Opening the Doors of Hope – The Carl R. Otto Annex

On Thursday, February 13th, Society for the Blind was joined by more than 130 guests, including Vice Mayor Jeff Harris, Councilmember Steve Hansen and Director of the California Department of Rehabilitation, Joe Xavier, as we unveiled our new first floor Annex.

Nearly one year ago I shared in this blog that we were getting close to starting on the build-out of the remaining 5,000 square feet of space in our building at 13th and S streets. Today, we have a beautiful multipurpose training room, a new teaching kitchen for our Senior IMPACT Project, a new Music Room and a new Conference room. Sign at event. Text reads: Welcome to Our New Space Sign

We dedicated this beautiful training area in memory of Carl R. Otto, who served on Society’s board of directors until his untimely death in 2007. He led the initial campaign to renovate our building, and his company, Otto Construction, did much of that work. His daughter, Allison, joined our board in 2010, went on to serve as our board president, is currently our board secretary, and co-chaired our Vision 2020 campaign that raised more than $4.5M to fund the build-out and provide for growth of our programs.

We are grateful to the many people in the Sacramento region who contributed to the Vision 2020 campaign and are making it possible for the growing number of people living with vision loss to access our services, workshops and events. I also want to thank Katie Earl of the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce for providing the props for our ribbon cutting and for bringing six Chamber Ambassadors. Society is a proud member of the Metro Chamber.

The Otto Annex will increase our ability to serve more people who need to learn blindness skills – but it’s not all work and no play at Society! We like to have fun at Society, and this past Saturday, our CareersPLUS Youth program hosted a Valentine’s Dance and Karaoke Party in the Otto Annex. Youth with vision loss, their friends and family enjoyed an evening of dancing, singing and fun – a delightful way to close out a week of celebration and open the doors of hope.