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Linda Hackshaw and Shannon Wohlford recently joined Millcreek Township Supervisor John Groh to talk about how the Sight Center makes a difference in the community.
The Sight Center of NWPA partners with the United Way of Erie County to provide vision screenings to Erie County preschoolers like Reese. The screenings aim to prevent, detect and reduce visual impairment and handicap in local children.
In the winter of 2007, a strong sideways wind could blow snow through the windows at Vision and Blindness Resources – formerly known as The Blind Center, or more affectionately, “That Place on Cherry Street.” Something drastic had to be done.
We contacted the Erie Community Fund Drives Committee and got on the list for a potential capital campaign. We soon realized, however, that it wasn’t just the building that needed work. The entire internal structure of the agency needed a good overhaul. With all eyes on the future, the board, executive director and staff undertook exactly that – a complete organizational renovation. Tyco Swick, Executive Director for 46 years, retired and was replaced by Linda Hackshaw. New members were recruited to the board. Staff changes increased our professionalism and capacity to serve. We changed our name to The Sight Center to reflect the positive nature of our work and a new location was secured. Campaign counsel was hired, feasibility studies completed and a goal of $1.35 million was set. Then the market took the worst nosedive in recent history.
Undeterred, we set out to raise the money needed and the community responded with $1.4 million in donations. We are grateful to all those individuals and organizations that placed their faith in us and made a contribution to support the needs of those served by The Sight Center.