Funds raised support new vision center

The Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Utica recently raised $1,057,908 as a match to a $500,000 challenge issued in 2018 by The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties.

The funds help support construction of an $8 million, state-of-the-art vision rehabilitation center in Utica, a part of CABVI’s $14.1 million Focus on the Future Initiative.

“To declare that ‘Central New York came through in a big way’ would be an understatement,” said Rudy D’Amico, president-CEO of CABVI. “CABVI raised over $1 million to meet the $500,000 challenge — the largest challenge grant in The Community Foundation’s history. I am proud that CABVI’s supporters, which included many of The Community Foundation’s fund-holders, exceeded the goal.”

“We hoped to inspire community members to support the mission and vision of CABVI and the work they are doing to transform our community. The final result is overwhelming,” said Alicia Dicks, president-CEO of The Community Foundation.

“CABVI continues to advance opportunities for individuals who are blind or visually impaired, from early intervention through services for seniors, in innovative ways that also promote economic development and neighborhood revitalization,” said Dicks.

The $500,000 challenge is one component of CABVI’s Focus on the Future Initiative thath has three major components:

— Construction of a 23,000-square-foot vision and wellness center in Utica

— Renovations to CABVI’s headquarters in Utica

— Purchase and renovation of a building for CABVI Syracuse Industries in DeWitt

CABVI is within $250,000 from achieving the Focus on the Future goal.

Visit to learn more about the Focus on the Future Initiative and to make a gift.