Claremore support group for visually impaired people to celebrate 11th anniversary

Longtime friend and supporter Visual Services Program Supervisor Charlie Tipps will entertain at the September 18 meeting of Claremore Support Group.

The Claremore Support Group for the Blind and Visually Impaired will celebrate their 11th anniversary at their monthly meeting on Wednesday, September 18.

Approximately 25 people with vision loss from Claremore, Catoosa, Oolagah, Chelsea and the surrounding area meet from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month at the Claremore Community Center, 2301 N. Sioux.

There is no charge to attend. A free pizza and salad lunch will be served with coffee and soft drinks.

Group co-coordinators LaVinda Bolton and her son Jason Bolton will honor Charley Tipps, a longtime friend and Visual Services program supervisor, at the September 18 meeting.

Visual Services, a division of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, helps people who are blind or visually impaired reach their employment or personal independence goals.

Tipps, who is blind, encouraged Bolton and co-founder Sue Speer to start the Claremore Support Group for the Blind and Visually Impaired in 2008.

He remained a strong supporter after a promotion to a supervisory position made it more difficult for him to travel to Claremore.

Rehabilitation of the Blind Specialist Julie Bailey now represents Visual Services at support group meetings.

Tipps plans to retire in October after XX years at Visual Services. He will return to entertain the Claremore Support Group with stories and songs on the keyboard. Tipps’ wife Ruthie plans to sing. Group member Kenny Blair will accompany them on guitar.

“Charley has been a lifeline to our support group,” LaVinda Bolton said. “Anything that came up, we called Charley. He helped us so much, supported us so much and backed us in whatever we tried to do.”

The Claremore Lions Club pays for Pelivan transportation to and from the meeting for group members in Claremore city limits.

For more information, contact LaVinda Bolton at 918-576-4752.

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