Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches Board of Directors have appointed long-time Vision Services Director and recent Interim Executive Director, Mary Allen as the new Executive Director. Allen began her 35-year career at Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches in 1986. She was hired as a social worker, conducting intakes, and facilitating referrals to community resources. Within 2 years, she moved into the position of Program Coordinator for the Adjustment to Blindness Program while simultaneously taking on the new position of Low Vision Counselor, assisting the doctor in the Lighthouse’s newly established Low Vision Clinic. In 2008, Allen moved into the Director of Vision Services position, overseeing all Lighthouse programs, contracts, grants and staff. She served as the Interim Executive Director for 8 months before being appointed to the top position. She was the recipient of the Florida Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (Florida FAER) award for Outstanding Rehabilitation Professional for the Blind Award in 2019. She graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Rehabilitation Services and resides in Jupiter, Florida.
West Palm Beach, FL (May 17, 2021) – Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches is pleased to announce the election of two new board members - Kim Clawson and Tekesha Saffold. Kim spent her career working at various agencies including the Area Agency on Aging Palm Beach the Treasure Coast and the Drug Abuse Foundation of Palm Beach County and is about to embark on a new career at Trustbridge Hospice. She also worked from 1993 to 2003 as Lighthouse's Director of Rehabilitation.
Tekesha is an ADA Consultant who specializes in paratransit and mobility services for the disabled. She designed and conducted American Disabilities Act sensitivity training for local government, she works with various agencies to assist them in providing services for the disabled, she was the former President of the National Federation of the Blind of Palm Beach County and was recently accepted into the Master of Public Administration program at Florida Atlantic University.
Both new members will serve a term of four years. Their impact will immediately be felt as they both are serving on the 75th Anniversary Eye Ball Committee, the ball is set for December 2, 2021.
About Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches:
Founded in 1946, The Lighthouse is a private, nonprofit agency providing education and rehabilitation services to people who are blind or visually impaired in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee counties. Lighthouse serves thousands of individuals of all ages: babies, children, teens, adults and seniors. No fees are charged for eligible persons. The Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches is fully accredited by the National Accreditation Council for the Blind and Low Vision (NAC), and is also a member of Florida Agencies Serving the Blind (FASB). For more information visit www.lhpb.org or call 561-586-5600.
In April of 1946, local dignitaries and Lions Club members gathered in West Palm Beach to break ground on the first facility to employ and provide services for the blind and visually impaired. Bessemer Properties provided the land at 7810 South Dixie Highway and Thrift, Inc. provided the $10,000 for the construction of the building. In September of the same year, Lions Industries for the Blind officially opened and served seven clients that first year.
Flash forward 75 years later, and the renamed (in 1978), Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches continues to be the leader in providing services and programs for over 2,800 blind and visually impaired babies, children, teens, working adults and seniors in 2020.
To celebrate this momentous achievement Lighthouse for the Blind is hosting THREE unique events to showcase our accomplishments and stellar service in our community.
Ribbon Cutting, Open House and 75 Year Donor Wall Unveiling – Thursdanbsp; y, April 15th from noon to 2pm at the NEW location, 5601 Corporate Way, Suite #210 in West Palm Beach. Masks are required, and all activities will observe social distance etiquette.
• The enVision 20/20 Luncheon originally scheduled for March of 2020, will now
be November 9th at the Sailfish Club in Palm Beach. The Luncheon will feature the piano virtuoso David Crohan. Honorary Chairwoman is Mrs. Maria Beaudouin. Sponsors include Page Ferrell (Venue Sponsor), Roshan Massoumi, Martina and Edgar Covarrubias, Mary Estelle Curran, Margaret Donnelly and Donté Mickens.
The 75th Anniversary “Eye Ball” originally slated for April 15, 2020 will be celebrated on Thursday, December 2nd at the Pelican Club on the expansive waterfront deck overlooking the Jupiter Lighthouse. Activities feature a silent auction, dinner, dancing and recognition ceremony. Sponsors include The Society of the Palm Beaches Southern Dames of America, Margaret Donnelly, Dr. Scott Gartner, Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Allen and Arthur Gonzalez.
“We are so fortunate that even amid a pandemic, we have been able to provide services remotely. We have no idea what this new year will bring and what long-term affects COVID will have on our organization, which is why we need to raise money through these fabulous events, and continue to rely on the generous donations and support of from our community,” said Mickens.
West Palm Beach, FL (Thursday, October) – Thursday, October 15 is White Cane Awareness Day, the national day set aside to celebrate the achievements of people who are blind or visually impaired and the important symbol of blindness and tool of independence, the white cane. Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches wants to educate the public on the importance of the white cane and what to do if you see someone using it.