Low Vision Awareness Virtual Fit-Raiser

Low Vision Awareness Virtual Fit-Raiser February 2021

Join us to celebrate Low Vision Awareness Month throughout February! Sign up for our month-long fitness-fundraiser (or “fit-raser”) to:

  • To re-enforce your 2021 health goals,
  • Raise awareness about low vision, and
  • Support New Vision’s programs.

When you register, you will set a goal for how many miles you plan to log in February. We’ll provide a log for you to fill in as you go. Turn it in by 3/1/20, and we’ll send you a gift card to your choice of one of our community’s Axy Award-winning blind-friendly businesses.



New Vision Gift Guide

New Vision Gift Guide

About This Guide

This time of year, the New Vision family — supporters, clients, staff, volunteers — typically gathers for our Annual Luncheon and Axy Awards ceremony. But with so many in our Family considered at higher risk for the coronavirus, we’re being cautious, like any of us would with vulnerable family members!

We decided to create this guide instead:

  • As a fundraiser for New Vision,
  • To support our local businesses, and
  • To share blind-friendly gift ideas for folks in your family who can benefit.

How to Use this Guide

We encourage you to use this guide for gift ideas for your friends and family:

  • Check out the ads from our sponsors, all local businesses hoping to continue their contributions to our local economy.
  • Check out the Axy Awards winners and runners-up for the most blind-friendly businesses in our community and show them some love.
  • Shop our online Silent Auction which goes live on Thanksgiving and closes Dec. 5.
  • Consider making a donation in honor of a loved one.

From our family to yours,

Happy Holidays!

Chantel Buck, President/CEO

White Cane Day

Celebrate White Cane Day with us!

Thursday, Oct. 15 @ 9:55-11:05 a.m.

In honor of National White Cane Day, join us for our annual Close Your Eyes event—this year, via Zoom!

During this eye-opening hour,

  • Learn more about and celebrate the abilities of our blind neighbors,
  • Participate in interactive activities,
  • Show your support for the full participation of blind Americans in our community.

Also known as Blind Americans Equality Day…

Every year since 1964, October 15 has been deemed National White Cane Safety day. In more recent years, the phrase “Blind Americans Equality Day” has been adopted. Whatever the title, the goal is the same: ensure and champion the full participation of blind Americans in every facet of our society, every day.

Visit our Events page for the link to join us!

New Vision turns 15!

birthday cake with text "Happy Birthday, New Vision!"

Today, New Vision for Independence celebrates 15 years of service to the community, removing barriers to independence for our neighbors with low vision or blindness.

Listen to some of our grateful graduates:

[Click here for more client “thank-you”s for our birthday!]

We are grateful for your support over the years – you have helped provide life-changing and sometimes even life-saving services. Please make a donation today of $15 in honor of our birthday and as a toast to 15 more!

We also invite you to join our Birthday Club! Pledge to make a $15 donation monthly and we’ll deliver (or ship as appropriate) a New Vision goody bag containing White Cane Coffee, “I Heart New Vision” mug, and a thank you card.

Donate/pledge now!

Dining in the Dark at a Distance!

Our Dining in the Dark at a Distance video – get situated and turn on this video for more instructions:

Check out the Online Silent Auction (closes at 10 p.m. 7/10/20).

About the Event

Our annual Dining in the Dark fundraiser brings together 250+ folks every year at our local reception hall for cocktails, a silent auction, and a sit-down dinner in the dark, served by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team.

In our current COVID world, we didn’t want to risk sickness with such a gathering (and we likely won’t be able to then, either). We’ve postponed our event once already, and instead of cancelling altogether, we’re trying something else…

Join New Vision and presenting sponsor Lake Eye Associates for Dining in the Dark at a distance!

Dining in the Dark at a Distance! text atop a white dinner plate. Lake Eye Associates, New Vision logos

Instead of dining in, we’re providing everything you need to have your own Dining in the Dark at home (or wherever you wanna gather with your party, but ya can’t stay here!). Our goal is to support our local economy by only using local vendors: this community has been good to us these past 15 years and we want to show our gratitude.

WHEN: July 10, 5 to 8 p.m. (you will be assigned to pick up!)

WHERE: 9501 US Hwy 441, Leesburg – the College Rd. parking lot of Lake Sumter State College

COST: $40 per person – ticket sales closed (thank you!)


Stations set up in the LSSC Leesburg parking lot for:

  • Appetizers to get us started, courtesy of our Appetizer Sponsor, Insight Credit Union
  • Dinner to go, catered by Mojo’s Leesburg
    • Option 1: chicken pepin with sautéed onions with black beans, yellow rice, and sweet plantains
    • Option 2: vegan quesadilla with tomatoes, avocado, corn, and black beans
  • Craft beer (one per guests over age 21 with valid ID, in a closed container, of course) from a local brewery Bru Tap
  • Dessert from Cuttin’ Dough, courtesy of our Dessert Sponsor, Advent Health Waterman

To give you a Dining in the Dark experience, we will provide blindfolds (don’t use while driving, please!) for you to wear while eating at home AND an online video to simulate being there (like helpful tips, a guest speaker, and corny jokes from our CEO). You’ll also get candy, courtesy of our Eye Candy Sponsors, Avalon Park Village and the Lake County Supervisor of Elections, and a beautiful printed program, printed by Litigation Solutions.

Our silent auction will be online (so please bid, even if you can’t make it)!
— Online Silent Auction is live now through July 10 at 10 p.m. Check it out!

We’ll also have our quintessential “Photo with the SWAT team” set-up for your party to get your photos taken, thanks to eSportsPhoto and our SWAT Photo Sponsor, Mortgage Financial Group.


We started using this tag, #CoronavirusCantStopUs, on our Facebook posts lately as a reminder to our clients, supporters, and team that we continue to serve those who need us, albeit a little differently now.

"Improve, adapt, and overcome" -Clint Eastwood

It’s only been a month!

On March 16, we suspended in-person services for those considered “high risk.” We notified all clients and provided information for the Florida Dept. of Health’s COVID-19 information line. We moved our monthly support groups to a weekly, call-in group, providing resources, socialization, and love.

Two days later, we closed our office, ceased all in-person services, and our team began working remotely.

Over the next two weeks, we called all of our clients to check-in and assess needs. We began offering individual and group classes – in fact, in just those two weeks, we hosted 73 group meetings, totalling over 3,600 minutes, via conference call.We are now a month out and our services keep getting stronger. We have embraced technology and creativity in all our programs. While some services are on hold, we’ve discovered new ways to serve our clients and community.

Keep reading to learn more about what New Vision looks like now!

Help us maintain our services during this hard time. Please make a donation today – even $5 right now can brighten a dark day (learn how here). Donate now!

Thank you for reading – stay safe!

Chantel Buck, President/CEO

Click here to read more about what we’re doing!

Egg Hunt Re-Formatted

Our 5th annual Sensational Egg hunt may have been canceled 😷 so instead of our families bringing kids to our egg hunt, we’re bringing our egg hunt to our families!

We are assembling variations of most of our planned activities into a kit to be delivered to our families at least 3 days prior to Easter, plus Easter baskets for our kiddos and their siblings AND a custom note from Bob, the Easter bunny’s blind brother.

In this photo, New Vision's CEO Chantel Buck dons a mask and plastic gloves to test and sanitize beeping eggs for each family.
In this photo, New Vision’s CEO Chantel Buck dons a mask and plastic gloves to test and sanitize beeping eggs for each family.

Thank you sooooo much to our sponsors: Advocating 4 Kids, Tavares Lions Club, Lake Sumter Lions, Fruitland Park Lions, Golden Triangle Kiwanis, Kiwanis Club of Mount Dora, Leesburg Kiwanis Noon, Umatilla Kiwanis, South Lake Kiwanis, and Orange Blossom Gardens Lions.

COVID-19 Update

March 27, 2020: New Vision’s board of directors voted today to suspend in-person services and continue having employees/volunteers work from home until further notice. However, New Vision continues to deliver many services via phone/video conference for all ages. If you need assistance, please call our office at (352) 435-5040 and we will return your call.

March 19, 2020: Effective today, New Vision’s office will be closed through April 5. Our employees will work from home and conduct as many services as possible via phone/video conference.

March 14, 2020: To be abundantly cautious during the COVID-19 pandemic, the New Vision Board of Directors voted to enact the following safeguards to protect the vulnerable populations we serve:

++ Effective Monday, March 16, New Vision will be suspending in-person service to clients the CDC considers “high risk,” i.e. adults over 60 or individuals with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, and more, thru April 5. Some services will happen via phone as applicable, and our office will still be open as we process applications for services and plan our programs.

++ We have increased our screening and sanitation procedures in accordance with our COVID-19 Mitigation Plan for all service delivery, group activities, and office procedures. Many activities will be postponed and/or altered to protect our guests.

Additionally, our support groups will occur via phone for the foreseeable future and we plan to hold them more frequently to support our New Vision family. Stay tuned for updated schedules.

From our family to yours, we wish you good health and lots of love!

text: "May you be happy. May you be well. May you be safe. May you be peaceful and at ease."