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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.

April & May Events

April: Calendar View or Listing of Activities

May: Calendar View 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, May 27th for Memorial Day.

Conversation Starter: Ask others what their favorite sunny day activity is.

Punny For Your Thoughts: Why do trees have so many friends? They like to branch out.

Abbreviations: MPLS=Minneapolis, SP=St Paul

4/25 (TH): 500 Cards

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

Enjoy some coffee and cards.

4/26 (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.

4/26 (F): Outing – Weisman Art Museum

12:45-3:10. Cost: $10.00

The Weisman Art Museum is the culmination of a dream of the University of Minnesota President back in 1934. Its current home was built in 1993. The museum presents and interprets works of art, offering exhibitions that place art within relevant cultural, social and historical contexts. In its 70-year history, the museum has worked with more than fifty departments, presenting the ideas of a great university in multi-disciplinary and widely collaborative projects. We will have one-to-one volunteers available and the Museum will provide tour guides. There will be art-related objects for you to touch. Visit their website at: https://wam.umn.edu/. Plan your rides for 3:10 to 3:20 pm. Space is Limited.

Address: 333 E. River Rd. Minneapolis 55455

4/27 (SAT): Soup On Saturday

12:00-2:15. In SP. Cost: $5.00

At the request of some of you, we are planning to bring back Soup Saturday. We hope to be able to do this a couple times this year, at least. Come and enjoy a fun day with the company of others, good homemade soup, bread, and dessert. As with our cooking classes, if we have leftovers, we’ll send them home with you so please bring container. Please schedule your rides for 2:15 to 2:20 pm.

MAY EVENTS:

*Abbreviations: MPLS=Minneapolis, SP=St Paul

5/1 (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. We donate many of our handmade items to local charities! This group also meets on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th.

5/2 (TH): Cards-500

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

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

5/6 (M): Games Extravaganza

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

Come for lively fun with board and trivia games. We’ll have time for games, laughter, conversation, and a light snack.

5/7 (T): Tech 101: Smartphone Low Vision Features

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

At this class we will be using the low vision features and skills already built into your smartphone. Please bring headphones or earbuds when you come to class.

5/7 (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. Email Kimberly Williams to RSVP at kwilliams@dbsmn.org. This group also meets on the 14th, 21st, and 28th.

5/8 (W): Reader’s Choice Book Club

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

For May we will be reading the book Educated: A Memoir (DB090188) by Tara Westover.

5/8 (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.

5/9 (TH): NEW: Gardening and Goodies

1:00-2:00. In SP. Cost: $1.00

Are you interested in learning more about gardening? If so, come join us for the first meeting of Gardening and Goodies. At this meeting we will prep the garden area for the upcoming season. We will provide snacks and gardening equipment. You’re welcome to bring your own tools too. So, come enjoy the outdoors and get your green thumb on! This group meets again on the 23rd.

5/10 (F): Flexibility Class

11:15-12:15. In SP. Cost: $5.00

Improve your flexibility and stability with gentle muscular stretches and myofascial self-release. Join us twice a month and learn exercises that you can practice at home. Range of motion, stabilizing, and muscle firming exercises will be practiced. Floor work is not required but highly encouraged. Bring a fitness mat, a rolling pin, and a tennis ball to receive the most beneficial workout. Space is limited. Meets again on the 17th.

5/13 (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 is limited.

Address: Door 13, Southdale Mall, Edina

5/13 (M): Hearts

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

Come in and enjoy some coffee and cards.

5/14 (T): Adv. Tech: Alexa Part II

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

Come to this class where we will use the Alexa app and set up skills for your Alexa device. Please bring headphones or earbuds when you come to class.

5/14 (T): Movie Matinee: Green Book

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 Green Book (PG-13). This movie won Best Picture at the 2019 Oscars. The story is set in the 1960’s. It’s the story of a black man who is a classical pianist. He is set to go on tour in the Southern USA but, due to the racism at the time, he needs a driver. He hires an Italian-American man, a former bouncer. This is the story of their experiences and the friendship that develops. Starring Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali and Linda Cardellini. Please schedule rides for 2:50pm.

5/15 (W): Continuing Education

11:15-12:30. In MPLS.

This month’s session will focus on spring cleaning, both household and emotional, and how to “spark joy”. Based on Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and her new Netflix series. This is open to everyone. Please join us for a fun and lively discussion.

5/15 (W): Outing: Minnesota Twins Baseball Game

11:30-4:00. Cost: $5.00

Join us for an afternoon of fun, fresh air and baseball! The Minnesota Twins are playing the Los Angeles Angels. ADA seating has been requested. AD devices will be available at guest services booths on a first-come, first-served basis. You can also use your smartphone to get the MLB “At Bat” app and start a free trial to listen. If you do this, bring your own headset. Food and drinks are your responsibility. We’ll meet at Gate 14. Please plan your ride for 4:30 to 4:45 pm so you get to be there for the whole game. Space is limited.

Address: 326 N 7th St, Gate 14 (Hrbek gate), MPLS

5/16 (TH): Calendar

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

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

5/16 (TH): Craft: Garden Decorations

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

Join us as we make different items to decorate our gardens or the new planters/gardens at VLR St. Paul this summer. Space limited.

5/17 (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, can personalize the exercises to individual needs. Most importantly she keeps it fun!

5/20 (M): Cribbage

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

Come in and enjoy some coffee and cards.

5/20 (M): Cooking Class and Supper – We Eat What We Make

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

We will be making a gluten-free main course and a sugar free dessert. We will have a salad or vegetables too. We’ll have some light appetizers and beverages. If you’d like to help with the prep work, please arrive around 4 pm. Please bring your own container for any leftovers. Arrange your rides for 7 to 7:15 pm. Space is limited.

5/21 (T): Tech 101: Emailing

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

We are learning how to compose and send emails using the accessibility features on your phone. Bring your headphones/earbuds.

5/21 (T): Lunch Bunch: Christos Restaurant

11:30-1:30. (Please be aware they open at 11am)

We visited this place back in 2017 and they are very excited to have us back. The original restaurant opened in 1988. They have requested that we have a limited menu. The entrée choices are: Chicken kebob, moussaka (with beef), spanakopita, gyros, and chicken salad (all except one item, comes with a house salad). There will be Braille menus available. For complete entrée descriptions go to: https://www.christos.com/. Due to the size of our group, gratuity will be automatically added to each bill. Please plan your rides for 1:30-1:45 pm. Space is limited.

Address: 2632 Nicollet Ave. S. Minneapolis 55408

5/22 (W): Outing: Shopping Day at Twin Cities Premium Outlets, Eagan

10:30-2:30.

Join us at Twin Cities Premium Outlets in Eagan for a fun day of shopping! We will have volunteers to assist you with finding gifts or items to get ready for summer. Lunch is on your own. Please plan your pick-up ride for 2:30 pm – 2:45pm. Space is limited.

Address: Twin Cities Premium Outlets, Eagan Outlets Parkway (Metro Mobility drop off is across from south parking ramp by Tommy Hilfiger store) Eagan, 55122

5/24 (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. Space is limited.

5/28 (T): Adv. Tech: Favorite App

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

Come to this class where we will talk about and demonstrate our favorite apps with each other. Please bring headphones or earbuds when you come to class.

5/28 (T): Special Events: Pancakes and Coffee

10:00-12:00. In SP. Cost: $3.00

At the request of some clients we are going to learn how to safely cook pancakes with Danielle Cooke (Rehab Specialist)! Everyone will get a chance to use the griddle. Also, our own Bruce C will give a tutorial on coffee grinding and brewing. We will eat what we make. This is a one-time class. Plan your rides for 12 to 12:15 pm. Space is limited.

6/1 (SA): Outing: Ordway Center for the Arts-Golden Dragon Acrobats

12:45-3:30. Cost: $5.00

This is a special event, presented by the Ordway, as part of the Flint Hills Family Festival in downtown St. Paul. The Golden Dragon Acrobats create an audio-described sensational show based on centuries of traditional Chinese acrobatic arts. They make the impossible look effortless through a combination of award-winning acrobatics, traditional dance and spectacular costumes. Prior to the show, which is at 1 pm, there is a free AD tactile tour. Please let us know if you are interested in this. You may invite a sighted guest, they’re responsible for their ticket. Please schedule rides for 3:45 to 4 pm. Space is limited.

Please Note: This event’s RSVPs close on Friday, May 24th.

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, camaraderie, 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!

VLR Online Low Vision Support Group

VLR has started an online support group for people with vision loss. If you are interested in being connected please email Sarah Mayberry at sarahm@vlrw.org or Renee Waclaw at rwaclaw@vlrw.org.

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.

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

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

To register: Call 651-224-7662.

EVENTS IN THE COMMUNITY:

Flint Hills Family Festival

From May 28th through June 1st in the Ordway, Rice Park and the Landmark Plaza. Roaming volunteer audio-describers will be available there to help. For more information, go to https://ordway.org/festival/. If you decide to attend these other activities, this will be on your own.

Address: 345 Washington St. St. Paul, 55102

Mamma Mia in Audio Description

Go to the Chanhassen Dinner Theaters (501 W. 78th St. Chanhassen 55317) for a live show on Wednesday, July 24th. Lunch is at 11 am and the show starts at 1 pm. Call 952-934-1525 to reserve your AD device, don’t forget to mention the $15 off discount!

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. Let us know if you need help arranging transportation! Have questions? Please contact Carol Zemke at: 612-799-5782 or Beth Pursley at: 952-221-4717.

COMMUNITY CENTER POLICIES:

RSVP and Cancelation 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

No Early RSVPs: RSVPs that are submitted before 7 AM on the listed date they begin will not be accepted. If you want to attend any events you must submit your RSVP through the RSVP hotline or RSVP email.

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!

No-Show Policy: For activities identified as “Space is limited”, 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.

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 RSVP’d 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 a VLR activity, your image may be recorded for use by VLR and/or our community partners. 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 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 (216 Starkey St).

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

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