Braille Monitor                  January 2022

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A Tribute from a Friend

by Donna Wood

Donna WoodFrom the Editor: Donna Wood is a person who not only feels gratitude but also takes the time to express it publicly. She writes here about a friend and a too often unsung member of her affiliate whom she believes should be recognized. Here is what she has to say about a valuable friend, mother, and colleague who has given decades to the cause we share:

Susan L. Stanzel has been a member of the National Federation of the Blind of Kansas since 1971. She was not a founding member, but she joined a few years after the Kansas affiliate was formed. She joined early enough that she knew the founders personally.

Over the years Susie has held just about every position in a chapter and on the board of directors. Her most notables are her positions as Johnson County chapter president and the long-time president of the National Federation of the Blind of Kansas. She demonstrated that one could work a full-time job, advance in it, and work lots of overtime when her programming was required, and still be the mother of three wonderful children. She knows how to love, how to work, and how to share, and instead of feeling put upon, she feels grateful that life has placed her on a path of giving that she feared might never be hers.

Susie is one who came before us and allows us to stand on her shoulders so that we may achieve our goals. She sold nuts to raise money for scholarships; she marched on Washington year after year and continued to go after we started calling it the Washington Seminar. She actively served on more committees and task forces, and boards than she can count, and contributed hundreds of hours to these in the service of the Federation. She has heard more times than she can count that she can’t do this or that because she is blind. None of this has stopped her. She keeps fighting, working, and building the NFB. Thank you, Susie, for all that you have done and all that you will do. We are all the better for being a part of the National Federation of the Blind of Kansas that you helped build.

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