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Community Center

Welcome!

Vision Loss Resources offers monthly recreational, educational, and social activities that are fully accessible to people with vision impairment.

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.

August: Calendar Grid or Listing of Activities

September: Calendar Grid 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.

RSVPing for events in September will begin at 7:00 AM on Monday, August 26th.

Holiday Hours: VLR offices will be closed on Monday, September 2nd for Labor Day.

Punny for Your Thoughts:

What did the fish say when he posted bail?

“I’m off the hook.”

*Abbreviations: MPLS=Minneapolis, SP=St Paul

8/21 (W): Continuing Education

11:15-12:30. In MPLS.

Come to find out about new equipment and aids that can help you with your vision loss. Erick from the Low Vision Store will explain various tools and products that will make your life easier. Everyone is welcome!

8/21 (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 28th.

8/22 (TH): Cards-500

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

Enjoy some coffee and cards.

8/23 (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.

8/26 (M): Outing: Minnesota State Fair

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

That very special time of year, the Minnesota State Fair. Join us for a day of fun, food and entertainment. You will be paired with a volunteer and can see and eat what you want. 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. (Outdoor events may be cancelled due to weather. Check VLR’s weather line at 612-284-8107!) Space is limited.

Address: 1700 Como Ave, (Horseshoe, north side of Como Ave) St. Paul, 55414

8/27 (T): Ad. Tech: Apple News App

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

We will be learning how to navigate and use the Apple news app. Please bring headphones or earbuds to class.

8/28 (W): Supper Club: Bennett’s Chop and Railhouse

5:00-7:00.

This was a popular supper club choice back in 2016. This long time St. Paul venue is the perfect meeting place of uptown and downtown. It’s called a chophouse since it specializes in a casual steakhouse atmosphere and a railhouse because it is on the old railroad line serving the city and they serve rail drinks. There’s a full bar and happy hour is 3 pm to 6 pm. Their specialties include burgers, walleye, seafood risotto, steaks, salads and desserts. Due to the group size, gratuity is automatically added to each bill. Plan your rides for 7 pm. Space is limited.

Address: 1305 West 7th St. (corner of West 7th and Victoria) St. Paul, 55102

8/29 (TH): Gardening and Goodies

10:30-11:30. In SP. Cost: $1.00

Please note the time change for our meetings this month. Want to learn more about gardening? Join us for Gardening and Goodies. There’ll be snacks, plants, and good conversation. At our first meeting in addition to tending our garden, we’ll also have a volunteer from the Minnesota Master Gardeners. They’ll talk with us and answer any questions you may have about gardening. We will provide equipment, but you may bring your own supplies. Space is limited.

9/3 (T): Tech 101: Round Table Resource

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

We’ll be discussing what’s new in technology for the visually impaired. Bring headphones or earbuds to class.

9/4 (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 11th, 18th, and 25th.

9/4 (W): 5th Annual VLR Fantasy Football Draft 2019

4:00-6:30. In SP. Cost: $5.00

Are you a Vikings fan? Do you love football? Join our 5th season of Fantasy Football draft picks! It’s a competition where participants select teams from the NFL players and score points based on their players performance and team each week. Try something new and fun! New owners are always welcome and the more people who join us the better! Call Renee W. at 612-843-3403 with any questions.

9/5 (TH): Cards-500

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

Enjoy some coffee and cards. Also meeting on the 26th.

9/6 (F): Let’s Go Fishing

12:15-3:45. Cost: $5.00

Join nine of your friends for catch and release fishing on Lake Riley in Eden Prairie, the boat departs at 1 pm sharp. You’ll need to get your own fishing license in advance to fish. Get a free license with a current doctor’s statement saying you’re legally blind. If you’re over 90 you don’t need a license. Everyone will be signing a Liability & Photo Approval Release form to board the boat. Call the hotline for cancellations. Plan your pick-up rides for 3:30-3:45 pm. Space is limited.

Please note: This is a prepay event. You must RSVP and pay for this activity by Thursday, August 29th. For more information go to the Refund Policy at the end of calendar.

Address: 9300 Riley Lake Road, Eden Prairie, MN 55344

9/9 (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

9/9 (M): Games Extravaganza

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

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

9/9 (M): Hearts

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

Come in and enjoy some coffee and cards.

9/10 (T): Adv. Tech: Accessing Entertainment

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

At this class we will learn where to find audio described entertainment. Bring headphones or earbuds to class.

9/10 (T): Movie Matinee: Hidden Figures

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

Join us for popcorn and this 2016 award winning movie, Hidden Figures (PG). It is a fitting choice for this 50th year anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. This is the story of a team of female African American mathematicians, originally called “human computers” who served a vital role in NASA during the early days of the space program. An excellent captivating and enlightening story. Starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons and Mahershala Ali.  Please schedule rides for 2:45.

9/11 (W): Reader’s Choice Book Club

1:00-2:30. In MPLS.

For September we will be reading the book Up Country (DB053667) by Nelson BeMille.

9/11 (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.

9/12 (TH): Gardening and Goodies

10:30-11:30. In SP. Cost: $1.00

This will be the last meeting of our group for the season. We will be harvesting the remainder of the garden and prepping the area for winter. The Minnesota Master Gardeners will also be there to talk with us about gardening and answer any questions you may have!

9/13 (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. This group also meets on the 20th.

9/16 (M): Cribbage

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

Come in and enjoy some coffee and cards.

9/17 (T): Tech 101: Podcasts

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

Have you ever wondered what a Podcast is? Join us at this class where we will learn about them! Please bring headphones or earbuds to class.

9/17 (T): Lunch Bunch: Red Cow

11:30-1:30.

The last time we went to a Red Cow restaurant was in 2016. This is a family-owned chain of restaurants with four in the Twin Cities. They are best known for their burgers. Sharon K. has enjoyed the turkey burger version, both at the restaurant and at Target Field. They also have beef burgers, as well as soups, salads and other sandwiches, tacos for our reliable friend and a yummy sounding dessert menu. They offer a full bar. Due to the size of our group, gratuity is automatically added to each bill. Plan your rides for 1:30-1:45 pm. Space is limited.

Online menu: https://redcowmn.com/minneapolis-uptown/

Address: 2626 Hennepin Ave Minneapolis 55408

9/18 (W): Continuing Education

11:15-12:30. In MPLS.

Join us for an interesting presentation on how a retired couple turned their dream and passion into reality. Connie and Michael Wittek will join us to share their adventures on starting a family-run vineyard in their retirement. They will explain what it takes to grow grapes, harvest them, sell them to wineries, as well as how they create their own wine from their grapes. There may even be some wine samples during this fun presentation.

9/19 (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.

9/19 (TH): Craft: Adult Finger-painting

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

This will be a class of artistic imagination and sensual/tactile pleasure working with the paints of our childhoods. Join us for a fun afternoon. You bring the talent and the joy; we’ll provide snacks and beverages. It’ll be a fun afternoon. Space is limited.

9/20 (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 change-up the exercises to individual needs, and also important, she keeps it fun! Space is limited.

9/24 (T): Ad. Tech: Accessible Games

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

Is playing video games something that you enjoy? Ever wondered if consoles have audio? Want to know about the different tactile games or smartphone games out there? Well, join us at this class as we discuss this! Please bring headphones or earbuds to class.

9/25 (W): A day at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

10:15-4:30. In MPLS. Cost: $15.00

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is a premier northern garden and has over 1200 acres of gardens and tree collections, prairie and woods, and miles of trails. While we won’t be able visit all these places, we’re planning a private tram tour that’s narrated by their staff. The Arboretum was born out of the University’s Horticulture Research Center and established in 1958. A brief description of our day: we’ll leave VLR at 10:30 am sharp. Once at the Arboretum, you and your sighted helper can tour the main building and nearby gardens. Lunch is available in the cafeteria and is your responsibility, or you can pack your own. We’ll board the tram by 1:20 pm for our tour. Depending on weather, everyone’s preference, and tram staff approval; we may stop along the way to explore. At 3 pm we will board the bus to return to VLR. Please dress appropriately for the weather. We encourage you to invite a sighted guest, but they need to pay their own way. Arrange your pick-up rides for VLR Minneapolis at 4:30 pm. Space is limited.

Please note: This is a prepay event. You must RSVP and pay for this activity by Wednesday, September 11th, this includes your sighted guest’s ticket too. For more information go to the Refund Policy at the end of calendar.

9/27 (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:

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!

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 Courses

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 8, 15, 22 and 29 from 10am to 3pm at our St. Paul location.

September dates: Thursdays, September 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th from 10am to 3pm at our St. Paul location.

To register: Call (651) 224-7662.

EVENTS IN THE COMMUNITY:

Rule of Thumb at Park Square Theatre

Park Square Theatre in St. Paul presents Agatha Christie’s Rule of Thumb, three one-act mysteries. The final show is on August 25th. They will have discount tickets available, just call the box office at (651) 291-7005 or email them at tickets@parksquaretheatre.org. Be sure to let them know that you need an AD device as well.

The Birds at Theatre in the Round

Theatre in the Round in Minneapolis presents The Birds, originally based on a Daphne du Maurier story. The AD performance is on September 22nd. Contact the theatre for tickets at (612) 333-3010 or purchase tickets online at the Theatre in the Round website.

Weatherology

The first free weather app that fully integrates into your home through Alexa, in your car through Android Auto and CarPlay, and on your phone with real-time audio weather reports and emergency weather notifications customized for you. (Weatherology website)

Braille Menus Available

Spyhouse Coffee now has Braille menus in two of their cafes! They are located at 2404 Hennepin Ave. S. and 2451 Nicollet Ave. S. in Minneapolis. Go check them out!

Disability Radio Show

Listen to Disability and Progress, a radio show dedicated to bringing you insights into, ideas about, and discussions on disability topics. Listen Thursdays from 6-7pm on KFAI 90.3 FM in Minneapolis, or 106.7 FM in Saint Paul. Or listen on their website with the Real Audio Player. Or, hear us on demand with the app.

Blind and Low Vision Computer Users Group

They meet every month at various locations to discuss many relevant technology topics! For more info contact Bill Herzog at 612 408-9415 or email Bill.herzog@hennepin.us.

Fourth Poker Player Needed

Do you enjoy nickel poker, but need pals to play with? A group that meets every other Friday needs a fourth player. Call Tom Heinl at (651) 489-8609.

The Blind Fellowship Outreach

Free event for the visually impaired of all denominations. Enjoy a free meal, Bible study, friendship, and music. 2nd Saturdays monthly from 12:00-2:00pm at Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3430 E 51st St, Mpls. RSVP 2 weeks prior by calling (612) 729-5463. Have questions or need help with transportation? Please contact Carol Zemke at (612) 799-5782 or Beth Pursley at (952) 221-4717.

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

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