FROM: Jennifer Dunnam, President

SUBJECT: 2017 Annual Convention

DATE: September 20, 2017

We of the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota are pleased to announce plans for our upcoming annual state convention. Following is 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 October 20-22 2017 at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest, 7025 Northland Drive North, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota 55428. This year we are pleased to have as our national representative Amy Buresh, a board member of the National Federation of the Blind, who also serves as president of our affiliate in Nebraska.

Hotel arrangements: Room rates are $99.00 per night, plus tax, for singles, doubles, triples, and quads. Hotel reservations must be made by September 29. To reserve your hotel room, either

1) Book your room online, or

2) Call (877) 303-1681 and mention that you are with the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota while making your reservation

Advance Registration: A preregistration form and return envelope are enclosed with a letter sent to members by mail so that you can register for the convention ahead of time and avoid standing in line. There is also an online preregistration form at www.nfbmn.org. Convention registration is $10 in advance, and $15 on site.  The senior breakfast is $20, the BLIND Inc. lunch costs $22, and the banquet is $40. 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, and banquet should be mailed or submitted online no later than October 13.  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.

If you do not preregister for the convention, please still e-mail jwenzel@blindinc.org or call 612-872-0100 to make breakfast, lunch and banquet reservations so that we can give the hotel an accurate count.

MEMBERSHIP DUES: If you have not yet paid your $5.00 membership dues, a renewal slip is enclosed with the letter in the mail.  Please renew your membership by returning $5.00 and the slip in the enclosed envelope or by filling out our online membership application.  If you did not receive a slip with the letter, your dues are paid to June 1, 2018.

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, October 20:

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

3:00-5:00 P.M.: Exhibits and Meetings

  • Exhibits and demonstrations (open throughout the evening);
  • Job-seeker seminar: Coordinated by nationally-recognized experts Dick Davis and Brian Dulude, this workshop promises to be packed with useful tips and information for those currently looking for jobs or anyone who may be job hunting in the future!
  • Resolutions committee meeting (Ryan Strunk, 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 Ryan at the NFB office or e-mail them to ryan.strunk@gmail.com.  To see the resolutions we have passed during the past ten years, check our Web site under “What We Do.”

7:00-8:30 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.

7:30 P.M.: The Metro chapter invites you to an evening of hospitality and games, with opportunity to gather with friends old and new. Come test your knowledge of trivia, and join in other fun surprises. There will be a cash bar.

Saturday, October 21:

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

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

9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.: General session packed with a variety of information, activities, 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, Amy Buresh, who will no doubt remind us why we are members of this dynamic and action-oriented organization with its positive philosophy. Following the banquet, stick around with the Metro Chapter for an after-banquet party!

Sunday, October 22:

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 President, Secretary, and three 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 October 11, 2017.  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 and to educate ourselves and others.  Together with love, hope, and determination, we transform dreams into reality, and we need your ideas and your energy to help make it happen. 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