A monthly newsletter of the South Central Association of the Visually Impaired

SCAVI, P.O. Box 2216, Bedford, IN 47421

Newsletter written and produced by President Rita Kersh.

Rita can be reached at 812-278-3038 or e-mail at

December 2023


There will not be a meeting this month. We’ll be having our Christmas party on Sat. Dec. 9 at noon at the Free Methodist Church, 630 R St. in the basement fellowship hall.

We will have a pot luck lunch and everyone knows what they’re bringing. Cindy will take care of ordering the pulled pork and drinks. We’ll play a gift swap game after lunch, so if you’d like to take part, bring a wrapped gift with a value of at least $10. Tune up your voice box, because we’ll do a little singing, too. Oh, be sure to dress Christmassy for the best dressed contest. You might win a prize.


Kari Goodman Dec. 28


Amazon Adds Alexa Emergency Assist to Echo Devices

CNET Latest News - Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Amazon is making it easier to get emergency help without your phone. The retail giant announced a new Alexa Emergency Assist service as part of its September product event on Wednesday. The service will allow customers to reach emergency responders through Echo devices while also sending alerts to emergency contacts. The service will cost $6 a month or $59 a year and will be available later this year. Guard Plus customers can access the Alexa Emergency Assist for $5 per month or $50 per year.

In an emergency, users can just say "Alexa, call for help" to be connected to an agent who will then call 911. Users will be able to add their information including their home address, medications and allergies, and emergency contacts to their profile, which can then be sent to first responders.

Amazon's foray into emergency services follows Apple's integration of emergency satellite connectivity into its latest iPhone lineup. Google also added emergency detection and sharing features on its Pixel lineup this summer.

Unlike emergency assistants on phones that use the device's sensors to detect falls and crashes, Amazon's services rely only on voice to self-report an emergency. Users will need to speak to an Alexa device and ask for help in order to activate the emergency services. The service seems as though it could be helpful for elderly customers who might fall in their homes and can't get up but don't lose consciousness.


Holiday Sugar Cookies

3/4 cup solid shortening, butter flavored preferred

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

In large bowl, combine shortening, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Beat with mixer on medium until light and creamy. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to creamed mixture, beating on low until well blended.

Cover dough and chill for 1 hour, if desired, for easy rolling. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll half of dough at a time. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut in desired shapes. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Roll leftover pieces. Sprinkle with colored decorations or leave plain to decorate when cool. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges are light brown. (Time will vary with cookie size.) Cool slightly, then remove to cooling rack. Cool completely before decorating.

Makes about 36 cookies.

Effortless Eggnog

1/2-gallon milk, divided

1 (4 serving size) box instant French vanilla pudding mix

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

In large bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup milk and pudding mix until smooth.

Whisk in sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in remaining milk.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes 2 quarts.

Holiday Cherry Delight

Prep: 20 mins - Ready In: 3 hrs. 35 mins

1-1/2 cups boiling water

1 pkg. (8-serving size) or 2 pkg. (4-serving size each) JELL-O Brand Cherry Flavor Gelatin

2 cups ice cubes

1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling

4 cups angel food cake or pound cake cubes

1-1/2 cups cold milk

1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling

1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided

STIR boiling water into gelatin in large bowl at least 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Stir in ice until melted. Stir in cherry pie filling.

Place cake cubes in 3-quart serving bowl. Spoon gelatin mixture over cake.

Refrigerate 15 minutes or until set but not firm.

POUR milk into large bowl. Add pudding mix. Beat with wire whisk 1 minute.

Gently stir in 1/2 of the whipped topping. Spoon over gelatin mixture in bowl.

REFRIGERATE 3 hours or until set. Garnish with remaining whipped topping.

Christmas Punch

1 (46 ounce) can pineapple juice, chilled

1 (1 liter) bottle ginger ale, chilled

1 (2 liter) bottle strawberry carbonated beverage, chilled

Combine all ingredients in punch bowl. Use extra ginger ale or 7-up, if desired.

Makes about 20 servings.

Cereal Christmas Trees

3 tablespoons butter or margarine

32 large or 3 cups miniature marshmallows

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon green food color

4 cups Cherios cereal

Small gumdrops

In large saucepan, heat butter and marshmallows over low heat, stirring constantly, until marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and food color. Fold in cereal until evenly coated. On waxed paper, quickly shape warm mixture with buttered hands into Christmas tree shapes, using about 2/3 cup mixture for each place card size tree or 1/4 cup mixture for each cookie size tree. For ornaments, cut gumdrops into slices and press onto trees.

Makes 6 to 8 place card size trees or 16 to 20 cookie size trees.

Snowman Soup

1 envelope hot chocolate mix

3 chocolate Kisses

15 mini marshmallows

1 candy cane

Place ingredients into colored plastic wrap. Write this little poem on paper and give with ingredients in mug!

Was told you've been really good this year

Always glad to hear it

With freezing weather drawing near

You'll need to warm the spirit

So, here's a little Snowman Soup

Complete with stirring stick

Add hot water, sip it slow

It's sure to do the trick!

Makes 1 serving.


SCAVI met on November 6 at the Bedford Free Methodist Church. Those in attendance were:

Cindy Brooking, Doug and Brenda Eads, Loney and Ida Galey, Rita Kersh, Denise Mullis, Mike and Dolly Sowder, and James and Karen Veen.

Brenda Eads made a motion to accept the October Minutes. Cindy Brooking seconded the motion and it carried.

It was recently learned that the Post Office Box fee will increase to $176. ACBI will cover half the cost. Cindy's treasurer's report included information about our Chili Supper fundraiser. Tickets for the event were $8.00. Pre-sales of Tickets were $472 for SCAVI, $104 for the Lion's Club and $210 at the door. Donations were $113. Other sources of income were the auction items and the sale of wash cloths. After expenses and payment to the Lions Club for their share, the net profit was $564.13.

The beginning balance for October was $5,310.80. The ending balance was $5,801.66. Dolly Sowder moved that we approve the treasurer's report. Doug Eads seconded the motion and it carried.

Our next matter of business was the planning for our Christmas Party. It will be held on Saturday, December 9 at noon, at the Bedford Free Methodist Church. There will be a gift exchange. Gift values are to be at least $10. SCAVI will provide meat, drinks and paper products. We in attendance let others know what dish they intend to bring. We were reminded to dress festively. There will be a prize for the winning outfit.

2024 officers for SCAVI include President Rita Kersh, Vice President Brenda Eads, Secretary Denise Mullis, and Cindy Brooking, treasurer. Board members include Jim Veen (1-year), Loney Galey (2-year), and Ida Galey who is completing her term. Dolly Sowder nominated Karen Veen to fill the 3-year position and Cindy Brooking seconded. Karen accepted the nomination and was elected to a three-year term.

The group discussed our state convention. Brenda suggested that we donate two $20 cash door prizes. The motion was made by Brenda Eads and seconded by Ida Galey. The motion carried.

Those in attendance were reminded of our $9.00 annual dues.

Since we are having the Christmas party, there will be no meeting on the first Monday of the month of December.

Brenda moved that we adjourn. It was seconded by Dolly and the motion was approved.

Respectfully Reported,

Denise Mullis, secretary.