Braille Monitor                                                     November 2007

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An Open Letter from Kevan Worley


Kevan Worley From the Editor: Kevan Worley, president of the National Association of Blind Merchants and first vice president of the NFB of Colorado, also serves as chairman of the Imagination Fund. Here is his open letter to all Federationists as we begin the serious work of raising money for the 2008 Imagination Fund:

Greetings, Friends and Colleagues:

I am very fortunate to have been asked by President Maurer to chair our Imagination Fund campaign again this year. With Dr. Maurerís leadership we have assembled a magnificent planning committee to plan our upcoming March for Independence-The Walk for Opportunity. Working together, we intend to develop a million-dollar Imagination Fund drive.

A few years ago, when this campaign started, Dr. Maurer, Dr. Zaborowski, some others, and I dreamed of a time when the Imagination Fund might raise one million dollars. We thought maybe five or six years. We were wrong; the time has come. This year we are going to do it. Building on last yearís incredibly successful Imagination Fund campaign culminating in another invigorating March for Independence, we set our sights this year on the million-dollar goal and commit to being on the team that reaches this ambitious amount for the Federation and the great work that it does.

This yearís Imagination Fund campaign will culminate in a March for Independence in Dallas on July 2. It will again be one of the high points of our annual convention. In addition to the banquet and the presidential report, our March for Independence will become an event Federationists look forward to each year. Come to Dallas to be a part of the national convention and join us for the March for Independence-The Walk for Opportunity, and raise your money.

When you help raise money by working for the Imagination Fund, you help change lives, yours and mine and the lives of blind kids and of seniors who are losing vision in greater numbers than ever before. You can help fund dreams and possibilities. Everyone can and should get behind this effort. Show the country what you can do. The Imagination Fund is a deserving project. Whether you gather change at your chapter meeting or ask some of your friends to contribute on your behalf to sponsor your entrance in the March, your effort is essential and appreciated.

Remember that this past year every affiliate received its share of $580,000 and a number received even more in grants for special projects. I ask you personally to pledge to raise at least $250 to join our March for Independence-Walk for Opportunity this July 2 in Dallas. A $250 individual goal is not out of reach for any of us who truly care about the vital work we do. Once you get started, you will find that it will be fun and exhilarating.

Did you know that anyone who raises $1,000 or more will be awarded a special collectorís gold medallion? We thank the nearly one hundred Federationists who made it to the medallion level during this past campaign. These medallion NFB support seekers were honored during the ceremony at the 2007 March for Independence. In 2008 we will again have an impressive ceremony, and I hope we triple the number of names we call out in appreciation of great work for the movement. I hope that many of us will set personal goals at the $1,000 medallion level. You can truly do it if you challenge yourself.

Even if you cannot come to Dallas, you can form a team and participate as a virtual marcher. We would be happy to teach you more about team-building, virtual-marching, and fundraising. Build your own personal Webpage at <marchforindependence.org>. Post pictures and tell your personal story for your friends and family to enjoy when they log on. Tell them about the unemployment rate we face, and describe our efforts to expand opportunities for blind students and get more Braille into the hands of blind kids. Assure them that we are the voice of the nationís blind changing the world. Their donation will make a difference.

NFB members are trendsetters. We are developing extraordinary technology such as the K-NFB Reader. You, your friends, and your family will make the difference. You can proclaim to the world through the World Wide Web why the NFB is important to you and those you know and care about. Then invite friends, family members, colleagues, and others you meet throughout your day to visit your personal page at <www.marchforindependence.org> and to support your goal by contributing right there online. If you are not tech savvy, get in touch with Kristi Bowman or me by phone or email, and we will be glad to help you build your Webpage. Why not make this yearís Million Dollar Imagination Fund quest one of your local chapterís principal projects? Ask one or two chapter members to take leadership by promoting the campaign at every meeting. They can bring the mini march cards and facilitate the sharing of ideas and success stories. Those in your chapters who canít come to the convention can certainly become star contributors anyway. Your Imagination Fund team is also asking that at least a few affiliates make this project one of your very highest priorities. Nurture it, promote it, proclaim it! If we do these things, we can be a part of Federation history.

Be a part of something extraordinary. See how many people you can get to invest in our Imagination Fund by investing in you. You could be the star fundraiser of the year. People will invest in you and our cause when they hear from you, but you must ask them to support you and this exceptional organization. So tell them about our work and ask for their support. Be the Imaginator of the Year.
Make your commitment today. Letís work together to make it happen. You can be a part of our first ever million-dollar Imagination Fund drive. You can make the difference. I look forward to speaking with each of you. We can do it together. The National Center can provide literature about the movement to help you. The Center staff can help you create your Webpage and set your personal goal. They can send you Imagination Fund mini march cards to hand out as you seek donations of support. Working together, we can make it happen. God bless you and thank you.

At your service,
Kevan Worley, Chairman
Imagination Fund/March for Independence

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