Note: Karen Perzentka was the first female board president of the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired. Rotary Club of Madison recently presented her with its Senior Service Award for her many volunteer contributions to the community.
We are reprinting with permission an article that appeared in The Madison, WI Rotary News for November 21, 2014:
Karen Perzentka has been volunteering all her adult life—for the last 11 years at the Attic Angel Association where she recently was chair of this volunteer organization consisting of 560 dedicated women, called Attic Angels. The Attic Angels do wonderful deeds all over Dane County to support children and the elderly. Our Rotary Club recently celebrated 100 years—Karen led celebrations for Attic Angel Association’s 125th anniversary.
Before bringing her great skill set to the Attic Angel Association, Karen Perzentka volunteered as an advocate for blind people. Reason? Karen has been blind since birth. Thirty-four years ago, when the Wisconsin Legislature wanted to overturn the priority to hire blind vendors in State buildings, Karen Perzentka and other advocates said not fair, and blind people continue to get first choice to operate vending machines in state buildings.
When Karen Perzentka was the first female president of the Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired, she gathered 30,000 signatures, raised funds, and testified at legislative hearings to keep the Wisconsin School for the Visually Handicapped open in Janesville. The school remains open to this day.
Karen has also made sure buildings—such as the Chazen Museum of Art and The Overture Center--are accessible to people with disabilities. For over fifteen years, Karen spoke to Madison students, preschool through high school, about disabilities.
Karen Perzentka is a go-getter who has NEVER experienced sight but, always had the INSIGHT to participate fully in life with the senses she was born with—which, by the way, include a great sense of humor. Karen, and her legally blind husband, Richard, live at Prairie Point in the Attic Angel Community. They have two grown sighted children and two grandchildren.
Our congratulations to Karen Perzentka who deserves our Senior Service award---for her VISION, Volunteerism, and Vitality.