East Bay Center for the Blind


Spring 2016
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
Website: www.eastbaycenterfortheblind.org

Daveed Mandell, Editor

Editor's Corner

By Daveed Mandell

After a rather lengthy hiatus the Center's Newsletter is back! Welcome all! Quite a lot has been happening here at the Center during the past months. Several new members have joined. We have received several thousands of dollars in donations. More of our members are taking an active role in keeping the Center afloat.

The Center's Board of Directors has recently hired Doyle Saylor as our new Administrative Assistant. Doyle has worked tirelessly to create new, professional filing and accounting systems. Our accounting system is now computerized and based on a program called QuickBooks. Hard-working volunteer Nicollette Noyes has joined forces with our General Manager, Jan Santos, and Doyle to consolidate and reorganize the Center's files. They are also working on the Center's budget along with a newly constituted Budget Committee.

The Board has hired Yours Truly as the Center's Public Relations Officer for a probationary period of three months. We want to reach out to the community around us, both to gain more support and to offer services to more blind and visually impaired people in the Bay Area.

This spring we bid a fond farewell to our Center Immediate Past President Anita March, who is moving to Boston. She will be keeping her home in Livermore and returning periodically to California. Anita says she will remain an active member of the Center when she is in the Bay Area. For nearly eight years Anita has given generously and tirelessly to the Center in so many ways: coordinating volunteers, overseeing outreach efforts, shopping for food and supplies, soliciting donations, planning events and running Board meetings, among so many other tasks. We wish Anita well.

We welcome our new President, Dorothy Donaville, and look forward to continued growth of the Center, thanks to her strong and creative leadership. Under Dorothy's guidance the Center is sure to offer interesting informational and entertaining events.

We are extremely grateful to Anita and Dorothy. These hard-working women's steadfast dedication to the Center has moved it forward by leaps and bounds.

We very much appreciate our conscientious volunteers, especially three people who have joined us during the past year. Grace Smith, Mark Greeley and Sabe Hundenski have generously given of themselves, undertaking such tasks as reading, filing and serving food during our monthly lunches and other events.

Many thanks to Kelly McCarthy, who has joined the telephone committee and taken on the job of emailing this newsletter to many of our members. Thanks also to Agatha Greeley for proofreading this newsletter, and to Lynne Laird for formatting, printing and brailling it.

We wish to express our appreciation to Louise and Larry Wolf - the Center now has a new microwave oven. Please ask Louise, Jan, Patty or myself to show you how to operate it. Louise has been incredibly diligent, besides serving as a member of the Board, about straightening up and cleaning the kitchen. She is also responsible for ordering new silverware late last year. Larry has been taking care of, besides serving as Second Vice-President, garbage detail and changing paper towels and soap in the bathrooms and the kitchen. We very much appreciate this couple's unflagging assistance and dedication to the Center.

Finally, I would like to solicit contributions of articles, announcements and information from members to this newsletter. As I have said countless times before, this is your newsletter, so please bring or send material. You can bring your contributions to the Center on a thumb drive, or send them via email to daveedmandell@gmail.com. Write "For Newsletter" in the Subject line.

May the Center continue to prosper and grow!

The Lions Blind Center Comes to EBCB

The Lions Blind Center will be presenting two activities here at EBCB during the summer.

First is a "Living with Low-vision" class with instructor Laurie Shay. It will be held weekly, beginning June 22, and ending July 13th. Each two-hour session will meet from 1:30 to 3:30 PM. Various topics concerning adjustment to low-vision and blindness - including daily living skills, adaptive equipment, resources, and sharing experiences of vision loss - will be covered. To sign up, or for more details, contact Jan at the Center.

The Lions Blind Center is also offering to hold a Vision Screening at EBCB in the next couple of months (date and time to be announced later). This screening is described on the Lions Blind Center's website as: "Our instructors team up with medical professionals to provide free vision screenings, recommend assistive equipment, and refer to higher level medical exams if necessary." It is a one-time, fifteen -minute screening. If you are interested, please let Jan know so we can plan this screening.

Immediate Past President's Letter

Hello Everyone:

It's been delightful being the President of the East Bay Center for the Blind for the past three and a half years. Dorothy Donaville will be replacing me as President. She and I became members almost eight years ago, and it has been wonderful working with her. I know she will be a great President.

I will still be an active member when I am in the Bay Area. I will be dividing my time between Livermore and Brookline, MA. I plan to continue to participate in Center activities when I am here.

It has been a great honor for me to serve as your President, and I am very pleased to have contributed to the Center's growth. I hope that many of you will become more actively involved in helping the Center move forward.

Take care and God bless.


General Manager's Letter

Dear Friends:

This past year at EBCB has brought us many changes, including some very sad losses, and some wonderful additions. We've lost some members and staff whom we will miss greatly. We have some new members and staff whom we warmly welcome and are pleased to be working with.

Doyle Saylor is our new Administrative Assistant. He's working miracles getting our bookkeeping system computerized and streamlined, making it easier to track our income/outgo and finances in general. Daveed Mandell has recently been hired as Public Relations Officer to help with many publicity related aspects, such as outreach, fundraising and other much-needed work to grow our Center.

Unfortunately, our wonderful President, Anita March, will be stepping down; but very fortunately, Dorothy Donaville will be stepping up to take over as our President. We will miss Anita very much. I personally will miss working with her, as well as her very special presence and sense of humor. Anita's contributions to the Center are far too many to count. I'm pleased and comforted that she'll still be coming and participating with us as she's able. I look forward to working with Dorothy, and I know she will continue the work she already is doing as First Vice President, and the many other ways she works at EBCB.

Be sure to read about our new acupuncture sessions. This is a marvelous opportunity, so contact me to schedule an appointment if you're interested, (see announcement elsewhere in this issue).

We had a wonderful new event in March. This brought us in touch with our neighbors down the street, and was great fun. The Harriet Tubman Residence Band honored us with a wonderful musical performance with drums, piano, singing and more. The audience participated enthusiastically with percussion instruments passed out by the band. There was wonderful interaction between the audience and performers. I received many comments that folks had a good time -- EBCB members and band members alike. The group has graciously expressed interest in returning for a future performance at our request. Stay tuned, and don't miss another good time to come!

Hope to see you soon at EBCB.


Upcoming Events

Pasta-Bingo Fundraiser: The Center's annual Pasta-Bingo fundraiser will take place on Saturday, May 21, from noon to 4 PM. Half of the proceeds go to the Center and half to the winners. Each bingo game costs a quarter, and the blackout game costs $1. Lunch costs $10 and will consist of lasagna, salad, garlic bread and dessert. The deadline for reserving your meal is Wednesday, May 18, at 3 PM.

Movie Day: The Center will serve lunch and screen an audio described movie on Saturday, June 25, from noon to 4 PM. The movie is titled The Age of Adeline. It is about a woman who doesn't age and remains young. Lunch costs $10 and will consist of hot dogs, potato chips and dessert. Popcorn will be served during the movie. The deadline for reserving your meal is Wednesday, June 21, at 3 PM.

Please note the following events occurring later in the year:

1.  The Center's summer quarterly business meeting will be held on Saturday, July 23, from 1 to 4 PM.

2.  The Center's annual picnic will take place on Saturday, August 27, from noon to 4 PM.

3.  The Center hopes to plan an outing in September.

4.  Center member and Deejay Mike Gorman will spin records, figuratively speaking, on Saturday, September 24, from noon to 4 PM.

Center Announcements

Center Closure: The Center will close for two weeks, beginning Tuesday, August 2. It will re-open on Tuesday, August 16.

Acupuncture: Anh Nguyen and Robert DuBois, practicing acupuncturists, are generously providing acupuncture sessions once a month at the Center. Minimal cost of $5 per session is encouraged but no payment is required. Sessions take place on the first Wednesday of the month, from 9:30 AM to noon. Each person's appointment lasts approximately half an hour. To sign up for an appointment, call Jan.

Amazon Smile: You can help the Center with fundraising while you shop on Amazon. Shop for all items on smile.amazon.com and indicate that you want a percentage of your purchase to be donated to The East Bay Center for the Blind. Thank you!

May Book Club Selection: During the May 6th meeting of the Book Club, to be held on Friday from 10-11 AM, the following book will be discussed: A Spool of Blue Thread, by Anne Tyler.

Fundraising Committee Report

By Dorothy Donaville, President

Many thanks to all of you who participated in EBCB's 2015 Holiday Drawing. It was a great success.

Congratulations to two Center members who won the first, second & third prizes! Renea Latimer won $150. Carrie Carter won both a Yamaha music keyboard, worth $150, and $50. The Winner of the $200 grand prize was from the community at large.

Thanks again for helping to make our Holiday Drawing a success.

Let's make 2016 bigger and better. We will begin working on that Holiday Drawing in a few months. Anyone wanting to make donations toward this year's Drawing may call the Center for more information.

In closing, I would like to welcome the Center's new Fundraising Committee Chair, Board member Claude Everett.

Center Class Schedule

Ceramics: Tuesday, 10 AM-1 PM. Instructor: Michelle Muennig.

Exercise and Movement: Tuesday, 2:00-3:15 PM. Instructor: Kathleen Davis.

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

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

Technology: Please call the Center for more information. Senior Instructor: Leah Gardner. Assistant Instructor: Patricia Nash.

iPhone Workshop: 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month from 1 PM to 2:30 PM. Instructor: Leah Gardner.

Book Club: 1st Friday of each month from 10 AM to 11 AM. Moderators: Dorothy Donaville and Patricia Nash.

Writing Club: 3rd Friday of each month from 10 AM to 11 AM. Moderators: Dorothy Donaville and Patricia Nash.

Memory Class: Tuesdays, 10 AM to noon. Instructor: Carol Kehoe.

Bingo: First Thursday of each month, 1 PM to 3 PM. Instructor: Marilyn Bogerd.

iPhone Discussion Zone

By Leah Gardner

Should I download the new operating system? What app should I try next? How do I empty the trash folder in my mail app? How do I add a new contact to my iPhone? The array of topics is endless during our iPhone discussion group chats. If you have a question or you want to demonstrate a new app you downloaded, this is the place for you. Join us the second and fourth Thursdays of each month from 1-2:30 PM for a lively, informal conversation about the iPhone. This group is for experienced iPhone users. If you are new to working with an iPhone, please call the Center's Senior Technology Instructor, Leah Gardner, to set up individualized training. If interested in participating in the discussion group, call or email the Center so we can see if this group is a good fit for you.

iPod Touch

Thanks to the Berkeley Lions Club, the Center has an IPod loaded with apps designed to introduce individuals to the world of iDevices. Do you want to download a book from BARD, identify your money, read print documents and surf the Internet? Are you wondering if an iPhone would be a helpful tool in your daily life? Schedule a one-on-one Intro to the IPod session with Leah Gardner for a demonstration and hands-on experience with an IPod. Apple is revolutionizing the world of accessibility for visually impaired individuals. See what all the hype is about. Call Leah to schedule your initial introduction to the limitless possibilities at your fingertips.

In Memoriam -- Remembering Beloved EBCB Members

By Jan Santos

In February of this year our long-term member Manuel Arellano passed after a difficult illness. Manuel was a very active and vital presence at EBCB for over twenty-five years. He worked hard to do whatever was needed and was always ready to bring a cup of coffee or plate of food to any of us, accompanied by a cheerful word. He was totally reliable in whatever he took on to do around the Center. He is greatly missed by all of us, and his spirit will remain with us at the Center he loved. Thanks Manuel for you and all you gave to us.

Last November took from us Sandy Kramford, another dedicated member. Sandy was particularly active in ceramics and crafts at EBCB. She ran a crafts class for us during the summer, made beautiful ceramics, and was a fabulous quilt maker and seamstress. She contributed her lovely ceramics pieces, quilts and other crafts to our fundraisers. Sandy had a strong and kind presence, and we enjoyed her, and will miss her.

Member Norma BalcĂ zar also passed unexpectedly last November. We didn't get to have Norma with us as often as we'd have liked, due to her busy schedule of school and work. However, whenever she was able to come to events, she was always gracious and a joy to be with. Thank you Norma for your presence and may you rest in peace. Norma was life partner with David Heath, another of our very-giving EBCB members. David, our hearts go out to you, and may the folks and love at our Center be of comfort to you.

Remembering Al Gil

By Daveed Mandell

It is with deep sadness that I report that Center member Alfred Gil passed away on Sunday, April 17th, after a long and debilitating illness. He will be missed by many.

Al Gil was a spirited, talented, confident, and competent man. I was fortunate to have known him from boyhood, when he spent time in Southern California. Al cared passionately for the blind community. He worked tirelessly to improve and strengthen education of blind children and rehabilitation of blind adults.

Al was a brilliant comedian and sound artist. He had an enthralling and contagious sense of humor. His jokes were always hilarious. He will be fondly remembered by many of us for his amazing depiction, just with his mouth, of the intricate sounds of bus doors, motors, trains, toilet flushing and so many more unforgettable sounds. Al was an extremely kind and soft-spoken man and a staunch and effective advocate. He was an inspiration to this once young blind boy who will always be grateful to have known him.

Remembering Koji Ishii

By Daveed Mandell

I am extremely sorry to report that Center member Koji Ishii passed away on Tuesday, April 19th, after being seriously ill for several years. Koji was a quiet, humble man who was always available to lend a helping hand wherever and whenever it was needed. I remember that Koji enjoyed coming to the Center and playing cards there. He was kind and unassuming.

Koji once told me about his family's experience being forced to live in an internment camp during World War II, and how that so deeply hurt him growing up as a young Japanese-American. When he warmed to people, Koji truly opened up to them and spoke freely and honestly and with much sensitivity. Those of us who were fortunate to know Koji will miss him very much.

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:  Dorothy Donaville
First Vice-President:  Leah Gardner
Second Vice-President:  Larry Wolf
Recording Secretary:  Connie Skeen
Corresponding Secretary:  Daveed Mandell
Treasurer:  Doyle Saylor
Directors:  Michael Castner, Claude Everett, Marie Jenkins, Ray Marcus, Louise Wolf


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 non- profit 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.

"If you squeeze time hard enough it goes away."

--Doug Nash