From our Executive Director, Barbara Loh:
I am sure I am not the only one hoping the sun will come out again some day. While the weather may be gloomy, Valley Eye Radio's year ahead looks sunny thanks to all of you. Our End of Year Campaign: "Whose Story Will You Help Write?”, which kicked off with Giving Tuesday was a great success. In addition to our incredibly loyal donors, we received funding from Big Y, Beveridge Family Foundation, Peoples Bank, Disney, local Lions Clubs, and many others. We can't thank you enough. Since our last newsletter we also received funding from the George and Irene Davis Foundation and Sarah Gillett Services for the Elderly. Their continuing support is so appreciated.
Of course, state funding is also essential for us to stay on the air 24/7. The annual budget process for the fiscal year beginning July 1 will begin soon. As you may recall, we received more state funding than ever for the current fiscal year thanks to Senator Adam Gomez and Representative Michael Finn who were honored recently with the Massachusetts Audio Information Network's first Legislator of the Year awards. Their support and advocacy, along with other area legislators, ensured statewide funding success for MAIN members. We hope to continue that success for the upcoming fiscal year.
I hope you had a chance during our fundraising campaign to read the emails with the stories of several listeners, past and present. Mary, David, Jim and many others inspire us everyday. They keep us focused on our unique mission which would be impossible without our many volunteer readers who bring, not only local news and information and connection, but also a little caring “sunshine” regardless of the weather. And don’t we all need some of that!!
- In November, Rep. Michael Finn (D - 6th Hampden) and Sen. Adam Gomez (D- Hampden - represented by his aide) were honored as Legislators of the Year by MAIN (MA Audio Information Network) with deep gratitude for their legislative efforts to support funding for radio reading services in Massachusetts.
Congratulations and well deserved!
● In December, Valley Eye Radio had the great pleasure of presenting to the Low Vision Group that meets every 2nd Monday at the Longmeadow Adult Center. We enjoyed meeting with the members of the group and others who attended and there was a lot of interest and some great questions (we like that!).
- Just in time for Medicare Open Enrollment, Valley Eye Radio broadcast a discussion with Lucilia Prates, Statewide Director for the MA Senior Medicare Patrol Program about Medicare with a focus on combatting Medicare fraud. There was a lot of great information that helps save money for all of us.
● In January, thanks to the Public Health Institute of Western MA, the audio from their very informative webinar on Long Covid was rebroadcast as Valley Eye Radio's feature presentation for our "Special Event Program" (Thursdays at 1 pm).
Featuring Bruce Levy, MD, from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School and Linda Sprague Martinez, PhD, from Boston University, the webinar was co-moderated by Representative Mindy Domb and Jessica Collins, Executive Director of the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts.
● Our thanks also to Baystate Health for providing us audio from a number of their informative webinars. Their February Heart Health series is coming up soon!
Happy Birthday also to all of those dedicated volunteer readers who begin another trip around the sun in the month of November: Linda, Ellen, Heather, Colleen, Jane, Roy, Laurel and our Programming Assistant, Diane.
Happy Birthday as well to all of those volunteers who give so much of themselves and who were greeted by friends and family in the month of December: Joe, Cynthia, Chris, Ling, Wendy, Stephen, Jody and Marie.
Happy Birthday also to all of those dedicated volunteer readers who got their cake and presents in the month of January: Dave, Marilyn, Warren, Jim, Bob Z., Jack, Ken, Tracy, Mary, Peter and Carol.
…and a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday to You” as well to all of those in our volunteer reader family who will receive best wishes from many in the month of February: Pam, Keith, Jeanne, Chris C., Bob, Matt, Sharon and Barb.