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Community Center

Welcome!

Vision Loss Resources offers monthly recreational, educational, and social activities to our clients with vision impairment or blindness. From a private tour of a museum, to dinner club at a favorite restaurant; from card games and book clubs to yoga, knitting, and pottery, we are interested in just about everything!

Would you like to join the fun? Read on! If you’re new to our services, please schedule an appointment with one of our specialists by calling (612) 871-2222.

Community Center Calendar, September and October 2018

September: Calendar Grid of Activities or Listing of Activities

October: Calendar Grid of Activities or Listing of Activities

Register, Questions, and Cancellations: Call or Email 612-843-3439   rsvp@vlrw.org

To listen to an audio version of the calendar, call the Activity Line at 612-253-5155.

Please RSVP for all activities every month. We ask that you RSVP at least 3 working days prior to event to ensure that we have enough registered participants, supplies, and volunteers.

Policy Update: In an effort to remain fair, early RSVPs will no longer be accepted. Recently we’ve had some popular events that many people wanted to attend, and we want to give everyone that wishes to go an equal chance to do so. Therefore, early RSVPs that are submitted before 7 AM on Monday, September 24th for October events will not be accepted. If you want to attend any events you must submit your RSVP through the RSVP hotline or RSVP email. We will only be accepting RSVPs through the hotline or email from this point on.

New Policy: In recent months, we have experienced an increase in people not showing up for events they have RSVP’d to attend. These “no-shows” cause issues such as an increase in costs to VLR (i.e. unused tickets, volunteer expenses), wasting valuable volunteer time, and preventing other clients on the wait list from attending and participating. Beginning this month, if you accumulate three no-shows in six months, you will be unable to sign-up for activities for one month. Our intention is to continue to make our activities available to everyone who wishes to attend, so please make sure to cancel if you are unable to join us for any reason.

SEPTEMBER EVENTS:

*Abbreviations: MPLS=Minneapolis, SP=St Paul

9/21 (F): Balance Class

1:00-2:00. In SP. Cost: $5.00

Strength, balance, and physical endurance are sure to improve with this class. Each class will consist of strength training, cardiovascular and balance exercises all designed for the unique needs of seniors. Interested in preventing falls, building strength and improving flexibility, then come and see if it is a good fit for you. Our Trainer, Angela, is able to change-up the exercises to individual needs, and also important, she keeps it fun!

9/24 (M): Special Writing Workshop with Naomi Cohen

1:00-3:00. In SP. No charge.

This will be the first of two classes with Naomi which she calls Jumpstarting your Writing: Finding Your Writing Mission. Come sample ways to connect to your interests and inspirations as a writer. Each of us has unique experiences, perspectives and gifts to share. We’ll play with memory, imagination and paying attention in the present as ways to connect to our individual writing missions. We’ll spend time jumpstarting our writing, sharing work and learning about how to keep writing. All are welcome.

Naomi is a fiscal year 2018 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

9/25 (T): Advanced Tech: Alexa and Google Home

10:00-12:00. In MPLS. Cost: $10.00

Would you like to have fun with technology again? Well, at this class we will explore using Alexa and Google Home to be entertained and have fun.

9/25 (T): DeafBlind Beading

4:00-7:00. In SP. Cost is $5 for the month, plus your kit.

This is an arts and crafts group for DeafBlind consumers. Support staff (SSPs) are provided. Email Kimberly Williams to RSVP at kwilliams@dbsmn.org.

9/26 (W): 3Fs: Fabric, Fiber, and Friends

1:00-3:30. In MPLS. No charge.

Do you enjoy knitting, crocheting, quilting, or creative hobbies? Then come in and bring your own project to work on as you enjoy the company of others. We donate many of our handmade items to local charities!

9/27 (TH): 500 Cards

10:00-12:00. In MPLS. Cost: $1.00

Enjoy some coffee and cards.

9/28 (F): Pottery

10:00-12:00. In SP. Cost: $5.00

Join us as we work on hand-built clay projects. Come make plates, cups, or create whatever comes to the imagination.

No experience necessary.

9/30 (SUN): Outing: Minnesota Twins Baseball Game

1:30-6:00. Cost: $5.00

Join us for a late fall afternoon of fun and fresh air and baseball! The Minnesota Twins are playing the Chicago White Sox. THIS IS THE LAST GAME OF THE 2018 SEASON. ADA/minimal steps and shaded seats have been requested. Listening devices will be available at guest services booths in the ballpark on a first-come, first-served basis. Food is on your own. We’ll meet at Gate 14. Limited tickets available. Please plan your ride for 6 pm to 6:15 pm. We hope this is enough time to relax and watch the whole game.

Address: 326 North 7th St., Gate 14 (Hrbek gate), Minneapolis

OCTOBER EVENTS:

*Abbreviations: MPLS=Minneapolis, SP=St Paul

10/1 (M): Games Extravaganza

10:00-12:00. In MPLS. Cost: $1.00

Come for lively fun with board and trivia games. There’s plenty of time for games, laughter, conversation, and a light snack.

10/2 (T): Tech 101: Internet Safety and Security

10:00-12:00. In SP. Cost: $10.00

Are you nervous about how safe you are online? Would you like to learn more about internet safety? Then join us as we discuss steps you can take to be safe online with your mobile devices.

10/2 (T): DeafBlind Beading

4:00-7:00. In SP.

This is an arts and crafts group for DeafBlind consumers. Support staff (SSPs) are provided. Email Kimberly Williams to RSVP at kwilliams@dbsmn.org. Also meets on the 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th. Cost is $5 for the month, plus your kit.

10/3 (W): Yoga

10:00-11:00. In MPLS. No charge.

Stretch out your limbs in an introduction to yoga class! This class will focus on proper body alignment, finding your balance in postures, and breathing techniques that will encourage you to be empowered in accessing the inner wisdom of your own body. This class is an hour long and all levels are welcome. Please arrive 10 minutes early to discuss any needs or questions you may have. Please be aware this will unfortunately this will be the last yoga session until further notice. Please watch future calendars for an update on this class.

10/3 (W): 3Fs: Fabric, Fiber, and Friends

1:00-3:30. In MPLS. No charge.

Do you enjoy knitting, crocheting, quilting, or creative hobbies? Then come in and bring your own project to work on as you enjoy the company of others. We donate many of our handmade items to local charities! This group also meets on the 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st.

10/3 (W): Supper Club: Cocina Latina

5:00-7:00.

Cocina Latina is a popular restaurant in South Minneapolis with authentic foods and a great atmosphere. They offer classic dishes made from scratch that include empanadas de carne, con queso, tacos, fajitas, enchiladas, chimichangas and steak. Soups and salads are also available. Beer and wine only. Check out the menu on www.lacocinalatinamn.com. Due to the size of our group, gratuity will be automatically added to each bill. Please plan your rides for 7:00 to 7:15 pm.

Address: 3764 Nicollet Ave. S. Minneapolis, 55409

10/4 (TH): 500 Cards

10:00-12:00. In MPLS. Cost: $1.00

Enjoy some coffee and cards. This group also meets on the 25th.

10/5 (F): Outing: MN Valley National Wildlife Refuge

12:30-2:30. Cost: $5.00

Join us for an Autumn afternoon at this hidden gem, the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Center. Come prepared for the weather since we will be outside for part of the day, walking the trails. Some of the trails are accessible for wheelchairs. The large visitor center offers many exhibits where items can be touched and handled. We’ll start our tour with the staff to hear about the wildlife refuge and what we will experience. Please schedule your rides for 2:30 to 2:45 pm. Address: 3815 American Blvd. East (Visitor Center) Bloomington, MN 55425

10/8 (M): Walking Group

9:00-11:30. No charge.

Come join your friends as we walk for an hour, break for coffee and conversation, then walk for another hour at your own pace, paired with your own volunteer. It’s a fun, easy way to get up and moving! Space limited.

Address: Door 13, Southdale Mall, Edina

10/8 (M): Hearts

12:00-2:00. In MPLS. Cost: $1.00

Come in and enjoy some coffee and cards.

10/9 (T): Advanced Tech: Dropbox

10:00-12:00. In MPLS. Cost: $10.00

Have you ever wondered what a dropbox is all about? Maybe you’ve heard about it and just need a little help getting started. Well, we will be helping you set up an account and use one.

10/9 (T): Movie Matinee

12:30-2:45. In MPLS. Cost: $1.00

Join us for a fun movie matinee, with popcorn. We will be playing the audio-described movie Coco (PG). Coco is a highly acclaimed 2017 animated movie by Pixar. It’s charming and poignant and just in time for the Mexican celebration of Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). It’s the story of a young man (Miguel) who has a desire to play music, but his family is inexplicably opposed. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead. After meeting a charming trickster named Hector, the two new friends embark on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.

10/10 (W): Reader’s Choice Book Club

1:00-2:30. In MPLS. No charge.

For October we will be reading two books by John Grisham – Calico Joe (DB049676) and A Painted House (DB051331). Calico Joe: In 1973 Chicago Cubs record-breaking rookie Jos Castle from Calico Rock, Arkansas steps up to bat against New York Mets pitcher Warren Tracey – and the outcome changes both their lives. Decades later Warren is dying, and his son Paul tries to bring the two ballplayers back together. A Painted House: It’s August, 1952 and seven-year-old Luke Chandler, who lives with his parents and grandparents in a house that has never been painted, recounts the events during cotton-picking season. As Luke faces the daily grind of harvesting, he witnesses a murder, a birth, and a storm that changes their lives forever.

10/10 (W): BINGO

5:00-7:00. In MPLS. Cost: $1.00

Everyone loves BINGO! Bring your friends and family for a night that is sure to be fun.

10/15 (M): Cribbage

12:00-2:00. In MPLS. Cost: $1.00

Come in and enjoy some coffee and cards.

10/16 (T): Tech 101: Using Digital Assistants

10:00-12:00. In SP. Cost: $10.00

Have you had a chance to use ‘Ok Google’ or ‘Hey Siri’ on your smartphone yet? Want to have someone help you set it up, so you can try? Join us for this class as we set them up and practice using them together.

10/17 (W): Continuing Education

11:15-12:30. In MPLS. No charge.

Linda Brant-Malm, a VLR client and the owner of tactile ART talks, will join us to present one of her new tactile art pieces.  Her mission is to include people with vision loss in experiencing art.  She will be bringing her piece called “Spinnin’ Doors”.  The topic of this model is about problem solving the challenges of daily tasks with vision loss. This is an interactive workshop where each member of the group will feel and turn the moveable parts as she passes it around the table. We will discuss the topic and share stories of our own problem-solving skills while living with vision loss.

10/18 (TH): Calendar Assembly

9:00-11:00. In MPLS. No charge.

Join the many helping hands that work together to assemble the Community Center Calendar mailing. Treats served.

10/18 (TH): Craft: Windchimes

1:00-3:00. In SP. Cost: $5.00

Your windchime can be hung indoors or wait for next spring to put it outside. We will have a variety of objects to use (beads, seashells, whatever else we can find). The rest will be up to you. If you have some favorite things to use (old keys, a small bell) bring it along. They must be ready to be able to attach string/wire. No experience is necessary. Space is limited.

10/19 (F): Balance Class

1:00-2:00. In SP. Cost: $5.00

Strength, balance, and physical endurance are sure to improve with this class. Each class will consist of strength training, cardiovascular and balance exercises all designed for the unique needs of seniors. Interested in preventing falls, building strength and improving flexibility, then come and see if it is a good fit for you. Our Trainer, Angela, is able to change-up the exercises to individual needs, and also important, she keeps it fun!

10/23 (T): Advanced Tech: Using BARD

10:00-12:00. In MPLS. Cost: $10.00

Have you ever gone on a long drive and wished you could listen to your talking books, but forgot them at home? Well, at this class we will help you get started with the BARD app, so you can!

10/26 (F): Pottery

10:00-12:00. In SP. Cost: $5.00

Join us as we work on hand-built clay projects. Come make plates, cups, or create whatever comes to the imagination. No experience necessary.

10/27 (SA): Outing: Regina’s Fine Chocolate Factory Guided Tour

11:30-2:00. Cost: $5.00

Regina’s Fine Chocolate has been in business for 90 years. This is their annual candy factory tour. The tour lasts 45 minutes. We may have to wait awhile for the next available tour. Come prepared to wait outside. All of Regina’s candy will be 20% off from October 25th through the 27th. So, plenty of opportunity to stock up for Halloween…and your personal stash of sweets.  Plan for your return rides from 2:00-2:15.

Address: 2073 St. Clair Ave St. Paul 55105

10/31 (W): Halloween Party

1:00-3:00. In SP. No charge.

Do you remember when Halloween meant you got to wear a fun costume and get a bunch of free candy? What if I told you that you could do just that again? Here at VLR we will be hosting a Halloween party with snacks, candy, door prizes, and a fun Halloween themed group activity! Wearing a costume isn’t required, but special prizes will be given to those who do.

COMING ATTRACTIONS AT VLR:

Sneak Peek At December Community Events

VLR will be hosting a holiday party on December 7th. Due to the holiday party, December’s Supper Club meeting will be held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month. More details for these events will be given in November’s calendar.

VLR Fiber Artists Group

Calling those interested in carding wool, spinning yarn, or beaded scarfs! We will be meeting monthly at a variety of locations. Equipment, supplies, and patterns are available when needed. Locations to be determined. To get on the information list, please email rsvp@vlrw.org or call the hotline, and we will get you connected with volunteer Denise who leads the group.

VLR Low Vision Support Groups

VLR offers numerous low vision support groups in the Twin Cities for individuals to meet for support, comradery, and information. Want to get connected? Contact us at 651-224-7662. You may be asked to complete a free in-home assessment before attending so we can get to know you and match you to the right group!

Independent Living Skills Course at VLR

Need some help learning how to manage your vision loss? Take our 4-week Independent Living Skills course, which covers the Emotional Impact of Vision Loss, Orientation and Mobility, Technology and Communication, Organization & Labeling, Writing, Ways to Enhance Remaining Vision, Food Prep Techniques, and Money Management. Lunch is provided.

October Dates: Thursdays October 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th from 10am to 3pm at our St. Paul location.

To register: Call 651-224-7662. Ask about transportation options!

EVENTS IN THE COMMUNITY:

White Cane Safety Awareness Day Celebration 2018

What: Proclamation and White Cane Walk.

Date/Time: Thursday, October 11, 2018 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Where: Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. St. Paul, 55155

Come join us as we show Minnesota how we travel with our white canes and guide dogs. Complete the on-line registration now! (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LFTS8B5)

Email Holly Nordmeyer if you have questions: hnordmeyer@msab.state.mn.us.

Metro Mobility Fall 2018 Community Conversation

What: Semi-annual Metro Mobility gathering for customers/advocates.

Agenda: Updates and a conversation about service.

Date/Time: Wednesday, October 24, 2018 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Location: Wilder Foundation, 451 Lexington Parkway N., St. Paul

Metro Transit Bus Routes: 16, 83

Light Rail Stop: Greenline Lexington Parkway Station

RSVP: public.info@metc.state.mn.us or call 651-602-1500

Accommodations will be made in advance notice, one-week preferred. Light refreshments will be provided.

Disability Radio Show

Tune in to Disability and Progress, a radio show dedicated to bringing you insights into, ideas about, and discussions on disability topics. Listen Thursday night from 6 to 7 on KFAI 90.3 FM in Minneapolis, or 106.7 FM in Saint Paul. If you don’t have time to catch us on Thursday night, hear us online at www.kfai.org/disabilityandprogress. You have the option of hearing the current show, or the previous show. You must have a Real Audio Player downloaded to your machine in order for this to work. Or, to carry us with you, download the app to your smart phone and hear us on demand.

Blind Bowlers

Blind Bowling will start on Saturday, September 8th at 9am at Memory Lanes (2520 26th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406). It will run for 28 weeks and it costs $10 per week to participate. For more information, please contact Janice Erkilla at 612-722-3041.

Beep Baseball 2018

Come join the 15th year of recreational beep ball (a baseball-like game adapted for the visually-impaired)! No charge. For more information, call Coach Dennis Stern, 651-452-5324.

Fourth Poker Player Needed

A group of VLR clients that meets every other Friday to play nickel poker are looking for a fourth player. For more information, or to join call Tom Heinl at 651-489-8609.

Blind and Low Vision Computer Users Group

This group meets every third Saturday of the month at Hennepin Central Library, room 202N from 1:00-3:00 to discuss various technologies for the visually impaired. The room is open about 12:30. Contact: Bill Herzog at 612 408-9415 or bill.herzog27@gmail.com.

2018 Open Flow Forum

WHO: Visual Artists, Performers, Musicians and Poets with and without disabilities

WHAT: Join fellow artists at monthly gatherings to share our art in an informal, supportive setting: Visual Art, Writing, Music, Memoir, Poetry, Photography, a Play, Storytelling, or another art form. Treats welcomed.

WHERE: Walker Community Church at 3104 16th Ave. S. (between Bloomington and Cedar Avenues, one block south of Lake Street) in Minneapolis. Parking is on adjacent streets. Fully wheelchair-accessible. Fragrance-free requested.

FUTURE: First Thursdays on Oct. 4, Nov. 1, Dec. 6 (holiday party).

Questions? Please contact one of the co-facilitators:

The Blind Fellowship Outreach

Free monthly event for the visually-impaired of all denominations. Enjoy a free meal, Bible study, friendship, and music. 2nd Saturdays from 12:00-2:00 at Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3430 E 51st Street, Minneapolis. Please RSVP about 2 weeks prior to an event by calling 612-729-5463. Have questions? Please contact Carol Zemke at: 612-799-5782 or czemke@usa.net

COMMUNITY CENTER POLICIES:

RSVP and Cancellation Policy: You must RSVP for all activities. We ask that you RSVP at least 3 working days prior to event to ensure that we have enough registered participants, supplies, and volunteers. Registrants will be notified when classes are canceled due to low enrollment or weather conditions.

RSVP line: 612-843-3439 or rsvp@vlrw.org

VLR Hours: Please schedule your Metro pickups as close to the activity end time as possible. VLR’s hours are 8:00am-4:30pm Monday-Friday (except when there are evening classes and activities). Please schedule your pick-ups before the building closes. Thank you!

Severe Weather Days: Please call the VLR Weather Hotline at 612-284-8107 to see if VLR offices and activities are open for that day. The hotline will be updated by 6:00 AM if VLR is closing for severe weather. Participants who have RSVPd for a class will also be notified.

Refund Policy: All events that need to be pre-paid are marked on the calendar. To hold your spot for these events, we must receive your money. If you need to cancel when a ticket is purchased in advance, you will be charged for the ticket unless someone on the waiting list can take your place. If you need to cancel please call the RSVP line at 612-843-3439 or email rsvp@vlrw.org.

Scholarships: No one is denied participation due to inability to pay. Full and partial scholarships are available. Please leave your scholarship request on the RSVP line.

Visitor Sign-in: Please sign-in and sign-out at the front desk in MPLS.

Photo Policy: When you attend an event at VLR, your image may be recorded for use by VLR. This use may include printed media, social media, or online uses. If you have any questions about this Policy, please contact Iris at VLR: 612-843-3425.

VLR CONTACT INFORMATION:

Sharon Karas—Community Center Specialist, 612-843-3429, sharonk@vlrw.org

Jen Roehl—Volunteer Manager, 612-843-3421, jen@vlrw.org

Minneapolis Office: 1936 Lyndale Ave S. 55403

Main Line: 612-871-2222

St. Paul Office: 216 S Wabasha St., 55107

Phone: 651-224-7662

Please note: For those being dropped off, parking, or needing an accessible ramp at the Saint Paul office, please use the back entrance (215 Starkey St).

Activity Line: 612-253-5155 to listen to an audio version of the calendar.

RSVP: 612-843-3439 or rsvp@vlrw.org