Marcophiles: Orion brings together sighted and sightless for progress

CHRIS CURLE

Article Highlights

  • It’s a lively and upbeat program of demonstrations, skits and information from visually impaired people, sighted experts, wonderful trained dogs and more.
  • Here’s an update on a few restaurants that have let us know they’re back, or about to be.
  • Marco’s Sunrise Rotary is joining Walgreens and CJ’s on the Bay to Immunize Marco, Saturday, Oct. 10.
The team for the In The Round event; David Weigel, president, Lighthouse of Collier Inc., left, Keith Dameron, vice president and general manager, Orion Bank, Sandra Martin, VIP outreach coordinator, her working dog, Anna, and Susan Wild, rehab supervisor for VIP Outreach of Southwest Florida — Lighthouse of Collier.

Bernadette La Paglia / Special to the Eagle

The team for the In The Round event; David Weigel, president, Lighthouse of Collier Inc., left, Keith Dameron, vice president and general manager, Orion Bank, Sandra Martin, VIP outreach coordinator, her working dog, Anna, and Susan Wild, rehab supervisor for VIP Outreach of Southwest Florida — Lighthouse of Collier.

U.S. paper money may still be powerful, but it’s not the easiest currency to use by visually impaired people because the bills are all the same size and of similar color. But, if folded a standard way, many people who can’t see well can tell the bills apart, like those in this photo.

Submitted

U.S. paper money may still be powerful, but it’s not the easiest currency to use by visually impaired people because the bills are all the same size and of similar color. But, if folded a standard way, many people who can’t see well can tell the bills apart, like those in this photo.

Here’s our Marcophiles Mystery Photo for the week. It’s a painting of a nice view on Marco Island by local artist Phyllis Pransky. What’s the view shown in the piece? The first reader to correctly identify the scene and its location on Marco will win a $50 U.S. Savings Bond, courtesy of Keith Dameron at Orion Bank on Marco. Email your answer to: don@donfarmer.com. Reminder: Staffs of Orion Bank and the Marco Eagle are not eligible. Oh, Phyllis, thanks for the use of your painting, but you’re not eligible either.

KEITH DAMERON / Submitted

Here’s our Marcophiles Mystery Photo for the week. It’s a painting of a nice view on Marco Island by local artist Phyllis Pransky. What’s the view shown in the piece? The first reader to correctly identify the scene and its location on Marco will win a $50 U.S. Savings Bond, courtesy of Keith Dameron at Orion Bank on Marco. Email your answer to: don@donfarmer.com. Reminder: Staffs of Orion Bank and the Marco Eagle are not eligible. Oh, Phyllis, thanks for the use of your painting, but you’re not eligible either.

To call the upcoming In The Round evening at Orion Bank on Oct. 13 an eye-opener is an understatement, as well as an important reason for anyone who deals with issues of visual impairment to be there. It’s a lively and upbeat program of demonstrations, skits and information from visually impaired people, sighted experts, wonderful trained dogs and more.

At least 15,000 Florida residents are officially visually impaired and experts estimate another 15,000 or so are out there, as well. The term visually impaired is not merely a euphemism for blind; it represents a wide range of seeing difficulties, from totally sightless to varying degrees of defective vision. So, chances are that people with normal sight may have regular or frequent contact with visually impaired people in the course of our daily lives.

We need to know how to make life easier for all concerned. Take the issue of money, for example. Close your eyes, take some bills out of your pocket or purse and try to distinguish the George Washington $1 from Ben Franklin’s $100 bill. Okay, now try closing your eyes, dropping a coin, and then see what it’s like to find it and pick it up.

Presentations and skits will include how to approach and talk with a blind person, dos and donts of reacting to their working dogs and more. Merchants who learn the techniques and teach their staffs no doubt may earn the loyalty and patronage of visually impaired people and their families.

“We’ll have a good time showing people how to assist visually impaired people in restaurants, banks, shops and so forth, the right ways and the wrong ways,” says Outreach Coordinator Sandra Martin. “We’ll have people put on blindfolds, if they wish, and get a sense of being sightless, with chores such as finding the numbers on your cell phone. “We really appreciate it when businesses get involved and want to help us be as independent as possible.”

Ms. Martin lost her sight to juvenile diabetes at age 22. She also is hearing impaired, but her spirit, intelligence, determination and energy are engaging and inspirational to others. Martin says the concept of the sighted and the visually impaired relating to one another is a two-way street. “We have to train ourselves too,” she says. “When we lose our sight, we have to learn to be more open to others, to ask for help when we need it and not to be offended when people don’t know what to do. Sometimes people won’t approach me because they’re unsure how to act and don’t want to offend. It’s a bridge that needs to be crossed and we’re so excited to be involved in this project at the bank next week.”

Bank Manager Keith Dameron says everyone is invited to In The Round at 6 p.m., next Tuesday. “That includes business owners, caregivers and anyone else who cares.”

After refreshments, the program will run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. For reservations, call Orion Bank at 403-5169. P.S.: If you want to bone up on this fascinating topic before you go, a good Web site is visionaware.org.

Marco restaurant scene getting livelier

When islanders have a favorite restaurant, they tend to swoon when the place closes for vacation, so here’s an update on a few restaurants that have let us know they’re back, or about to be.

Guy and Lisa are back for their 12th season at Verdi’s American Bistro, 243 N. Collier Blvd. They opened Tuesday night. October hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 6 p.m. 394-5533.

Ray Bozicnik’s Little Bar in Goodland is in its 31st year of business and reopens after summer hiatus Friday, Oct. 9. 394-5663.

Marek’s Collier House Restaurant, in its 14th year here at 1121 Bald Eagle Dr., will reopen after an extended vacation later this month. Stay tuned. 642-9948.

Arturo’s Ristorante Italiano, in its13th year, is up and running after about a 20-day vacation with Arturo in the kitchen and Judy everywhere else. 844 Bald Eagle Dr. 642-0550.

House of Mozart, in Shops of Marco is open after a hiatus. Terrific continental food. 642-5220.

Chef’s Express is open at 176 Royal Palm Dr., with expanded goodies and a wine/beer license. 393-2433.

A scenic, tasty venue for flu shots Saturday

Marco’s Sunrise Rotary is joining Walgreens and CJ’s on the Bay to Immunize Marco, Saturday, Oct. 10. Fear not, the Rotarians and restaurateurs will not be wielding the flu shot needles. Professionals will do that, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at CJ’s On the Bay. There will be free blood pressure checks by Marco Island Fire Rescue, plus free juice and coffee. CJ’s also will offer a reasonably priced breakfast menu. The shots cost $24.99, and are free to Medicare Part-B participants. For information call Wanda Day at 777-1484, or Debra Sanders at 248-7419.

Chris Curle is a former news anchor for CNN and for ABC-TV stations in Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Houston. E-mail chris@chriscurle.com. Don is a former ABC News correspondent and bureau chief and a former news anchor for CNN and ABC-TV, in Atlanta. His Farmer File column appears Fridays in the Naples Daily News. E-mail: don@donfarmer.com.

© 2009 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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