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Northern New York Community Foundation Matching Grant

The Northern New York Community Foundation and the Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CABVI) is teaming up for a $10,000 fundraising challenge to the North  Country. Gifts will stay in our three-county area to help our friends and neighbors who are blind or visually impaired. The Community Foundation will match each gift, dollar-for-dollar, up to $10,000, doubling each contribution.

“As one of our first partners at the Philanthropy Center, we were saddened by the dissolution of the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired of Northern New York. However, we are very pleased that CABVI is going ato fill that gap and continue to partner with us to provide needed services to North Country residents,” said Rande Richardson, Northern New York Community Foundation executive director.

“This $10,000 matching grant is a way for local services to receive a boost as CABVI establishes its presence locally. We welcome them as they share space with us that will help strengthen our work together to assist those who rely on these essential services.”

The honorary chair of the North Country effort is Suzanne Morrow, a lifelong Watertown resident who is blind.

“When our local agency for the blind closed because of the pandemic, it left me, and the hundreds of people with vision loss in the North Country, our family members, friends, and neighbors, with a profound sense of sadness and the fear of having nowhere to turn,” Ms. Morrow said. “Then CABVI, a Central New York organization with nearly a century of providing service to people who are blind or visually impaired, stepped in to fill the void. This reinvigorated me and so many others who had lost hope. We’re so happy CABVI is here for us.”

Steve Gannon, CABVI vice president of development and communications, described the services coming soon and available to people with vision loss in the North Country.

“Training on adaptive technology is first on our list,” Mr. Gannon said. “Orientation and mobility instruction, or how to get around the community safely, and help with activities for daily living are close behind. We will also offer services to school-aged children with our teachers of the visually impaired.”

CABVI provides its vision rehabilitation services in Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence, Oneida, Herkimer, Madison, Fulton, Montgomery, and northern Otsego counties. In 2020, CABVI provided vision rehabilitation services to about 1,800 individuals. Seven out of every 10 were over the age of 65.

In Jefferson County, CABVI serves clients by appointment at its office in the Northern New York Philanthropy Center, 131 Washington St., Suite 300, Watertown. The Philanthropy Center is fully accessible to all, and its elevator is audibly equipped for those with impaired vision.

Donations to the Community Foundation-CABVI challenge will be accepted through January 2022 and may be made online at nnycf.org or mailed to Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, ATTN: CABVI Challenge, 131 Washington St., Watertown, NY 13601.