by Berl Colley

OK, so Mack Davis might chafe some at the changing of his hit song title, but that is what this article is primarily about: looking back at ACB's Las Vegas convention and the warm and wonderful members and friends of the Nevada Council of the Blind and all that they did to make ACB's largest ever convention such a success.

A great big "thanks for all your hard work" goes out to NCB President Carol Ewing. She had all kinds of good ideas for potential tour sites. She was also the person who helped arrange for transportation during my visits to look at some of our tour possibilities. Thanks to Carol's friend Jim from Georgia, who spent a day driving to Lake Havasu and Oatman, Ariz. Carol is definitely a can-do lady. NCB's Vice President, Rick Kuhlmey, is the second person that I would like to thank. He was also very helpful in providing transportation, especially to Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. A third thanks goes to Richard Dortch, Dennis Melton and all the staff of the Valley Braille Center. Richard was generous in allowing employees time to assist in the visiting of possible tour sites. Dennis Melton had to tear himself away from his marketing responsibilities to drive to mundane places like Sheri's Ranch and a number of roller coaster sites. Sometimes we would walk in to an office and introduce ourselves as Melton-Berl. I know the spelling isn't right, but it was interesting to see people's reactions.

Thanks to the Riviera Hotel staff and management for working with ACB tours to keep the bus loading and unloading sites clear of other vehicles. Finally, I want to thank Cynthia Towers, Carla Ruschival, Margarine Beaman, Rhonda Trott and all of our ACB tour reps and volunteers for your time and effort to make the ACB touring experience in Las Vegas the best it could be.

There were a few glitches with a few of our tours this year, but those problems can be attributed to my failure to foresee what could happen when setting up tours for a very large convention. ACB tours has had a conference call to develop a better plan for upcoming conventions. There were 15 tours in Las Vegas. That was one tour less than Birmingham and three less than Pittsburgh. More than 800 ACB members and friends went on tours in Las Vegas. We used 20 buses and traveled over 1,100 miles.

So, the 2005 convention in Las Vegas is a fond memory, the people and places were great. (Well, except for losing at the slots!) We thank you of the Nevada Council for all your time and effort; it is still greatly appreciated.

And now it is on to Jacksonville, Fla., where we will be working with the Florida Council of the Blind, its president Paul Edwards, FCB convention committee chair Linda Jacobson and the Jacksonville chapter, to put together the 2006 ACB convention tour package. The hotel, the Hyatt Regency- Riverfront, will be ACB's home for the week of July 8-15, 2006. Room rates are $79 plus tax per night (single through quad). To make reservations, call 1-800-233-1234 or (904) 588-1234.

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