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Community Center Activities, September 2016

Calendar Grid of Activities, September 2016

Listing of Activities, September 2016

Register, Questions, and Cancellations

Call 612-843-3439, or email

RSVPing for events in September will begin 7:00 AM on Monday, August 22.

To listen to an audio version of the calendar, call the Activity Line at 612-253-5155.

Labor Day – VLR Offices will be closed on Monday, September 5 for Labor Day.

Reminder: 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.

Reminder: 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). The doors are locked at 4:25. Please schedule your pick-ups before the building closes. Thank you!



*Abbreviations: MPLS=Minneapolis, SP=St Paul

9/1 (TH): 500 Cards

10:00-12:00. In MPLS. Cost: $1.00. Come in and enjoy some coffee and cards. Also meets on the 22nd.

9/2 (F): 2nd Annual VLR Fantasy Football Draft Party

4:00-6:30. In SP. Cost: $5.00. Join us in Saint Paul for a pizza party and draft picks! Fantasy Football is a competition in which participants select imaginary teams from among the players in a league and score points according to the actual performance of their players each week. The more who join us the better! Call Renee W. at 612-843-3403 with any questions.

9/6 (T): Games Extravaganza

10:00-12:00. In MPLS. Cost: $1.00. (Please note: moved to Tuesday due to Labor Day holiday) Come for lively fun with board and trivia games. There’s plenty of time for games, laughter, conversation, and a light snack. New people are always welcome!

9/6 (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. Also meets on the 13th, 20th, and 27th.

9/7 (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. This group also meets on the 14th, 21st, and 28th.

9/8 (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!


9/8 (TH): Vision Speaks Communication & Speaking


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. Everyone is welcome and no previous speaking experience is necessary.

9/12 (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! VLR will confirm RSVPs for Walking Group that are accepted due to the limited number of volunteers. Address: Door 13, Southdale Mall, Edina

9/12 (M): Hearts

12:00-2:00. In MPLS. Cost: $1.00. Come in and enjoy some coffee and cards.

9/13 (T): Tech: iPhone 101– WhatsApp Messenger

1:00-3:00. In MPLS. Cost: $10.00. WhatsApp Messenger is a smartphone messenger available for iPhone and other smartphones. WhatsApp uses your 3G or Wi-Fi (when available) internet connection to message with friends and family. Send and receive messages, pictures, audio notes, and video messages.  First year FREE! ($0.99 USD/year after). Great to use when traveling and communicating with friends or family who may live out of state or country. Please have your Apple password on hand. One-on-one help is available from 11:00-12:00.

9/14 (W): Reader’s Choice Book Club

1:00-2:30. In MPLS. No charge. The experiences of 33 miners trapped in a Chilean mine for 69 days after it caved in on August 5, 2010 is the subject of our book selection for September – Deep Down Dark by Hector Tobar. DB080548.

9/14 (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.

9/15 (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. Treats served.


9/15 (TH): Craft – Fake “Stained Glass” Votive Holders

1:00-3:00. In SP. Cost: $5.00. Join us as we make votive holders that look like they are made of stained glass! These small glass containers are a fun and colorful way to display candles or other items in your home. We will be using tissue paper shapes and affixing them to the glass containers with special glue. This will be a fun, creative afternoon, and no crafting experience is needed.

9/19 (M): Cribbage

12:00-2:00. In MPLS. Cost: $1.00. Come in and enjoy some coffee and cards.

9/19 (M): Outing – Wabasha Street Caves Tour

4:00-5:00. Cost: $6.00

Join us for a 45 minute walking historical tour of the Wabasha Street Caves. Come hear the history of these sandstone caves. We will explore the original mined caves and the finished caves (once a romantic night club called The Castle Royal). Hear the legends of the mobster massacres and ghostly lore in the most unique setting from Chicago to San Francisco. The caves are handicap accessible with ramps and bathrooms. Space is limited, so RSVP early. Address: 215 Wabasha Street South, Saint Paul, MN 55107

9/20 (T): Lunch Bunch

11:30-1:30. Join us for lunch at Big Bowl in the Galleria in Edina. Big Bowl is the place for authentic Thai and Chinese cuisine. They are committed to using quality ingredients, including prime beef and fresh seafood, and creating sauces and curries from scratch.  They have big, bold flavors in every dish! Rice and noodle bowls start at $10.95.  Due to the size of our group, gratuity will automatically be added to each bill. Address: Big Bowl, Galleria Edina, 3669 Galleria, Edina, 55435

9/21 (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!

9/22 (TH): Fitness is Fun!

5:00-6:30. 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!

9/23 (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.

9/27 (T): Tech: iPhone 101– BlindSquare App

10:00-12:00. In MPLS. Cost: $10.00. Learn how to use BlindSquare as a GPS solution. When you start the app, it will start telling you the interesting places and street crossings around you. By changing the radius, you can limit the area you are interested in. You can also search by search term or by category. Please have your Apple password on hand. One-on-one help is available from 11:00-12:00.

9/27 (T): Crochet and Knit

12:00-2:00. In SP. No charge. Work on your own knitting or crochet project to donate to local charities!

9/28 (W): Beginning Spinning

10:00-11:30. In MPLS. Cost: $5.00. We will learn the basics of drop spindle spinning with wool. As we progress, we will learn to ply, wind onto a niddy noddy, and set our skein. This will take several sessions. Later topics could include drum carder, electronic eel wheel spinning, washing fleece, and fiber selection. We need at least 2 people signed up for the class. Max: 4

9/28 (W): Beaded Scarf/Fiber Spinning Troubleshoot

12:00-1:30. In MPLS. No charge. Bring your own beaded scarf or spinning project that you’ve already started that may need a bit of troubleshooting. You are welcome to stop by between 12:00-1:30 for all or part of the time. We need at least 2 people signed up to hold class. When you RSVP, please specify scarf or spinning so Denise knows which supplies to have available.


9/30 (F): Outing – Tea Tasting at TeaSource

1:00-2:30. Cost: $10.00. Join us for an educational and fun tea tasting at TeaSource in St. Anthony.

TeaSource’s mission is to offer some of the best values on fine teas and tisanes from around the world. They strive to offer only the highest quality tea, accessories, and service. They typically carry more than 230 teas, and they are huge believers in education and outreach. We will sample a variety of teas and learn all about tea from these experts. Space limited. Address: TeaSource, St. Anthony Shopping Center, 2908 Pentagon Drive N.E., St. Anthony 55418


One-on-One iPhone + iPad Consultations are available. One-hour sessions can be scheduled at VLR for $20.00. To set up an appointment, contact Renee at or call 612-843-3403. The following topics are available:

  • iPhone/iPad basics and instruction
  • Personalized advice on product purchasing decisions
  • How to use your technology to the fullest: useful and fun apps and accessibility features.

One-on-One Windows + Mac Consultations are available. One-hour sessions can be scheduled at VLR for $20.00. To set up an appointment, contact Jessie at or call 612-843-3437. The following topics are available:

  • Microsoft Office suite: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Navigating Internet Explorer
  • JAWS and other screen readers
  • MAC/Apple operating system basics

Feel free to bring your own laptop if you have one. Some practice computers are available at VLR to use during class. Meets in Room 120 along the classroom wall.


The Show Gallery in Lowertown/Saint Paul Saints – Support The Show Gallery Lowertown–a nonprofit art organization dedicated to exhibiting works by artists from all walks of life with and without disabilities–with your ticket to see the St. Paul Saints vs the Winnipeg Goldeyes! Feel free to tailgate while you support a great cause. All proceeds go to The Show Gallery Lowertown, a non-profit art space.

When: September 1st at 7:05

Where: CHS Field (Voted best design and most accessible!)

Cost: Outfield reserved for only $10 each. If you buy 25 tickets or more they are $8.00 each. (Seats are first come first serve)

How: Go online to and pick up at ‘will call’ ticket office day of game. Or contact Winna at to buy tickets in person. For more information on our exhibitions, gift shop, classes, calls for art, or to volunteer go to our website.

Blind Ice Hockey Program in Minnesota –

Be a part of a new program being developed for hockey for the visually-impaired. For more information, contact Antonia Gillen, USA Disabled Hockey Director- Minnesota District.  Email or call 651-307-0660

Learn NVDA – Free Online Video Tutorials

The American Foundation for the Blind is pleased to announce the availability of Learn NVDA, a series of FREE online video tutorials designed to help people who are blind or visually impaired learn how to use the computer and/or improve their computer skills. NVDA (Non Visual Desktop Access) is a free screen reader. Each tutorial contains step-by step instructions with audio of a presenter using NVDA and video of the computer screen. To learn more, go to

10th Annual Twin Cities 5K VisionWalk

Join Foundation Fighting Blindness on Sunday, September 25, 2016 at beautiful Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, for the 10th Annual Twin Cities VisionWalk.  In addition to the 5K walk, this family-friendly event includes a ton of FUN activities: bounce house, face painter, DJ to rock out to, food, and so much more! We want to break the 2015 attendance record of 1,200 walkers. Help us do that and raise money for research too!

When: Sunday, September 25, 2016
Where: Lake Harriet Band Shell – 4135 E Lake Harriet Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55419
Registration Starts:  8:30am
Walk Starts:  10:30am

If you want to be on VLR’s team, join “Team Vision Loss Resources” when you register!

For more information, or to volunteer, contact Lori Quinn at or call 847-680-0100.

To register for a team or start a new team, go to

VSA Minnesota has a list of audio-described, ASL-interpreted, and sensory-friendly plays, concerts, exhibits, tours, and special events in the Twin Cities. Contact them at 612-332-3888 or email for more information. The calendar is online at

Water Aerobics Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute is offering water aerobics specifically designed for visually-impaired and blind participants. For more information, contact Stacy Shamblott at 612-775-2275.

The Way We See It: A Fresh Look at Vision LossVLR’s book is available on loan from SSB. For Braille, call 651-539-2315. For digital, call 651-539-2300. It is available on BARD, book number DBC02631.


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

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

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.


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.


Christina Tucker, Program Coordinator, Community Services          612-843-3419

Jen Roehl, Community Center Specialist          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 Ave).

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

RSVP: 612-843-3439 or