Letter from the Foundation Board President
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I am honored to be reporting to you as Board President of the Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind Foundation. Thank you for your commitment to our mission of creating and enhancing opportunities for people who are blind, Deaf-Blind, and blind with other disabilities.
One way we measure our success as an organization is by how well we’ve been able to create employment opportunities. This issue of Horizons outlines recent successes by The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. in this regard, as well as opportunities to show your support for this mission through our fundraising events. I hope you can join us for the May Redefining Vision Luncheon in Seattle or the June Spokane Braille Rally at Inland Northwest Lighthouse.
As a social enterprise nonprofit, the Lighthouse consists of two distinct entities, each led by its own volunteer board. The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. engages in manufacturing and contract service businesses, providing employment opportunities for people who are blind, Deaf-Blind, or blind with other disabilities. Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind Foundation is a separate entity under the Lighthouse umbrella whose mission is to raise charitable funds to support Lighthouse Employee & Community Services (ECS) programs such as computer training, orientation & mobility training, Deaf-Blind interpreting services, outfitting accessible workstations, braille literacy, Deaf-Blind community classes, and others.
The Foundation measures its success by looking at how it helps the Lighthouse ECS programs through its fundraising activities. Every member of the Foundation Board is dedicated to this mission. While there isn’t room to recognize everyone at this time, I’d like to take this opportunity to recognize some of our Foundation Board members. Without their commitment, dedication, and hard work, we wouldn’t be able to properly support the jobs that are being created at the Lighthouse.
I’d like to acknowledge the tireless work of Barbara Ross. Barbara has been a board member since 2008 and has taken on an incredible amount of work. She chairs our Directorship Committee, which seeks out other committed volunteers to donate their time to the organization – and who have a passion for the mission. She has also chaired successful fundraising events, including our past auctions and this year’s Redefining Vision Luncheon. These events take a tremendous amount of time and effort.
I’d like to welcome George Kraft as a recent addition to the Foundation Board. George joined the board in Fall 2011 and has been a longtime supporter of Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind Foundation through his role as Senior Account Manager for The BoxMaker. George began his volunteer service to our organization after being inspired by attending our previous Redefining Vision events. He has taken on an important volunteer role on our Directorship Committee with Barbara, and continued his support for our annual event.
Dave Garten, PCS Managing Director & Fiduciary Relationship Manager at Northern Trust, has served since 2010, and has recently assumed the role of chair on our Major Gifts and Planned Giving Committee. This important group guides and supports larger annual donations to the Foundation – and provides oversight to our planned giving program. Dave’s also taken on leadership of recurring Planned Giving Awareness events, in which he discusses tools through which donors can plan for their financial futures while also providing long-term support for the Foundation.
Kirk Neamen is our newest foundation board member and is a financial advisor with Ameriprise. We are thrilled to have him extend his professional expertise to our fundraising efforts.
And I’d like to close with an accolade for past Foundation Board President Tom Kuebler. His tireless service over the last seven years has resulted in a vibrant planned giving program, increased major giving, and the growth overall of charitable giving in support of our mission. While he’s stepped down as Foundation Board President, we’re not letting him get away and look forward to many more years of successful Foundation Board service from Tom and all our other Foundation Board members. It is a privilege to serve with such a dedicated group of volunteers.
Our volunteer efforts are an extension of the community support all of you show the Lighthouse. Thank you for helping to create jobs and support independence for Lighthouse employees.
Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind Foundation