Lise Pace prepares for Dining in the Dark, Bosma Enterprises major fundraising event, in this Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives February blog

Oh my gosh—never in my life would I have thought that a 48 to 50 degree day would feel like summer time to me, but the weather this past three days is making me look forward to spring and summer. It is probably too early for me to get my seasonal hair highlights and start using my tinted moisturizer, but I am really tempted!  My husband laughs at my optimism (he thinks we still will have a couple of big storms this year) as he has been shoveling off the four inches of ice and snow on his way to our grill.  Yes, we grilled out—we are really anxious to see the spring showers and May flowers—and to eat food off the grill.

It is a really busy February around Bosma Enterprises as we look forward to the spring. Bosma Enterprises volunteers, 25 of them, have begun making their scarves to donate to the 2012 Super Bowl initiative, Super Scarves.  For the most part, it has gone really well and we even have one person who has completed their first scarf.  Amazing!  I am not only coordinating the project, but I am hoping to knit a scarf or two to donate.  I have really struggled with this project because I want the scarf I turn in to be perfect. I have gotten both a quarter of the way through a scarf, even half way once—only to discover an imperfection.  I am currently on my third attempt and so far so good. This project, in spite of me, has been amazing to watch develop. It has been wonderful to see people who have never crafted a scarf before learn; to observe people who have a significant disability overcome obstacles so they can give back to their community; and to watch people help each other learn how to make a scarf whether they are using a loom, knitting or crocheting.

We are also preparing for one of our annual fundraising event at the Conrad Hilton.  It is titled Dining in the Dark.  The event provides an opportunity for participants to eat a meal in an environment that provides a glimpse into what it might be like to do without any vision.  Of course, it is not promoted that this one night event demonstrates what it is like to be blind or visually impaired, that is not the purpose of holding it.  Instead, I hope that it gets people thinking about what needs to be accomplished to provide opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired to be independent. As someone who is visually impaired, I love the event and am looking forward to it.  Last year, it raised a lot of money to support programs that provide training which is so incredibly important.   Our inaugural event was sold out last year and I believe we only a few spots remaining this year.

This month or early in March, I will be taking part in the chartering of Bosma Enterprises’ Toastmaster Club. In August, Josh Eskew, an AmeriCorp*VISTA deployed at our organization began putting it together as a method to develop the skills of volunteers participating in our Speakers’ Bureau.   The club has gained momentum and now includes volunteers, members of our staff from across the company—all levels, and we have just opened it up to the community so anyone can join our club.  The meetings are so much fun and it is heartwarming to see people who you had no idea were articulate and insightful shine while speaking in front of a group of their co-workers.  May I remind everyone it is said that most people would rather be the person ion the casket than the person delivering the eulogy!  So for a lot of people, including me—it is a major accomplishment to just participate.  The other neat thing about the club is that everyone is equal during the meetings.  We are just a group of people trying to improve our speaking and listening skills.

My husband just brought dinner in and while it doesn’t feel like summer tonight, our meal sure smells like the aroma of the BBQ and gives



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