Happy 50th Birthday to the Visual AIDS Organization

Visual AIDS director, Marsha Murray, with OVAW display
Visual AIDS director, Marsha Murray, with OVAW display

The Oakmont Visual AIDS Workshop (OVAW) meets every Monday morning, 9-11am at the West Center. But oops,The West Center flooded recently so no group can meet there until all repairs are completed. OVAW shipped over 1,000 books and tactile materials to teachers in July, 2021. There are orders for 1,900 more, so OVAW needs spaces to be able to work. OVAW is a non-profit business servicing teachers, groups and parents of blind and low vision children around the world. OVA found space in the art room of the Activity Center, but it is not large enough for all workers. Much work is being done in member’s homes. Can you imagine the time it takes to locate materials stored in an Oakmont OVA shed, deliver them to the Activity Center and then take the boxes back to the shed. This process needs to be ready every Monday morning. It is taking many dedicated hands to be a successful business under these circumstances.

The OVAW is celebrating 50 amazing years in 2021. The workshop was started by a retired teacher, Winifred Thilgan in 1971. Over the years the number of books and tactile aids has increased to 38 items. These books and tactile aids teach simple math, Braille and concepts difficult for blind children to comprehend. These tactile aids are provided FREE to teachers, mainly in the United States, but all over the world. A group of men help load boxes on mailing days. Shipping is also free. Donations are always welcome, and the public is invited to view the group and join if they wish.
The Kiwanis club happily presented Marcia and OVAW a monetary donation. Kiwanians also invite you to attend the Thursday morning meetings starting at 8am for a very good breakfast. The first Thursday morning of each month is at the Gardens. All other Thursdays we are at the Berger Center. Call Fran Lazzarini, 928-202-1105.

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