Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Inc.

To provide vision rehabilitation, eye health services and education that promote independence,
to collaborate with and train professionals, and to conduct research in related fields.

It's Possible to See Without Sight™

601 Southwest Eighth Avenue, FL 33130 · Ph: 305.856.2288 · Fx: 305-285.6967 · info@miamilighthouse.org 

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See The Light Luncheon

2015 See The Light Luncheon

Miami Lighthouse Launches 85th Anniversary Celebration Braman Family Foundation Pledges $1 Million To Center Of Excellence Campaign

Miami Lighthouse marked the start of its 85th year serving the blind and visually impaired with CEO Virginia Jacko announcing at its annual See the Light luncheon that the Braman Family Foundation has pledged a $1 million leadership gift toward the expansion of its Center of Excellence to create a new facility, the Lighthouse Learning Center for Visually Impaired Children, which will be matched by an anonymous donor. The much needed new Center will serve as a pre-kindergarten for blind three-and four-year olds, an early intervention center for children from birth to age three and provide a venue for learning laboratories and recreation.

Keynote speaker Thomas J. Wlodkowski, Comcast Vice President for Accessibility, told the audience about Comcast’s collaboration with Miami Lighthouse to pilot the new Comcast Talking Guide. The Spanish language version of the Comcast Talking Guide was unveiled at the luncheon. The innovative new system allows a visually impaired person, using either English or Spanish, to access TV program selection through audio output.

Emceed by Coral Gables Chamber President & CEO, Mark Trowbridge, the event was sponsored by Comcast, Nostro Jones P.A. and GenSpring and was attended by more than 250 community leaders and philanthropists. Hors d’oeuvres were provided by Norma Jean Abraham and Lighthouse logo cookies were provided by Jan Morrison.

For information: Cameron Sisser, 786-362-7515, or visit www.miamilighthouse.org.

2013 See The Light Luncheon

Miami Lighthouse for the Blind Announces New Incentive Challenge at See the Light Luncheon

Hosted by Bessemer Trust, Shutts and Bowen LLP and the Miami Dolphins, more than 200 of South Florida’s philanthropists and community leaders attended the See the Light Luncheon at Riviera Country Club on November 14th. With the generosity of the Wildflower Foundation, a new incentive challenge was announced which will run through the end of 2014.

Operating funds were raised to support programs, such as Braille literacy, computer and digital technology and math laboratory curriculum, to empower young children and teenagers with skills to be competitive and highly productive despite their blindness. Funds will also be used to support Miami Lighthouse’s nationally recognized Better Chance Music Production Program™ student vocalists and musicians.

Miami Lighthouse’s Better Chance Music Production Program™ student vocalist Angel Wallace began the lunch by singing “God Bless the USA,” and Keynote Speaker Pete Gustin, who has overcome his visual impairment to become the voice over artist of the Miami Dolphins, spoke to attendees about programs and services Miami Lighthouse provides and how essential they are to the community.

Supporters and sponsors of the lunch will enable Miami Lighthouse to educate more blind and visually impaired youth and empower them with the skills necessary to live successful, independent lives. According to CEO Jacko, these funds will help meet the demand of a nineteen-fold client increase since 2004; now serving 9,500 individuals annually.

For more information call Cameron Sisser, 786-362-7515 or visit www.miamilighthouse.org.

2012 See The Light Luncheon

Miami Lighthouse For The Blind Celebrates The Completion Of Its Spencer Educational Empowerment Center Challenge

Hosted by Bessemer Trust, Shutts and Bowen LLP and Commissioner Sally Heyman, more than 200 South Florida community leaders attended the See the Light Luncheon at La Gorce Country Club on November 15th.

Major contributors to the capital campaign honored with ceramic plaques made by blind children and adults were The Reverend Marta Weeks, Jan and Dan Lewis, Penny and Roe Stamps, Jacquelyn Hegamyer Hinckley and Katharine Hegamyer. Ruby Jubilarians were also recognized.

Operating funds were raised to support programs in the new facility, such as, Braille literacy, computer and digital technology and math laboratory curriculum, to empower students with skills to be competitive and productive despite their blindness.

The new Fourth Floor Spencer Educational Empowerment Center will allow Miami Lighthouse to educate more blind and visually impaired youth. According to CEO Jacko this expansion will help meet the demand of a fourteen-fold increase since 2006; now serving 9,500 program participants annually.

For more information call Cameron Sisser, 786-362-7515 or visit www.miamilighthouse.org.

2010 Educational Empowerment Grant Challenge

Miami Lighthouse held its sixth annual Share the Vision luncheon at La Gorce Country Club on October 6. At this year's 2010 Share the Vision luncheon, the Educational Empowerment Challenge was announced, a $500,000 matching incentive to expand educational opportunities for our visually impaired students, our professional staff and for internships. This match will also be used to expand our year-round programming for children focusing on Braille and technology literacy and pre-Braille literacy training for our blind babies and their caregivers.

Owen S. Freed, Esq., Chairman of the Board, and Virginia Jacko, Miami Lighthouse President and CEO, presented a beautiful crystal lighthouse to Louis Nostro, Esq., Miami Lighthouse Board Director, and Joseph D. Bolton, Managing Partner, Shutts & Bowen, to honor the law firm for 80 years of dedication and pro bono service to Miami Lighthouse. In 1935, Colonel Shutts of the Miami Herald asked his young lawyer associate Preston Prevatt to provide pro bono service to incorporate Miami Lighthouse, a newly formed private agency serving the blind of Miami. Since then, Shutts & Bowen has supported Miami Lighthouse through legal services and generous donations.

Guests were treated to the musical talents of students who participate in our nationally recognized music inclusion program as they entered the venue. Miami Lighthouse summer camp children Jayden Ferrell and Silvio Plata, delighted the crowd with “Wheels on the Bus” and “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” while Joseph Chica gave a moving invocation.

More than 200 of South Florida’s philanthropists and community leaders attended this extraordinary luncheon, generously underwritten by Bessemer Trust. Guests enjoyed wine provided by Gulf Wine Merchants and beautiful hand-made ceramic centerpieces created by Miami Lighthouse blind and visually impaired adults in the Social Group Activities program.

Miami Lighthouse Board Director Ramón Casas challenged attendees to imagine what vision impairment is like, and spoke about the importance of the matching grant challenge. He praised the  Educational Empowerment Challenge as an example of true philanthropy and pointed out the power of a matching gift, encouraging guests to participate in the challenge.

Miami Lighthouse has received its third consecutive 4-star rating, the highest rating possible, from Charity Navigator in recognition of its ability to efficiently manage and grow its finances.

The notification letter states: “Only 13% of the charities rated by Charity Navigator have received at least 3 consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way, and outperforms most other charities in America."

To view the full press release and the award letter from Charity Navigator click here.
 

2009 MLB Receives One Million Dollar Matching Gift Challenge, Made in Memory of Sash A. Spencer

Miami Lighthouse is pleased to announce a way for new and existing donors to double the impact of their charitable giving: the One Million Dollar Challenge in Memory of Sash A. Spencer. Through this challenge all new donations or gifts of an increased amount from existing donors between $100 and $150,000 will be generously matched by Mary Spencer.

2008 Miami Lighthouse Hosts 4th Annual “Share the Vision” Luncheon

Over 250 of South Florida’s most generous philanthropists and community leaders were on hand to watch Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired accept the first $250,000 installment of the “One Million Dollar Challenge in Memory of Sash A. Spencer,” an incentive matching gift from philanthropist Mary M. Spencer at the 4th Annual “Share the Vision” fundraising luncheon November 12 at La Gorce Country Club. Thanks to the generosity of Mrs. Spencer, all new donations or gifts of an increased amount from current or past donors between $100 and $150,000 will be matched in the memory of her beloved husband, Sash A. Spencer.

This year’s luncheon, generously underwritten by Bessemer Trust, raised $350,000 for programs and services offered to blind and visually impaired children and adults. Guests enjoyed wine from The River Wines and beautiful table centerpieces designed by Epicure Events which incorporated hand-made ceramic pieces created by Miami Lighthouse blind and visually impaired children and adults.

 

 
 
   
   
   

 

 

Miami Lighthouse was recognized at the 2015 Florida Blue Foundation Sapphire Awards luncheon as an organization that has demonstrated excellence and innovation in community health.

 

Miami Lighthouse ranks among the elite 1% of U.S. nonprofits having earned nine consecutive 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator, the nation’s premier independent nonprofit evaluator. Receiving such a distinction reflects our sound fiscal management, responsible use of donor dollars, and financial strength.

 

Miami Lighthouse has earned the Silver participation level through the GuideStar Exchange which is a testament to Miami Lighthouse’s commitment to data transparency.

 

 

                 

 

 

Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious 2015 Beacon Award in Education at the 13th Annual Beacon Council Awards.

 

Miami Lighthouse was the recipient of the 2013 Switchboard Miami All Star Most Valuable Non-Profit Award.

 

Miami Lighthouse is a two-time Charity Partner (2013 and 2014) of the Marlins Foundation and a 2017 Major League Baseball All-Star Game Legacy Partner. Our Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program has received over $300,000 in charitable donations through these partnerships.

 

Miami Lighthouse named "Best of Miami" Charity 2017 by the New Times.

   
                     

Miami Lighthouse received United Homecare’s 2012 Thelma Gibson Community Service Award at the 18th Annual Claude Pepper Memorial Awards Ceremony.

 

Miami Lighthouse received a Silver medal at the 2016 Miami Today Gold Medal Awards Ceremony.

 

Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious South Florida Business Journal 2011 Excellence in Health Care Award in the Community Outreach category.

 

Miami Lighthouse honored by being named the recipient of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce 2010 Non-Profit Business Diamond Award.

 

Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious 2008 Concern Award from Health Foundation of South Florida.