Greetings!  I hope you're making your plans to attend our fall
    convention, October 30 through November 1.  For those of you who
    haven't heard, Debbie Grubb, a newly elected ACB board member, will be
    joining us for the weekend.  Be sure to check Mailbox 55 for the latest
    convention information.

     It seems impossible that this is my last chance to chat with you as
    CCB president.  Where did the time go?

     As I look back over the past four years, I am very proud of all that
    we have accomplished together.  Let's consider some highlights.

     1.  Our toll-free number and voice-mail system are up and running, and
    we receive an average of five calls per week.  That may not seem like
    much, but please remember that we can only log the calls where someone
    leaves a message, or talks to us directly.  Therefore, the actual
    number of calls is probably quite a bit higher.

     2.  Thanks in large part to John Mattioli, we have a wonderful new
    brochure which is being widely distributed.  In fact, we need to think
    about a second printing.

     3.  Thanks to Dave McLean, we have our own Web site--another great
    source of outreach.

     4.  Due to increased publicity and outreach efforts, our membership
    has increased by nearly 25%.

     5.  Four legally blind high school students--Philip Majkrzak, Nicole
    Mason, Christy Killion, and Karen Alison--each received a $1,000
    scholarship from CCB.

     6.  Because you asked for it, we have instituted an overnight
    convention in the fall.

     7.  Our first chapter in many years, Guide Dog Users of Connecticut,
    is thriving.  A Southern Connecticut chapter is in the planning stage.

     8.  Our first two extracurricular activities--a DVS showing of
    "Titanic" and a New Haven Ravens baseball game--were hugely successful,
    and a lot of fun.

     9.  Oxford Health Plans donated $500 to our scholarship fund.

     10.  Thanks to Julian Padowicz, CCB is in a cooperative (fifty-fifty)
    fundraising venture with BFI AudioBooks.  Through this partnership, we
    are promoting high-quality audio books while raising significant
    revenue for ourselves.

     Quite an impressive list, don't you think?  You guys have worked hard!
    Now that we're on a roll, let's keep going!  We still have things to
    tackle--our 501(c)(3) status, transportation issues, reviewing our
    Constitution and Bylaws, and organizing the Southern Connecticut and
    student chapters, to name just a few.  I know you will support,
    encourage, and assist our new president.

     I want to publicly thank everyone who has served on the Board during
    my administration:  Dave Bates, Steve Dresser, Jeanne Dugas, Cheree
    Heppe, April Hutchins, Alice Jackson, John Mattioli, Bryan McGucken,
    Julie McLean, Dan Mills, Paul Morline, Shirley Phelon, and Roland
    Soucy.  We wouldn't be where we are today without your dedication and
    tireless effort.  Thanks, also, to everyone who has served on
    committees and contributed in other areas.

     It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your president. Thank
    you for a wonderful four years!

                             --Marcia Dresser
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