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Community Center

Welcome to our Community Center!

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 dance lessons, knitting, quilting, 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 or (651) 224-7662.

Vision Loss Resources

Community Center Calendar, February and March 2017

February: Calendar Grid of Activities or Listing of Activities

March: Calendar Grid of Activities or Listing of Activities

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

RSVPing for events in March will begin 7:00 AM on Monday, February 20th.

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.

Announcement: VLR Offices will be closed on Monday, February 20th for President’s Day.

VLR Severe Weather Hotline: 612-284-8107

*Abbreviations: MPLS=Minneapolis, SP=St Paul

2/14 (T): Movie Matinee

1:00-3:00. In MPLS. Cost: $1.00. Join us on Valentine’s Day for a fun movie matinee, with popcorn. We will be playing the audio-described movie “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” starring Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, and Maggie Smith. A group of retirees decide to “outsource” their retirement to less expensive and seemingly exotic India. Enticed by advertisements for the newly restored Marigold Hotel and bolstered with visions of a life of leisure, they arrive to find the palace a shell of its former self. Though the new environment is less luxurious than imagined, they are forever transformed by their shared experiences, discovering that life–and love–can begin again when you let go of the past.

2/15 (W): Continuing Education

11:15-12:30. In MPLS. No charge. Taylor Putz from Prepare & Prosper will join us to discuss this nonprofit organization that helps taxpayers claim the money they are eligible for at tax time. She will share information about free tax preparation, the money moment of tax time, and a few important tax credits. She will explain ways to get a great refund so you can use it to pay down debt or pay bills, make important purchase, and save. A tax refund can account for more than 30% of one’s annual income.

2/16 (TH): Calendar Assembly

9:00-11:00. In MPLS. No charge. Treats served. Join the many helping hands that work together to assemble the Community Center Calendar mailing.

2/16 (TH): Craft: Abstract Paintings

1:00-3:00. In SP. Cost: $5.00. Join us for a fun afternoon of painting abstract designs using tape and cut out shapes. We will tape designs and other shapes to the canvases to create unique, one-of-kind masterpieces. Snacks will be served. Come for a fun, creative afternoon and no experience is necessary. Space is limited.

2/17 (F): VLR Valentine Luncheon

11:00-1:30. In MPLS. Cost: $8.00. (You can bring payment to the event or pay ahead.) Join us for a re-do of the cancelled holiday lunch and celebrate Valentine’s Day with us at VLR in Minneapolis!  We plan to show our love for our participants with a catered meal of chicken, garlic mashed potatoes, veggie medley and rolls, as well as a variety of bars and cookies for dessert. We will also be playing Valentine BINGO and have live entertainment. Please call with any dietary restrictions in advance by February 8th, and we’ll do our best to accommodate.

2/21 (T): Outing: True Stone Coffee Roasters

10:00-11:00. No charge. Have you ever wondered where your coffee comes from? Join us as we visit True Stone Coffee Roasters and learn more about the entire process, from sourcing to roasting to delivery. True Stone is a full-scale roasting facility, bottling line and training lab. These experts will educate us about coffee in their new cupping room and provide a variety of sensory experiences. This will be a fun and educational experience for anyone interested in coffee. Max: 10. Address: 755 Prior Ave N, Ste. 113, St. Paul 55104

2/21 (T): Tech 101: Amazon Echo

10:00-12:00. In MPLS. Cost: $10.00. How to use the Amazon Echo, a hands-free speaker you control with your voice. Echo connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, provide information, news, sports scores, weather, and more—instantly. This device is quickly becoming a favorite device for many VLR staff and clients. This class is all instruction and information–no open forum today!

2/23 (TH): Fitness is Fun!

5:30-6:30. In MPLS. Cost: $1.00. Get your body moving in our fitness center and stay on track with your fitness goals. Work on the various equipment and get guided instruction and ideas on how to improve your health through exercise. All levels of experience are welcome!

2/24 (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.

2/27 (M): Cribbage

12:00-2:00. In MPLS. Cost: $1.00 (Moved to 4th Monday due to Presidents’ Day.) Come in and enjoy some coffee and cards.

MARCH EVENTS:

*Abbreviations: MPLS=Minneapolis, SP=St Paul

3/1 (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. This group also meets on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th.

3/2 (TH): 500 Cards

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

Enjoy some coffee and cards. Also meets on the 23rd.

3/3 (F): Outing: Cathedral of Saint Paul

12:45-2:15. Cost: $5.00, which will be given to the Cathedral as a free will donation.

Join us for a tour of the Cathedral of Saint Paul. Each year, this historical landmark welcomes over 200,000 guests and visitors, and it is recognized as one of the most prominent buildings in the city and as a center of spiritual worship. This will be a guided tour with a Cathedral docent, so we will be seated and also be walking around to learn about the history of this beautiful structure. Please make sure to plan your pick-up ride for 2:15pm-2:30pm. Space limited.

Address: 239 Selby Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102

3/6 (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.

3/7 (T): Tech: iPhone 101 – Making Calls and Using Siri

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

Need to learn some iPhone basics, such as making phone calls and using Siri? This is the beginner’s class for you. The first hour is instruction, and the last hour is reserved for questions. Have your Apple password on hand!

3/7 (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. Also meets on the 14th, 21st, and 28th.

3/8 (W): Reader’s Choice Book Club

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

The Navajo code talkers of World War II are the subject of our two books for this month. Navajo Code Talkers by Nathan Auseng (DB036463) and Windtalkers by Max Collins (DB057132).

3/8 (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.

3/9 (TH): Alumni Group

12:30-2:00. In MPLS. No charge.

Recent VLR Rehabilitation Program Alumni – bring a dish to pass and join us for a potluck lunch! Listen to other VLR rehab alumni and share around topics of blindness, advocacy, education, employment, and living the life you want!

3/9 (TH): Vision Speaks Communication & Speaking Group

2:00-3:30. In MPLS. No charge.

Improve your speaking and communication skills in a fun, supportive group setting! We will be seeking out opportunities in the community to speak about VLR and educate individuals about vision loss. If you attended last month’s meeting, please remember to come prepared with your completed assignment from the month before. New people are always welcome, and no previous speaking experience is necessary.

3/13 (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

3/13 (M): Hearts

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

Come in and enjoy some coffee and cards.

3/14 (T): Movie Matinee

1:00-3:15. In MPLS. Cost: $1.00

Join us for a fun movie matinee, with popcorn. We will be playing the audio-described movie “Julie & Julia,” starring Academy Award winner Meryl Streep and based on two true stories. Julia Child’s story of her start in the cooking profession is intertwined with blogger Julie Powell’s 2002 challenge to cook all the recipes in Child’s first book. “Julie & Julia” intertwines the lives of two women who, though separated by time and space, are both at loose ends until they discover that with the right combination of passion, fearlessness and butter, anything is possible.

3/15 (W): Continuing Education

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

Dacia VanAlstine from the Department of Employment and Economic Development will join us to discuss the Connect 700 Program and the Supported Worker Program. These two programs were revamped, due to an executive order by Governor Dayton, to help increase state employment of individuals with disabilities. Dacia will explain both of these programs and how they may help individuals with vision loss secure jobs, job coaching and other supports.

3/16 (TH): Calendar Assembly

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

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

3/16 (TH): Craft: St. Patrick’s Day Pot of Gold

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

Join us for a fun and festive craft to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. We will be painting pots, decorating them for St. Patty’s Day and filling them with some “gold” treats. Give them as a gift or keep them for yourself to celebrate this lucky holiday. St. Patty’s Day snacks will also be provided. Join us for a fun and crafty afternoon. No crafting experience necessary. Space is limited.

3/20 (M): Cribbage

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

Come in and enjoy some coffee and cards.

3/21 (T): Lunch Bunch

11:30-1:30.

Please join us for a festive lunch, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, at O’Gara’s Bar & Grill in St. Paul. If the O’Gara name isn’t Irish enough, certainly the décor is with items from Ireland throughout the establishment. O’Gara’s is known for serving excellent food and drink at a fair price, and it is the oldest family owned operation of its kind in Saint Paul still at the original location. Enjoy soups, salads, sandwiches and traditional Irish fare such as Shepard’s Pie. Entrees and sandwiches start at $10. Due to the size of our group, gratuity will automatically be added to each bill. Please plan your pick-up ride for 1:30pm – 1:45pm.

Address: 164 N Snelling Avenue, Saint Paul 55104

3/23 (TH): Highlight Event: Wine Tasting at VLR

2:00-3:30. In MPLS. Cost: $5.00

Our friends at Zipps Liquor will join us at our Minneapolis location to provide a fun wine tasting. We will sample a variety of wines and learn all about them and the wine making process. Some tasty snacks will also be available while we sip our wine. If you like any of the wines we taste, they will have order forms available for you to purchase bottles, and they will then deliver them back to VLR for you to pick-up, on a later date.

3/23 (TH): Fitness is Fun!

5:30-6:30. In MPLS. Cost: $1.00

Get your body moving in our fitness center and stay on track with your fitness goals. Work on the various equipment and get guided instruction and ideas on how to improve your health through exercise. All levels of experience are welcome!

3/24 (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.

3/28 (T): Tech: iPhone 101 – Accessibility Features

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

This is a beginner’s iPhone class for learning about the basic accessibility features on your device. The first hour is instruction, and the last hour is reserved for questions. Have your Apple password on hand!

 

CURRENT & COMING ATTRACTIONS AT VLR:

Independent Living Skills Course at VLR

Come join us to learn a wide variety of low vision skills and adaptive techniques taught by experienced and encouraging instructors. Meet new people who, just like you, are looking to remain independent. Exchange ideas, tips and new product discoveries with your fellow classmates on how to most easily accomplish daily tasks.

February Dates: every Thursday in February from 10am to 3pm at our St. Paul location.

March Dates: March 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 23rd from 10am to 3pm at our St. Paul location.

This course 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.

 

To register, call Kristin at 612-843-3415. Class size is limited, so please call soon. Also talk with us about transportation.

Fitness Center at VLR

Did you know there is a fitness center at VLR Minneapolis? Treadmills, elliptical machines, a weight machine, hand-held weights and more are available for you to use during VLR business hours (8:00-4:30 M-F). Cost is $1.00 per visit, paid to the front desk. Important: Before you begin using the Fitness Center, you must sign a liability waiver and have a brief tour of the equipment with a mobility instructor. To set up an appointment, please call the front desk at 612-843-3400.

 

Concerned about Vision Loss? We Can Help!

Many people experiencing vision loss show some of the following signs: discontinuing activities once enjoyed (like reading the paper, knitting, or going out with friends), trouble reading small print, such as on a medication bottle, difficulty distinguishing colors (mismatched clothes or socks), increased sensitivity to light or glare, and tentative walking (bumping into objects and people, missing steps or falling). Vision Loss Resources is here to help.

Call us at 1-877-567-4944 to learn more about affordable services, including: an Initial Visit with comprehensive, professional evaluation and resources, recommendations on lighting and adaptive equipment, continued instruction on adaptive techniques for living independently, and digital literacy classes for older adults. We do not require a doctor’s referral, health insurance, or a specific diagnosis. We serve anyone in the 9-county metro area whose vision loss impacts their ability to perform the activities they need or want to do.

EVENTS IN THE COMMUNITY:

Attention Students and Families – Join us at the February 25 Opportunities Fair at SSB

Learn about internships, assistive technology, summer programs, and more! State Services for the Blind is hosting an Opportunities Fair for high school and college students on Saturday, February 25 at Fairview Community Center, 1910 County Road B West, Roseville, MN 55113 from 12:00-4:00.To sign up, or for more information, email Sheila Koenig at SSB – sheila.koenig@state.mn.us.

The Blind Fellowship Outreach

Join a new Twin-Cities based ministry serving people with visual impairments. Be served a delicious meal, hear a Bible study message, meet new friends, and enjoy music or a featured program activity–all free of charge. You will be paired with Volunteers of all denominations who will assist and get to know you. Resource materials and a special gift will also be provided. Please RSVP about 2 weeks prior to an event by calling 612-729-5463.

Address: Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3430 E 51st Street, Minneapolis

Dates: 2nd Saturdays – Jan 14, Feb 11, March 11, etc. from 12:00-2:00

Transportation: South Minneapolis directly on Metro Transit Bus Route #7, at the 51st Street East stop. Volunteers will meet you at the bus stop to escort you to the church. Contact us for alternative transportation if bus/Metro are unavailable to you.

Have questions? Please contact Carol Zemke at: 612-799-5782 or czemke@usa.net

4th Player needed for Nickel Poker

Meets every other Friday. Contact Tom Heinl for more information! 651-489-8609

Senior Center

Senior Center Without Walls – an award-winning program of Episcopal Senior Communities offering activities, education, friendly conversation, and an assortment of classes, support groups, and presentations to seniors.  Each week, seniors across the country can access over 70 groups by phone or online, all from the comfort of home for FREE. Visit www.seniorcenterwithoutwalls.org or call       1-877-797-7299 for more information.

Disabled and Proud Radio Show

A show that brings you insights, ideas, and discussions on disability topics. Many pertinent and practical topics are covered each week. Tune in every Thursday night at 6:30 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/disabledandproud. 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. In order to express your ideas or comments for future shows, call 612-341-3144, or email: disabledandproud@tcq.net. To receive emails about this show directly, email us. Contacts: Sam Jasmine (Producer) and Charlene Doll (Assistant Researcher)

COMMUNITY CENTER POLICY:

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

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 5:00 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.

COMMUNITY CENTER PHOTO POLICY:

Participants attending Community Center events will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of VLR’s Photography and Recorded Image 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 or Acknowledgement, please contact Iris at VLR: 612-843-3425.

VLR CONTACT INFORMATION:

Christina Tucker, Program Coordinator, Community Services          612-843-3419        christina@vlrw.org

Jen Roehl, Community Center Specialist          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 Ave).

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

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