NFB of Maine News Matters for October, 2012
Vol.2 Issue 10
October 27, 2012
editor: Patricia E. C. Estes
CONVENTION ISSUE- Cause to Celebrate!
(Editor's Note: As the recent past President of the NFB of Maine and a long time Federationist, I have learned that progress like our Maine Affiliate has seen this year needs to be appreciated and also documented. While the NFB has been in Maine to one degree or another for decades, as we re-organized, again, last year, there were no coherent or up to date documents. Essentially, there were no records of the past work. The NFB of Maine had only an oral history, at that point, and that was not useful. The National Federation of the Blind of Maine offer this record and many others generated over the past eighteen months to those who will take up the torch after us. We wish to thank those who went before us and also to be clear for the future, who we are and the solid foundation we hope we pass on to you. An expression of gratitude: without Ron and Jan Gardner's and also Joanne Wilson's support and coaching, there would not be an Affiliate of the NFB of Maine today. Thank you. We are now changing lives because of your belief in us.)
IN THIS ISSUE:
Since so many of our members are new to the NFB, I focused on Federation philosophy and giving members opportunities to be with our National leaders and to feel the strength of our movement. We sent people to Washington Seminar and to leadership Seminar and also to the Dallas National Convention. Members were eager to go, learn and grow! Our mission was, and remains, to train up the next generations of Federation leaders in Maine with a solid foundation in our philosophy and an understanding of what makes the NFB different.
It's 9:00 a.m.! Cue the band! The band? Yep. We had a band. All I wanted was a couple of other people to help me to sing the song I had adapted,"Telling the Truth is Dangerous Business," as a new NFB song for Maine. We had one practice at our home and Paul Pouiia was at the keyboard and Roger on bongos (yes, the same Roger). We worked out the lyrics and it is a fun song. (Well, the song will have to debut in April at our in person Lighthouse Chapter Meeting.) But the band, "Dangerous Business," remains! I requested that they play "Celebration!" to begin the convention in a high spirit, and they surely did. They also played upbeat music through Registration and through lunch. Paul's friend sang with them and the three of them have had requests for other gigs! This was the first time the three had played all together, way to go, "Dangerous Business!" We have you booked for April, don't forget!
Unexpected and serious illness prevented about half a dozen of our members from attending the convention/celebration. There were about thirty five in attendance and this included several NFB leaders from as far away as Washington State, Utah and Grande Isle, Maine! And as close by as New Hampshire and Baltimore and several towns in Maine-including Peak's Island. We gathered in Auburn at the Fireside Inn for the annual NFB of Maine Convention.
The hotel's Events Manager, Kristi Dunham, was a pleasure to work with and offered ideas and didn't forget one detail! Thank you!
We planned a celebration, a great gathering and sharing and a foundation in our National movement from Mark Riccobono and the National Report. Mark went above and beyond that week end and we are grateful!
We would like to thank the service providers for being with the NFB of Maine and for answering questions and addressing the convention. And many thanks to Cassie McNabb and/or Deja Powell for asking for a flag )last year I was told that they didn't have one. Apparently, the new management has their priorities in place!) Thank you to our Registration table workers, our membership worker, our awesome Tee Shirt order taker, our quilt raffle ticket giver and money taker and everyone who just plain pitched in and did what ever had to be done. It was on the spot leadership training for real!
Due to the unforseen circumstances, our National Representative, Mark Riccobono (Executive Director of the Jernigan Institute)had to work with a roughed out agenda and fill in the blanks. Our two visiting NFB Fellows were asked to speak and gave inspiring talks as did Mark in telling his own story. Cassie McNabb spoke about the NFB Scholarship Program and her story-ask her about her B minus nose the next time you see her!
Thank you to our Queen of Door Prizes, Bobbie LaChance, for our unique items, quilts and baskets!(feel better!) And all of you who contributed door prizes.
Attendees were impressed with Josh Coffee's presentation of his company's, EASy Digital Graphics, products and plans for future applications. We hope to have him return next year to demonstrate the next generation in digital graphics.
Senator Peggy Rotundo stopped in to welcome the convention and to speak about her position as a Senator in the Maine State Senate. She has been a great friend to the NFB of Maine and we appreciated her coming to be with us and we congratulate her on her re-election!
NFB of Maine Board of Directors:
We have had a board meeting that was super and we remain united and as strong as ever...well, stronger because our Federation Family in Maine is growing and on the move!
LINKS TO SOME OF OUR WORK
WANT A RECORDING OF THE CONVENTION?
*Mark Tardiff, Grande Isle- Thank you very much. The convention indeed went well and yes, people pulled together very well. There were some great social aspects of the weekend as well, such as a number of us going to the Village on Saturday evening. This was a small convention, but a vibrant active convention. I’m sure we’ll talk soon.
*Lee ann Nelson, Lewiston- I Just wanted to send a few thoughts on the Convention as you asked.
We all pulled together and made it happen without much trouble. It truly was a crash course in leadership training but we did have fun and learned that we can do it.
Leon stepped up and took his roll seriously following Mark leading us forward. Dorothy and Faith both took right off with registration and getting all the information so we can start up a regular mailing list.
It admittedly took me a bit longer to get things unloaded and set up then finally I did get started with collecting dues from everyone that either needed or wanted to join that day.
The smiley faces were handed out over the morning but I did get it done before we had to vote but everyone was in agreement on nominations so things certainly went off with no trouble.
Leon did ask for suggestions on where we were heading and some thoughts from the group. I said we were moving forward in a positive direction.
I also suggested that we try and have some venders at next year’s convention as I feel that may draw more interest. Such as Freedom Scientific, AI Squared and Humanware just as a start.
I'm thinking if we can bring in some technology it may raise peoples interest and bring in a wider range of people and many more members.
Also I wanted to add and not leave out the band and how great they were and they certainly did a great job before the convention started and during the lunch hour after of course they had eaten. Lunch was great and those that helped in the serving line did a great job and I'd hate to leave them out as they certainly stepped up at the last minute and helped those with less sight. Also I'd like to thank all the staff at the hotel as they worked hard and helped in any way they could. They didn't over step but, did offer and kept the food fresh and coming as they did in August.
*Roger Cusson, Lisbon- It was a great time and the day was busy and fun. Mark did a great job chairing. We need more people, man!
And speaking of Dr. Maurer, we had an assignment to fulfill from him,"Introduce this man to a Maine lobster!" Well, Sir, we are pleased to report: mission accomplished! Mr. Riccobono had his own Challenge Activity! Following adjournment, those who could, met at one of the areas best sea food restaurants and ordered a boiled lobster dinner for Mark. Apparently, he became convinced to spare his suit coat the consequences of this full contact dining experience. Give the man the traditional first-timers' bib!
A PERSONAL NOTE
And this is my report.
"The Voice of the Blind-changing what it means to be blind in Maine!"