CABVI, Northern New York Community Foundation launch $10K fundraising challenge


CABVI and NNYCF launch North Country Challenge

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Two organizations are partnering to provide assistance to local residents who are visually impaired.

The Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Northern New York Community Foundation have launched a $10,000 fundraising challenge in the North Country.

According to the Community Foundation, this challenge will help benefit CABVI who supports residents with vision loss through access to vision rehabilitation services. The Association provides 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 approximately 1,800 individuals.

“Training on adaptive technology is first on our list,” CABVI Vice President Steve 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.”

Locally, CABVI serves clients by appointment at its office in the Northern New York Philanthropy Center on Washington Street in Watertown. The Center is accessible to all and its elevator is audibly equipped for those with impaired vision.

“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 to fill that gap and continue to partner with us to provide needed services to North
Country residents,” NNYCF Executive Director Rande Richardson said in a press release.

Honorary Chair of the North Country Challenge Suzzane Morrow also commented on the effort. Morrow is 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,” 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.”

The $10,000 fundraising challenge will encourage local residents to donate to the organization through the Northern New York Community Foundation. The NNYCF will match each gift, dollar-for-dollar, up to $10,000,
doubling each contribution.

“This $10,000 matching grant is a way for local services to receive a boost as CABVI establishes its presence locally,” Richardson added. “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.”

Information regarding the challenge will soon be distributed to homes in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. Donations made to the challenge will remain locally in the tri-county region.

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

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