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Beacon Newsletter April-June 2022

Letter From LHOB

Dear Lighthouse Family,

It is with great sadness that I report that two of our wonderful staff members recently passed away:  Alexia Serrano and Roberto Gutierrez.  Their loss has been a terrible upset for our team, as they were both well-loved and an important part of the Lighthouse family.

Alexia, a Lighthouse graduate, had multiple, challenging health issues for many years, causing severe visual impairment.  Despite these issues, she always had a warm smile on her face, a kind word for everyone and an unmatched work ethic.  

I always called her my “Director of First Impressions,” when she served as the receptionist in our front lobby, always greeting all guests and clients with her trademark huge smile and sunny disposition.  She then transferred to our Workforce Enterprises program, where she was the production team lead and then promoted to production supervisor. She worked at the Lighthouse for a total of eight years.   I heartily agree with Scott Stewart, her supervisor, when he said, “Some people live their life trying to be inspirational, Alexia didn’t have to try.”  She truly was an inspiration, a blessing to everyone in her world.  Alexia, who was 41 when she passed, left behind her loving daughter, mother and niece.  

Roberto Gutierrez was Alexia’s colleague at Workforce Enterprises.  Roberto, known for his great sense of humor and love for rapping, singing and dancing, was completely blind.  He brought his lively personality to the Lighthouse as a client where he completed our Ready to Work program and other training.  He then landed a position at Workforce Enterprises where he started by assembling computer mice for a government contract.  He advanced to training new hires and developing seamless processes for blind people to effectively assemble new products.  

Although Roberto faced tough health issues daily, he was a hard working staff member who showed up with a joyful attitude and zest for life.  He left behind his wife and two children, and was 36 when he passed away.

 Alexia.jpgRoberto Gutierrez.jpg
Above:  Alexia Serrano                     
Above: Roberto Gutierrez

Rest in peace, Alexia and Roberto.  You are missed.

“And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always irregularly.
Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be better.
For they existed.”
~ Excerpt from “When Great Trees Fall” by Maya Angelou

Sincerely,

Ellyn Drotzer, MSW, LCSW
President & CEO
Lighthouse of Broward

 

Upcoming Important Information & Dates

 

April 29th (Friday):

Client Appreciation Event. Please see below for more information.

May 30 (Monday):

Memorial Day. The Lighthouse will be closed. 

 

We're ecstatic to be able to offer in-person social groups and activities at the Lighthouse of Broward once more. If you have any suggestions for new groups, please contact Mitzie at the front desk at 954-463-4217, ext. 0.

Our 2021 impact statement now available on our website at https://www.lhob.org/publications. 

 

LHOB Social Groups and Activities

 

Client Appreciation Event:

Friday April 29th 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Location: 12855 NW 8th Street Sunrise, FL 33326. 

The event is organized by LHOB staff to show appreciation and recognition of our current and past clients. Lunch will be served. There will be meditation/yoga, awards, music, activities, and raffles. 

The event will start with a Gentle, Beginner Yoga/Meditation Session from 10:00-11:00am with a certified, trauma informed yoga instructor. Bring a yoga mat or a beach towel to sit on. Other activities will begin after the yoga session. Clients are encouraged to attend both.

Space is limited. Please RSVP to Mitzie at 954-463-4217 ext 0.

 

Baking with Joel:

1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month starting April 5th from 10:00-2:00. RSVP with Mitzie at 954-463-4217 ext 0. Each session clients will learn techniques to improve their baking skills. There is no cost at this time for this program. There is a limited number of spaces. 

 

In person Trivia Group:

Meets the 1st Friday of each month, from 10 am -12 pm. When raucous laughter is heard in the halls of the Lighthouse, you can be sure it’s coming from the trivia group. Questions on a variety of subjects are read by a volunteer, and anyone who thinks they have the answer is free to call it out. Please RSVP to Mitzie at 954-463-4217 ext 0. Dates: April 1, May 6 (will last only 1 hour due to Client Appreciation event), June 3. 

 

Descriptive Movies:

Join us for a movie, popcorn, and treats. The movies will be shown in the Boardroom. 

The movies will start at 10:00a.m., please RSVP with Mitzie at 954-463-4217 ext 0. 

April 8th- Rising Phoenix-

Elite athletes and insiders reflect on the Paralympic Games and examine how they impact a global understanding of disability, diversity and excellence.

May 13th- Pick of the Litter-

Pick of the Litter follows a litter of puppies from the moment they're born and begin their quest to become Guide Dogs for the Blind, the ultimate canine career. Five Labrador puppies embark on a 20-month training to pass the milestones on their journey to becoming guide dogs for people with visual impairment.

June 10th- Touch the Top of the World-

The story of the first blind man ever to reach the top of Mount Everest.

 

Support  for Past and Present LHOB Clients:

Every Wednesday from 1:00-2:00. This support group is to help participants manage anxiety related to isolation that has occurred during this difficult time of social distancing. Counselors will discuss strategies for dealing with stress and anxiety. Members of this group can connect; share their experiences, coping strategies, and their strength and hope. 

For more information, contact Elaine Schiffman at 954-463-4217 EXT. 131 or eschiffman@LHOB.org. 

 

Job Networking Group:

A group for Job Readiness Graduates to share job leads and experiences, refresh their skills, and connect with resources in the community. Meets the 2nd Tuesday of every month virtually from 2:00 to 3:00 PM with Sunny Musgrave. Contact Smusgrave@lhob.org or 954-463-4217 ext. 135 for questions and RSVPs. Dates: April 12th, May 10th, June 14th. 

 

Are you interested in learning more about the impact returning to work has on your social security benefits? Meet Lesly Quin, the Project Director at Keys Advocacy Center, who is an expert on the subject.  She will provide LHOB clients and staff with a presentation on the topic on April 12th 2022 from 2:00-3:00PM via Zoom. please contact Mitzie at the front desk at 954-463-4217, ext. 0 for the information.