We help blind and visually impaired individuals stay in their homes and out of institutions.

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Sierra Services for the Blind

Newsletter  -  April 2018

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex.

It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction."

~Steven Hawking

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Visual Aids Available in the office

Those of you who come to meeting regularly know we have a number of things to assist you available in the office from time to time.  Magnifiers, and other things that have been donated are available for no charge to our clients.  We also have several of the phones for those with hearing problems.  We recently received a few more CCTV systems that were donated, and we will lease them to the client for $1.  When you return it, you even get your dollar back.  We have a few of the arm type cameras that can be plugged into your television and use it for a CCTV.  We have large print Keyboards to show for those of you who are still using your computer.

Also remember that if there is a book you want that is not available through the talking book library in Sacramento we can possibly get it for you from the Library of Congress.  Getting the book that way also lets you keep it.  Remember, there is a delay on new books if they are popular.  Remember too that the Library of Congress has magazines and other things that work on your player.

By the same token, if you have magnifiers and other devices you no longer can use let us have them.  We will make sure someone will get them who could not normally afford them, or simply needs one.  We can use a monitor or two, which could be your old flat screen television if you get a bigger or newer one.

If you are in the office we would be more than glad to show you what is here.  We recommend you come in the morning when Sarah is here.  Some of it needs some technical explanation and she is our tech person.  We also have extra copies of the Maxi-aids catalogue if you are looking for a new watch, or just browsing for something new.

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"I would not want to belong to any organization that would have me as a member."

~ Groucho Marx

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Annual Meeting Date Changed to May 17

The Annual Meeting of the Membership was originally scheduled for May 3, the first Thursday of May which was traditional.  However that is the night before the Golf Tournament.  The By-laws state the meeting must be in May only, so the board of directors decided it would be better, and easier on the staff, to move the meeting to May 17th at the Love Building.  Dinner will be served at 5:30 with the meeting to follow.  Grass Valley Host Lions again will sponsor the facility, and do the dishes.  They have sponsored this event for over twenty years now.

Dinner will be pasta with salad and dessert.  There will be no recommended changes to the By-laws this year, but the Executive Director will inform the members of what has occurred in the last year, the state of our financial situation, and our plans for the future.  Remember too, this is a corporate meeting, and as members if you think you would have a recommendation for the agency we have a voting membership and your voice will be heard.  If you are a client and need a ride we will provide it, but this is a chance to bring your spouse or driver with you for dinner.

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"Technological change is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal."

~ Albert Einstein

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New vision research still based on old fashioned ideals.

We talk a lot about the advances in medicine from stem cell research, optical aids, to vitamin supplements with clinically proven records like Areds-2.  The future is quite amazing if the early studies prove to be viable alternatives to the loss of vision.  Especially stem cell that might be a complete cure for vision loss if it can become financially viable.  But they all have one thing in common.  The idea that you have to see your doctor to find out what is appropriate for you the individual.  There are always side effects, and in the case of stem cell they can now use cells from your own body and cut the chance of rejection down to almost nothing.  But that does not mean you can get a shot and go home.  You must be tested before the procedure, and monitored after just like you would be for any other physical problem.

Changes in medical procedures are just that, changes in medical procedures.  You still have to do what the doctor says, read the labels on medications to see what the side effects might be.  It is as simple as seeing the label says, “take with food”, so you need to eat something when you take it.

There is only one person who can make the final determination about any new procedures, and that is you.  Doctors don’t sell new technology, it is their job to explain it to you and tell you the benefits and the dangers of such things.  That being said, if you have the opportunity to be part of a controlled study done by an accredited institution you have an opportunity to not only benefit from the new technology, but pave the path for others who would also benefit.  Weigh the benefits against the warning signs.  If you are a part of a study the cost is often taken care of by their grant, or if you have insurance make sure it covers new technology as they rarely do.  If you have to pay for it out of pocket weigh that as well.

Simply stated, new technology is exciting, and the future of vision loss may have a solution that boarders on the miraculous.  But you still have to remember it is a medical process.  It is your health, it is your vision, and it is your responsibility to monitor and manage your healthcare.

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"Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have."

~ Margaret Meade

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15th Gold Country Classic May 4th

The 15th Annual Gold Country Classic Golf Tournament will be held on May 4th this year.  We will again hold the event at Darkhorse Golf Club.  The $125 fee will also hold this year, and will include a box lunch, golf, and dinner.  There will be a $10,000 Hole In One and other prizes as well.  We will also have our exceptional raffle and prizes for First, Second, and Third Place teams.  And, as always the most coveted Ultimate Putter Award for the last place team.  The Raffle event, known as one of the best there is, will also be the work of KNCO luminary Tom Fitzsimmons.  Tee time is 1:00 P.M., so you can get done what you need to in the morning and still make it an early weekend.

This is our biggest fund raising event of the year.  We also will be selling Tee Signs for $100, and there is a $1,000 Sponsorship that includes the Tee sign and the ability to place other advertising such as a banner at the event, along with items in the goody bags each player will receive.

We have garnered a loyal following that tells us this is the most fun event of the year.  That is the reputation we most cherish.  We are not here as your lunch, go play golf and come back for dinner and go home organization.  Richard and KNCO’s Tom Fitzsimmons are on hand to make sure you have a good time and use your Mulligans wisely.

Each player will receive 5 free raffle tickets.  There will also be the card draw.  For a $20 donation you will receive a foursome of golf at Darkhorse, the coveted bag of jellybeans, and a dozen golf balls, and Mulligans to correct those balls that hit a goose or a deer now and then.

So we hope you can join us.  Get your foursome together and sign up early.  If you can’t get four to play come as an individual or a couple of friends and we will pair you up.  If you have a business, what better way to get to know a few of your best customers, give your employees a day of thank you, or just get away on a Friday afternoon.

For more information call the office at 530-265-2121.

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"I have a tip that can take five strikes of anyone’s golf game. It is called an eraser."

~ Arnold Palmer

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New Van Given to Sierra Services

The Northern California Lions Sight Association has donated a new van to replace the old one that is showing its age.  Sierra Services for the Blind has had a long relationship with Lions clubs throughout our service area since we were founded in 1981.  Whenever we have a client, or the schools have a student who needs glasses and cannot afford them it is the Lions that have a system to pay for them.  Lions have given us financial support, served on the board of directors, and worked several of our events over the years.  It is Host Lions that gets us into the Love Building for our Annual Meeting of the Membership and the Holiday Client Dinner each year, and Paul and Don wash the dishes at everything dinner we have.

The Northern California Lions Sight Association is a 501 C (3) non-profit that has on several occasions paid for expensive surgeries for individuals who have needed one and had no insurance and limited income.  The NCLSA vision screening van has been to town on a number of occasions, and we received new clients each time.  They recently sold a building and came to us with an offer we could hardly refuse.The new van went right to work the day after we received it.

We want to take this opportunity to thank Doug Wight, NCLSA treasurer and former Sierra Services board member for his help in this priceless gift to the blind and visually impaired and our common community.  And, we also want to thank Auburn Toyota for their participation in the purchase.

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We made it again

There are times that try out souls.  Some call them fundraising events.  We call them friend raisers.  The latest was the Lasagna Dinner held in March.  What better way than to add some humor to an event, and we have certainly done that over the years. 

We scheduled it for March 2nd.  Due to the threat of a Winter Storm Warning with snow to 1500 feet or lower, three days of it, bitter cold, bad roads and all that comes with the worst storm of the year we canceled it and rescheduled it for two weeks later.  We called every one, we went on the radio again, we changed the date on the tickets, posters, and on our minds.  It didn’t snow, or even rain that afternoon.  But it did two weeks later when we had the dinner.  It started to snow at three in the afternoon and continued until it was over.  Oh, and the sink was out of order so we couldn’t use the dishes and had to use paper and plastic.  But that worked out, you could use them for leftovers, or seconds to take home and many people did.

We are known for our adaptability for many reasons, we earned it, and we kind of like it.

The first Pasta Dinner was just as fun.  At exactly 6:00 P.M. when we were to serve the first plate the power went out at the Love Building.  There was just enough light to get the meals out while one of us ran to the store for candles.  All they had was the small votive candles so we bought all they had and put six to a table and everyone ate in the dark.  When it was over we were in the process of moving cars to shine light in the windows for people to get out and for us to clean up when the lights came on.  We think it was the opening of the door of one more couple who wondered if they could still get the dinner that turned them on for the two happened at the exact same time.  We were half cleaned up and the tables away, but we kept one up and they ate all they could.  Alone.

Then there was a time the Moose Lodge put salt rather than sugar on the apple pies at our client Holiday Dinner.  We learned at one of our Mexican dinners how large a single ball of rice can be made from nine boxes of rice.  The last two years the store gave us a case and a half of corn on the cob rather than canned corn, or the time a dozen or more people went to the wrong place not reading we had move to another location.  The first time we did Abalone we did all you can eat, and one group of people ate half of what we had and got mad when we told them we had other people to feed.  At another Abalone dinner, incidentally the last one, the people picking up the groceries had their truck break down and they couldn’t get there.  The truck that went to pick them up also broke down.  Then the burners to cook the Abalone quit.  We had to eat a little late and half the room was done before the other half got served.  Mostly we quit the Abalone because the law changed and our divers could not get enough for the dinner anymore, but that is a story that would take the whole page.  There was the Bikeathon and picnic in the rain with the flooded park, or that family with the three small children that wandered into the secure part of Beal Air Force base and were sent back to the route at gunpoint, or the lady that offered a kid $20 a mile at a Bikeathon and he went 45 times around the 1/2 mile track.  We let her off the hook for the $900 bill.  They are fund raising, friend raising events.  They are supposed to have some fun in them.  And, the recent Lasagna Dinner in the snow had more people and made more money than any other we had.  Our reputation for the quality of our events is growing.  We like to think it is the food, or how well planned they are.  Maybe folks just come to see what happens next.

We continue to be 100% self-funded, and the funding is important.  Estate donations have been an important part of our support and we rely on them for our continued success.  We encourage you to consider adding a donation to Sierra Services as part of your Will or trust.  Contact Richard to learn how you can help.

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"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."

~ Thomas Edison

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