Chautauqua Blind Association holds annual meeting

JAMESTOWN – The Chautauqua Blind Association held its annual meeting Wednesday evening and reviewed 2013 accomplishments and plans for 2014-15.

One of the major successes for 2013 was the association’s event Dining in the Dark, which entails guests eating dinner while wearing blindfolds.

Lisa Goodell, executive director, said the idea behind the experience is to enhance the senses, while abandoning sight and has received tremendous feedback.

“Besides being a nice fundraiser, it’s a great awareness event,” Goodell said. “It was a great event for 2013, and we changed it up a little bit for 2014, doubled the money we brought in and increased attendance. We partnered again with Jamestown Community College and SUNY Fredonia, and they enjoy the opportunity to come and be a part of the event.”

Funds from the event were used to defray transportation and additional unfunded costs in bringing vision rehabilitation programming to members and clients of the association.

Also, the association is considering rebranding in the coming year.

After reviewing three campaign packages put together by SUNY Fredonia students, key points of rebranding would be to increase awareness of the agency and its programs and reach out for partnership with schools and other local agencies.

“For more than 92 years, CBA has been our community’s primary resource for vision rehabilitation services,” Goodell said. “The staff and I want to thank the community members who sit on our board for their direction and support, and the volunteers who join us in supporting members of our community living and working with visual impairments.”

CBA provided vision rehabilitation and mobility services to 301 individuals in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties last year. Staff and Lions Club volunteers provided preschool vision screening services to 1,929 children at 72 sites and referred 205 residents to area eye care specialists.

The Chautauqua Blind Association is located at 510 W. Fifth St. in Jamestown.