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Charitable music festival in Muhlenberg supports people with visual impairments

The third annual “Out of Sight” Music Festival was at Jimbo’s Steaks & Hoagies.

Written by Dan Kelly, Report/Columnist
Reading Eagle | Sunday May 12, 2019 04:51 PM

Josiah Miller’s head bobbed along to the thunderous drum beat being laid down by Jake Hoffman and the band Sleep All Summer.

The four-piece band was among eight that volunteered Saturday to play in the third annual “Out of Sight” Music Festival at Jimbo’s Steaks & Hoagies, 3400 Plaza Drive, Muhlenberg Township.

The festival benefits the National Federation of the Blind. Money raised this year will support the organization’s BELL Academy, or Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning.

Josiah, 11, of Temple, who is visually impaired, is the newest member of the local organization, said Rosemary Freedman, president of the federation’s Greater Berks County Chapter.

Freedman also is a member of the Fleetwood Lions Club. The Lions, who are known for support of people with vision problems, rented the large banquet room in Jimbo’s for the event.

Josiah said he liked the idea of using rock ‘n roll music to raise money.

“You can never go wrong with rock ‘n roll,” Josiah said, raising his hands above his head and letting out a yell.

Sporting a tie-dyed shirt and a new digital watch that speaks the time, Josiah said he’s been playing drums for about a year. He also plays the harmonica and just formed a band, Green Tooth, with a few friends. He hopes they can play at next year’s fundraiser.

Josiah plans to pursue a career in zoology in addition to music.

Mike Babb, vice president of the Fleetwood Lions, said he and Freedman rounded up donations for door prizes. In the hall, several tables were filled with bags of door prizes ranging from T-shirts to electronics. The fundraiser also offered free vision screenings for kids and nutritional information aimed at preserving good vision.

Dan Kelly is a general assignment reporter for the Reading Eagle.