Valentine Gnomes Craft Workshop

Crafters show off their Valentine gnomes

A group of members had a delightful time creating charming pink gnomes to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Following their crafting session, they mingled and enjoyed their lunches together.

Check out Board Member Mike Coughlin’s Podcast

Last fall, Mike Coughlin read a wonderful book entitled Thunder Dog: The True Story of A Blind Man, His Guide Dog and the Triumph of Trust by Michael Hingson. The book chronicles Michael’s life as a person, blind from birth, who lived in the sighted world, earned several degrees in physics and had a rewarding career. Led by his guide dog Roselle, he escaped from the 78th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center on 911. He is now a strong advocate for the disabled and a motivational speaker.

Mike Coughlin, Center of the Blind board member and leader of the Macular Degeneration Support Group, has been legally blind since age 7 and found many similarities with Hingson. An e-mail exchange with the author led to the production of a podcast. The podcast explores similarities in their lives and the obstacles they have overcome in spite of their disabilities. The podcast called Unstoppable Mindset by Michael Hingson is now available. Be sure to checkout this inspirational story!

Click here to listen to Mike Coughlin’s podcast

Click here to listen to more episodes of Unstoppable Mindset by Michael Hingson.

Lunch & Learn with Lions Low Vision Center

Twenty-one members and guests recently had the pleasure of meeting guest speaker, Steve Martin to hear about the services that are available to people who are dealing with low vision. You do not have to be legally blind to request the services of the Lions Low Vision Center. There is an application to be filled out by your eye doctor and an appointment set up after your completed application is received. For more info, contact the Center of the Blind at 860-447-2048.

Give the Gift of Sight or Sound

Lions Club Drop Box for Eyeglasses

If you have any eyeglasses kicking around that you no longer use, bring them to the Center. We have recently acquired a drop box from the Lions Club. In addition to eyeglasses, the Lions also collect hearing aids of any age, brand or model.

Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center sorts the glasses to determine those that are usable or unusable, processed, and placed in inventory for distribution to optical missions around the world.  Lions help to minimize landfill waste by supporting precious metal reclamation and scrap processing for damaged glasses that are unusable. 

It is through the kindness of eyeglasses and hearing aids donors that the Lions Club can offer the gift of sight or sound to those in need.

A Festive Holiday Dinner at Langley’s

The grand success of our yearly festive dinner was evident as over 60 members and guests joyously gathered, including attendees from as far away as Massachusetts! The restaurant exuded a seasonal charm, adorned with white tablecloths, red napkins, and vibrant poinsettias. Everyone had a delightful time, and the festive spirit extended as eight fortunate members left with a poinsettia.

A special acknowledgment goes to Wendy for her unwavering dedication to fundraising and grant writing. Thanks to her efforts, the Center takes pride in its financial capability to offer our members a delightful and scrumptious holiday feast.

Red Poinsettia plant. Image courtesy of FreePik

Lunch and Learn with Retired and Senior Volunteer Program


On December 5, our Lunch & Learn speaker was Renee LaBonte from RSVP,  Retired & Senior Volunteer Program. This program is part of TVCCA, Thames Valley Council for Community Action, which is a local non-profit organization offering many services for those in need. The RSVP program looks for seniors 55+ to volunteer in the community in addition to offering services to eligible seniors. Volunteers can participate in a wide variety of services, receive training, and are matched with those with similar interests. 

Holiday Craft Workshop

Tammy dehydrated sliced oranges, lemons, and limes in preparation for this month’s holiday craft.  Nine members gathered around the table, each with a handful of dried fruit, cranberries, bells, and ribbon. The room filled with the sweet smell of dried fruit as the crafters created their garlands and festive tunes played in the background.

The combination of sticky fingers, peppermint mocha, yummy cookies, and being creative proved to be the perfect recipe to get into the spirit of the holidays.

AI generated citrus fruit and cranberry garland

November Lunch & Learn – Non-24 Sleep/Wake Disorder

Vicky Preddy, RN Nurse Educator, with Wendy Lusk, Executive Director.

Approximately twelve individuals participated in the Lunch & Learn session held on November 28. Vicki Preddy, a Registered Nurse Educator, delivered an insightful presentation aimed at increasing awareness of the Sleep-Wake disorder, particularly prevalent in individuals with vision loss. This disorder interferes with the normal 24-hour circadian sleep and wake cycle, resulting in various sleep disturbances. The audience posed excellent questions during the session.

Lego Robotics Team from Massachusetts Visits the Center to Tryout Braille Letter Beads

Six students from the Oak Middle School Lego Robotics team in Shrewsbury visited the Center on November 21. As this year’s community project, they wanted to make beads with Braille letters on them so blind or low-vision people could make their own letter bracelets. Several of our members offered to test drive the project. The students were very attentive to the information our members had to offer and very interested in learning about our Center. 

Click here to see more photos.

Colorful beaded bracelets

Juliet 120 Braille Embosser

Tammy and Wendy recently received  3 hours of training on our new Juliet 120 Embosser.  It is very easy to use. Members wishing to print their documents in Braille can connect to our Wi-Fi to print to the Braille embosser from their Bluetooth-enabled device.  We ask that you make an appointment with the Center before coming in.  The Brailler is defaulted to print on both sides and uses Contracted Braille (Grade 2).  We are now able to print our newsletters, meeting handouts, event handouts, and other items of interest for those who read Braille.