The New Jersey Association of the Deaf-Blind, Inc. hosted a small luncheon Saturday, October 29, during which the NJADB Board of Trustees announced that the Board Conference Room in the agency’s main office would be named in honor of Virginia Koehne.
Ms. Koehne not only served on the Board of Trustees for more than 30 years, but she was also one of the agency’s founding members.
“Everyone spends time in the main agency conference room at least once during their career here at NJADB, whether it be for agency orientation, training or a meeting,” said Vicky Calabro, the president of NJADB. “So I look at that room as the heart of the organization, which is what Ginny Koehne embodies through her service, dedication and contributions.”
Ms. Koehne and her husband Tom adopted their son Peter as a young child. Peter was born deaf-blind and developmentally disabled. The Koehnes were steadfast in their commitment to ensuring he and other people like him had opportunities to be included in the life of the community despite a world that was not designed to accommodate them.
A tireless advocate for more than 40 years, Ms. Koehne devoted countless hours of her time speaking to government leaders about the need for specialized support for people with deaf-blindness. She raised thousands of dollars to support agency initiatives, and, along with her co-founders, created the blueprint for the agency that NJADB is today.
“She was always there for us when we needed fundraising or support,” Calabro said. “She never hesitated to ask friends or family to support NJADB’s mission. Though not one to seek the spotlight she went so far as to agree to be in one of our agency videos by letting us interview her and her family.”
Caring, compassionate, quality services are the legacy that Ms. Koehne leaves behind and the hallmark of NJADB’s vision moving forward
There will be a proclamation hung in the conference room outlining her significant achievements. Ginny was presented with a framed copy of the proclamation.
Her family, agency staff and board members attended the luncheon.