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Community Center Activities, November 2018

November: Calendar Grid of Activities or Listing of Activities

Register, Questions, and Cancellations: Call or Email 612-843-3439

RSVPing for events in November will begin 7:00 AM on Monday, October 22nd.

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.

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, October 22nd for November 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.

Clarification of our New Policy: In recent months, we have experienced an increase in people not showing up for events they have RSVP’d to attend. These “no-shows” cause issues such as an increase in costs to VLR (i.e. unused tickets, volunteer expenses), wasting valuable volunteer time, and preventing other clients on the wait list from attending and participating. Beginning this month, 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.

Holiday Hours: VLR offices will be closed on Thursday, November 22nd and Friday, November 23rd for Thanksgiving Day!


*Abbreviations: MPLS=Minneapolis, SP=St Paul

11/1 (TH): 500 Cards

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

Enjoy some coffee and cards. Also meets on the 29th. Please note the change to the 5th Thursday this month.

11/5 (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.

11/6 (T): Tech 101: Phone Calls

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

Did you recently upgrade to a smartphone and you’re not quite sure how to use it? Or, maybe you want to learn more about the basics of using one before purchasing it. Well, come to this class where we will learn how to make phone calls with one.

11/6 (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 Also meets on the 13th, 20th, and 27th.

11/7 (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 14th and 28th. This group will not be meeting on Wednesday, November 21st due to the holiday.

11/12 (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

11/12 (M): Hearts

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

Come in and enjoy some coffee and cards.

11/12 (M): Special Events: Special Writing Workshop with Naomi Cohen

1:00-3:00. In SP. No charge.

This will be the second of two classes with Naomi which she calls Jumpstarting your Writing: Finding Your Writing Mission. If you missed the first one, we hope you’ll come to this class. It won’t be a repeat of the first class. 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. 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. Space is limited.

11/13 (T): Advanced Tech: Apple Watch

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

Are you curious about the new Apple watch? Do you want to know how accessible it is? Then look no further! At this class we will learn about the accessibility features the Apple watch has.

11/13 (T): Movie Matinee

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 Phenomenon (PG). This 1996 movie stars John Travolta, Kyra Sedgwick, Forest Whittaker and Robert Duvall. It’s the story of a small-town, ordinary working man, George; who suddenly sees a bright light descend from the sky, and discovers he now has super-intelligence and telekinesis. George tries to use his new-found superpowers for the good of his community. His abilities are held suspect by the local military people and he is investigated. It is a fantasy, drama, and a romance.

11/14 (W): Reader’s Choice Book Club

1:00-2:30. In MPLS.

Our selection for November is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (DB044769). This story is about an Irish-American girl’s childhood and youth, he struggles with poverty, and her work to get an education. The setting is Brooklyn’s tenement life of the early 1900s.

11/14 (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.

11/15 (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.

11/15 (TH): Craft: Christmas Centerpieces

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

We will have baskets and vases. Both containers will use artificial greens and artificial and dried flowers, so it will stay fresh. But the look of it all will be beautiful and last through the holidays. No experience is necessary. Space is limited.

11/16 (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.

11/19 (M): Cribbage

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

Come in and enjoy some coffee and cards.

11/20 (T): Lunch Bunch: New Louisiana Cafe


The best breakfast and lunch experience in the Twin Cities, since 1995. A variety of food, some with a Cajun flair. Burgers, Cubano, BLT, Chicken Salad sandwich, Catfish and more. Salads and soups, including chili. No alcoholic beverages but great coffee, malts and other non-alcoholic beverages. Check out the menu on Due to the size of our group, a gratuity will be automatically added to each bill. Please plan your rides for 1:30 to 1:45 pm. Space is limited.

Address: 613 Selby Ave (have Metro drop off at accessible rear entrance) St. Paul 55102

Please Note:

No Peer Mentoring or Continuing Education in November due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

11/26 (M): Cooking Class and Supper – Comfort food post-Thanksgiving

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

We talked about this back in August. Everyone thought we should do a leftover Thanksgiving food-type class making a turkey casserole. So that’s what we are going to do. We’ll add an Autumn salad or vegetable, bread and beverage for the meal as well as some delicious dessert, pumpkin or apple. We are looking for at least four people to help with preparations and willing to come in at 4 pm. Plan for your return rides from 7:15 –7:30 pm. Space is limited.

PLEASE NOTE: If we have leftovers and you’d like to bring them home, please bring a container or two. Something safe to travel with and holds enough for one meal.

11/27 (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.

11/30 (F): Pottery

10:00-12:00. In SP. Cost: $5.00

Please note the change to the 4th Friday of this month. 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.

11/30 (F): Outing: Shopping Day at Southdale Mall


Join us at Southdale Mall in Edina for a morning and afternoon of shopping. We will have volunteers to assist you with finding whatever you may need for yourself or shopping for gifts for family and friends. Lunch is on your own. Space is limited. Please plan your pick-up rides for 2 to 2:15 pm.

Address: Door 13, Southdale Mall, Edina


Sneak Peek At December Community Events

VLR will be hosting a holiday party on December 7th. Due to the holiday party, December’s Supper Club meeting will be held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month.

VLR Fiber Artists Group

Calling those interested in carding wool, spinning yarn, or beaded scarfs! Equipment, supplies, and patterns are available when needed. Locations to be determined. To get on the information list, please email 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.

November Dates: Thursdays November 1st, 8th, 15th and 29th from 10am to 3pm at our St. Paul location.

(No December course)

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

To register: Call 651-224-7662.


Unwrapping the Present

Wednesday, November 14th from 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm.

Location: Southdale Library, Second Floor in the Ethel Berry Room (7001 York Ave. S., Edina, MN 55435)

Kay King is the Older Adults Program Coordinator and Community Educator of NAMI Minnesota (the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Minnesota). Kay will explore the knowledge that you cannot change the past nor return to it; and you cannot predict the future. However, you can use this lifetime of wisdom you have earned, plus friends, family and community resources to help you meet the challenges of everyday life right now. Kay will talk strategies for navigating the holidays.

Free and open to everyone. Registration is required. For more information contact Mary Quirk at:

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 You have the option of hearing the current show, or the previous show. 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.

Be A Vision Loss Advocate

Sometime in mid to late November, the new Bell Museum is offering our clients the opportunity to do Beta-testing for their new Audio-described Planetarium show, called No Limits. They are currently working on an audio-described tour that will be the first of its kind. This program is designed for adults with some knowledge of astronomy and will be a regular feature of the Museum. Right now, we need you to let us know if you’re interested in participating. There will be no cost to you. It will happen on a weekday, from approximately 2 pm to 4pm. We will make sure that we have volunteers and staff from VLR to help. Once you RSVP, we’ll let you know the specifics as soon as we have them. Please consider this fun and interesting afternoon. You don’t have to be an astronomer to enjoy the afternoon. We’ve told the folks at the Bell what great critics you are, articulate, thoughtful and great advocates for the Vision Loss community. We know you won’t disappoint.

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.

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

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 Nov. 1, Dec. 6 (holiday party).

Questions? Please contact one of the co-facilitators:

Dan Reiva (

Tara Innmon (, 612-376-7779)

Kip Shane (, 612-212-1703)

Jon Skaalen at VSA Minnesota: or 612-332-3888 ext. 2; VSA Minnesota’s website.

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


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

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 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

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.


Sharon Karas—Community Center Specialist, 612-843-3429,

Jen Roehl—Volunteer Manager, 612-843-3421,

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