November 7, 2017

Ninety people joined together on Thursday, October 19, 2017 at the Green Pond Country Club, Bethlehem, to experience vision loss for a short time. Our Taste of the Shadows guests wore blindfolds while they practiced eating their salad and entrĂ©e, pouring water and passing rolls and butter then exchanged the blindfolds for simulator glasses during dessert. The simulators provided impressions of macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts–the four age-related eye diseases that affect a large part of the senior population. A sighted guide at each table explained how to navigate through the dinner and provided important information about vision loss and how our agency provides helpful services and programs to improve the quality of life for our clients with vision loss.

Before the dinner, our guests had an opportunity to taste craft beers provided by Penn Beverage & Sales and a variety of wines provided by Franklin Hill Vineyards. Tasty hors d’oeuvres also provided a festive atmosphere as guests checked out the many prizes in our New Focus Raffle.

Following dinner, Executive Director Doug Yingling opened the program by introducing our newest video, “Dorothy’s Story,” created for us by ASR Media Productions. Dorothy is an agency client with a very interesting story to share. You can view this video on the home page of our website here. Then it was time to introduce “The Animal Kindness Project,” the community service project powered by our summer Camp I CAN! participants, 7-13 years of age and underwritten by TeenWorks, an affinity group of the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley. Rita Lang described this project which benefitted Animals in Distress. She was joined by Lois Gadek, Board President of Animals in Distress. Then it was time to premier our second video of the evening, “Seeing With Your Heart,” created by Daymarks Productions & Al Kalbach, which captured the essence of this project. You can also view this video on the home page of our website here.

Then it was on to announcing our 2017 Accessibility Champion awards. Accessibility Champions are individuals, businesses or other groups in the community that provide excellent service on behalf of a customer with vision loss. This year’s champions included Cheryl Wallitsch, Young at Heart Entertainment, for providing two fun karaoke nights for our clients, Pocono Whitewater for providing many years of whitewater rafting experiences for our adults and youth, and Easton Walmart Supercenter for providing excellent sighted guide help to our clients when they shop. All received Certificates of Thanks for their efforts.

The Center for Vision Loss thanks all of our sponsors including: Daymarks Productions, The Peak TV, Lehigh Eye SPecialists, BB&T, Morgan Stanley, Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Easton Coach, COuntry MEadows, Gross McGinley, Vanda, Inova Technologies, RLB Accountants, City Center Allentown A Definite Edge–Jerry Messina, Elite Sealcoating, Lang, Faylor, Chomo & Co., Lehigh Valley Council of the Blind, Sandpiper Evaulation Associates, Valley National Latina Radio, Laurie Seibert, CPA, CFP, AEP, Ed & Rosalie Vogrins and Michael & Mila Wambaugh.

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