by Ronald E. Milliman

Last fall the Monthly Monetary Support (MMS) Program Committee announced a new campaign to promote the MMS Program among our ACB membership. The names of all new contributors, and all those existing participants who increased their contributions by at least $5 per month, were placed in a pot for a drawing to win a new Hamilton Beach iTalk Talking Microwave. The promotion ran through the end of the 2007 national convention. After the convention, the winner was selected, using a random number program, to ensure total fairness and objectivity. Each eligible contributor was assigned a number, and the computer program selected the number 30. And the winner is Linda Watgen of North Aurora, Ill.! Congratulations to Linda, and we certainly hope she gets lots of use out of her new talking microwave.

The campaign was very successful, bringing lots of new participants into the MMS Program. We greatly appreciate everyone who contributes to the program, no matter what the size of the contribution is. All contributions are important and they all add up to helping ACB and its affiliates.

I want to recognize the efforts of Ray Campbell and the entire Illinois Council of the Blind. They brought 14 new contributors into the MMS Program during their state convention last fall, and Linda Watgen was one of them. Thanks, too, to the people who either became MMS program contributors for the first time or increased the amount of their contributions during our national convention in Minneapolis. These people are: Hattie Bond, Adrian Taylor, Sue Ammeter, Catherine Schmitt Whitaker, Norman Ota, Sandra K. Edwards, Rochelle L. Hart, Morry La Tour, Robert Jones, Ninetta Garner, Linda M. Porelle, Conception Hollis, Warren Toyama, Richard Rueda, Jean Mann, Lisa Drzewucki, Ron Smith, Karen Crowder, Caroline Congdon, Nona Graves, Dennis Ameden, Larry Wanger, Teddie-Joy Remhild, Ann Brash, Mary Hiland, Terrie Arnold, Donna Brown, Margarine G. Beaman, David Franklin, Karen Eisenstadt, and Ronald E. Milliman. The total annualized amount of the contributions during our 2007 convention was $7,850.

Where do we go from here? The next phase of our campaign is called the "Reaching Out Partnership Program." Up to this point, we have relied entirely on our own members to contribute to and develop the MMS program, but now it is time for us to reach outside of our membership and begin to tap that vast market of non-members. We all have friends, relatives, doctors, fellow church parishioners, and others who would be delighted to become MMS program contributors, if they were just asked. So, the MMS Program Committee will be working hard over the next few weeks to develop support or collateral materials that you can use to recruit non-ACB members into the MMS program. We will provide you with new forms for this purpose as soon as they are available. We are working on some really terrific rewards for those ACB members who bring the most non-ACB member participants into the MMS program and something really special for that ACB member who raises the most amount of money from the MMS program from non-ACB member participants. Stay tuned as this new phase of our MMS program campaign unfolds!!

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