by Nola McKinney

It's a new era in ACB, with a new president who has new ideas and goals for our future. The awards committee has some new faces, too. I welcome with open arms Cindy Van Winkle from the great state of Washington, Chelle Hart from South Dakota, and Janet Dickelman from Minnesota. I sure hope you enjoy our committee and the true joy of giving awards.

Now I especially want to talk to all of you readers out there. Please, please read each award's criteria carefully and try to think of the person who would fulfill it. I can't tell you how many award letters we receive nominating wonderful people, but they are nominated for the wrong award, or they have done great things in their states, not on a national level. Remember, these are ACB national awards, and I am so proud and happy to be giving them to such deserving people whom my committee knows and can make their judgments on. So read the following descriptions carefully. Remember, it isn't too early to be making your choices and writing those nominating letters.

The Robert S. Bray Award is given to a person who has made a contribution for improving library technology or communication devices. It could also be given for expanding access for blind people, or making opportunities within the mainstream media.

The George Card Award is given to an individual who has dedicated his or her life to work with and for blind people, making a real difference and improving quality of life, for providing leadership and being a positive role model.

The Durward K. McDaniel Ambassador Award is one of our most popular awards. It is given in recognition of a blind person who may or may not be a member of a blindness organization but who has spent his or her life integrating with the community.

The James R. Olsen Distinguished Service Award is periodically given to individuals who have made important contributions which have advanced opportunities for the blind community. This award can be given to an individual or an organization.

The Affiliate Growth Award is based on the greatest increase in membership, as determined by the 2007-2008 membership reports.

The Affiliate Outreach Award is based on a recommendation by an affiliate president, which recognizes a local chapter for a new outreach program. This program must have a measurable outcome.

Now that you have read them all, I am sure they have brought to mind someone who just fits those qualifications. Write that letter now, before you forget! See you in Louisville!

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