Future Reflections Convention 1990, Vol. 9 No. 4

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by Martin Greiser

Editor s Note: There is a variety of sources of financial assistance for parents to attend the National Federation of the Blind National Convention. In some states, such as Iowa andMaryland, the state affiliatejjf the Federation offers special scholarships to parents who~Wishto~attendjheconvention. In other NFB affiliates parents helpwiih~local<inal state fundraisers so that some of the money can be used to charter a bus or van to convention--thus cutting costs for everyone who attends. Many affiliates set aside money to help eligible members (including parents who have been active in the affiliate) attend convention. Some funding is also available through the Parents of Blind Children Division (POBC) national organization. But there are also ways to get money from outside the organization. Martin Greiser, a newly elected POBC board member, explains in the following letter how he and his wife found convention funds. It seems that his success could be duplicated by other parents, too. If you would like to have more details about getting assistance to attend the Federation convention of June 30 to July 7, 1991, in New Orleans, please fill out the form on page two of this issue, or call Mrs. Cheadle at: (301) 659-9314.

May 8,1990 Dear Mrs. Cheadle,

We are writing to you per your request that we share with other parents of blind children how we were able to receive funds to cover airfare and accommodations so that we could attend the 1990 National Federation of the Blind convention in Dallas. The 1990 convention will be my second and my wife's first Expenses for my first convention were obtained through Family Outreach, an early childhood intervention program funded through the Office of Public Instruction for Handicapped Children. Unfortunately, there was not enough money in our portion of their budget for both my wife and I to attend, so I went alone. I came away from the 1989 convention in Denver so impressed, encouraged and uplifted by what I saw and heard, that I was determined my wife and son (then two and a half years old) and I would attend the 1990 convention no matter what! Now, also in 1989^yusJ_sohftppenerrihattmr coun^^tarted-zrUnltedWay Campaign. The funds -raised are distributed locally to various service organizations, one of which is the Dillon Lions Club. They included our request for airfare and accommodations in their proposal to the United Way for funding of an "Educational Development of the Blind" program for which they were granted $2,000. Whether or not this becomes an annual event, I cannot say, but I believe these conventions are so important to the growth and development of our son that my wife and/or I and our son will attend as many conventions as possible. My family and I are grateful to the Dillon Lions Club and to the United Way. They have helped make possible, by association with the National Federation of the Blind, an opportunity-filled future for our son. Enclosed is a copy of the letter we submitted to the Lions Club requesting financial assistance to attend the 1990 convention in Dallas. We hope that this letter will encourage other families to do what we have done.

Sincerely, Martin and Nancy Greiser


October 9,1989 Lions Club Dillon, Montana 59725

Dear Members,

My wife, Nancy, and I wish to thank you all for the recent gifts and all the past and present efforts put forth by this club. Cody is now three years old and is a normal, happy, bright, little boy who is blind. Our goal as parents is to make sure he has the opportunities and the skills necessary to become an independent, self supporting, contributing member of society. With this in mind, I am asking the Dillon Lions Club for financial assistance so my wife and I can attend the 1990 convention of the National Federation of the Blind to be held in Dallas, Texas, the first week in July. I believe the NFB will be the single most important source of information and inspiration we will have to set the stage for Cody's future success. I am asking for sufficient funds to cover airline tickets and hotel accommodations for the week. I estimate the cost to be approximately $ 1,000.00. For your information, I have enclosed the agenda from the 1989 convention which I attended. Thank you for taking the time to consider our request. We look forward to hearing from your organization.

Sincerely, Martin Greiser

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