2023 December Missouri Chronicle

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The Missouri Chronicle
December 2023 – Vol. LXV No. 3

Published Quarterly by the Missouri Council of the Blind

Produced in braille, large print, cartridge, and email. Or you can read it online or download the files in MS Word, .txt, .brf and .pdf. at https://www.moblind.org

Editor, Bob Collier
Submissions for the Missouri Chronicle can be emailed to chronicle@moblind.org.

Please send all address changes to the MCB Office:

5453 Chippewa St.
St. Louis, MO 63109
Phone: (314) 832-7172

Bob Collier
(417) 529-2972

Attention, please!  Material for the Missouri Chronicle must be submitted no later than the first day of the month preceding that issue.  Following are the deadlines for submitting material for the chronicle:

March Issue – due by February 1
June Issue – due by May 1
September Issue – due by August 1
December Issue – due by November 1

Supporting MCB:

Missouri Council of the Blind is a 501(c)3 non-profit, and your donations are tax deductible and gratefully received.

If you or a friend wishes to remember the Missouri Council of the Blind in your last Will and Testament, the following language is recommended:

“I give and bequeath unto the Missouri Council of the Blind, a Missouri not-for-profit corporation, the sum of $_________”; or “_____% of my net estate”, or “the following stocks and bonds:___________”.  “Said bequest to be used for its corporate purposes on behalf of blind person.”

If your wishes are more complex than that, have your attorney communicate with the St. Louis MCB office for suggestions.

Table of Contents

Editor’s Note
President’s Report
Affiliates Reporting
Delta Area Blind
St. Charles County Council of the Blind
Library Users Group of Missouri
Committees Reporting
Convention Committee
Emergency Preparedness Committee
Member of the Month Committee
Public Relations Committee
Policy Committee
Sports & Recreation (S&R)
Tips, Advice, and Miscellaneous Information
What to know about romance scams
Member Spotlight
History and Culture
True Story
The Story of Christmas Spiders
The Legend of the Poinsettia
The Little Drummer Boy
Calendar Of Upcoming Events
May 28-30, 2024
February 6-11, 2025
On Your Own
Board Minutes
August 31, 2023
September 28, 2023
October 5, 2023
Office, Board, Committees & Affiliates Contact Info
Visit Us Online

Editor’s Note

by Bob Collier

As we approach the festive season, I wanted to take a moment to extend my sincere appreciation to all of you, the incredible members of MCB. It is truly an honor to be the Editor of a magazine for such a remarkable community.

As always, I want to commend each of you for your perseverance and strength. Navigating the world with visual impairments can certainly be challenging, but your resilience and determination continually inspire us all. Through MCB you have built an unwavering support system that uplifts and empowers one another.

I must also extend my sincerest thanks to the remarkable individuals who have contributed their time, knowledge, and experiences to this publication. Your dedicated efforts in submitting reports and articles have played a vital role in enriching the lives of our readership. Each piece shared brings new insights, latest developments, and engaging stories to our publication.

As this joyous season approaches, I want to extend my heartfelt wishes to you all for a very Merry Christmas. May your celebrations be filled with laughter, love, and cherished moments with friends and family. Take this time to reflect on the strength and resilience that exists within each of you, and the boundless possibilities that lie ahead.

Thank you for being the driving force behind our publication’s success. May you experience the true magic of the holiday season, and may the New Year bring you endless opportunities for growth, happiness, and success.

President’s Report

by Chip Hailey

Happy Holidays Everyone from the MCB President!
I trust everyone is looking forward to spending time with family and friends this holiday season as much as I am.  I always consider it a very special time of the year to be able to get together with family and friends and share those very special holiday moments with each other.
However you decide to spend your Christmas and New Year’s Eve holiday I would like to extend to you a very special holiday blessing and may you experience all of the sights and sounds and the joy of the holiday season.
Whether you’ll be spending the holidays alone or with family and friends, may you experience the peace and beauty the holiday brings.

I would also like to wish each and every one of you happiness and prosperity as well as good health throughout the new year. If there’s ever anything I might be able to do to serve you better, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

God bless you all, and let’s all work together for a better tomorrow for all of MCB. Wishing you the happiest holidays and a wonderful New Year in 2024
Chip Hailey, MCB President

Affiliates Reporting


By Patrick Patton

Greetings all,
It’s November, the season for gratitude and lots of turkey! On a serious note, we are approaching the end of the year. Let’s reflect on what we’ve accomplished this year and what we’re looking forward to next year. I want to wish everyone and their families a happy, prosperous and safe holiday season.

AGAPE is assisting its members by providing funding for a Thanksgiving dinner. Several members were nominated to receive gift cards to purchase Thanksgiving items. We are partnering with a food pantry to bring some much-needed items to some very deserving families. We will be distributing food items the first Saturday of each month at the Missouri Council of the Blind (MCB) building. If you are interested in working with us, please contact us by e-mail at agapecouncil@gmail.com.

We are proud to announce our one-year anniversary of publishing a newsletter. The newsletter was just an idea last November. We’ve made one solid year of bringing information to our members and others. The newsletter keeps our members informed. The Featured Member section provides a way to get to know members better. Our Calendar of Events keeps us up-to-date on things that are happening that our visually-impaired community may enjoy.

Last year we started a peer support group. It meets twice a month, second and fourth Wednesday of each month. It brings our members together, where we discuss topics related to vision impairment, or other important and timely information. It’s been a great way to share our common challenges, and accomplishments. On the fourth Wednesday we have a guest speaker share an uplifting story, vision, journey, or a beneficial service. This has been a great way to unite our organization.

This year, we had phenomenal success through our various fundraisers. In March, we kicked off the year with the Ida Mae Sparkman Chili Supper Fundraiser, which supports our scholarship program. We organized a Mother’s Day Basket Raffle in May. The basket had a fair market value (FMV) of over $250, featuring an enticing basket of items any mother would love to have. In August, we hosted our first annual ice cream social at Concordia Lutheran Church. We sold delicious popcorn and pizzas.

As part of our community outreach, we proudly sponsored the Missouri School for the Blind (MSB) Braille Challenge Luncheon. We collaborated with the Missouri History Museum (MHM) by sponsoring THE Disability Pride Luncheon at MHM.

Our commitment extended to advocacy, with a trip to Jefferson City, Missouri, on Legislation Day. We joined forces with MCB to provide support for two bills benefiting the visually impaired community.

AGAPE takes great pride in two of its signature events, the Black History Program in February and the long-awaited return of the Gospel Fest Program, which was a source of immense joy after a two-year hiatus.

While we willingly embraced challenging events and fundraisers, our primary objective remains uniting our members and servicing the blind community.

We extend warm birthday wishes to our new members and those celebrating birthdays in November and December.

Delta Area Blind

by Belinda Turner, President

Hello to everyone from Delta Area Blind. We are once again an affiliate of MCB. Good to be back with everyone. Did everyone enjoy this year’s MCB convention? I thought it was a very good time. I learned a lot and met several people. Delta Area has 3 new members this year. We are proud to welcome Donna Weidlich, Jacqueline Etherton, and Ike Clark to our affiliate.

Is everyone ready for the Christmas and New Year holidays coming up? They will be here soon. Delta Area Blind is having its Christmas party in December this year. We are all looking forward to getting together and sharing a meal and some good time visiting with one another.

Not much else to add at this time. Looking forward to another new year and hoping for some exciting events for MCB members everywhere. Merry Christmas to all.

St. Charles County Council of the Blind

by Marjorie Petrofsky

We have had several outings since the weather has gotten warm.  We went bowling at O’Fallon bowl.  We played three games with the bumpers up.  With the bumpers up, it makes it very convenient, but then I can’t show off my perfect gutter balls. Afterwards, we went to Golden Corral for dinner.  We had a variety of good food and great conversation.  Of course, we went to the dessert bar after the main course.

We went to the SASSY trivia night.  We did terrible, but then so did everybody else. There were five at our table.  Some of the questions were so far-fetched, nobody could even make an educated guess.  One of the questions was “What is it illegal to do on a Sunday in Ohio?”  The correct answer is “to sell cornflakes.”  How could anybody have guessed that?  Apparently, in some states it is illegal to shoot a unicorn and wake up a sleeping bear.  Who would want to?  That is the kind of questions they had.  We had a great time anyway.

We had our installation dinner and picnic at Quail Ridge Park.  The weather was great, not too cold or too hot with a nice breeze.  The food was also great. Jeff Creech barbecued beef and chicken.  Of course, there was an assortment of desserts.

We also had our annual picnic and meeting at Quail Ridge Park   in September.  We had some potential new members attend.  As always, Denny’s pork steaks and ribs were amazing.  We could not have ordered better weather, nice and cool.

Our October social outing consisted of dinner at the new Texas Road House in O’Fallon, Missouri.  I suggested we meet at 3 PM, since it was a Saturday night, but I got voted down; the assigned time was 4:30 PM.  Well, we got there at 4:30 and did not get a table until 6:30.  Needless to say, we were all very hungry by then.  Maybe next time they will take my advice. LOL

I have a bit of interesting trivia. Ralph Teeter is an engineer who invented cruise control on cars.  Oddly enough, he has never driven a car because he has been blind since the age of five.

The holidays are fast approaching, so I want to wish everybody a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Kwanzaa and a very generic Happy Holidays.

Library Users Group of Missouri

by Brian Wekamp

The Library Users of Missouri met on Saturday morning, October 7 at the state convention in Springfield, MO.  There were 17 members present.

Lori Brown from Wolfner Library was there and talked about the programs that Wolfner Library has to offer.

The library users group is having a fundraiser with Farmstead Nuts and Treats.  You can place your order through their website at www.farmsteadnutsandtreats.com or call 913-432-3638.  When ordering, you should mention Library Users of Missouri so that we get credit. Orders will be taken through December 12 and will be shipped out immediately upon reception of the order. These treats will make nice holiday gifts for family and friends. If you have questions, you can call Donna Siren at 314-899-0310.

The next Library Users of Missouri group meeting will be sometime in January.  Watch the announce email list for more information.


by Bev Kaskadden

Greetings from A.T.I.
Time is flying by for me.  I do hope many of you have acquired at least one technology tidbit this year.  A.T.I. has assisted me in accomplishing this goal.  We have a great team with April Gray writing our newsletter and Linda Coccovizzo setting up our monthly presenters.  These two ladies have taken a great load off my shoulders.

I appreciate all of you joining us for our monthly calls.  You ask, “What monthly calls?”  Yes, the third Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. on the MCB zoom line.  I will add the contact information at the end of this article.  I do hope that if you have not joined us, you will make an effort to test it out.

At the MCB convention, the A.T.I. meeting was jam packed with elections, Vince from Nanopac and giving away door prizes.  I was delighted to have the opportunity to receive a laptop with JAWS or Zoomtext to give away to a very lucky winner. This came from “Computers for the Blind.” If you do not know about Computers for the Blind, let me know and I will get their information to you.

This year’s officers are, Vice-President, Joe Dobbs, Treasurer, Sarah Calhoun, Secretary, Sarah Coccovizzo and President, me (Beverly Kaskadden).

I do need to apologize to the members for my lack of protocol in leading the meeting.  I was trying to get everything done and give Vince as much time as possible, that I neglected to do a roll call and have the secretary and treasurer give reports.  Don’t worry, I will make sure that is done at the next monthly call.

Now it is time to pass the collection plate.  If you did not get a chance to pay your membership dues, you still have time.  Sarah Calhoun is ready and willing to serve you.  You can mail your dues to her, or if you wish to use a credit card, the MCB office can process this transaction.  The dues are $15 or $25 per couple.

Sarah Calhoun
3603 Morgan Way
Imperial, MO  63052
Zoom Information
Phone: 312 626 6799
Meeting ID: 250 907 8857
Passcode: 7172
Join Zoom Meeting
One tap mobile
+13126266799,2509078857# US (Chicago)
I have provided you with a lot of information, but if you need more, please feel free to contact me.
Beverly Kaskadden
636-561-6947 home
636-541-2503 cell or

Committees Reporting

Convention Committee

With the 2023 convention in the books, I just wanted to give a brief recap of this year’s events. This year was definitely a learning experience. There were many wins and a couple of hiccups, but overall it was a wonderful convention. AGAPE did a knockout job of hosting on a tight schedule. I personally enjoyed the sock hop they hosted and the hospitality night Friday.  The most fun, perhaps, was the prom theme for the banquet. I found it really fun to dress up and participate in both nights. Friday we were welcomed to Springfield by Mayor Ken McClure. One change in the agenda moved elections to Friday afternoon. I want to congratulate all of our new directors and officers. On Saturday, Scott Bales, a color commentator for the Springfield Cardinals, spoke to the convention telling his story of how he played in the majors and how he became a broadcaster. There was also a panel from Rehabilitation Services for the Blind on getting ready for employment. I found all of the speakers to be very interesting.

Looking forward to next year’s convention, we are taking what we learned this year and applying it. The 2024 convention will be at the Hilton Garden Inn in Independence. As we get into the new year, I will post more information about the hotel and the surrounding area. I am looking forward to the ideas that Blind of Central Missouri will bring to make our next convention a success.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who worked with me on the committee. This includes Chip Hailey, Linda Gerkin, Celita White, Donna Weidlich, Susan Sanderson, Wanda Lentz, Jesusita Tabor, Patrick and Treva Patton, Wilma Chestnut-House, Elizabeth Moore and the AGAPE affiliate. Without their help, I wouldn’t have been able to do this. I also would like to thank Tom and Molli Jones for their support as I took on this endeavor.

Emergency Preparedness Committee

by April Gray

When we think of winter emergencies, we usually envision ice storms with power outages. In reality, a winter emergency can present itself in many ways. Slick sidewalks can increase a chance for a fall; someone you’re riding with can have car problems; you can have carbon monoxide leaks from problems with a furnace or someone warming up a vehicle in an open garage. I’m going to give some tips for dealing with the challenges that can come up in the winter.

Preparing your home for winter and winter emergencies is essential in being ready for a storm. Plastic on your windows can hold in heat and keep out cold wind. Make sure your carbon monoxide detectors are working. Outages can sometimes affect the pilot light on some gas furnaces; so having an alert for that is important. Leave cabinet doors open when it’s cold so pipes won’t freeze.

Your emergency kit will come in handy here too.  If your electricity goes out for a few days, or your pipes freeze, you will need emergency water, and easy-to-use foods like protein bars and things that don’t need heated. Extra blankets or a sleeping bag that goes down to 30 degrees is good to have and easy to store. Remember power banks too, and keep phones charged. “Hot hands” are great to keep on hand this time of year. You can store them for a long time and they are easy to activate. You simply shake them vigorously; then they will provide heat for hours. They are small so you can slip them in gloves, or shoes. I keep some in the car and some in my purse in case I’m riding with someone else. You can purchase them at Walmart or online many other places. A good cheap investment is cleats for your shoes. They slip on over your shoes and can make walking on the ice much safer and easier and lessen the risk of falling. Keep a spare pair of gloves on you in case your main pair gets wet. I keep the thin $1.00 pairs you can get at Walmart or the Dollar Store on hand. They take up little room in your pocket and are great in a pinch. Always have a hat with you even if you aren’t wearing it to go out. I know some people don’t want to mess their hair up, but if you’re stranded and freezing, vanity goes out the window.

Know the weather forecast before you head out, and prepare accordingly. Dress in layers; it’s better to take off a layer than to get overheated. Don’t forget to carry water with you. It’s easy to forget when you’re not sitting in the hot summer sun to keep hydrated, but it’s just as important in the dry winter air. Always have your phone on you when you go outside, even if it is only to take your dog out, or get the mail. When temperatures drop, you can freeze quickly, especially if you fall. The quicker you can call for help the better. So unless your guide dog carries a barrel of rum or whiskey around its neck in case you need rescued, then a phone is the best option.

Keep warm and stay safe.

Member of the Month Committee

by Wanda Matlock, Chair

I would like to start this report by saying congratulations to each of the member of the month recipients.  An extra special congratulations goes out to the MCB Member of the Year, Mr. Etefia Umana!  Also, a big thank you to everyone who sent in nomination letters.

Listed below are the recipient letters for July through October 2023.  If you wish to read past recipient letters, you will find them published in previous editions of the MCB Chronicle.

By the time you receive this addition of the MCB Chronicle, we will have already started selecting recipients for this next year.  Please start sending in your nomination letters as soon as possible.
The Member of the Month Committee consists of:
Nancy Hodson – (417) 569-0802
Bob Jaco – (314) 989-9196
Wanda Matlock – (573) 379-3880 email: wmatlock561@gmail.com


To the Member of the Month Committee:
The members of SEMO United Blind Club would like to place the name of Mary Hock to be considered for the Member of the Month award.  Mary has been a member of SEMO United Blind Club since the early 1990’s.  She has served as president of SEMO in the past and is currently the Ed and Advocacy Representative for our affiliate.  Mary is very active in our affiliate and always is willing to give of her time to help our affiliate grow.

She is always a great person to call on when it comes to planning our White Cane Walk, Christmas Party or any other activity.  She is a good representative for SEMO and is always working on getting new members for our affiliate.

Mary worked for RSB for many years and is now retired. She has three daughters and extended family that are all very supportive of her endeavors.  Mary is definitely an asset to SEMO United Blind Club.

Please consider Mary Hock for the great honor of Member of the Month. Submitted by SEMO United Blind Club


To the Member of the Month Committee:
I would like to nominate Roger Jewell from Lake Stockton Area Council of the Blind for member of the month. He is newly blind for about 3 years and has been very eager to learn about using his cane discovering other things that he can do to improve his situation. He has been a member of our group for about 3 years, and during this time he has met a lot of people and brought several blind people into our club. He has sought help through the Missouri Council of the Blind and through the VA and has learned a lot. Roger has been very eager to help other blind people learn things that are available to help them function better in their daily lives. He also has learned a lot from being a part of the Missouri Council of the Blind and works through this organization to help blind people. I just can’t say enough about Roger and his kindness and eagerness to help others to improve their lives.
Beverly Robertson
Vice President
Lake Stockton Area Council of the Blind


I would like to nominate Etefia Umana for member of the month. Etefia came to AGAPE Council of the Blind just a little over a year ago and has been a great team player right off the bat! He is well-versed in legal matters, and adept in writing and writing styles! Who doesn’t need someone who can speak and write well??? He is a very resourceful person as he is an integral part of our communication team, spearheads our scholarship criteria selection, and various other groups and committees. He is generous with his time even when he is sick in the hospital.  Etefia attends meetings and gives it his all! We, in AGAPE, are proud and thankful to have such as asset in our affiliate!

Submitted by Treva Patton, Treasurer AGAPE Council of the Blind


Jeff Creech lives in Old Monroe, MO in Lincoln county.
He is very active in his community. He is new to our affiliate this year, joining early this spring with his daughter Krysten Meyers. He has come to St Charles County Council of the Blind as a low-vision member, being relatively new to vision loss. This has not slowed him down much as he has a great ambition, jumping right in to help our affiliate with fundraising suggestions and projects. He sold the most Cardinal raffle tickets from the MCB Cardinal baseball-ticket-raffle fundraiser of our affiliate and also actually sold the winning raffle ticket this year.

He also has a passion for cooking and grilling/smoking, so he volunteered to provide pulled pork at the affiliate installation dinner. He has also recently become a guide dog partner with his new guide dog Archy. He and his family have been excited to participate in social activities and other affiliate projects. He has applied as a first timer and is planning to attend the 67th MCB state convention with SCCCB this year and has stated he plans to be involved with other MCB activities that he was unable to attend this year.  Jeff has been a wonderful addition to the SCCCB membership, and we look forward to spending more time getting to know Jeff and hearing his suggestions to advance our affiliate’s success.

Thank you for your consideration of Jeff for MCB member of the month.
Submitted by Johanna Jeremiah member St. Charles County Council of the Blind.

Public Relations Committee

by Roger Jewell

“Public Relations needs your help!  We are putting together a photo presentation of the Missouri Council of the Blind and its affiliates. We are asking that each member of MCB please send us no more than 10 of your best pictures of MCB events or local affiliate events. These may be group pictures, cookouts, convention, camp, local affiliate meetings, game time, or anything else that is related to our VIP community.   This presentation will be shown around our state. It will also be available to any affiliate that requests a copy. So send in those pictures!  Send them to the email address, moblind@moblind.org. Please tell us which affiliate you are with when you send in your photos. Remember, “We are here to help you succeed!”
Submitted by Public Relations Committee

Policy Committee

by Roger Jewell

The Policy Committee members are Janelle Edwards, Brian Wekamp, Beverly Kaskadden, and Roger Jewell (Chair). This past year we worked on the policies and guidelines for the Free White Cane Program, the new Sports and Recreation Committee, the lists email system, webmaster, and publications.

Sports & Recreation (S&R)

by Wilma Chestnut-House

Hello to all the former, present, and future athletes in training. I am glad to have you on board. This program is going to be fun, but we are also serious. We will be sharing tips, healthy recipes, and our successes.

It is up to you, but try keeping a journal about what is going on with you during this new phase. If you are trying to lose weight, are just tired of sitting in the house, or just working on getting a little more fit, this is the place for you.

I have found that when I start to work out, my eating habits change. I drink more water, and sleep better. It is something that happens automatically. I hope you join us and reap some benefits!

The list below is all about getting better and doing better while you are doing something just for you. Become selfish in this venture.

If you would like to be a part of this group, here is how you get on the list: Send an email to
mailman@moblind.org requesting to subscribe to mcb-sports-recreation@moblind.org

You will then receive an e-mail asking you to confirm by replying (you can reply by writing “thanks”).  Now you are in!  I look forward to hearing from you.  Be sure to check for messages from me!
If you want to send a message: mcb-sports-recreation@moblind.org

Lets’ start the new year off right! Weather permitting, we will start off with BINGO.

January: We will have free hot chocolate (with or without marshmallows).  You can purchase hot dogs or brats. This comes with chips and a soda. The cost is $5. Sodas alone are $1.

February: This meeting is for all those board game people. We will have a variety of board games, or if you have one that you would like to bring, you are welcome! We will have turkey burgers with chips and soda. The cost is still the same.

March: I am trying for our dart guy! If not him, then we will have a domino tournament. If you don’t know how to play, we will take about 45 minutes to teach. If you can count, you can play the game!
I am still setting up a float trip for late June. We will have six people to a float (three sighted and three visually- impaired).

All of the exact dates are to be announced real soon; so be watching! If people in other cities would like something like this to go on where you live, please contact me at the sports and recreation list.

Personal note from Wilma Chestnut-House:
I am planning to petition for a new council affiliate.  It will be called Heritage Council.  New members are welcome if this is approved.


By Robyn Wallen

The two most important things I can share for the Transportation committee is that the Transportation Resource page for transportation options across the state is up on the moblind.org website and will be continually updated.  I did testify along with other advocates from S.M.A.R.T (St. Louis Metropolitan Alliance for Reliable Transit), before the St. Louis County Council asking that $300,000 of the $128M that the County Council is going to appropriate for the 2024 Metro Transit budget be used to hire an outside consultant to take a deep dive into their system and to also form an oversight committee.  I and several other MCB members have done numerous interviews with various news reporters on the issue that continues to plague the St. Louis Transit system.  Debbie Platner has been working on transportation in the Joplin area and is now attending their transportation meetings.

Tips, Advice, and Miscellaneous Information

What to know about romance scams

Millions of people, including the blind and visually impaired, use online dating apps or social networking sites to meet someone. But instead of finding romance, many find a scammer trying to trick them into sending money. The visually impaired seekers may be even more susceptible. Read about the stories romance scammers make up and learn the number one way to avoid a romance scam.

What Is a Romance Scam?
You meet someone special on a dating website or app. Soon they want to e-mail, call, or message you off the platform. They say it’s true love, but they live far away — maybe for work or because they’re in the military. Then they start asking for money. Maybe it’s for a plane ticket to visit you. Or emergency surgery. Or something else urgent.

Romance scammers create fake profiles on dating sites and apps or contact you through popular social media sites like Instagram or Facebook. The scammers strike up a relationship with you to build up trust, sometimes talking or chatting several times a day. Then, they make up a story and ask for money.

People reported a record $547 million in losses to romance scams in 2021. That’s up about 80% from the reports the FTC got in 2020. In 2021, people reported paying romance scammers more with gift cards than with any other payment method. The 2021 reports also showed that cryptocurrency payments were the most costly.

The Lies Romance Scammers Tell
Romance scammers adjust their story to what they think will work in each situation.

Scammers say they can’t meet you in person. They might say they’re living or traveling outside the country, working on an oil rig, in the military, or working with an international organization.

Scammers will ask you for money. Once they gain your trust, they’ll ask for your help to pay medical expenses (for them or a family member), buy their ticket to visit you, pay for their visa, or help them pay fees to get them out of trouble. They may even offer to help you get started in cryptocurrency investing.

Scammers will tell you how to pay. All scammers, not just romance scammers, want to get your money quickly. And they want your money in a way that makes it hard for you to get it back. They’ll tell you to wire money through a company like Western Union or MoneyGram, put money on gift cards (like Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, or Steam) and give them the PIN codes, send money through a money transfer app, or transfer cryptocurrency.
Scammers do these things to pressure you into acting immediately by paying money. But it’s a scam.

How to Avoid Losing Money to a Romance Scammer
Here’s the bottom line: Never send money or gifts to a sweetheart you haven’t met in person.
If you suspect a romance scam: Stop communicating with the person immediately. Talk to someone you trust. Do your friends or family say they’re concerned about your new love interest? Search online for the type of job the person has plus the word “scammer.” Have other people posted similar stories? For example, search for “oil rig scammer” or “US Army scammer.” Do a reverse image search of the person’s profile picture. Is it associated with another name or with details that don’t match up? Those are signs of a scam.

How to Report a Romance Scam
If you paid a romance scammer with a gift card, wire transfer, credit or debit card, or cryptocurrency, contact the company or your bank right away. Tell them you paid a scammer and ask them to refund your money.

If you think it’s a scam, report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Notify the social networking site or app where you met the scammer, too.
Based on Federal Trade Commission article: https://consumer.ftc.gov/articles/what-know-about-romance-scams

Member Spotlight

Mary Weber, Certified Braille Transcriber
Phone # 316-722-9299

Over four years ago when we moved from Utah to Springfield, we had no idea who or what MCB was. Our first encounter with MCB occurred at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia with a prompt from Wilma Chestnut to get involved and join as members-at-large. We were already members of another organization in Springfield, but we liked what we saw on the website and made the decision to become a part of this group. Since that time there have been some difficulties with our involvement in MCB. Listening to bad advice and not asking questions from the right people led us to follow someone who did not have the best interests of MCB at heart, but their own agenda. Every organization has bad apples, but it is what you do within that organization that makes the difference.

There are over 151,000 blind and visually impaired people in the state of Missouri, and that number is expected to double and even quadruple over the next 3 to 10 years. Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy, Glaucoma, Cataracts and various other health problems are stealing the sight of individuals over the age of 60. Experts agree that “baby boomers” have the fastest growing rate of people who are losing their sight.  They are the ones who are having their golden years stolen. A tsunami of issues related to loss of sight are going to be front-and-center for the public and especially elected officials who are going to have to listen to the voices of thousands who will demand changes to make life easier and more accessible to everyone.

I have been involved in braille transcribing and promoting braille literacy for over 17 years, and it has been a struggle to get anyone to see how important and necessary braille is to those entering a world of uncertainty and loss. Not just those with sight challenges but also the sighted community who can help by caring and being a voice for those who need more advocates.

I have spoken with various agencies–local, state and federal–to see for myself what is really being done to assist with jobs, transportation, implementation of guidelines and of all those things that make life equal for everyone including the blind and visually-challenged. What I have seen is a bureaucracy of red tape and excuses.

I and my family are becoming proactive because of that thinking, and we have developed two amazing projects that we wanted to share with MCB.

First, we have created a workshop to introduce basic braille. We use a story and a 6-muffin tin pan with tennis balls to help anyone learn the first ten letters. Then we show how adding one more tennis ball, they can now learn the next ten letters and then with adding an additional tennis ball, they now have learned the braille alphabet. Of course, the W has to be different, but it is a small glitch! We have also developed a mnemonic to assist in retaining and placement of the alphabets.

The next thing that we are doing to promote braille literacy is to find books from local authors, transcribe them into braille, and then donate them to local libraries across the state of Missouri. This undertaking requires a lot of support from everyone to raise the funds to get these books transcribed. We work with the authors in fundraising, and we are currently seeking grants to get more of these books completed. These books can then be accessible for those who are learning braille and want to advance their new skills by having materials located at libraries near to their homes. It would be wonderful to go into a library like they used to, pick a book off the shelf, and sit down and read like everyone else has the right to do.

These may be big aspirations, but we must do something to make life easier and give back hope to those facing vision loss. As someone who lost their vision later in life said, “losing your sight doesn’t have to be a death sentence.”  The highest rate of suicide is in age 60 and older. We must, and we can change this. Help us to get these workshops into every senior center, civic organization, church, anywhere else where we can get the word out. Together we can make a difference!

History and Culture

Strange But True

Joe Engressia was a very “phreaky” guy. Born blind in 1949, this precocious kid spent his days playing with phones, calling random numbers, and listening to recordings for fun. It was the only way a visually challenged geek could entertain himself back in the ‘50s. He was also one of those kids who enjoyed whistling, and it was the combination of these weird hobbies that led Engressia to discover the secret world of the telephone system.

When he was just eight years old, Engressia was making a call and whistling when the recording suddenly stopped. He tried it again and realized that whenever he whistled at 2,600 Hz, the message would cut off. Thanks to his songbird powers, he could fool the tone-based system into thinking he was an operator. From there, the possibilities were endless. He could place long-distance calls for free or chat with multiple people on conference calls. Eventually, he got so good that he routed a call all the way around the globe and back to himself on a separate receiver.

Obviously, this was very illegal, and Engressia was arrested twice. Instead of scaring him straight, though, the notoriety thrust him into the center of a bizarre subculture. As it turned out, Joe wasn’t the only one to figure out the phone lines. In the 1970s, “phreaking” (the term for tinkering with the phone system) was a regular hacker activity, and Engressia became one of their leaders. Some of these tech-savvy kids, like Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, went onto greatness. Engressia, on the other hand, wasn’t so lucky.

Though he had an IQ of 172, a rough home life, coupled with sexual abuse by a teacher, totally messed with his mind. During his later life, Engressia changed his name to “Joybubbles” and insisted he was five years old. Joybubbles listened to Mr. Rogers tapes religiously, collected toys, talked to imaginary friends, and lived off Social Security checks. Sadly, Engressia passed away in 2007, leaving behind an impressive but depressing legacy.


True Story

Jacob Bolotin holds a special place in medical history. The son of impoverished Polish immigrants, the good doctor was born in 1888 in Chicago. Unfortunately, congenital blindness ran in the family, and three out of the seven Bolotin children were born blind, including Jacob. Due to his disability, he quickly developed his other senses. Before long, he could recognize people by their scents and comprehend Braille through several layers of cloth.

After graduating from a school for the blind, Bolotin worked as a salesman, peddling brushes and typewriters on Chicago streetcars. His big dream was to become a doctor, but most colleges weren’t willing to accept a blind student. After relentlessly hounding university boards, he eventually made it into the Chicago College of Medicine. When he finally graduated at 24, he became the first congenitally blind person to become a licensed physician.

Bolotin’s specialty was studying diseases of the heart and lungs. Since he couldn’t see his patients, he relied on his fingers and ears to diagnose a patient’s ailments. During his internship at Frances Willard Hospital, he diagnosed a young woman with an obstructed heart valve just by feeling her skin and listing to her heartbeat. In addition to his medical work, he traveled across the Midwest giving lectures on blindness and started the first all-blind Boy Scout troop. Sadly, Bolotin passed away at age 36, but his funeral drew 5,000 people whose lives were touched by the blind doctor.

The Story of Christmas Spiders

In a quiet cottage in the woods lived a gentle widow and her eight children. The widow worked very hard to keep her children warm and well-fed, but money was not plentiful. When the air grew crisp, and the snow began to fall, the widow knew Christmas was coming. But instead of feeling joyful as the holiday approached, she felt sadness and sorrow. She knew that she did not have enough money to buy her children any gifts to open on Christmas morning. “I cannot afford new toys or books,” she thought, walking home through the woods one night. “What will I give my children?”

On Christmas Eve the family ate their simple Christmas dinner together, and the widow tried to conceal her worries. After tucking her excited children snugly into bed, she pulled her chair close to the fire and tried to erase the visions of their little disappointed faces from her mind. After all, what fun is Christmas morning without gifts to open?

“Perhaps a Christmas tree would make my children happy,” the widow sighed. She put on her coat and hat and walked through the woods in search of the right tree. She chose a small but beautiful evergreen, chopped it down with her husband’s ax, and brought it to the cottage.

For hours, the widow carefully decorated the fragrant tree branches with colorful fruits, bits of ribbon, and Christmas cookies. Then she blew out her candle and went to bed, hoping the tree would make her children’s empty Christmas a little bit brighter.

While the tired widow slept, tiny spiders crept from the cracks and corners of the cottage. They had watched her hard at work, decorating the tree for her children. Onto the branches they jumped, spinning delicate strands of silky web which gracefully covered the small tree from trunk to top. It was a beautiful sight.

When the family awoke on Christmas morning, they could not believe their eyes. The webs of silk had been turned into pure silver, covering the tree with dazzling brightness! During the night, Santa Claus had come with gifts for the children and saw the tree covered with spider webs. He smiled as he saw how happy the spiders were, but knew how heartbroken the widow would be if she saw her tree covered with spider webs. So he turned the silky webs into pure, shining silver. The next morning, as the widow watched her children sing and dance around the beautiful shining tree, she knew it would be a wonderful Christmas after all!

From that day forward, people have hung strands of shiny silver tinsel on their Christmas trees in honor of the poor widow and her tiny Christmas spiders. — by Stephanie Herbek

The Legend of the Poinsettia

Maria and Pablo lived in a tiny village in Mexico. Because Christmastime at their house did not include many gifts, Maria and Pablo looked forward to the Christmas festivities at the village church with great joy and anticipation.

To honor the birth of Christ, the church displayed a beautiful manger that drew crowds of admirers. Villagers walked miles to admire the manger, bringing lovely, expensive gifts for the Baby Jesus. As Maria and Pablo watched the villagers place their gifts in the soft hay around the manger, they felt sad. They had no money to buy gifts for their family and no money to buy a gift for the Baby Jesus.

One Christmas Eve, Maria and Pablo walked to the church for that evening’s services, wishing desperately that they had a gift to bring. Just then, a soft glowing light shone through the darkness, and the shadowy outline of an angel appeared above them.

Maria and Pablo were afraid, but the angel comforted them, instructing them to pick some of the short green weeds that were growing by the road. They should bring the plants to the church, the angel explained, and place them near the manger as their gift to the Baby Jesus. Then just as quickly as she had appeared, the angel was gone, leaving Maria and Pablo on the road looking up into the dark sky. Confused but excited, the children filled their arms with large bunches of the green weeds and hurried to the church.

When the children entered the church, many of the villagers turned to stare. As Maria and Pablo began placing the weeds around the manger, some of the villagers laughed at them. “Why are those children putting weeds by the manger?” they asked each other. Maria and Pablo began to feel embarrassed and ashamed of their gift to the Baby Jesus, but they stood bravely near the manger, placing the plants on the soft hay, as the angel had instructed.

Suddenly, the dull green leaves on the tops of the plants began to turn a beautiful shade of red, surrounding the Baby with beautiful blooms. The laughing villagers became silent as they watched the green plants transform into the lovely star-shaped crimson flowers we call poinsettias. As they watched the weeds bloom before their eyes, Maria and Pablo knew they had no reason to be ashamed anymore. They had given the Baby Jesus the only gift they could–and it was the most beautiful gift of all.

Today, poinsettias are a traditional symbol of Christmas, thanks to young Maria and Pablo and their special gifts to the Baby Jesus. — by Stephanie Herbek

The Little Drummer Boy

David grew up in the kitchen of the inn. His father was the innkeeper. His mother cooked the food. David’s older sisters cleaned the rooms, and his older brother swept the stable. David loved to sing. He would sing to his mother as she cooked the food. David made up songs and banged on pots and bowls as he sang to her. David’s mother smiled at him. “Someday you will sing in the temple, my son,” his mother said. David grinned at his mother. “Temple,” David said very carefully.

David’s father came into the kitchen. “How is my big boy?” David’s father asked as he swung David onto his shoulders. “Pum Pum Pum! Temple come!” David sang as he drummed on his father’s head with a wooden spoon. David’s father smiled as his son kept on drumming. “We must find this boy a drum or my poor head will not survive!” said David’s father, with a laugh.

A few years later David got a small drum for his birthday. Soon he was beating rhythms on his drum wherever he went. Pat-a-rum, pat-a-rum, pat-a-rum, David drummed to copy the donkeys on the road. Swish-click-click-tum, swish-click-click-tum, went David’s drumming to copy his brother sweeping straw in the stable.

One day David’s father said to his family, “We are going to be very busy. Caesar Augustus has ordered a count of all the families in all the towns.” “Pum Pum. Pa-rum-pum-pum-pum. I counted six of us!” David sang. “Why does this make us busy?” “Because people will come to Bethlehem to be counted with their families,” said David’s father. “They will need a place to stay. They will stay with us, and we will be very busy.”

David’s mother cooked more food. David’s sisters cleaned the rooms. David’s brother swept out the stable and put new hay and pots of water in the stalls. David’s father greeted the people as they came into town. Soon the inn was very full. David played his drum and sang his songs for the people.

Late one night there was a knock at the door. David peeked around his father at the young man and his wife, who was on a donkey. They had no room for these people! What could they do? David’s father was a kind man. “You can stay in the stable,” he said. “It is warm and dry there. I can send food out to you.” The young man thanked David’s father and walked the donkey to the stable.

David helped his mother carry bread and cheese out to the young couple. His mother told him the woman was going to have a baby soon. The next day there was a lot of excitement. “The young woman who stayed in the stable last night had her baby,” David’s mother told him. “The baby is the King of Kings, they say!” said David’s father.

David could not see the baby because of the crowd around the stable. David stood at the back of the crowd and began to make up a song for the baby: “Come, they told me, our newborn king to see. Our finest gifts we bring to lay before the king. So to honor him when we come. “The crowd began to part when they heard David’s beautiful singing: “Baby Jesus, I am a poor boy, too. I have no gift to bring that’s fit to give a king. Shall I play for you on my drum?”

David stepped closer to Mary, Joseph, and their son. Baby Jesus smiled at David, reached out, and patted his drum.

Love, spirit, and the beat of his drum brought one little boy closer to the infant Jesus.  — by Stephanie Herbek


1.”Limitations only go so far.” —Robert M. Hensel
2. “Placing one foot in front of the other, I’ve climbed to higher lengths. Reaching beyond my own limitations, to show my inner strength. No obstacle too hard, for this warrior to overcome. I’m just a man on a mission, to prove my disability hasn’t won.” —Robert M. Hensel
3. “Continuous effort—not strength or intelligence—is the key to unlocking your potential.” —Winston Churchill
4. “The difference between those who fail and those who succeed is largely perseverance. Never quit.” —Charles Schwab
5. “Nobody’s good in everything. Advantages and disadvantages come in many forms.” —Charles Schwab
6. “As long as you keep getting born, it’s alright to die some times.” —Orson Scott Card
7. “Great ideas originate in the muscles.” —Thomas Alba Edison
8. “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” —Thomas Alba Edison
9. “We, the ones who are challenged, need to be heard. To be seen not as a disability, but as a person who has, and will continue to bloom. To be seen not only as a handicap, but as a well intact human being.” —Robert M. Hensel

Calendar Of Upcoming Events

May 28-30, 2024

2024 MOKA Conference for the Blind
The MOKA Conference for the Blind is a 4-state regional conference for those living in the Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Arkansas regions. It will be held at the University Plaza Hotel in Springfield, Missouri, on May 28-30, 2024. This conference was formed to help facilitate a need for resources, information, education, and, most of all, building connections and community for those dealing with blindness, whether it be individuals, caregivers, or professionals in the field.

This year’s conference will have two main breakout session tracks dealing with independent living and technology. We will also have special support sessions for caregivers, opportunities for peer support sessions based on specific causes of blindness, and special social time for our furry friends and guides.

Some of our breakout session topics include Gardening by Touch, Indoor Navigation for All, Grilling & Cooking Independently, Resources for Blinded Veterans, Empowering Inclusion, Regional Recreational Opportunities, Accessible Gaming, Personal Safety, All Things Alexa, DEI and Job Seeking, Building Custom Solutions with Standard Video Magnifiers, Achieving Financial Goals with Vision Loss and a Vispero presentation.

We had a great lineup of exhibitors at our first conference in 2022, and they are starting to get signed up for next year as well. We will have another great variety of resources and vendors for you to talk with and see all their great products and services offered.

We will be having Eric Yarberry, from World Services for the Blind, as our special keynote speaker Wednesday night. On Thursday night, award-winning artist Gordon Mote, will be sharing his story as well as giving a fundraising concert for us.

Registration is now open. We will again offer an Early-Bird Registration of $200 that ends November 30th. So, if you want to save a little money, be sure to get your registration in early. We understand funding can be limited when it comes to attending conferences like this, and we strive to make things easier for you. We do accept payment arrangements for your registration fee—$ 50 deposit ($25 non-refundable) and then payment in full by February 1, 2024. Contact us directly to set this up. The registration fee includes meals (except one) and the concert. We also offer day passes as well if you can’t attend the whole conference.

Since transportation is always an issue, we are working on those logistics. Those in Oklahoma have an opportunity to ride in a van originating out of Oklahoma City and going to Tulsa for an additional pickup. We will be happy to coordinate transportation in other states as well, but we need to know who needs rides and where they are coming from, the closest urban center, etc. It takes time to coordinate these things, so the sooner you are registered, the better chances are for us to get a ride for you.

For more details, visit the conference website at www.mokacfb.com or contact Debbie Sanders with MLV Foundation at mylimitlessvision@gmail.com

February 6-11, 2025

2025 Fundraising Cruise with Dave Steele, the Blind Poet
MLV Foundation will host a fundraising cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Joy ship. Dave Steele, The Blind Poet, will join us as our special guest and share his poetry and blindness journey. MLV Foundation will receive $50 -$100 per cabin booked under our group package rate. Let’s fill up this ship! Here are the details for the 5-day cruise:
Dates: Thursday, February 6, 2025 – Tuesday, February 11, 2025
Ports of Call: Los Angeles, CA to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico to Ensenada, Mexico back to LA
Deposit: Deposit of $150 due within 7 days of booking. The final cruise payment is not due until October 9, 2024. Payment plans are available.
Group Rate on Cabins: 4 Free at Sea Inclusive: Club Balcony Suite, $2,459.84/cabin ($1,229.92 per person); Balcony $2,306.24/cabin ($1,153.12 per person); Interior $2004.32/cabin ($1,002.16 per person). These rates include free unlimited beverages, a specialty dining coupon, $50 shore excursion credit, free 150 minutes of wifi, pre-paid gratuities, travel insurance, taxes, and fees. (Interior rooms only get the free unlimited beverage and specialty dining coupon.)
Non-Inclusive group rates that only include pre-paid gratuities, travel insurance, taxes, and fees are as follows: Club Balcony Suite $2,218.24/cabin ($1,109.12 per person); Balcony $2,064.64/cabin ($1,032.32 per person); Interior $1,762.72 cabin ($881.36 per person).

There are several of us who plan to fly out on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday, we will do a special Warner Brothers Studio backlot tour before we sail out on Thursday, so if that’s something you’d be interested in doing, just let me know. We will have a lot of fun, and cruising is a great vacation (especially in February).

Call Debbie at 405.939.0573 or e-mail her at blindcruising@gmail.com for more details.

On Your Own

In this section, I am including links to longer articles that may be of interest to the visually impaired.  You may access them at your convenience.  Just click on the links below:

Loneliness of the Blind and the Visually Impaired

Resources Free of Charge—Help for Newly Blind People

Eight Christmas Stories

8 Inspiring Stories That Show the True Meaning of Christmas

Board Minutes

August 31, 2023

President Chip Hailey
Vice President & Blind of Central Missouri Linda Gerkin
Secretary Debbie Sanders
Treasurer Jack Lenk
Director & United Workers Anna Schell
Director Wanda Matlock
Agape – Wilma Chestnut-House
Joplin – Wendell Wilcox
Lake Stockton and Public Relations Director– Roger Jewell
River City – Sabrina Fowler
Southeast Blind – Rob Albro
St. Louis Northern Lights – Carl Chappell
Delta – Craig Ancell
Allied Workers – William

Approval of Agenda
Linda asked to add resignation of Gretchen Maune, Wolfner Advisory Council MCB representative,  to the agenda. Linda moved to accept with additional change. Seconded. Passed.

Approval of July 27 Board Meeting Minutes. Moved. Seconded. Passed.

President’s Remarks
Candidates Forum #1 will be held September 16 at 2pm using this Zoom platform for the positions of Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer & Public Relations.
Candidates Forum #2 will be held September 23 at 2pm using this Zoom platform for the 3 Directors’ positions.

Jerry Nichols, our Accountant, has asked us to take a serious look at our budget – line item by line item. We do not have a healthy income/revenue stream, so we need to look at where expenses need to be cut. Please join us Friday on the Conference Line during our MCB Board Office Hours at 2pm to address some of these issues.

September 28, 2023

President Chip Hailey
Vice President & Blind of Central Missouri Linda Gerkin
Secretary Debbie Sanders
Treasurer Jack Lenk
Director & United Workers Anna Schell
Director & St. Charles Beverly Kaskadden
Director Wanda Matlock
Agape – Wilma Chestnut-House
Allied Workers – William Hawkins for Melvin
Joplin – Wendell Wilcox
Lake Stockton and Public Relations Director– Roger Jewell
River City – Sabrina Fowler
Southeast Blind – Rob Albro
St. Louis Northern Lights – Carl Chappell
Director and St. Charles – Beverly Kaskadden
Delta – Craig Ancell

Call to order – Chip Hailey, President
Prayer – Wanda Matlock, Director
Roll Call – Debbie Sanders. Secretary
Welcome of special guest and online listeners – Chip Hailey, President
Approval of Agenda. Moved. Seconded. Passed.
Approval of Board meeting minutes, August 31, 2023. Moved. Seconded. Passed.

President’s Remarks, Chip Hailey, President
President Chip is excited about getting back together in person. Thanks to Convention Committee and Agape Chapter for all their work. The convention will be streamed on Zoom. Jesuita Tabor will host tomorrow’s MCB’s Office Hours about past, current, and future conventions. Frank Weber will also be a special guest. The office hours will be held on the conference line, not the Zoom. Just a reminder- don’t forget complete your convention registration.

Revised list guidelines for all of the MCB e-mail lists – Roger Jewell MCB Policy Committee Chair
The committee worked with Raymond Bishop, Multi-media Chair and was successful at developing guidelines for all the lists. Each list will have its own guidelines which will be sent out to the respective lists. Roger recommends accepting the list guidelines as proposed. Seconded. Passed.

Treasurer’s report and review of the budget – Jack Lenk MCB, Treasurer
Not available at the time of the meeting

The 2024 Proposed Budget from the Budget Committee was presented by Jack Lenk and Celita White and was reviewed and presented to the board in its entirety.
Motion made to accept as recommended. Seconded.
Discussion and Clarifications: Robeson Grant – Beverly asked the budget committee to add $500 to keep the grant going. Debbie Sanders mentioned the calendar expense had been deleted, but income is still listed as calendar income and that line-item needs deleted. Question regarding convention expenses that have not been resolved yet based on this year’s convention has yet to be addressed. There was a question regarding payroll expense and accounting expense and why they aren’t combined into one line item. Answer was two different firms handle those. Motion called. Passed.

Robert Vaughn received an offer for the pop machine in the office for $900. Jack moved to sell the machine back to the gentlemen we bought it from. Seconded. Passed.

Wilma said the deadline for the printing of the booklet is nearing, and very few affiliates have placed ads. No one has registered yet either.

Beverly has a special door prize to be given at the ATI meeting at the convention.

Reminder of date and time of next meeting–next Thursday at the convention, October 5 at 7pm.

Jack moved to set a meeting for Thursday, October 26 Board meeting to set up committees. Seconded. Passed.
Jack moved to adjourn. Seconded. Passed.

October 5, 2023

President Chip Hailey
Vice President & Blind of Central Missouri, Linda Gerkin
Secretary Debbie Sanders
Treasurer Jack Lenk
Director & St. Charles Beverly Kaskadden
Director Wanda Matlock
Agape – Wilma Chestnut-House
Allied Workers – Melvin Smith
Joplin – Wendell Wilcox
Lake Stockton and Public Relations Director– Roger Jewell
River City – Sabrina Fowler
St. Louis Northern Lights – Carl Chappell
Delta Area Blind – Craig Ancell

Call to Order – Chip Hailey, President
Prayer – Roger Jewell
Roll Call – Debbie Sanders, Secretary
Welcome of Special Guest and Online Listeners – Chip Hailey, President
Approval of Agenda – Motion made. Seconded. Approved.

President’s Report – Chip Hailey, President
Lists – You no longer have to use the submit process for pre-approval for the Announce List. It is still not a reply list. If you want to reply, you have to reply directly to the original sender.

Chip shared that he joins other ACB state affiliate Presidents on Zoom on Wednesday afternoons. He has found these meetings very informative.

Treasurer’s Report – Jack Lenk, Treasurer
$29,482, checking. Raymond James account $3,149,469.64.

Review of MCB Convention Committee Guidelines – Brandi Jones, MCB Convention Committee Chair & Roger Jewell, MCB Policy Committee Chair
Brandi read over the committee convention guidelines. Linda moved to strike the word “2pm” and have it say “Thursday” instead. Seconded. Passed.
Jack moved to strike “snack and light meal” and state “food” instead. Seconded. Passed.
Linda moved to change the words “Education and Welfare” to “Education and Advocacy.” Seconded. Passed.
Room changes in the schedule: The Exhibitors and Marketplace will share the Alex Scott Room tomorrow.
Roger Jewel’s PR committee will meet from 8:15 – 9am in the Anne McClesker room. Be aware it is tiered and has steps going down.

Roger said the YouTube-interview videos on blindness for sighted supporters will be going on throughout the day tomorrow.

The Education and Advocacy committee will meet at 8:30 followed by the Bylaws and Resolutions committee in this room tomorrow morning.

Convention Planning Committee
Susan Sanderson
Jesuita Tabot
Patrick Patton/Wilma Chestnut-House (Agape)
Brandi Jones
Roger Jewell
Wilma will be doing the White Cane Awareness Day booklet this Sunday if anyone still wants to put an ad in it. Registration is still open.

Bev said ATI has put together a snack basket to be raffled for $1 a ticket. Computers for the Blind has donated a computer with ZoomText or JAWS to be given away at the ATI meeting.

Wilma said to bring your sock donations to the Sock Hop for kids at the School for the Blind.

Wilma has homemade items at her booth and will be raffling away items.

The next regular MCB Teleconference meeting will be held October 26 at 7pm
Motion made to adjourn.

Office, Board, Committees & Affiliates Contact Info

Missouri Council of the Blind
5453 Chippewa St
Saint Louis, MO 63109
Phone: (314) 832-7172 or Toll-free: (800) 342-5632
Fax: (314) 832-7796   E-mail: moblind@moblind.org


President, Chip Hailey
2940 West 17th St., Joplin, MO 64801
Phone: (417) 540-9703
E-mail: president@moblind.org

Vice-President, Linda Gerken
203 Hopkins St, Hughesville, MO 65334
Phone: (660) 826-1690
E-mail: vp@moblind.org

Secretary, Tracy Anderson
12499 Lyric Ct Apt 105
Saint Louis MO 63146-2837
Phone: 314 283-8556
E-mail: tracyam30@gmail.com

Treasurer, William Hawkins
1601 E 18th St Ste 361
Kansas City MO 64108
Phone: 816 844-2020
E-mail: hawkinsfinancialservicekc@gmail.com

Director, Anna Schell
3911 Jamieson Apt 1E, Saint Louis, MO  63109
Phone: (314) 647-7166
E-mail: aschell59@gmail.com

Director, Wanda Matlock
#11 Five O Dr, Portageville, MO 63873
Phone: (573) 379-3880
E-mail:  wmatlock561@gmail.com

Director, Beverly Kaskadden
646 Woodchuck Ln, Lake Saint Louis, MO 63367
Phone: (636) 561-6947
E-mail: bkaskadden@gmail.com


Adaptive Technology: Joe Morgan
4158 Bingham, Saint Louis, MO 63116-2520
Phone: (314) 532-2938
E-mail: joe.morgan1955@gmail.com

Blind Pension: Hazel Fields
1304 Pearl Ave, Columbia, MO 65203
Phone: (573) 442-4397
E-mail: hefd74@mail.missouri.edu

Blind Task Force: June Lenk
6347 Mardel Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63109
Phone: (314) 351-2814
E-mail:  junelenk@charter.net

Budget and Finance: William Hawkins
1601 E 18th St Ste 361
Kansas City MO 64108
Phone: (816) 844-2020
E-mail: hawkinsfinancialservicekc@gmail.com

Building Committee: Robert Vaughn
7075 Sutherland Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63109
Phone: (417) 388-0386
E-mail:  kc5nna@gmail.com

Bylaws/Resolutions: Janelle Edwards
4638 North Holly Court, Kansas City, MO 64116
Phone: (816) 698-2699
E-mail: jedwards9994@sbcglobal.net

Convention Coordinator: Brandi Jones
21309 E. Third St. Drive South, Independence, MO 64056
Phone: (816) 665-0369
E-mail: brandiJones77@sbcglobal.net

Credentials: Susan Sanderson
1720 South Stewart, Sedalia, MIissouri  65301
Phone: 660-287-3539
E-mail: clown_4@hotmail.com

Dual Sensory: Kim Vaughn
7075 Sutherland Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63109
Phone: (314) 647-7765
E-mail: bluerobin39@sbcglobal.net

Education & Advocacy: Kim Reese
134 Bear Claw Dr, Wentzville, MO  63385
Phone: (636) 856-8130
E-mail: kreese7034@gmail.com

Emergency Preparedness: April Gray
105 North Ingles St, Lawson, MO 64062
Phone: (816) 499-2626
E-mail:  aknoch74@gmail.com

Fundraising: Jeff Creech
175 maple Shade Dr., Old Monroe, MO 63359
Phone: (636) 385-2085
E-mail: jeff.creech1002@gmail.com

Health Benefits: Alicia Starner
1202 South Sneed Ave, Sedalia, MO 65301
Phone: (660) 473-0468
E-mail: astarner@live.com

Member of the Month: Wanda Matlock
#11 Five O Dr, Portageville, MO 63873
Phone: (573) 379-3880
E-mail: wmatlock561@gmail.com

Membership: Patrick Patton
8659 Moran Place, Saint Louis, MO  63114
Phone: (314) 873-9022
E-mail: patrickpattonpp@gmail.com or membership@moblind.org

Missouri Chronicle Editor: Bob Collier
1002 Copper Oaks Dr, Carl Junction, MO 64834
Phone: (417) 529-2972
E-mail: chronicle@moblind.org

Multimedia Committee: Raymond Bishop
12270 Centerbrook Drive, Black Jack, MO 63033-7312
Phone: (314) 937-2858
E-mail: media@moblind.org

Personnel: Tammy Schnelle
23 Booker Court, St. Peters, MO 63376
Phone: (314) 802-8298
E-mail:  tammielynn1465@yahoo.com

Policies: Treva Patton
8659 Moran Place, Saint Louis, MO  63114

Public Relations: Roger Jewell
PO Box 1065, Bolivar, MO 65613
Phone: (417) 307-9817
E-mail:  rogerjewell924@gmail.com

Scholarships: Debbie Platner
842 S. Hall St., Webb City, MO 64870
Phone: (417) 529-3668
E-mail: debplatner1@yahoo.com

Special Services: Joe Dobbs
213 North Ventura Ave, Apt. Nine, Jefferson City, MO 65109
Phone (636) 725-5901
E-mail: grandpa22799@gmail.com

Sports and Recreation:  Wilma Chestnut-House
8659 Moran Pl., St. Louis, Mo 63114-4436
Phone (314) 873-9022
E-mail: wilmachouse@gmail.com

State Rehabilitation Council: Brian Wekamp
1105 Linden Court, Jefferson City, MO 65109
Phone: (573) 635-6943
E-mail: b_wekamp@mediacombb.net

Strategic Planning: Jannel Morris
1602 Foxrun Drive, Columbia, MO  65202
Phone: (573) 355-3381
E-mail: Jannelmorris0@gmail.com

Summer Camp: Beverly Kaskadden
646 Woodchuck Ln, Lake St. Louis, MO 63367
Phone: (636) 561-6947
E-mail: bkaskadden@gmail.com

Transportation: Robyn Wallen
921 Tempo Drive, Saint Louis, Missouri 63146
Phone: (314) 878-3389
E-mail: robynwallen@gmail.com

Wolfner Advisory: Naomi Soule
7211 Heege Rd., St. Louis, MO 63123-2323
Phone: (314) 374-6083
E-mail: naomisoule2@gmail.com

Youth Camp: Linda Gerken
203 Hopkins, Hughesville, MO 65334
Phone: (660) 826-1690
E-mail:  lindag@iland.net

Youth Services: Linda Gerken
203 Hopkins, Hughesville, MO 65334
Phone: (660) 826-1690
E-mail:  lindag@iland.net


Agape Council of the Blind
President: Patrick Patton
4446 Floriss Pl., Apt. A, Saint Louis, MO 63115
Phone: (314) 780-3332
E-mail:  patrickpattonpp@gmail.com

Allied Workers for the Blind
President: Gregg Hollins
4638 N. Holly Ct., Kansas City, MO 64116
Phone: (816) 812-0129
E-mail:  gregghollins@icloud.com

Blind of Central Missouri
President: Alicia Starner
1202 S Sneed Ave., Sedalia, MO  65301
Phone: (660) 473-0468
E-mail:  astarner@live.com

Delta Area Blind
President: Belinda Turner
804 A Woodruff Ave., Sikeston, MO 63801-3311
Phone: (573) 481-0044
E-mail: bmtvip@charter.net

Joplin Service Club of the Blind
President: Shirley Ritter
311 S. Schifferdecker Ave., Joplin, MO 64801
Phone: (417) 206-6260

Lake Stockton Area Council
President: Roger Jewell
PO Box 1065, Bolivar, MO  65613
Phone: (417) 292-9149
E-mail: rogerjewell924@gmail.com

River City Workers of the Blind
President: Sabrina Fowler
657 Napa Circle, Cape Girardeau, MO  63703
Phone: (573) 332-1759

Southeast Missouri United Blind Club
Secretary: Rob Albro
502 Bartlett St., Poplar Bluff, MO 63901
Phone: (573) 872-0308

Springfield Service Club of the Blind
President: Larry Bailey
Phone: (417) 210-1173
E-mail: n0lsb1998@gmail.com

St. Charles County Council of the Blind
President: Kim Reese
134 Bear Claw Dr., Wentzville, MO  63385
Phone: (636) 856-8130
E-mail: kreese7034@gmail.com

Saint Louis Northern Lights Council
President: Carl Chappell
1430 Arlington Dr., Florissant, MO 63033
Phone: (314) 795-0271
E-mail: frelynchappell@gmail.com

United Workers for the Blind
President: Raymond Bishop
12270 Centerbrook Dr., Black Jack, MO  63033
Phone: (314) 937-2858
E-mail: rtbishop@sbcglobal.net


Adaptive Technology, Inc.
President: Beverly Kaskadden
646 Woodchuck Ln, Lake Saint Louis, MO 63367
Phone: (636) 561-6947
E-mail: bkaskadden@gmail.com

Braille Revival League of Missouri
President: Donna Siren
7559 Harlan Walk., Affton, MO  63123
Phone: (314) 899-0310
E-mail: dsiren1955@gmail.com

Library Users of Missouri
President:  Kerry Smith
PO Box 435001, Saint Louis, MO  63143
Phone: (314) 963-0696
E-mail:  kerry9236@att.net

Missouri Council of Citizens with Low Vision
President: Jannel Morris
1602 Foxrun Dr., Columbia, MO  65202
Phone: (573) 355-3381
E-mail:  jannelmorris0@gmail.com

Missouri Guide Dog Users
President: Raymond Bishop
12270 Centerbrook Dr., Black Jack, MO  63033
Phone: (314) 937-2858
E-mail: rtbishop@sbcglobal.net

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