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New England College of Optometry to receive 2015 Community Partner Award from MABVI

NECO selected for award to honor College’s commitment to MABVI’s mission

New England College of Optometry has been selected to receive the 2015 Volunteer Community Partner Award from the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI). NECO will be honored at the MABVI Volunteer Appreciation and Marathon Brunch on April 19th, 2015 at the Westin Copley Place. The brunch will honor MABVI volunteers and the 25 athletes and their guides who are participating on the Team with A Vision marathon team.

The Community Partner Award is being given to NECO to honor the College’s commitment to and support for the work done by MABVI. The social service organization serves blind and visually impaired adults and elders through rehabilitation services for people with low vision, including adaptive strategies, medical referrals for eye care, and volunteers who assist with transportation and daily life.

Barbara Salisbury, Chief Executive Officer for MABVI, explains, “MABVI would like to honor NECO for being an outstanding community partner… for your commitment to our mission and for all your support and help with MABVI’s Volunteer Program.”

Kyle Robidoux, MABVI’s Director of Volunteer and Support Group Services states that “NECO has worked with MABVI to raise awareness of the volunteer program, which matches sighted volunteers with individuals who are blind or visually impaired in their community to assist with tasks such as reading mail or going on errands. This has resulted in over 10 current and former NECO students signing up to offer their time as volunteers. In addition, NECO staff and students have assisted MABVI in its events over the Boston Marathon weekend, including participating in the Blindfold Challenge to raise funds and awareness for MABVI.”

Throughout the years, NECO has been a strong supporter of MABVI programs. This year, second year NECO students Rebecca Deffler and Katelyn Vilasi are participating in the 2015 Blindfold Challenge, an event co-organized by MABVI that raises funds to benefit individuals who are visually impaired. Vilasi will lead her blindfolded classmate Deffler through a 5K course, helping her to navigate the route the same way sighted guides do with runners who have visual impairments.

“Having the continued support of an organization like NECO is instrumental in growing our Volunteer Program,” says Kyle Robidoux. “We are proud to present NECO with our Volunteer Community Partner Award to honor this partnership.”

To learn more about MABVI visit