Great Glasses Play Day 2014 Celebrates Eyewear-Clad Children in 29 Cities

By

MADISON, Wis.—On the weekend of May 3, 2014, eyecare professionals and families across the country celebrated the third annual Great Glasses Play Day (GGPD), an initiative that began here in 2012 to bolster the self-esteem of kids who wear glasses and to connect and encourage children who wear glasses or are otherwise visually impaired. According to GGPD organizers, the volunteer-organized event, which included "meet-ups" in seven cities during its launch in 2012, took place in nearly 30 locations this year, with an average of 32 attendees per event and some hosting as many as 100.

Among the 29 cities included in this year's events were Portland, Ore.; San Francisco, Long Beach and San Diego, Calif.; Dallas, Texas; Minneapolis, Minn.; Philadelphia, Pa.; and Washington, D.C.

In 2013, as Vision Monday reported, the GGPD campaign celebrations attracted several hundred visitors to events in 17 cities, including 16 in the U.S. and one in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

According to Ann Zawistoski, co-founder of the Great Glasses Play Day and creator of the Little Four Eyes blog, local optical retailers and practitioners were a driving force behind 2014's events. "Many of the meet-ups had local optical shops and eyecare providers who helped make the event possible by helping to cover location rentals and other costs," Zawistoski said.

"We had even more optical shops and eyecare providers who helped us get the word out. Even more exciting is the enthusiasm that everyone has about next year. Each year, the number of events and the number of participants has grown and we can't wait to see what 2015 brings," she said.

As reported by CLICK last year, social media is another instrumental factor in connecting families and ECPs for GGPD events. After GGPD 2014 concluded, Kristin Ellsworth, GGPD co-founder and owner of Peeps Eyewear of Madison, told VMail, in addition to the close to 1,000 attendees estimated to attend the various events, noteworthy figures included 2,500 visits to the GGPD website and over two dozen parents posting photos to the GGPD Facebook page.

Also noteworthy this year, Ellsworth said, was meeting Jessica Butler, owner of Eye Power Kids, who organized GGPD's first Portland, Ore. meet-up, designed the GGPD T-shirts and provided the graphics and illustrations in the video recap of the Great Glasses Play Day, viewable now in VM Video. Said Ellsworth, Butler was "a tremendous help" and has been invited to join the GGPD board as the group attempts to become a non-profit organization. "It is our hope Great Glasses Play Day will be an annual day for our kids and it will support the work the optical community does for them every day of the year," Ellsworth said.

Sponsorship and support for the 2014 Great Glasses Play Day included contributions from: Miraflex; ClearVision, Prevent Blindness Wisconsin; OHSU Casey Eye Institute; Alberta Eye Care; Madison Children's Museum; Solo Bambini; Pediatric Ophthalmologists at Northwest Eye Care; Portland Eyecare; Myoptic; Bright Eyes Kids Optometry; San Francisco Optica; and Rim and Goggles. For more information, visit greatglassesplayday.com.

play next
1/9
previous

2014 Great Glasses Play Day (GGPD) »

These three "Princess Peep" fans had people seeing triple at the Madison Children's Museum meet-up in Madison, Wisc.

2014 Great Glasses Play Day (GGPD) »

A spectacular tot sports a Great Glasses Play Day eye patch while coloring in a backup pair at the Greencastle, Ind. Play Day.

2014 Great Glasses Play Day (GGPD) »

Two young sisters celebrate wearing glasses at the Great Glasses Play Day meet-up in San Francisco.

2014 Great Glasses Play Day (GGPD) »

The GGPD meet-up in Golden Gate Park brought some very young glasses-wearers, like this one sporting bright blue specs.

2014 Great Glasses Play Day (GGPD) »

Young sunglass wearers prepare for a Great Glasses Play Day beanbag toss at the Golden Gate Park meet-up in San Francisco, Calif.

2014 Great Glasses Play Day (GGPD) »

A picture worth framing: three GGPD attendees in Portland, Oreg. pose with a giant pair of frames while they celebrate their own glasses and vision health.

2014 Great Glasses Play Day (GGPD) »

A burst of excitement as the Eye Chart Piñata at the Portland, Oreg. GGPD meet-up showered participants with candy.

2014 Great Glasses Play Day (GGPD) »

A group of glasses wearers play with balloons at a playground meet-up in Texas.

2014 Great Glasses Play Day (GGPD) »

Along with his Play Day play-mates, this Cypress, Texas meet-up member had fun hanging out at the Great Glasses Play Day.