** Run Away to Vancouver

The Washington Council of the Blind will hold its state convention Nov. 11-13 at the Hilton Vancouver Hotel. Room rates are $92 per night plus tax. To make your reservation, call (360) 993-4500.

Convention registration comes in three varieties: registration only, $15; registration plus banquet, $45; registration plus 5 major meals, $95. The deadline for registration and special requests is Oct. 15. Late registration costs $25; late registration with 5 meals costs $125. There is a free bus available departing from Seattle, with stops in Federal Way and Tacoma. For more information, call the Washington Council of the Blind's toll-free line, 1-800-255-1147.

** Top Dog Workshop

The 2011 Top Dog Workshop will take place from Jan. 6-9, 2011 at the Four Points by Sheraton Studio City located on International Drive in Orlando, Fla., with room rates at $79 per night plus tax. The facility is within easy access of the attractions that draw millions of visitors to this city throughout the year. You will be able to incorporate vacation plans during your visit to Orlando, as the hotel is offering convention rates for three nights before the event begins and three nights after its conclusion. Reaching Orlando via plane, train or bus is readily achievable throughout the country. Volunteers will be available to meet you at the airport, train or bus station. You will be asked to provide us with your travel itinerary as soon as it is available in order for us to coordinate this service.

We are offering five meals during the event: dinner on Friday evening; plated breakfast, box lunch and plated dinner on Saturday; and plated breakfast on Sunday morning. The meal costs are very affordable, with a full breakfast for Saturday and Sunday morning at $15 each, box lunch at $15 and Saturday evening dinner at $30. We are still in the process of choosing the meal option that we will provide on Friday evening, but it is our plan to keep the cost of that meal between $15 and $20. When you register for the event, you will be able to choose the meals that you would like to purchase.

The 2011 Top Dog Workshop program will be dedicated to guide dog-related issues. The program committee, consisting of guide dog users from around the country, will meet within the next couple of weeks to choose from the very wonderful program options that have been suggested to us. It is not too late for you to add your program suggestions to the list. Please e-mail Debbie Grubb,, if you would like to suggest ideas for program options.

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