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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.

December Calendar

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.

Holiday Hours: VLR offices will be closed on Monday, December 24th and Tuesday, December 25th for the Holiday!

VLR News: After lengthy discussion with our board and staff, and listening to your comments about our space, we have determined that our current building limits our ability to serve you in the best way possible. As a result, we are working on a plan to sell our Lyndale Avenue building and move into a more program-friendly location. We have hired a real estate agent who will help us determine the best path forward in sales process.

At this time, we don’t know how long it will take to sell our Minneapolis building. We don’t have a specific date when we will need to move. Our building in St. Paul is not for sale.

We are committed to making the move to a new space as smooth as possible to ensure minimal disruption to our services. We are excited to continue to learn from you, our staff and our volunteers about your future space needs so that we can continue to serve you in the best way possible. Watch for more information as this process moves forward.

Kate Grathwol, President/CEO

EVENTS:

*Abbreviations: MPLS=Minneapolis, SP=St Paul

12/10 (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 is limited.

Address: Door 13, Southdale Mall, Edina

12/10 (M): Hearts

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

Come in and enjoy some coffee and cards.

12/10 (M): Outing: The Bell Museum

2:00-4:30. No charge.

Come on a journey through space and time with the interactive planetarium program called No Limits.  The Bell Museum would like to invite you to be part of something new: audio-described planetarium shows. Join us for a test flight. You’ll receive a free ticket to the show and a chance to offer feedback, so they can improve the service and expand it to other shows. Sometime in 2019 we will offer another trip to the Bell Museum to explore everything else they have to offer. This is a special offer to you as excellent advocates of the vision loss community. Plan your rides for 4:30 to 4:45. Space is Limited.

Address: 2088 Larpenteur Ave. West St. Paul, 55113

12/11 (T): Tech 101: Cellphones

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

Let’s look at what cellphones are currently available for purchase today. We’ll talk about which ones are considered the best for our population and what accessibility features they have too. Space is limited.

12/11 (T): Movie Matinee

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

Join us for a fun movie matinee, with popcorn. We will be playing the audio-described movie Wonder (PG). This 2017 movie is based on the New York Times bestseller and tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters the fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time. As his family, his new classmates, and the larger community all struggle to discover their compassion and acceptance, Auggie’s extraordinary journey will unite them all and prove you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out. Starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Mandy Patinkin and Jacob Tremblay as Auggie. Schedule pick up rides for 2:40 to 2:50. Space is limited.

12/11 (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. Also meets on the 18th.

12/12 (W): Reader’s Choice Book Club

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

For December we will be reading Ricard Paul Evans following books: The Christmas List (DB 070292), Lost December (DB074065), and Winter Dream (DB075963).

12/12 (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 19th.

12/12 (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.

12/13 (TH): Special Events: Cookie Exchange and 5th annual Bake-off

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

Once again, we are bringing together two popular VLR traditions! Feel free to partake in one or both activities. For the Cookie Exchange, please bring two dozen cookies (24) to exchange and then you will have two dozen assorted cookies to take home with you! If you would like to participate in the Bake-off, please bring your best dessert for judging. We will have judges on hand to determine the top three bakers and prizes will be awarded! During this festive exchange and bake-off, we will also have entertainment provided by our very own Bruce Cottrell who will play the piano and lead us in some holiday carols. We hope to have a great turnout for this festive holiday gathering! Space is limited.

12/17 (M): Cribbage

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

Come in and enjoy some coffee and cards.

12/18 (T): Advanced Tech: Tech for Seniors

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

Do you ever wonder what technologies are out there that other Seniors find helpful? Well, at this class we will be taking time to look at the technologies that Seniors are using, talk about some of the device specifics, and even look at the costs of them. Space is limited.

12/19 (W): Special Events: Peer Mentor Holiday Potluck

11:00-1:00. In MPLS. No charge.

Peer Mentors, please join us for a Holiday Potluck! Bring a dish to share and enjoy spending time with the other mentors and their invited guests. This event is closed to the Peer Mentor Group and their invited guests.

12/19 (W): Supper Club: The Cherokee Tavern

5:00-7:00.

The Cherokee Tavern has become an annual event in December. It is always beautifully decked out and the food is excellent. They are a neighborhood institution since 1933. Full bar with happy hour ending at 6 pm. Appetizers include their signature onion rings to something sinful called Voodoo Shrimp, a variety of burgers, several options of steak including a prime rib, roast beef, chicken, pork and tacos (including shrimp tacos!). Seafood and sandwiches, as well. Due to the size of our group, a gratuity will be automatically added to each bill. Please plan your rides for 7 to 7:15 pm. Space is limited.

Address: 886 Smith Ave West St. Paul, 55118

12/20 (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.

12/20 (TH): Craft: Making Holiday Cards/ Ornaments

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

Sharon D is willing to bring in her stamps again, this time for a holiday-themed card making class. People can choose to make greeting cards or ornaments, with a variety of materials. We’ll have plenty for each. No crafting experience necessary.  Come for a fun afternoon of camaraderie and crafting! And holiday treats. Space is limited.

12/21 (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! Space is limited.

12/27 (TH): 500 Cards

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

Enjoy some coffee and cards.

12/28 (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. Space is limited.

COMING ATTRACTIONS AT VLR:

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.

January Dates: Thursdays January 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th from 10am to 3pm at our St. Paul location.

To register: Call 651-224-7662.

EVENTS IN THE COMMUNITY:

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 Thursdays from 6pm to 7pm on KFAI 90.3 FM in Minneapolis, or 106.7 FM in Saint Paul. If you can’t catch us on Thursday night, hear us online at www.kfai.org/disabilityandprogress. You can hear the current show, or the previous one. You must have a Real Audio Player downloaded to your machine for this to work. Or, download the app to your smart phone and hear us on demand.

Blind Bowlers

Blind Bowling takes place on Saturdays at 9am at Memory Lanes (2520 26th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406). It costs $10 per week to participate. For more information, please contact Janice Erkilla at 612-722-3041.

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

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

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 Dec. 6 (holiday party).

Questions? Please contact one of the co-facilitators:

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 Wittek—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