CCB SPRING 1998 CONVENTION MINUTES
Saturday, April 25, 1998
The spring, 1998 convention of the Connecticut Council of the Blind
took place in the auditorium of the Oak Hill School for the Blind in
Hartford. President Marcia Dresser called the business meeting to order at
9:45 A.M. She officially welcomed Guide Dog Users of Connecticut, with 15
members, as a CCB affiliate.
The roll was then called. Approximately 28 members were present,
along with several guests including our scholarship recipient Karen Alison
and her family. Marcia announced that both Third Vice President Alice
Jackson and Immediate Past President Dave Bates were absent due to the
illness of their fathers.
The minutes of the fall 1998 convention were approved by the
membership, based on the convention summary published in the last
* * *
In Roland Soucy's absence, Kim Soucy read the treasurer's report as
At the last board meeting, our savings account balance was $4,194.60.
Since then, we have added $344 in candy sales for a new balance of
$4,538.60 as of April 24. In the checking account, our last balance was
$1,091.23. Since then, we have added $20 for a new member, and $45 for
convention registrations. We have paid out $57.87 for our phone bills, and
$90.00 to Subway for the convention luncheon. As of April 24, our new
checking account balance is $1,008.36. The Treasurer's Report was accepted
* * *
Newsletter. Steve Dresser reported that the braille printer had
broken down at the time the last newsletter was being printed. He
apologized for the fact that as a result, some people who usually received
the newsletter in braille got tape copies instead. He said the printer had
been sent out for repair, and would hopefully be back in service by the
time the next newsletter went out in May.
Membership. John Mattioli reported that as a result of the mass
mailing that went out in February, and the affiliation of Guide Dog Users
of Connecticut, CCB membership had risen from 57 to about 70. He asked
that any new members see him to make sure he had included all their
information on the updated membership list.
Publicity. John Mattioli said he had sent notices about the
convention to the newspapers, but he did not know whether they had been
published. He mentioned the need to put together a better media list for
the next convention. Carol Gillispie reported hearing the convention PSA
run on CRIS Radio.
At that point, Marcia welcomed two of the newest CCB members, Sandy
Burgess and Tammy Robbins. She also welcomed our scholarship recipient
Karen Alison and her family.
Transportation. Both Dan Mills and Cheree Heppe said that they had
been unable to attend recent meetings of the ADA Advisory Committee, and
had nothing to report. However, Dan said he had copies of the minutes, and
would submit a report to Steve for the newsletter if he found anything of
importance. Carol Gillispie reported that she and another person were
continuing to write letters to Washington reporting problems with the New
Haven Paratransit system.
GDUCT. GDUCT President Cheree Heppe reported that the last GDUCT
newsletter went out in both braille and large print. She also said
legislation had been passed protecting guide and service dogs that are
attacked by roaming dogs. She said the legislative breakfast in February
had been a success.
Jeanne Dugas, Treasurer of GDUCT, reported that the GDUCT bank account
has been opened. Marcia said the CCB Board had authorized that $50 in seed
money be given to GDUCT. She also welcomed Jeanne to the CCB Board of
Directors as GDUCT's representative.
Nominating Committee. Steve Dresser, Chairman of the Nominating
Committee, reminded us that this fall we will be electing a new slate of
CCB officers. He asked that anyone interested in serving with him on the
Nominating Committee, or anyone with suggestions of nominees contact him.
Marcia mentioned that being on the Board is a big responsibility, and
recommended that anyone interested in serving on the Board also contact
Jan Frost asked about the purpose of board members at large. Bryan
McGucken explained that members at large are appointed by the president,
and provide suggestions for projects or legislation the Board might be
working on. He also said it was important for members at large to be on
two or three CCB committees, and that this position was a kind of training
ground for those interested in being officers. Steve Dresser added that
members at large act as liaisons between the Board and the general
membership. Marcia and Bryan reminded us that board meetings are open to
members interested in attending.
Scholarship. April Hutchins, Chairman of the CCB Scholarship
Committee, invited the rest of her committee, Dan Mills, Kathie Mills, and
Jeanne Dugas, to join her at the front of the room, and thanked them for
serving with her. She then introduced this year's scholarship recipient,
Karen Alison. The committee and the rest of the membership congratulated
Karen, and April presented her with both a print and a braille copy of the
scholarship award. Karen, a junior at Montville High School, attended the
convention with her family, and expressed her gratitude for the
scholarship. She said she would use the money to help pay expenses at the
University of Connecticut, where she hopes to study either psychology or
* * *
Marcia said the design for our affiliate's square to go on the ACB
quilt has been sent to a woman in Kentucky who has offered to make the
squares for all the affiliates. Our square will read, "CCB, together we
can make a difference," and will have our logo on it. The quilt will be
raffled off at the ACB National Convention as a combined fundraiser for the
Mid-Tennessee Council of the Blind and ACB. The affiliate who wins the
quilt will keep it for a year, and bring it back to next year's national
convention to be raffled off again. The proceeds will then be split
between ACB, Mid-Tennessee, and the winning affiliate from this year. When
no more interest is shown in the quilt, it will be hung in the ACB national
office in Washington. CCB members were encouraged to contribute money for
us to buy chances on the quilt at this year's ACB National Convention.
Marcia said the CCB Board had decided to pursue a fundraising project
proposed by Julian Padowicz, a CCB member who writes, produces, and
publishes audio books. He offered a 50% commission on any books sold by
CCB. People interested in buying the books can either order them through
CCB, or directly from Julian's company. There were catalogs at the
convention, and Marcia said there would be a list of available books in the
next newsletter. She also said Julian would submit an article about the
project, which will also be published in the newsletter.
Marcia read a notice from the ACB National Office regarding Oral
Miller's resignation as ACB's Executive Director. Each affiliate or
special interest group was given an opportunity to submit either a letter
or resolution to be put into a commemorative booklet which will be
presented to Oral Miller at the national convention. Marcia suggested that
we craft a resolution to be passed by the membership expressing our
appreciation for Oral Miller's years of service to ACB, and particularly to
CCB. Cheree Heppe and Jan Frost agreed to craft and submit a resolution to
be voted on later in the convention.
Fundraising. Marcia said the candy sales were a success, and that
most of the money has been turned in. She thanked everyone who had sold
candy for their participation. She also reminded us that we still need to
come up with other fundraising ideas.
Cheree Heppe said she would look into the possibility of a local
cruise line donating space for a dinner cruise. Jan Frost suggested that
we try to get a radio personality, such as Ray Dunnaway from WTIC 1080, to
host the CCB fundraiser. Kathie Mills said she would investigate the
possibility of someone from a radio station coming to a store such as
Shaw's to help sell CCB mugs and t-shirts. Carol Gillispie said she would
talk to Paula, the Tupperware demonstrator, about doing another Tupperware
party as a fundraiser.
* * *
Marcia said the CCB Thermoform machine, which has been at Dave Bates'
house for the last five years, needed servicing and cleaning. She said it
would cost around $200 to ship the machine back to the manufacturer for
inspection, and asked the membership if this would be a logical course of
action. After a lengthy discussion, it was moved that we allocate $250 to
have the machine inspected. After more discussion, however, the motion was
defeated. A motion was then passed to donate the machine to Carol
Gillispie. She accepted the donation, and said that if the machine could
be repaired, we might use it to make braille copies of the CCB cookbook.
Marcia said she would like to come up with a standard amount of seed
money to be given to new CCB chapters. She also said that the wording of
the CCB constitution should be changed, and appointed Dan Mills to chair a
committee for this task. She said she would appoint the rest of the
committee later, based on interest.
The membership moved that Marcia be given the authority to appoint a
delegate and an alternate delegate to the ACB National Convention in July.
It was moved that $150 be given to both the delegate and the alternate
delegate to defray convention expenses. The motion was defeated. A motion
reducing the amount to $100 for each delegate was carried.
Following the Scholarship Committee's presentation, Cheree Heppe
introduced our first speaker, Linda Levine, from the Parks and Recreation
Department. Linda gave an interesting and informative presentation on the
ADA and how it relates to the accessibility of parks and recreational
facilities in Connecticut. Linda and the membership discussed ways of
improving site accessibility, such as braille signs and brochures about the
We broke for lunch at 12:30.
We reconvened at 1:45, and Marcia asked if a resolution had been
crafted to present to Oral Miller. Cheree Heppe read the resolution on
which she and Jan Frost had worked. It was approved, with the addition of
the number of years Mr. Miller has served ACB, and the year in which he
visited our state convention.
April Hutchins announced that she had brought 100 brochures to
distribute to interested members, and asked anyone wishing to take some to
see her before the end of the day.
Marcia thanked John Mattioli for his hard work in coordinating the
trip to Framingham, Massachusetts on February 28. She also thanked Carol
Gillispie for coordinating transportation from New Haven. John said there
would be more about the success of the trip in the next newsletter.
Marcia said Laurie Doyle had offered to coordinate the distribution
and sale of the books we will be selling for Julian Padowicz. She publicly
thanked Laurie for her generous offer.
On behalf of Alice Jackson, Marcia brought up the question of whether
or not to have another overnight fall convention based on the low
attendance last fall. Membership felt that although the attendance was
low, there was a need for the socialization the overnight convention would
allow. A motion was carried to pursue having another overnight convention,
with the location to be determined by the Convention Committee. John and
Marcia recommended that anyone with programming suggestions for the next
convention let the Convention Committee know.
At that point, Marcia introduced our second speaker, Lois Bonanni,
from Directions Unlimited. Lois has helped organize tours for disabled
people, including those who are visually impaired. She gave an informative
presentation in which she shared several amusing anecdotes.
At about 3:00 P.M. the convention adjourned so GDUCT could have its
meeting. Our last speaker, Susan Sullivan, who was also to have been the
featured speaker for GDUCT, was unable to be at the convention. The
membership had time to socialize and enjoy the wine and cheese party until
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