TO: National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota members and friends

FROM: Ryan Strunk, President

SUBJECT: 2018 Annual Convention

DATE: Oct. 14, 2018

We of the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota are pleased to announce plans for our upcoming annual state convention. Enclosed in this letter, you will find information you’ll need to know concerning logistics (including advance registration), costs, and an outline of some of the events that will take place this year.

The two-and-1/2 day convention will be held from Nov. 16-18, 2018, at the Best Western Plus Kelly Inn Hotel at 100 SW 4th Avenue S., St. Cloud , Minnesota, 56301. This year we are pleased to have as our national representative Kevan Worley, a long-time leader in the National Federation of the Blind.

Hotel arrangements: Room rates are $99.00 per night, plus tax, for singles, doubles, triples, and quads. Hotel reservations must be made by Nov. 9. To reserve your hotel room, either

  • Book your room online
  • or
  • Call the hotel at (320) 253-0606 and mention that you are with the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota while making your reservation

Advance Registration: A pre-registration form and return envelope are enclosed with this letter, so that you can register for the convention ahead of time and avoid standing in line. There is also an online preregistration form. Convention registration is $10 in advance, and $15 on site. The senior breakfast is $15, the BLIND Inc. lunch costs $20, and the banquet is $35.

In addition, this year we are pleased to offer an affordable, casual dinner on Friday night which will take place between our afternoon business sessions and our evening division meetings. This dinner will give you the opportunity to socialize with friends and catch up with those you may not have seen in a while. The dinner will be structured so that you will be able to get to all meetings without getting caught in the restaurant rush. The cost of the dinner is only $15.

If you need vegetarian meals, please mark that option on the form. For advance registration, the registration form and the payment for registration, breakfast, lunch, casual dinner, and banquet should be mailed no later than Nov. 9. Mail to: National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota, 100 East 22nd Street, Minneapolis, MN 55404. Checks or money orders should be made payable to NFB of Minnesota. Please do not send cash.

As an added incentive to pre-register this year, we are offering attendees the opportunity to receive a free suite upgrade at no additional charge. if you make your room reservation and pre-register for the convention before the deadline, your name will be placed in a drawing to receive one of three hotel suites at the standard room rate.

If you do not pre-register for the convention, please still e-mail sstarnes@blindinc.org or call 612-872-0100 to make breakfast, lunch, casual dinner, and banquet reservations so that we can give the hotel an accurate count. Also let her know if you will want a seat on the bus going from the Metro area, discussed below.

DUES: If you have not yet paid your $5.00 membership dues, a renewal slip is enclosed. Please renew your membership by returning $5.00 and the slip in the enclosed envelope. If you did not receive a slip with this letter, your dues are paid to June 1, 2019. Dues may also be paid online.

Transportation: For those traveling from the Twin Cities area, the Metro Chapter has organized a chartered bus to St. Cloud. A seat will cost $20 whether you are traveling one way or round trip; seats for children ages 5 to 12 are $10, and children under 5 rides free. Payment will be collected on the bus by the chapter. The bus will leave from our headquarters at 100 East 22nd Street at 11:30 A.M. on Friday morning and will depart from St. Cloud at 1:30 P.M. on Sunday afternoon. You may use the pre-registration form to reserve a seat.

SCHEDULE

We will hold our traditional bake auction during the Saturday and Sunday general sessions and the Saturday evening banquet. Door prizes will also be given during those times. You must register and be present in the room to win.

Some events will be added to this schedule, and more details about the schedule will be made available as they are finalized.

Friday, November 16:

3:00–5:00 p.m.: Registration will be open. Registration will also be open at other times during the convention. If you pre-registered, be sure to stop by registration to pick up your meal tickets and the convention agenda.

2:00–5:00 P.M.: Exhibits and Meetings

  • Exhibits and demonstrations (open throughout the evening);
  • Resolutions committee meeting (Jennifer Dunnam, chair of the Resolutions Committee, asks that you submit proposed resolutions in advance of the convention and then come participate in the discussion. You may send your draft resolutions to Jennifer at the NFB office or e-mail them to jennifer.dunnam1829@gmail.com. To see the resolutions we have passed during the past ten years, check our Web site under “What We Do.”

5:00-7:00 P.M.: Casual dinner with friends—beat the dinner rush and enjoy an affordable meal in a relaxed environment

7:00-9:00 P.M.: Annual meeting of the Minnesota Association of Blind Students.

7:00-8:30 P.M.: Annual meeting of the Minnesota Association to Promote the Use of Braille.

Saturday, November 17:

7:00 A.M.: Breakfast and Annual Meeting of the NFB of Minnesota Seniors Division.

8:15 a.m.: Registration opens, and coffee and pastries will be available.

9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.: General session packed with a variety of information and discussion on current issues related to blindness. Among other items, we will dialog with Minnesota agencies for the blind and elected officials, learn from the stories of our members and friends of all ages, and discuss our current activities and plans for the future.

12:00 p.m.: BLIND, Inc. Lunch: Celebrate the progress and accomplishments of our consumer-directed training center with a delicious lunch and a program featuring students and staff of BLIND Inc.

6:00 p.m.: Social hour with cash bar prior to our banquet. Come and join us for more hospitality.

7:00 p.m.: Banquet. The banquet will feature an inspiring keynote address from our national representative, Kevan Worley, who will inspire us with his own stories about the National Federation of the Blind. Following the banquet, stick around with fellow federationists for an after-banquet party!

Sunday, November 18:

9:00 a.m.–Noon: Business session. We will hear reports, deal with any remaining resolutions, and much more, including some creative surprises. The positions of Vice President, Treasurer, and two board members will be up for election.

OTHER ITEMS OF NOTE

Childcare: Childcare will be provided during scheduled meetings and during the banquet. A minimum donation of $20 is requested. For more information, check the box on the pre-registration form, and we will contact you.

Cash Prizes for Essays: The Metro Chapter invites all Minnesota Federationists to participate in its annual essay contest. Although there is not a specific essay question, the essay should be focused on experiences as a blind person and highlight a positive message or outcome. The length of the essay should be about 2-3 pages. The winning essay will be published in the Minnesota Bulletin, and the writer will receive $75. Another $50 will be awarded in a random drawing from the rest of the essays, which will also be considered for publication. Both winners will be announced at the banquet on Saturday evening. All entries must be received by Nov. 1, 2018. E-mail them to Kathy McGillivray at gilgal63@gmail.com.

Our convention each year is an opportunity for the blind of our state to come together for a common cause, to educate ourselves and others, and to strengthen our bonds of friendship. We will share public services and other resources for the blind, exchange ideas, and formulate plans and policies for the coming year. Make plans to join us and be a part of the excitement!

Information About Those We Work With:

NFB-NEWSLINE®

Blindness: Learning In New Dimensions (BLIND, Inc.)

State Services for the Blind

Products That Help Blind People

More Resources