AS EYE SEE IT South Dakota Association of the Blind, Inc. Volume 18 Issue 3 & 4      June - December  2015              Editor: Dawn LaMee

 

Don’t forget to pay your membership dues!

 

Presidents Message! By Dave Miller, President

Soon it will be Thanksgiving.  Although I’m sure most cultures and nations are as thankful as ours, the holiday itself is truly an American original. Rooted in the Puritan need to come together as a community to celebrate and express thankfulness for the blessings bestowed upon them. As Americans who are blind or visually impaired we have a lot to be thankful for too. However there are still too many people wondering what in the world would people who are blind have to be thankful for.  I had a strange experience just the other day while visiting with a friend about growing up with a visual impairment. He commented “boy that must have been tough”. His perception of my life set me back for a minute. After a moment to reflect I told him that my life really wasn’t that tough; it was a different life, but one with no more ups or downs than most other people. I told him it’s been a good life and that I was thankful to have it. Yes, there is much that can be done to improve our communities to make them more accessible and equitable for citizens with disabilities. It’s important that we speak out and work to make our communities better.  It’s a responsibility of all good citizens. However it’s just as important for us to express our thankfulness and appreciation. If we don’t see joy and satisfaction in living the lives given to us, we can’t expect others to see us as   co-equals. So this Thanksgiving lets be thankful for living in a Nation that pioneered disability rights, for educational and public services focused upon our unique needs, and for previous generations of SDAB members who toiled endlessly on our behalf.  Let us enjoy the smells of wonderful Thanksgiving dinner, the laughter of friends and the sounds of Detroit and Dallas losing at football again.

 

Gus Zachte Award by Deb VerSteeg, Awards Committee Chairperson

This year's recipient of the Gus Zachte Memorial Award, Steve Kelsey, was born and raised in Mitchell South Dakota. While in high school, Steve held the record for making the most points in basketball; and it was not broken till 2000. He graduated from high school in 1974. Later, he attended Northern State University, focusing his studies on psychology and sociology. Steve graduated from Northern in 1984 and began work at the Aberdeen office of Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired in November of that year. During his time there, he excelled at job placements and closures of his clients. Steve worked there until July 21 2015, at which time he took a position as Transition Specialist at the SDSBVI. Both in his work and his personal life, Steve has been a tireless advocate for the visually impaired. He has been a member of the Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities; he has served on the Aberdeen Mayors Committee for People with Disabilities; he has offered his expertise as a member of the Board of Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired for nearly ten years; and has even acted as a guide for the Ski for Light event. Steve has a son and a daughter and is married to Nancy. His interests include playing golf and basketball, working with antiques, and participating in hunting and skiing trips. As a member of SDAB for several decades, Steve has given much time, energy, and money to our cause. He has served on our Board for several terms and has participated on several committees; and his talent as an auctioneer has helped us to raise funds. Not to be forgotten are his contributions of ideas and words of advice that have helped our organization to remain relevant and accomplish our goals. Congratulations Steve!

 

Catch-up on your Dreams in 2015The SD School for the Blind & Visually Impaired (SDSBVI) hosted an all-school reunion on August 14-15. Sixty-five people enjoyed the hot-hot weekend weather with a relaxing schedule that included a pizza party, tours, picnic lunch, games, and a “Remembrance Service” that gave time to remember all those associated with the School who passed on in the last 5 years. Start thinking about the 120th Reunion in August of 2020!

 

The White Cane by Rose Moehring, Deaf-Blind Program Coordinator

In 1964, President Johnson issued the first White Cane Proclamation which was the culmination of a long and serious effort on the part of the National Federation of the Blind to gain recognition for the growing independence and self-sufficiency of people who are blind in America, and also to gain recognition of the white cane as the symbol of that independence and that self-reliance. From that time onward, October 15th marks White Cane Day in America. To help celebrate this event, there was a White Cane Day event held in Sioux Falls, SD, October 10, 2015.  This event included a reading of a proclamation and the White Cane law by city officials, as well as a march by participants (including several white cane users) to the downtown library, where a short video was viewed. The video was developed as a result of collaborative effort between the City of Sioux Falls, the White Cane Day Committee, and white cane and dog guide users.  To view this video as well as media surrounding this event, check out: https://youtu.be/t6ImkxcGdVs; or http://www.ksfy.com/home/headlines/Marchers-raise-awareness-for-white-cane-laws-331896271.html;

 

Ski for Light by Virginia Miller

A Sioux Falls group is organizing a bus to take us to the Black Hills Regional Ski for Light event at Deer Mountain near Deadwood on January 24-29, 2016.  We plan to leave Sioux Falls at 9:00 AM on the 24th and return the morning of the 29th.  For information contact Virginia Miller at 605-428-3651 or ginnyandterry@siouxvalley.net.

 

New Transition Specialist

Steve Kelsey recently joined the staff at the SD School for the Blind & Visually Impaired (SDSBVI) as a Transition Specialist. This position is jointly funded by Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired (SBVI) and SDSBVI. Prior to this position Steve worked for 30 years as a Rehabilitation Counselor with SBVI.  He enjoys challenging people to maximize their abilities and to become successful. 

 

Summer Reading Program by Mary Sjerven

The South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Library just ended the most successful Summer Reading Program it ever sponsored. A record 42 young readers registered and pledged to read 20 minutes every day, 7 days a week, from June 8 - July 17. If it truly takes 21 days to establish a new habit, these young readers should be on their way to a lifetime of reading. Several notable facts about this year's group of readers included: For the first time ever, there were 10 braille readers registered. A huge thank you to the staff at the School for the Blind and Visually Impaired for helping enroll and assist the students in their summer program. The youngest reader who registered was 1 year old and the oldest eligible readers were 20 years old. Also a special thank you to the staff at Lifescape for helping to enroll their students and assist them with their reading.  In July, the following winners of $50 Amazon gift cards were determined by a drawing: 1-6 age category was Jeren Scheff of Montrose, SD; a 2 years old audio reader, 7-11 age group was Sarah Huston of Midland, SD: a 9 years old audio reader, 12-16 age group was Michael Wingen of Vermillion, SD: a 13 years old braille reader, 17-21 age category was Lynae Wollman of Westport, SD: a 17 years old audio reader. The success of the Summer Reading Program depends on generosity of individuals and groups like the Evening Star Lions Club of Rapid City who gave $200 which allowed the Library to provide each winner with an Amazon.com $50 gift card.

 

Rehabilitation Center Update by Dawn Backer

Transition Week: Six boys and one girl, between the ages of 15-18, attended Transition Week, held at the SD Rehabilitation Center for the Blind in Sioux Falls from June 14-18, 2015. The camp kicked off with Joe Strechay, Program Manager from American Foundation for the Blind, and CareerConnect® Program. Joe talked with the students about increasing confidence, marketing one’s skills, setting and achieving goals, and making connections to get jobs. Students attended Skills of Blindness    classes where they learned about the latest in assistive technology, adaptive sports, prepared a meal, and built a table top bean bag toss game in home mechanics. Students also participated in a    community service activity, where they made “Dipped Bones” to donate to the Sioux Falls Humane Society. Students learned some independent living skills throughout the week by managing money for food and activities, staying in the dorms at Augustana University, and using public transportation.

 

Siouxland Chapter News by Lerae Olesen

The Siouxland chapter continues to meet on a regular basis. Our outreach activities to the students at the South Dakota Rehabilitation Center have been very successful with their Counselor bringing several students to our March meeting and in July we hosted a pizza party at the Center with six students and two staff in attendance in addition to 7 of us from the Chapter. From these activities at least one person has requested information about us. We have also had some interesting speakers at our meetings. In May, Aleta Vanderbeek, Nurse Educator with Sanford Health talked about accommodations they make patients who have disabilities, particularly the deaf and blind. Our group is looking at helping to put together information packets to give to their employees who work directly with patients. In June, Rick Huffman, Director of Public Relations at the Denny Sanford Premiere Center, spoke about accommodations available at that facility. He also works with other venues in town, and we discussed audio description, which he was not familiar with. Speaking of audio description, we are pleased that both of the Century Theater locations here in Sioux Falls now offer the devices and headphones for listening to the audio description of movies which have this feature available. We are planning to write a letter to them acknowledging and thank them for making this service available.

In October, some of us participated in the 4th Annual White Cane March in Sioux Falls, walking the four blocks from First Lutheran Church to the downtown public library. We are continuing to work with Sioux Area Metro related to transportation for fixed bus routes and para-transit. Lerae serves on a newly formed ridership committee which meets on a monthly basis.  Koni serves on the Citizen Advisory Committee for the Sioux Falls Metropolitan Planning Organization. This is under the Southeastern Council of Government. This committee is evaluating and projecting ideas related to future aspects of life and travel for our city. These are very practical things we are doing. I would encourage anyone in other areas to start a local chapter. Not only will you help and support one another, you will educate those in your area as to how to get involved more fully into what’s going on in their community. 

 

Raffle Winner SDAB held a raffle again this year with the prize being $500 cash. Dawn Srtska from Sioux Falls, SD was the well deserving and lucky winner.

 

News from the Business Meeting By Lerae Olesen, Secretary

The following is a summary; for a complete copy of the minutes, contact the Secretary. The annual business meeting of SDAB was called to order by First Vice President Dawn Brush on September 27, 2015 at the Governor’s Inn, Pierre, SD.  Seth & Koni Sims joined the meeting via speaker phone. The minutes from 2014 were previously read. Dawn Brush thanked the awards committee for their work, choosing Steve Kelsey as the recipient of the Gus Zachte Memorial Award. In discussing the convention program, everyone seemed to enjoy the presentations by the speakers, William and Tracey Hawkins. People thought the hotel was nice with some discussion about acoustics and lighting in the meeting room. The group discussed and made a motion to meet in Aberdeen next year, possibly the weekend after Labor Day, September 9-11, 2016. A motion carried to hold the convention in Aberdeen, with a friendly amendment for Sioux Falls if Aberdeen does not work out.

Treasurer’s report: The profit for the basket auction and traveling bear was $186 and the raffle made $421. Contact Steve for further details.

Resolutions: (all of the following passed)

2015-01: Blindness Specific Services Utilized for the Education of Children with Sight Loss, HR3535, the Alice Cogswell & Ann Sullivan Macy Act. 2015-02: Demonstration Project to Investigate the Feasibility of Coverage for Low Vision Devices for Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries, HR729. 2015-03: Ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty, related to worldwide access to printed materials and the sharing of accessible materials among the treaty countries.

SDAB Website Update: with the recent passing of Mike Melvin, our web-designer, Dave Miller will be working to obtain the passcodes and other information to access the web-site.

 

Amendment Changes:  The following amendment changes will make wording more succinct and streamlining the number and duties of the standing committees. (contact the secretary for a copy of the updated by-laws) Specific major changes include: By-law IV: Section 2: budget committee deleted. By-law V: Officers: C. Duties 4. It shall be the duty of the 2nd vice-president to serve as finance committee chairperson.

6. Treasurer: add the Treasurer shall be bonded if the total amount of assets exceeds sixty thousand dollars ($60,000.00).

By-law VI: Standing Committees were rewritten to include the follows: Unless otherwise provided, the President shall appoint the Chairperson and members of the following committees, and each committee shall consist of not less than three (3) members: finance, resolutions/legislative, program/social, membership, nominating, amendments, publicity, and scholarship/awards. The President shall have the power to appoint any other committees deemed necessary or helpful. The President shall be an exofficio member of all committees.

A. The finance committee shall consist of the 2nd Vice-President who shall serve as chairperson, 1st Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, two (2) board members, and one (1) other SDAB member. The function of this committee shall be to develop an annual budget, to oversee expenditures of that budget, to implement fundraising activities for the corporation, and to approve expenditures of funds in excess of budgeted amounts.

B. The resolutions/legislative committee shall frame resolutions which shall be read at the closing meeting of the corporation. The Chairperson of this committee shall be a member of the Board of Directors when feasible. The members of the corporation shall submit resolutions in writing to the committee to facilitate its work. This shall not prevent resolutions from being presented from the Convention floor. This committee shall inform the membership of legislative issues, support or oppose legislation, and draft and present legislation for the corporation subject to the approval of the Board of Directors.

C. The program/social committee shall consist of the 1st Vice-President who shall serve as Chairperson of the committee and at least two (2) other members. The function of this committee shall be to make all arrangements for the program, banquet and entertainment for the convention.

D. The membership committee shall solicit and maintain a list of members in good standing. The Chairperson’s responsibilities shall include sending annual membership and convention registration forms to all perspective members and submitting a list of all members to the Treasurer for payment of the annual dues to the American Council of the Blind. All dues collected shall be transmitted to the Treasurer for deposit.

E. The nominating committee, no change.

F. The amendments committee, no change.

G. The publicity committee, no change.

H. The scholarship/awards committee shall develop, maintain, and promote any approved scholarships or monetary stipends available through the corporation. The committee shall also solicit recipients for any appropriate awards or recognition, and present these at the annual convention.

By-law XI: Dissolution was not passed. It was referred back to the committee.

 

Notes: Chelle & Steve Hart as well as Seth & Koni Sims attended the ACB Convention in Dallas, TX this past summer; this was Seth’s first National Convention and Koni’s first in several years.

 

Fundraising information: Dave Miller will contact Will Hawkins so they can network with the 2nd Vice-President and Treasurer to research fundraising options and bring the information to the next Board of Director’s meeting.

 

SBVI Board has also approved a $350 stipend available to new attendees at a Convention. Also it was suggested to hold a state plan public meeting in conjunction with our Convention.

 

A suggestion was made that we establish an e-mail list-serve for the SDAB to keep members informed. Dave will work with Mary Sjerven on this and $50 was allocated for clerical help to establish the email group for SDAB members.

 

Discussion was held on audio description, Friends of the Braille and Talking Book Library, and paying our memberships in both the SD Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities and the SD Foundation for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

 

Audio description: Dave Miller said Hawaii has introduced a bill that any theater having two or more locations should include audio description, with at least open caption twice a week. Sioux Falls Century Theaters already makes audio devices and headphones available for those movies that are audio-described. Dave would like our members to try to work with this as one of our public advocacy projects for the year.

 

Election of two board members: Doug Puetz and Mary Sjerven’s Board terms were over with both nominated and elected for another three-year term.

 

Division of SBVI Updates by Gaye Mattke

Board of Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired - Governor Daugaard recently appointed new members to the Board of SBVI due to vacancies and expired terms.  The new members include Koni Sims, Sioux Falls to replace Linda Biffert; Catherine Greseth, Custer to replace Dr. Karla Bucknall; Kay Miller, Mitchell to replace Marilyn Steffen; and Marcia Hultman of Pierre to replace Bill Molseed.  In addition to these appointments, Lyle Cook and Eric Rippentrop were re-appointed to serve another three year term.  Orientation for new members will be in conjunction with the December 4, 2015 Board meeting in Pierre.  The Board serves an active role in developing goals and strategies for service delivery which are included in the SBVI state plan.  The Board minutes and other materials are posted for viewing on the Board Portal which is located on the SBVI website. 

 

Staff Updates

After 30 years of working with SBVI, Steve Kelsey resigned his position to serve as the Transition Specialist at the School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.  SBVI appreciates the many years of service that Steve dedicated to improve the lives of the South Dakota citizens with vision loss.  He will continue his service with a new focus on transition services for students with vision loss through an agreement between the Division and the School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.  We wish Steve all the best in his new adventure and look forward working with him in his new capacity! Mike Webb accepted the vacant Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor position in Aberdeen on July 23rd.  Mike will be an asset to SBVI as he has been working as a Rehabilitation Teacher for two years and prior to this, he was a Certified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor from 1998 to 2013 with the Division of Rehabilitation Services.  Mike’s extensive talents and knowledge in counseling, disabilities, assistive technology and statewide contacts will benefit citizens with vision loss who are receiving services.  Tricia Watson was hired to fill the vacancy following Mike Webb’s promotion to senior rehabilitation counselor.  Tricia started her employment with SBVI in Aberdeen on August 24th and after a short week in the office, began 4 weeks of training at the South Dakota Rehabilitation Center for the Blind where she received in depth training in skills of blindness.   Tricia was previously employed with the Department of Human Services at the South Dakota Developmental Center (SDDC) as a Direct Support Professional.  During her employment at SDDC, she worked closely with men and women, supporting them and teaching activities of daily living in order to maximize their independence.  Tricia will work with South Dakota citizens with vision loss in the northeast area of the state. After fifteen years of employment with Service to the Blind & Visually Impaired as a Rehabilitation Teacher, Mary Milne retired effective August 8. SBVI appreciates all of the years of service Mary offered to improve the lives of South Dakota citizens with vision loss. We wish Mary all the best in her retirement and hope she finds enjoyment with her children and grandchildren.  Heather Shelatz accepted the Rapid City Rehabilitation Teacher position and along with Tricia Watson, attended 4 weeks of training at the SDRC in Sioux Falls.   Heather was previously employed at Black Hills Works where she was a Direct Support Professional and Service Coordinator.  Heather started her employment with SBVI on August 17th and will work with South Dakota citizens with vision loss in the western region of the state.  The SDRC has also experienced some changes in personnel in the last few months.  Bob Smith resigned effective June 22nd as the Orientation & Mobility Specialist; Jennifer Geffre was hired for that position.  She is a recent college graduate and very familiar with the Center, having worked as the SDRC intern for the past several summers.  After a short absence, Bob returned in the capacity of a Rehabilitation Program Specialist, replacing Crista Pick. He has been working with projects such as the redesigning the SDRC group counseling program and satisfaction surveys, among other duties.  Bob will also be temporarily absorbing duties of Joseph Short who left the Center in October.

 

Rehabilitation Center for the Blind News First Friday of each month is your opportunity to get help with your assistive technology questions.  JoMarie Laughlin, SDRC assistive technology instructor, conducts a class on an assistive technology topic the first Friday of the month in the afternoon. The morning of the same day you can make appointments with her to get help with your questions related to the computers and assistive technology.  The next First Friday is November 6 and the class topic is iPad/iPhone and using VoiceOver for access. For more information call JoMarie Laughlin at 800-658-5441.   Staff and students at SDRC were invited to participate and to help spread the word about the Sioux Falls Adaptive Alpine Ski program Extravaganza at Great Bear Recreation Park in Sioux Falls, December 19 and 20.  Registration starts at 8:00 a.m. on the 19th and morning ski times are at 9:00, 10:00, and 11:00 a.m. Times with the instructors will be assigned prior to the event. Applications are due by Dec 11 and can be found at: https://greatbearpark.com/winter/adaptive-ski-program/   In addition to the extravaganza event private adaptive ski lessons will be provided 9-12 on January 10 and 17, February 7, 14, 21, and 28 reservations required. For more information contact Bob Uecker: bobuecker4@yahoo.com  or 605-366-3206 or Kirsten Gerdes: Kirsten.gerdes@va.gov or 605-336-3230 ext. 96454 

 

News and Notes

Our thoughts and prayers go out to several of our members and/or family members who are fighting battles with medical issues.

Happy Birthday: To all of us

Friends will be missed: a longtime friend and supporter of SDAB, Charles Hodges passed away last spring and a newer friend Michael Melvin, our web-site guy, from Sioux Falls passed away in August

 

Thank You by Dawn Brush

What a great Convention we had at the Governor's Inn in Pierre. Thank you to everyone who assisted in any way.  Many hands of the social committee (Amy Chappelle, Chelle Hart, Koni Sims, and Mary Sjerven) made for light work and more fun for all. 

THANK YOU to:

to Mayor Laurie Gill for welcoming us to Pierre;

to Steve Hart and Mary Sjerven for running such a smooth registration;

Lerae Olesen for all she does as Secretary;

to the staff at the Governor's Inn for all their help;

to our featured speakers from Kansas City, Missouri Tracey Hawkins (safety in daily life) and William Hawkins (successful Fund raising);

to the River City Transit van driver and Amy Chappelle for showing us around a van;

to Marjorie Kaiser (Dawn LaMee), Dorothy Liegal, and Gaye Mattke for serving on the "Is Your Agency Safe and Secure" Panel;

to Don Boyd for providing a thought provoking and entertaining banquet talk;

to McClelland’s Restaurant for providing the great food;

to the Awards Committee for recognizing our winner Steve Kelsey

to Lerae Olesen and Chelle Hart for the Service to Remember;

to Dave Miler for all he does as President; and

to EVERYONE who attended and EVERYONE who helped out in any way!!!

 

New iPhone App from ACB

The American Council of the Blind (ACB) announced today that its iPhone app “ACB Link” is now available. This app will assist ACB staff, members and friends to readily communicate news of relevance to the blind community. ACB Link will give access to valuable resources offered by ACB, and users will receive push notifications of news relevant to ACB’s work and the blindness community at large. The app will allow each user to be easily and quickly connected with the nearest ACB state affiliate, and be informed and entertained by the wide variety of Internet radio programming offered by ACB Radio. ACB Link will bring blind people, their friends and families together in a new and exciting way. "We are just at the beginning of something big here for ACB," says Jeff Bishop, ACB board member and team lead who directed the effort for ACB Link. "Innovation has always been at the forefront of ACB's vision, and ACB Link takes the organization even farther down the path in building tools and technologies for our members.” Eric Bridges, ACB’s Executive Director, states, “People, whether they are blind or sighted, have the ability to obtain information through multiple platforms. We feel that it is critical for our organization to provide access to valuable resources to our members and the general public in a timely fashion.” For more information contact Eric Bridges at (202) 467-5081 or ebridges@acb.org.

 

Blind Americans Equality Day Proclamation

Blind and visually impaired individuals make extraordinary contributions to our Nation, and their achievements reflect an enduring belief at the heart of America's promise: that no person's potential should be limited by anything other than the scope of their dreams. On Blind Americans Equality Day, we recommit to making good on this promise by ensuring all our people, including those living with visual impairments or other print disabilities, have the tools and resources they need to realize their greatest aspirations.  Twenty-five years ago, our country took a major step toward achieving this goal with the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which mandates all places that comprise our shared life remain accessible to all people. And each day, in part thanks to this law, millions of legally blind and visually impaired Americans are better able to develop their skills and contribute to communities across our country. My Administration remains committed to ensuring ours is a Nation where the blind community has every chance to fully realize their incredible talents. Earlier this year, we hosted the White House Summit on Disability and Employment, which provided businesses, organizations, and advocates with information and Federal resources for hiring individuals with disabilities. Additionally, we have prioritized improving the accessibility of Federal Government websites for people with disabilities. We also continue to support the inclusion of Braille in our Nation's schools -- because no child should be prevented from reaching their fullest potential due to blindness or vision impairment. And across all levels of government, we are working to expand access to high-quality workforce, education, and rehabilitation services for Americans with disabilities. Blind and visually impaired people are valued members of our communities, and from lecture halls to laboratories and sports stadiums to conference rooms, they drive meaningful progress and help build a stronger, more vibrant Nation. On Blind Americans Equality Day, we rededicate ourselves to building a society where everyone has an equal shot at the American dream and can benefit from all our country has to offer. By joint resolution approved on October 6, 1964 (Public Law 88-628, as amended), the Congress designated October 15 of each year as "White Cane Safety Day" to recognize the contributions of Americans who are blind or have low vision. Today, let us reaffirm our commitment to being a Nation where all our people, including those with disabilities, have every opportunity to achieve their dreams.  NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States do hereby proclaim October 15, 2015, as Blind Americans Equality Day. I call upon public officials, business and community leaders, educators, librarians, and Americans across the country to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs.  IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth. Barack Obama

 

 

American Council of the Blind (ACB) is a national consumer-based advocacy organization working on behalf of blind and visually impaired Americans throughout the country, with members organized through 70 state and special-interest affiliates. ACB is dedicated to improving the quality of life, equality of opportunity and independence of all people who have visual impairments. Its members and affiliated organizations have a long history of commitment to the advancement of policies and programs which will enhance independence for people who are blind and visually impaired. For further information about ACB, visit www.acb.org.

 

A Bear’s Final Speech by “Sir No Name Bear”

I feel like Miss America giving my farewell walk down the runway! My name is “Sir No Name Bear” and I have come to like my name as no one else has that name!  It has been an eventful year since I left the SDAB Convention in 2014. I did what all bears do....hibernate through the winter. I was refreshed and ready to go when I woke up in February.  I got to meet all sorts of interesting and wonderful people throughout the year. The daycare kids next door were so much fun to visit (and so busy)!  I went on adventures to Minneapolis (Rolling Stones Concert and Target Field Tour), Rochester MN “wow is Mayo Clinic amazing”, and several trips to Mitchell SD to visit SDAB member Lori Kelsey (Steve's mom) and relax in her beautiful backyard.  She taught me you need to take time to smell the roses. I also met a lot of Nancy's family with trips to Devils Lake Eastbay Campground in North Dakota. I even got to ride in the July 4th golf cart parade and go for a boat ride!  It was such an honor! The highlight was the trip to Medora ND and then on to Yellowstone National Park. I looked for my fellow friends Yogi and Boo Boo but found out they were busy with other things that week. I also met Nancy's family that lives in Wyoming. Before I head to a new family.... decided I needed one more trip I’m so am excite to take a bus trip to the Minnesota Vikings game this weekend? I will miss seeing everyone at the convention and Steve and Nancy say Hi and wish they could be there as well. I look forward to going home with someone new and having another exciting year of adventures! It is so awesome being the SDAB traveling bear! Sincerely, PS I am worth a lot of money!

 

2016 SOUTH DAKOTA ASSOCIATION OF THE BLIND

Mailing address: PO Box 1622, Sioux Falls SD 57101-1622 Facebook: South Dakota Association of the Blind   Web-site: http://www.sd-sdab.org    

President: Dave Miller: 2617 W Minnehaha Dr, Sioux Falls SD  57105 kkatie11@sio.midco.net            605-336-6628

Past-President: Lerae Olesen: 2500 S Dakota Ave Apt 102, Sioux Falls SD 57105 lerae@rapidnet.com              605-978-9267

1st co V-President: Dawn Brush: 1523 Royal Rd, Aberdeen SD 57401 dbrush@nvc.net      605-229-4129

Amy Chappelle: 220 N Adam Ave, Pierre SD 57501 605-224-6801

2nd V-Pres: Seth Sims: 2000 S Grange Ave, Sioux Falls SD  57105 sksims87@gmail.com 605-339-9512

Secretary: Lerae Olesen: 2500 S Dakota Ave Apt 102, Sioux Falls SD 57105 lerae@rapidnet.com      605-978-9267

Treasurer: Steve Hart: 820 S Juneau Ln, Sioux Falls SD  57106 cshart@wowway.com 605-332-6059

Newsletter: Dawn LaMee: 1702 Prospect Ave #A3, Aberdeen SD 57401 dawn.lamee@sdsbvi.northern.edu      605-226-3211

SDSBVI Advisory Council: Linda Biffert: 505 East 6th St, Volga SD 57071 lbiffert@msn.com  605-627-5608

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Koni Sims: 2000 S Grange Ave, Sioux Falls SD  57105 koni.l.sims@gmail.com     605-941-9512

Deb Ver Steeg: 2505 S Willow Ave, Sioux Falls SD  57105 debsoundandscent@earthlink.net 605-331-2131

Mary Sjerven: 208 North Jackson Avenue, Pierre SD  57501 rsjerven@pie.nidco.net 605-224-4183

Doug Puetz:  1805 W. Fulton St #501, Rapid City SD 57702 605-355-0668

Casey Trowbridge: 405 21st SE Apt 14, Huron SD 57350 ctrowbridge@midco.net 605-412-6002 

Chelle Hart: 820 S Juneau Ln, Sioux Falls SD  57106 cshart@wowway.com 605-332-6059

 

COMMITTEES  Appointments In next issue

Scholarships/Awards, Amendments, Finance, Membership, Nominations, Program/Social, Publicity, Resolutions/ Legislative