Independence for the Blind
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2014 Eye Ball
March 22, 2014
Pensacola Beach Hilton
Tickets are now available online!
You are invited to be part of the 12th Annual Eye Ball being held Saturday, March 22, 2014 at the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front. This special evening, with Honorary Chairs Will and Jane Merrill, will include local celebrities, Jenn Cole, Thom Newcomb and Mary Gamble (trained by Arthur Murray Dance Studios) competing in the Dancing with “Our” Stars competition, a delicious dinner, live and silent auctions and a chance to show off your own dancing prowess. Cat Country’s Brent Lane will serve as Master of Ceremonies and Brent and Marty Stanovich will keep you entertained as they auction off our amazing live auction items. All funds raised will help Independence for the Blind continue its mission of assisting blind and visually impaired individuals of all ages in this community.
Thank you in advance for your support and we look forward to your participation this year!
2013 White Cane
Awareness Day Event
A special thanks to all of our supporters for making this event a great success this year. Please see the wonderful article and video on the Pensacola News Journal website!
Angels on the Beach
The winner of the Angels on the Beach 2013 raffle is Brian Raines. Congratulations Brian!
Eye Ball 2013
The 2013 Eye Ball was a great success! Photos will be uploaded soon. Thank you for all your support and donations. We would like to also thank our most generous sponsors
2012 Summer Tranistion
Thirteen participants of Independence for the Blind of West Florida participated in the 2012 Summer Transition Program: a two-week overnight camp for teens followed by a two-week internship at various job sites. The purpose of Summer Transition is to give each student training that will prepare them for life after high school as they transition into adulthood. Also extremely important is the teens learn how to socialize and interact with their peers, and Summer Transition gives them this opportunity through a variety of fun educational activities. By the end of the experience all of the students have not only learned important skills ranging from slicing vegetables with a knife to preparing a resume for work, but they also have made new life-long friends.
The theme of Summer Transition this year was "Are you on the Job." As a matter of fact, the teens were posed a challenge: offered was a $50.00 prize for the essay which best describes what the statement “Are you on the job” means. The Transition Program’s focus is getting students ready for employment and higher education. Throughout the year, the students are taught Employability Soft Skills so they will better know how to face the challenges on a job, thus increasing their likelihood for success. The essay contest was a mechanism with an attractive carrot to encourage the students to think deeply about what it means to be on someone’s time-clock and what might one might do to better assure he/she stays on the clock!
To judge the essays, there was a three tier judging panel. One set of judges was the Pensacola Beach Optimist Club. The students presented their essays orally at the Optimist Club, the club having brought in some professional judges who customarily rank such contests at the schools. The Board of Directors at IB was another set of judges, and the staff at IB was the final. In the end, everyone was a winner, for they all put some very important thought into a topic that has the power to pave one’s future.
During the camp, each student stays overnight for the two-week camp. The IB West counselors consequently learn how the students function in their daily lives and offer appropriate, intensive training in areas such as washing clothes, cleaning a bathroom, using the stove and oven to safely prepare meals, as well as job skills training in career exploration, mock interviews, writing resumes, and college preparation. The teens also had the opportunity to get plenty of exercise participating in water sports such as paddle boarding, swimming, boogie boarding and jet skiing. The camp must be fun, for we are dealing with teens, and it is vitally important that they wish to attend the vital training.
After the two-week camp concluded, each student was placed in different job sites in their own communities, dependent upon their current skills sets, abilities and interests. Some students worked in warehouses moving and organizing materials, while others worked in offices answering phones, typing documents, and stuffing and addressing envelopes for mail outs. One worked as a club counselor assistant and another keeping things tidy around the feed store. One of the most important lessons the students learned was that no matter what type of career you pursue, good communication and teamwork skills are a must. A heartfelt thank you is extended to the following job sites who opened their doors, and hearts, to our students: Boys and Girls Club in Pensacola, Manning’s Feed and Seed in Milton, Florida, Disability Resource Center in Panama City, FL, Chautauqua Learn and Serve Charter in Panama City, Manna Food Pantry in Pensacola, and United Way of Santa Rosa County in Milton.