Spring 2007 Newsletter
The East Bay Center for the Blind, Inc.
2928 Adeline St.
Berkeley, CA 94703
Phone: 510-843-6935
Fax: 510-843-6006
Web site:

Editor's Corner

By Daveed Mandell

What beautiful weather we've been having lately! I guess you could say that spring has finally sprung!

Welcome to EBCB's Spring Newsletter. This issue is packed with important information for both Center members and people in the community who might be thinking about joining us.

Living with blindness and visual impairment is certainly a challenge in a world that still often pities us, undermines our abilities, or thinks it's amazing that we can tie our shoes or cross the street. I'd like to start publishing your tips and techniques for overcoming society's barriers to greater independence and dignity. I look forward to learning how you make blindness an asset in your lives, rather than a liability.

Thanks to Katrina McCurdy, who contributed this month's recipe. If you wish to contribute recipes, short articles, poems, announcements and/or ads to the newsletter; please contact me via e-mail at:, or by phone at: 510-665-9260.

In closing, I want to express my appreciation to Shirley Dyer, who formatted this issue of the Newsletter and added the Center's logo and page numbers.

At this time, it is my great pleasure to introduce the Center's recently elected President, Jan Santos.

President's Letter

By Jan Santos

Dear friends:

With our recent election of officers, and in the spirit of spring and renewal, now is a great time to re-evaluate the operation and activities of our Center. We want to ensure quality experience for all who come here and to involve everyone as much as possible in the running of EBCB. By making use of each person's unique talents and skills, we hope to best reflect what you, our members, want the Center to become.

With this in mind, we will devote a large segment of our next quarterly business meeting, on Saturday April 28; to talking about what you all want from the Center, and what direction we will be taking.

I ask that you please make a special effort to attend this business meeting; we want to hear from you, what you think and feel.

During a discussion on fundraising, our Grants Committee came up with a few questions for all of us to think about before our brainstorming session at the business meeting:

Questions to Think About:

  1. What positive aspects does the Center provide for you, and what do you like about coming here?
  2. What aspects need improvement, and what skills and talents can you offer to bring about the positive changes you wish to see?
  3. Does the lack of decent and affordable transportation affect how often you are able to come to the Center, i.e., availability, cost, and other factors?
  4. Would evening and weekend activities and classes enable you to participate more frequently at the Center?
  5. What are your thoughts about outreach, broadening the population attending the Center, and increasing participation of members and volunteers in the operation of the Centerís activities and classes?
  6. In what areas do you see the most need for fundraising at the Center? Do you have ideas regarding resources and ways to raise funds?
  7. What other concerns do you have for discussion at our business meeting?

My thanks to Patty Nash, Claude Everett and Daveed Mandell, members of the Grants Committee, for their thoughtful work in putting together this list.

Our Center needs each and every one of us to participate and contribute energy, time and skills in order for it to function effectively. Just a few people giving ideas and doing all the work does not cut the mustard, and could lead to our Center's eventual closing.

I firmly believe our Center is a very important place for folks in the community, where we can give mutual support and share skills and ideas, as blind people in particular, and as human beings in general. I think this is especially true when people are able to participate in other activities besides our large meetings and programs, where there is more chance for one-on-one ongoing interaction. It has been true for me that the more I have participated in the Center the more I have been able to benefit from the support you all provide.

As your president, and as Jan, I ask you to please think about what you want our Center to become, and to make a special effort to come talk with us at the business meeting. The Center needs you! If you need the Center, please come help build our programs and activities in ways that reflect your vision of how you want our Center to develop.

If you have questions about this, or if you have other concerns regarding EBCB, please feel free to contact me. I am available to do what I can to promote open communication among all of us. I look forward to seeing you on April 28th at 1:00 p.m., and to hearing from each of you.

Yours in the spirit of working and building together,

-- Jan Santos

New Officers

Center members elected the following officers during its January quarterly business meeting:

President, Jan Santos
Second Vice-President, Dorothy Vallerga
Corresponding Secretary, Connie Skeen
Directors: Claude Everett and Lizz Deeff

First Vice-President Daveed Mandell, in his capacity as Acting President appointed Steve Fort to serve for the rest of Jan Santos' term as Director.

Upcoming Events

Quarterly Business Meeting: The Center's next quarterly business meeting will be held on Saturday, April 28, from 1 to 4 PM. It's extremely important that as many members as possible attend this meeting. We will discuss the future of the Center. If you really want the Center to grow and improve its services and programs, please be there. After the meeting, we will serve lunch, menu to be announced. The meal costs $8 for members, $9 for guests, and should be ordered no later than Wednesday, April 25.

Annual Movie Day: The Center will screen an audio-described movie, yet to be chosen, on Saturday, May 26, from noon to 4 PM. Before the movie, we will serve lunch, yet to be decided, and don't forget the popcorn! Please request your $6 lunch plate no later than Wednesday, May 23.

Annual Bake Sale: Sweets to the sweet! If it's sugar you're after, look no further! Come to the Center on Saturday, June 23, and buy and partake of numerous delectable, sugary temptations. Bake and share your favorite cakes, cookies, pies and breads. Help raise money for the Center. We'll offer a $4 lunch plate, and our chorus will entertain us with songs from "My Fair Lady." Please reserve your lunch no later than Wednesday, June 20.

The Original Chex Party Mix

Recipe Submitted by Katrina McCurdy

6 tbsp. butter or margarine
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
1-2 tsp. onion powder
3 cups Corn Chex cereal
3 cups Rice Chex cereal
3 cups Wheat Chex cereal
1 cup mixed nuts
1 cup bite-size pretzels
1 cup garlic-flavored bite-size bagel chips
or regular size bagel chips cut into one-inch pieces

Heat oven to 250 degrees on an ungreased roasting pan melt butter in the oven. Stir in seasonings. Then gradually stir in remaining ingredients until evenly coated. Bake one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on paper towel until cooled. Store in airtight container. 24 servings, 1-2 cups each

Thanks to Our Donors

The Board of Directors wishes to express its gratitude to those who give both financial and in-kind (time, labor and services) donations to the Center. We have decided, therefore, to publish the names of members, volunteers and friends whose contributions to the Center are very much appreciated. During the past six months, The Center has received donations from the following individuals, groups and companies:

Financial Donations:
Andlynn Braille Press
Alice Chavez
Mae Duncan
Peggy Duncan
Jewel McGinnis
Grace Rodriguez

In-Kind Donations:
Ruth Arellano
Reggie, Serena, Evan, Cole Clayton
Peggy Duncan
Becky Ellery
Aaron Ford
Sarah Gillett
Barbara Googins
Frances Haleman
Connie Kelley
Daveed Mandell
Katrina McCurdy
Charlotte McNab
Terri Moore
Patricia Nash
Grace Rodriguez
Jan Santos
Connie Skeen
Joanetta Smallwood
Dorothy Vallerga

"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." -- Groucho Marx