Northern California Seminar

By Ken Volonte, President, San Joaquin County Chapter


        On April 24 the Northern California chapter presidents met at the Hyatt Hotel in Sacramento. Some of us had arrived on the previous day to meet with members of the legislature.

        The workshop began with each of us introducing ourselves and discussing chapter events. President Burns then read the "Paradoxical Commandments" by Kent Keith (printed at the end of this article). This was a fun way of sharing some of the frustration we all experience as leaders of chapters.

        Midmorning, the attendees broke into two groups to brainstorm fundraising ideas. We reconvened as a group and discussed the various ideas: dinners, bake sales and working at special events such as fairs and athletic events. The two most ambitious ideas were raffling a cruise and presenting another Celebrate Life type of event, but in northern California.

        Any fundraising event helps to promote the NFB and to get our name out in the public. Also, events such as these bring in funds necessary to continue our varied programs.

        At noon we all walked the six blocks to a Subway shop. I don't mind telling you, I was a little nervous about carrying a full tray, but it worked.

        In the afternoon we discussed our legislative agenda, and in particular the need to fund Braille teaching in the schools. Don Burns is doing yeoman's work in this area, and we are indeed fortunate to have him.

        As a result of our legislation, a task force has been created to establish Braille reading standards, as none exist today. President Burns commented that it was an awesome task.

        In the late afternoon a man who had recently lost his sight visited us. We talked to him about how we function as blind people. We gave him information about the NFB training centers. It was a positive give-and-take of information and hopefully the man will follow through with some of our suggestions.




The Paradoxical Commandments
Kent M. Keith
1. People are illogical, unreasonable and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

2. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.

Do good anyway.

3. If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.

Succeed anyway.

4. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.

Do good anyway.

5. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.

Be honest and frank anyway.
6. The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

7. People favor underdogs but only follow top dogs.

Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.

Build anyway.

9. People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.

Help people anyway.

10. Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.

Give the world the best you have anyway.



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