MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

October 21, 2013

Jazz bands join forces for concert

Oklahoma School for the Blind jazz band, MHS jazz band to play

Jazz bands from two schools will perform at a White Cane concert today.

The concert, set for 6 p.m. at the Oklahoma School for the Blind, will feature the OSB jazz band and Muskogee High School jazz band. The event is presented by the Muskogee County Lions Club with help from the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center. The event is geared to raise awareness of the capabilities of blind children and blind veterans.

Admission is free. Donations will be accepted to support OSB.

“This is a good event to help bridge the gap and show people that just because they have vision impairment, it doesn’t mean these kids can’t do things that kids without vision impairment can do,” said Jason Jones, president of Muskogee County Lions Club. “By having both bands together, they’re able to bridge the gap.”

Jones said this will be the first time the organization has put on a White Cane event.

“The Lions Club is into vision improvement,” Jones said, adding that he was attracted to the club because he has a vision problem. The organization’s website says its primary mission is to “improve the quality of life for the vision impaired.”

October is Sharing the Vision Month for Lions Club International.

“The purpose of this event is public education,” said Kanyin BodeHarrison, visual impairment services team coordinator at Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center.

“Sighted kids will be mixing with blind kids,” BodeHarrison said. “Hopefully, when the sighted children become employers, they will remember the skills of these blind children and hire them to give them a chance.”

Veterans also will be there, she said.

“We hope to show the accomplishments of veterans who are now legally blind and the accomplishments of the children,” she said.

BodeHarrison said she oversees care for vision impaired veterans at the hospital.

“We make sure they get transportation to clinics, make sure they’re safe at home, see if they need any adaptive aids.”

Veterans who cannot use adaptive aids can be referred to home health care, she said. The Muskogee hospital also works with VA vision rehabilitation centers, particularly those in Tucson, Ariz.; Biloxi, Miss.; and Waco, Texas.

The hospital also works closely with the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, she said.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogeephoenix.com.

If you go

WHAT: White Cane concert

WHEN: 6 to 7:30 p.m. today.

WHERE: Oklahoma School for the Blind, 3300 Gibson St.

WHO: OSB jazz band and Muskogee High School jazz band.

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