August Minute Message

Fellow Federationists,

The Convention Is Coming!

Planning for the Golden Anniversary Convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland is in full gear. Come help us celebrate 50 years of progress. 

As you know, the convention will be held at the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards, 110 S. Eutaw Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. Make your hotel reservations by calling 1-800-228-9290. You must tell them you are registering for the NFBMD convention. Use the initials, not the full name. Deadline for room reservations is October 1, 2016. The room rate is $92 a night; the tax is 15.5%. Please make your reservations quickly.

Be looking in your mailbox for the pre-registration announcement and form. If you cannot wait for the snail mail, you may register online by going to The registration form will be online beginning on August 22nd. Pre-registration closes on October 8th.

Can you read Braille? Do you like to act? If the answer is yes to both questions, the Braille Is Beautiful Performers need you! On Friday evening at the state convention, the Braille Is Beautiful Players will perform the radio mystery drama, “Sorry, Wrong Number.” If you want to audition for a part, call Debbie Brown at 301-881-1892 by September 2nd. This is only one example of what will be in store for you at this convention. Be looking at for further information. 

NFBMD Board of Directors Meeting

Get a sneak preview of our convention hotel by participating in the Board of Directors Meeting on Saturday, August 27. The meeting will begin at 9:30 am. We will be meeting in the Harbor room at the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards. Please be prepared to purchase lunch at the meeting. Bring cash, no credit cards please. Bring your ideas to help make our Golden Anniversary Convention extra special!

Scholarships and Youth Stipends

This summer, we assisted four blind youth so that they could attend summer training programs in the skills of independence. We will also be awarding two scholarships to college students at our state convention. To pay all of these bills, we had a very successful Crab Feast on August 5. Many thanks to Steve Brand, Chairman, and his committee who worked to make this event fun and prosperous. Many thanks to all who attended the Crab Feast.

I am looking forward to the success of our Bid for Opportunity Dinner and Auction. This event takes place on October 1 at the College Park Knights of Columbus, 9450 Cherry Hill Road, College Park 20740. Tickets are $40. For more information, contact Debbie Brown,, or Michelle Clark,

Important Legislative Action

President Riccobono requests the following: We need to thank Representative Mac Thornberry, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, for assisting disabled veterans injured prior to September 23, 1996, to obtain access to the Space Available program by including language to correct the exclusion of these veterans from the program in the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act. Your letter of thanks will give Chairman Thornberry support when he seeks inclusion of his language in the final joint House and Senate bill when the conference committee meets in September. We have made it simple and convenient for you to write to Chairman Thornberry; all you need do is fill out the very short web form located at this link:

The 2016 NFB BELL Academy

Many thanks to everyone who made the 2016 NFB BELL Academy in Maryland a great success. We made a difference in the lives of 22 children by increasing their skills so that they may live the lives they want. Be sure to read the upcoming edition of the Braille Spectator for details. We could not get the job done without the help of our BELL coordinator, Melissa Riccobono, and our many volunteers in all three programs.

The Federation Family is Growing

Welcome to two new Federationists.  On August 9, Mary Jo and Jesse Hartle became the proud parents of Brayden Alexander.  His big brother and big sister are enjoying taking care of this new arrival.  On August 11, Melissa Sheeder and Aaron Carpenter became the proud parents of Ren Elizabeth Carpenter.  Big brother Luke is enjoying having a baby sister.  We look forward to meeting Brayden and Ren at future NFB events.  Congratulations to all.

Back to School and Fall Shopping

Are you doing back to school shopping or just shopping for the fall season? Remember to use Amazon Smile and help the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland. Go to

Dates to Keep in Mind

August 27. NFBMD Board of Directors Meeting, time, 10 am; place, the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards.

September 1. Diabetes Conference Call, 7 pm. Call 641-715-3272. The access code is 720125#.

October 1-31. Meet the Blind Month.

October 1. Bid for opportunity dinner and auction to benefit John T. McCraw scholarship fund. For more information, contact Debbie Brown at or Michelle Clarke at

October 15. National White Cane Safety Day.

October 28-30.  NFBMD 50th State Convention, Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland.    


Sharon Maneki, President

National Federation of the Blind of Maryland