It’s convention season! Want to see your affiliate’s convention listed here? Have you had a successful convention and want to brag a little? Send the information to [email protected].
ACB of Indiana Celebrates 50!
The American Council of the Blind was formed in July 1961. It became apparent in the fall of 1971 that Indiana needed to establish a state affiliate of ACB. Thanks to the Indianapolis Star Fund for the Blind, a mailing was sent to 8,000 legally blind Hoosiers inviting them to attend an in-person meeting at the Atkinson Hotel in downtown Indianapolis.
Current active members Don and Gerry Koors attended this first meeting. Durward K. McDaniel from ACB national presided over the meeting. The first four officers and nine-member board of directors were elected at this historical meeting. The first president, William Smith from Fort Wayne, served for three years. He owned an industrial cleaning and supply company. Don Koors from Indianapolis served for three years as the first secretary. Don, Paul Filpus, and John Huffman are the only original board members still living.
To start on a sustainable leadership track, three board members were elected for 3-year terms, three board members were elected for 2-year terms and three board members were elected for 1-year terms. All officers were elected for a 1-year term, and they could serve for 3 consecutive terms. The board began meeting quarterly and continues to do so. After the first meeting, the constitution and bylaws were developed and submitted to the national office for approval.
Local chapters began to develop, including:
- South Central Association of the Visually Impaired (SCAVI) in Bedford, established in 1981
- North Central in Elkhart/Goshen, established in 1977 or 1978
- Circle City in Indianapolis
- Lakota in Columbia City
- Heartland Association in Bloomington
At present, ACB of Indiana has three active local chapters: SCAVI, Circle City, and Heartland.
For over 25 years, ACB of Indiana has shared information with its membership via the quarterly newsletter, “Focus on ACBI.” This newsletter provides a message from the president, chapter news, convention information, board contact information, and articles about issues facing the blind and visually impaired. Other informational resources are the website at acb-indiana.org, the Indiana e-mail list, and the ACBI “Information Station,” a monthly Zoom meeting providing information on various topics.
2021 marked the 50th anniversary of ACB of Indiana. To celebrate, the state affiliate held a picnic at Brown County State Park near Nashville, Ind.
Thirty-five people gathered on Aug. 21, 2021 to celebrate ACB of Indiana’s 50 years of providing advocacy, support, and education to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. The group met in an enclosed shelter where everyone enjoyed a nice picnic lunch. Door prizes were awarded to 10 lucky attendees.
After lunch, everyone joined in singing, “Happy Anniversary to ACB of Indiana,” and enjoyed anniversary cupcakes. The celebration culminated in a dessert auction raising $300! Everyone also got keepsake buttons that had the ACBI logo and listed the years of its existence so far, 1971-2021.
During the rest of the afternoon and evening, everyone enjoyed the beautiful weather and took advantage of the state park amenities. Some of us met people for the first time, including board members whose voices we’ve only heard on Zoom board meetings. Everyone said they had a great time and look forward to another picnic.
Hopefully, we won’t have to wait another 50 years to have another picnic for our members, but this year’s picnic was certainly one to remember. Happy 50th anniversary, ACB of Indiana!
Join AAVL, Get a Chance to Win $100!
Join or renew your membership in AAVL prior to Feb. 1, 2022 and be entered into a drawing with the chance to win $100 in cash.
There’ll actually be two drawings: one for current AAVL members who renew their membership for 2022, and a second drawing for all NEW members. Spread the word! AAVL cares about the well-being of older people who experience vision loss. And we want to double our membership in 2022.
So join now, or renew your membership. Contact Kathy Gerhardt via email, [email protected], or call her at (304) 283-7424.
ACB Families — A Winning Combination
by Carla Ruschival
The holidays are almost here, and it’s time for the ACB Families annual membership drive. Time to get in on the fun!
Join ACB Families for 2022 by Nov. 30 and have a chance to win a $75 ACB Mini Mall gift card, one of two $50 Visa cards, or a $25 Visa card, just in time to help with holiday shopping. Winners will be drawn at our ACB Families community call on Sunday, Dec. 5.
No matter who you are or where you live, you can participate in ACB Families. We hold conference calls on the first and third Sundays of the month. One call features a speaker or discussion topic; examples include easy meal preparation, dollar-stretching tips, virtual school and rehab issues, gift-giving and shopping ideas, and much more. The other call is usually a membership meeting where you can help plan upcoming virtual activities and Families events at the ACB national conference and convention. Both calls are at 9 p.m. Eastern (6 p.m. Pacific) on Zoom.
ACB Families presented five exciting programs at the ACB virtual conference and convention in July. We visited Mammoth Cave in Kentucky; sat around a virtual campfire as talking book narrators Jack Fox and Jill Fox read stories and answered questions; learned how DNA can help grow our family trees; played Family Feud with CCLVI; and traveled the journey from segregation to integration of schools for the blind. After the convention, door prizes were awarded to 49 lucky people who registered for ACB Families at the convention.
Join ACB Families now. Dues are just $8 a year. Pay by credit card by calling (502) 897-1472, or make check payable to ACB Families and mail by Nov. 24 to 148 Vernon Ave., Louisville, KY 40206.
Welcome to our ACB family.
Louisiana Council Convention in Lafayette
The Louisiana Council of the Blind will hold its convention Dec. 9-12, 2021, at the Holiday Inn Lafayette North, 2219 NW Evangeline Thruway, Lafayette. Room rates are $92 per night, plus tax. Call (337) 706-8199 by Nov. 26 to reserve your room. For more information, contact Leola Campbell at (225) 614-5988.