By Scott Roberts
The Oil Valley Chapter dipped into their treasury big time in 2015. The money we have raised over the last few years was used to help the Venango County Blind Association purchase a new passenger van which they are using to transfer their clients. Our chapter donated $1,000 to that cause. We are hoping they will use the van to transport some of our members to our monthly meetings.
After several years, the city of Oil City took a donation of $1,000 we had promised them and used it to purchase and install an accessible pedestrian signal (APS) at one of the main intersections in town. We had several White Cane Walks in that area to focus on the need for a signal there. The signal is an all-stop APS that should help our members who frequent that cross area as well as many senior citizens who struggle with vision problems.
Lastly, we used our funds to purchase several books for the Oil City elementary schools. The book is called “Your Treasure Hunt, Disabilities and Finding Your Gold.” Teachers are using the book in class as part of their curriculum when teaching children about sight loss. The Venango County Blind Association also received a copy and will use it in their visits to classrooms. We have made contacts with other schools in our area to have it placed in their classrooms as well.
In this past year we added four new members, but lost two due to health concerns. The new members helped us reach new heights in fundraising. We had one of the most successful pepperoni stick sales we’ve ever had. We are hoping we sell more of the 6 month lottery tickets than we’ve sold previously as well.
Our partnership with the area blind association, the local Lions Club, and our local towns has allowed us to show that we are movers and shakers in our community.