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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, August and September 2018

August: Calendar Grid of Activities or Listing of Activities

September: 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.

RSVPing for events in September will begin 7:00 AM on August 27th.

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, August 27rd for September 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.

Holiday Hours: VLR offices will be closed on Monday, September 3rd for Labor Day!

*Abbreviations: MPLS=Minneapolis, SP=St Paul

8/13 (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

8/13 (M): Hearts

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

Come in and enjoy some coffee and cards.

8/14 (T): Advanced Tech: Navigation Apps

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

Have you tried to use a navigation app and gave up before you even downloaded one? With so many navigation apps out there it’s hard to know which one would be the best one to use. Which is why at this class, we will be looking at the different navigation apps that are out there.

8/14 (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 The Monuments Men (PG-13). During World War II, the Nazis steal countless pieces of art and hide them away. Some over-the-hill art scholars, historians, architects and other experts form a unit to retrieve as many of the stolen masterpieces as possible. The mission becomes even more urgent when the team learns about Hitler’s “Nero Decree,” which orders destruction of the artworks if the Third Reich falls. Caught in a race against time, the men risk their lives to protect some of mankind’s greatest achievements. The movie stars George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, and John Goodman.

8/14 (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. This group also meets on the 21st, and 28th.

8/15 (W): Continuing Education

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

Aliza from OrCam is coming to demonstrate this device, which is a portable device with a smart camera mounted on the frames of your eyeglasses to assist people who are visually impaired. It recognizes text, products, and faces, and speaks to you through a mini earpiece. For a lower price, try the read-mode only device. OrCam now has a rent-to-own program that will help with affordability. You will have a chance to try the device yourself!

8/15 (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 22nd, and 29th.

8/15 (W): 4th Annual VLR Fantasy Football Draft 2018

3:00-6:00. In SP. Cost: $5.00

Are you a Vikings fan, or do you love football? Well, join us in Saint Paul for draft picks for our 4th season of Fantasy Football! Fantasy Football is a competition in which participants select teams from among the players in the NFL league and score points according to the performance of their players and team each week. Try something new and fun! New owners are always welcome every season and the more people who join us the better! Call Renee W. at 612-843-3403 with any questions.

8/16 (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.

8/16 (TH): Craft: Painting and Drawing with Emily Strawn

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

Craft this month will be a drawing class with Emily Strawn.

There’s so much expression in a single line! Come learn, play and create as we explore music and objects through contour drawing. Please bring one object to class for a drawing exercise. No experience necessary. Space limited.

8/17 (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!

8/20 (M): Cribbage

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

Come in and enjoy some coffee and cards.

8/20 (M): Cooking Class and Supper

5:00-7:00. In SP. Cost: $5.00

We are going to make homemade pasta and tomato sauce with freshly harvested tomatoes (from the local St. Paul Farmer’s Market). Renee W. and Sharon K., from VLR, will be in charge of the sauce. Bruce C. and volunteer Angi N. will be in charge of the pasta. We will be adding a fresh salad, bread and beverages to round out the meal as well as some yummy dessert. We are looking for at least two people to help with preparations that are willing to come in half an hour earlier (4:30 pm).

Please Note: If you would like to bring any leftovers home with you, you will need to bring your own container with a lid. Make sure the container is safe to travel with and will have enough space for one meal.

8/21 (T): Tech 101: Best Podcasts

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

Are you a fan of Podcasts? Or maybe you haven’t heard of them before? Podcasts are like radio shows on the internet with different topics discussed in each one. Whether you’re a fan of podcasts, or haven’t heard of them before, this class is for you! We will be discussing which podcasts are the best ones to listen to.

8/23 (TH): 500 Cards

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

Enjoy some coffee and cards.

8/24 (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.

8/27 (M): Outing: The Great Minnesota State Fair

10:00-3:15. Cost: $5.00

It’s that very special time of year, the Minnesota State Fair! Join us for a day of fun, food (what’s new-on-a-stick!) and entertainment. You will be paired with a volunteer and will be able to see what you want to see and eat what you want to eat. Be sure to RSVP so you can get a volunteer for the day. You are responsible for your own lunch, beverages, and other purchases. Please plan your ride for 3:15 pm to 3:30 pm. (Outdoor events may be cancelled if there is a high heat index. Please check the RSVP hotline for a cancellation message!) Address: 1700 Como Ave, (Horseshoe, north side of Como Ave) St. Paul, 55414

8/28 (T): Advanced Tech: Xfinity X1 Remote

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

Are you curious as to what Comcast is all about? Well, at this class we will be learning just that. We will talk about Comcast and the different features it has, as well as learn how to use the Xfinity X1 remote!

SEPTEMBER EVENTS:

*Abbreviations: MPLS=Minneapolis, SP=St Paul

9/4 (T): Tech 101: Voiceover

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

Are you unsure how to set up Voiceover on your phone? Or, maybe you already have it set up and just want help using it. Well, look no further! We will be learning how to set up Voiceover on our Apple devices.

9/4 (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. This group also meets on the 11th, 18th, and 25th.

9/5 (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.

9/5 (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 12th, 19th, and 26th.

9/6 (TH): 500 Cards

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

Enjoy some coffee and cards. This group also meets on the 27th.

9/10 (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 limited.

Address: Door 13, Southdale Mall, Edina

9/10 (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.

9/10 (M): Hearts

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

Come in and enjoy some coffee and cards.

9/11 (T): Advanced Tech: Facebook

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

At the request of many participants form last month we will be going over this topic again. Would you like help navigating the Facebook app? Or are there questions about it you’re too afraid to ask? Well, look no further! At this class we will navigate the app together.

9/11 (T): Movie Matinee

12:30-2:15. In MPLS. Cost: $1.00

Join us for a fun movie matinee, with popcorn.  We will be playing the audio-described movie Our Souls At Night (PG-13). A widow and widower have lived next door to each other for years. When Addie tries to make a connection with her neighbor, the two begin sleeping in bed together platonically, with the innocent goal of alleviating their shared loneliness. As their relationship deepens, however, they each deal with grief and loss, and a real romance begins to blossom. The movie stars Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Judy Greer, Bruce Dern, and Audrey Walters.

9/12 (W): Flu shot clinic at VLR by the MVNA (Minnesota Visiting Nurses Association)

11:00-12:00. In MPLS. Paid through your insurance (or you pay out of pocket).

We have set up a flu shot clinic with the non-profit organization Minnesota Visiting Nurses Association. This is what you need to know:

  1. All participants are responsible for payment. You must confirm with your health insurance provider that you have coverage. Hennepin Healthcare/MVNA will bill your insurance provider.
  2. Bring your insurance card with you on the day of the clinic. We have a form for you to complete in advance or on the day of the clinic.
  3. MVNA will bring only the Quadrivalent Flu Shot. If you want either the Quadrivalent Flumist or the High Dose, you must request this in advance and MVNA will have it available (while supplies last). More information on the Quadrivalent, Flumist and High Dose will be available at the front desks of both VLR east and west offices.
  4. If you choose to pay for the flu shot, the costs are:
  • Quadrivalent Flu Shot $38.00
  • Quadrivalent Flumist $43.00
  • High Dose $65.00

There is a difference between MVNA and other vaccination providers. Not only are you helping to keep our organization healthy, but you are also doing something good for our community. MVNA is a non-profit that prides itself on directing all proceeds from flu clinics to support in-home nursing visits so those who need it most can heal in the comfort of their home.

9/12 (W): Reader’s Choice Book Club

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

In The Cuban Affair by Nelson DeMille (DB089340), veteran “Mac” MacCormick runs a charter fishing boat out of Key West, FL. When approached by an anti-Castro attorney about taking clients on a mysterious trip to Cuba, his instincts tell him to decline – but the two million dollar payday is too tempting.

9/12 (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.

9/17 (M): Cribbage

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

Come in and enjoy some coffee and cards.

9/18 (T): Tech 101: Settings

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

Do you have questions about how to set up the accessibility features on your phone? Do you just want someone to explain what they do and how they work? Look no further then! At this class we will spend time working with the accessibility features on your phone as well as talking about what they do and how to use them.

9/18 (T): Lunch Bunch: Midtown Global Market

11:30-1:30.

This is an internationally-themed public market with great food, cultural experiences and unique gifts. It’s like a taste of the world right in our own backyard. Come spend this lunch bunch by browsing, shopping and eating. You will be on your own with a volunteer to wander at will. If you want, you can plan to meet friends in the common area where there is plenty of room to sit and eat. There’s Asian, Mexican, Indian, Kosher, Vegan, and Italian food, with plenty of places to satisfy a sweet tooth including the Mexican bakery, the Salty Tart bakery, and a small grocery market. There are also clothing stores, gift shops, and much more.

Address: 920 E. Lake Street Minneapolis 55407

9/19 (W): Continuing Education

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

Danielle Shamp from the Shamp Insurance Group will join us to discuss pending insurance changes regarding Medicare and the Cost Plan Sunset. This will be an educational session that will provide an understanding of the basics and the uniqueness of this fall’s open enrollment. 

Danielle will answer questions at this session and after the meeting, if you would like to reach out to her and schedule an appointment to discuss your individual needs, she will be happy to help you find a suitable plan for 2019.

9/20 (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.

9/20 (TH): Craft: Burlap or crepe paper sunflowers

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

This is an unusual craft because at this time, we aren’t sure whether or not we’ll have supplies for both versions of this sunflower-making craft. We may just do both. The end result will be a lovely burst of color for Autumn that can be placed in a vase and survive at least until Christmas! No experience necessary. Space is limited.

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.

9/28 (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

COMING ATTRACTIONS AT VLR:

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.

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

September Dates: Thursdays September 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th from 10am to 3pm at our St. Paul location.

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

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 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.

Blind and Low Vision Computer Users Group

Next meeting: August. 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.herzog@hennepin.us.

2018 Open Flow Forum

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

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

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.

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