Celebrate What You Want to See More of in the World
MindsEye's 15th Annual Soirée pour la Vue
The room sparkled and twinkled in purples, golds, and greens, as the crowd of over 200 gathered to Laissez les bons temps rouler and celebrate MindsEye's mission to translate vision into audio for those in our area who are blind and visually impaired. It was a beautiful night of celebration at the Palladium Saint Louis. We honored The Muny and longtime volunteer and advocate Susan Coffey Bolen with the Father Wittenbrink, OMI Visionary Award. The food was delicious, the auction items thrilling, and the fellowship and laughter of supporters and volunteers made the evening a true joy -there was even a little dancing.
So many amazing moments packed into one evening, but the highlight of the night was undoubtedly when John Ashby and his son AJ took the stage to generously share their story. John dreamed of sharing his love of baseball with his son; sports was his lifeblood, his one constant that never failed him. But when AJ was born almost 5 months premature and diagnosed with retinopathy, John realized that his dream of teaching his child how to play ball was no longer possible. As the years went on, John continued to watch sports and AJ would ask a million questions about what everything meant, who was playing and what was the score; AJ was able to learn about this game his father loved so dearly, but he was never able to play. Until one day, MindsEye visited AJ's school to put on a beepball demonstration. AJ and John were amazed that they could finally play baseball together. John spoke to the soiree guests, saying, "Beepball through MindsEye has shown my family even more that anything is possible. To go to an event like the Beepball tournament is humbling and very special to us." John's dream is now a reality; he and AJ can now play ball together.
Together, we raised $103,000 to make sure families like the Ashby's can still share the joy of sports through Beepball and the wonderment of a day at the Saint Louis Zoo through MindsEye's Audio Description.
Because of the funds raised that night, MindsEye will provide over 130 hours of readings from magazines and newspapers every week this year to over 13,000 people in our community. Volunteers from MindsEye will describe the action on the stage of the Rep, the Muny, Circus Flora, and ensure accessibility is being created at the multitude of cultural institutions Saint Louis has to offer. And the Ultimate Beepball Tournament will bring together father and son to share America's pastime together. So much is in store this coming year.
Mark your calendars for Friday, February 22nd for our 16th Annual Soirée!