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Viola L. is one of our new listeners, having received her radio just 8 months ago. At 97 years old, she is young at heart and mind. Viola was raised in St. Louis City, near the Casa Loma Ballroom, with her four sisters and one brother. Her extended family lived close by, and they enjoyed gathering together to play cards, softball, and leisurely Sunday afternoon picnics at Carondelet and Benton Park. Viola’s family did not own a car until she was a teenager, so the family either walked or traveled by streetcar to all their destinations.
In the neighborhood, there were many children for
Viola to play with. Her dad, whom she describes as
a wonderful family man, would often join in on the
When Viola was 15 years old, her dad died suddenly
of blood poisoning from a ruptured appendix. As the
oldest child, Viola felt a responsibility to help take
About five years ago, Viola developed dry macular
degeneration. As her eyesight weakened, she knew
she had to seek assistance if she wanted to stay up-todate
about information on the local and national level.
When she discovered Minds Eye Information Service, it
was “an answer to a prayer.” Since the expansion of the
program offerings, there is always something of interest
on the air, according to Viola. Her favorite programs
are the daily reading of the newspaper and programs
focusing on eye health. “I learn so much from listening
to the radio, and even though I’m not sitting on the
There is not a single person on the Minds Eye staff who does not know and appreciate the volunteer work of Al Brewer. Al and his wife, Caroyln, have been coming to Minds Eye to read each week for nearly four years. In his volunteer work and in all aspects of his life, Al is dedicated and enthusiastic – always going above and beyond.
Growing up, Al lived in North Carolina, Washington, DC, Maine, and Massachusetts before settling in Oakridge, Tennessee, where he graduated from high school. After high school, Al joined the United States Air Force to begin an exciting career that took him to every continent except Antarctica. A wide spectrum of duties in the Air Force led Al to the place he is today: a retired United States Air Force Colonel, husband, father, grandfather, traveler, soccer and golf enthusiast, and involved community member. One of Al’s favorite roles is that of Director of Transportation and Provider of Resources for seven grandchildren. According to Al, “This is a position designed to keep you broke, busy, and happy!”
Primarily, Al is a regular Tuesday newspaper reader at Minds
Eye. Throughout his volunteer career with Minds Eye, Al
has also served as a phone-a-thon caller, created the circuit
board of donors at the front of the building, read the Wall
Street Journal and countless Emergency programs, served as
Board Operator in John’s absence, and contributed countless
additional hours to recording programs. Al volunteers for
Soiree pour la Vue: MOST SUCCESSFUL TO DATE!
With KSDK Meteorologist Mike Roberts as host, professional auctioneer Dave Schumacher auctioning off items left and right, Bob Kramer’s Marionettes whirling through the audience and across the stage, wines flowing steadily, and a fabulous array of auction items, the 2009 Soiree pour la Vue was nothing short of a phenomenal sensation.
Not only were many wonderful new elements featured at the Soiree, but the 2009 Soiree proved the most financially successful event for Minds Eye to date, with a profit of nearly $20,000.
Minds Eye would like to extend our gratitude to all volunteers, donors, and listeners who contributed their time, talents, and resources to the 2009 Soiree. Merci beaucoup!
mindsEye...bringing printed words to life
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