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I mage of Firefly


4-Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome Awareness; 2:00-5:00 pm
16-Walk with Delta Gamma, 5:00 pm 
16- VIBE student meeting and pizza; 6:00-8:00 pm, 
18-Shopping with Elves; 10:30-5:00 pm

4-Delta Gamma Holiday Party, 6:00-8:00 pm
7-VIBE General Meeting; 6:00-8:00 pm
21-VIBES General Meeting/Holiday Party, 6:00 pm

Freedom to Fly Blog

This is not a very fun or engaging article to read but it offers some very important information for students faced with taking standardized tests.  It comes with a warning " it to be a substitute for ambien. You've been warned. Proceed with caution.  Look below for your reward.  Read Blog

As a reward for reading and learning what your options are for test taking, you will be offered a more engaging blog by a guest blogger who also happens to be the nine-year-old sister of one of our members. Read Blog

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Twenty-four  VIBES members and volunteers traveled to Savannah Georgia 
October 7-10 and what a great time everyone had!  The trip began with the six-hour drive from Knoxville, arriving in Savannah at 4:00 pm.  The activities began after only a brief break and dinner at members choice of local restaurants.  After it was dark, we were picked up by three hearsts for a ghost tour of scary places in Savannah with scary stories to go with them.  Sites included various houses, a hospital, and even a cemetery.  Monday morning, most of us took a historic bike ride along some of the streets with less traffic on our tandems and single bikes.  We thank Jim Bemiller & Missy Kane for scouting and leading us along the route.  Monday afternoon was the highlight for many of us.  We went to Tybee Island, some of climbed up the lighthouse, visited the museum, and some of us took advantage of the warm weather and water to take a swim in the ocean.  Tuesday we learned all about the history of Savannah on the Historic Walking tour led by two very knowledgeable guides.  Due to approaching hurricane Michael, we ended our trip on Tuesday afternoon with lunch at Paula Dean's Lady and Sons Restaurant.  We all headed back to Knoxville ahead of the storm.

VIBES members did a great job learning to independently navigate the hotel, keep up with their belongings in their rooms, and we all especially enjoyed hanging out with and getting to know better each other.  It was a great trip!
Photo: VIBES members and volunteers in Savannah

"I had an amazing time in Savannah! I most enjoyed the historical walking tour and learning about how the town was founded.  Thank you to everyone (volunteers, pilots, donors, sponsors) who helped make this trip possible. "  Sarah

"I enjoyed  learning about the southern live oak and its huge drapes of moss that hang from its branches. Apparently, this moss is unique to that part of the south. Tybee
Photo: Cyclists pose with their bikes 
Island was my highlight of the trip as I enjoyed walking the beach, hearing the waves and feeling the water lap up around my legs. Because the waves were a bit more rambunctious than usual, I didn't go out in the water as far as I might normally but did enjoy splashing about and getting knocked around a bit by the larger breakers! It was extremely helpful having friends around to prepare me for the larger waves that I could not see!" Mike

"We're sitting in the lobby and the pilots are watching Jacoby do his orientation to learn how to get from the front door to the elevator and learn how to walk around. They all seemed to be fascinated by how he did this. It was a really neat thing for the pilots to learn and to witness the independence of somebody. Yay Jacoby! There's always a teachable moment for not only blind and visually impaired but our sighted volunteers. That's the coolest thing that I witnessed in Savannah and it wasn't even part of an excursion." Sue

"Savannah was such a fantastic and successful trip.  I am one of the oldest members of Club Vibes, and it was exciting to see so many blind and visually impaired young people who are being helped by Vibes to get started on a positive, strong and independent path in life. "

"Our tandem ride along historic streets provided a wonderful experience of the city that was exceptional in many ways. "  EZ

"Everyone was super accommodating on the trip as well. We took a ghost tour at night (that's unique) and our guide made quite the effort to describe everything in great detail, which was especially beneficial for Mike given that he has no vision.
During the walking historical tour, our guide diligently made everyone aware of cracks, crevices, and puddles. It was neat to think that we were wandering down the same paths that notable historical figures like William Sherman had. 
The beach was awesome! Those without nearly any vision were still able to be guided into the water to face the waves. (And when that became too much, the pool was the place to be)" Joe
Photo: Beachgoers enjoying the sun

For a more detailed report of both of our trips and more pictures,   click here

Club VIBES demonstrated a couple of sports that can be enjoyed by blind and visually impaired persons along with their sighted peers.  There was a large turnout of people of all ages and disabilities. We taught folks how to play beep kickball and had a rambunctious game going for several hours.  Some of our blind players were fearless in running for the beeping base at full speed. We also offered rides on our tandem bicycles.  Volunteers,  participants, and family members all had a wonderful time learning about and playing sports accessible to various disabilities.

Photo: fielder is ready to intercept the beeping ball
Photo: Illya is getting ready to kick.

VIBES was very fortunate to receive the donation of a DaVinci All-in-One Desktop Magnifier from Alicia Luttrell. It had belonged to her grandmother who had passed away.  The DaVinci is almost new and has found a new home with one of our older members, Ed.  Ed recently was able to see deer in a photo that he had previously been unable to see.  The DaVinci will also read aloud print that Ed is unable to read.  Such a difference a device such as this makes in the lives of those fortunate to have one.  For more detail on the DaVinci see tech below.

Photo: Group at Buddy's Walk

VIBES members, friends, and family walked for Coraline in the Buddy's Walk for Down's Syndrome Awareness. We had a great turnout and it was so much fun spending the afternoon with Coraline.  In the words of Travis, Coraline's dad, " Thank you, everyone, who participated in supporting our daughter (Coraline) and Down Syndrome. We highly appreciate your enthusiasm. Hope to see you all next year. Special thanks to Gloria Reinhardt for the shirts and Sue Buckley for the great organization, and Missy Kane for introducing us to Club Vibes. You all made an impact on our (Jamie and Travis) life as you will on Coraline's."
Photos: Everyone wants a turn holding Coraline including Jacoby (left) and Illya (right)  Coraline including Jacoby (left) and Illya (right)

Welcome to Blount County Eye Center as a partner of Club VIBES. Thank you for helping make it possible for Club VIBES to carry out programs that lead to independent lives for our members. At Blount County Eye Center you will find quality eye care, outstanding personal service, and the area's largest selection of frames. BCEC focuses on service to patients and the community. Whether you want to see your best, look your best, or need specialty care such as vision therapy, custom contact lenses, management of eye disease, or surgery referral, BCEC has you covered.  
Club VIBES general membership group met on October 18 with eighteen in attendance. The focus of this group is to share information on technology, resources, and for members to set individual goals.  Members were able to try out the Eschenboch magnifier which was brought by new member Diana Green for members with low vision to try.  An upcoming event, dueling devices, was discussed as a possible fundraiser in which the Amazon Echo and the Google Home will compete in a question and answer format. Plans were also discussed for the VIBES member party to be held on December  21 with final details to follow.  Thank you to Gracie, a new VIBES member, who took excellent notes on the meeting. The next meeting will be December 7 at 6:00 pm at the Buckley's.

VIBES student group will meet November 16 at 6:00.  You are invited to come at 5:00 pm for a walk with Delta Gamma before the meeting. There will not be dinner, just snacks.  Please bring a snack to share.

Dress up as your favorite Christmas character for the Delta Gamma Holiday party on December 4 from 6:00-8:00 pm at the Delta Gamma House. This is a potluck so bring a hearty dish to share. VIBES members and one or two family members are invited for fun and games  and is very likely to include karaoke.  

It is difficult for those with visual impairments to do their holiday shopping.  Club VIBES
Photo: Elf with a bag of gifts
has a solution to help you.  On November 18, you will have the opportunity to shop with your own personal elf to assist you in shopping.  We will meet at Target, Downtown West, at 10:30 where you will join your elf. At noon, we will move on to West Town Mall.  Next, we will go to the Kohls shopping center across from the mall which also has an Old Navy store, at 3:00. For those who wish to get together for dinner at Drakes, in the Kohls Shopping Center, at 5:00 pm.  There will be elves for all ages of shoppers, so bring your list and take advantage of this opportunity check off all of your holiday gift needs.  You may come for the entire shopping day or join the group at any of the locations, Target, 10:30, West Town, 12:00, Kohls, 3:00, and for dinner, Drakes, 5:00.  You MUST RSVP Sue when and where you will join the shoppers so that she can have elves available for everyone.

The VIBES membership will celebrate the holidays with a party on December 21, 6:00 pm, at the Buckleys.  This is a potluck so bring a dinner dish to share. Tentative plans are for either a gift exchange of a $15-$20 gift or for a White Elephant re-gifting exchange.  Check with Jacoby on Group-me for details.

1. The East Tennessee Foundation is again offering the Debbie Van Cleave scholarship to blind or visually impaired students interested in either college or vocational post-high school education. Debbie, who was blind and a talented potter,  was a former student of Knox County Schools. This Applications opens November 1 and must be submitted online by February 15, 2019. Please take advantage of this opportunity. For more information,  click here.  For assistance in completing the application, those at VIBES can help you.

2.  The American Council of the Blind has a great opportunity for students who are legally blind to earn a scholarship, whether you are going to a technical college, an entering freshman, undergraduate or a graduate student. Over $55,000 in scholarships are awarded to students each year. To be eligible, you need to be legally blind in both eyes, maintain a 3.0 GPA, and be involved in your school/local community.
The 2019 ACB scholarship application is now open! Click here  to access and fill out the form.  To help you prepare to submit your application, ACB will be conducting a brief webinar on our scholarship program and the application process. Check their website for more details in the coming weeks. If you have questions, contact Nancy Christine Feela at (612) 332-3242 or (800) 866-3242 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. (CST).

GOOD LUCK!  Club VIBES has members who are very qualified to be considered for these scholarships, but you need to apply!

We  again participated in the Belk Charity Sale On November 3, at the West Town and Turkey Creek Stores.  We thank Belks for this opportunity to raise funds for VIBES, we thank Gretchen and Arlene for working at the sales so early on Saturday morning and we thank those of you who bought tickets from VIBES or patronized the sale.  Watch for the next Charity Sale to get some great bargains and to help Club VIBES.
DaVinci is a high-performance desktop video magnifier (CCTV), featuring Full HD, selective text-to-speech (OCR) and a 3-in-1 camera. With Full HD you will experience high definition color and contrast giving you a beautiful, crystal clear picture and vibrant colors. Experience the joy of reading with our new text-to-speech feature. DaVinci will read any printed text aloud with the push of a button.  For full details, click here to visit their web-site.

Photo: DaVinci video magnifier

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


       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
    Li                                                                                                                         Lion's 

                                                                                                                           L  Lion's C;ub