MCBVI NEWS

SUMMER 2016

Michigan Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired

An Affiliate of the American Council of the Blind

John Jarzyna, President

For General Inquiries

Phone: Toll-Free (888)956-2284

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Highlights of This Issue Include:

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

John Jarzyna

By the time you read this message, we will be more than halfway through 2016. Preparations are well underway for several members to attend the National Convention of the American Council of the Blind held July 1 through July 9 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Michigan Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired Convention Committee has been hard at work preparing for our 2016 State Convention which again this year will be held in Kalamazoo, Michigan. They have been putting together an exciting program with many good speakers. We hope that many of you will be able to attend this convention and contribute and enjoy a rewarding weekend. Further details can be found elsewhere in this issue of the newsletter regarding our state convention.

I plan to schedule a Town Hall meeting as vacations will allow for late summer or early fall. If there are any topics that a member wishes to have discussed at the town hall meeting, feel free to send me an email at john.jarzyna@gmail.com

Our organization has a very rich and long history. At the present time, the Board is developing a policy defining what documents (records) should be retained and for how long.

Let me close by wishing everyone good health and a happy summer and I'll talk with everyone soon.

CONVENTION

Kyle Austin, Chair

Make your plans now for the MCBVI convention to be held October 7-9 at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel. The address is: 3600 Cork ST Kalamazoo MI 49001. Hotel reservations must be made directly with the Hotel before September 4, 2016. Please specify that you are with the Michigan Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired Convention. Also you can check in as early as October 6. The Hotel rate again is $75.00 per night plus 11% tax.

This year's theme is (Giving Back to Our Communities.) I gave details regarding what is happening Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in the last newsletter. However, we do have an addition for Friday morning. We will be holding a session regarding 501(c)(3) status. The information will be on how to get it; cost and documents chapters will need to file for a 501(c)(3) status. Also, the Technology Committee will hold a session to help you with questions you may have regarding cell phones and computers.

There will be more information to come.

Auction and door prizes are needed. I am in need of someone to handle this for me. If you are interested in helping with this please call me.

We are still looking for Convention sponsors. If you are interested or you know of someone who would like to become a Convention Sponsor, please call Charis Austin at 616-532-4737. See prior article for sponsor levels.

Finally, the convention registration forms will be coming out soon. If you have any questions regarding this year's convention please call me at: 616-532-4737.

MCBVI COMMITTEE REPORTS

CONSTITUTION & BYLAW COMMITTEE

Wayne LePiors

Historically, MCBVI has not had specified chapter delegates. If a member of a chapter showed up, it was understood that they could represent the chapter. The Executive Committee has made the decision that we need to tighten up representation procedures for more continuity. We are making these changes to insure that information gets back to chapters and if we are asked who the members of our Board of Directors are, we can produce a list.

The amendments will be read at the convention, but we encourage you to study this information in advance and ask questions.

ARTICLE III. OFFICERS AND COMMITTEES

A. Executive Committee
The executive committee of this council consisting of seven (7) elected officers and of the immediate past president shall transact all business of this council arising between meetings of the Board of Directors.
B. Board Of Directors

Original: 1.

The Board of Directors shall consist of: President, Immediate Past President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, and one delegate elected from each Chapter. Officers cannot serve as chapter delegates.

Amendment: 1

The Board of Directors shall consist of: President, Immediate Past President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, and one chapter delegate as well as an alternate to serve in the Chapter Delegate's absence. Officers cannot serve as chapter delegates.
2. The board of directors shall have power to act for this council in all administrative matters requiring action when this council is not in session, except as otherwise provided in the By-laws or in the articles of incorporation, and in such other matters as may be committed to it by order of the council.
C. Vacancies

Original:

In the event of the death, resignation, suspension or disability of any officer of the council, the board of directors shall appoint a qualified member of this council to fill such vacancy for the unexpired portion of such official term, or until that disability may be removed.

Amendment:

In the event of the death, resignation, suspension or disability of any officer of the council, the board of directors shall appoint a qualified member of this council to fill such vacancy for the unexpired portion of such official term, or until that disability may be removed. In the event of the death, resignation, suspension or disability of any Chapter Delegate, the Chapter who he/she represents will be responsible for appointing a qualified representative to fill such vacancy for the unexpired portion of such official term, or until that disability may be removed.

D. General Duties

1. President

The President shall preside at all meetings of the Board of Directors and of the membership; see that all orders and resolutions of the Board of Directors are carried into effect; appoint committees not provided for in these By-laws; and be an ex-officio member of all committees with the exception of the Nominations Committee.

2. First Vice-President

The First Vice-President shall attend all board meetings and membership business meetings; perform the duties of the president during the absence or disability of the president and succeed to that office upon the resignation, impeachment or death of the President; and perform such other duties that may be delegated to him or her from time to time by the Board of Directors.

3. Second Vice-President

The Second Vice-President shall attend all board meetings and membership business meetings; Perform duties of the First Vice-President during the absence or disability of the First Vice-President and succeed to that office upon the resignation, impeachment or death of the First Vice- President; and perform such other duties that may be delegated to him or her from time to time by the Board of Directors.

4. Secretary

The secretary shall attend all board meetings and membership business meetings; preserve all records belonging to the council minutes of the proceedings of all such meetings; give all notices required by statutes, by-laws or resolutions and be responsible for all other correspondence relative to the council; keep files of all such statutes and forward all records to the incoming secretary at the expiration of his or her term of office; and perform such other duties that may be delegated to him or her from time to time by the Board of Directors.

5. Assistant Secretary

The Assistant Secretary shall be familiar with all the records and duties of the Secretary as prescribed under Article III Officers and Committees Subsection D General duties, and Subsection 4 Secretary. The Assistant Secretary shall assist the Secretary in the performance of all the duties of the Secretary and be able when necessary to carry them out in the Secretary's absence. The Assistant Secretary must attend all the meetings requiring the Secretary's presence. The Assistant Secretary shall have a vote at all meetings. In addition to performing the duties of the Secretary during the absence or disability of the Secretary, he or she shall automatically succeed to that office upon the resignation, impeachment or death of the Secretary. The Assistant Secretary shall also perform such other duties that may be delegated to him or her from time to time by the Secretary and Board of Directors.

6. Treasurer

a. Bonds The treasurer shall be bonded in such amounts as the board of directors shall determine from time to time, the premiums on such bonds to be paid by this council, and the bonds to be deposited with the president.

b. The Treasurer shall attend all board meetings and membership business meetings; the Treasurer shall carry out all financial transactions for the council; insure that all officers keep complete and accurate records and reports of their proceedings, and from time to time submit such records of the same as may be required by law or by order of this Council or by its board of directors; see that any annual reports submitted by this council, by the President, the Secretary, and the Treasurer shall be kept on file as a part of the permanent records of this Council for a period of seven (7) years, unless otherwise provided by law. Make a full report to the Board of Directors at board meetings and/or upon request by the board; serve as chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee; organize and maintain a file of all transactions and forward such records to the in-coming treasurer upon the expiration of his or her term of office; perform the duties of the organization's Fiscal Officer such as, maintain and provide Statements and Reports Whenever required by this Council or the board of directors, several directors, or either of them, shall submit all their accounts, vouchers, or any other papers to any officer or committee for examination, comparison, or correction. The Treasurer shall also enable this Council to submit its financial accounts to a certified public accountant within 60 days after the expiration of the term of office

7. Assistant Treasurer

The Assistant Treasurer shall be familiar with all the records and duties of the Treasurer as prescribed in the previous sub-section "5. Treasurer, under Section D. General Duties, Article III. Officers AND Committees." The Assistant Treasurer shall assist the Treasurer in the performance of all the duties, of the Treasurer and be able when necessary to carry them out in the Treasurer's absence. The Assistant Treasurer must attend all meetings requiring the Treasurer's presence. The Assistant Treasurer shall have a vote at the meetings. In addition to performing the duties of Treasurer during the absence or disability of the Treasurer, he or she shall automatically succeed to that office upon the resignation, impeachment or death of the Treasurer. The Assistant Treasurer shall also perform such other duties that may be delegated to him or her from time to time by the Treasurer and Board of Directors.

Addition: 8.

The Chapter Delegate shall serve as the Chapter's representative at all board meetings, be responsible for helping to make decisions regarding the operation of the organization, and act as a liaison between the Chapter and the Board.
9. The Chapter Alternate Delegate will attend Board meetings and represent the Chapter when the designated delegate is unavailable to attend. The alternate Delegate will be responsible for helping to make decisions regarding the operation of the organization, and act as a liaison between the Chapter and the Board.
E. Terms of Office

Original: 1

During each annual convention or general membership business meeting of this organization convened during years ending in even numbers, the membership shall conduct elections for the office of President, Secretary, and Assistant Treasurer. The President shall be elected for terms of two years, eligible to serve no more than three (3) consecutive terms in the same office. Dependent upon competency and willingness to serve, the Secretary and Assistant Treasurer shall serve two-year terms or until a successor is elected.
2. During each annual convention or general membership business meeting of this organization convened during years ending in odd numbers, the membership shall conduct elections for the office of First Vice-President, Second Vice-President, Treasurer, and Assistant Secretary. Each Vice-President shall be elected for terms of two years, eligible to serve no more than three (3) consecutive terms in the same office. Dependent upon competency and willingness to serve, the Treasurer and Assistant Secretary shall serve two-year terms or until a successor is elected.
3. New terms of service for each office shall begin immediately upon the adjournment of the annual convention business meeting recording election results. Officers that have expired terms, shall be retired upon adjournment of that annual business meeting. Each term of office shall correspond with the length of time, and conditions as set forth in this "ARTICLE III. section E. Terms of Office, sub-part 1, 2, and 3.
Addition: 4. Beginning January, 2017, each chapter shall submit to the Secretary the names and contact information for a delegate who will serve a two-year term and an alternate who will serve a one-year term. In January, 2018, the chapter will submit a name of an alternate delegate who will then serve a two-year term. As of January, 2018, terms for delegates and alternates will be staggered.

NOMINATIONS

Karla Fields, chair

At our 2016 State Convention the following Officers will be up for election: President, Secretary and Assistant Treasurer. Currently the following people will be running thus far; John Jarzyna for President, Debbie Robinson for Secretary and Wayne Lepiors for Assistant Treasurer. If you wish to run or have a suggestion for the Nominations Committee please contact me at 586-465-2338. The other committee members are Arleen Moore, Debbie Robinson and Lora Leggett.

Publications

Donna Rose, Newsletter Co-Editor

Malaina is putting together the newsletter this time. Our next deadline for newsletter items will be October 15, 2016. We are changing some aspects of the newsletter in order to reduce the cost and improve the format. Deb Robinson has written about the changes in another part of this issue. Thank you for your understanding while we revamp things a bit.

RESOLUTIONS

Malaina VanderWal, Chair

Over the last several years the Resolutions committee has worked to compose each resolution and present them to the MCBVI convention attendees for adoption. Since I became chair the resolutions have passed with little follow through by our organization members. I spoke with the Executive Board during their June meeting and proposed suspending resolutions for the 2016 state convention. Until all of us become more proactive in following through on the resolutions we adopted and take a greater part in doing what we resolve to do. The decision to suspend resolutions for 2016 was agreed upon by the board but it was not an easy choice to make. Letters will still be written thanking the hotel and volunteers. This decision was not made lightly but as the chair of the committee I brought my concerns to the board. Year after year we write and pass resolutions with little action from MCBVI members. We will still work on the few resolutions passed at last year's convention dealing with Medicare, the Marrakesh Treaty and Accessible Prescriptions. However, one resolution may be written if we receive enough information regarding changes with the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP.) Every one of us can and should work on the issues we claim are important to MCBVI. No one person is to blame. This is an organization wide problem and I will do what I can to improve. We all must resolve to do the same!

CHAPTER UPDATES

BLUE WATER LEAGUE OF THE BLIND

Phyllis magbanua

All of us at the BWL hope your spring went well and now it is time for summer outings and having fun in the sun. That is what the members of the Blue Water League are planning this summer. On June 23 we are planning to go to the Port Huron Township county Park. We are taking a sack lunch and going to relax and have fun. Some of us may want to go for a walk around the park for a mobility refresher. Some of our members asked if we could do this to update cane skills and the weather is finally nice enough. IN July will be our annual Picnic. We are going to the beach. The BWL will buy chicken and drinks and our members will bring a dish to pass. Then in August we will have our Ice Cream Social with some fun. In September will be our annual Lion's Picnic which is always a lot of fun. We hope everybody has a safe, wonderful and healthy summer. See everybody in October for the 2016 convention.

CAPITAL AREA COUNCIL

Donna Rose

Our chapter has decided to meet for just the required five times per year. At our April meeting Ruth announced she had decided she must step down due to her busy work schedule. Our vice president, Nancy Weaver, is sighted and our bylaws require that a person with a vision impairment be president, so I was nominated and accepted and was voted in as president. At our meeting in June we planned a picnic for August at the Cottonwood Camp Ground where several of our members have RV spots. We always have a really great time there and the members who stay there are really gracious hosts. This summer we are looking forward to doing some other activities as well and our next meeting is planned for September where we will have a speaker from CATA to discuss service updates and changes. There's a lot more to tell, so look forward to our next update!

KALAMAZOO COUNCIL OF THE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED

Sharmese D. Anderson

Happy Summer All: We at Kalamazoo Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired are excited about the longer sunny days. We had Nate Fuller, from "Birding by Ear", come to our last meeting and we experienced the sounds of various types of birds. Next, we'll be attending, "Bow in the Clouds Preservation" located at 3527 Nazareth Road. We will then take a break for Summer and resume our meetings in September.

NORTHERNERS

Cathy Daily

The Northerners wish to share the following information with those who may benefit in the surrounding areas of Cadillac. The Riemer Eye Center will soon have a Low-Vision clinic available to patients located in the Cadillac office! The Low-Vision Clinic will open July 15, 2016. DR. David Cook will be running the clinic. The Riemer Eye Center has offices in: Cadillac, Ludington, Manistee and Shelby. The Cadillac office is located at:
502 Cobb Street
Cadillac, MI 49601
800-974-2020

We hope MCBVI members may find this information helpful! Have a safe and fun filled summer!

VISUALLY IMPAIRED PERSONS FOR PROGRESS

Malaina VanderWal

May was a busy month for VIPP with our final meeting until September and two fundraisers back to back. During our May meeting we had Andy Rent from 100.5 the River radio station as our guest speaker. He talked to us about his career in TV and radio broadcasting. He shared some great stories with us. Towards the end of May we had a 31 totes and bags fundraiser. Those in attendance had fun. Thanks to Tressa Conrad for handling all of the arrangements. The day after the 31 totes and Bags fundraiser was another fundraiser at Culver's. We always enjoy the food there. Thanks to all who worked to make this a success! Those who worked this event all or part of the night or who came and participated thank you! In June some of our members attended the Whitecaps Baseball game and the final activity before the fall will be the VIPP picnic. Have a safe and fun summer!

No More Board Meeting Summaries

By Deb Robinson

At our April MCBVI board meeting, a motion was made to discontinue summaries of meetings as a cost cutting measure. Instead, the actual meeting minutes will be emailed to officers, delegates and committee chairs. Those without computers who are committee chairs/delegates/officers will receive minutes probably in the format they get their MCBVI News. Those members who are not delegates who want the minutes can contact me either by phone: 616-235-8189; Or by email at: Drobinson5271@gmail.com

Next MCBVI News Deadline October 15, 2016

Submissions received after this date will be saved for the next newsletter

To contact the Editors:

Donna Rose Wild-rose@sbcglobal.net (note there is a dash between wild and rose) or call 517-489-2233

Malaina VanderWal malaina@iserv.net or call 616-308-9644

Our Mission:

To act as a catalyst in changing the lives of people who are blind and visually impaired and their families through education, advocacy, and camaraderie.

©Copyright 2016 Michigan Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired