recognition too!

The program is quite simple and focuses on NDAB’s four priority areas:

  1. Increase Participation at NDAB events

Attend your local walk for vision. Encourage others to attend.

  1. Membership Growth

Encourage people you know to become members and then to attend our annual convention, camp, and family adjustment seminar.

  1. Increased Fundraising

Get organizations, businesses or individuals to support NDAB with their donations of money.

  1. Public Awareness and Education.

You can educate about vision loss and let people know about NDAB by giving a presentation or talking to a group or organization with 10 or more people present.  Or accomplish the same objectives by writing an article for a newspaper or newsletter or organizing and manning an NDAB display or booth at an event.

I am sure you are already doing some of the above activities. Please see the attached form for details and make plans now to do something on the list. It is a fun way to guarantee that NDAB will continue to positively change the lives of people who are blind or visually impaired. You can make a difference!

Rules

  • New members signing up at Camp andFamily Adjustment Seminar do not count towards membership points
  • Board members are disqualified from participating in Incentive Program.
  • To be considered for awards and prizes you must complete Participation Report with points earned and submit prior to June 1st.
  • Before taking any actions to fulfill the activities of (4) Public Awareness and Education, contact a member of the board to obtain helpful materials and final approval.

 

Prizes

  • First Prize for the most points - 1 night at convention or $100
  • Second Prize - $50
  • Third Prize - $25

Awards will be presented during the banquet at the state convention.

 

The reporting form may be found below, on the website or by requesting one from Membership Chair, Zelda Gebhard 8169 66th St SE, Edgeley, ND  58433, phone 701-493-2399. After you have filled out your form, mail to Zelda at the above address before June 1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NDAB Participation Incentive Program

Member Report 2014-2015

Walk-a-thon

____I participated in an NDAB walk-a-thon (5 points)

People I brought to the walk-a-thon (1 point each)

___________________________, ___________________________, ___________________________, ___________________________

Membership

New members I sponsored (5 points each)

___________________________,  ___________________________,

___________________________,  ___________________________

(Sponsorship of 3 new members = 1 free year of membership to NDAB)

Member I sponsored last year who renewed membership this year (10 points)

____________________________, ___________________________

Sponsored member who attended NDAB event (5 points each)

____________________________ Camp___ Convention___ Walk-a-thon___

____________________________ Camp___ Convention___ Walk-a-thon___

Fundraising

Amount raised $____________($50-100 5 points, Each additional $100 5 points)

Public Awareness and Education

Presentation given to ________________________(organization or group >10 people) 5 points

Booth or Display at__________________________(health fair or other event) 5 points

Article written for publication_______________(in a newspaper or newsletter) 5 points

Reporting Member___________________________________

Total Points Reported __________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s Talk About Vision

By Paul Griffin and Alexandra Engraf

 

Vision is such an ironic word to me. I mean, who on Earth would ever ask an individual like me what they wanted to see? Being a very literal person, I tend to interpret words for their primary meaning. So, when I think of vision, I think of the literal meaning of perceiving something with eyesight. And when I think of someone asking me what I want to see, I instantly develop a sense of sarcasm. I cannot see what everyone else can see. How am I supposed to know what I want to see? So, when I think of developing a statement regarding what I want to see, it is difficult to create a literal sentence.

 

When you ask an organization of individuals who have experienced vision loss what they want to see, they may have the same primary notions I do. It may be hard for them to develop one concrete statement defining what they want to see.

 

So, let’s look at this finicky word: vision. When most people think of the term vision, they think of literal sight. But, when people can take the definition of vision beyond the essential meaning, they might surprise themselves as well as others. Vision does not just mean verbatim what one can biologically see, but rather what one can picture within their mind. Vision is a concrete term associated with an analyzed outcome, a strategic long-term goal, and a precise preconception. Vision is what one wants to see, but not necessarily have the ability to see with their own two eyes. Vision does not just need to be associated with the eye; it should be linked to the heart.

 

When the NDAB began its strategic planning process, one of the first questions posed to the board and planning group was, “What is NDAB’s purpose?”  A seemingly simple question, but as the discussion progressed, its importance and complexity became self-evident.

 

As an organization, the issue of who you are, your values, and what you hope to accomplish is foundational to your vitality and is the obvious genesis of your goals and objectives.  Without this clarification and group recognition and commitment, it is likely that there can be a lack of congruency between your purpose, your activities, and efforts.

 

Additionally, you may find that potential members, policymakers, the general public and others may suffer from a gap between their perception of your organization’s identity and the reality.

 

So, it is critical that any organization develop and share a clear statement of its vision for the organization and a statement of its mission.

 

Well, obviously, the next questions are:

  • What is a vision statement?
  • What is a mission statement?
  • And…..What is the difference?

 

Defining and differentiating between these two statements is very important for any individual, but especially for any organization. Non-profits are no exception. These statements are crucial in order to develop an effective strategy for success.

 

When doing strategic planning, an organization must generally spend a fair amount of time defining these statements and developing them in relation to the values and feedback of the group. Therefore, both of these statements should be equally reflective of what the group, as a whole, wants to do and to achieve.

 

Although both statements describe and fulfill different functions for the organization, they are often confused with each other. The difference is that a mission statement identifies, in general, what an organization intends to do now to achieve what the vision statement sets as the overall goal for the future.

 

Some critical components of a vision statement may include:

  • A clear, concise statement (as few words as possible) that is easily understood and communicated;
  • A reflection of the organization’s values and beliefs; and
  • A realistic, inspiring view of the future.

 

A vision statement concisely communicates what the organization wishes to ultimately achieve or accomplish – its purpose, why it does what it does.  It is a description of what the world would look like if you were able to successfully and completely achieve your purpose.  What would the world look like if you were to wake up one morning in NDAB Heaven – or if you were able to wave your magic wand and make your organizations wishes for its constituency come true?

A mission statement focuses on what your organization will do (in general) to achieve your mission – the day-to-day, month-by-month, year-by-year efforts that guide the operations and decision-making of the organization (note that the organization’s specific goals, objectives and action steps flow from these descriptive pronouncements of the purpose and efforts of the organization).

 

Some critical components of a mission statement might include:

  • What the organization intends to do/actually does; and
  • For whom it intends to do it.

 

Mission is a little bit more easily defined for me. I always just think of the phrase “I’m on a Mission.” I am active, doing something to achieve something. Mission is a clear-cutting word for most people. It involves activity. Though most understand what a mission is, it can be difficult to define what sort of mission one may be on. What exactly does one want to do in order to achieve something? How does one go about achieving something?

 

Chances are you have seen countless vision statements and mission statements throughout your personal and professional life. In case you need a few to reflect on right now, here are some examples (taken from the Internet) of vision statements:

  • Oxfam: A just world without poverty. (5 words)
  • Feeding America: A hunger-free America. (4 words)
  • Human Rights Campaign: Equality for everyone. (3)
  • Alzheimer’s Association: A world without Alzheimer’s. (4)
  • Habitat for Humanity: A world where everyone has a decent place to live. (10)
  • Oceanaseeks to make our oceans as rich, healthy and abundant as they once were. (14)
  • Teach for America: One day, all children in this nation will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education. (16)
  • Ducks Unlimitedis wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. (13)
  • Goodwill: Every person has the opportunity to achieve his/her fullest potential and participate in and contribute to all aspects of life. (21)
  • Save the Children: Our vision is a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation. (18)
  • Clinton Foundation: To implement sustainable programs that improve access worldwide to investment, opportunity, and lifesaving services now and for future generations. (19)
  • Kiva: We envision a world where all people – even in the most remote areas of the globe – hold the power to create opportunity for themselves and others. (26)
  • Amnesty International: Amnesty International’s vision is of a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments. (31)

 

Did all of these sound like vision statements? Did some seem more like mission statements? Did they appeal to you? Could you understand them, or did some not make much sense? Did you find yourself more apt to read the shorter ones opposed to the longer ones?

 

As you can see, some of these are very brief and to the point (3, 4 or 5 words) while others are much longer (20 to 30 words).  Most of them are well written, but some of them appear to be better representations of mission than vision statements.   In developing a vision statement you should focus on being clear and concise in identifying your ultimate purpose, understanding that the “what” and “how” of what your organization does is best addressed in its mission statement.

 

NDAB has developed and adopted a very well thought-out and written mission statement, but it has chosen to engage their membership in the development of the organization’s vision.

 

The Current NDAB Mission Statement:

We strive to enhance the way of life for people who are blind or vision impaired, to encourage employment opportunities, and to educate the public about sight loss.

 

But what is it that we want to achieve from this statement? What is it that we as NDAB members wish to see as a result of this mission statement? That is what we should clearly and justly define in our vision statement.

 

When considering vision, one should not limit oneself to the literal interpretation of sight. Give vision the holistic meaning it deserves. When one attempts to open themselves up to the unlimited potential of the word “vision,” the results can assist them in developing an effective statement regarding their vision. Vision statements are different from mission statements. Though some organizations have difficulties creating these two diverse yet congruent statements, the organizations will experience significant positive outcomes. In the words of Rose Stoller, Executive Director of the Consensus Council, “The vision statement is like a lighthouse….  It may be far off, but it guides and shows the way across the waters.  The mission statement is like the boat (vehicle) you will use to cross the water and ultimately reach the lighthouse.”

 

 

 

 

You Are a Work of Art

Reprinted with permission from Steve Goodier www.LifeSupportSystem.com

 

Edward Fischer writes in Notre Dame Magazine (February, 1983), that a leper in Fiji (or, more correctly, a sufferer of Hansen’s Disease) followed the leading of his twisted hands. He became an internationally known artist. “My sickness I see as a gift of God leading me to my life’s work,” he said. “If it had not been for my sickness, none of these things would have happened.”

 

As a young girl, Jessamyn West had tuberculosis. She was so sick that she was sent away to die. During that time she developed her skill as a writer and authored numerous novels in her lifetime.

 

That great author Flannery O’Connor suffered various ailments – lupus struck her at 25 and she walked only with the aid of crutches for the final fourteen years of her life. She noted, however, that this illness narrowed her activities in such a way that she had time for the real work of her life, which was writing.

 

Some people succeed in spite of handicaps. Others succeed because of them. I am not telling you anything new when I say that our problems help to make us what we are. Those who suffer often learn the value of compassion. Those who struggle often learn perseverance. And those who fall down often teach others how to rise again. Our troubles can shape us in ways a carefree existence cannot.

 

A story is told of an Eastern village that, through the centuries, was known for its exquisite pottery. Especially striking were its urns; high as tables, wide as chairs, they were admired throughout the country for their strong form and delicate beauty.

 

Legend has it that when each urn was apparently finished, there was one final step. The artist broke it – and then put it back together with gold filigree. An ordinary urn was thus transformed into a priceless work of art. What seemed finished wasn’t, until it was broken.

 

So it is with people. Broken by hardships, disappointments and tragedy, they can become discouraged and cynical. But lives can also be mended. Put back together well, they won't be just like they were before. Damaged pieces reassembled with a golden bonding of patience and love will help form a person into an exquisite masterpiece. It is as if people have to be broken before they can become whole and complete.

 

If you feel broken remember this – you are a work of art. As a work of art, you may never be finished, but that is the process of a lifetime. And your very brokenness serves a purpose.

 

Remember this, too: Every time you decide to mend, you become a little more complete. And a little more beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NDAB Leadership Roster

 

President:

Mark Kueffler, 1406 14 ½ Ave E, West Fargo ND  58078-3428, #866-9908

Vice President:

Zelda Gebhard, 8169 66th St SE, Edgeley ND  58433 #493-2399

Secretary:

Dianne Giessinger, 807 12th St NW, Minot ND  58703 #720-4866

Treasurer:

Helen Baumgartner, 402 12th Ave NW, Mandan ND  58554 #663-8878

Past President:

Michelle Zentz, 1025 7th Ave S #5, Fargo ND  58103 #298-9105

Board of Directors: 

Donna Hepper, 1420 83rd St, Ft. Yates ND  58538 #854-7395

Sherry Shirek, 2307 10th St S, Fargo ND  58103 #540-6356

Janelle Olson, 915 2nd Ave W, Williston ND  58801 #570-0801
Financial Chairperson:

Allan Peterson, 7009 Horseshoe Bend, Horace ND  58047 #282-4644

Legislative Liaison Chairpersons:

Allan Peterson, 7009 Horseshoe Bend, Horace ND  58047 #282-4644

Zelda Gebhard, 8169 66th St SE, Edgeley ND  58433 #493-2399
Co-Camp Directors: 

Loris Van Berkom, 604 8th Ave W, Williston ND  58801 #774-3399

Rick Feldman, 3301 Bohnet Blvd, Fargo ND  58102 #235-3293
Family Adjustment Seminar Chairperson:

Janelle Olson, 915 2nd Ave W, Williston ND  58801 #570-0801
Sports and Recreation Chairperson:

Dave Sundeen, 310 Dunsmoore Ave #1, Buxton ND  58218 #847-3139

Scholarship Committee Chairperson:

Tracy Wicken, 733 Dawn Circle, Grand Forks ND  58203 #772-7669

Historian:

Denise Kirsch, 1934 N 16th St Unit 3, Bismarck ND  58501 #223-8774

Publicity Chairperson:

Sherry Shirek, 2307 10th St S, Fargo ND  58103 #540-6356

Local News Reporters:

Bismarck: Bob Vandal, 1311 N 3rd St, Bismarck ND  58501 #400-0109

Fargo: Shereen Faber, 3001 Madison Ave, Fargo ND  58102 #237-4589

Grand Forks: Ruth Phalen, 725 40th Ave S #114, Grand Forks ND 58201 #772-4546

Minot: Doug and Mary Stip, 813 Park St, Minot ND  58701-4551 #839-4128

Williston: Loris Van Berkom, 604 8th Ave W, Williston ND  58801 #774-3399

Promoter Editor:

Kathy Larson, 15225 59th St NW, Williston ND  58801-9560 #875-4291

All members are encouraged to submit items of interest to the editor by mail, phone or e-mail for publication. Deadline is the 10th of the month prior to quarterly publications of February, May, August and November.

 

NDAB is a nonprofit organization which promotes the interest of ND residents who are blind and visually impaired. As a nonprofit organization, we welcome donations to help in advancing the cause of persons who are blind and visually impaired.

To learn more about NDAB visit us online at www.ndab.org