Our volunteers are successful professionals, some of whom are visually impaired themselves. They are caring mentors, teachers and other community professionals who work together to support Club members and their families as they navigate the important transition from dependency to independence as a young adult and beyond. Our volunteers also strive to educate the public about vision loss and to share their direct experiences and knowledge of resources.
Meet the volunteer task force:
Sue Buckley, Founder and President
Sue grew up in Illinois and attended Illinois State University where she obtained her K-12 teaching degree. She has worked in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Tennessee as an executive administrator in the YMCA. She has been a National trainer regarding disability and other program services. Sue lost her eyesight in her mid-thirties, but continued to work as an administrator and volunteer in many capacities. She has served on a number of Boards and Task Force Committees regarding disability services and in 2008, she founded Club VIBES, Visually Impaired/Blind Enhanced Services in Knoxville. Sue continues to be extremely active in many leadership roles in Blind organizations locally and nationally. Personally, Sue always strives to outdo herself physically by participating in triathlons and long ultra-cycle rides and races. She hopes through Club VIBES to give other visually impaired people the chance to be active through participation in sports.
John Buckley, Family Advisor and Mentor
Although legally blind from birth, John Buckley was educated in the public schools of Wichita, Kansas. After receiving his M.A. and PhD. in Communication Studies from Northwestern University, he taught at both UCLA and the University of Tennessee. He has served for many years as an officer of the National Association of Blind Teachers and as a board member of the Disability Resource Center in Knoxville and the Tennessee Unit of Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic. He is also a volunteer mediator for the Community Mediation Center. Because of being raised as a legally blind child himself, he has focused on working with Club VIBES parents.
Kathy Holloway, Vision Task Force Secretary
Kathy is employed with the University of Tennessee Alumni Affairs Telefund. She enjoys walking and being outside. She is the parent of visually impaired child, Sarah, who graduated from The University of Tennessee in May 2014. Sarah is currently pursuing her dream to become an orthopedic doctor. Sarah, Kathy and her husband David are all active members of Club VIBES.
Melissa Adams Preston, Vision Task Force Treasurer and Web Administrator
Melissa lives in Maryville with her husband and two daughters. Her mother and grandmother have Retitinis Pigmentosa. In her spare time, Melissa likes to work outdoors and spend time with her family.