Release Date: 
Monday, March 30, 2009
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

National Federation of the Blind to Hold THE CANE EVENT

Join Us for a Night of Fun, Food, and Entertainment

Baltimore, Maryland (March 30, 2009): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) will host THE CANE EVENT on April 4, 2009, at the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute in Federal Hill. The event will celebrate the NFB’s Braille Readers are Leaders program. More than four hundred friends, colleagues, and blind people from across the nation are expected to attend. The event promises an evening of food, fun, and entertainment.

THE CANE EVENT will feature Mark Riccobono, executive director of the NFB Jernigan Institute, as master of ceremonies, as well as a catered dinner and silent and live auctions. Live music will be provided by Marquise.

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “We are pleased and proud to welcome our friends from the Baltimore community, as well as friends from all over the country, to our annual fundraiser THE CANE EVENT. The evening will surely be a remarkable celebration and will also serve to highlight the importance of Braille literacy to the general public. There can be no doubt that the ability to read and write Braille competently and efficiently is the key to education, employment, and success for the blind. Despite the undisputed value of Braille, however, only about 10 percent of blind children in the United States are learning it. Please join us at THE CANE EVENT as we work together to reverse the downward trend in Braille literacy.”

Proceeds from this event will go to the National Federation of the Blind’s Braille Readers are Leaders campaign, a national initiative to promote the importance of reading and writing Braille for blind children and adults. The Braille Readers are
Leaders campaign kicked off in July of 2008 with the unveiling of the design of a commemorative coin to be minted in 2009 in recognition of the two-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille (1809–1852), the inventor of the reading and writing code for the blind that bears his name. On March 26 the Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar was released by the U.S. Mint.

For more information about this exciting event, please contact Jerry Lazarus at (410) 659-9314, extension 2297, or by e-mail at Tickets may be purchased online at or through Emily Neubeck at (410) 659-9314, extension 2419, or by e-mail at