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Mayor Ness Will Experience Loss of Vision on Tuesday, October 15

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Mayor Don Ness is prepared to experience blindness because October is “Sharing the Vision Month”.  It’s also the month chosen for the Duluth Lions Club to have their annual 16th Annual Apple Harvest sale. There’s still time to order your bushel or your peck. Cost is $12 for a peck (10 lbs) and $45 for a bushel (40lbs).  Purchase yours from any Duluth Lions Club Member with pick up scheduled for October 16th or 17th.

Lions Club’s across the Nation raise money for local charities and also take part in contributing worldly to causes like diabetes, hearing impaired and loss of sight. Sharing the Vision helps to raise awareness of the importance of healthy connection with World Sight Day in our community by helping those who live with blindness and visual impairment.

The Mayor of Duluth, Mayor Don Ness, will be participating in Sharing the Vision Month by walking blindfolded down Duluth’s streets in search of a bus stop on Tuesday, Oct. 15. He will be assisted by specially-trained Lighthouse for the Blind staff. Mayor Ness will leave the Lighthouse parking lot at approximately 10:20 a.m. and head toward a bus stop about two blocks away. The mayor will return to the Lighthouse for a brief ceremony at 11:00 am, where he will proclaim Oct. 15 White Cane Day in Duluth. At the ceremony he will tell of his experience and how it felt to have to navigate city streets without vision.

White Cane Day is a great opportunity to raise local awareness among motorists about the importance of watching for people in crosswalks, particularly those who cannot see. White Cane Safety Day has been observed nationally and in many local communities since 1964.  There are two goals in mind for White Cane Safety Day. To remind community residents to yield right-of-way to pedestrians using a white cane or guide dog at street crossings and to celebrate the white cane as a symbol of independence for people who are blind.

Executive Director, Mary Junnila says, “As America ages, more and more people are losing their vision. We’re definitely seeing that trend here in the Northland,” says Lighthouse Executive Director Mary Junnila. “But vision loss should never be a reason to stop living a safe, full and independent life. We want people to know that the Lighthouse is here to help people maintain their independence.”

When it comes to protecting pedestrians, including those with vision loss, remember to follow these common-sense guidelines:

  • If a pedestrian who is blind or visually impaired places a white cane into the street, or if a guide dog steps off the curb, it indicates the person is going to cross the street. Please remain stopped until the pedestrian has crossed the entire street.
  • Avoid “rolling stops.” They are not safe – and not legal.
  • Always be prepared to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks, regardless of  whether there is a stop sign or stop light.
  •  Don’t turn right on red without coming to a full stop and looking for all pedestrians. It’s the law.
  • Don’t honk or wave at pedestrians using a white cane or guide dog. They cannot see you and will be confused by this.

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