Santa Claus and Red Lobster: A Winning Combination for a Helping Cause

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FullSizeRenderBy 8:30 a.m. a crowd had formed within Red Lobster in Nanuet, where a delicious aroma of eggs, bacon, sausage and pancakes filled the air.

“There were times when 20 people were on line,” Josephine Lore said of the Association for the Visually Impaired (AVI)’s first Annual “Breakfast with Santa” last Saturday, which drew more than 250 children and adults.

“This was our first event, and it was wonderful,” the AVI board member said Monday morning.

IMG_2437Red Lobster of Nanuet donated its restaurant, which was festively decorated for guests, and the food, juice and coffee. General manager Isaac Reyes said he was happy to donate the food; Santa Claus volunteered his time to the merriment. The morning included a visit with Santa Claus and a raffle drawing of popular children’s toys, and was a fun way for the public to learn about AVI and its many services.

“AVI is a wonderful organization,” she said. “We have a staff that’s been here for years providing rehabilitation, helping people with mobility” and other needs. “It’s an organization that’s needed in our community, and I’m proud to be a board member.”

Board member Josephine Lore presenting a $1,000. check from M&T bank to AVI.
Board member Josephine Lore presenting a $1,000. check from M&T bank to AVI.

“We were overwhelmed with the turnout and the generosity of our staff, board and of course the community,” Executive Director Beth A. Bate-Du Boff.

Proceeds will enable AVI to continue to provide free comprehensive vision rehabilitation services and programs to the residents of Rockland and Orange Counties who are blind and visually impaired. All attendees received a bracelet with the inscription of AVI in Braille. Thank you to Red Lobster and its general manager Isaac Reyes, Pete Kenny (Santa), The Lego Store, The Jewelry Showroom and other raffle sponsors.

“It was an honor and a privilege to host this event,” Reyes said. “I’ve been at this location for about one year and am happy to assist the community.”

FullSizeRender1Founded in 1973, the 501(c) (3) nonprofit provides rehabilitation services for Rockland’s visually impaired and blind residents of all ages. AVI’s one-to-one instruction, developed with consideration to each person’s needs and goals, includes social work, support groups, rehabilitation, educational support, orientation and mobility instruction, transportation, volunteer services and job placements.

“It was a very good event and one of our most successful,” National Federation of the Blind of New York State board member Edwin V. White Sr. said “The turnout was very good.”

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