(Almost) 26 Years of Reading with Jewel Vanderhoef
By Amy Hatter
Once you start reading with Radio Eye, itâ€™s hard to stop. Just ask Jewel Vanderhoef (pictured left) whoâ€™s been reading for us for almost 26 years!
Jewel was one of our very first volunteers. She did her first reading the very first weekend that we broadcast, back in 1990, and has stuck around ever since!
â€œMy parents were deaf,â€ Jewel told me. â€œTo them, reading the paper was very important. At that time, there was no captioned news, no captioning anywhere. The only way they had of getting the news was what they read.
â€œWhen I was growing up, my parents subscribed to 5 daily newspapers. Two mornings, two afternoons, and then a local afternoon paper. We were inundated with newspapers. And thatâ€™s where they got all their news.
â€œSo when Al started this, I knew how important getting the news is. So I thought, for people who are blind â€“ and that primarily was the target group at that time â€“ it was just as important to them as it was to my parents.â€
Having volunteered for more than 25 years, Jewel has seen a lot of changes at Radio Eye â€“ 3 leadership changes, the studio move, multiple expansions, numerous new ways for volunteers to listen, and of course, many new programs to read.
â€œIâ€™m just very impressed,â€ she says of all the changes. â€œWeâ€™ve had great leadership, with Al and all the successive leadership. Everybody has â€“ each leadership has made a substantial progress during their tenure.
"The move here did a lot to add to our credibility, with organizations who want to make grants and so forth. To say, yes, we arenâ€™t a fly by night operation. I think the move here was great. I think with the expansion that youâ€™ve done with internet and all the accesses that people have, you know, weâ€™ve kept up with technology and offering it to our people.â€
Jewel started off doing the live reading of the Herald-Leader, before moving to recordings when her work schedule changed.
â€œWhen Al [Crabb, our founder] first started, we just had the control room, that live studio, and the little booth right next to the control room. That was what he started with. So, you had the live reading, and then people could come in and do recordings for newspapers, magazines, whatever. And then, some volunteers got together, and Al scrounged up some materials, and they were able to pad an office off to the right as you come in, so they could use it to record. And another area, as well.â€
Thatâ€™s when Jewel got to start reading books, which she still does today. â€œI found out that I was a real ham. When youâ€™re recording a book, you can be as hammy as you want. Nobody sees you. You donâ€™t have an audience [watching you read].â€
Not just a volunteer, Jewel also donates to Radio Eye. â€œ[I like to give] local,â€ she says, â€œand anything thatâ€™s people to people, where an individual gets the immediate result, not gone through several layers to get to them.â€
Jewel is currently reading Christmas for Lucy by Saundra Staats McLemore. Listeners can catch it when it broadcasts in December.
Save the date and start charming Lady Luck -- Radio Eye's casino night benefit is scheduled for October 14th at the Lyric Theatre, from 6 - 9 PM! Tickets are $50 each and are on sale now!
You will get fun money to play great games like craps, roulette, and blackjack, the chance to win fun prizes, and food catered by Lexington Diner!
Hi to all my wonderful volunteers! And to those I havenâ€™t met yet, I look forward to meeting you!
In 2012 I joined Radio Eye as the Studio Manager and was in that position for two years â€“ with the wonderful Lucy Stone taking over when I left. For the past two years I have been working as the Director of Programs at the Bluegrass Council of the Blind. I resigned from my position in March and started my own business, CK Nonprofit Services, LLC. I am currently working with a few different nonprofit organizations on grants, fundraising, and social media.
And, I started back at Radio Eye as the part-time Development Director on Monday May 9th! I am so excited to be back, doing what I love, and working with an organization that means so much to me. Iâ€™m very impressed with how much Radio Eye has grown since Iâ€™ve been gone â€“ expanding to Morehead, getting an 800 telephone service set up, studio space in Louisville at Visually Impaired Preschool Services for volunteers, having the option for volunteers to record at home, and so much more.
Some things that are new with me â€“ I have a new last name! I married my high school sweetheart in Gatlinburg on September 13, 2014. We bought a house in Lexington off Georgetown Road (Thank you Radio Eye volunteer Missy Ward for being our agent!), and we have two adorable cats â€“ Toki & Tubby. And I have a one-year-old niece â€“ Sadie Jane!
KY Gives Day Success!
Thank you to everyone who gave to KY Gives Day on May 24th.
25 donors (including our match donors - Radio Eye board members and Kentucky One Health St. Joseph Hospital) raised $3,400 for reading services for people who are blind and print-impaired!
This was enough to broadcast 232 hours of programming - including 9 broadcasts of the Lexington Herald Leader, 9 broadcasts of the Louisville Courier Journal, and 3 grocery/pharmacy ad readings!
Thrivent Choice DollarsÂ® can help Radio Eye
Are you a member of Thrivent Financial whoâ€™s eligible to direct Choice DollarsÂ®?
Choice Dollars charitable grant funds can make a world of difference to our organization as we work together to ensure that people who are blind or print-impaired have access to printed news and information. By directing Choice Dollars, eligible Thrivent members recommend where they feel Thrivent should distribute a portion of its charitable grant funds.
Directing Choice Dollars is easy. Simply go to Thrivent.com/thriventchoice to learn more and find program terms and conditions. Or call 800-847-4836 and say â€œThrivent Choiceâ€ after the prompt.
The Lexington Lions have been a huge supporter of Radio Eye since 2006 and have contributed thousands of dollars over the years. A big fundraiser for the Lions is the Bluegrass State Fair that comes into town every year which allows them to generously donate to Radio Eye.
This year the fair runs from July 14th â€“ 24th and is open to the public starting at 5pm on weekdays and 3pm on weekends.
It is located at 3051 Leestown Road at Masterson Station Park in Lexington, Kentucky.
Admission only is $6 (cash only), and children 6 & under get in for free. In addition to admission, Ride Wristbands are available for $20 per person.
Not only do we love the Lions club, but we are Lions! Megan, Lucy, and Chelsey have joined the Lexington Lions club in the past year, and between the three of us we attend lunch meetings regularly. For more information about joining the Lexington Lions Club or going to the fair, visit their website www.e-clubhouse.org/sites/lexingtonky or call 859-333-4601.
Please come out and support the fair!
In May, our Executive Director Amy Hatter and board member Rob Ruddick were interviewed by Paul Chartier on Heart of Gold. The interview played on WKYT throughout the month of June.
Thank you to our recent donors!*
Jessie G. Armstrong
Ted and Cynthia Burunoff
Ron and Susan Byars
The Carl Family Foundation
Virginia G. Carter
Annette and Derriel Castle
The Cralle Foundation
CWF of Old Union Church
Anne and Harry Dadds
Gary and Alice Dehner
Downtown Lexington Corporation
Joe and Judy Engleberg
Jack and Jan Gable - in memory of Evelyn Hildreth
Gary and Duave Goss
Rose Marie Hackett
David Hafley and Janet Shedd
John and Joyce Hahn
Larry and Sue Hurt
Elizabeth and Chris Johnson â€“ in memory of Evelyn Hildreth
King's Daughters and Sons Foundation
Nelson and Mary Jo Lamkin
Frank and Susan Lewis
Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Neighborhood Development Funds
Lexington Medical Society Foundation
Lexington South Lions Club
Charles and Carolyn Lindquist
Link-Belt Construction Equipment
Maxwell Street Literary Society
Maysville Lions Club
Ohio River Valley Combined Federal Campaign
Ann Mary Quarandillo
Susan Starr Richards
Jenny Robertson and Ben Gaffavey
Kevin and Elise Scully
Dorothy Stem - in memory of Evelyn Hildreth
Kaye Thomas - in memory of Clifton Agnew
Jeanne Van Arsdall
Frank and Carol Vaughan
Pat and Don Waggener
Gary and Fernita Wallace
Blanca and Walter Ward