gcb digest winter 2012 by HC1208310618


									         THE GCB DIGEST

        A Publication of the


         An Affiliate of the


An Organization Promoting a Hand Up,
           Not a Hand Out

              Winter 2012
GCB Office
850 Gaines School Road
Athens GA 30605
Email: gcbfyi@yahoo.com

GCB President: William Holley
185 Weatherly Woods Drive
Winterville, Georgia 30683
Email: bill850@yahoo.com

GCB Webmaster: Steven Longmire
Email: info@sunbright.biz
GCB Website: WWW.georgiacounciloftheblind.org

Editor: Amanda Wilson
45 Rocky Circle, Northeast
White, Georgia 30184
770-547-4700, Email: moonrocks@bellsouth.net
Assistant Editor: Suzanne Jackson
131 Cannongate Circle
Sharpsburg, GA 30277
770-463-1127, Email: susieb@numail.org

From Your Editor, Amanda Wilson

President’s Message, William Holley

GCB Board Meeting Minutes, Robin Oliver

GCB Treasurer’s Report, Jerrie Toney

Helpful Hints, Sheila Rousey

GCB Awards Guidelines

GCB Chapter News

News from Georgia Guide Dog Users
From your editor, Amanda Wilson

Hello, GCB Family. We thank each one who has
submitted articles in this issue of our magazine. If
you have any change of address, telephone number,
email address, or desired change of format, please
inform our GCB treasurer, Jerrie Toney, at
jmt2@bellsouth.net or via telephone at
706-227-6142. Thank you to everyone who makes
our GCB Digest such a big success. I particularly
want to thank Suzanne Jackson, assistant editor, for
the many hours she has worked on the magazine,
for her editing skills and for her outstanding reading
of the cassette tapes. Thank our president, William
Holley, for his presidential messages, with
information about important events, legislation, and
projects. I appreciate the contributions from each
member who sent articles, who made suggestions
to make the magazine better, and have supported
me in so many ways.

GCB President’s Message
       Leadership: More Than Just a Notion
Hello GCB Family,
    Happy New Year and I hope this Presidential
Message finds you and your family members in the
best of health. This is a great opportunity for our
members to evaluate the progress made by the
Georgia Council of the Blind (GCB) in 2011. Our
number one priority was to create an organizational
structure to increase the participation of our elected
Chapter Officers in the growth and development of
GCB. As a Result of our efforts, GCB has 9
functioning committees that include leadership from
our chapters. The following committees meet on
planned schedules:
Leadership/Fund Development
Membership Committee
Public Relations/Technology
The committees helped to enhance communications
among GCB members which, in turn, helped to
improved membership participation at the state and
local councils. GCB has become an organization
with an informed leadership. We are now in a
position to increase our membership across the
state. Individuals who are blind and/or visually
impaired want to participate in GCB as long as we
can provide direction and include them in the
decision making process.
Now that our GCB infrastructure is prepared to
address leadership issues in the blind community,
our goals for 2012 should include increasing our
membership by 100%. We can no longer afford to
be identified as representing only 0.0001179% of
blind individuals with severe vision loss in the state
of Georgia. The only way to accomplish this goal is
to recognize leadership as being more than just a
notion. For example, recently we learned services
for the blind, in the state of Georgia, was moved,
along with Vocational Rehabilitation, from the
Department of Labor to the Department of Human
Services. The decision to move the services was
made at a time when GCB, National Federation of
the Blind (NFB), and the Blind Coalition was
negotiating to develop a Department of Blind
Services. The decision was made to move the
services by the Governor. We are being told
nothing can be done to change the Governor’s
decision. What will happen to Blind Services? As
leaders in the blind community, how do we prepare
ourselves to prevent this type of action from
occurring? When we call our members to action,
how do we assure our membership that it is not a
waste of time? Well informed leadership can
prevent this situation and others like it, from
happening to its membership.
Let us take the time to review the role of leadership.
A good leader must be able to take the lead,
support others when they are leading, and follow
the leadership of the organization as directed.
Some of our leaders get caught up in thinking they
must always be in the lead position. Leadership is
more than the individuals elected as officials, but is
the collected consensus of the membership of the
organization. It is time for us to get serious about
our responsibilities as officers and members of GCB.
We must learn to understand leadership is not all
work or play but a combination of fun and serious
work. The next time we are called to action will we
be ready? We have to increase our membership by
providing good leadership. Remember: Each one
reach one and each one teach one.
    Bill Holley, GCB President

Georgia Council of the Blind Board Meeting
August 13, 2011, Carrollton, Georgia
The meeting was called to order in the meeting
room at the Carrolton Cultural Arts Center during
the "Aloha GCB" conference by President Bill Holley.

GCB members present to form quorum: President
Bill Holley, 1st Vice Keith Morris, 2nd Vice Steve
Longmire, Secretary Robin Oliver, Treasurer Jerrie
Toney, representing At-Large membership Debbie
Williams, Athens Daniels Myers, Augusta Chris
Chavous, Bainbridge Tonya Wright, Chattooga
Marsha Farrow, Cliff Jones representing Columbus,
Macon Milton Brown, Chester Thrash representing
Metro Atlanta, Tonia Clayton representing
Rome/Floyd and Stephens Co. Al Camp. Also
present were GCB Editor Amanda Wilson, newly
appointed Parliamentarian Adam Shapiro, and
representing GCBL Jim Horton (non GCB member).
Marsha inquired about not hearing GGDU mentioned
during roll call. Robin stated that as of this date
GGDU has not paid membership dues.
Bill motioned that the GCB minutes of April 16,
2011 be accepted as previously sent out. The
motioned carried.
Finance Committee: treasurer’s and budget reports
-Kathy Morris read the reports. Beginning Checking
balance for July $7.987.44, notes for June -
Scholarship balance $6,078.05, Savings Account
balance - $11,400.57, and ending CD balance -
$11,276.81. Bill moved that the treasurer report be
accepted as read; Marsha corrected and noted that
the treasurer report should be motioned that it be
filed to audit. The report was voted to be filed to
Constitution Committee:
Constitutional Amendment - Robin read the
amendment of adding [(B) No member of the Board
of Directors shall receive compensation for services
to the Georgia Council of the Blind. Members may
be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred in
exercising their duties. No professional staff
employee of GCB shall be eligible for election to any
office in this organization.] to Section 5: Board of
Directors of our GCB Constitution. After much
discussion, checking with the GCB Constitution to
make certain we were following proper
constitutional procedures and taking the roll again
to ensure we still had a quorum, all of the above
stated board members voted to accept and carry
the amendment... Bill stated that he would use the
National agreement and make it applicable for
GCB's constitution. Marsha motioned that we follow
suit as National and have each board member sign
the Conflict of Interest agreement. The motion was
seconded and unanimously passed.
Employment Committee 2012:
As stated in the earlier business meeting Tim Kelly
of Macon thinks that we should focus more time on
employment. As Tim stated "a job lasts forever."
Volunteers for the committee are Tim Kelly, Amanda
Wilson, Chester Thrash, Jerrie Toney, Jimmie
Burkes, Annie Harris, and Steve Longmire. This, as
all committees, is opened to all. Notify Bill at
Conference Committee 2012: Even though we have
City Connections Inc. assisting with the conference
in Savannah, we still need to form a conference
committee. Members who volunteered today are
Jerrie Toney, Steve Longmire, Jamaica Miller, Jimmie
Burkes, Chester Thrash, Kathy Morris and Marsha
Farrow. All other members will be assigned by the
Audit: Bill motioned that we should have an audit
done of our records. We can have one done for the
cost of $500.00 that will cover several years. GCBL
member Jim Horton suggested paying $1000, but it
was decided that $500 would be good faith. It was
unanimously voted on doing a $500 audit.
The next GCB board meeting would normally be
held October 15, 2011. The vendors are holding a
program that day, and 1st Vice President Keith
Morris would miss the board meeting. The date of
the October meeting will be announced at a later
The GCB brochures were issued to the different
chapters. You can also find them online at our
website, www.georgiacounciloftheblind.org
The meeting was adjourned.
Respectively submitted, Robin Oliver

GCB Board Meeting
October 29, 2011
Athens, GA

President Bill Holley called the meeting to order.
After a Moment of Silence the roll was called.
Members present were President Bill Holley, 1st Vice
Keith Morris, 2nd Vice Steve Longmire, Secretary
Robin Oliver, Treasurer Jerrie Toney, representing
At-Large membership Debbie Williams, Athens
Daniel Myers, Augusta Chris Chavous, Chattooga
Marsha Farrow, Greater Columbus Greg McDuffie,
Tim Kelly representing Macon, Chester Thrash
representing Metro Atlanta, Tim Barret representing
Northwest, Rome/Floyd Amanda Wilson, Marj
Schneider representing Savannah, Stephens Co. Al
Camp, Betsy Grenevitch representing GGBL and
Alice Ritchhart representing GGDU.
Secretary Report: After making note of correcting
the spelling of Daniel Myers’ name, Greg McDuffie
moved that the minutes be accepted. The motion
was seconded and carried.
Treasury report was presented with the current
balances: Checking $6,494.60, Savings
$11,404.03, CD $11,290.02, Scholarship $1,676.65.
Portfolio amount $61,040.91. The 1-day event made
$598.98. Tim B. moved that the report be filed to
audit. The motion was seconded and carried. Tim K.
asked if the audit had been done and at this time it
hasn’t. Bill promised that it would be done before
the end of the year.
GCB Employment Committee 2012:
Proposed Reorganization - Bill, Garrick Scott (NFB)
and Alice Ritchhart (Coalition) met with lobbyist
Annette Bowling in Albany, GA. The proposed
thought is forming a Division of Blind Services, and
hopefully this will make way for a smooth transition
to a Blind Commission sometime in the future. Bill
feels we need to know the budget that has been
allotted for service toward the blind. We should
have input on the decision making process when it
comes to deciding how services will be rendered to
the Blind. Alice stated that she agreed with Annette
that the different organizations work together.
Garrick does not support a Blind Commission, but
supports Blind Service with Paul Raymond serving
as Deputy Director serving directly to Commissioner
Butler. The above stated trio will meet with
Commissioner Butler and Annette in November 7.
The counselors would be strictly blind counselors
(not general counselors) and stay in VR offices. The
CIL (Center for Independent Living), Goodwill or
Easter Seal may contract counselors if VR don’t
want us in their offices. Assistive Technology may
have to stay with VR since clients may have more
issues than blindness. BEP and GIB should be under
the Division. Bill requested that all members of the
board state their thoughts in writing (email) or
phone on their feelings and what they want to be
done. This is our opportunity to have their feelings
incorporated in the discussions.
Micro Enterprise: Bill is going to try to get funds into
GCB to develop a Micro Enterprise program for the
Georgia Council of the Blind. Marj is self-employed
and participated in a program that assisted in
training her and other people with disabilities in
business basics (making business plans, etc.). The
VR system works through extension with UGA
(Small Business Ad Extensions throughout the state.
There are many resources in the state and we need
to build on them.)
Legislation Committee:
Transportation HB 227: Vote no if your region didn’t
get what they needed. Some round tables listened
and others didn’t. When you vote in your region, the
ballot will show which proposed projects are set in
your area. Marsha wondered if the PR Committee
could get the information out through email, radio,
and television spots. You can’t change what’s going
to be on the ballot, but you can still go to the
discussions on whether to vote yes or no on them.
ACB (American Council of the Blind) has several
email lists including the new transportation one that
you can join. Go to acb.org and subscribe. A
representative from each affiliate should be aware
of it.
       ACB National Legislation Vehicle Donation
Eight Georgia House of Representatives people are
on the bill. Eric is requesting that we keep the
pressure on.
       Calling Post will be coming back on a trial
basis, where it will be monitored to see if it will be
an effective way to pass information. We should also
call and talk with each other.
       Legislative Agenda 2012: Blind Day Jan. 24,
2012, Disability Day at the Capitol is February, 16,
Bill would like to speak with Eric Jacobsen of the
GCDD (Georgia Council on Developmental
Disabilities) along with Alice and Garrick about the
way the day is handled.
After reminiscing about past January weather and
postponed meetings caused by it, the January 21,
2012 meeting will be via phone. The April meeting
will be face to face. Al motioned and it carried.
Conference Committee: Tell a committee member
what you would like to see. Judy Presley suggested
that they could use wood chips in a parking area for
the guide dogs. Since the Inn at Ellis Square
provides a very nice breakfast, the convention
committee suggests that we try to get the Lions to
sponsor a reception instead of a breakfast. Bill
suggested Athens as host of the 2013 1 day event
and Augusta is locked in as host of the 2014
convention. We are bringing color to the GCB logo,
navy blue background with white writing.
Membership - GA Academy for the blind alumni, Tim
K. stated that due to age and very poor health,
Macon needs help in reorganizing the chapter; the
CIL in the Macon area has not been an asset to
them. Any and all suggestions are welcomed.
Leadership Committee - Conflict of Interest
Agreement will go out and be signed in January
after the start of the year. Tim B. made the motion
and it was seconded and carried.
More Finance: The Budget was presented, and Keith
motioned it be filed, motion seconded and
carried. Mark February 5, 2012 on your calendar
and be ready to have a good time at the Stephens
Co. annual Bluegrass and Gospel Benefit Concert.
Bill motioned the meeting be adjourned, Al
seconded, the vote was carried and we adjourned.
Respectively submitted, Robin Oliver

GCB Treasury Report, Jerrie Toney

July 1 through July 31, 2011:
Beginning Balance: $7,987.44
Ending Balance: $9,451.48
Scholarship Balance: $6,110.05
Savings Account Balance: $11,401.51
Interest Paid: $0.97
Ending Savings Account Balance: $11,402.48
CD Balance: $11,276.81
CD Interest Earned: $3.25
Ending CD Balance: $11,280.06
Total Combined Amounts: $38,244.07
Portfolio: $66,655.13

August 1 through August 31, 2011:
Beginning Balance: $9,451.48
Ending Balance: $8,258.63
Scholarship Balance: $2,091.85
Savings Account Balance: $11,402.48
Interest Paid: $0.80
Ending Savings Account Balance: $11,403.28
CD Balance: $ 11,280.06
CD Interest Earned: $3.35
Ending CD Balance: $11,283.41
Total Combined Amounts: $33,037.17
Portfolio: $66,686.67

September 1 through September 30, 2011:
Beginning Balance: $8,258.63
Ending Balance: $7,522.63
Scholarship Balance: $2,091.85
Savings Account Balance: $11,403.28
Interest Paid: $0.75
Ending Savings Account Balance: $11,404.03
CD Balance: $11,283.41
CD Interest Earned: $3.36
Ending CD Balance: $11,286.77
Total Combined Amounts: $32,305.28
Portfolio: $61,040.91

October 1 through October 31, 2011:
Beginning Balance: $7,522.63
Ending Balance: $6,445.52
Scholarship Balance: $1,673.65
Savings Account Balance: $11,404.03
Interest Paid: $0.77
Ending Savings Account Balance: $11,404.80
CD Balance: $11,286.77
CD Interest Earned: $3.25
Ending CD Balance: $11,290.02
Total Combined Amounts: $30,813.99
Portfolio: $62,313.77

November 1 through November 30, 2011
Beginning Balance: $
Ending Balance: $7,552.23
Scholarship Balance: $1,916.05
Savings Account Balance: $11,404.80
Interest Paid: $0.75
Ending Savings Account Balance: $11,405.55
CD Balance: $ 11,290.02
CD Interest Earned: $3.35
Ending CD Balance: $11,293.37
Total Combined Amounts: $32,167.20
Portfolio: $61,362.00

December 1 through December 31, 2011
Beginning Balance: $7,552.23
Ending Balance: $6,942.23
Scholarship Balance: $1,916.05
Savings Account Balance: $11,405.55
Interest Paid: $0.77
Ending Savings Account Balance: $11,406.32
CD Balance: $ 11,293.37
CD Interest Earned: $2.92
Ending CD Balance: $11,296.62
Total Combined Amounts: $31,561.22
Portfolio: $61,961.29
Anyone interested in acquiring copies of the 2011
treasurer’s reports, budget, and/or 2010 convention
report may make your request known by contacting
the GCB office: Multiple Choices Center, 850 Gaines
School Road, Athens, GA 30605, telephone 706-
549-1020, or via email at jmt2@bellsouth.net and
your request shall be honored.

Helpful Hints, Sheila Rousey

Hello, all GCB members, Sheila Rousey from the
Stephens County chapter had this great idea of
collecting and sharing some inexpensive helpful
household hints and tricks that might help people
with visual impairments to be more independent.
She hopes that others in our group will send in
their helpful household hints and tricks so that we
might combine them into a resource booklet that
could someday be used as a fund raiser. She
said, “Many other organizations create these
types of booklets and sell them as a fund raiser
for their organizations.” Rousey also commented
that we ALL know about the low-vision and adaptive
aids from mail-order suppliers. This list is created
for the purpose of locating items from LOCAL stores
that can be used, and at a much lower cost to
visually impaired consumers. Sheila suggested the
following format for submitting ideas to this project.
Name of contributor:
Category: (i.e. labeling items)
Product information: (where to purchase materials)
Description: (how the materials can be used)
Here is the helpful hint for the winter issue of the
GCB Digest:
Franklin Discover "Read Me a Book Any Book"
Price: $29.95
Product Location: Staples Office Supply
Category: Auditory Labeling -Identification
Description: This device includes 200 recordable
round stickers with unique numbers on each sticker
so that individual messages or sounds can be put
onto each sticker. The recording device can hold up
to 15 hours of recorded information. The stickers
can be recorded and then re-recorded onto again
and again.
Additional stickers: $9.95 which includes 200
stickers (sold separately). The actual recording
device is shaped like a thick crayon with a recording
nib at one end and the power button and light at the
other end. The reading tool is lightweight and easy
to use. Directions are included.
Please note: The item's original intention is to allow
parents the opportunity to read books, page by
page, onto stickers in their own voice and then
given to their children or grandchildren so that the
child can enjoy hearing a loved one reading to

GCB Awards Guidelines

1. All awards committees shall be appointed at the
January board meeting.
2. Nominations to be submitted to the respective
award committee chairpersons in writing (including
e-mail) no later than June 15, 2012.
3. Nominations shall include the name of the
candidate, plus the reason the candidate deserves
the award.
4. Each award committee chairperson shall read to
his/her committee members all award nominations.
5. The decision for selecting the award recipient
shall be made by all members of that committee.
6. Criteria for the Rhoda Walker Award, suggested
by Rhoda's sister, Helen Basilisk: The recipient can
be a blind or sighted individual. Services rendered
must be of non-paying status. Services may be any
endeavor in the field of teaching, service, and
betterment of life for the blind. The recipient must
provide public awareness through speaking,
seminars, and/or demonstration. There must be
involvement of the educational field/teaching Braille.
The recipient must push any innovation involving
blindness or blind people.
7. The committee for selecting the recipient of the
June Willis Guiding Eyes Award shall be legally blind.
8. The sighted recipient of the June Willis Guiding
Eyes Award (must be a GCB member) shall be
known to GCB members through attendance at GCB
state activities, and through his/her willing
assistance and service to the blind and visually
9. The Walter R. McDonald Award shall be presented
to an outstanding visually impaired individual who
has, through his/her leadership and service,
contributed significantly to the betterment of the
blind and visually impaired community, and who has
demonstrated by deeds and achievements his/her
dedication to the principles incident to blindness
espoused and practiced by the late Walter R.
McDonald. The recipient may or may not be a
member of the Georgia Council of the Blind.
10. The recipient of The Gerald Pye Community
Service Award must be an active legally blind
member of GCB in good standing. He or she must
have demonstrated superior service to his or her
community in a number of ways that exemplify the
work of Gerald Pye. The candidate must be
nominated in writing by a GCB member who knows
first hand of the candidate's community services.
Examples of this service must be included in the
written recommendation.
11. All GCB awards shall be presented periodically
at a GCB state convention.

Awards Committee Co-Chairs
Judy Presley, Phone: 706-878-2962
 Email: hoyal@windstream.net).
(June Willis Guiding Eyes)
(Gerald Pye Community Service Award)
(Rhoda W. Walker)
(Walter R. McDonald Scholarship Awards)
Chair, Debbie Williams,
1477 Nebo Road
Dallas, GA30157
Email: Debbie_teaches@comcast.net
The deadline for receipt of scholarship information is
June 15, 2012. Scholarship applications may be
obtained from Chair, Debbie Williams, at the address
above, or via the Web Site:

GCB Chapter News

Athens Chapter
 The Athens Chapter officers are as follows: Daniel
Myers as President; Jerrie Toney as First vice-
president; Pete Hayek as Second vice-president;
Robin Oliver as Secretary; Jamaica Miller as
Assistant-Secretary; Annie Harris as Treasurer; and
Mike Teal as Assistant-Treasurer.
Chapter meetings are held at Multiple Choices, 850
Gaines School Road, Athens, Ga. 30605 on the
fourth Saturday of the month at 11 A.M.
In December, we held our Christmas party in
conjunction with Multiple Choices at Multiple Choices
on Friday December 9th from 12 P.M. to 3 P.M. In
January 2012, we will hold our chapter meeting at
Multiple Choices on Saturday January 28th at 11
A.M. In February, we will hold our chapter meeting
at Multiple Choices on Saturday February 25th at 11
A.m. In March, we will be having our Music Night
fund raiser, and the date of that event will be Friday
night March 22. I can give you more information on
that event when I know all of the details of it. I
believe that event will be held at The Little Kings
Club on East Hancock Avenue here in Athens, and I
will double check on that information as well. Also
in March, our chapter meeting will be at Multiple
Choices on Saturday March 24th at 11 A.M. In
April-our chapter meeting will be on Saturday April
28th at Multiple Choices at 11 A.M. For more
information, contact Daniel Myers at 706-850-6750
or via email at danielhmyers@live.com. The Athens
Chapter wishes everyone a very Happy New Year.

Augusta Chapter
The Augusta chapter officers are as follows:
Chris Chavous as President; Heather Lopez as Vice-
president; Kathy Morris as Secretary;
Sheila Chavous as Treasurer.
Chapter meetings are held at Columbia County
Library, 7022 Evans Town Center Boulevard, Evans,
Georgia 30809. Phone: 706-863-1946. Our
Christmas party was at Carabba's Italian
Restaurant, December 10th. We had 14 in
attendance and everyone had a great time. For
information, contact Christopher Chavous at 706-
737-4341, or via email atcccmayo@yahoo.comm.
The Augusta chapter wishes everyone a Happy New

Bainbridge Chapter
The Bainbridge chapter has the following officers:
Tonya Wright as president; Paddy Duke as first vice
president; Keith Carter as second vice-president;
Gloria Hampton as secretary; Janice Tootle as
Chapter meetings are held on the second Saturday
of the month at the library. For information, contact
Tonya Wright at 229-248-0087. The Bainbridge
Chapter wishes everyone a Happy New Year.

 Chattooga County Chapter
The Chattooga County Chapter reported that
Saunya Jones, student with vision loss, was honored
as Ms. Trion Lions Club for 2011. Saunya’s mother is
Editha Jones and is a member of the Chattooga
County Chapter; Saunya rode in a convertible and
wore her very own Tiara in the Summerville
Christmas Parade held on December 5, 2011. Trion
Lions Club Member Mrs. Carolyn Blackman was the
owner of the convertible and purchased the Tiara for
Saunya. Jan Morris of the Chattooga Chapter and
Jan is also a Trion Lion Club Member drove the
convertible in the Christmas Parade. Saunya and
Betsy Greenwich also participated in the Holiday
Cooking School in Summerville held on November
19, 2011. Saunya and Betsy both demonstrated
how people with vision loss chop vegetables and
create delicious snacks and side dishes with Lions
Club Pecans. Everyone in attendance at the Holiday
Cooking School demonstrated their appreciation of
cooking without looking. On Monday December 19,
2011 at the Chattooga County Civic Center, the
Chattooga County Chapter met to provide personal
tours of the Helen Keller Display that is part of the
Victorian Christmas Window Project in downtown
Summerville. Saunya again dressed like Helen Keller
and told the story of Helen Keller and Annie
Sullivan. Saunya demonstrated the Perkins Braille
and read a story in Braille about Christmas to the
attendees. Marsha Farrow and others shared
information about vision loss services and provided

 The Chattooga County and Floyd Chapters honored
Evan Barnard with the first ever Mr. Wint Barton
Distinguished Service Award for Evan's contribution
to revitalizing the Marshall Forest Braille Trail in
Rome. Evan and his mother Kathy attended a
wonderful meeting and lunch held on January 16,
2012 at the Landmark Restaurant in Rome. There
were 26 individuals in attendance. The Chattooga
County chapter officers are: Marsha Farrow as
president; Wendi Wilson as first vice-president;
Mary Turnipseed as second vice-president;
Jan Morris as secretary/treasurer. Chapter meetings
are at the Chattooga County Library, 360 Farrar
Drive, Summerville, Georgia 30747, on the Fourth
or last Friday of the Month at 10:00 AM. For
information contact Marsha Farrow at
706-857-2968, or email at
marshafarrow@windstream.net. The Chattooga
Chapter wishes everyone a happy New Year.
East Georgia Chapter
The East Georgia chapter members had a super
Christmas Party in December with lots of great food
and fantastic entertainment. We're planning to do
big things in our chapter so watch for further
developments.The East Georgia chapter has new
officers which are as follows: Phil Jones as
President; Patricia Cox as First Vice-President; Neb
Houston as Second vice-President; Christine
O’Brien as Secretary; Linda Cox and Anne Wheeler
will serve as co-treasurers. For information, contact
Philip Jones at 770-713-3306, or via email at
brilman1952@bellsouth.net. The East Georgia
chapter wishes everyone a happy and prosperous
new year in 2012.

Greater Columbus Chapter
The Greater Columbus Chapter officers are as
follows: Gregory McDuffie as President; Dirk Jones
as First Vice-President; Clifford Jones as Second
Vice-President; Terry Powell as Secretary; Laverne
Byrd as Assistant Secretary; Joe McNeil as
Treasurer; Otis Smith as Chaplain.
Chapter meetings are held the first Saturday of each
month at the Columbus Public Library, 3000 Macon
Road, from 1PM-3PM. For information, contact
Gregory McDuffie at 706-505-6128 or E mail:
gregory.mcduffie@yahoo.com. The Greater
Columbus Chapter wishes everyone a Happy New

Greater Hall County Chapter
The Greater Hall County Chapter celebrated the
holidays with a traditional luncheon at Luna’s here
in Gainesville. There were 51 in attendance which
included as guests 6 ATT pioneers and/or spouses
who volunteer to repair all local Talking Book
Machines. We were entertained by Eli Rousey, a
very talented blind guitarist. Also as a guest was
Kathy Evans and her husband Rex. Kathy opened
the East Hall Library for our meetings on Saturday
when the library was normally closed. Unfortunately
Hall County closed the library and moved all visually
impaired services to their main branch. Fortunately
Kathy retained her position. We are currently
meeting on the second Saturday of each month
except July and August at 11 AM at Smokey Springs
Retirement Community on Enota Ave. in Gainesville.
Our Officers for the year 2012 remain the same with
Richard Bagley as President; Judy Presley as Vice
President; Sue Hesket as secretary; and Ted
Brackett as Treasurer. For more information please
contact Richard Bagley at 770-983-1213 or via
email at richardbagley@bellsouth.net. The Greater
Hall County chapter wishes everyone a happy and
prosperous New Year.
Metro Atlanta Chapter
The Metro Atlanta Chapter held its election in
November and all officers and board directors
except one were re-elected for 2012. Sam Howard
was not re-elected on the board because he is
engaged to be married in a few months and will be
moving to Miami, Florida. The officers and directors
for 2012 are as follows: President, Ann Sims; First
Vice President, Barbara Graham; Second Vice
President, Chester Thrash; Secretary, Chris
Baldridge; Treasurer, Steve Longmire; Board
Directors: Lisa Jones, Brent Reynolds and Suzette
The Christmas party was a success with 18
members and guests present. The chapter
entertained and gave presents to one of the BEGIN
children, 18-month-old and his mother. Adrian
Ramsey and Ann Sims played carols while the
members sang along. A delicious dinner was
prepared by a member of the Mt. Zion United
Methodist Church in Hapeville, and everyone
enjoyed the entire afternoon.
The first program for January, Friday the 13th, was
a program about Braille, honoring Louis Braille
whose birthday is January 4th. Lynn Miller, Diabetes
Coordinator at the Center for the Visually Impaired,
shared with the members her recent experience of
taking the Braille course on line and also discussed
and answered questions regarding diabetes. She
was informative and enjoyable, and everyone
appreciated the program.
For February, plans are for an auction on Friday, the
10th, from 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm, at the Center for the
Visually Impaired. There will be a supper for $5.00
per plate including the drink and dessert. Other
chapter members outside of the Atlanta area are
invited to come and join us and bring auction items
to be bid on as a fundraiser for Metro Atlanta
Chapter. For details and to make your reservations,
contact President Ann Sims, at 404-767-1792, or
via email at brailleteacherann@bellsouth.net. The
Metro Atlanta Chapter wishes everyone a Happy
New Year.

Northwest Chapter
The Northwest Chapter officers are as follows:
James Howard as President; Frederick McDade as
First vice-President; Ron Burgess as Second Vice –
President; Cynthia Wilson as Secretary; Charles
Stubblefield as Treasurer; and Robert Sprayberry as
The Northwest chapter is still meeting on the second
Tuesday every other month at the Bank of Lafayette
community room at 7:00pm. Our chapter had a
great Christmas party Tuesday, December 6, 2011,
at the Dairy Dip in Lafayette. Thirteen members
were present, and all had a great time. For
information, contact James Howard at
706-996-4417. The Northwest Chapter wishes
everyone a Happy New Year.

Rome Floyd County Chapter
The Rome Floyd County Chapter celebrated
Christmas at their December meeting. A catered
meal was provided by the local Lions Club. George
Barton presented a beautiful program of Christmas
music on the piano and Suzanne Jackson read
selections from “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”.
Chapter officers are as follows: Amanda Wilson,
President; Tonia Clayton, Vice-President; Suzanne
Jackson, Secretary/Treasurer. Chapter meetings are
held in the Etowah Room of the Rome library at
11:00, usually on the third Tuesday of the month.
For information, contact Amanda Wilson at
770-547-4700 or via email at
moonrocks@bellsouth.net. The Rome/Floyd County
Chapter wishes everyone a Happy New Year.

Savannah Chapter
The Savannah had its Christmas party at Loretta’s
House. They had lots of fun eating and
fellowshipping with each other. The Savannah
chapter has elected new officers and they are as
follows: Kim Harrison, President; Marj Schneider,
Vice-President; Jack Lewis, Secretary; and Loretta
Thomson, Treasurer. The chapter meetings are on
the third Tuesday of each month except July. Our
Annual Christmas Party serves as our December
meeting. We meet at the Clews Ford Company on
Abercorn Street in the Conference Room from 6:00
pm to 7:00 pm. A 30 minute Social Time is held
prior to the meeting. For information, contact
Kim Harrison at 912-228-1190, or email at
dkimharrison@gmail.com. If you receive any emails
from Kim’s old email address please delete it.
The Savannah chapter wishes everyone a Happy
New Year.

Stephens County Chapter
The Stephens County chapter is holding its annual
musical festival on Sunday, February 5, 2012 from
noon until six. It is being held at the Shiloh Fire
Department. They will have lots of food. The
Chapter welcomes everyone to come and have a
great time. The chapter usually meets at the Shiloh
Fire Department. For information on their meetings,
contact Alfred Camp at 706-886-3894. The
Stephens County chapter wishes everyone a Happy
New Year.

News from Georgia Guide Dog Users
By Marj Schneider

In October GGDU held a very successful
membership meeting at the Center for the Visually
Impaired in Atlanta. More than 30 members and
puppy raisers from two guide dog schools attended.
We held elections for two director positions on our
board. Ann Sims and Sarah Hooper were elected for
second two-year terms. Along with lively discussion
during our business meeting, the event included a
demonstration by one of the puppy raisers of
massage techniques, which we practiced on our
dogs and puppies. As a result of this meeting we
gained several new members and are looking
forward to continuing to build our membership in
Before the end of the year GGDU adopted a new set
of bylaws for governing our organization. Our prior
constitution had become out of date and didn’t
address some important aspects of how we should
conduct business. A committee drafted a new
document this fall, which was reviewed by Don
Stevens, a parliamentarian who assists ACB on
these sorts of issues. The new bylaws were voted on
by members in December and are now in place.One
issue we have been addressing in recent months is
the problem of relief areas for our guide dogs at
Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International Airport.
Existing relief areas are outside of terminals, which
makes them too distant to be used by passengers
between flights. They are also outside of the
secured zone of the airport, so even if someone has
time to visit one of those areas, it is necessary to go
through security screening again before boarding
the next flight.
New regulations from the Transportation Security
Administration are now allowing airlines the option
of setting up relief areas for service animals within
the secured zone, and GGDU has been talking with
Air Tran personnel about what options there are for
doing this. We hope to set up a conference call
meeting this winter to, hopefully, move the process
forward with Air Tran. If such relief areas are set up
by AirTran, they could serve as a model for other
airports and help resolve a problem that has
plagued guide dog users ever since airports got
large and security screening was implemented.
In January 2013, GGDU will host the Top Dog
Workshop, a regional day-and-a-half long
conference of guide dog handlers and puppy raisers
in the Southeast. This event will be in Savannah and
will likely attract over 100 attendees. Our members
will be working during the next year to make this a
memorable and successful event.

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