Patricia (Patty) Donnelly was first introduced to MindsEye through Debbie Andrews, who served as the Soiree Committee Chair and, formerly, as MindsEye’s Board President. Andrews’ passion for the organization brought Patty into the fold and quickly kept her there.

Since attending her first event in 2008, Patty has served as a member of the Soiree planning committee. In her time on the committee, Patty has helped the event grow significantly through increased participation, awareness, support, and funds raised. With Debbie at the helm, Patty by her side, and a strong committee, the event has doubled the funds raised to better support MindsEye’s initiatives.

Patty wears a smile and sparkling gold top and holds up a glowing fiber optic wand.

Thankfully, Patty’s support never ends when the lights are turned off at the end of the Soiree. She quickly found another event to put her talents to good use – the Ultimate BeepBall Tournament. For the past 16 years, she has sponsored teams, played, and helped organize the annual fundraising event held in Mascoutah. The money raised from the event has allowed MindsEye to expand its programming to provide BeepBall educational demonstrations and host a nationally competitive BeepBall team, the Gateway Archers.

Beyond the Soiree and BeepBall Tournament, Patty loves MindsEye’s programs. An avid supporter and champion of the Audio Description program, she often talks about how much the program does for the visually impaired.

“Patty’s dedication to our mission is apparent the moment you talk to her. She has been a fixture for this organization, and we would absolutely not be where we are now without her support,” said Jason Frazier, MindsEye’s Executive Director.

Patty’s dedication to MindsEye, the community, and accessibility is why she is one of this year’s Fr. Wittenbrink, OMI Visionary Award honorees.

For Patty, though, being named an honoree came with a bit of disbelief.  “I was really surprised to be named an honoree. What I do and bring to the table is a small portion of what the organization does in the grand scheme of things,” she said.

When asked what she looks forward to in MindsEye’s future, Patty said, “Continuing to watch where BeepBall goes and the expansion of the Audio Description Program. The future for individuals who are blind or partially sighted is expanding too! I believe with everything that is coming out in the world today such as AI, that there will be more doors opening.”

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