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Agape Council of the Blind - Missouri Council of the Blind Affiliate

Agape Council of the Blind

Agape Council of the Blind is an organization dedicated to improving the social and economic welfare of visually impaired and blind residents in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Agape Council of the Blind strives to improve specialized services promoting independence as well as creating accessible social opportunities for the blind and visually impaired community.

As an affiliate of Missouri Council of the Blind and a member of the American Council of the Blind our members receive monthly and quarterly newsletters and opportunities to attend informative meetings and annual conventions.

We invite residents and members of the business community who are interested in improving the lives in the St. Louis metropolitan area to please join our efforts. Membership is open to all. Come meet with us and find out how you can join our campaign to improve the lives of the blind and visually impaired citizens in your community.

Contact the Agape Council of the Blind

Affiliate News

:: December 1969

Agape Council of the Blind :: December 2016

We had a sad year and a great year.  We had two of our members pass away.  Murlee Kelly and Kathy Parson and they are missed.

For our annual Gospel fest, we had a group of children that participated.  For prizes we gave 1st place a $100 savings bond, 2nd place got a $50 savings bond, and 3rd place got $25.  It was a very successful fund raiser.

Next year we will be hosting our annual Black History Program at Missouri School for the Blind.  The address is 3815 Magnolia.  The program will be held on Friday, February 17.  The time is 6:00 pm for refreshments and the program starts at 7:00 pm.  The tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.  If you would like tickets, please contact any Agape member.

As most of you know, Agape Council and The StL Firing Squad hosted the first Camp Abilities-St. Louis (a sports camp for blind children) at MSB.  It was a great success.  Next year, the dates are July 9 thru July 14.  We will have transportation for campers.  The transportation will be provided by MSB and will do the usual pick up spots as if they were going to school.  Our sports for next year are beep baseball, track & field, goal ball, ballet, tumbling, and martial arts.  We will also have swimming and bowling in the free time.  You can go on our website and check out our pictures from our first camp.  The address is campabilities-stlouis.org.

If you would like to volunteer or know some children that would like to participate, go to the same web page and print out the application.

If you would like to donate, the checks should be made out to USABA.  The mailing address is on our web page.

Agape Council of the Blind :: June 2016

By Wilma Chestnut-House

We at Agape Council are sorry to announce the passing of long time member, Murlee Kelly in April. She is already missed. Mrs. Kelly Would have turned 87 on May 17. She always made sure that she read everything that was sent out through the Chronicle, and she had no problem with telling you that, “in the Chronicle it said…”.

We send our prayers to her sons and her daughter.

We will be hosting our annual “Gospelfest” on September 11, 2016. It will be held at Greater Faith Church at 4114 Natural Bridge Rd. The event will start at 3:00pm. This year, there will be a special little treat. We are going to present a Children’s Pageant. If you are interested in your child participating, contact Elizabeth Brown by calling (314) 496-8146.

Agape Council of the Blind :: March 2016

By Wilma Chestnut-House

Hello MCB family,

I am happy to say that our member Murlee Kelly is finally back in her house after the fire on July 2, 2015. She moved back in late December. She is still working on putting things together, but she is home.

Our November member of the month, Bessie Reece, is finally out of the hospital and rehab center. She is still recuperating but she is on the mend.

Our beep ball team, “The StL Firing Squad” and Agape Council will be starting a sports camp for visually impaired children from July 31 thru August 5, 2016. It is called “Camp Abilities-St. Louis”. We are #20 for the organization. Our campers must be between the ages of 10 and 16. I know that a lot of you know some of our directors, such as Tom Culliton, William Hawkins, and Geoffery Barney (superintendent of MSB). We are all so excited about this venture. Here is a little bit about us:

Camp Abilities-St. Louis 2016

The purpose of this camp is to empower children with visual impairments to participate in sports to the very best of their ability. This will help them to advocate for themselves and engage in the community to the maximum extent possible. Children with visual impairments should be included in sports and physical activities throughout their lifetime. It is very important that they receive the same opportunities as their peers and be successful.

A camp setting is able to offer children the instruction and tools to learn how to become active members of their schools and communities and provide developmental support for children who are visually impaired.

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to Camp Abilities St. Louis, make checks payable to: USABA Missouri Chapter Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization. You may mail donations to USABA Missouri Chapter Inc., 6714 Scanlan Ave. St. Louis, MO 63139. To facilitate your child's participation in our camp, please call and get a registration form. Complete and remit all accompanying documents and credentials as soon as possible. Due to the limited number of spaces available, only the first 20 applicants to submit their completed registration forms will be accepted.

I am most certainly excited to pass this challenging and unique opportunity onto your child so that they may feel as free and empowered as I do. It is a major goal of Camp Abilities to allow each and every visually impaired child who attends the camp to experience and enjoy the meaning of true independence through sports.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your child's participation in this exciting endeavor, please feel free to contact me by phone at (314)873-9022 or e-mail at wilmachouse@gmail.com.

Agape Council of the Blind :: December 2015

By Wilma Chestnut-House

This year has been a good one for Agape Council of the Blind. I was elected to finish Denny’s term as Public Relations Director, due to the fact he was elected President.

In February, we had our fourth Black History program. It was entitled “Hot Fish, Cold Beer, and the Blues”. We highlighted a lot of the blues singers such as Bessie Smith, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Ray Charles, and Aretha Franklin. On February 16, 2016 our program will be “The History of Gospel Music”. This event will be held at the Grace Fellowship Center at 4276 Athlone.

We had our Chili and Karaoke supper at the Society for the Blind in March. This program is held in order to give a scholarship to a student, to assist them in furthering their education. The scholarship was named after Mrs. Bessie Reece’s mother, Ida Mae Sparkman, to honor her after her death. She was a long time member and a great help to the blind and visually impaired.

Our member, Lillie Wilson, has been the Chair of a committee for the past three years to get donations and sponsorships for EPWORTH, an organization that helps runaway youth. Care packages including such as personalized toiletries, underwear, and winter items are made for the youth. This has been very helpful to the organization.

When I attended the World Series in New York for beep baseball in July, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Lauren Lieberman. She started an organization called Camp Abilities in 1996. It is a one week sports camp for blind and visually impaired children. There are now 12 such camps. Next year, the St. Louis Firing Squad beep baseball team and Agape Council will start the first Camp Abilities in Missouri. It will be held at the Missouri School for the Blind. The dates are July 31 through August 5.

We had our Gospelfest in September. This is a fund raiser, and it also gives the blind and visually impaired a chance to make the public aware of programs, resources, and assistance that MCBVI and our affiliates offer.

Our member, Elizabeth Reece-Moore, remarried her first love, David Brown, on September 22.

At our state convention that was held in Kansas City, I was re-elected to the position of Public Relations Director for the next two years. I am proud and happy to serve the members and MCBVI again.

In October, I led a state wide white cane safety day walk. Ours was held at Union Station in St. Louis. Other affiliates participated in their cities. Ours started off a little shaky, but it was great fun. I took notes and am already working on ways to improve next year. In 2016, it will be held on the actual anniversary date, October 15.

By the time this is issued, we will have had a Christmas brunch with our new affiliate, St. Louis Northern Lights. Welcome Steve and Northern Lights!

As you all know, next year is our 60th anniversary. I will be going to different areas promoting this milestone, where we will have small celebrations. What I need from each affiliate as I do this in your area, is for you to help me find a place to host the event. I will let your president know in advance when it is your turn. Your job is to also try to bring new members to the event. I am hosting the first celebration on December 12 in Kansas City with Act Now. Hopefully, Allied Workers will be attending also.

Agape Council of the Blind 2015 Events :: December 2014

We are still considering a date for retired police officer of Jefferson City, Chuck Walker, to come to St. Louis to give us a presentation on safety and security in the home, on the computer, and in daily living. This date will be in January. Stay tune for more information.

Hot fish, Cold Beer, and the Blues

Our fourth annual Black History Program will be held at the Overland Lions Banquet Hall on February 20, 2015. Address: 2358 Lackland Rd. Overland, MO 63114. Time: Event starts at 6p.m. to 11p.m. Fee: $20. This will include one fish dinner with two sides, water or soda, and dessert. You will receive two tickets for beer or wine. A souvenir booklet is also included.

Entertainment: Mr. Tony Artz will have some of his art for a viewing and for sale. Our band and singers will perform music by some of the greatest blues Kings and Queens that worked the Chitterling circuit. Don’t miss a great show.

For more information contact any Agape member or call (314)873-9022.

Chili! Chili! Chili!

It’s back! Our Chili and Karaoke supper is back. Address: Overland Lions Banquet Hall at 2358 Lackland Rd. Overland, MO 63114. Date: March 21, 2015. Time: 4:p.m. to 8p.m. Fee: Adults, $8 Children 12 and under $4. This includes a choice of two items on the chili menu, soda, water, and dessert.

After every one is served, you can have more. If you sing, you can pick a gift off the table.

We will have four kinds of chili. Come and sing for your supper. For more information, contact any Agape member or call (314)873-9022.

We have other upcoming events, so sit on the edge of your seat until!

Agape Council of the Blind :: November -0001

By Wilma Chestnut-House

In February, Agape Council had a Black History program entitled, “Do You Remember?”  We talked about the history of Lincoln University, Harris-Stowe, Homer G. Phillips Hospital and the man it was named after, and last of all, the Pruitt & Igoe projects.  We had lots of audience participation.  All the adults got on stage and played hand clapping games, bolo bats, and with yo-yo.  We even had marbles, but some of us could not get down on the floor.  We had some professional boppers and they gave some dance lessons.  Last but not least, we had singers like being on the street corners and elevator hallways.  I think we all had a good time.

Agape Council lost one of our members in April.  Eddie Barsh was a blind vet, vice president of Agape, and an original member of The StL Firing Squad Beep Baseball team.  We retired his #58.  He was a D.J. and his handle was “Dr. Blinstein”.  He was also well known for his skating ability.  He was known at most skating rinks in Missouri. He had such a love for skating that he requested that he be buried in, not with, but in his roller skates and he was.

Camp Abilities-St. Louis will have our second camp on July 9 thru 14, 2017.  This year we will have transportation from certain areas.  I will post those places later.  Along with track & field, goal ball, and judo, we will add on swimming, ballet, and tumbling.  We will also have bowling.  The kids will have as much fun as they did last year.  A few of them are also going to get to experience participating in a real beep ball tournament.  If everything works out, they also go to the World Series in W. Palm Beach.  This is what our camp is all about.  Not only are they learning a new competitive sport for the USABA and Para Olympics, they also get the feeling of accomplishment.

Agape Council will also be hosting our annual Gospel fest at 3:00 pm on September 10, 2017 at Greater Faith Church located at 4114 Natural Bridge Road.  If you have a choir or group that would like to sing, call Elizabeth at (314) 496-8146.