Envision Hosts Annual Gala with a Focus on 90th Year of Service

Envision Hosts Annual Gala with a Focus on 90th Year of Service

By Beth Walker • Oct 20, 2023
A room full of people with red LED lighting and an Envision logo on a screen.

Blog Content

The 2023 Evening with Envision Gala was held Thursday, October 5th at the B-29 Doc Hangar in Wichita. Continuing with last year’s theme, the event was “A Black and White Casual Night.” Black and white represents the signature white cane that many people with blindness or visual impairments use to navigate the world around them. This year also had a special twist, as Envision celebrates its 90th year of service, opening its doors in 1933. With birthday cupcakes at each table, a selfie booth embossed with “Happy 90 years of possibilities,” a huge 90th birthday card for signing, and engraved wooden cutting boards, attendees were able to join in celebration of our mission that has continued to this day.  

The evening was highlighted by three inspirational speakers. Laridda WIlliams-Murphy, an Envision employee of almost eight years, has been visually impaired since birth. She spoke about her experiences as an employee, how she has achieved upward mobility through the company, and how she met her now husband, Brandon Murphy, through Envision. Our second speakers were Dave and Dani Tegtemier with Liquid Art Winery in Manhattan, KS. Dave and Dani discussed their personal story with vision loss and their inspiration to partner with Envision, specifically the Envision Arts Program. Our third speaker was Hashim Syed, who is visually impaired and has participated in Envision programs from a young age and is now in college at Wichita State University.  

Videos were played throughout the night with messages from participants of Envision programs, clients of Envision rehabilitation services, and donors of Envision. These included personal stories from Erica Johnson, Envision programs participant and client of services, Moji Rosson, Envision donor, previous board member and mother of two children in the Envision Child Development Center, Bill Hudson, Chairman of the LC Industries Foundation and an Envision donor and supporter, and Derrick Nielson, CEO of High Touch Technologies and a donor and supporter of Envision.  

Three prestigious awards were given to important partners during this year’s Gala. First, the Visionary Award, was presented to Jeffrey Mittman, CEO and President of BOSMA Enterprises, for their support of the
Envision Research Institute. The Spirit of Philanthropy Award was presented to Larry and Susy Kimbler, who have been instrumental donors and supporters of our Envision Dallas location and its growth. The third award, Heroes of Hope, was presented to Shirley Lefever on behalf of Wichita State University, who has been a generous partner in many ways, specifically with our annual Level Up program.  

Guests also enjoyed two talented musicians who both are visually impaired and have ties to Envision. Hashim Syed started the night off by playing guitar before speaking as a guest, and Luke Scheibmeir, a participant of Envision programs, played the piano throughout the dinner portion of the evening.  

“This year’s Gala was a special tribute to our 90th year of serving people who are blind or visually impaired,” said Michael Monteferrante, President and CEO of Envision. “Since we opened our doors in 1933, we have been dedicated to improving lives and helping people of all ages to thrive. Our goal is always to show our guests how grateful we are for their support and how their impact makes a difference, and we truly hope that this year showed just how special our mission is to have lasted a long 90 years, and more to come. We were able to raise nearly $430,000 to help us continue providing crucial programs and services for people who are blind or visually impaired. THANK YOU!”  
Jeffrey Mittman standing with two colleagues, all smiling.
People standing in a room with a sign behind them that says "90 years of service."
Hashim speaking into a microphone on stage.