(left to right) Gerry Sandusky, WBAL-TV Sports personality and master of ceremonies for Meet-the-Blind-Month activities at the Inner Harbor; Betsy Zaborowski, NFB director of special programs; and Erik Weihenmayer, the most recent member of the elite group of climbers to have summited the highest peaks on each of the seven continents, enjoy a moment of relaxation in front of the bleachers before the start of the Meet-the-Blind festivities.
Erik Weihenmayer works his way up the climbing wall, while giving a running commentary over the microphone clipped to his shirt.
David Venet halfway up the climbing wall with Erik Weihenmayer and Gerry Sandusky standing at the bottom looking up at him.
Federationist Jason Ewell spread-eagled part way up the climbing wall.
October is now Meet-the-Blind Month. To celebrate it in Baltimore, on October 4 the NFB hosted a kickoff rally at the Inner Harbor in downtown Baltimore. Volunteers passed out brochures to passersby, and blind people spoke to those who stopped to watch. Baltimore personality Gerry Sandusky emceed the proceedings. Three blind men talked to the crowd about their experience of blindness: Mike Bullis; a high school student David Venet; and Tom Bickford. Hillary McFadden and Roberta Sandejas, both students at Blind Industries and Services of Maryland (BISM), joined Jason Ewell, Gerry Sandusky, David Venet, and Tom Bickford, in scaling the thirty-foot wall.
The newly renovated third-floor space
in the Johnson Street building just before
the beginning of the October 4 party.
On Friday evening, October 4, friends, family, and colleagues of the National Federation of the Blind were invited to a casual party, The 2002 Celebration: A Festival of Achievement. Catered food from some of Baltimore's finest restaurants was available in abundance. A band played for dancing. Guests could bid on some thirty items in a silent auction, and Erik Weihenmayer addressed the crowd, describing some of his mountain-climbing exploits and showing slides of his adventures. The participation of our friends and colleagues made this event a huge success.
Standing together (left to right) are honorary event chairman Mark Furst, CCM, president of Greater Baltimore Allfirst Bank; NFB President Marc Maurer; and Frances Wright, vice president of the not-for-profit banking division of Allfirst Bank.
Former Baltimore Orioles catcher and current coach Elrod Hendricks and Betsy Zaborowski stand together at the podium.
Erik Weihenmayer describes his Everest climb to a spellbound audience. At the right on a large screen can be seen a slide of the now famous picture of Erik on the top of Mt. Everest holding up the expedition banner.
Left to right are Dr. Betsy Zaborowski, Erik Weihenmayer, and President Marc Maurer. Jim Gashel looks on as Erik pulls a name from an NFB plastic hard hat. The drawing winner was to receive a $1,000 bill.