BONNIE SOKOL - 2009 CLARENCE TROYER VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD RECIPIENT
For 33 years Bonnie worked in the travel industry planning world wide, exotic adventures for her clients; tours of the Middle East and South America and African Safaris. When diabetes claimed one leg and a significant amount of her vision, Bonnie came to Spectrios Institute searching for ways to remain independent and maintain a high quality of life.
While still a patient, Bonnie began volunteering to do whatever was needed to assist in the Spectrios programs of visual rehabilitation. She shredded outdated records, folded response envelopes and assisted in the mailing of Spectrios publications. When asked to speak to the Spectrios Support Group, she did so with enthusiasm, sharing easy ways to accomplish the tasks of daily living, always adding a dash of humor to her wisdom.
Currently Bonnie is also a regular writer/reporter for both Spectrios newsletters, the Bright Side and Spot Light. She crafts original articles and also writes reports after interviewing Dr. Williams and others, such as the recent articles; “Guatemala” and “The Importance of Annual Eye Exams.”
Bonnie’s upbeat description of her life as a visually impaired person has been so well received, she is now using her flair for writing to put her ideas into print, creating small books. These were first distributed to friends as Christmas gifts and quickly became legend.
Her writings are much sought after for distribution in Disability Awareness Events and as hand outs when she is a speaker to encourage low vision patients. Friends and service providers count themselves fortunate to be on her mailing list.
Leaders in the field of vision are drawn to Bonnie because of her long-time experience in the travel industry and her positive outlook on life. Whenever activities, programs and trips are on their agenda, Bonnie is often the first person called when the planning begins.
Spectrios Institute for Low Vision is blessed to have Bonnie on site sharing as a volunteer her love of life. We are proud to honor her as the 2009 Volunteer of the Year.