East Bay Center for the Blind


Winter 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

Message from the General Manager
By Jan Santos

As I look forward to the coming year, I anticipate 2015 will continue the good growth and activities we have accomplished during 2014. Here are just a few of the many examples of a job well done:

Members have initiated new activities and classes. Laurel Largent will be continuing her meditation class on the third Wednesday of each month until this coming June. Sandy Kramford did a crafts class for us over the summer to fill in during the break for ceramics class.

Patty Nash and Dorothy Donaville will continue co-chairing the Book Club and writing Groups. Leah Gardner has added IPhone classes, which are helping us keep up with new technologies. Carol Kehoe will continue our Memory Support class, which helps us maintain functioning with greater ease and efficiency.

EBCB is building an alliance with the Berkeley Lions Club. They will be a new resource for outreach, fundraising and community participation for our Center. We look forward to working with them and to using this opportunity to expand our membership and programs, so that more people can become aware of our services.

Early this year, hopefully around Valentine's Day, we will have an event to honor our many wonderful volunteers both long-term and recent. If you would like to help organize this event, please contact Dorothy Donaville or myself.

Of course, we will start 2015 with our business meeting and the election of EBCB board members and officers on January 24. You can see the slate proposed for consideration by the Nominating Committee elsewhere in this newsletter. Remember also that nominations can be made from the floor at the January business meeting. Be sure to pay your $10 dues by then so you will be eligible to vote.

We have added some wonderful new members in 2014 and our outreach will help continue this trend. Also let us remember and appreciate those folks we have lost, and their many contributions and hard work to give us a basis on which to continue EBCB. Their spirit will strengthen and guide us through the present and future ups and downs of keeping our Center going. Mary Lindsey is one such member whom we have lost recently. She was a joy to work with, and a role model for keeping focused on enjoying life to the fullest, and giving one's best to the world. Mary will be greatly missed by many of us

Happy 2015 everyone. I hope to see all of you at the business meeting.

By Mike Castner

The Nominations Committee, comprised of members Patty Nash, Katrina McCurdy, Ida Johnson, Leah Gardner, and Mike Castner, offers the following slate for consideration at the January 24 2015 EBCB business meeting. Positions up for election are President, Second Vice-President, Corresponding Secretary, and two board members.

Proposed Nominations Committee slate: Anita March, President; Steve Fort, Second Vice-President; Daveed Mandell, Corresponding Secretary; Katrina McCurdy, Board Member; Ray Marcus, Board Member.

Only EBCB members in good standing can vote in this election. Remember you can choose from the above slate, as well as make nominations from the floor at the business meeting.

Upcoming Events

Quarterly Business Meeting: The Center's next quarterly business meeting will take place on Saturday, January 24 from 1 to 4 PM. Members will elect the following officers: President, Second Vice-President, Corresponding Secretary and two Directors. Please attend the meeting and participate in the elections. Lunch (to be announced) costs $10 across the board, and must be ordered by Wednesday, January 21.

Annual Mardi Gras: The Center's annual Mardi Gras will take place on Saturday, February 21, from 12 to 4 PM. Center deejay Mike Gorman will play a variety of music from his collection, including classic country and oldies from the 40s to the 70s. Lunch (to be announced) costs $10 across the board, and must be ordered by Wednesday, February 18.

Annual Pasta-Bingo Fundraiser: The Center's annual Pasta-Bingo Fundraiser will be held on Saturday, March 28 from noon to 4 PM. Lunch (to be announced) costs $10 across the board, and must be ordered by Wednesday, March 25.

Book Club with Dorothy Donaville and Patty Nash: First Friday of the month, 10 to 11 AM, with the exception of January, when the Center will be closed.

Writing group with Patty Nash and Dorothy Donaville: Third Friday of the month, 10 to 11 AM.

Bingo: First Thursday of the month, 1 to 3 PM, with the exception of January, when bingo will be on Thursday, January 8, from 1 to 3 PM.

Special Meditation Class offered by Center member Laurel Largent: Every third Wednesday, from 10 to 11 AM.

iPhone users' Workshop (for those with some experience), with instructor Leah Gardner, 2nd and 4th Thursday from 1 to 3 PM.

Memory Class with instructor Carol Kehoe: Thursdays from 10 to noon.

Ceramics Class with instructor Michele Muennig: Tuesdays from 9:30 to noon.

Exercise Class with instructor Kathleen Davis: Tuesdays from 2 to 3:15 PM.

Music Appreciation Class with instructor Diana Perry: Fridays from 1 to 3 PM.

Book Club
By Patricia Nash


We would like to welcome all who want to participate in a lively discussion to join our book club group held the first Friday of each month. In January we will not meet, because of the holiday break, but even if you can't join us, you may want to read the books we have chosen, which are all on the BARD website. We will be reading and discussing the following books:

February"Out of the Whirlpool", by Sue Wiygul Martin.
March"The Forgotten Garden", By Kate Morton.
April"No Promises in the Wind", By Irene Hunt.
May"The Birth House", by Ami McKay.
June"The Fault in Our Stars", by John Green.

In Brief Benefit Amounts as of 2015

Exempt Earnings: The monthly earnings exemption (Substantial Gainful Activity or SGA) for a blind person receiving disability benefits will increase slightly to $1,820 per month.

Social Security: 1.7% COLA (cost-of-living Adjustment).

SSI amounts in CA: $944.40 for blind individuals, couples where both people are blind will receive a total amount of $1,643.20

Medicare Part A hospital inpatient deductible will increase to $1,260 in 2015. The premium for Part A coverage will reduce to $407.

The annual deductible amount for Medicare Part B (medical insurance) in 2014 was $147. That amount will not change in 2015. Neither will The Medicare Part B monthly premium of $104.90.

Preston Moses' New Year's Resolution

I hereby resolve
Not to make
Any new year's resolution
At all.

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.

"A day without laughter is a day wasted."
-- Charlie Chaplin