Welcome to the spring 2011 issue of Shared Vision, our newsletter for friends and donors, demonstrating how your generosity makes a tangible difference in the lives of people with vision loss today. We’re also bringing you information from our Visionary Philanthropy newsletter about how your planned gift can help to secure the Lighthouse for tomorrow. We’ve combined the two to illustrate that there are numerous ways to support our mission of fighting vision loss through prevention, treatment and empowerment. No matter how you choose to give, it is always meaningful and we remain most grateful.
The beginning of this year brought some exciting new developments, including the opening of The Dr. Lorraine Marchi/NAVH Client Assistance Program. It provides counseling and social support services to bolster the ability of people to cope with the life-altering impact of vision loss.
In this issue, we also introduce you to some special people who share a bond: they’re each descendants of our founding families and early supporters. We also call these pioneers our first “ambassadors” because they embraced — and advanced — the vision of Winifred and Edith Holt, who dramatically changed the landscape for people who were blind at the turn of the 20th century. The Holt sisters were steadfastly committed to ensuring that people without sight had access to previously unavailable education and training programs. Together with their fellow Lighthouse officers and committee members, the Holts were also advocates for the prevention of blindness.
Today, our work extends a long and proud legacy of inspiring firsts in the fields of low vision clinical care and rehabilitation, research, education and advocacy. The Lighthouse remains committed to the same core principles that our founders upheld — and shares their dedication to eliminating barriers and obstacles for people with impaired vision. We also look forward to the day when eye diseases such as macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy are eradicated. Until then, we look to you for continued support.
On behalf of everyone who turns to the Lighthouse for help and hope, thank you.
Mark G. Ackermann
President and CEO