Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


June 5, 2014

Foundation presents $10,000 to VIS Group

CROSSVILLE — One hundred attendees of the recently held InSight on Vision Conference were overwhelmed with gratitude to the Macular Degeneration Foundation, when Liz Trauernicht, president and director of communications, awarded the Visually Impaired Support (VIS) Group of Cumberland County with a check for $10,000.

Trauernicht lauded the VIS Group’s activity in and around the Crossville area, stating, “This community is so fortunate to have such an active support group for the blind and visually impaired. Believe me, there are much larger cities in this country that do not have the participation and community outreach as this group demonstrates.” 

Because Cumberland County has an increased number of retired residents, age-related macular degeneration levels are higher than average. According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, age-related chronic eye disease is caused by abnormal blood vessels that leak fluid or blood into the center of the retina, leading to vision loss.

The Macular Degeneration Foundation was the first national organization dedicated to the support and education of those suffering from macular degeneration. Edmund Alexandrovich, who found himself frustrated by the disease because he couldn’t find support or appropriate vision aids, spearheaded the organization in 1992. The foundation received national recognition on the ABC show "20/20" with Barbara Walters in 1997. This episode brought wide acclaim to the Macular Degeneration Foundation, becoming the springboard for all its efforts: support, education, advanced technology devices and medical research. Through all its growth and success, the foundation remains true to those whom the organization was formed — those affected by macular degeneration. 

Trauernicht keeps subscribers abreast of news-breaking information by publishing the foundation’s newsletter, "The Magnifer." (You may receive this quarterly publication free-of-charge by calling or subscribing online at She answers questions and offers support for the macular degeneration patients that call on the toll-free line: 1-888-633-3937.

The moderator for the InSight on Vision Conference was Mary Jane Chiomos, a loyal VIS Group member. Mary Jane started the program by introducing the president of the Tennessee Council of the Blind, Dan Dillon. Dillon, who has been blind for more than 50 years, is a talented musician. Dillon opened the conference with the song "Try a Little Kindness." This set a good tone for the program’s introduction.

Adding to the success of the InSight on Vision Conference were the interesting and informative presentations by David W. Litchford, MD; Cory J. Bosanko, OD, FAAO; Bruce D. Gilliland, OD; John M. Pino, OD, PhD; Tennessee Rehabilitation Services’ Jean Southard; Enhanced Vision’s Paul Day; Eschenbach Optik’s Stacy Fortney; and Trauernicht. Subjects covered were eye health, smartphone applications, low-vision driving, nutrition, Tennessee services and low vision devices and equipment. Every evaluation that was filled out by a visually challenged attendee rated the conference as excellent, noting its informative content, professional materials and delivery.

InSight on Vision Chair Margie DeMars stated, “We are a 100-percent volunteer group. We are well pleased and feel this second InSight on Vision Conference was a success. As for our speakers, I have heard from many of them in a most positive light. The VIS Group and I thank each of them for their topic preparedness, professional countenance and the trust they have placed in us. You have all taken on a wonderful undertaking — imparting education and hope for those with poor vision. Thank you!

"Of course, we in the VIS Group were overwhelmed with emotion when Liz unexpectedly presented us with the $10,000 check," she added. "The VIS Group takes this donation seriously, knowing in faith they have entrusted us with an obligation. The VIS Group will wisely continue planning community outreach and member services.”

In closing, while strumming his guitar, Dillon sang "You’ve Got a Friend." This was a good song in parting. You have a friend in the VIS Group. Come and join them!

Paul Day of Enhanced Vision had donated a Mini Pebble, valued at $300. The lucky winner was Lucille Frady of Crossville. Frady was overcome with emotion when presented with this wonderful digital magnifier. Trauernicht awarded Peter Wotowiec of Pikeville with a Tony Digital Magnifier. This device projects enlarged print onto a television screen and has a value of $125. Wotowiec states that he is really enjoying using the device and that he is very thankful.

“We are a participating partner of the United Fund of Cumberland County. We are grateful to them for their continued support of all our programs, including this second InSight on Vision Conference,” stated Linda Simmons, VIS Group president.

The next meeting of the VIS Group will be Thursday, June 12, at the Sonshine Soup Kitchen, 69 Neecham St. in Crossville at 9:30 a.m. The speaker will be Janis Holt, MD of Cumberland Eye Care, Fairfield Glade. Recently, Dr. Holt has performed several eye surgeries, including corneal transplants. All the meetings are open to the public. For people who couldn’t attend the InSight on Vision program, materials of interest will be available. Coffee and pastry are always provided.

Please support the VIS Group’s next fundraiser: A Trip Down Memory Lane on Saturday, June 21, at the Palace Theatre at 7 p.m. Performers will be Memory Road, a premiere oldies duo featuring Dennis Hill and Gibbs Lukoskie, plus Frank Saxton, Terri Utsey and Jim Pitts.

The VIS Group's motto is "Keep Your Eyes on Us… We’re Going Places!" Contact Margie DeMars at 456-6758 or for more information.

Text Only
  • FFG Resident Services Painting.jpg FFG Resident Services presents painting to the Pat Summitt Foundation

    A dramatic portrait of Pat Summitt, painted by Chuck Jensen, was presented to the Pat Summitt Foundation by Fairfield Glade Resident Services at its Community Information Event on memory care.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 127 seniors JosephZarolla-W6.jpg Zarola entertains 127 Seniors

    The members of the 127 South Senior Center met Friday, July 25, for bingo and Mexican Train domino game. Conversation, along with coffee and sweets, was enjoyed by all. Helen Lord called the bingo numbers, and the prizes were furnished by Eye Centers of Tennessee. Life Care Center checked everyone's blood pressures.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marriage licenses (Published July 30, 2014)

    July 29, 2014

  • Habitat-Group photo-Crisp Dedication .jpg Habitat celebrates 55th home dedication

    Anne Crisp is excited that she and her two daughters have a home to call their own. Cumberland County Habitat for Humanity (CCHFH) dedicated the 55th home to be built in partnership with low-income families. Crisp put more than 500 hours of "sweat equity" into her home and has completed 50 hours of self-improvement, where she attended classes on budgeting, home maintenance and good neighbor among others.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Gypsy Rose to visit Fair Park

    The Cumberland County Playhouse is currently performing the award-winning Broadway play “Gypsy.” A great American story set during the 1920s fading vaudeville circuit, "Gypsy" portrays the rise of famed burlesque performer and stage mother Gypsy Rose Lee as she journeys across the country with her mother and sister during a time when Vaudeville was dying and burlesque was born. The complex character of Rose could be described as bold and brassy, as she steamrolls everyone in her way to turn her daughters June and Louise into child stars.

    July 28, 2014

  • plateau gardening-springBlooms4361.jpg Match August garden tasks to plant biology

    During all seasons in temperate climates like ours the greenery around us is changing. New shoots appear and leaves pop out of swollen buds after spring rains.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pleasant Hill Ramblings.jpg Landis reunites with Japanese teacher

    There is a special lady living in Pleasant Hill who spent 42 years of her life in Sendai, Japan, teaching English at a Japanese Christian school and as a missionary with the United Church of Christ Board for World Ministries.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lion of Year.jpg Lions Club recognizes Lion of the Year

    Charles Loveday, charter member of the Crossville Lions Club, was recognized as the Lion of the Year at the annual installation of officers picnic July 8. Loveday earned this award for his service as first vice president, membership chairman, eye glass chairman and his help with fundraisers and other matters where needed. From left are Loveday and President Gary Laura.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 8-8 counseling center-play with dolls.jpg Christian Counseling Center celebrating 12 years

    Help the Christian Counseling Center of Cumberland County (C5) celebrate 12 years of community service. Dine at Ruby Tuesday of Crossville Aug. 8, 9 or 10. Print the flyer from the center’s website,, and give it to the server.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • A Time 4 Paws collecting shoes to help Soles4Souls in fight against global poverty

    Attention anyone with a closet! Those shoes no longer wanted are desperately needed to fight the human tragedy of global poverty.

    July 24, 2014