PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Central Illinois Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired hosted its first fundraising banquet to honor White Cane Day.

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared October 15 as White Cane Safety Day.

The white cane used by those who are blind or visually impaired originated in Peoria.

The cane started as an old cane that was painted white and it has evolved to having a GPS inside of it.

The center’s operation manager Paula Balistreri said the cane allows for people to be independently mobile.

“The cane tells them if they’re on a different surface, grass, pavement, carpet that sort of thing. It also identifies step up, curb down, obstacles in the way, So, it just totally increases the independence of someone who is blind or visually impaired,” she said.

Balistreri said it means a lot to have the community support because it helps the center better serve those who are blind or visually impaired.