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Manatee Community Foundation Offers Post-Hurricane Assistance to Lighthouse

Manatee Community Foundation Offers Post-Hurricane Assistance to Lighthouse
For Immediate Release
May 22, 2023
Amanda Just, Communications Specialist 

Bradenton, FL - The Manatee Community Foundation has awarded a $20,000 grant to Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center to assist the non-profit organization in its post-Hurricane Ian recovery. The funds from the grant will cover the rent charges for its temporary offices at 1506 Bayshore Gardens Parkway in Bradenton while repairs on the building are underway.

Wind and water from the September 2022 storm caused damage from the second floor to the main floor of the Lighthouse building at 7318 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, 34243, just 1.5 miles north of Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. The entire first floor had water damage in the drywall, the flooring, and the ceilings; all need to be replaced. The building has been closed since the storm, however Lighthouse services have continued in temporary locations around the community, as well as remotely and in the homes of its visually impaired clients.

During the past six months, we have been unable to provide the space for client socialization such as interest groups and holiday parties (we've missed Halloween through Easter at this point),” explained Lighthouse Director of Development, Francine Diemer. “Studies show that isolation is a prime challenge for those with vision loss. At the time of the storm, we were resuming our in-person services post-Covid, only to be paused again due to Ian.”

Now that Lighthouse has settled into its temporary office, the agency looks forward to reopening the Peepers magnification store by appointment in June, as well as offering more group classes and activities in-person and one-on-one client sessions in a primary location. They will also be hosting a volunteer open house on Thursday, June 22nd.

About Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center: Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center is the only nationally accredited, private, non-profit agency providing rehabilitation training to blind and visually impaired individuals of all ages residing in a five county region that includes Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto, Charlotte and Highlands. The Lighthouse offers training and rehabilitation to foster independence, productivity, and improved quality of life. For more information, please visit


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Media Contact : Amanda Just

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