by Carla Ruschival

Even before one convention draws to a close, ACB members begin looking forward to next year. Everyone wants to know "What are the dates?" and "How do I make reservations?" and "What are the room rates?"

But before we move on to 2009, let's take a quick look back at Louisville and recognize those who worked so hard to make it all happen. Thanks to the Kentucky Council of the Blind and the Blue Grass Council of the Blind for hosting a fantastic week of information, fun and great memories. The local host committee was exceptional; its members were truly outstanding in their hard work, their warmth and hospitality.

The huge jigsaw puzzle we call an ACB convention served up its usual diet of informative speakers, educational workshops and seminars, and fun-filled socials and tours. The exhibit area was brimming with new technology, services and products; the Youth Activity Center brought new surprises each day for the under-18 crowd. Convention attendance was the highest in many years.

Planning all of these activities and attending to the details and preparations is a year-round job. A huge thanks to the members of the 2008 convention committee: Jerry Annunzio, Margarine Beaman, Patti Cox, Brenda Dillon, Mike Duke, Sharon Lovering, Donna Seliger, Pam Shaw, Mike Smitherman, Robert Spangler and Lane Waters, and to consultants Sandy Isaac and Sheila Styron. Thanks also to Chrissie Cochrane (ACB Radio), Jay Doudna and Bob Seliger (audiovisual), Anna Olsen, June Horst, and Paula Wiese (registration), Alison Smitherman (exhibits), Art Clayton, Eric Frey, Bruce Radtke, Adam Ruschival and Jim Shaw (volunteers). Finally, kudos to the many, many ACB volunteers, without whom convention week could not have been a success.

Finally, in my capacity as events coordinator, I want to let all of the special-interest groups, ACB committees, and others who sponsored events and held meetings during the 2008 convention know how much I appreciate their hard work, advance planning, and attention to detail.

And now let's turn our attention to Orlando, home of that world-famous mouse's house and nearby Cape Canaveral. Convention dates are July 4-11, with the first tours being on Friday, July 3. The convention hotel is the Rosen Centre, 9840 International Drive. All meetings, general sessions and exhibits will be held at the hotel.

Rates are $83 single/double plus tax. Add $10 for each additional person in a room.

You may now make individual reservations, but please only reserve a room IF you truly have plans to attend. The practice of reserving rooms just in case you decide to spend a week with ACB causes problems such as those experienced by many of you in obtaining rooms in Jacksonville and Minneapolis, and can result in enormous additional costs to ACB.

To make individual reservations at the Rosen Centre, call (407) 996-9840. Be sure to indicate that you are attending the ACB convention so that you will receive the special rate.

To begin planning for convention events or reserve meeting rooms, please contact Carla Ruschival by phone at (502) 897-1472 or by e-mail at [email protected].

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