October, 2002 Meeting Notes

by Fredson Bowers, Jr., GBPPA Board

The October 19 meeting at the United Parish Church of Auburndale was the Annual Meeting of the Association, and elections were therefore conducted.

The following candidates for the Board of Directors were elected by unanimous vote: Betty Anderson, Fred Bowers, Elaine Burns, Linda Dobkin, Anne Harpin, Jack Memishian and Mary Ronayne. The following candidates for officers were also elected unanimously: Elaine Burns - President; Anne Harpin - Vice President; Betty Anderson - Treasurer; Fred Bowers - Clerk and Secretary.

A panel consisting of Betty Anderson, Mary Ronayne and Carroll Dwyer was then introduced and gave a brief presentation.

Betty talked about how support groups offer members an opportunity to share a common experience, information and feelings. Sometimes we feel isolated, and a connection with others is most important.

Mary discussed learning to accept help when needed (not always easy), and mentioned how she had learned to accept assistance with gardening duties from a friend.

Carroll discussed the importance of attending support group meetings in order to foster a sense of belonging, and also offered some good advice about keeping a positive attitude.

The gathering then split up into three discussion groups as follows:

Betty Anderson and Carroll Dwyer, moderators: the group discussed the reaction of family and friends to physical changes in the post-polio person, and how the post-polio person coped with the changes.

Jack Memishian and Steve Anderson, moderators: this group was for family, significant others and friends, and the topic was much the same as above but from their perspective.

Mary Ronayne and Elaine Burns, moderators: some people find it hard to ask for help, while others admit the need for help at times and do not hesitate to ask for it. All agreed that one should accept assistance with appreciation when it is offered.

Thanks to the panel members and discussion group moderators. Also, thanks to the volunteers who set up the meeting room and cleaned up afterwards. In addition, we appreciate the efforts of the Girl Scouts who brought the refreshments, arranged the tables and then returned to clean up.

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