To the good people of Vinton,
I am a proud alum of the Iowa Braille & Sight Saving School from 1964 to 1972. On behalf of myself and fellow classmates, I would like to express my deepest thanks to you for the wonderful education and positive impact the school had on our lives. As a six year old in the fall of 1964, I thought I was being punished when my mother sent me to Vinton from Dubuque, but looking back 52 years later, I couldn’t have asked for a better education experience. Because of the guidance and leadership we received from teachers and house parents, we learned that each of us were responsible for the outcome of our lives, and we owed it to the tax payers of Vinton and the state of Iowa to become productive members of society.
Although many of us have struggled throughout our adult lives, we were taught never to blame others for problems related to being visually impaired. We didn’t protest, we didn’t sit down during the national anthem, and we always respected law enforcement. The story of our beloved school is an important part of Iowa’s history and needs to be preserved and told to Iowa and the nation. Please know that your tax dollars were well spent in helping us rise above our disability.
The IBSSS campus represents a significant opportunity for tourism and an economic boost to Vinton if marketed properly. We hope that you will join us in our effort to preserve and promote our school’s storied history. No matter what happens during this process, I know that I speak for all of my fellow alums when I tell you that we are eternally grateful to the people of Vinton and the state of Iowa for the positive effect you had on our lives. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.