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Community Center Activities, February 2018

February: Calendar Grid of Activities or Listing of Activities

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

RSVPing for events in February will begin 7:00 AM on Monday, January 29th.

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.

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.

Holiday Hours – VLR offices will be closed on Monday, February 19th for President’s Day.

Welcome Sharon!

Please join us in welcoming Sharon Karas to the role of part-time Community Center Specialist! She will be taking on the planning and facilitation of many Community Center activities, such as Supper Club/Lunch Bunch and outings, so please give her a warm welcome! Sharon worked as a professional Social Worker for 37 years, and she has worked in the private and public sectors in a variety of fields. Sharon’s mother was a VLR client a few years ago and directly benefited from our services. Jen Roehl will be completing her transition to focus on Volunteer Management (though you’ll still see her around plenty!), and Christina Tucker will continue to be the behind-the-scenes Coordinator with calendar prep/RSVPs. Welcome to VLR, Sharon!

“February is merely as long as is needed to pass the time until March.”

–J.R. Stockton


*Abbreviations: MPLS=Minneapolis, SP=St Paul

2/1 (TH): 500 Cards

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

Enjoy some coffee and cards. Also meets on the 22nd.

2/1 (TH): 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 welcomed. Please arrive 10 minutes early to discuss any needs or questions you may have. Also meets on the 15th. Max: 5.

2/5 (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.

2/6 (T): Tech: What’s New with Seeing AI?

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

Our favorite app has been upgraded! Come learn how to utilize several new features. Please have your email/phone password on hand.

2/7 (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, 21st, and 28th.

2/7 (W): Supper Club


Trying to stay out of the way of the Super Bowl activities, we’ve planned a dinner outing in St. Louis Park at McCoy’s Public House. McCoy’s offers a full range of menu items including salads, soups, burgers, pizza and entrees. They are known for their Mac and Cheese, Fish and Chips, and Reubens. Prices for appetizers begin at $7. Pizzas, burgers and sandwiches begin at $12.00. They have a full bar. Due to the size of our group, gratuity will automatically be added to each bill. Please plan your pick-up rides for 7pm-7:15pm. Address: 3801 Grand Way, St. Louis Park 55416

2/8 (TH): Vision Speaks Communication & Speaking  Group

2:00-3:00. In MPLS. No charge.

Vision Speaks is a speaking group similar to Toastmasters. This will be a fun group to help you improve your speaking and communication skills. 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. This group meets every other month. Please note we will only be meeting for one hour this month.

2/12 (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 limited. Address: Door 13, Southdale Mall, Edina

2/12 (M): Hearts

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

Come in and enjoy some coffee and cards.

2/13 (T): Tech: Podcasts

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

Learn how to access and listen to podcasts. Discover popular podcasts in our community. Please have your email/phone password on hand.

2/13 (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 Finest Hours” (PG-13). On Feb. 18, 1952, a massive storm splits the SS Pendleton in two, trapping more than 30 sailors inside the tanker’s sinking stern. Engineer Ray Sybert bravely takes charge to organize a strategy for his fellow survivors. As word of the disaster reaches the Coast Guard in Chatham, Mass., Chief Warrant Officer Daniel Cluff orders a daring rescue mission. Despite the ferocious weather, coxswain Bernie Webber takes three men on a lifeboat to try and save the crew against seemingly impossible odds.

2/14 (W): Reader’s Choice Book Club

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

The book for February is Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter by Kate Clifford-Larson (DB083946). Historian profiles the little-known older sister of JFK. Her intellectual disabilities were kept secret. Details of the care Rosemary received and their decision to lobotomize at age 23 are covered.

2/14 (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.

2/15 (TH): Calendar Assembly

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

Join the many helping hands that work together to assemble the Community Center Calendar mailing.

2/15 (TH): Craft: St. Patty’s Garden Stake

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

Join us for a fun craft where we will be making garden stakes for St. Patrick’s Day next month. We will create wood garden stakes using various materials and colors. This will be a fun craft to give as a gift or keep for yourself. Also, we will enjoy some snacks and beverages. No crafting experience necessary. Space limited.

2/16 (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, is able to change-up the exercises to individual needs, and also important, she keeps it fun!

2/20 (T): Tech: Using Be My Eyes

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

Be My Eyes is an app that connects blind and visually impaired with sighted volunteers from around the world via live video call. Come learn how to use this useful tool to use, on both Android and iPhone. Please have your email/phone password on hand.

2/21 (W): Continuing Education

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

Join us as we listen to a TED talk and then have a discussion afterwards about the topic. We will be listening to “The Power of Vulnerability” by Brené Brown. She studies human connection–our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. Everyone is welcome!

2/22 (TH): Fitness is Fun!

5:30-6:30. In MPLS. No charge.

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!

2/23 (F): Pottery

10:00-12:00. In MPLS. 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.

2/26 (M): Cribbage

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

(Moved to 4th Monday due to President’s Day.) Come in and enjoy some coffee and cards.

2/26 (M): Cooking Class and Supper

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

Geetha Rajesh, who currently works for State Services for the Blind, is volunteering to teach a cooking class. For our first gathering, we will be making traditional South Indian dishes, specifically rice, chicken curry and mango lassi, a beverage and dessert. Geetha will help us prepare and cook the food as well as share stories of her life and the history of South Indian food. We hope to make this a regular event. We will eat what we make for supper. We would like to have two people who would be willing to come a half an hour earlier (4:30) to assist with the preparation. Max: 12

2/27 (T): Tech: New Accessibility Apps & Tech

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

Come learn about new accessibility apps and technologies now available for low vision and blind users. There may be some useful new options for you! Please have your email/phone password on hand.

2/27 (T): Outing: Minneapolis Institute of Art Tour

12:45-2:00. No charge.

This popular tour is back and we’re going to the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) to touch works of art while wearing stylish gloves. Receive more in-depth knowledge and fun facts about the works of art that grace this museum via three-dimensional objects, verbal description, and tactile diagrams. Enter through the 3rd Ave entrance and meet in the lobby. Space is limited. Please plan your pick-up ride for 2pm-2:15pm. Max: 10. Address: Mia, 2400 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis 55404

2/28 (W): The Learning Lab Focus Group

10:00-12:00. In MPLS.

The Learning Lab wants to hear from you! Join us for a focus group discussion. You will be asked to share what technologies you use to make life easier, safer, healthier, and fun! Each person will receive a $25 gift card for their participation. Max: 10


Thursday Meditation at VLR Minneapolis

Join us for a brief, free meditation session every Thursday at VLR from 12:10-about 12:30. Our practice features a brief guided meditation, followed by a short discussion. No experience required, no commitment expected! Just stop in if you are available. Please arrive early to avoid disrupting. Questions? Contact James ( or Mary Ellen (

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.

February Dates: Thursdays February 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd from 10am to 3pm at our St. Paul location.

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


VIP Water Aerobics Class at Courage Kenny

Did you make your New Year’s resolution to be healthier in 2018? Come and join the VIP water aerobics class at Courage Kenny in Golden Valley. This class is specifically for the visually impaired and any sighted helpers.  Courage Kenny has a 92 degree therapy pool and the instructors will take you through stretching, strengthening and endurance exercises in the water. Noodles or other flotation devices are used in the deep end, so no swimming ability is needed. One-hour classes are held on Mondays and Fridays at 11:00 am. You can join one or both classes. The cost for a ten-week session for both classes is $105 (which may be covered by some insurance plans). For more information, please call Courage Kenny at 612-775-2499 and ask about the VIP water class. Make 2018 your year to get healthier!

Snow Shoveling for Seniors

The Senior Linkage Line (1-800-333-2433) can connect seniors to snow shoveling assistance. For more resources for seniors who also have disabilities, you can call the Disability Linkage line at 1-866-333-2466.

Beep Baseball 2018

Come join the 15th year of recreational beep ball! Practice starts in February 2018 at the Dome in West St. Paul. It’s a wonderful place to play! No charge. For more information, call Coach Dennis Stern, 651-452-5324.

Blind and Low Vision Computer Users Group

This group meets every month at various locations to discuss many relevant technology topics! Contact: Bill Herzog at 612 408-9415 or email for more info!

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 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.

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,

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

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