Walman Optical Golf Event Raises $48K for Blind Students


WEST ST. PAUL, Minn.—Walman Optical hosted the Upper Midwest Optical Golf Day (UMOGD) Sight Preservation Foundation golf event at Southview Country Club here on Aug. 12. The annual event, which brings together people within the optical community as well as those with a common goal of sight preservation, raised $48,000 for the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind.

“The Walman Company’s culture includes one of being highly charitable,” said Craig Giles, executive vice president/GM, Soderberg Ophthalmic Services, a unit of Walman Optical. “In fact, this year’s charitable budget is north of $400,000. As an employee-owned company we take great pride in not only giving generously, but getting personally involved in many charities across the nation. The UMOGD Sight Preservation Foundation is a 501(c) (3) organization whose sole purpose is to help those that cannot otherwise benefit from the products we create for sighted customers. This is our way of helping kids that would not benefit from glasses or contact lenses.”

Over the past 11 years, the UMOGD-Sight Preservation Foundation has partnered with the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind Foundation to enhance the educational experience of the students at the Academy. To date, the Foundation’s annual golf tournament has raised over $300,000. The organization’s most recent project was the construction of a music lab and recording studio for the students at the Academy. ■

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Pictured at the UMOGD golf tournament, (l to r), are Soderberg’s Jim Menard, Essilor IDD’s Nick Turner, Transitions’ Scott Betcher and Soderberg’s Craig Giles.

(L to R) Uptown Vision Clinic’s Jean Sabre, with Soderberg’s Sue Ebner, Chris Ossmo, OD, and Transitions’ Kay Jensen.

(L to R) Shelley Staack, Younger Optics, Vision-Ease’s Tim Rongitsch, Zyloware Eyewear’s Jim Tooke, and Pat Patterson, chairman, Walman.

(L to R) Walman’s Bryan Schueler, Essilor IDD’s James Schrick, Transitions’ Scott Henning, and Essilor IDD’s Chris Jones.