Introducing Rosie’s Café

Board Chair John Donnelly cuts ribbon with wife Nancy, Tom and GusGuiding Eyes is pleased to announce the completion of interior renovations to our Yorktown Training School’s original building – the historic home where it all started so many years ago.

Our new dining area, Rosie’s Café, was funded by a generous donation made in loving memory of Aunt Rosie by John and Nancy Donnelly, to help our students be safe and comfortable as they learn to travel with their new guide dogs.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony prior to the December 2018 Graduation marked the official opening.  Attendees discovered the steep staircase leading to the kitchen, dining room and areas beyond, has been replaced with an ADA accessible ramp, magnificent with wrought iron railings, carpet, sconce lighting and a spectacular Palladian window at the turn. Our friends at the Lion’s Club provided additional funding towards this critical improvement.

At the top of the ramp are the white sliding double doors of Rosie’s Café, and above, a blue, paw-themed neon sign glowingly welcomes students, graduates, staff and visitors into the space named after Aunt Rosie. As the story goes, Aunt Rosie was a nurturing woman, much loved for her warm and welcoming nature. How fitting that she should inspire this area, where students far from home are welcomed and cared for by our excellent kitchen staff, often acknowledged as being one of the highlights of a students’ Guiding Eyes experience.

Once inside, the dining area is decorated in a high contrast color scheme to better accommodate the visually impaired, more intimate seating for four replaces the previous long tables, while black pendent lights hang over a counter style seating area. A coffee counter, salad bar and serving unit round out the space Aunt Rosie would be proud of.  The kitchen has also been expanded and upgraded to provide a more efficient area for the kitchen staff to prepare those wonderful meals that help make them so popular.

The surrounding rooms have been upgraded as well, with new carpets and flooring, fresh paint and window treatments, providing a comfortable lounge and fitness area where students can gather together to enjoy their down time.

Guiding Eyes looks forward to sharing these new spaces with future students and sincerely thanks the Donnellys and the Lion’s Club for their important contributions towards the safety and well-being of our students.