7-Knox County Schools begin
15-Board meeting, 6:00 pm
20-Biking/Walking, Cherokee Blvd 2:00 pm; RSVP Sue
22-College-Young Professionals, 6:00 pm, Buckley's
23-UT classes begin
16-Catalyst Sports Expo, Victor Ashe Park
iking/Walking, Cherokee Blvd 2:00 pm; RSVP Sue
26-College-Young Professionals, 6:00 pm, Buckley's
WHAT IS NEW THIS MONTH ON OUR BLOG PAGE?
Since March, Club VIBES members have been involved in the National Fitness Challenge sponsored by the United States Association of Blind Athletes in which they are committed to walk 10,000 steps, roughly five miles, daily for six months. This guest blog outlines some of the more dramatic benefits of the program.
HOW I LOST 125 LBS.
by Jared Jackson
A little over two years ago, I had reached the horribly lofty weight of 382 lbs. and had no legitimate plans on how to get rid of the excess fat and water. I wanted to have a fit and trim body but didn't want to put in the work to reach that fit physique again. I gave excuses why I just couldn't get rid of the excess weight such as my multiple medical issues from a brain tumor at age nine.
Please share your experiences about these topics in the comments section on the blog page.
VIBES REMEMBERS BLAKE SWITOW
The VIBES community was saddened by the passing of one of our members, Blake Switow. A group from Club VIBES attended the Celebration of Life honoring Blake. This was a heartwarming celebration that included lots of hugging, photos of Blake's life that stirred up many memories, and a very special moment when Blake's former middle school chorus teachers led the group in singing Blake's favorite songs, "My Ding-a-Ling" by Chuck Berry and "Lola" by the Kings. We will miss Blake.
NATIONAL FITNESS CHALLENGE UPDATES
CLUB VIBES IS STILL IN THE LEAD
The National Fitness Challenge is now almost four months old and Club VIBES
to hold the lead for the
maximum number of steps taken by any of the 13 teams in the competition. In June, VIBES 25 team members stepped 8,385,135 steps!! The next closest team, Atlanta, was far behind at just over 6.5 million. Our success is achieved partly by our motivated, hard working team and partly because of the guidance provided by Coach Missy.
JOIN OUR GROUP WALKS
Getting together for the group walks organized by coach Missy Kane is one way we achieve our step goals. In July we were joined by former Olympians for a walk through the sunflowers at Forks of the River and on November 12 we will participate in the Subway 5k walk against cancer. In addition, we walk on Cherokee Blvd during our monthly tandem bicycling. We welcome anyone to participate in our walks who is interested in friendship and fitness. Come join us!
Photo-Chad,Jacoby Missy and flowers Photo-Kathy, Sue, Margaret, and flowers.
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR MONTHLY WINNERS
Each month two NFC team members are chosen and highlighted for their accomplishments in either stepping the most steps, showing the most effort, showing the most improvement, or other criteria. The winners for May were Sophie Tibbetts and Ed Patrick, and in June the winners were Paige Connley and Allison Alexander. We are proud or the super efforts of our teammates.
WE'VE BEEN ON TV
NFC team members Jacoby and Illya have been featured on WBIR Live-at Five-at- Four. You can watch these interviews by clicking below. In addition is a link to the WLVT on the Olympic Day sunflower walk.
The Volunteer Advocacy Project (VAP) at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center is seeking volunteers to be trained to advocate for families as they navigate their way through the special education process. The training will take place on Monday evenings from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. CST (6 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST) beginning on August 21st (until November 6
) at a range of locations across the state. The training will run for 12 weeks (a total of 40 hours). For more information click here.
I love belonging to Club VIBES. One of the things I love most is the friendships that are formed and the encouragement its community of members give to one another to chase after their goals and dreams. Activities are organized that promote freedom and the enjoyment of life to its fullest whatever that means for each individual. I was introduced to Club Vibes about two and a half years ago during a tandem biking event. It was so "freeing" to be able to hop on a bike and joy ride or even race against other riders if I wanted to. I was more less in control. I hadn't experienced a freedom like that since walking for the first time with my guide dog. I later learned about all the other ways Club Vibes helps to enable blind people and wanted to get involved. Over the past year and a half, life has brought me back to Pennsylvania. However, I missed the activities and friendships I made through Club Vibes so recently decided to vacation in Knoxville.
The time flew by like I knew it would. A group of us went to a Karaoke event that was quite entertaining. You think you know the words to a song until you are put in the spotlight. Everyone had a good time though, clapping and/or cheering for whoever was on stage. Club Vibes also had its annual pool party while I was visiting. I love swimming and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon by the pool. Of course, a trip to Knoxville wouldn't have been complete without a bike ride. It felt good to get back on a tandem again and to have the chance to ride with Mike Marcum. He's a great pilot. As a bonus, the weather was nice and cool for the ride. One of my other favorite things to do is eat. If you starve while visiting Knoxville, its your own fault. I enjoyed some of my favorite Knoxville restaurants along with some new flavor.
One of the things that captured my attention while I was visiting is something called The Fit Bit Challenge.
A team of some of the Vibes members are in competition with teams from other states to log the most steps both daily and each month. I was amazed how enthusiastic they were to stay ahead of their competition and even each other. Taking walks in the mall, outdoor walking trails or even logging steps while watching a movie or listening to music were all creative ideas people were using to get those steps in. Also, a variety of stepping activities gave people another excuse for getting together. I knew I was too late to join the fun but I decided early on that I could totally do that too! I purchased a Fit Bit and now am able to compete with my friends. I've never been much for exercise but after watching everyone finding creative ways to keep it interesting, I realized that exercise can be fun especially when you have a group rallying around you. Also, since committing to my daily step goals, I have felt more energetic and healthier in general than I have in quite a while.
I made some new friends in Club Vibes including Jacoby. He invited me to his place where we had dinner and found out that we have quite a bit in common. He introduced me to some people in his building and helped me apply for housing there. He showed me around downtown including the trolley system. I had the chance to demonstrate and navigate with a cool GPS app called Blindsquare. In the near future, I look forward to working with Jacoby on computer stuff and possibly other GPS apps.
It was a fast moving enjoyable vacation reminding me of how much fun it is to hang out and be a part of Club Vibes. As mentioned earlier, I'm in the process of relocating to Knoxville in hopes of plugging back in in the near future.
VIBES MEMBERS, PUT THESE ON YOUR CALENDAR
WE ARE INVITED TO A COOKOUT
On Sunday August 13 Delta Gamma is having a cookout and we would love for Club Vibes members and their families to attend! It's from 11:45-1:45 at 2906 Sorority Village Circle. There is parking within sorority village and at the visitor lot across the street. It's hippie themed so be sure to put on your favorite 60s attire! There will be food, karaoke, and good times! RSVP to Sue.
The Young Professionals/College group in June and July, discussed things of importance like schooling and better yet, what karaoke song to sing. We have been making regular visits to karaoke night and have had a blast. There is some real talent among us. The group also had an opportunity to meet Mike Milley, a VIBES member who is currently living in Pennsylvania and came to Knoxville for a visit. Mike has an abundance of tech knowledge and enlightened us on apps for the visually impaired. His knowledge of a navigation app,
Blindsquare, provided us with new approaches to navigating the local community.
There has been a whirlwind of activity in June and July, and we hope that you will join us the next time we gather together. All of those with a visual impairment, high school senior through young adult are welcome to join us. Contact Sue for schedule information. Our next meeting is August 22,, 6:00 pm at the Buckley's.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TY
To celebrate her 18th birthday, Ty invited us to her birthday party where we enjoyed skating, pizza and cake. Skating is not as easy as it looks!
CATALYST SPORTS EXPO
Catalyst Sports is once again sponsoring an expo to showcase sports opportunities and adaptations available to those with any disability. It will be on September 16th at Victor Ashe Park.
Club VIBES will be joining in on the Expo, demonstrating beeping kickball, tandem biking. This is a chance to have all kinds of fun with adaptive sports, such as
blind golf, beeping kickball and much more. Come, play and help us out.
Photo-Adventure Sports Expo Flyer
POOL PARTY WAS A SELLOUT!
Thank you Curtis and Margaret Holmes for hosting Club VIBES in your home and beautiful pool for the third year. We are grateful for this opportunity to hang out together, enjoy wonderful food and friendship while raising funds for Club VIBES. We had a great turnout!! Thanks to all who attended and for your generous donations; also for the great food everyone brought.
Photo-enjoying a cool dip in the pool
WE HAVE COOL CLUB VIBES MERCHANDISE FOR SALE
How can you "be cool" and help VIBES at the same time? By buying some of our unique items with the VIBES Logo such as t-shirts, caps, cup holder coasters, or microfiber golf towels. Email Sue with your order.
Photo-Car Coasters $2.50 each Photo-Golf Towels $18.00
Photo-Cap $10.00 Photo-Freedom to Fly T-shirt $20.00
BACK TO SCHOOL TIPS
ACCESSIBLE TEXTBOOK OPTIONS FOR STUDENTS WHO ARE BLIND OR VISUALLY IMPAIRED
Even though students through grade 12 receive their classroom textbooks and other materials from their vision teacher, there may be times when students want access to other books and materials that are not on the required list such as books needed for a research paper, or a book referred to in a textbook that sounds like something interesting. Here is a link to an article from APH's AccessWorld Magazine that has sources for finding accessible material you may be looking for.
Both Apple and Microsoft offer special phone lines dedicated to assisting users of their respective operating systems' accessibility features
You can reach the Microsoft Accessibility Answer Desk at: 800-936-5900.
You can reach the Apple Accessibility Hotline at 877-204-3930.