May 10, 2013

Left to right: Doug Yingling presents Accessibility Champion Awards to John Kierle and C. F. Martin & Co. representatives Dave Evans and Aaron Van Why. Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Bell Photography.

Dr. Salerno receives the 2012 Chrysalis Award from presenter Stephanie Olexa, Center for Vision Loss Board Member. Photo by Jeffrey Bell Photography.

More than 170 people attended the rescheduled Chrysalis Award Dinner on May 9, 2013. Held at DeSales University, the event honored Dr. Francis A. Salerno, Associate Chief of Geriatrics, Lehigh Valley Health Network. The award is presented to a blind or visually impaired person who has transformed the world around them. Center for Vision Loss board members, staff and friends joined with Dr. Salerno’s family, friends and Lehigh Valley Health Network colleagues to thank Dr. Salerno for his passionate life’s work to make geriatric medicine an iportant part of a healthy community since 1990 despite his blindness.

Guests first enjoyed a wine bar reception featuring jazz music played by the talented students from the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts under the direction of Chet Brown. Silent auction items featuring art, antiques/vintage, accessories and amusements tempted attendees. Guests dined on chicken bruschetta, seared salmon Oscar and eggplant rolatini to a background of soothing piano music provided with compliments by Bob Muth.

Bob Phillips, president of the Center for Vision Loss board, served as master of ceremonies. He was joined by Doug Yingling, Executive Director, and board member Stephanie Olexa who presented Dr. Salerno with his award.

Following Dr. Salerno’s inspirational acceptance talk, various people from the medical and social services community presented the guest of honor with congratulatory remarks. They included Dr. Debbie Salas-Lopez and Dr. Sweety Jain, Lehigh Valley Health Network; Cori Rolon, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley and Dr. Kelly O’Shea Carney from Phoebe Ministries.

Druing the evening, the agency also awarded its Accessiblity Champion Award, a commendation presented to a business or individual who has provided exceptional benefit to those with vision loss. This year’s honorees included C.F. Martin & Co., represented by Dave Evans and Aaron Van Why, and John Kierle. Martin Guitar agreed to make a special Braille guitar for Lt. Brad Snyder who lost his sight in an explosion in September, 2011 while serving in Afganistan while John Kierle, Snyder’s friend, spearheaded the fund raising effort to pay for the instrument.

State Rep. Steve Schlossberg presented all of the honorees with senatorial citations on behalf of Sen. Pat Browne.

Sponsors included the Lehigh Valley Health Network, Minuteman Press of the Lehigh Valley, the Morning Call, AmericaVen, The Lehigh Valley Group of MorganStanley Smith-Barney, Robert & Mary Lou Phillips, RetinaCare Associates, Capital Blue Cross, PPL, PNC Bank, Buckno, Lisicky & Company, Embassy Bank for the Lehigh Valley, Stephanie Olexa & Seth Weber, Ed & Rosalie Vogrins, Hawley Realty, Lang, Faylor, Chomo & Co., Dr. and Mrs. Ihor Fedoriw, Genentech, Lifestyles Over 50, and Lioins Club

We invite you to check back on this site shortly to view a video of Dr. Salerno’s remarks.

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