From our Executive Director, Barbara Loh:
I don't know about you, but between the spectacularly bright February full moon (also known as the Full Snow Moon) happening now and the expressive and outward displays of love from Valentine's Day, mid-February doesn't feel so bad. Omicron is lessening its grip and warmer days and more light are ahead of us.
Also ahead of us is the critical state budget process which began at the end of last month with the filing of the Governor's budget. For those who aren't aware, the majority of our operating budget comes from state funding. So, to stay on the air 24/7, it is crucial that we are successful. To that end, Senator Adam Gomez, Senator John Velis, Representative Michael Finn, and Representative Natalie Blais have all toured Valley Eye Radio in recent months to learn more about us and why our unique mission in the Pioneer Valley is essential for our listeners to stay healthy, connected, and informed. Our thanks to all of them for their support in the past and their willingness to fight for us in the months ahead.
Hope you have found "bright spots" in your February. As always, with the voices and help of our caring volunteer readers and steadfast supporters, we continue to provide "bright spots" for our listeners throughout the day, every day.
● February is Black History Month and Valley Eye Radio will be informing our listeners with multiple programs related to black history in the US as well as introducing our listeners to many of those whose accomplishments both in military and civil society came despite the racism and obstacles that they faced.
● In honor of February also being Heart Health Month, Baystate Health is back with their informative “Heart & Vascular Virtual Lecture Series”. Valley Eye Radio is proud to be able to rebroadcast for our listeners the presentations on the “Heart and Soul of Heart Disease” with Cardiologist Adam Stern, MD and Rabbi Ken Hahn, “Today’s Open Heart Surgery” with Cardiac Surgeon Daniel Engelman, MD and Cheryl Crisafi, MSN, RN as well as “Women and Heart Disease” by Cardiologist Sabeen Chaudry, MD.
● Valley Eye Radio was pleased to have State Senator Adam Gomez (Hampden District) visit our studios this month along with some members of his staff to check out our service and discuss the ways that we help those who have difficulty reading print material on their own to stay connected to their local communities.
Our thanks to Sen. Gomez for his strong support and encouragement of our mission to support the needs of those who are visually impaired or have other disabilities or health challenges in our region.
● We’re excited to share the news that our friends at the Springfield Museums have announced that audio descriptions are in place at the “Body Adorned” exhibit which is on display through February 27th.
Another Museums exhibit “Front Row Center: Icons of Rock, Blues and Soul”, is open now and will also have audio descriptions. This exhibit also has a number of sound tube stations with playlists in addition to the audio descriptions.
● It is with great sadness that we heard recently about the passing of former Valley Eye Radio board member and dear friend Larry Humphries.
As our Board Chair, Ellen, said… “What a rare and special soul Larry was. '95 years young' his obituary said, and so true. He seemed to have a childlike wonder and delight in everything. Losing his eyesight didn't dampen his spirit, he was so memorable. We were lucky to have him as a listener and board member. I feel really lucky to have known him.” Rest in Peace, Larry.
● The latest destination for the “Accidental Travel Writer” is Madagascar. Valley Eye Radio’s will air this look at an amazing country off the coast of continental Africa with our host David Mould. This is another change to voyage vicariously to another destination that many of us have only heard about.
Once again, our thanks to David and Storrs Library for bringing this series to our listeners.
Happy Birthday to all of those in our volunteer reader family who were born in the month of February: Pam, Keith and Jeanne all had their cake and presents on the 3rd, Chris celebrated with friends and family on the 6th, Beth and Nancy both began another lap around the sun on the 7th, Sandy was remembered on the 16th, Bob takes a break from the fun and sun to be feted on the 17th, Matt has his special day on the 18th, Herb hears from loved ones on the 19th and Barb gets to be spoiled on the 24th.
Happy Birthday wishes to all!