[Missouri-l] January Member of the Month
dhuff at moblind.org
Wed Feb 1 09:14:11 CST 2012
Congratulation to Susan Sanderson, Blind of Central Missouri, chosen Member
of the Month for January, 2012. Thank you Susan for the time and energy you
devote to your affiliate, your community, and MCB in promoting the causes of
Member of the Month Committee
Nancy Hodson, David Rosenkoetter, and Yvonne Schnitzler, Chair
Blind of Central Missouri would like to submit the name of Susan Sandersons
for the Member of the Month. Here is a story why. Thanks, Blind of Central
Missouri Linda Gerken, President.
Susan Sanderson is shining star to members of the Blind of Central Missouri
January 02, 2012 11:27 PM
Susan Sanderson has been a beacon of light for the region's blind citizens
for 16 years.
The 60-year-old lifelong Sedalia resident does a little bit of everything
for the Blind of Central Missouri chapter, which was organized in the 1970s.
She acts as the group's treasurer, organizes the annual Missouri Council for
the Blind convention and helps out with transportation when she can.
"I wear many hats," Sanderson said. "Whatever needs to be done, I try to do
BCM President Linda Gerken appreciates everything Sanderson does.
"She does a lot for us," Gerken said. "Being the treasurer involves lots of
paperwork. ... She helps with transportation. ... She puts in a lot of time
and hours that we don't ever see."
The state convention is Sanderson's biggest assignment each year. After a
location is determined, she visits hotels to make sure the facilities are
accessible to those with disabilities, and that the staff feels comfortable
helping the group's members throughout their stay.
"A lot of our people aren't just blind, they're multihandicapped," Sanderson
BCM is hosting this year's convention in October. However, Sedalia doesn't
have enough handicap-accessible lodging, so the convention will be in
Jefferson City, according to Gerken.
Some of the group's funds come from United Way, but the Central Missouri
chapter also raises money through fundraisers, such as candy bar sales and
"I know we're the lowest one on the scale," Sanderson said of the pecking
order for United Way. "We so appreciate what they give because we need to
have transportation for our people. I'll drive people to meetings. I'll pick
them up for get-togethers like picnics. We go to camp. I'll drive several
The Missouri Council for the Blind holds two weeks of summer camps in Cuba,
"The Missouri Council pays for the biggest part of it," Sanderson said. "Our
local organization pays for half of what the individual is supposed to pay."
Sanderson calls the summer camps family-oriented get-together. BCM also
holds a weekend camp for adults only in September.
"It kind of gives parents ... a freedom, and the older ones that don't have
any kids (a chance) to hang out and be kids themselves," Sanderson said.
However, the fellowship for its members at monthly meetings and other
get-togethers is the most important benefit of being a BCM member, Sanderson
said. During each meeting, people offer support, advice and often bring
ideas or items that can help others, according to the BCM's website. The
fellowship is especially important for newly blind people.
"They think the world has ended. They get their keys taken away from them.
They can't drive," Sanderson said.
Many members learn to thrive in the community.
"Some of them are just amazing with what they do," Sanderson said. "We've
had one who was a manager at a radio station. (Nationally), we've had
lawyers. Of course, there was a chiropractor down in Windsor that was blind.
Everybody knows about Dr. Palmer, I think. That's what I've learned. That
they don't sit back and feel sorry for themselves."
BCM has 48 members, with the majority being blind or visually impaired.
Fifty-one percent of the membership must be sight-impaired, and all officers
except treasurer must be blind.
The Missouri Council has around 700 members and 25 affiliated clubs. The
Sedalia group represents people in Pettis, Johnson, Saline and others
counties in west central Missouri.
"I personally have gotten so much from them, more than I've ever given
them," Sanderson said of the BCM membership. "They've told me that they
couldn't do it without us. ... I have, in return, received so much, just in
my inner self."
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Missouri-l