East Bay Center for the Blind


Spring 2015
Newsletter of
The East Bay Center for the Blind, Inc.
2928 Adeline St.
Berkeley, CA 94703
Phone: 510-843-6935
Fax: 510-843-6006
E-Mail: eastbaycenterfortheblind@gmail.com
Web site: www.eastbaycenterfortheblind.org

President's Message

By Anita March

Hello Everyone,

Things are really moving forward and getting done at the East Bay Center for the Blind, and it is wonderful! We hope you will enjoy the classes and seminars in the coming months.

First of all, we have 3 new computers and a printer in the computer lab. Software has been updated and Leah Gardner, our senior Technology Trainer is busy teaching new students how to access their email, down load books, learn their Victor Streams, write using Micro Soft Word and other software. Leah also has an iPhone workshop for members who are already iPhone users. Private lessons are available as time allows.

We also have a new Braille embosser, thanks to the donation by Frank McNulty in honor of his wife Christine. Christine was a teacher for 35 years at the California School for The Blind in Fremont. She affected many student's' lives and is greatly missed.

Speaking of generous donations, did I mention the incredible new commercial dishwasher and stove that were funded by anonymous donors? We appreciate these gifts; we would not have been able to purchase these items without assistance. We also want to send a big thanks to all our members and their families who donate money and time to our activities and classes.

Be sure and read Jan's article on the amazing work the local Lions Clubs did on the Center's physical building and yard. The Lions are an enthusiastic and energetic group of wonderful, philanthropic, civically-oriented individuals who do such good things. Please support Lion activities and events.

In the next three months we have the quarterly business meeting, with a speaker from the East Bay Regional Parks District on April 25, an Arts Salon Fundraiser on Sunday, May 31, and a movie day with hot dogs and popcorn on June 27.

We also appreciate the many volunteers that make it possible for us to make all our events enjoyable for our members. We hope to see you at the Center soon.

-- Anita

Newsletter Changes

By Jan Santos

Beginning with this issue, I'm sorry to announce Maureen Schulz, due to changes in life circumstances, must resign as our newsletter editor. Maureen, we thank you so much for your hard work and a job well done. We wish you all the best, and look forward to your EBCB participation in whatever ways you can.

Because we have needed to make hasty arrangements to get this Spring Issue out, as you can see, we're a little late. We are sorry to be late, and very glad folks have stepped up to bring us this issue. Thanks to Nicolette Noyes who has generously stepped in to do the main editing. Daveed Mandell and others have pitched in also. And a hearty thank you is long overdue to Lynne Laird, who always formats, Brailles, prints and mails our newsletter. Lynne, you are most appreciated and vital to us.

Now of course comes the request for ongoing help to keep "Keeping In Touch" alive. Please, if you want our newsletter to continue, think how you or folks you know can make it possible. We need a new editor. We need contributions from you all. Think about the information and articles you won't have without this newsletter. Think about how important this publication is for outreach in the community and to the life of our Center. Whether or not this all continues, depends on each of you taking part. As your General Manager, and as a member who appreciates this newsletter each quarter, I ask you please think hard about this, and act to help us keep our newsletter coming!

Without your help, this may well be our last issue.

-- Jan

Happy News for EBCB

By Jan Santos

As I mentioned in the last newsletter, EBCB has begun an active working relationship with primarily the Berkeley Lions Club. Through them, we are also connecting with other Chapters of the Lions. The Lions are doing some tremendous things to help EBCB and we will continue to give our support to their activities and good works elsewhere in the community as well.

Berkeley Lions Club and several other Lions chapters, came to EBCB, for two days in March, and worked some miracles on our yard and building. One Saturday thirty-three Lions came and spent seven hours working on repairs and upgrades. They re-graveled and leveled our parking lot so the danger of stepping in tremendous puddles when it rains is now eliminated. They repaired our fence, removing some hazardous sharp wires, and trimmed our trees and shrubbery, as well as weeding the entire area. They repaired some holes in the outside of the building. In addition, some repairs were begun on the inside as well.

Their thoroughness and organization for setting up projects, getting work accomplished and demonstration of cooperative team work is totally remarkable. They are also a wonderful resource for referrals to people and materials for projects and outreach.

In the past few months many Lions from various chapters have come to visit EBCB and get acquainted. We have also gone to speak at their meetings, as well as assist them with their events elsewhere in the community. We may be able to have one or more regular volunteers from the Berkeley City College Lions and possibly others to do reading and other assistance for EBCB members.

Please stay tuned for further developments, and consider becoming active in EBCB's participation with the Lions, as well as other EBCB work and activities. Our Center depends on your participation and input to survive.

All of the Lions working with EBCB are supportive of our continued organizational autonomy and independence of which we are most proud. We look forward to continuing to work with the Lions, and greatly appreciate all they have done to help EBCB to date, which is already an incredible amount of improvements we could not have done alone.

Book Club and Writing Club Announcements

By Patricia Nash

Selections for the Book Club have changed:

Our selection for April will still be "No Promises in the Wind", by Irene Hunt. Our book for May will be "The Fault in Our Stars", by John Green.

For June and July we will be reading two books by the same author--the second being a sequel to the first.

In June we will read "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry", by Mildred D. Taylor.

The book for July is entitled "Let the Circle Be Unbroken", also by Mildred D. Taylor.

These selections are shorter reads than some of our books have been of late, so we hope you can join us to discuss these books.

We meet the first Friday of the month from 10 to 11am.

The writing club meets the third Friday of each month, from 10 to 11am. We are currently listening to a seminar on writing memoirs, given by Natalie Goldberg.

You are welcome to bring anything you are working on or have written. We also concentrate on different aspects of writing and have an assignment to work on, to encourage us to get inspired.

Upcoming Events

Quarterly Business Meeting: The Center will hold its next quarterly business meeting on Saturday, April 25, from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. Speaker from East Bay Regional Parks District. The lunch menu will include beef tacos, rice, beans and whipped jello with fruit. Lunch costs $10 across the board and must be reserved by Wednesday, April 22.

Arts Salon Fundraiser: On Sunday May 31 from 2:00 to 5:00 PM Yollanda Gonzales, returns with guest entertainers of various types from music, poetry, spoken word and more. If you would like to be considered for a slot to perform for this event, contact Yollanda at 510-383-0717. Cost is $10.00 for the entertainment. Light snacks will be available at additional cost, first come first serve. No reservations for this event. If you were able to attend this salon last year, you'll know how interesting these guest artists can be, and we hope you might want to audition with Yollanda to be one of our entertainers.

Movie Day: The Center will screen an audio-described movie on Saturday, June 27 from 12 to 4 PM. Please contact the Center if you'd like to suggest a movie. Lunch will consist of hot dogs, chips, pork and beans and ice cream. Popcorn will be offered during the movie. Lunch costs $10 across the board and must be reserved by Wednesday, June 24.

Center Class and Activities Schedule

Ceramics: Tuesday, 9:30-Noon. Instructor: Michelle Muennig.

Exercise and Movement: Tuesday, 2:15-3:30 PM. Instructor: Kathleen Davis.

Meditation: Third Wednesday of each month, 10-11 AM. Instructor: Laurel Largent.

Memory Class: Thursday, 10-Noon. Instructor: Carol Kehoe.

Music Appreciation: Friday, 1-3 PM. Instructor: Diana Perry.

Braille: Please call the Center for more information. Instructor: Patricia Nash.

Computer and iOS Device Instruction: Please call the Center for more information.
Senior Access Technology Instructor: Leah Gardner.  Assistant Instructor: Patricia Nash.

Bingo: First Thursday of each month, from 1-3 PM. Caller: Marilyn Bogerd.

Book Club: First Friday of each month, from 10-11 AM. Moderators: Dorothy Donaville and Patricia Nash.

Plum Bars Recipe

From Nicolette Noyes

 8 Tbsp butter, softened
 1-¼ cup of sugar
 Pinch of salt
 1 cup plus 3 Tbsp flour
 3 eggs
 ½ tsp baking soda
 8 oz plum jam

Preheat oven to 350, grease an 8 or 9 inch square baking pan.

Use an electric mixer to cream butter with ¼ cup of sugar and salt.

Stir in 1 cup of flour, this mixture will be quite dry. Press into greased pan and bake for 20 minutes until just golden.

Remove from oven and cool slightly.

Beat together eggs and remaining sugar and jam.

Mix in 3 tsp flour and baking soda.

Pour over crust and bake until firm on edges, but still jiggly in the middle, about 30 minutes.

Cool completely before cutting into squares.

Serve immediately or store covered in fridge for up to 2 days.

Hope you enjoy making these.
-- Joanna

(Joanna is a volunteer at the Please Touch Garden across the alley from the Lighthouse in San Francisco and she made these wonderful bars for a recent luncheon celebrating G.K. Callahan, whose loving inspiration and dedication made our wonderful, beloved Please Touch Garden a reality. For those of you who have not yet visited this amazing place, it is open on Monday and Wednesday afternoons and you can get details from the LH, Nicky)

Mission Statement

The mission of the East Bay Center for the Blind, Inc., is to develop quality programs and services for blind and visually impaired people by providing a safe and supportive environment, while encouraging one another through leadership, interaction and the sharing of information, resources and skills. The center's activities enhance independence, dignity and self-determination. As a self-governing organization of primarily blind and visually impaired persons, the East Bay Center for the Blind, Inc., is committed to remaining a living, working foundation of strength, as we participate in the larger community in all areas of our daily lives.

Center Officers and Directors

General Manager: Jan Santos

President: Anita March

First Vice-President: Dorothy Donaville

Second Vice-President: Steve Fort

Recording Secretary: Connie Skeen

Corresponding Secretary: Patricia Nash

Treasurer: Elizabeth Deeff

Directors: Michael Castner; Claude Everett; Leah Gardner; Ida Johnson; Katrina McCurdy


If you or a friend would like to remember the East Bay Center for the Blind, Inc., in your will, you can do so by employing the following language: "I give, devise, and bequeath unto the East Bay Center for the Blind, Inc., a nonprofit charitable organization in California, the sum of $___ (or ___) to be used for its worthy purposes on behalf of blind persons." Thank you for your tax-deductible donation.