Beyond Blindness Raises $165K During Vision Beyond Sight Fundraiser

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Beyond Blindness Newport Beach residents Carol Trapani and her daughter, Lucie Courtious. Carol is Beyond Blindness’ Board Vice Chair and Event Chair and Lucie is an alumna of the Beyond Blindness program.

“As you can imagine, finding out that your child is blind, so many things rush through you. I was willing to do anything to make sure that Lucie had whatever vision that she could possibly have from a scientific and medical standpoint,” said Newport Beach resident Carol Trapani. “The gifts that have resulted from Lucie’s blindness are truly things we never expected. I could not have imagined Lucie’s journey and wonderful outcome without the support of Beyond Blindness.”

Beyond Blindness is the new name of Blind Children’s Learning Center, a nonprofit organization that empowers children with visual impairments and other disabilities to achieve their fullest potential.

Trapani supports Beyond Blindness as the Board Vice-Chair, and served as the chair for the Vision Beyond Sight fundraiser held on June 12 at the Marconi Automotive Museum.

Last year, Beyond Blindness raised more than $100,000 during a virtual charity walk at Newport Dunes, but the Vision Beyond Sight event surpassed that by raising more than $165,000.

Group shot of one of the virtual parties held as part of the hybrid format Beyond Blindness Vision Beyond Sight gala hosted by Beyond Blindness President and Executive Director Angie Rowe and Beyond Blindness Director of Strategy and Innovation, Meredith Cagle. This event was held at the Cagle residence in Newport Beach.

The event was the organization’s first-ever hybrid fundraiser and was live-streamed to supporters throughout Orange County and across the nation.

More than 300 guests gathered at the main event and at smaller parties in their own homes as the organization’s visionary President and Executive Director Angie Rowe teamed with Trapani to reveal the new Beyond Blindness name and logo to the world.

“For nearly 60 years, Blind Children’s Learning Center has prepared children with visual impairments for a life of independence,” shared Rowe. “Our new name signifies our evolution and expansion to serve and positively impact a wider population of children with visual impairments and other disabilities and their families.”

Founded in 1962, Beyond Blindness continues to grow, serving a record 302 OC children and their families last year.

Emceed by Jake Olson, a Huntington Beach native and inspirational speaker who lost his sight as a child and went on to become a successful football long snapper for the USC Trojans, and Beyond Blindness Board Member Jared Moriarty, the event featured a delicious dinner (delivered to those watching at home) prepared by White House Catering.

Chef Huw Mainwaring, father of a Beyond Blindness client, hosted a fun pre-show Zoom with a guided cocktail mixing demonstration while guests dined.

Event entertainment including a lively and stirring performance by Beyond Blindness alum and America’s Got Talent Champion Kodi Lee, who performed a three-song set. Another Beyond Blindness alum, Lily G., performed several songs. Throughout the evening, guests watched informative videos about the nonprofit’s expanded services featuring client families describing the tremendous positive impact that Beyond Blindness’ programs and staff has had on their children’s and their families’ lives.

The evening’s fundraising was lively with a flurry of paddle raising at all giving levels, leading to an impressive $165,000-plus raised in total.

Beyond Blindness’ 4th annual Vision Beyond Sight was presented by The Thompson Family Foundation with additional sponsors Glaukos Charitable Foundation, Wine Country Gift Baskets, The Konopisos Family, FivePoint, Barbara Alvarado, McDermott + Bull, Johnson & Johnson Vision, The Cagle Family, The Rowe Family, Dr. Ashish Metha, Movement Mortgage, MK Electric & Honeybaked Ham, Carol Trapani, and Union Bank.

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Charissa Lopes (left) and Newport Beach Carol Trapani, Beyond Blindness’ Board Vice Chair and Event Chair (right), celebrate at the Beyond Blindness Vision Beyond Sight Gala. Both women have had children in Beyond Blindness’ programs for children with visual impairments and other disabilities.



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