** Funvention 2010
Dixie Land Guide Dog Users, in partnership with Guide Dog Users of Florida, Carolina Paws and the Charleston Association for the Blind, would like to invite you to our next Top Dog-Charleston Funvention, to be held Jan. 15-17, 2010 at the Best Western Inn (250 Spring Street) in downtown Charleston, S.C.
Room rates are $64.99 per night plus tax for the week of January 11-18, 2010. To get that low rate, you must call the hotel directly at (843) 722-4000. Be sure to tell them you’re coming to "Top Dog." Most rooms (except kings) are equipped with microwaves; all have refrigerators. For those who want to stay longer, there is a restaurant located in the hotel and 2 fast-food places (McDonald’s & Arby’s) in the same block.
Hospitality suites are located on the 8th floor and will offer complimentary snacks and beverages for our registered guests. Located near the hospitality suites will be Carla Campbell, who has graciously offered to pamper our furriest with one of her famous pet massages at a discounted price. In addition, the kind folks at Charleston Pet Resort will be available to trim your guide's nails and brush his teeth at no charge.
Dixie Land's President, Nancy Smith Moore, and her new hubby (our First Dude), will greet guests flying into Charleston's airport, where complimentary ground transportation to and from the airport and train station will be available. One of our volunteers will be waiting at the Best Western to escort you to either the hotel registration desk or our Funvention registration room. If you'd like, someone can also escort you to your room to familiarize you with its layout.
You can register electronically or by telephone. Early registration (before Dec. 15) for our Top Dog Funvention is only $60 per person and includes our reception, the awards ceremony, bagged breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday mornings, a delicious bagged lunch Saturday afternoon, an all-you-can-eat barbecue roundup Saturday evening, all scheduled "Play Times" on Saturday, river walks, tandem bicycle and motorcycle rides; commemorative T-shirts and caps, and more! Registering after Dec. 15 increases the cost to $75 per person.
The exhibit hall will be open from 2 to 5 p.m. You'll meet representatives from some of the nation's best guide dog schools; experience some of the latest access technology; and "see" an assortment of specially prepared jewelry by fellow guide dog user Jenine Stanley. A tour of downtown Charleston and Battery Point is available for $15 per person.
** Friends-in-Art Scholarship
High school seniors and college students are invited to apply for the Friends-in-Art scholarship for the 2010-2011 school year. This $1,500 scholarship is offered annually for achievement, talent, and excellence in the arts. If you are currently majoring in, or planning to major in, the fields of music, art, drama, or creative writing, and are a blind or visually impaired student living in North America, you may apply for this scholarship. To obtain an application form, write to: Harvey Miller, 196 E. French Broad St., Brevard, N.C. 28712-3410. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope when requesting the application. You also may request an electronic application by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The completed application form and all requested information and materials must be in the hands of the scholarship committee by the end of May 2010.
** North Carolina Elects New Officers
Members of the North Carolina Council of the Blind came together for the 41st annual state convention in Raleigh Sept. 25-27. It featured more than a dozen speakers, including two ACB leaders, and the election of new officers. ACB executive director Melanie Brunson and California Council of the Blind president and ACB board member Jeff Thom shared information and insights from the national level. Representatives from a number of agencies and programs were in attendance, including Social Security Ticket to Work, North Carolina radio reading services, Governor Morehead School for the Blind, North Carolina Library for the Blind, Delta Airlines, the training program for teachers of the visually impaired at North Carolina Central University, information about identity theft from the Raleigh police department, emergency preparedness and AARP services.
At the conclusion of the annual business meeting, Melanie Brunson administered the oath of office to the newly elected officers: president, Allen Casey; first vice president, Ron Eller; second vice president, Ricky Scott; secretary, Anne Brewer; treasurer, Jane Ferrita; members at large, Thelma Crumpler and Darlene McElroy.
** Missouri Hires New Executive Director
The Missouri Council of the Blind recently hired Jennifer Parker of St. Louis as its new executive director and Lowell Newsom as its new field service representative. Newsom will also handle fund-raising.