More than $1 million raised for Optometry Cares® at Optometry’s Meeting®

More than $1 million raised for Optometry Cares® at Optometry’s Meeting®

Nearly 350 people registered for the Optometry Cares® 5K Run/Walk, sponsored by The Vision Council and Transitions, and more than $30,000 was raised to support Optometry Cares programs.

The 118th Annual AOA Congress & 45th Annual American Optometric Student Association Conference: Optometry's Meeting®, held June 24-28 in Seattle, Washington, was the stage of many triumphs for Optometry Cares®—The AOA Foundation, including raised funds and announcements of renewed pledges totaling more than $1,040,000.

"The words 'thank you' don't even come close to expressing my gratitude to the volunteer doctors and corporate sponsors who make Optometry Cares our profession's charity of choice," says T. Joel Byars, O.D., president of the Optometry Cares Board of Directors. "It is clear how much of an impact Optometry Cares has in American communities and it couldn't be done without the help of our supporters."

Here's a roundup of those triumphs.

InfantSEE® celebrates 10 years
The InfantSEE® program celebrated 10 years and nearly 120,000 babies seen by InfantSEE optometrists. To reflect on InfantSEE's 10 years of success, a reception was sponsored by longtime InfantSEE supporters Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. and Allergan. Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. was the hallmark sponsor in launching InfantSEE and has donated more than $3 million over the past 10 years.

Fortifying its commitment to InfantSEE, the Allergan Foundation renewed its InfantSEE School Grant for an additional four years at $250,000 a year. The grant enables the InfantSEE program to visit schools and colleges of optometry to raise awareness of the importance of children's vision and encourage future optometrists to participate in InfantSEE.

VISION USA receives $10,000 donation
The Alcon Foundation pledged to donate $5 (up to $10,000) to VISION USA every time someone texted "BUBBLES" during Optometry's Meeting. The $10,000 donation will help VISION USA's mission to provide comprehensive eye exams to low-income and uninsured Americans.

Optometry Cares 5K Run/Walk raises $30,000
Against the backdrop of majestic Mount Rainier on a cool, crisp morning, runners and walkers took to the pavement to support Optometry Cares at its 5K Run/Walk. Nearly 350 people registered for the 5K Run/Walk, sponsored by The Vision Council and Transitions, and more than $30,000 was raised (a $5,000 increase from the 2014 5K Run/Walk in Philadelphia) to support Optometry Cares programs.

Auction raises $2,000
After the Celebration of Optometry, during which artist-in-action Brian Olsen created two extraordinary paintings, a charitable auction was held for the works of art. A painting of Albert Einstein raised $2,000 for Optometry Cares, donated by Alan Cleinman, president of Cleinman Performance Partners, Inc. Proceeds from a second painting went to AOA-PAC.

Guinness World RecordTM attempt and other events
Optometry Cares had a strong presence throughout Optometry's Meeting, notably with more than 900 attendees sporting sunglasses provided for Optometry Cares' Guinness World RecordTM attempt for "most people wearing sunglasses in the dark." The attempt took place at the Varilux® Optometry Student BowlTM and was sponsored by The Vision Council and Essilor to raise awareness for the importance of UV protection.

Optometry Cares also hosted the Optometry Cares Donor Reception, Blast from the Past (presented by the Optometric Historical Society), and the National Optometry Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Optometry's Meeting.

For more information about Optometry Cares and ways to support its programs, visit aoafoundation.org.

August 3, 2015

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