2023 June Missouri Chronicle

The below online Missouri Chronicle includes a Table of Contents with live links going to the start of each article. You may also choose to download the following formats:

MS Word large print with live Table of Contents links
Accessible .pdf large print with live Table of Contents links
Text .txt file with navigation “# # #” to skip to articles
Braille .brf 2023 June Missouri Chronicle

Listen to the audio files here.
The two songs referred to in Member Spotlight are:
Secret Place
My Jesus I Love Thee

The Missouri Chronicle
June 2023 – Vol. LXV No. 1

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.missouricounciloftheblind.org or https://www.moblind.org.

Please send all address changes to the MCB Office.

5453 Chippewa St.
St. Louis, MO 63109
Phone: (314) 832-7172
https://www.missouricounciloftheblind.org or

Bob Collier
(417) 529-2972
chronicle@missouricounciloftheblind.org or

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
Joplin Service Club of the Blind
Blind of Central Missouri
Library Users’ Group
Committees Reporting
Multimedia Report
Health Benefits Committee
Member-of-the-Month Committee
Public Relations Committee
Youth Services Committee
Summer Camp Committee
Sports-and-Recreation Committee
Tips, Advice, and Miscellaneous Information
Tornado safety
Paratransit Rules and Regulations
Member Spotlight
David Plumlee
Leroy Welch
Tech Tidbits
History and Culture
Show Me Missouri History!
Living History Museums
Calendar Of Upcoming Events
MCB Board Meeting Minutes 3/30/2023
MCB Board Meeting Minutes 4/22/2023

Editor’s Note

This is Bob Collier, your newly appointed Missouri Chronicle editor.  I have been a guide and driver for Chip Hailey for about eight years. Over the years I have been amazed to discover how well he and other visually-impaired individuals succeed in tasks that I suspected would be really difficult.   It’s amazing to think about all the things that sighted folks take for granted on a daily basis just because they are able to see. From crossing the street to scanning a room for familiar faces, being visually impaired can make even the simplest tasks difficult. However, it’s truly awe-inspiring to see how well many of you are able to do life nonetheless.

First of all, visually-impaired individuals are typically incredibly resilient. They have to be, as they often face challenges that many of us can’t imagine. Despite these challenges, many are able to adapt and find ways to navigate their environment in a way that works for them.  Chip has told me about how he struggled after he lost his sight.  But with God’s help he has overcome.  I’m sure overcoming involves among other things, relying on other senses, such as touch and sound, and developing a keen sense of spatial awareness.

Another remarkable thing I have discovered about visually-impaired individuals is your ability to pursue your passions and dreams despite your disability. From musicians to athletes, actors to chefs, MCB members have proven time and time again that you can excel in virtually any field you set your minds to. This not only demonstrates your remarkable tenacity and perseverance, but also serves as an inspiration to me and other sighted individuals.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that visually-impaired individuals often have a unique perspective on the world that many of us are unable to appreciate. Living without sight forces you to rely on other senses to understand and navigate your environment, which means you often have a heightened sense of awareness and a deep appreciation for the beauty that surrounds us all. In a way, you are able to see the world in a way that many of us cannot.

In conclusion, I continue to be amazed at how well all of my visually-impaired friends do life. Your resilience, passion, and unique perspective serve as an inspiration to us all, reminding us that anything is possible if we set our minds to it.

Hopefully, upcoming issues of the Missouri Chronicle will highlight some of the super talent in MCB.

President’s Report

by Kay Malmquist

Greetings to all of you.  Once again, I’m back with you to take another look at what has been happening with the Missouri Council.  I am pleased to see the Missouri Chronicle up and running once more.  Many thanks to Bob Collier for stepping forward and agreeing to become the editor.  He will do a great job.  But he needs your help as well.  Don’t forget as presidents, committee chairs, and those of you who may have seen or have ideas for articles, submit them and bring your corner of the world to the rest of us.

Since we missed an installment of the Missouri Chronicle, there is just that much more to tell you about.

MCB has been involved in several events, thanks to our public relations chair Donna Weidlich and chair of Education and Advocacy, Kim Reece.  Donna attended a few local events, and we had a booth at Missouri Assistive Technology’s Power-up Conference in Columbia.  With Kim, we went to Washington DC to attend the mid-year leadership conference held every year by ACB.  It felt really good to be attending in person once again.  Then a group of us went to Jefferson City to visit the capitol and bring our concerns to the legislators.  We are gearing up and coming out of our shell, so to speak, and making our presence known.  It feels good to be reconnecting with so many organizations and people we have worked with in the past.

On the communications front, we have conducted two Town-Hall type meetings.  The purpose of these is to invite all of you who wish to learn more about what is happening with MCB to do so, and also allow you to ask questions and give us ideas that you would like us to talk about. This communication is really needed and wanted.  In those meetings, it was good to see all who attended. We would love to have more of you attend.  What I’d like to do is have one every month at a pre-scheduled time. Then, if you have ideas of subject matter you would like discussed, you could let either vice president Chip or me know.  We want to talk about what you would like and not just what we think should be discussed.  So the next time a meeting is announced, bring your thoughts.  It will be an open forum, allowing for all your comments. This is really important to us. Likewise, if you want to contact us at any time with your thoughts, be they happy or not, please do so.

Still on the communication front, our website is coming along wonderfully.  It will always be a work in progress, but that is a good thing.  Look it over and tell us what you like, what you don’t like, and what is missing. With suggestions please contact the multi-media chair, Raymond Bishop, at
media@missouricounciloftheblind.org. If you prefer to contact vice president Chip, me, or a board member about any of this, absolutely do so.

At the end of February, the board voted to no longer retain Eugene Taylor of Taylor’s Business Solutions as our consultant.  I am working on implementing some of the ideas, procedures and processes he recommended.  Now we are exploring if we are committed enough to work with another gentleman, Bill Reeder, who is currently working with ACB.  He would help us with our Strategic Plan, fund- raising and finding a qualified Executive Director.  However, we certainly don’t need to make the same mistakes twice with consultants; so we need consensus on what is needed and who can provide it.  More on this as time passes. This has been an interesting ride for me, learning what has been done, what needs to be done, and how we deal with what we have.  I’m not trying to be cryptic here.  A lot of circumstances have changed in this organization, and we have to change or grow with them.  We need people who are interested in adapting to that change.  If this peaks your interests and you want to get involved, let us know.

On Wednesday, the 26th of April, Virginia Drapkin, MCB’s office manager resigned effective May 12, 2023.  We will definitely miss her.  We wish her all the best in her next adventure and hope it is everything she hopes it will be.
In closing, I am sure there are events that I have missed, and I am sorry for that.  There is still a lot that we need to do.  Having said this though, I am enjoying working and learning with you all.  Please give me the benefit of the doubt, and let’s work and grow together.  Take care.  Reach out and talk with us.

Affiliates Reporting


by Patrick Patton and Wilma Chestnut

Springtime is upon us and, as always, we’re looking forward to good things, good times, and good weather ahead. We hope that everyone is able to take advantage of these warm days to get outside and stretch and enjoy the fresh air. We know you are so ready for a change in seasons.

Here’s a recap of what we’ve been doing the last couple of months. At the end of February, we successfully completed our black history program. The black history program came together with the help of an amazing group of AGAPE members and friends.  We were able to raise money for the organization and provide a good time for our family and friends.

Also, we sponsored the 2023 Saint Louis Regional Braille Challenge (STLRBC) Awards luncheon ceremony at the Missouri School for the Blind. The STLRBC is part of the National Braille Challenge, which was designed to support and enrich the reading and writing of Braille.

On March 21, we traveled to the Missouri state capital, Jefferson City, for the Missouri Council of the Blind’s (MCB) Legislation Day. We met face-to-face with lawmakers and advocated for two bills to be passed, encouraging the accessibility for blind and visually-impaired individuals. We had a good turnout, and it was nice to see what we can accomplish when we work together.

On March 25, 2023, AGAPE hosted a Chili Supper and Karaoke Dinner held at the St. Louis Society for the Blind and Visually Impaired. This was a fundraiser event for AGAPE’s Ida Mae Sparkman Scholarship fund. A special thanks to Society for the Blind for use of their facility. Thanks also to all of our participants.

Several types of chili’s were made: taco, vegetarian, spicy, and beef.  Participants had the option to make nachos, chili dogs, and add onions, jalapenos, sour cream, cheese, etc. The D.J., Christopher L. Bell, was a master of music, playing music from all genres.  He started the singing off with a Stevie Wonder song.  Many participated in the karaoke and had lots of fun.  Everyone had a great time, stomachs were full, and the pots went home empty! Hope to see you all in next year’s event!

There are conventions coming up. We would like to encourage anyone who is able to attend the American Council of the Blind and the Missouri Council of the Blind conventions to do so. More information is included in this newsletter.

We would like to wish happy birthday to our members and welcome new members to AGAPE. As a reminder, our website is up and running at https://www.agapecouncil.org. Note our mission of improving the quality of life for the blind and visually impaired.

Black History Month Celebration
Written by Wilma Chestnut
This year’s Black History program was probably the most informative one that we have had. We had great speakers to describe the pictures and tell the story behind each one. We spoke on slavery, lynching, mass incarceration, the bus boycott, and the truth about how and why Bloody Sunday began. Some of the key figures were M. L. King Jr., Albert Turner Sr. along with his wife Evelyn Turner, Stephen Hogue, John Lewis, Rosa Parks, Joann Robinson, and Jimmy Lee Jackson.

Attendance prizes were given which included jewelry, men’s cologne, and MCB raffle tickets for the July 2 baseball game against the Yankees.

We would like to thank all of our AGAPE members, our wonderful speakers, our audio-visual technician, our vendors, and all of our guests. We hope to see everyone at next year’s event!

Calendar of Events

Activities for the Month

Saturday, April 1
•    11 AM: AGAPE Meeting at MCB; immediately following the meeting will be a fellowship with food and music.

Saturday, April 29
•    Mother’s Day Raffle: A fundraiser giving away a Mother’s Day basket

On-Going Activities
•    We Keep It Moving

Every Tuesday & Thursday
•    Prayer Line from 8:30am-9 AM on AGAPE Conference Line

Every Tuesday
•    $2 Tuesday Bowling at Olivette Lanes from Noon to 3 PM

Every Thursday
•    Chair Exercises with Wilma, Conference Line

Joplin Service Club of the Blind

by Stephanie Mann

After taking a year off from meetings due to the Covid epidemic, the Service club was excited to be able to get back together for lunches every Tuesday and the occasional Thursday night dinners provided by local sororities and clubs.

Sadly over the course of the past 18 months we have lost 11 of our members due to death.  However, we have been blessed with some new members who are glad to join us for lunch every Tuesday and enjoy a time of visiting with people who share the same disability.  

We are very thankful for the Joplin Association for the Blind who provides us with a place to meet, volunteers who drive the buses bringing us in and cooking delicious meals.  Our cooks, Marge O’Brian and Becky Brinson, make some really delicious meals and their husbands, Rob O’Brian and Tony Brinson, drive the vans.  We have several volunteers who serve the meals and help clean up afterward.  Some of these ladies have been doing this for a number of years.  

The Joplin Association for the Blind holds two fund-raisers each year, and the Service Club is happy to be involved in helping with them.  Members help with donating items or money to the Silent Auction as well as baking desserts to be served.  Our president, Shirley Ritter and Wendall Wilcox, our MCB representative, collect the money for our pecan and walnut sales.    

Current officers include:  Shirley Ritter, President – Jim Smith, Vice President – Gail Vaughan, Secretary Treasurer.  Shirley Chambers, who was our secretary, was one of the 11 members we lost this year.  Wendall Wilcox is our MCB Representative.  We appreciate the time that is put in by the officers of the club.

Blind of Central Missouri

by Alicia Starner

The Blind of Central Missouri has been very busy the last six months. We celebrated the holidays at the Celebration Center in Sedalia on December 5, 2022, with a fabulous catered dinner. As we say goodbye to the long, cold winter nights and hello to the beautiful smells of fresh flowers and the sounds of singing birds, we have started to plan for our annual June picnic in the park. It is sure to be a great time for those in attendance. Thinking of birds, we are very proud to report that we have sold over 100 raffle tickets to buyers who are hoping to visit Busch stadium and enjoy a day with the famous Fred Bird of the St. Louis Cardinals. Sedalia is in the heart of Royals country, so we were quite surprised to find so many awesome Cardinals fans in our area. We have many looking forward to attending our fabulous camp program again this year at Cobblestone. Our newest member, Jade Smith, is attending camp this year for the first time; so everyone give her a warm welcome, and don’t take too many of her nickels at the Pass-the-Trash table. I hope everyone has a blessed and enjoyable spring and summer season.

Library Users’ Group

By Brian Wekamp

The Library Users’ group met by way of conference call on Monday, April 24. We had about 15 members present.
We are going to do a fund-raiser with Farmstead snacks and nuts.  

The membership dues are going to increase to $15.00  per year. To pay dues you can call the MCB office at 314- 832-7172.

We will have our yearly meeting this October in Springfield at Convention.

Committees Reporting

Multimedia Report

By Raymond Bishop

Greetings from the Multimedia Chair!  As I sit and write this message we are starting to warm up, and in fact, get down right hot!  Maybe 80 is not hot, but we have flirted with 90 already and all too soon will be again.  

If you had not had a chance, please go and visit https://missouricounciloftheblind.org or https://moblind.org (more about this below) and poke about and see what you like and do not like.  In February, a new webmaster was hired to make Missouri Council’s website great again.  In my humble opinion, Annette has gone about this with a true love and grace.  We gave her one big challenge, and she has been able to meet us at every twist and turn with more and better thoughts and ideas then I ever could or would have imagined.  I have been told by many sighted individuals, it really looks professional and really makes Missouri Council of the Blind shine.  

Why the two websites? It really is one website with two ways to get to the same destination. In 2005 and 2006 both domains were purchased: moblind.org and missouricounciloftheblind.org. One reason to have both domains live now is for improved professional branding. Another is better SEO (Search Engine Optimization). That means if a person is searching online for organizations in Missouri that can help with blindness issues, or if they know the name of our organization, but don’t know the word ‘moblind’, they will find us in the search easier. The domain “missouricounciloftheblind” is redirected to “moblind” already; so you can put either in your browser and arrive where you belong. Also, you may notice that all the MCB emails now will get to the desired person whether you type for example, media@moblind.org or media@missouricounciloftheblind.org. This is designed not to be confusing, but to be simplified and more easily found. Regarding branding, we are Missouri Council of the Blind. Now our website and emails say that. Don’t worry: if you still want to type moblind for the website and emails, you’ll continue to get to the right place.

Shortly, if not already at the time of this publication, the webpage extensions will be related to the domain. When someone types in www.moblind.org he/she will be directed to www.missouricounciloftheblind.org.  Thank you for being with us in this exciting transition period.

I have Terry Nord on my team and I have asked Terry to take the Information Line 773-572-6387 and to give it a new sound.  He has been working some other projects but assures me it is on his to-do list.  

I also can tell you we now have twelve (12) email groups.  We have the MCB-Announce, MCB-ATI (Adaptive Technology Information), MCB-Board, MCB-Chat, MCB-Education, MCB-Members-at-Large, MCB-Presidents, MCB-Sports-Recreation, MCB-Strategic-Planning, MCB-Transportation, Missouri-l, and Showmepaws (a list for the Missouri Guide Dogs Users affiliate).  All of these have been put on to the Mailman system and after a week of shaky start when the lists were migrated, they seem to be working and running smoothly.

Not only have these projects been going on, but online fillable forms include: summer camp application, membership-at-large application, Take-Me-Out-to-the-Ballpark ticket sales, Convention Grant Request, ATI Grant Request, First-Timer Program, Special Services Program, Public Transit Compliment and Complaint Forms  and many other forms. We also have extended methods of easily making donations with several options for the donor.  I urge you to go and take a look.  If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at media@moblind.org or call 314-423-5452.  If I am not available; I will get your voicemail and return your call as quickly as I can.  Take care and please shoot a message to me if you have any questions or ideas.  We are interested in what you, the membership, have in mind.  This website and organization belong to you!

Health Benefits Committee

by Alicia Starner

Beat the Heat

As we plan to share the beauty of animals at the zoo with our children, plan delicious picnics in the park, and embark on jaw-dropping, dare-defying rides on roller coasters at amusement parks, your Health Benefits Committee wants to make sure you are prepared to have fun in the sun without endangering your health. Skin cancer is reported by the American Cancer Society as being one of the most diagnosed cancers in people of all age groups. How can you enjoy the sunshine and reduce your risk of skin cancer or other heat-related injuries? This article will help you understand some of the health complications of spending unprotected time in the sun and how to protect your health while enjoying summer activities.

Protecting your skin from the harmful rays of the sun is one way you can reduce your risk of skin cancer or painful sunburns. The most effective way of protecting your skin is to wear clothes that cover your skin or use broad-spectrum sunscreen with a SPF of at least 15. When applying sunscreen, make sure to reapply every couple of hours to ensure you have the maximum protection. You can protect the delicate skin on your face and head by wearing a hat with a wide brim.  And don’t forget your eyes. Your eyes are very susceptible to damage from sun; so wearing protective sunglasses that filter damaging UVA and UVB rays may ensure your peepers are safe. In addition to causing damage to your skin, spending long periods of time outside on hot summer days can also make you susceptible to heat-related complications like heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Heat stroke results when your body temperature rises to 104° or higher. Normal body temperature falls in the range of 97°-99°; thus, a body temperature of 104° presents a significant risk to your health. Symptoms of heat stroke include altered mental status or confusion, excessive sweating, hot dry skin, seizures, and very high body temperature. If you or someone you love has any of these symptoms while spending time outside on a hot summer day, take precautions, because heat stroke is a major medical emergency. You should call 911 and then place the affected person in a tub of cold water, spray a mist of water on him/her while in front of a fan, cover with a cool damp sheet, or get the victim into an air-conditioned environment. Cooling the body is the best way of reversing or minimizing the long-term effects of heat stroke. If you suspect someone is suffering from a heat stroke, act quickly as possible to minimize serious health complications such as brain damage, organ damage, and even death. Heat exhaustion is a less severe heat complication but can lead to heat stroke quickly if not treated. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, irritability, excessive thirst, profuse sweating, and elevated body temperature. If you or a loved one is suffering from any or all of these symptoms, find a cool place to rest, preferably in an air-conditioned environment, drink plenty of water or sports drinks, spray water in your face, or get into a tub with cool water. Cooling your body quickly can help you feel a lot better and reduce your risk of suffering a heat stroke. Taking the proper precautions and understanding your body’s need for cooling can help minimize your risk of serious health complications from spending time in the sun and ensure you have more days to share with your loved ones.

Member-of-the-Month Committee

By Wanda Matlock, Chair

I would like to start by saying congratulations to each of the Member-of-the-Month Recipients!  Also, a big thank you to everyone who sent in nomination letters.  Remember, we need nomination letters so we can have recipients; so it is very important that you keep sending in those letters.  We never want to have to skip a month because of not having nomination letters to consider.
Listed below please find the guidelines for Member of the Month and the recipients from November 2022 through March 2023.

If you need assistance in writing your nomination letter or have any questions about this program, please give me a call at: (573) 379-3880 or email me at wmatlock561@gmail.com

The Member-of-the-Month Committee consists of:
Bob Jaco
Nancy Hodson
Wanda Matlock, Chair

Thank you and keep those letters coming!

Qualifications for the award:

  1. Must be a member of MCB in good standing to nominate an individual.
  2. Nominee must be a member of MCB in good standing.
  3. A blind member may be nominated for service to the blind or for service to their community even if it does not affect the visually impaired.
  4. A sighted member must make a positive contribution in assisting the blind.
  5. Monthly nominations will be held over for later consideration.
  6. The MCB Member-of-the-Month Committee will select the recipients.

All nominations must include:

  1. Name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and affiliate name of the nominee.
  2. A short paragraph telling what the nominee has done and why you believe he/she is deserving of the award.
  3. Name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and affiliate name of the person making the nomination.
  4. Nominations may be in the format of your choice.
  5. The recipient of the award will receive a certificate and a $25 gift card. Monthly award recipients will be recognized at the MCB Convention banquet in October and of those recipients, we will honor a “member of the year” with a cash award of one hundred dollars.

Send nominations to:

By mail:    
Wanda Matlock, Committee Chair
#11 Five O Drive
Portageville, MO 63873-9115

By Email:

Winning Nominee for November, 2022

I am submitting the name of Scott Trapasso to be honored as Member of the Month.  I have had the opportunity to get to know Scott while attending Summer Camp.  The Trapasso family never misses an opportunity to attend camp.  Scott has been raised with courtesy and willingness to assist.  You do not need to ask him for assistance.  When he sees the need, he jumps to the rescue.

The Trapasso family have been members since 1972.  They are dedicated to MCB!

There are so many ambitious members of MCB, and I am only acknowledging Scott at this time.  The Trapasso family must be very proud of Scott and I am proud to know him.

I have wanted to submit Scott as the “Member of the Month” for several years, and I am finally getting it done.
It is an honor to know you, Scott.

Submitted by Beverly Kaskadden

Winning Nominee for December, 2022

Dear Member-of-the-Month Committee,
I would like to submit the name of Jannel Morris to be considered for the Member-of-the-Month award.

Jannel works full time for the Veterans Hospital in Columbia, Mo.  Jannel is a member of Tiger Council of the Blind, Strategic Planning Committee chair for MCB, and is the president for Missouri Council of Citizens with Low Vision special interest affiliate.

As you can see, Jannel is a very devoted member of MCB and works very hard for the several positions that she holds in Missouri Council of the Blind.

Submitted by Joseph Dobbs
Member of Blind of Central Missouri and Special Services chairperson for MCB.

Winning Nominee for January, 2023

I would like to nominate Jan Sifford for member of the month.  Jan is a member of St. Louis Northern Lights council.  Jan has been a member since the start of Northern Lights and has been the backbone of our group.  
She worked with Steve Schnelle to get Northern lights going and has been one of our valued members since.  She works relentlessly to ensure every event, fundraiser, and outing or party goes smoothly and effortlessly.  She does whatever the group needs to help.  She has volunteered at camp for activities and does amazing work.

She is not afraid to stop someone on the street and inform them about MCB and invite them to a meeting. She is constantly looking for new things for our group to see and do.  She deserves this nomination for all her hard work and dedication.

Thank you,
Tammie Schnelle

Winning Nominee for February, 2023

River City Workers of the Blind would like to submit the name Debby Campbell as MCB member of the month. She has been a member of River City Workers of the Blind since 2014. Debby has a daughter, Linda, who is blind and has autism.

She is a very caring person and is always willing to take the reins and go with projects, social events, fund raisers, and always helps to keep us informed of the things that are available for the blind and visually-impaired.

One of our favorite service projects is a Christmas project for the visually-impaired, blind, and handicapped children in our area. She chairs the entire project, getting gifts for boys and girls, if possible, getting an item that the child may want. She does the shopping, wrapping, and delivers them also. She goes above and beyond the call-of-duty because she has a good and generous heart. She also helps with other projects in our community. These are a few of the things that Debby participates in, and now you know the rest of the story. This is why Debby deserves to be MCB member of the month.                                                
River City Workers of the Blind

Winning Nominee for March, 2023

I would like to nominate Kim Reese for member of the month. She has been a member of SCCCB and MCB for about 6 years. In that time, she has held office in the St Charles County Council of the Blind in multiple positions.

She is currently President for SCCCB in her Second term and has led the membership well. She had represented SCCCB as our Education and Advocacy representative until most recently when she took on the position of MCB chairperson for the Education and Advocacy Committee.

She represented MCB recently in Washington DC and took her committee and other interested members to Jefferson City on the 20 and 21st of March to present two bills. She has acknowledged membership concerns and has written some additional information to present on behalf of the MCB membership.

She is also enthusiastic and willing to jump in to help with organizational projects. She has been working with the SCCCB membership to inspire other members to become more involved in the organization.

Respectfully Submitted

Public Relations Committee

by Donna Weidlich, Chair

On February 15th, Patti Shonlau and I attended the Braille Challenge at Missouri School for the Blind. We visited with students and presented the winners with a Braille puzzle game called Bananagram, thanks to the MCB Youth Services committee. I was told it was a big hit.

On April 3rd and 4th Celita White and I attended Power Up which is a technology exhibition in Columbia Missouri. There were exhibits for people with many different disabilities. We had a table for MCB and were very popular with our chocolate baseballs and Crackerjacks. We also sold several raffle tickets for our fund-raiser baseball game.

On May 20th I will be speaking to a new group at the St. Louis Society for the Blind and Visually Impaired called VIP (visually-impaired people.)

If anyone needs MCB promotional items or brochures, please let me know. Any help in promoting MCB is always appreciated.

Youth Services Committee

by Linda Gerken

Spring is almost here.  Before you get out of school, talk to your teacher for next year and see if there is anything you will need for next fall.  If we can help you order the educational item that you will need over the summer, then you will be ready to start next fall.  Also, as soon as you know which camp you plan to attend, please send in your application to the office. There are lots of good camps for children and youth so let me know which one sounds like the most fun.  If at any time you have any questions about an educational item or a camp, please call me.  Linda Gerken, 1 660 826 1690 or lindag@iland.net.  We can help only if you let us know what you need. I would like to congratulate all of you seniors getting ready for college.  Don’t forget that M. C. B. has a scholarship program. Please feel free to call any time.  

Summer Camp Committee

by Beverly Kaskadden

It is wonderful that we have the Missouri Chronicle back in business.  I appreciate Bob Collier for stepping up to become our editor.  Thank you so much Bob.

Are you ready?  Are your bags packed?  Most importantly, did you get your application sent in to the MCB office?  

Those coming in late August still have time, but those attending the week-long sessions have missed the deadline date of May 1st.  

No matter the date, you can contact me any time for questions concerning camp, or anything else for that matter.

Our numbers are rising each year.  We are feeling better about COVID, and confident about the conditions at Camp. The Cobblestone staff bend over backwards to take care of us.

I have not seen all the applications as of this writing, but I will soon.  I do know that we have some new attendees coming, and I am so looking forward to getting to know them.  I always enjoy hearing their comments about the MCB Summer Camp Program.  Here is an opportunity for individuals to reconnect with friends and meet new ones.  

If you have any questions, please reach out to me, and I will be glad to answer all your questions.
Camp Cheerleader,

Sports-and-Recreation Committee

by Wilma Chestnut-House

White Cane Safety Day Fund-Raiser
The event will be held at Ellis Riverfront Park on October 14, 2023.  The address is 300 Ellis Porter Dr., Jefferson City, MO  65101.

The reason for this location is that it is the state capital, it is centrally located, and the park is fabulous!  I am also requesting for Jefferson City Parks Department to sponsor us.  Registration is between 9:00 am-12:00 pm.  

The registration fee is $35.  For this you will receive a t-shirt with sponsors’ names on the back and MCB on the front.  You will receive food, water, soda, and energy bars.  There will be prizes for the group, female, and male  that raise the most money and the female and male who walk the longest distance with a cane or a guide dog.  There will be a prize for the longest runner (male and female) and wheelchairs.

We plan to have vendors, hopefully Central Dairy (ice Cream).

The restrooms are at the pavilion with a playground for toddlers and another one for older kids.

There is a basketball area very close to the pavilion also.  I will be requesting some passes for the pool which is within walking distance.   

If you or your affiliate would like to participate, please contact Wilma at (314)873-9022 or wilmachouse@gmail.com.

I will start sending out registration forms and sponsor sheets the first week of June.  Even if you do not want to join us, please work at getting sponsors.  It would be great to have all of the affiliates and special-interest groups represented.  

If you live in St. Louis, I am the person to contact concerning getting in shape for walking. If you are a runner, Chad Dillon is the person to contact, or you can start your own group.

If you live in one of the other cities, please step forward and assist in starting a walking or running group.
This should be lots of fun!

Tips, Advice, and Miscellaneous Information

Tornado safety

by April Gray

Alerts are very important with tornado safety. Make sure you have more than one means of alerting you. When you’re sleeping you might not hear alerts.

A basement far from windows is generally the best place to go during a tornado. If you’re in an apartment, ask the manager if there is a storm shelter. If there is, get with a neighbor to help you to it. If you have no access to a basement, get on the floor next to your bed and slide the mattress a bit over the top of you. That way if there is damage, it will fall on the bed leaving a protected space for you. Keep a whistle next to the bed to signal rescuers. Your phone may or may not have a signal, and you can yell at full force for only 3-4 minutes before losing your voice. Wait in that area until an all-clear is reported or time for the warning is expired.

Afterwards there may be debris in your area; so be careful if you go out right away, especially if you have a service dog.

There could be outages in your area; so having an emergency kit is important. Always keep your emergency kit, if possible, in the place you will go in an emergency. If you cannot, keep it close by to grab quickly.

Paratransit Rules and Regulations

by Robyn Wallen, Transportation Committee Chair

We all get frustrated with our paratransit services but to be the best advocates we can be, it is important we understand the rules and regulations that govern these services.  Sometimes we just don’t know where to look; so I will do my best to lay out the rules for you here.  All of this information was taken from the FTA frequently-asked- questions page.  You can access that page by going to, Transit.dot.gov.  After all, education is power.

What is paratransit limited to only where there is a bus?

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), paratransit functions as a “safety net” for persons whose disabilities prevent them from using the regular fixed-route system. It is not intended to meet all of the transportation needs of all persons with disabilities all of the time. The level of service provided is required to be comparable to that available on the fixed-route system; the hours and days of operation must be the same, and service must be provided to origins and destinations within three-fourths of a mile of a bus route (or between points within a three-fourths of a mile radius of different rail stations). There is no obligation to provide service to points beyond the service area, or during times of day or on days of the week when the comparable bus route or rail line is not operating. Of course, nothing in the ADA prohibits a transit system from operating service above and beyond the minimum ADA requirements. It is also important to note that while the term “paratransit” is often used to mean any kind of demand-responsive transportation service, it has a specific meaning under the ADA. The ADA paratransit eligibility criteria and service requirements apply only to paratransit operated as a complement to a fixed-route system operated by a public entity; there are separate provisions covering demand-responsive service provided for the general public.

What are the required paratransit reservations hours?

Paratransit reservation service must be available during at least all normal business hours of the entity’s administrative offices, as well as during times, comparable to normal business hours, on a day when the entity’s offices are not open before a service day (e.g., on a Sunday).

Did you know that they cannot charge you for a trip to be evaluated for paratransit services?

Transit agencies are prohibited from making applicants pay for transportation to and from an assessment, as the assessment is part of the eligibility process. They are also prohibited from charging an application fee.

Did you know that the Americans with Disabilities Act limited the number of subscription trips to 50 % of available trips

As long as it does not absorb more than 50% of the available trips at a given time of day, the ADA permits a transit operator to provide subscription service above the 50% ceiling if it finds it has excess capacity available (i.e., all requests for next-day service are met and capacity to provide additional trips remains). If, after constant monitoring, it finds next-day requestors are being denied trips, the operator must either increase its passenger carrying capacity or reduce the number of subscription trips.

How are paratransit operating hours determined?

Complementary paratransit service must be available during the same days and hours that fixed-route service operates.  If an individual can travel from a given origin to a given destination on a particular fixed-route at a certain time of day, a paratransit eligible person must also be able to travel from the same origin to that same destination on paratransit at that time of day. Because paratransit service is required to be available during the same hours and days as the fixed-route system, and because not all fixed-routes will necessarily be operating at a given time on a given day, the shape of the paratransit service area can be expected to change accordingly. For example, it is common for certain routes to not run late at night. Those routes, and their associated paratransit corridors, do not need to be served with paratransit when the fixed-route system is not running on them

Are paratransit providers required to get public input from their customers in developing and maintaining a paratransit plan?

Yes, in developing a paratransit plan, an agency must ensure public participation through outreach, consultation with individuals with disabilities, opportunity for public comment on the plan, and at least one public hearing. Additionally, they are required to have an “ongoing mechanism for the participation of individuals with disabilities in the continued development and assessment of services to persons with disabilities.”  Most agencies establish an Advisory Committee.

Did you know that comparable service is also based on the length of a trip?

A paratransit trip should be comparable in length to an identical trip on the fixed-route system, including the time necessary to travel to the bus stop, wait for the bus, actual riding time, transfers, and travel from the final stop to the person’s ultimate destination.

What is the maximum amount you can be charged for a paratransit trip?

Under the law the most you can be charged for a paratransit trip is twice that of the regular bus fare.   Therefore, if bus fare is $1, they can charge you only $2 for a similar paratransit trip.

Is a transit agency allowed to negotiate your pickup time?

Yes, it can up to one hour before or after the individual’s desired departure time. Any deviation from this one-hour window would exceed the bounds of comparability. This means that in the event an individual accepts and takes a trip negotiated to begin more than one hour before or after his or her desired departure time, the transit operator must still record a denial based on its inability to provide the trip within the timeframe specified under DOT ADA regulations.

These are just some of the basic rules and regulations that govern paratransit. I will share more in the future not just about paratransit but about regulations governing buses, and light rail.  I hope this information is helpful.

Member Spotlight

David Plumlee

Editor’s Note:  I would like to occasionally spotlight members who have unique skills, talent, hobbies, or jobs.  This quarter, the spotlight is on David Plumlee, who arranges and records music.  He gives us a concise history of home recording, with emphasis on his own recording and arranging.

Many of us enjoy singing or playing an instrument for the pleasure of making music whether as entertainers or just for the sheer pleasure of music making.  I am pretty sure that most of us who have engaged in music making have at least occasionally wished for a way to “keep” a performance to hear it again or play it for others.  The audio recorder – no matter the medium employed for that recording – makes that enjoyment possible.  The history of audio recording goes all the way back to the Edison cylinders late in the 1800s and extends well into the modern computer-based digital recording technologies used by commercial recording companies.  Although such equipment has long been outside the budget and ability of home musicians, some “disk recorders” which a homeowner might buy appeared in the 40s.  One of these recorders would cut single scratchy 78-RPM records, and some amusement centers featured small booths where one could drop in a coin and capture a performance of a couple of minutes in length.  The quality of these recordings was a far cry from that obtainable by even some basic recorders now available.  One “hallmark” of these recorders is that a recording, once cut into a disk, could not be erased nor corrected in any way.  When I was a small child, I saw one of those recorders and held a handful of “thread” which was actually the “string” of material removed from the surface of the disk during the recording process.  

Home recording took a giant step forward with the introduction of the “wire recorder” having a mechanism transporting wire from a “supply spool” across a magnetic head to a “take-up spool.”  In my opinion, the “golden advantage” of the wire recorder was the system of magnetic recording which provided the ability to erase part or all of a recording and redo it.  

Home audio recording took another giant leap forward when magnetic tape replaced the spools of wire which could easily become tangled or broken.  The fidelity of recordings on the tape recorder far surpassed those made on the old wire technology.

Our little history will begin with the era of magnetic tape, which consists of a thin, flexible plastic material coated with something from the “iron oxide” family which would readily respond to a magnetic signal.  The early tape recorders continued the deck with a supply reel of tape, the magnetic “head,” and a take-up reel to hold the tape after the audio was recorded on it.

A few years after magnetic tape became affordable and practical for homeowners, stereo recording was introduced.  Some of these recorders had auto-reverse mechanisms; but the common setup required the operator to manually turn over the reels and swap them to access the “other side” of the tape.  

The next step of interest to us is the introduction of the so-called “Phillips cassette,” a rectangular plastic package containing two reels serving as “supply” and “take-up” reels.  As we all know, this cassette system greatly simplified tape handling procedures; you just “pop” a cassette into the machine and begin operation. What if you wanted to record your own performance of a duet – piano and guitar, two-voice song, or the like?  Some folks managed the process with only one recorder by recording the first part, covering the erase head so that the part would not be erased on the second pass, then recording that second pass; but that approach was not satisfactory because you would have no good way to hear the first track as you performed the second one.  

The approach used by many home musicians was to obtain a second recorder, record the first part on the first machine, rewind the tape, play it back while the second machine would be on record and the second part was performed.  My first “multitrack recordings” were done by using one mike to “hear” the first track coming from one recorder and my performance of the second track with the second recorder catching the combined sound of both tracks.  Much improvement in audio quality came when “audio mixers” became affordable to the home “recordist.”  With a mixer, the audio from the “playback device” could be fed by a cable called a “patch cord” to one input of this mixer with the mike, or maybe an electric guitar, connected to a second input of that mixer. The sound quality was noticeably improved because the audio was for the first time in digital rather than analog medium.  Gone was the small speed variations called “wow” and “flutter” caused by the mechanical transports on tape systems.  Using two CDRW disks, I was able to produce pretty good recordings of songs involving six or eight “tracks”; with a stereo mixer, stereo recording was also possible; but that system had the same drawback found on the earlier tape bouncing schemes in that the last track being recorded was the only one on which any correction could be made.  

Welcome the “multitrack digital recorder” having four independent tracks at first, but soon burgeoning to perhaps as many as 24 tracks as I have on my Tascam DP24 in my home recording studio.  Such equipment provided several totally independent mono tracks which could be treated as stereo pairs; for the first time in multitrack recording, the recordist could continue to have individual control of each track including its level, placement in the stereo “field” (called panning”), as well as bass and treble equalization.

One more wonderful addition to the home recordist’s digital toolbox came by way of a “punch-in/punch-out” facility on the modern recorder.  This system would allow a singer to redo one phrase of a song either by pressing a button or pedal at exactly the point to start the corrective recording and repeating that “press” to stop the record process, or by setting a pair of marks to define the portion to be recorded again, much like an editing system prevalent on word-processing equipment.

So far, we have been considering “hardware recorders” with real buttons and knobs; but there is now a very competent group of “software recorders” in which a program running on a PC or Mac computer captures the sound and also does many of the functions I have done for a few years on my Tascam recorder. My recorder is in the class of “dedicated recorders,” meaning that it is designed only for recording and editing sound recordings – without printing, word processing, email, graphical manipulation and other capabilities common on any modern computer.  

My degree in music and my love of country and rock music of the 50s and 60s along with my preference for equipment with buttons and knobs over the mouse and touch-panel equipment all work together to give me a strong interest in arranging, performing, and recording multitrack music.  I frequently create a quartet in which I sing all four parts or my wife might sing one or two of them; I also record country and rock music with as many tracks as I need for a one-man band, which I fittingly call “Knobby Mountain Band.”  

I would encourage anyone with decent computer skills wanting to try multitrack recording to look at one of the programs written for the computer system at hand because you already have much of the equipment needed including accessibility software within your computer.  Goldwave, Reaper, and a few other programs have trial versions available which allow a person to use them either for a limited period of time after installation or after a prescribed number of operations have been performed.  I like Goldwave because it continues the feel of the traditional recorder with dedicated keys for its functions.  GarageBand is one program written for Apple equipment such as the iPhone.  

In conclusion, the primary objective should usually be that of having fun and creating something which is yours to enjoy and share with family and friends. Following are a couple of examples of music I have arranged and recorded.

The 2 above audio files can be accessed by going to www.missouricounciloftheblind.org and going to the chronicle page.

Leroy Welch

Leroy did lots for the Missouri Council for many, many years. His daughter, Rachel Houston, just published a book about his life and how he did not see himself as having a disability. It is currently only in e-book and paperback but it will be out in audiobook soon.  See below:

Book Announcement!

Caption: Image of book covers of “Daddy’s Eyes, Learning to See Through Blinded Eyes” by Rachel Houston, with smiling Leroy Welch on the covers.

My first book is now available for pre-order today! Please go to www.thepowerhousestudio.com/rachel-houston/ to reserve your copy.

“Daddy’s Eyes, Learning to See Through Blinded Eyes”

Tech Tidbits

Confessions of a Reluctant Technology User
by DeAnna Quietwater Noriega

I was born in the generation who left for college lugging a reel-to-reel tape recorder, Perkins Brailler, and a manual typewriter. As an aging Baby Boomer, I find myself trying to figure out how to use equipment never dreamed of when I got my first job. Most of it is expensive and there are few opportunities to get hands-on instruction before purchasing. Attending a national conference or technology conference is one way, but time is limited and you are likely to find vendors eager to sell the item and too busy to provide training.

We live in an age when new methods for dealing with vision loss are continually being developed. I am not a person who enjoys tinkering with software or tools I need to use. Each new product, from my first talking computer to my iPhone has been forced upon me by a need to remain competitive in the work force. This said: I am also living proof that we “old dogs can learn new tricks.”

Figure out how you learn and then look for what you will need to become a confident user. Get your hands on tutorials or training material in the format that works best for you. I am a Braille reader, so hard-copy Braille is best for me. I also am a motor learner. I have to perform a task several times to get it stored in my chaotic brain filing system. Being a writer and poet, I don’t even try to understand why a thing works; I just repeat using a tool enough times to get my fingers to move automatically through the procedures to get the job done.

Talk to other users of the item you are contemplating purchasing. Network with people who use the product and can break down instructions in to step-by-step directions. Some people are great technology users but can’t explain or teach. Cultivate friendships with those who can explain in simple language and are willing to answer your questions.

Tackle the learning process one step at a time. When I needed to learn to use an iPhone for work, I first learned how to answer it and to hang it up. Then I worked my way through navigation and how to move around in it. I took one function at a time and worked through using it.

National Braille Press (NBP) has always been one of the places I turn to for instructional material. www.nbp.org Companies like Freedom Scientific have both free and paid webinars on their website to teach you how to use the products they sell. www.freedomscientific.com Hadley School for the Blind is a correspondence school that also offers classes at no cost to master computer technology and independent living skills. www.hadley.edu/seminar/
Mystic Access sells excellent audio tutorials to learn about many kinds of technology.  http://www.mysticaccess.com  Don’t beat yourself up if it takes time and repetition to get familiar with a new technique or mechanism. After a month working with my iPhone, I could move around in the screens, change settings, use the contacts, calendar, reminders, and send and receive e-mail. Then I used the Maps APP to get driving directions for my husband. I did all of this without purchasing any additional specialized blind-friendly APPs. I can text my grandchildren, set a reminder for a meeting, check if I am free on a day next month and get SIRI to call a friend from my contacts list. I have my office e-mail synchronized with my phone so that I can keep up with it while out of the office.

I have been keeping a list of APPS suggested by blind friends for the time when I am confident enough with what I have learned to start branching out. I did load a free APP called TapTapSee that lets me use my phone camera to send a picture of something to someone who will tell me what they can see through my camera. I successfully figured out using this program which of two packages of frozen burritos were the ones containing rice and chicken. I was even able to teach a much more technology-savvy friend how to make a conference call. The first time I tried to do it, I had to yell for my eleven year old granddaughter to type in the participant code! Now I just add the conference number to my contacts list, then put two commas after the phone number, type in the PIN, hit the # key, add another set of comas and finish with the pound or number key. This will dial all of the numbers I need without my having to do anything.

Don’t let technology scare you. Be patient with yourself, and with the program or product you are trying to learn and keep at it. I will confess SIRI has had to tell me I was being rude a couple of times before we figured out how to get along. She also apologized for not knowing “Of State’s” secretary’s name. I have decided she is simply a recent graduate of secretarial school and once we have worked enough together, we will get along just fine.

What is next? I have ordered a blue tooth refreshable Braille display to make entering data faster and make using my iPhone more efficient. When you stop learning, you limit yourself even more than does vision loss. Break it down into baby steps and figure-out what you want from the device you are trying to learn. If you don’t need a lot of bells and whistles you won’t use anyway, then choose the simplest model and work your way through it. Don’t feel you need to buy the high-end device until you have borrowed one, or have someone who will help you learn how to use it. You can do this stuff if you are persistent and keep working on it.

History and Culture

Show Me Missouri History!

by Nance Their, Office Staff

If you are new to Missouri, you have so much to learn about Missouri; if you have lived in Missouri a long time, there are things you may not know.
This is a new column that will highlight Missouri and our extensive history. We will explore all of Missouri from the North, South, East and West, including large and small cities.

You will learn about our culture, history, customs and of course, the people. Missouri is rich in people from the British to the Native American, French, Germany, Italian, Jewish and let’s not forget the Spanish!  These influences are seen in our architecture, street names, languages, foods, and customs.

We are rich in so many things, and this column will explore them all. We will visit landmarks you may or may not know. In St. Louis there is the Gateway Arch which was dubbed the Gateway to the West. For the history of Missouri, the Gateway to the West was the Gateway to everywhere, as much of the exploration of the West began in Missouri.

Living History Museums

by Tara Schatz, published April 26, 2022

So, What Exactly is a Living History Museum? A living history museum, also known as a living museum, recreates historical scenes and time periods using live actors or costumed historians in meticulously recreated settings.

There are living history museums that specialize in a variety of historical time periods and events, depicting everything from native American settlements and colonial villages to pioneer homesteads and Wild-West encampments.

We have found living history museums to be particularly useful as homeschoolers, and over the years, we have planned numerous trips and vacations around a historical time period that we just happened to be studying.
Our young adult kids still talk about how much fun they had learning history while homeschooling.
According to Wikipedia, there are hundreds of living history museums throughout the United States.
The following list is a sampling of our absolute favorite living history museums that we’ve explored on our travels, but there are hundreds more that we’ve yet to discover!

Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic, Connecticut
Time Period: An 1800’s seafaring village

This seafaring village on the shores of Mystic, Connecticut is a popular living history museum that will immerse you in the rich fishing and sailing culture of the 19th century.
At Mystic Seaport Museum, dozens of historic New England buildings host storytellers, craftspeople, historians, and musicians in Mystic Village.

These beautiful buildings aren’t replicas– they’re historic buildings from all over New England, dating back to the 1800s, that were transported to Mystic Village to recreate an authentic seafaring town. Here you can explore all kinds of bustling maritime trades, including ship smiths, coopers, woodcarvers, and riggers.

While you’re exploring Mystic Seaport, be sure to tour the Charles W. Morgan, the oldest commercial ship still in operation. First launched in 1841, it was once part of a huge fleet of whale ships that numbered more than 2,500. You can also cruise down the Mystic River on a coal-powered steamboat or captain a wooden rowboat of your own.

The children’s museum at Mystic Seaport is a highlight for kids under seven, and if you’re in town for more than a day, check out Mystic Aquarium, where you can see beluga whales and penguins up close.

Summer is the busiest time to visit Mystic Seaport, but don’t let that stop you. There’s really nothing like a summer visit to the New England coast. If you decide to go in the off-season, be forewarned that some exhibits will be closed and staffing will be limited.

Where to stay: Our favorite place to stay in Mystic is the Inn at Mystic, which is affordable and family-friendly, plus it’s just a short drive from Mystic Seaport Museum. Be sure to take advantage of the outdoor pool in the summer.

Plimoth Patuxet Museums, Plymouth, Massachusetts
Time Period: 17th Century colonial settlement

My kids loved visiting the original settlement of the 17th century English colonists in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
This living history museum takes you back to the 17th century when English settlers first arrived on the shores of New England. Here you’ll find historical interpreters that will interact with you as “strangers,” teaching you about the life, customs, and cultures of the time.

The settlement at Plimoth expertly recreates the year 1627 in a way that is fascinating, incredibly fun, and educational. Climb aboard the Mayflower II, a replica of the original wooden ship that brought the pilgrims across the Atlantic. It’s so much smaller than you would imagine, especially when you think of the 102 passengers that had to cram aboard to make the original journey.

Historic Patuxet at Plimoth Patuxet Museums lets you get a glimpse of what life was like for the American Indians living nearby in 1627.

Unlike the English Village, the Wampanoag people you will meet are not actors. They are members of the Wampanoag tribe dressed in historically accurate clothing. They will happily converse with you, but it will be from a more modern perspective.

Plimoth is open from March until November, and if you’re planning a New England road trip, both Plimoth and Mystic Seaport are must-see attractions.

Where to stay:
We love that Hotel 1620 Plymouth Harbor is within walking distance of shopping, restaurants, and the waterfront. There’s an indoor pool as well.

Shoal Creek Living History Museum, Kansas City, MO
Time Period: 19th Century Missouri village

Shoal Creek Living History Museum is a small 80-acre village located in Hodge Park in Kansas City, Missouri.
The museum maintains twenty-one structures with seventeen authentic 19th-century buildings dating from 1807-to 1885. While the museum grounds are free to wander through and are open every day, the real treat comes in checking out the special events that are offered throughout the year.

During special events, the village comes to life with historical reenactments that include skits, skirmishes, and interesting demonstrations.

First-Saturday events are free during the summer. Even if you don’t make it to one of the special events, don’t pass Shoal Creek by. The landscape is beautiful and the historic buildings are meticulously preserved.

Conner Prairie, Fishers, Indiana
Time Period: 19th Century Indiana

Step back in time and immerse yourself in life on the prairie in 19th-century Indiana at Conner Prairie.

The time is 1836 and life is pretty hard. Mostly you’ll find men and women (actors) doing chores — chopping wood, tending animals, gardening, creating pottery, and cooking. Both kids and adults are encouraged to join in, and the actors will happily answer all your questions while in character.

The highlight of this sprawling living history museum might just be the interactive 1869 balloon ride.

Full of exhibits and activities that help you understand the trials and tribulations of manning a balloon, the fun culminates with a tethered balloon ride high above the prairie. I’ve heard the view is spectacular, but I’ll keep my feet planted firmly on the ground, thank you very much.
Conner Prairie is open year-round, but some outdoor exhibits close during the winter months. Go out of your way for this one, it’s well worth it!

Where to Stay:
We recommend the Holiday Inn Express, which is very family-friendly with an indoor pool, beautiful rooms, and within a short drive of Conner Prairie.

Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Virginia
Time Period: Colonial America and the Revolutionary War

Revolutionary War soldiers at Colonial Williamsburg
My favorite living history museum, Colonial Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia, is so well crafted and so immense that a simple drive-by will not cut it.  In fact, I recommend a full weekend to really immerse yourself in colonial times! Pitch a tent nearby or reserve a room at one of the local hotels and give Williamsburg a few days. The recreated city of Williamsburg is teeming with revolutionary spirit as the colonies move toward war with Britain.

Not only are the townsfolk in character, but there are reenactments throughout the day. You will find yourself immersed in the struggles of daily colonial life, but you’ll also be there as the colonists decide whether or not to remain loyal to the king, you’ll witness the news of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and you’ll stand by as Benedict Arnold tries to take over the town, and is instead tried himself.

Colonial Williamsburg is the largest living history museum in the United States and is open 365 days a year.

Where to stay:
Might as well go all in and stay at Great Wolf Lodge, where you and your kiddos will have access to the indoor waterpark and a children’s spa. It’s located just five minutes from Colonial Williamsburg.


On a cold February evening, while her mother slept peacefully, a toddler slipped out of her home and into the darkened streets of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Dressed only in a tee shirt, socks, and a diaper, the 3-year-old girl wandered around the abandoned parking lots of the city’s southwest side all by herself. She was cold, and almost certainly afraid, but most of all, she was not safe. Thankfully, the right person saw her out alone and knew something wasn’t right.

Gabe Botello was delivering pizzas for Villa Pizza when he saw the unattended child at around 3 a.m. He caught a glimpse of her in the McConnell parking lot, but by the time he’d dropped off the food to his clients and retraced his steps, she had vanished into the night. A father-of-seven himself, Gabe refused to go back to work until he located the little girl. He started pulling into vacant parking lots to search for her. He finally spotted her curled up between two cinderblock walls at a factory loading dock across the street. The concerned father jumped out of his car, pulled off his hoodie, and wrapped her up to keep her warm. He put her into his car and gave her some water while he called 911.

“I had some water in my car, so she was drinking some water and I was just kind of like rubbing her back, letting her know she was okay and she started falling asleep,” Gabe recalled. “She was so just like exhausted and cold.”
Police arrived and were able to locate the toddler’s home, where they discovered her mother was sound asleep and thought her daughter was too. Grand Rapid Police confirmed that this was an accident, and no charges will be filed.

Calendar Of Upcoming Events




  • 31 July – 7 August 2023: July Summer Camp Week; Cobblestone Lodge
  • 24-27 August 2023: Extended Weekend Camp; Cobblestone Lodge

MCB Board Meeting Minutes 3/30/2023

Teleconference Minutes 3/30/2023
Debbie Sanders, Secretary

Madame President, Kay Malmquist called the meeting to order, and Vice President Chip Hailey opened with prayer.
Attendees:  Kay, Chip, Jack Lenk (Treasurer), Anna Schell (Director), Beverly Kaskadden (Director), Linda Gerken (Director), Agape (Wilma Chestnut House), Allied Workers, Melvin Smith, Blind of Central MO, Linda Gerken, Joplin Service Club (Wendell Wilcox), Lake Stockton (Roger Jewell ), River City Workers (Marlene Lymbaugh), Springfield Service Club (Stephanie Bailey), St. Charles Council (Beverly Kaskadden ), St. Louis Council, Jack Lenk St. . Louis Northern Lights, Carl Chappell, SE United Blind, Rob Albro, Tiger Council (Deanna Quietwater Noriega), United Workers (Anna), Public Relations Chair, Donna Weidlich
Kay welcomed special guest Mollie Malone.
Kay added Donna’s proposal and Linda’s proposal regarding ACB Convention to the agenda. Bev moved to accept as amended. 2nd. Passed.

Approval of Board Meeting Minutes from prior meetings. Linda moved to approve the prior minutes except for needing to add in the two closed session minutes to the other minutes. Seconded. Passed. Kay recognized Virginia and her phenomenal work on compiling those minutes.

President’s Remarks –

  1. Capitol Plaza Hotel – the attorney wants to wait another week or so to see what action takes place.
  2. Baseball Fundraiser – sale is going well.  MCB will be selling them at Power Up. Sales can also take place via the website or by personal sales.
  3. Children’s Vision Summit – nothing to report at this time.
  4. Background Checks results have been completed and distributed. All cleared.

Treasurer’s Report – (Jack Lenk)

Checking $53,927.14
Raymond James Interest bearing $237,220.72
MCB Moderate Growth $2,942,523.78
MCB Growth $151,735.96
Total: $3,331,480.46
The balance is about $10,000 more than last month and at the end of February, there was a surplus of about $18,000.

Audit Report:

Mollie Malone, from Stopp and VanHoy, presented on the recent annual audit conducted by their firm. 2022 saw a loss in investment income of just under $1.3 million whereas in 2021 there was $1 million gain. Contribution income was down just a little. Expenses were about normal but there has been some increase due to the convention meeting in person again and consultant fees. Beverly Kaskadden asked a question regarding taxes with which Molly stated the only taxes to be paid are due to the income from investment portfolios since MCB is now considered a Private Foundation from a Public Charity. Kay asked for an explanation of what needs to take place to revert back to a Public Charity. Molly stated that she thought 33 1/3% of income must be derived from donations, members’ dues, etc. and not from investment monies. She stated that MCB had been right on the edge of having to been switched over to a Private Foundation prior to COVID but after that year, it pushed over into that status with the amount gained in those portfolios. Molly brought up a question regarding the potential of hiring an Executive Director. Kay mentioned that it would be best served to move that direction and that it is being considered.

Website Update – Raymond Bishop, Multimedia Chair

The new site is up and running well. Things are still being added. The new group lists are now up and operational. Raymond is now starting to work on the Information Line. Carl asked a question regarding the Announce List and its distribution, and Raymond answered that the Announce List is sent to all MCB members, unless they have unsubscribed from that list. It is an announce-only list. Linda brought up a question about having a backup person with access to all the right passwords and logins to the website other than Annette. Raymond said currently there is not a backup person, but he does plan to remedy that. Beverly asked about when you send out a message to the new list that if there was a way to see your message in your inbox. Raymond said you can see your message in your Sent folder.

Policy Guideline Updates – Roger Jewel

  1. Roger Jewell, Policy Committee Chair, presented the Sports and Recreation Committee proposal to be chaired by Wilma Chestnut-House that was emailed to the board 3/30/23. There was discussion and a call for clarification of inclusion of non-MCB members and members-at-large participation in the various Sports and Recreation events. The policy will be modified to make sure inclusion is stated better in the sentence. Vote was held, seconded, and passed.
  2. Roger presented the White Cane Program Guidelines that were emailed to the board on 3/30/23. There was some discussion regarding proof of blindness/low vision of which Roger said he would clarify and amend. Vote was held, seconded, and passed.
  3. Roger reported the Young Writer program is tabled until an Editor for the Chronicle is in place. Vote was held, seconded, and passed.
  4. Robert Vaughn, Building Committee Chair presented the proposed changes recommended by the Building Committee on the Guidelines of the Multi-Purpose room policy which was emailed out. A question was asked about making sure a hold-harmless waiver form is submitted by non-MCB groups using the room. Kay will investigate this further and report back. Vote was held, seconded, and passed.

ACB Lifetime Membership Award – Chip Hailey

Kay was given the award last year but she did not receive it. Kay is in touch with the ACB office about that. For this year, Greg Collins, has been recommended for the Life Membership. Anna moved to award Greg Collins, seconded, motion passed.

RSB and MCB Meeting – Kay and Chip

Kay and Chip met with Keith Roderick and Jim Brinkman. Federal funding was discussed. Missouri has been in the top five states for closing cases. Keith was concerned that the time from when an application is received to when service is started is 180 days and that is something they intend to work on. He also mentioned referrals and getting referrals of blind students.  They are currently serving 150-160 blind students. They are working on promoting RSB services and MCB will work to help promote it as well. Keith talked about RSB’s Prevention of Blindness program. Michael St. Julian runs that program. Jim Brinkman talked about the different changes in personnel within the agency. Chip mentioned working together with NFB and reviewing RSB’s Annual Report before the legislature. Keith talked about children’s specialists and that there are only three in the state. The BEP is looking better post-COVID now. There are a couple of people enrolled and a couple in the works. Chip mentioned appreciation to Keith for his part in researching certification that saved the state a lot of money. Kay mentioned also about the micro-market part that is starting to be a part included in the BEP. These meetings are going to try to be held quarterly.

April Board Meeting – Kay

The meeting will be held April 21st and 22nd at DoubleTree in Springfield. Board meeting will be Saturday morning. Friday evening will be more fun.

Strategic Plan – Janelle Morris, Chair

The committee began by compiling a list of the various committees, their purposes, and who serves on those committees while working with Eugene. After losing Eugene, things came to a halt. Janelle stated, we have a good team of knowledgeable people but lack leadership and direction to know where to proceed next. The Strategic Plan Committee would like to recommend Bill Reeder whose fee is $2000 a month for 10 months not to exceed $20,000 to help with strategic planning and fundraising. Chip reported that Bill is a proven fundraiser and has worked with ACB. He has a degree and has taught at the collegiate level on fundraising. He is working with several affiliates currently. He understands working with the blind community and not only fundraising but also developing earned income revenue streams. Chip stressed that all need to have buy-in and commitment to see it succeed.

Linda Gerkin proposed since the board is considering hiring Bill, we would need to move to a closed, executive session to vote. Considering the time constraints of the night, Linda moved to go to closed session at a later date (Thursday, April 6 at 7pm). Seconded. Passed.

ACB Grant – Linda Gerkin

A $20,000 grant is available to those wanting to attend the ACB conference. Linda moved there be a $500 cap per person to those applying to go. There was a lot of discussion regarding how $500 would not be enough to cover the needs of those who would like to attend. Linda withdrew her motion. Chip moved that $20,000 be divided between those planning to attend this year in Chicago. Seconded. Passed.

Missouri Chronicle – Kay

Kay spoke to Bob Collier about becoming the new Editor of the Missouri Chronicle. He is genuinely interested. Linda Gerkin moved that we accept Bob to become the new Missouri Chronicle Editor. Seconded. Passed. Chip mentioned that Bob is a former English and Spanish teacher and brings a lot of experience to the table. The March Edition will not be published but will resume its schedule for June.

Board Secretary – Kay

Julie Broker, MCB Secretary, submitted her letter of resignation 3/28 due to health reasons. Her services were acknowledged and appreciated. Motion and second to approve her resignation. Passed.

Vice-President Chip and President Kay recommended Debbie Sanders to replace Julie as MCB Secretary for the completion of Julie’s term. Motion and second to approve Debbie as new MCB Secretary. Passed.

Fundraising Brick Proposal – Wilma Chestnut-House

Wilma talked with the various utilities companies to check out whether if there would ever be a displacement of the bricks to install utilities in the future. The companies assured that they must replace all bricks just as they found them. Deanna commended Wilma on her due diligence and work on this project. Carl also commended Wilma on her work and details that she put forth in answering the various questions that had been brought up regarding this proposal. Carl moved to accept the proposal. Seconded. Discussion ensued that there had been a lot of interest in purchasing the bricks. It was clarified that the bricks have not been purchased because of not having a place to put them yet and also because the proposal has not yet been approved. Also, there was discussion about getting bids for the labor and materials to install them. A roll-call vote transpired, and vote failed. Again, Wilma was acknowledged, and appreciation given for her work on this proposal and looking for an additional revenue stream for MCB.

Chip moved to extend time another ten minutes since it was 10pm. Seconded. Passed.

Kay brought up an idea about having an open forum at the end of board meetings, if time permits, for those listening in on the meeting who may have various questions, etc. According to bylaws, non-board members can’t speak at board meetings and can only observe at meetings. But, after the conclusion of a meeting, non-board members can pose questions, etc. It would require an amendment if changes are wanted.

Deanna moved to adjourn. Seconded. Passed.10:08pm

MCB Board Meeting Minutes 4/22/2023

Held in person, DoubleTree Hotel, Springfield, MO
Debbie Sanders, Secretary

Madame President, Kay Malmquist called the meeting to order, and Secretary, Debbie Sanders, opened with prayer.

Kay Malmquist (President), Chip Hailey (Vice-President), Debbie Sanders (Secretary), Beverly Kaskadden (Director/St. Charles), Linda Gerkin (Director/Blind of Central MO), Melvin Smith (Allied Workers), Wendall Wilcox (Joplin Service Club), Stephanie Bailey (Springfield), Carl Chappell (St. Louis Northern Lights), Deanna Noriega (Tiger Council), Donna Weidlich (Public Relations Chair)
Not present at roll call but joined later: Jack Lenk (Treasurer/St. Louis), Anna Schell (Director/United Workers), Wilma Chestnut (Agape)
Absent: Roger Jewell (Lake Stockton), Marlene Limbaugh (River City), Rob Albro (SE Blind), Carl Chappell (Northern Lights)

Kay welcomed guests.

Approval of agenda. Seconded and Passed.
Approval of March meeting minutes. Seconded, Passed.
President’s Remarks
Capital Plaza Hotel update – the attorney is still advising us to continue to wait. He feels that they won’t come back to us wanting payment for the $21,000, but we did lose the $5,000 deposit.

Children’s Vision Summit

We have $2000 set aside in the budget every year to pay for meals when they meet, but they only asked for $500 because of it only being a one-day event. It was brought up that the event might only be held every other year and that the budget may need to be reconsidered and reallocated if that is the case. Kay was going to make an inquiry to Jeff the next time she sees him.

Mind’s Eye Soiree

7 went to the Soiree this year. We donated to the Soiree this year and were recognized. A question was brought up about the remaining unused tickets as ten were purchased. In the future, the board would like to have an option for others on the board to be able to go.

Website Update – Raymond Bishop, Multi-media Chair

The website is fully functioning with a couple of exceptions, one being the expense form and getting it to work correctly with JAWS. Nance, from the office, works diligently on the Missouri History information. Podcasts are being added as time permits. Linda Gerkin asked whether adding the donate button to the website has been utilized, and it was affirmed that yes, it has been used. There has also been a link for donations that can be added to emails. Linda also reminded of the need to have a backup person to have the passwords to the website, and it was confirmed that Kay and Chip both have them. Clarification was made that the donate button does allow for type of money or account the money is allotted too, for example, donation, dues, camp fees etc. Chip has asked that the office include a breakout of those various allocations in a report.

Update on Delta Area Affiliate

Back in October, the Delta Area Affiliate suspended because of not being in compliance due to having a sighted president. They now have a visually-impaired president and are wanting to be reinstated. Kay would like to see a vote to reinstate the affiliate after discussion. Chip wants to see their bylaws with the change of noting “legally blind” versus “visually impaired” and membership list and officers before voting commences.  Beverly would like to see the minutes that stated they were in fact suspended.  It can probably be found in the October or November minutes. Tabled and will follow up next month.

Treasurer’s Report – Jack Lenk

Checking Account $42,087.75
Raymond James, interest account $237,761.60
Moderate growth $2,987,735.18
Growth $151,971.24
Total: $3,377,468.02
Increase of $45,987.56 from last month
Chip asked for an update from the recent Budget & Finance Committee meeting. Jack stated the last 3 years we were at a 10% growth and we have a CD coming up in June. Hunter would be willing to come to the board meeting to update everyone on the renewal, etc. Beverly stated she would appreciate if the board could be included on those meetings and to make sure Virginia includes that invite to the board.

Scholarship Report – Debbie Sanders, Chair

Debbie reached out to the Missouri Department of Ed to have the scholarship information distributed to school guidance counselors. The office has also sent the letter to the Missouri School for the Blind. Debbie also stated she has asked Debbie Platner from Webb City to join her on the committee. There have been no applications thus far to review.

Public Relations, Donna Weidlich

Donna attended the Feb. 15 Braille Challenge at MSB and donated Braille games. She attended the Power Up Conference and sold several raffle tickets for the baseball game. Also she distributed promo items at the Legislative Days. She will be attending the new support group at St. Louis Society for the Blind and sharing about MCB in May.

Missouri Chronicle, Bob Collier

Bob reviewed the content that is typically included in the Missouri Chronicle and mentioned some other items to possibly include as well. The first issue may be a bit experimental until he gets adjusted to everything. Deadline for articles is May 1 and needs to be submitted to: chronicle@missouricounciloftheblind.org.

Strategic Plan and Fundraising Discussion

We reviewed the town hall meeting with Bill Reeder, where there was a low attendance. Chip mentioned that he doesn’t think we’re quite ready to move forward until we get some other things resolved as presented in Eugene’s recommendations of communications and committee improvements. Beverly mentioned that she would like to see some more references and results that Bill has produced. She also asked about looking into getting the fundraising committee operational: Donna and Wanda are willing to serve. United Way was brought up to look for potential funding. Chip wants to see all of us, the board and members, to be more committed to working on growing and improving the organization. Deanna also mentioned that our infrastructure needs improved upon in order for a plan to be put in place. Beverly mentioned considering another brainstorming session to set needed priorities. It was mentioned we should consider reviewing the bylaws.

Wilma moved to table the discussion to next board meeting. Seconded. Passed.

Open Forum at Board Meeting Discussion

It was brought up to consider having an open forum at the end of board meetings if time allows to help encourage engagement from the membership to ask questions or have comments. Several people responded positively to the idea, remembering guests have no vote on anything because they are not part of the board. They should have a time limit for question and comments. Chip mentioned that this is not really a board decision to add an open forum to a board meeting because non-board members can attend in order to observe. It would require a bylaw change to allow non-board members to speak. A bylaw amendment would need to be proposed before July 15 for the October meeting. Linda brought up seeing if we could do at least a two-month trial. Chip said we can check with the parliamentarian to see if we can suspend non-members speaking at board meeting. If successful, then the amendment to the bylaws can be recommended by July 15. Jack moved, unless the Parliamentarian states differently, that we suspend the bylaw that mutes non-board members from speaking at board meetings for the next two meetings. Linda asked to amend to the next two months instead of two meetings. Seconded. Passed.

There was one last item that needed to be shared with the board in regard to having a security guard present during this meeting. Threats and lawsuits have been made and as a precaution after talking with the attorney, hotel staff, and local authorities, a security guard is present. We would not have convened in person today if we hadn’t felt safe. Madame President stated that the person had violated the Code-of-Conduct policy that MCB has in place.

Other Announcements

Wilma brought up a possible fund-raiser event for White Cane Safety Day. Wilma spoke with Jefferson City’s park and rec people about participating and collaborating with MCB on this event in October.

Debbie mentioned her organization has put together a training video for restaurant staff in serving the blind. She has printed up business cards with a QR code that links to that training video that people can leave these cards with wait staff at restaurants, etc. She has brought these with her and encouraged people to get a stack of them before they leave.

Kay mentioned that the ACB $20,000 grant application to attend the convention is due June 1st. Wilma mentioned that there is an Extended Stay hotel only 6 minutes from the conference hotel that will save a lot of money over the conference hotel. Beverly suggested that attendees of the convention give some sort of report after attending.

Linda wanted an update on the baseball game ticket sales. Jack did not have the figures in front of him and would ask the office and report back.

Next meeting, Thursday, May 25. Motion to adjourn. Seconded and passed.


MCB Office:
E-mail: moblind@moblind.org
Website: www.moblind.org or www.MissouriCounciloftheBlind.org
Phone: 314-832-7172

Missouri Chronicle Editor:
E-mail: chronicle@moblind.org
Missouri Chronicle Webpage: www.moblind.org/mcb-chronicle


President, Kay Malmquist

Vice-President, Chip Hailey

Treasurer, Jack Lenk

Secretary, Debbie Sanders


MCB Board & Staff:

MCB Mission & Vision:

MCB Programs:

MCB Committees:

MCB Local Affiliates:

MCB Special Interest Affiliates:

Meet the People of MCB Podcasts:

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