HKSB News Release
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Renovated Braille Center
Long Island Man Makes Capital Improvements Possible with $250,000 Donation to Helen Keller Services for the Blind
Library Renamed for Its Benefactor
New York, March 1, 2007
Helen Keller Services for the Blind (HKSB) and its Board of Trustees celebrated the completion of several capital improvements to its Braille and large-print library by holding a ribbon cutting ceremony and plaque unveiling today.
The library was also renamed in honor of its benefactor and former client, Long Island resident Louis Anzalone, who attended the ceremony.
Because of Mr. Anzalone’s generous gift, The Louis Anzalone Braille Center is being modernized into a state-of-the art center for the production of Braille and large-print textbooks for elementary and high school students. Capital improvements include re-design of the entranceway; lobby enhancement; state-of-the-art production equipment and software; and upgrading as new technology becomes available.
The Louis Anzalone Braille Center is located in Hempstead, New York and is one of the primary production and distribution centers for Braille and large-print textbooks for students who are blind or visually impaired in grades K-12.
“This gift has an immediate impact on the students we serve,” said John Lynch, executive director of HKSB. “We hope that this type of generosity is transforming and inspires others to partner with us as we strive to help all individuals who are blind or visually impaired develop independence and participate actively in their communities.”
Born in Glen Cove, New York, Mr. Anzalone developed ocular albinism and has been legally blind since he was a youth. Mr. Anzalone was raised on Long Island and received services over the years from HKSB’s Low Vision Clinic. After a successful career with General Electric, Mr. Anzalone retired to Florida with his wife Christine in the 1990’s. Mr. Anzalone had desired for years to give back to the organization that helped him to achieve the self-confidence and independence he needed to succeed in the business world. “I wanted to return something to Helen Keller Services for the Blind, especially to young people who are blind or visually impaired. I feel it is so important for these children to further their education,” said Anzalone, “and I feel fortunate to be in a position to give something to the organization that I know helps so many others who are blind or visually impaired.”
In addition to the $250,000 gift for the Braille Center, Mr. Anzalone also donated $10,000 in 2003 for a Braille Embossing Machine. Over the past few years the machine has been able to increase the Center’s output of books in addition to improving their quality.
Since 1893, Helen Keller Services for the Blind (HKSB) has been a pioneer in the field of blindness rehabilitation and served thousands and thousands of blind and visually impaired individuals. Headquartered in Brooklyn, the agency has additional rehabilitation sites in Hempstead and Huntington, Long Island and operates the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults in Sands Point, New York.