News — June 2022


By Mike Cole, President East Bay Center For The Blind Board of Directors.

On April 23, 2022, the East Bay Center welcomed a new board of Directors, a blending of longtime members and new ones. A fond farewell to the previous board headed by Dorothy Donaville. The new board extends deep appreciation and thanks for the dedication of our fine predecessors. Our commitment to the Center’s future remains strong.

The new board members and officers are: Mike Cole, President; Fran Marie Franks, first Vice President; Connie Thomas, Second Vice President; Patty Nash, Recording Secretary; Vileen Shah, Corresponding Secretary; Connie Skeen, Treasurer. Board members are Barbara Lassen, Maureen Schulz, Josh Miele, David Cook, and Lori Castner.

COVID-19 has been more than challenging, it’s held us back. Now the Center needs members, active participation, and we must raise money, because as things stand right now, we are living off our savings. That could find the Center in deep trouble very soon.

The Center’s wonderful and long-serving Director Jan Santos will retire in September. It won’t be easy to replace Jan. A job that is limited financially and with an uncertain future will be hard to fill.

The ability to get back to in-person programming depends on how we get through covid that is currently problematic even with vaccinations and boosters. We must plan to open and serve our members. We hope this bulletin finds you well and willing to help us with your ideas and your support.

The Center has continued to operate using the online virtual meeting program called Zoom. The Board of Directors at the March 26, 2022 meeting declared April 1 the official opening date for limited service while observing all COVID protocols: participation to be continued in-person when possible and virtually  online and using the phone.

Vileen Shah’s successful “I Love Braille” online program is doing well with participants from around the nation and the world. Meditation, Ceramics, and our Friday Support group will continue to meet through the summer. Call the Center for updates on classes.

Funding is needed, so if you haven’t paid your dues for 2022, now is a fine time to get caught up.  All members, please,  think of ways to help bring in some money. Think of resources, be willing to talk to others, hand out brochures, appeal to friends and family and members of the community to donate. The Center will survive, but only if we all do what we can.

The Center’s heating and air filtering has been updated, the building is in good shape, the center is quite presentable, events can be planned for, working together, we can come back strong. Please share your ideas for programs and other ways to bring people to the center.

And finally, the Schedule for Board meetings has changed. We will meet on the third Saturday of the month, 10 A. M. to noon. The next quarterly business meeting will be on Saturday, July 25, 2022 at 1:00 P.M. We’ve been meeting virtually; we are anxious to finally get back to meeting in person. When you come to the Center, prepare to wear your mask, show proof of vaccination; we will observe safety protocols.

The East Bay Center belongs to the Blind community; join us in the exciting times ahead. We will learn together and we will have fun!

East Bay Center for the Blind

2928 Adeline Street, Berkeley Ca. 94703

Phone: (510) 843-6935