GDUI Announcement, March 21, 2017

Dear GDUI Members and Friends,

Board Meeting Recording: If you missed our board meeting on Saturday, you can listen to the proceedings from beginning to end by using Dropbox or SendSpace or simply dialing your phone. Here’s the information you need from Sarah:

Hello GDUI members and friends,

Provided below are three ways to access the recording of the March 18, 2017 GDUI board meeting. The recording is 2 hours and 15 minutes long.

Drop Box:

Send Space:

https://www.sendspace.com/file/zozfsp

Play back number: 712.432.1085
Access code: 919245 followed by the # key.

Best,

Sarah Calhoun, GDUI Secretary & Office Manager

Town Hall Meeting Recording : Were you meaning to get around to listening to the recording of our February 18 town hall meeting, but life got in the way? Never mind! Although the phone recording of Saturday’s board meeting has replaced the town hall meeting recording that’s available on the free-conference-calling line, you can still access our Dropbox to listen. Here’s the link you need:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4909668/GDUI%20Town%20Hall%20Meeting%20Recording%2C%20February%2018%2C%202017.mp3

PawTracks News! Nolan has resigned as editor of PawTracks. He needs some time to deal with some health issues, and so, reluctantly we accepted his resignation. I don’t think I can find adequate words for thanking Nolan for his great work as editor of our magazine. When our administration began, the magazine had essentially disappeared. Issues of PawTracks were being published only sporadically at best and, although the small committee of former board members who had valiantly tried to keep it going were doing there best, its quality had declined. I was so excited when Nolan agreed to take on the job of bringing PawTracks back to life, and I know that all of us have appreciated all of the improvements he made, including bringing back in-person narration! Thank you, Nolan.

Nolan will continue to be involved with our publications as much as he can. He has indicated his willingness to continue narrating the magazine, and he will continue his involvement with the GDUI Juno Report. We are pleased and grateful.

At Saturday’s meeting, the GDUI Board unanimously approved the appointment of our new PawTracks editor, Will Burley! Welcome, Will, to your new GDUI role as editor! We are pleased and grateful to you for stepping into this role.

Wasting no time, Will plans an April 2017 Spring issue, so if you have contributions to make to PawTracks – and we hope you do! – please send them to Will by the publication deadline of March 31. Write “PawTracks” in the subject field, and send all PawTracks articles, poems, letters, or other submissions here: editor@guidedogusersinc.org  

Dues Increases: Another action that our board took at Saturday’s meeting was to increase GDUI’s annual and Life Members’ dues. I wish I hadn’t had to write that sentence, but GDUI’s financial predicament has truly left us no choice. GDUI’s dues have not been raised since 2002, when they increased from $12.00 annually to $15.00. At some time during those intervening years, Life Members’ dues also increased to $250 for a lifetime of membership. It is unfortunate that none of GDUI’s boards were willing to consider raising dues in the intervening fifteen years. If they had, the increase that we are making now might seem a little less dramatic. However, no one raised dues during all that time, and expenses mounted — for everything from the toll-free phone line, to administrative banking fees, to PawTracks production, to voting ($5 for each member!) — over that decade and a half, and we have found ourselves in a situation of having no choice other than to ask you to pay more. We hope and believe that the membership benefits you derive from being part of our organization justify our asking you to pay more. As of September 1, GDUI annual dues will increase to $25 per year, and if you want to become a life member of GDUI, your dues will be $400. We will continue to work out a way for life members to split their payments into timed installments. And, of course, if you would like to become a life member during the next few months, before the increase goes into effect in September, you’ll be benefitting from a significant discount. Please contact Sarah for all of the details and to set up your payment plan! Call 866.799.8436, toll free in the USA.

Your donations to GDUI are always welcomed and appreciated, and our fund-raising committee is pursuing several additional strategies for bringing in dollars, including GDUI’s participation in the 2017 ACB Convention Brenda Dillon Memorial Walk! We will be sharing the details about our GDUI team, how you and your guide dog can join as real-time or virtual walker(s), and how you can contact friends and family members to make ACB/GDUI donations grow, in a coming announcement.

Remember, the Record Date, by which time you need to be a paid-in-full member of GDUI for 2017, is rapidly approaching.

That date is April 7. All members who have joined by that date are eligible to vote in our May election. Election dates are May 27 through June 4. And, if you want to run for one of the two open board seats, you need to contact the Chairperson of our Membership Committee, Dixie Sanderson, by April 1. Here’s the link where you’ll find all the details about the coming election: http://guidedogusersinc.org/announcing-gdui-2017-elections/.

During coming weeks, the Nominations Committee will be eager to receive your questions for the two candidates’ forums which will take place in late April and early May, and the Bylaws Committee will be meeting to discuss the several amendments to GDUI bylaws that members have proposed. If you have submitted an amendment, expect to hear from Maria Hansen, who chairs our Bylaws and Resolutions Committee, to schedule a time when the committee can consult with you via telephone about your proposed constitutional change.

The First-Timers’ Contest: We hope that lots of you are working on your essays to apply to win one of two “First Timers’ Awards,” for attending our GDUI convention in Sparks, Nevada. The deadline for submitting your application is April 15. If you win, you’ll be one of two people to receive $955 when you arrive at the GDUI convention suite. Here’s the link where you’ll find all of the First-Timers’ details:

GDUI Announcement, February 28, 2017

 Speaking of Convention … and Awards …

It’s time to think about rewarding those people who have improved our lives as users of guide dogs over the past year or so. Here’s the announcement from Charlie Crawford who is chairing our 2017 GDUI Awards Committee:

Hi GDUI members and friends,

It’s that time of year again: Help GDUI Honor the People Who Make a Positive Difference in the Lives of Guide Dog Handlers! Guide Dog Users, Inc. has a long tradition of honoring the people who have assisted us as guide dog handlers and improved our communities in positive ways.  

Again this year, we are seeking candidates for our Ethel Bender and Moffat-Gleitz awards.  In addition, we wish to honor the writers and communicators who make our quarterly magazine, PawTracks, and other productions such as the GDUI Juno Report, such informative and entertaining publications.

We encourage you to think about all the PawTracks and GDUI Juno contributors whose stories, articles, and poems have informed and entertained you in the last year. If someone moved you or made you smile or taught you something new about yourself or your dog or your experience as a person who is blind, we hope you will nominate that person for the GDUI PawTracks Excellence in media Award.

Next, our Ethel Bender award honors a sighted person who has made a significant contribution to the guide dog community.  Past winners included Ted Zubrycki, Lukas Frank and Michael Lilly.

Our third award, the Moffat-Gleitz Award honors a person who is blind and who has significantly improved the lives of guide dog users.

Awards will be presented at the GDUI annual luncheon on Wednesday, July 5, in Sparks, Nevada.

Please send us the name(s) of the person(S) an where or how to contact them and for which award they are being nominated and why?  Your nomination does not need to be long, but worded sufficiently to give us a clear understanding about why you choose to nominate that person or persons.  Please also include your contact information so we can follow up with you if we require more information. Send your nominations to Charlie Crawford at this address:

Director1@guidedogusersinc.org and Put the words:  “GDUI AWARD Nomination(s)” in your subject line.

No access to e-mail?  Call GDUI’s office manager, Sarah Calhoun at 866.799.8436. Please submit your nominations by June 1, 2017, and thank you for helping us honor the people who make life for guide dog teams better every day.

Charlie Crawford: Chair, GDUI Awards Committee.

That wraps up our latest announcements. As always, we appreciate your friendship and support.  

Sincerely,

Penny Reeder, President
Guide Dog Users, Inc.
President@GuideDogUsersInc.org

Deanna Noriega, First Vice President
Guide Dog Users, Inc.
vp1@GuideDogUsersInc.org

GDUI Website: http://www.guidedogusersinc.org/

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A recording of each GDUI announcement is available here: 712.432.1281. Enter the Access Code 488062 followed by the number sign. When prompted, enter the Reference Code, No. 1. The recording will remain available until it is replaced by a recording of the next GDUI Announcement. Please share this information with friends who may not have access to the internet. Thank you. We look forward to sharing information with all of our GDUI members and friends.