Development, Events

Chelsey’s Back!

Hi to all my wonderful volunteers! And to those I haven’t met yet, I look forward to meeting you!

For the past two years I have been working as the Director of Programs at Bluegrass Council of the Blind. I resigned from my position in March and started my own business, CK Nonprofit Services, LLC. I am currently working with a few different nonprofit organizations on grants, fundraising, and social media.

And, I started back at Radio Eye as the part-time Development Director on Monday May 9th! I am so excited to be back, doing what I love, and working with an organization that means so much to me. I’m very impressed with how much Radio Eye has grown since I’ve been gone – expanding to Morehead, getting an 800 telephone service set up, studio space in Louisville at Visually Impaired Preschool Services for volunteers, having the option for volunteers to record at home, and so much more.

Some things that are new with me – I have a new last name! I married my high school sweetheart in Gatlinburg on September 13, 2014. We bought a house in Lexington off Georgetown Road (Thank you Radio Eye volunteer Missy Ward for being our agent!), and we have two adorable cats – Toki & Tubby. And I have a one-year-old niece – Sadie Jane!

I’m coming back to Radio Eye at a great time because it’s almost KY Gives Day! Since I’m the new Development Director, I have to make the ask – will you join me in the awesome 24-hour online giving event on Tuesday, May 24th?! Our goal is to raise $1,500 in just 24 hours and our amazing board has offered to match $600 of donations! Mark your calendar to donate at and help us spread the word! Any and all donations are truly appreciated.

I look forward to catching up with everyone and meeting our new volunteers!

Chelsey (VanDyke) Keesy

Community Outreach, Events

I Know Expo


On April 27, Radio Eye set up our information table at the 2014 I Know Expo, in the Lexington Convention Center. It was a great opportunity to connect with future listeners and caregivers, and we learned about a few things we thought we should share with our readers.

I Know Expo is the result of Gale Reese’s experience care giving for three members of her family. As founder of ITNBluegrass, she realized a need for collective resource sharing and created (ITNBluegrass is a transportation service for visually impaired adults and people over 60!)

The expo is a once a year event, and exhibitors and speakers present all day, but the resources are available all the time on the I Know website: .

There were some really interesting products on display, and Doug from ZOUNDS of Lexington ( told us about how the hearing aids they offer are rechargeable, meaning someone with visual or fine motor difficulties would not have to worry about dealing with tiny batteries.


Of course, our friends from the Lexington Public Library were there, , and also, the folks from Kentucky Talking Book Library- A library service for people who are visually impaired or physically disabled.

The great thing about I Know is that they work year round to bring information to the Bluegrass community, and if you missed this year’s expo, there are I Know Sunday Sessions on the 4th Sunday of every month, 2:00 – 4:00 pm at The Woman’s Club of Central Kentucky. These sessions are free! The next session is on May 18, 2014, featuring Laura Dake, AARP Volunteer Trainer, presenting : AARP’s Prepare to Care: A Resource Guide for Families

You can find the whole schedule of speakers here:


–Lissa Probus, Volunteer

Community Outreach, Events, Volunteers

Volunteer Appreciation Event by Volunteer Lissa Probus

This was a very special year for the Volunteer Appreciation Event!

We were welcomed to the activity room at Morning Pointe, which is an active senior community on the eastern edge of Lexington. Several months ago, I delivered a console radio to Morning Point for this very room, and it was great to see it there on the counter.

The pretty weather and pleasant location seemed to bring more of us together than last year, and it was very nice to see people talking and enjoying company.


There was a delicious fresh salad with fantastic balsamic dressing, excellent wrap sandwiches and while we (my son and I) had brownies, I believe that there was a buzz about pecan bars. Mtani Catering did a wonderful job and people really seemed to enjoy the food. As Chef James Baker says on the Mtani website, Mtani = Friendship. We could definitely taste that in the food they made for us.


I enjoyed meeting other volunteers I have only seen on the way in and out of the studio, and it was a good time also to share what we do with each other and our guests.


This year was special for me, because I was recognized as volunteer of the year.


I have to be honest, I asked Chelsey to look for a runner up, because I can’t find the time to do everything I want for Radio Eye, and now that I am homeschooling full time with my son, I am missing the committee meetings more and more and am really limited in what I can do during business hours. I believe the readers do the most valuable work for Radio Eye, and I still haven’t found the courage to go on mic!

Top 10 Volunteers

1. Lissa Probus

2. Deb Shoss

3. Blanca Ward

4. Sondra Morgan

5. Don Sands

6. Roger Paige

7. Richard Lucas

8. Inam Shalati

9. Judy Clemons

10. Bill Murphy


That said, if you are considering joining the outreach committee, I want to say it’s a wonderful group of people and it always gives me a great sense of pride and satisfaction when I am able to share the mission of our organization with someone new at an event. If you think you might be interested, feel free to get in touch with Chelsey ( about joining or if you like, she can put you in touch with me and I can tell you a little bit about what we have done in the last year as volunteers in our efforts to reach the public and new listeners. We have a couple of members who have been long time ambassadors for Radio Eye who are away this summer, so it’s a great time to step up!

Here are Lucy and Chelsey with Don, our newest Outreach Committee member:


In the end, I have to say that I am really grateful for the opportunity to volunteer for Radio Eye. People volunteer for all sorts of reasons, and while I have led an all volunteer organization in the past during my extended stay at college, I have found few organizations in Lexington where volunteers were so central to the work as ours. Our tiny staff at Radio Eye does an excellent job of facilitating the work of the volunteers who read and keep the technology going, but the work of bringing the daily print media to our listeners is a gift of volunteers. We can do so much if we work together and in that we learn, make friends, get to give back in ways we couldn’t otherwise and create good in our region that makes it a more connected, vibrant place to live.

So- Radio Eye volunteers past and future, I appreciate you for doing everything you do!

Lissa Probus, Outreach Committee Volunteer


Community Outreach, Events, Expansion

Kentucky Council for the Blind Conference

by Lucy Stone.


I consider myself a little bit of a go-getter. That’s why when it came time to send people to the Kentucky Council of the Blind conference in Louisville this past weekend, I happily volunteered. It is no secret that I fell in love with my job on the first day. Our volunteers are the sweetest people and I knew that our listeners had to be as well. I thought it would be beyond difficult to wake up at 5:30 so that I could leave in time to get to the conference in order to set up a little before 8am, but I was wrong. As soon as my alarm went off I was filled with excitement because I KNEW that it was going to be a great day! I was right.  It was so amazing to get to meet some of the people we help on a daily basis. It seemed that everyone who came by our booth already had our radio and were more than pleased with their service. It was really cool to see how excited people got when we mentioned we were moving into Eastern Kentucky. I passed out several applications to potential Eastern Kentucky listeners and they were all so happy to have another service cater to helping them.

The booth Radio Eye had was situated between the “See the World” booth and a jewelry stand. I had the pleasant opportunity to chat with the folks at the “See the World” booth and they gave me some rookie knowledge. A very nice lady told me that they carry all of our information and that most people who come in don’t even know about our type of program. We are working very hard to change that! What I found most interesting about their booth was the huge variety of things that they had. From talking bibles, to talking alarm clocks, Braille watches, and even Braille Uno cards, they had it all! The lady said that the increase in technology has just opened up a new world for the blind and visually impaired. I was blown away. I loved having the chance to talk to various people and see how they each, uniquely, used different devices. The hardest part for me, of course, was being around all the dogs and not reaching out to pet them. It was pretty cool to watch the animals see for the person. They knew all the right moments to do all the right things. They were all so well behaved. I did learn, however, that Wildman was known to steal something yummy right off the table from time to time. With that knowledge I moved our candy bowl a little farther from the edge of the table.

Overall, I am so happy that I got the opportunity to attend such an informational conference. Several times Radio Eye was mentioned and I had such a sense of pride and happiness whenever people clapped or said something positive about all the work we’re doing. During lunch I chatted with a couple who are very familiar with Radio Eye and their enthusiasm for our program just made me want to work harder to share that positivity with others. I love our listeners. I love our volunteers. I love our program. And, I love my job.

Community Outreach, Development, Events

Upcoming Events

We have some exciting events this week at Radio Eye!

On Thursday from 5pm – 7pm, we will be having an open house. If you’ve ever wondered how Radio Eye operates, you can come see for yourself. We’ll also talk about volunteer opportunities if you’re interested.

At noon on Thursday, Emily Duncan, UHS Student Health Insurance Coordinator, will be in to record a program about health insurance for our listeners. This special program will air on November 23rd at 2pm.

The Kentucky Council for the Blind (KCB) Conference is this weekend in Louisville. Studio Manager Chelsey VanDyke will attend on Friday from 4pm – 6pm at the Radio Eye booth. Lucy Stone, Assistant Studio Manager, will take over on Saturday morning. Lucy will also stay for some of the classes to learn about new assistive technology!

We are very excited for our upcoming events. We’d like to also remind everyone that the GoodGiving Guide Challenge doesn’t end until December 31st so there is still plenty of time to make a donation to Radio Eye. So far 26 donors have gifted us with $3,530! We also met our matching grant from the Kentucky School for the Blind Charitable Foundation for $2,500. Thanks to all who have donated!


Community Outreach, Events

November is Radio Reading Service Month!

The Governor has proclaimed November as Radio Reading Service Month. What better way to celebrate than with special guest readers all month long?!

Radio Eye, Kentucky’s only radio reading and information service for those who are visually impaired or physically disabled, had a fantastic Celebrity Reader Week in September. The response was so great, we have decided to invite special guest readers throughout the month of November to celebrate Radio Reading Service Month.

We have some wonderful special guests coming in to read for us and we’d like to share a little more about them. Each have had a broad and positive impact on our community, and we invite you to follow them in their continued work, writing and contributions to the Bluegrass. 


Renee Sleg_update_reneehaw, host of the KET program Connections,, will be reading the Kentucky Series, a collection of locally published magazines. Renee has a blog on the KET website,, and is active on Twitter: @ReneeKET.

In 1997, Renee began her career at KET as a public policy reporter and associate producer. In 2005, she launched the first statewide minority affairs program, Connections with Renee Shaw, on KET. As one of KET’s public affairs program producers, Renee is producer/managing editor and host of KET’s legislative coverage, co-hosts election night coverage, hosts KET’s health series, and produces numerous other issue-centered programs at KET. For more than a decade, she produced Comment on Kentucky, KET’s longest running public affairs program.”


BarbaraBailey_WKYTBarbara Bailey, WKYT anchor for 27 NewsFirst Barbara will be reading the Courier Journal live on November 4th.

I’ve grown up at WKYT, and not just as a reporter. When I married my husband, Roger, in 1987, my WKYT family was there. Roger and I have two children, Courtney and Clark. Next year, I’m going to serve as PTO president at their school, and I try not to miss any of their activities and games. I’m also still working with Big Brothers/ Big Sisters of the Bluegrass as co-chair of the Bowl for Kids’ Sake, The Kidney Foundation of Central Kentucky, The Ronald McDonald House, Bluegrass Tomorrow and the Center for Women, Children and Families.”

You can find Barbara on Twitter at @BBaileyWKYT.


cheryltrumanCheryl Truman, reporter at the Lexington Herald-Leader covering education, health, business, weird stuff, @CherylTruman on twitter, will be reading the Lexington Herald-Leader.

 Cheryl has been a frequent guest on the KET programs dealing with local issues, and writes wonderful articles about Lexington.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMary Popham, a Kentucky author of the newly released, Back Home in Landing Run will be reading for the book series.

“Mary Popham’s fiction, nonfiction, poetry, essays and book reviews have appeared in the Courier-Journal; ForeWord Reviews; Appalachian Heritage and The Louisville Review. She has produced short plays and published short stories in anthologies, holds an MFA from Spalding University, and is an active member in three writers groups. In the fall of 2013 she will have an essay published in This I Believe: Kentucky; and also this fall, her novel Back Home in Landing Run published by MotesBooks will be released. She is currently writing a collection of short fiction.

You can read her blog at:


ShowImage.aspxVice Mayor Linda Gorton, will be reading the Courier Journal on November 7th.

Vice Mayor Gorton serves on the Council’s Planning and Public Works Committee, Budget and Finance Committee, Environmental Quality Committee and the General Government Committee. She is also active on numerous community boards, including the Parks Advisory Board, Sister Cities Commission, Lexington Convention Center Board, LexArts Board, Friends of the Dog Park, the University of Kentucky College of Nursing Dean’s Advisory Board and the Bluegrass Armed Forces Community Covenant Committee. Gorton is Co-Chair of the Town and Gown Commission and Vice Chair of the Senior Services Commission and serves on the University of Kentucky Martin School Board of Visitors.”

We are glad to have such an active member of our local community and government read to our listeners!


101230mickj005Mick Jeffries, radio host for WRFL’s Trivial Thursdays, photographer and impresario, will be reading the Courier Journal on November 11th.


Woody_Berry___1_profileWoody Berry, Senior Pastor at Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church, , will be reading the Lexington Herald-Leader on November 12th.

Woody’s service beyond the local church includes extensive committee work at the Presbytery and Synod levels, as well as a leadership role in 14 General Assembly meetings. In the Lexington community, he has served on the Board of Kentucky Refugee Ministries, Mission Lexington, Repairers, and Planned Parenthood of the Bluegrass.”


indexShevawn Akers, Lexington’s 2nd District Council Member, will be reading the Courier Journal on November 14th.

Council Member Akers currently serves on the following community boards, commissions and legislative committees:

              Food Truck Workgroup – Chair
              Corridors Commission – Vice-Chair
              Masterson Station Park Advisory Board
              West End Community Partners (Partners for Youth)
              Vacant Properties Commission
              Environmental Quality Committee
              General Government Committee
              Public Safety Committee
              Social Services Committee – Vice-Chair”


tiptonnewJerry Tipton, UK basketball writer from the Lexington Herald-Leader, reading the Lexington Herald-Leader on November 19th.

“Jerry Tipton of the Lexington Herald- Leader has covered Kentucky basketball since the 1981-82 season. That time includes five coaches, five Final Fours, four athletic directors, two interim athletic directors and many memories.”


Jim Ishmaejudge ishmaell, Fayette Circuit Court Judge, will be reading the Lexington Herald-Leader on November 26th. Judge Ishmael joined Radio Eye in reading the Courier Journal during our Celebrity Reader Week. We’re happy to welcome him back.



elizabeth beck bio picElizabeth Beck will read her poetry in our Kentucky Series program on November 13th.

 “I am a writer, mixed media artist, teacher, wife and mother who lives on a pond in Lexington, Kentucky. I live a full, productive life as a survivor of childhood abuse. A suburban wife and mother in my forties, I also carry the burden of eighteen years of incest and domestic violence at the hands of two alcoholic parents. Through years of psychotherapy; meditation practices; a career of service as a social worker and inner-city school teacher; a rich creative life; running and djembe drumming, I am learning to live a free life of love and harmony. I am not a licensed therapist and this blog will not provide professional help. I hope to share the coping skills I have developed and foster dialogues with like-minded individuals who strive to live a peaceful life in the triumph over struggles like abuse.”



We welcome back the special guests who have joined us before and look forward to meeting new guests that will be joining us.

If you’d like to celebrate Radio Reading Service with us, join us at Texas Roadhouse on Richmond Road on November 4th. If you bring our special flyer with you, Radio Eye receives a percentage of the profits. You can find the flyer on our Facebook page or website at

We will also be hosting an open house on Thursday, November 21st from 5pm – 7pm. If you’ve ever wondered what our studios look like, come have a look! We’ll take you on a tour, explain exactly what we do, let you know about volunteer opportunities, and refreshments will be provided.


Kentucky Nonprofit Leadership Forum

I attended the KY Nonprofit Network’s Leadership Forum on the 22nd and 23rd. It was such a great experience. I learned so much and I can’t wait to start using all the new ideas I have.

The first class, which lasted all day, was with Lori Jacobwith about storytelling. I learned the best formatting of telling stories about people who Radio Eye has helped. You can find out more about Lori at or follow her on Facebook and Twitter @LJacobwith.

The next day, I had 4 different sessions consisting of volunteer involvement, social media, communication, and KY Gives Day 2014.

In the volunteer involvement class, I learned how the language is changing. An example is saying volunteer engagement instead of volunteer management.

I decided after the social media class that we need to keep up with our blogging more regularly. Radio Eye plans on increasing our social media presence. Look for blog posts once a week now!

KY Gives Day will be on Wednesday, April 9th, 2014!  Kentucky raised $330,200 on April 24th for nonprofits across the state this year. Radio Eye raised $910 and hope to raise even more in 24 hours next year.