April 2005
Newsletter of
The East Bay Center for the Blind, Inc.
2928 Adeline St.
Berkeley, CA 94703
Phone: 510-843-6935
Fax: 510-843-6006

Editor's Corner By Daveed Mandell

I want to apologize for the late publication of this issue. A very busy schedule has prevented me from meeting my own deadlines!

Due to circumstances beyond the Center's control, we have had to cancel our February Mardi Gras and March Pasta-Bingo Fundraiser. Other activities may have to be canceled, postponed or changed in the foreseeable future.

We are still awaiting the remodeling of the Center's bathrooms to make them wheelchair accessible. Because Rebuilders Together is a group of contractors working as volunteers, we are unable to arrive at a definite schedule with the contractor who is overseeing this project.

Another problem concerns putting on events at the Center. We urgently need to find members who are willing to help set up, decorate, cook and clean up. Right now, most of the work is being done by two or three people, and the burden of making sure events take place too often calls on our President, Lizz Deeff. Please come forward and offer your services and skills, so the Center can continue to offer exciting and enjoyable events for all of its members.

sPlease send short articles, informational items and announcements to me via e-mail at or phone me at 510-665-9260.

Upcoming Events

Quarterly Business Meeting: The Center's quarterly business meeting will take place on Saturday, April 30, from 1 to 4 PM.As usual, lunch will be served following the meeting. The menu has ben changed to pizzainstead of chicken, vegetables, salad, rolls, ice cream and cookies. You should ask for more details when making your reservation. Members pay $7, and guests pay $8. Please order lunch no later than Wednesday, April 27.

movie Day: Blue Rose Videos is a small company that rents audio-described movies. Someone from the company will bring a movie to the Center and talk about what it offers. The Center will show the movie, yet to be determined, on Saturday, May 7, from 1 to 4 PM. We will serve a lunch plate, also yet to be determined, which will cost $5. Please RSVP for lunch no later than Wednesday, May 4.

Bake Sale: Our annual Bake Sale will take place on Saturday, June 25, from 12 to 4 PM. We look forward to donations and baked goods from many of our members. During the afternoon, our chorus will perform songs from the musical "South Pacific." We will offer a lunch plate costing $3. Please request your lunch no later than Wednesday, June 22.

Center News and Announcements

New Kiln: The Center has enhanced its ceramics class by purchasing a used kiln which, we have been told, is in good working condition. We look forward to being able to fire all the items made by class participants. The Center will soon install a shelter for the kiln, to protect it from inclement weather. After it is wired, the kiln will be operational. Needless to say, we are excited about this new addition to the Center.

Weekenders Clothing Party: Board member Katrina McCurdy is willing to arrange another Weekenders women's clothing party at the Center. She will bring refreshments and will once again donate the proceeds to the Center. If anyone is interested in such an event, please notify the Center.

Spanish Class Revisited: Want to learn Conversational Spanish? For various reasons, the Center has put this class on hold. However, if there is enough interest, we will seriously consider starting this class once again. Please call the Center if interested.

New Classes Anyone?
by Grace Rodriguez

From time to time, Center members have expressed interest in a Home Management and/or Daily Living Skills class. Such a class could cover many areas of independent living. While most of our members live independently and do very well, there are always new ideas, gadgets and discoveries. There is much we could learn by sharing new and better ways of doing things.

If such a class strikes your fancy, call the Center and let us know. You can also call Grace Rodriguez at 510-8419580.

Remember Jerry Fields

The blind community lost a dedicated worker and advocate earlier this year, Jerry Fields passed away in late January. He served faithfully and admirably in the organized blind movement for nearly four decades.

Jerry prepared meals for the East Bay Center for the Blind for many years, and the generous amount of food he always provided was enjoyed by all. Whether planning recreational outings for blind children, or preparing food for parties or picnics for blind adults, Jerry was determined to work hard and have a good time, and to make sure everyone else enjoyed themselves as well. He was an expert in the fine art of delegating tasks, and successfully provided meals and social events for small and large groups alike.

Jerry worked as Program Director of the Blind and Deaf-Blind Section of the Sonoma State Hospital, and taught at the California School for the Blind. He was very much dedicated to improving the education of blind children and adults with and without additional disabilities.

Jerry wholeheartedly believed in the self-determination of blind people. He demonstrated repeatedly throughout his life, both in word and in deed, that only we blind people know best what is good for us, and sought constantly to instill that belief in others.

The Bay Area's blind community has lost one of its most giving, caring, warm and outspoken members. There is no doubt that Jerry Fields will be greatly missed.

Want to get a braille A's schedule? Call Detra Paige at 510-563-2241.

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
-- Mahatma Gandhi Back to Home Page