Shelby, a Lowcountry blind youth and part of my Chaplaincy, sings the "National Anthem" to kick off Charleston, South Carolina’s 2010 White Cane Day Celebration. We in the blindness community take a lot of pride in White Cane Safety Awareness Day, October 15. It is a time to celebrate the independence afforded us by the long, white cane, and to bring awareness to the sighted community. The Honor Guard, the National Anthem, and the flag (with stars and stripes which can be actually touched) remind us of the unmatched independence that we, both blind and sighted, share as American citizens.
I was honored to serve as Emcee for the second year in a row, for this special event. Here I am on the stage at Francis Marion Square, with Kathy Ouzts, a vision teacher who serves actively as a sighted member of the American Council of the Blind. My thanks to the Charleston ACB, and especially to the folks of Dixie Land Guide Dog Users (who sponsored me for this event).
Prior to the official White Cane Day ceremony, God’s outa sight kids of all ages formed a procession from the Visitors Center to Francis Marion Square. The drum Corps of West Ashley High School led the way, making it very easy for everyone to follow the route.
From Charleston, SC, I was off to Southern Indiana. Here I am having a fun time with the children of the First United Methodist Church, Seymour, IN, where I presented for Morning Worship. Thanks, Pastor Steve and Congregation, for making Music By Laurel Jean part of the Fall, 2010 schedule.
The trip to Seymour First UMC brought a happy reunion with a long-time friend and fellow servant of God, Rev. Tarrell Thompson. Here we are together with our very dear, mutual friend, Miss Anna Lee. I am honored to count Rev. Thompson as a “foster dad”, among those who have most richly blessed and shaped the life of music and ministry which God has given me. Music inspired by him and his wife Lena can be found on my Family Album, Circuit Rider, and Christmas Gifts CD’s.
On to Peoria, IL and the annual banquet of Peoria Rescue Ministries! What an honor to be this year’s featured Guest Musician! My thanks to driver and friend, Carolyn, for all of her help in making this event a success.
Back in Charleston, here I am presenting for “Pink Sunday” at Grace United Methodist Church, promoting breast cancer awareness. We honored survivors and caregivers alike, and took time to remember those who have lost their lives to this disease. This really hit home for me. My maternal grandmother, Garnet Mansfield, was a breast cancer survivor, and her mother, Bessie Walker, lost her life to the disease. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of getting regular cancer screenings.
Stay well, everyone!
Until next time, God bless you, and keep His Song in your heart!
©2010 by Laurel Jean Walden