Celebrating 60 Years of Service to Pinellas County

Lighthouse of Pinellas, Inc.
60 Years of Milestones

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Lighthouse of Pinellas, Inc. (LHP) has been serving Pinellas County residents who are blind or visually impaired since 1956. Founded primarily as a social club for seniors with vision loss, today LHP employs variety of specially-trained staff certified and/or licensed in vision rehabilitation, orientation and mobility, occupational therapy, mental health counseling and speech pathology to help clients live safe, healthy lives as independently as possible.

This is a look back to the people and events that paved the way to exceptional vision rehabilitation and therapy services in Pinellas County.

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Timeline

1956 – May
The Sight Center for the Blind, Inc. founded by Lions Club of St. Petersburg.

1967 – May
Channel Markers, Inc. founded by Mr. & Mrs. John B. Watson.

1969 – June
Channels Markers, Inc. legally changed its name to Channel Markers for the Blind, Inc.

1973 – December
Henry Henriquez, owner of the Pelican Restaurant on Clearwater Beach donated $10,000 and vacant land at 1610 N. Myrtle Ave. for a permanent building to house offices and training facilities for Channel Markers for the Blind.

1974 – October
Ground breaking ceremony for Channel Markers’ permanent location at 1610 N. Myrtle Ave.

1975 – February
Mr. Howard Knapp named Executive Director of Channel Markers for the Blind.

1975 – October
First permanent building at 1610 N. Myrtle Ave. opens.

1976 – June
Ms. Priscilla Rogers named Executive Director.

1981 – November
Ms. Patricia Rosser named Executive Director.

1984 – March
The two independent groups: Community Center for the Blind (formerly the Sight Center) and Channel Markers for the Blind, merged and became Channel Markers – Community Centers for the Visually Impaired, Inc. (CCVI).

1984 – October
Channel Markers – Community Centers for the Visually Impaired became Pinellas Center for the Visually Impaired, Inc. (PCVI).

1987 – January
Blind Babies Program (Now Early Intervention) began.

1987 – July
Mr. Robert Nelms named Executive Director.

1990 – July
Stephen Barrett named Executive Director.

1993 – September
Largo building at 6925 112th Circle N. was purchased.

1994
Achieved accreditation from the National Accreditation Council for Blind & Low Vision Services (NAC).

1994 – October
Renovations complete on Largo location on 112th Circle.

2000 – June
Mr. Leonard Van Noord named Executive Director.

2000 – August
Agency name changed to Watson Center, Inc.

2002 – May
Mr. Dan Mann named Executive Director (currently President & CEO).

2003 – January
Agency name changed to Watson Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Inc.

2005 – August
Agency name changed to Lighthouse of Pinellas, Inc.

2007 – January
Launched year-round Transition Program for teens ages 14 until high school graduation.

2016 – February
Children’s Program for 6 to 14 year-olds began.

Lighthouse
of Pinellas

6925 112th Circle North, Suite 103
Largo, FL 33773-5200
Phone: 727-544-4433
Fax: 727-544-5511

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