18-Art Exhibit, Bearden Library, 2:00 pm
23-Last day of school, Knox County
1-Day at the Lake, Big Ridge State Park, 11:00 am-5:00 pm, details below
7-Bald River Bike Ride, 9:00 am, Tellico Plains visitors center
8-Working rest stop for Cherhola Challenge, Tellico Plains, 7:00 am
11-Board Meeting, 6:00 pm
14-General meeting, 6:00 pm at the Buckley's
26-27-National Cycling Championship, Knoxville
WHAT IS NEW THIS MONTH ON OUR BLOG PAGE?
THE BLIND SENATOR
In this month's blog, John writes about his "favorite" blind person, and it's almost guaranteed it's someone you've never heard of.
MAVERICKS AND LUCKY BREAKS
This month's blog points out the sad truth about employment for the blind and visually impaired. It also shows how perseverance can pay off.
A LITTLE RAIN DIDN'T DAMPEN THE DAY
The VIBES 2018 Volunteer Recognition Picnic was held at Safety City on Saturday, April 13. We had a large turnout which included VIBES members and their families, volunteers, pilots, and the Ladies of Delta Gamma and some of their parents. VIBES provided barbecue and guests brought some amazing side dishes. Two desserts were big hits. Sariah made individual Tropical Parfaits and labeled each in Braille. Pilot, David
Cass brought fresh raspberries with fresh whipped cream for dipping.
The main event for our picnic was to recognize our 2018 volunteers of the year, Pat and Ray Hinkle, and Michael Dayah. Pat and Ray have been on the go transporting VIBES members to many events and are always ready to help with any other needs. Michael loaned us his software expertise in redesigning our web page to make it more user and screen reader friendly. Be sure to check it out.
Photo: Sue with Pat and Ray Hinkle Photo: Michael Dayah
With happy and sad feelings, we gave our best wishes to one of our original members and now VIBE board member, Sarah Holloway, who this month is beginning the Physician's Assistant program at Lincoln Memorial University. We are sad to have Sarah leave, but we are happy that she will begin the journey toward her longtime dream of a career in the medical profession. Sarah has performed many volunteer duties with Club VIBES, most recently keeping up to date our web and Facebook pages.
We also congratulated member Sophie Tibbetts on her upcoming graduation from South Doyle High School and plans to attend Johnson University.
Photo: Sarah Holloway Photo: Sophie Tibbetts and Sue
Many of us were disappointed that our scheduled beeping kickball game was canceled due to the wet and muddy field. Some guests had come specifically for that. Tandem bicycling was a popular activity which was fun even if it was raining.
Photo: David and Mike on tandem ride Photo: Pilots Ed Flannigan, Jay Snyder,
David Cass, David Turner
THERE IS A LOT GOING ON!
ART EXHIBIT MAY 18
VIBES member, Diana Green has arranged for an artist to exhibit her work, including sculpture, at the Bearden Library on May 18, at 1:30 pm. Come and experience an up close and hands-on appreciation for art.
LAKE PARTY, JUNE 1
Club VIBES members will start off the summer Saturday, June 1 with a day at Big Ridge State Park, near Norris, in Anderson County. Parents are also invited to come and help and join in the fun. Everyone is asked to bring a side dish and whatever meat they would like to grill for themselves. There will be swimming, walking/hiking, games, picnic, and maybe tandem bicycling on the paved roads. Pilots, let Sue know if you can come so that we can plan on the umber of tandems to bring. Everyone, bring lawn chairs, sunscreen, towels, floats, lake shoes, clothes to change into and anything else that you might want for a day at the lake. More details will be emailed. IMPORTANT-RSVP to Sue. If any member needs transportation, notify Sue when you send her your rsvp.
CLUB VIBES VOLUNTEERS
Club VIBES benefits in many ways from the volunteers that devote time to helping us make our club a success. In turn, on June 8, VIBES is volunteering to staff a rest stop at the Cherohala Challenge, a 115 mile bike race that covers the Cherohala Skyway, the Dragon, and winds through country roads. Some of the top cyclists in the country participate. VIBES will hand out drinks and snacks at rest stop #1 in Vonore. We like to give back and show our appreciation for some of what we receive from volunteers who help us. this bike ride is organized by the Smoky Mountain Wheelmen, one of our partners.
BALD RIVER BIKE RIDE
On June 7, selected members of Club VIBES who have siged up with Sue to work the rest stop for the Cherhola Chllenge will ride the Bald River Road near Tellico Plains. This is a beautiful ride along the Tellico and Bald Rivers and passes right in front of the falls. It is a six-mile ride to the falls and another 7 miles to the end of the road, mostly with a gently uphill grade going and a fun downhill ride returning. We will have riders on both tandems and single bikes. We will meet at the Tellico Plains Visitors Center at 9:00.
NATIONAL CYCLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Again this year, Knoxville is the host for the National Cycling Championships on June 26-27. Competitive cyclists from throughout the nation will ride courses in downtown and south Knoxville as well as compete in timed trials over two days. It is fun to bring some chairs and sit along Gay Street and watch them fly by.
STUDENT GROUP MEETS WITH UT OFFICE OF DISABILITY SERVICES
On April 11
, the Student Group met with Robin from the University of Tennessee- Knoxville's Office of
Disability Services to discuss the needs of students who are visually impaired and what is available from the University to help them navigate both the campus and academics
. It was an evening filled with pizza, questions, and feedback on both sides. As Robin gathered information
regarding everyone's current level of education, she was able to see how long the school has to
prepare for the possible entrance of some of VIBES members. The VIBES group informed Robin of the needs of visually impaired students regarding accessible
technologies, textbooks for the blind and visually impaired, participation in the classroom, and
navigation around campus.
Robin shared with us what is currently
available at UT.
Campbell stated, "
Perhaps most importantly, Robin was open
to new ideas and eager to learn anything she could
from us." Thanks to Jacoby for organizing this meeting and writing this article.
As the Student Group looks forward to other
exciting new opportunities to grow, we hope to continue to have
more discussions like this. Sarah, a VIBES member and a graduate
from UTK, attended the meeting and provided some
valuable information throughout the meeting and said,
he meeting was very informative, but there definitely needs to be a follow-up on some of the questions and it would
be great to have another meeting to get more information and continued updates to the services provided by the Office of Disability Services".
WAY TO GO ILLYA!
We are very proud of Illya, a Club VIBES member since he lost his vision in 2015. He has been a very active member and is currently the leader of the student group and is on the VIBES board. Illya
is graduating from Hardin Valley Academy and was honored at the school award ceremony with the following awards;
PTSA HVA scholarship
Heart of Hardin Valley Award
Hawk Award Nominee
Project U certificate of appreciation
Photo; Illya holding Heart of Hardin Valley Award
The Heart of Hardin Valley award is a very prestigious honor. It is awarded to one member of the senior class who has made an impact on the lives of fellow students and on those in the community. Illya is also a finalist for the Hawk Award. The winner will be announced at the Hardin Valley Graduation on May 16.
Illya plans to continue his education at Pellissippi State Community College in the fall.
WELCOME TO OUR NEW MEMBERS
Club VIBES continues to grow. We welcome new members Grace Bumpas, Sariah Sciarrillo, Isiah Hamilton, and Tabitha Jackson. We hope to see you at our upcoming activities.
YOUR OPTIONS FOR THE FUTURE ARE MANY (If you are blind or visually impaired, you can...)
It is that time of the year when school ends and some of our members are graduating from high school, starting new educational opportunities, and thinking about where their interests might lead them in the future. We have several articles dealing about those topics, one about a blind medical student, one about some tricks of the trade used by blind parents, and the for those of you with political aspirations, the third article in the the blog section of the newsletter, at the top, is about a blind senator. Actually, there were two.
INSIGHT FROM A DEAFBLIND MEDIC
Alexandra Adams offers good advice for those with visual impairments contemplating what career path they should follow. She was dissuaded by many from a career in medicine but stuck to her goal of becoming a doctor and is now in her third year of medical school. Her advice; "You may find that you can surprise yourself in many ways if you don't let others prevent you from seeing through with your goals and dreams." Read Alexandra's story
YES, THOSE WHO ARE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED CAN BE SUCCESSFUL PARENTS
It may take a few tricks, but it is possible to follow the path of parenting without vision.
Read the story
of parents where both are blind.
AND THERE ARE RECREATIONAL ADVENTURES
Getting up and moving is essential for good health but is often difficult for persons with visual impairments. Club VIBES has introduced its members to a variety of ways to keep active. To name a few are tandem bicycle rides, group walks, the climbing wall at Riversports, participation in (and winning) the National Fitness Challenge which encouraged team members to walk 10,000 steps per day, training for and participating in a half marathon and several 5ks. Some of our members have discovered adventures of their own. They tell their stories here in hopes that more VIBES members might be interested in trying some of these adventures.
CAMPBELL'S ADVENTURE CORE WEEKEND
The Adventure Core weekend in the Nolichucky Gorge was an incredible experience. We stayed in the Boone Cabin at the Nolichucky outpost of USA Raft, outside of Erwin, Tennessee. We had a very busy weekend, including a caving expedition, a wilderness survival class, and a hiking trip.
On Saturday morning, we began with the caving expedition. I had never been caving before, so I had no idea what to expect. Luckily, our guide had sixteen years of experience leading people through caves. Though he had never worked with blind or visually impaired individuals before, he took on the challenge with enthusiasm and was always there to offer encouragement, crack jokes, or give a helping hand when we needed it. Continue reading
ILLYA'S ADVENTURE CORE WEEKEND
First, I would like to thank my friend, Campbell Rutherford, for inviting me to Adventure Core Weekend. We stayed at Nolichucky Oupost USA Raft outside of Erwin, Tennessee. The cabin we stayed in was 200 years old. The cabin looked out on a river. The cabin is surrounded by the bath house, the kitchen, and the dining hall. We arrived on Friday and left on Sunday. Friday we just had dinner and on Saturday is when all of the fun began.
UNOFFICIAL FLOWER SALES
Club VIBES decided to skip our spring flower sale this year, but due to popular demand,
||Photo: lavender hanging basket
we had an unofficial sale and sold over 200 hanging baskets. The king of sales was Illya who sold 69 baskets. It took four vans to haul away the baskets for delivery. We thank these drivers helping with the pick-up; Salee Reynolds, George Ash, David Combs, and Suzanne Sherman.
Thanks to those who supported our unofficial sale.
INDOOR EXPLORER MAKES INDOOR TRAVELING EASIER
Indoor Explorer is a new feature on Nearby Explorer that was designed for anyone looking for an easier way to get where they're going inside buildings. It's the difference between finding their way and knowing the way. It allows people who are blind or visually impaired to independently navigate through a venue and easily locate entrances, elevators, restrooms and other points of interest.
Lego is about to offer a product aimed to help visually impaired children.
The brick-builder company announced Wednesday it will launch Braille Bricks as a "fun and playful way to learn Braille."
THANK YOU TO OUR PROGRAM PARTNERS FOR 2018-19
PLATINUM- Delta Gamma Fraternity and Nalls Sherbakoff
GOLD-Group One Mediation Training Inc.
SILVER-Smoky Mountain Wheelmen
BRONZE-Blount County Eye Center and West Knox Lion's Club
THANK YOU TO OUR PROGRAM PARTNERS FOR 2018-20
PLATINUM GOLD SILVER BRONZE
Delta Gamma Group One Smoky Mountain Blount County
Fraternity Mediation Training Inc Wheelman Eye Center
Nalls Sherbakoff West Knox Lion's Club