On Wednesday March 28th 2018, the Service Club for the Blind celebrates its 84th birthday!
We recently found some old documents dating back to the early days of the Service Club and discovered that it was quite an icon at its inception, creating a lot of opportunities and interaction for people who were blind during the 1940’s on-wards. Read more about Our History
The founder, Adeline Ann Ruenzi, was a very influential person who spent a lot of time fundraising and networking with people able to provide the Service Club with funding. She was a former Supervisor of the Home Teaching Department of the Missouri Commission for the Blind.
The early emblem and motto of the Service Club for the Blind: The emblem being a hand holding a lit torch and the motto being the 3 monkeys – speak no evil, see no evil, hear no evil.
One of the most outstanding services to the blind population of St. Louis, Missouri was given by Dr. Meyer Wiener when he initiated the idea of the Henry L. Wolfner Memorial Library for the Blind. Dr. Wiener became an Honorary Associate President of the Service Club for the Blind.
In 1939 a need was created for the Service Club for the Blind to operate as a service agency because the Missouri Commission for the Blind discontinued all its departments. Therefore, headquarters were established in the building of the Henry L. Wolfner Library, sponsored by Dr. Meyer Wiener.
The Service Club for the Blind ran a radio program where radios were provided and serviced for free. It was called the Adeline Ruenzi Radio Fund. Over 700 people were given radios.
From 1940 – 1959, the Service Club for the Blind added the White Cane Service to its Objectives and took over the responsibility of the distribution of white canes, sponsored by the Lions and the Kiwanis Clubs. White Canes were distributed to the blind throughout St. Louis, St. Louis County and to rural districts upon request. The Service Club for the Blind was the only organization in the state giving White Cane Service to the blind. The cost of the White Cane was approximately 65c a piece!
This is the 2nd office that the Service Club occupied. It was on the ground floor of Olive Boulevard with a large front window that could showcase all the products that the members of the Service Club made in order to sell them.
Some of the items made by the members were aprons, bags, baby bibs, bath mats, crocheted articles, dish cloths, dolls, dust cloths, wash cloths, hot plate sets, leather articles, pot holders, rugs, towels and miscellaneous articles.
The Service Club continues to help its members and clients and thanks to a more modern and digital world, we’re able to reach a larger area in shorter time. If you’d like to make a donation to the Service Club and thereby contribute to meeting the needs of people who are blind we’d welcome any assistance you could offer.
The Service Club for the Blind is located at:
3719 Watson Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63109