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Dr. Richard Erenstone, of Eye Care for the Adirondacks, attended a meeting of Low Vision Specialists in New York City sponsored by the Lighthouse for the Blind of New York in 1988. When he returned, he contacted local community leaders from the North Country to address the needs of the visually impaired in our area.

Gene Manley, who was District Governor of the North Country Lions Club 20W, was extremely influential in getting the North Country to adopt the agency as a district wide project. Help was not difficult to find as many people recognized the need and value of such an agency.

Initial founders included Dr. Richard Erenstone, Edward Finnerty, Pat (Michaud) Wilson, Cherie Racette, Richard Hunkins, Gerald LaBombard, and Carter Lockwood. Valuable advice was obtained from advisory board members such as Dr. Albert Morier, Dr. Frank Trudeau, Martin Stone, Phil Jessen, and Dr. Kjell Dahlen (owner of Eye Care for the Adirondacks).

NCAVI was established as a 501(c) 3 Charitable Organization in 1989. For over 28 years, the agency has been characterized by continuous strong support from our community volunteers and dedicated staff throughout the four counties of Clinton, Essex, Franklin and St. Lawrence.


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