“Themed – Illuminating the Future – our focus was to celebrate the Center’s accomplishments and most importantly raise funds to ensure the future for children served through the Center’s specialized programs,” said Lisa Fujimoto, Change A Life Foundation Executive Vice President and 50th Anniversary Gala event chairperson.
Radio host and powerful motivational speaker, Kristin Macdonald served as Mistress of Ceremonies for the evening, sharing her personal story. At the age of 29 on her path to pursuing her vision to become an actress, she learned her sight was slowly degenerating from a condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa. Despite the odds, Kristin went on to work as an associate producer for numerous television shows and now as an inspirational speaker she refers to herself as partially sighted, and says that although her eyesight is poor, her vision is perfect.
Board member, Peggy Blaising was recognized for 25 years of volunteer service. Blaising serves on the board of directors, leads the Parent Professional Advisory Council and as a retired special education teacher, she has volunteered in the classrooms. In addition, Blaising has raised thousands of dollars for the Center.
Ed and Laura Blatchford, parents of triplets, Sam, Rory and Ben (Blind Children’s Learning Center graduates) proudly shared how their sons have grown to become strong independent young men from the foundation they received while attending the Center.
The renowned Wayne Foster Entertainment played throughout the evening and professional charity auctioneer, Jim Nye, entertained the audience while helping to raise nearly $54,000.
“Because so much of what we learn is based on vision, children who are blind or have low vision are at risk of developmental delays. At the Center our focus is early intervention and to provide specialized services for the children and their families to empower independence. We are grateful for the many sponsors, donors and volunteers that made this event such a great success. The funds raised through this celebration will help us to fulfill our vision that every blind, visually impaired and deaf-blind child has the opportunity to fully integrate into their community,” said Gene Micco, Blind Children’s Learning Center Board Chairman.