Optical Industry Joins Forces to Support World Sight Day Challenge


DENVER—Optometry Giving Sight reported that there has been a great response from optometrists, companies and students in support of the World Sight Day Challenge with many practices, companies and 21 schools of optometry continuing their fundraising efforts throughout the month of October.

This is the 11th year of the Challenge, which encourages all members of the vision care community to make a donation or participate in a fundraising event to help fund sustainable eye health projects for people who are needlessly blind or vision impaired. These include support for projects that will help give sight and hope to more than 1 million children as part of the Our Children’s Vision campaign—and this year, in recognition of recent events, projects providing eyecare to people affected by the hurricanes in several regions, Optometry Giving Sight said.

Coalition members include ABB Optical Group, Alcon Foundation, AllAboutVision.com, Bausch + Lomb, CooperVision, Essilor, EyePromise, FYidoctors, Vision Source, VSP Global and Zeiss Vision.

Another 45 companies took part in the Challenge for a total of 56 industry partners who participated in the Company Challenge, Miller said.

“Vision Source has advised that they will extend their fundraising to the end of November and FYidoctors reported their most successful fundraising campaign to date with more than 150 of their practices participating.”

CooperVision staff around the world have held a variety of range of fundraising events including cycling relays, themed food events and a raffle bundle that included dress down days.

Zeiss raised funds by selling T-shirts at all of its U.S. office and lab locations; Alcon Canada reported that it has doubled its fundraising efforts this year; and ABB Optical reports that its month long Digital Eye Labs sales promotion is going well. “We are looking forward to further updates over the coming weeks,” Miller said.

The second annual Twitterchat was a great success with 23 organizations posting information on Twitter and engaging in discussion around the importance of child eye health, according to Miller.

Following are highlights, gathered by the Vision Monday staff, from some of the thousands of participants who raised funds and awareness of the need for eyecare and eyewear on World Sight Day.

Employees participated in a blindfold free-throw shooting competition and
attempted to dunk A&A Optical CEO/president, Robert Liener.

In celebration of World Sight Day, A&A Optical coordinated what has become a traditional day of blindfold games and challenges. Through these fundraising blindfold activities, employees experience what it’s like to be visually impaired (even for a few moments) while raising money for Optometry Giving Sight. This year, employees participated in a blindfold free-throw shooting competition and attempted to dunk A&A Optical CEO/president, Robert Liener.

On World Sight Day, the Alcon Foundation hosted Cycle for Sight
20/20 Challenge activities at Alcon sites around world. Above,
participants in Australia, rode to raise funds to support optometric
research, education and patient services.

Alcon, the global leader in eyecare and a division of Novartis, celebrated World Sight Day on Oct. 12 through activities planned around the world, including the Cycle for Sight 20/20 Challenge which took place at the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) annual meeting in Chicago and at Alcon facilities in several countries.

“Our ongoing support of World Sight Day is part of our 70-year history of discovering ways to enhance sight and improve lives around the globe,” said Dr. Rick Weisbarth, vice president of Professional Affairs, U.S. Vision Care, Alcon. “Through our partnerships and initiatives like Cycle for Sight, we’re raising awareness of preventable blindness and other eye health issues on a global and local level to reinforce our commitment to innovation and research for improved patient outcomes.”

One arm of this year’s Cycle for Sight 20/20 Challenge took center stage at the AAO annual meeting where Academy members and Alcon leaders went head-to-head on stationary bikes for 2,020 minutes to trigger a $25,000 donation from the Alcon Foundation to the AAO Foundation to fund optometric education and research. Simultaneously, 2,020 associates at Alcon facilities worldwide rode stationary bikes to help raise an additional $25,000 from the Alcon Foundation for Optometry Giving Sight’s Our Children’s Vision, a program designed to deliver effective, sustainable eye health to children around the world, regardless of their economic status.

Additional Alcon World Sight Day activities around the globe include:

  • Alcon is also a sponsor of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) Vision Atlas, a global resource and advocacy tool that compiles the latest data on avoidable blindness and prevention efforts. A new Vision Atlas, with updated blindness prevalence estimates and data by country, went live on World Sight Day.
  • Free vision screenings were available to all Alcon Russia associates in the Moscow office, along with lectures on eye health and healthy vision habits by a local ophthalmologist.
  • Alcon Japan collaborated with famous Japanese comic Jin on three stories to educate consumers on eye health, which will be featured on the Alcon Japan website.

The CooperVision team at their manufacturing facility in Scottsville, N.Y.

This year, CooperVision brought back its successful "Smile, Snap & Share" initiative. This is their Fight for Sight World Sight Day Facebook initiative in which the company encouraged employees, teams and sites on World Sight Day to post photos and/or videos of themselves to the CooperVision Fight for Sight Facebook page showing their support for the campaign. The goal was to illustrate the collective passion, pride and dedication around the Fight for Sight campaign.

With the help of our employees and teams around the world the company wanted to show how CooperVision employees rally together in support of Fight for Sight, united in the purpose to help improve the way people see each day, and helping to raise funds to help prevent vision loss and avoidable blindness. According to a spokesperson, “It was a very successful initiative. We had postings from teams around the world all throughout that day (World Sight Day)—great representation from our CooperVision teams worldwide. It was fantastic to see the Fight for Sight spirit!

On and around World Sight Day CooperVision had various activities taking place at their various sites around the world including: Bake sales, recycling drive, various walks/runs/cycling events, raffles, free eye exams for employees in the office, foosball and soccer tournaments, teams wore Fight for Sight T-shirts and/or bracelets and gathered for group photos. In addition there were donation bundle fundraisers, jeans days, Fight for Sight Fiesta and office breakfasts.

In addition to encouraging Costa fans to visit their eyecare professional on World Sight Day via Facebook, Costa donated $20 to the Vision Foundation for each order ECPs placed on Costa’s B2B site for 3+ sunglass and/or optical frames. Additionally, Costa offered free vision screenings for employees and their children with a complimentary pair of Costa Optical frames for those requiring a prescription.

DAC Vision’s customer service team
banded together on World Sight Day.

This is the 5th year that DAC Vision and DAC Edge celebrated World Sight Day. Lunch was provided for all employees, thanking them for participating in the World Sight Day Challenge. When an employee donated to the cause, they received a T-shirt and wristband as a thank you gesture for their support. DAC Vision matched all employee contributions. The company also took the opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the eyes from the sun and getting an annual eye exam.

Caleb and Angel show off their new eyewear on World Sight Day.

In honor of World Sight Day, Essilor of America partnered with the Essilor Vision Foundation (EVF) to “bring our mission to life in our local community,” according to a spokesperson for Essilor.

Imagine being an elementary school student who can’t clearly see the chalkboard, or whose spelling list or math problems are blurry. Now imagine getting a pair of eyeglasses made especially for you, with frames you chose yourself, and how that could literally change your life.

That’s what happened for more than 400 Dallas-area elementary school students. On World Sight Day, as EVF and Essilor of America visited two schools to deliver glasses to students who participated in EVF’s Kids’ Vision Fest on Oct. 5.

Some reactions from the students included:

  • “I’ll get to see more cars, more houses, more stores,” said Caleb, age 8. “When I’m at school, I need to stand up to see the board because I sit in the back. Now I won’t have to stand up.”
  • Angel, age 7, is pleased with his choice. “I like my glasses very much. My glasses will help me see better at school and play video games.”
  • Elia, age 8, also said her glasses will help her in school. “I used to have to stand up to see the board or ask my friends to tell me what it said. Now I can see it myself.”

"Everything we learn is through our eyes, so if the kids can't see, they can't learn," said school nurse Dwayna Griffin. "To see the kids put the glasses on and watch the amazement on their faces when they see for the first time is so moving. The program is a lot of work, but to see them smile makes it worth it for us all."

Kim Schuy, president of EVF, said World Sight Day is the perfect opportunity to bring attention to the significant difference good vision can make in a child’s life. “Our mission is closely aligned with Essilor’s mission of improving lives by improving sight. At EVF, we’re focused on empowering children in underserved communities by making sure their parents, teachers and community leaders understand the impact good vision can have to help a child reach their potential.”

The Foundation Fighting Blindness participated in World Sight Day by posting on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. This awareness post included a “Did you know” fact, providing the number of individuals affected by retinal degenerative diseases in the U.S. and worldwide. This particular post provided a call to action, asking their followers to continue to help fund research on cures for inherited retinal diseases. The organization has also been recognizing Blindness Awareness Month this October with a weekly social post to raise awareness about the different types of blindness and visual impairments.

Jobson Optical group also contributed to the World Sight Day activities, with Vision Monday participating in the Twitterchat hosted by Optometry Giving Sight and the coalition members on Oct. 12. In the New York office, the company hosted the Change Challenge, with each department competing to raise money by getting donations from members, friends or family. Each donor received a World Sight Day bracelet. On Oct. 30, Jobson will also host an office-wide pizza party in an effort to raise additional donations for Optometry Giving Sight by selling each slice of pizza for $2.

Participants in Gambia took part in
OneSight’s Ready Set See challenge.

To celebrate World Sight Day, OneSight launched their first global fitness and fundraising challenge. Over 1,000 supporters from around the globe participated in the Ready Set See challenge, raising $155,000.

LensCrafters supported OneSight's Ready Set See initiative. To help spread the word about the fitness challenge, LensCrafters partnered with boutique fitness studio Row House in NYC’s Chelsea neighborhood to host a fitness class for media and influencers to attend and to sign up to participate in the challenge—by rowing over 27.5 miles for a worthy cause. The event supported the fact that there is a direct correlation between physical activity and maintaining good eye health.

Luxottica also hosted a spring/summer 2018 press preview on World Sight Day where notable press and influencers were able to view the latest eyewear collections. A LensCrafters representative gave advice on maintaining good eye health as guests enjoyed a variety of eye healthy treats promoting the cause.

VSP Vision Care facilitated a conversation on Twitter (@VSPVisionCare)
around children’s eye health and wellness with coalition partners, doctors
and the public in honor of World Sight Day.

This World Sight Day, VSP Global raised funds and awareness in support of Optometry Giving Sight. Employees worldwide rallied to raise funds for hurricane-related eyecare relief efforts and Our Children’s Vision projects through activities like vendor fairs, as well as through individual contributions; VSP Global will match employee donations up to $5,000 through the end of October. The company also facilitated a conversation on Twitter (@VSPVisionCare) around children’s eye health and wellness with coalition partners, doctors and the public in honor of World Sight Day.

Modo’s Buy A Frame – Help A Child See program helps children
who otherwise cannot afford and would not receive eyecare.

Modo works continuously with children with poor eyesight through the Buy A Frame – Help A Child See program. Worldwide, 19 million children cannot see clearly. This is often due to infections, vitamin deficiencies, cataracts and glaucoma, but the most common cause in children is refractive error—the need for a pair of glasses. Many causes of blindness are preventable or treatable, but children in high poverty areas often do not have access to eyecare.

Children with poor eyesight are more likely to suffer from poor academic performance and dropout rates are higher, which reduces long-term career prospects as well as the benefits of global education investments. Modo’s Buy A Frame – Help A Child See program helps children who otherwise cannot afford and would not receive eyecare. The company’s comprehensive program gives a child the chance to excel in school and reduce poverty.

On World Sight Day, Solo Eyewear launched their
Grateful to See Campaign where eight participants
competed in a photo contest. Here is the winning photo.

On World Sight Day, Solo Eyewear launched their Grateful to See Campaign where eight participants competed in a photo contest. The winner of the contest will receive an all expense paid trip to San Diego in January and road trip with Solo to Mexico to host an eyecare clinic at two orphanages.

The winner of the campaign is Spencer Bailey who submitted this photo with the caption that read: "I'm grateful that I can see joy. I learn from the experiences of others and have found it is sometimes those that have so little that teach me the most. I will always learn what these little girls from Guatemala taught me about happiness, excitement and gratitude for new experiences."

Expanding upon the new campaign, “Seeing is a Gift,” Think About
Your Eyes reminded the public to celebrate the gift of sight.

Think About Your Eyes recognized World Sight Day by reminding the public to celebrate the gift of sight. Expanding upon the new campaign, “Seeing is a Gift,” Think About Your Eyes shared results of a survey around the public’s attitudes toward their vision and eye exams. The organization partnered with Instagram influencers to celebrate all that sight allows them to experience, and coordinated in-person photo ops in key regional markets to encourage the public to celebrate the gift of sight on World Sight Day.

Christina Sanko of Optometry Giving Sight and
Alysia Gradney of Vision Source held a surprise
Facebook Live stream at the Vision Source Kingwood office.

Vision Source participate in a variety of activities in order to mark World Sight Day. The company participated in the #ShareForSight Twitter chat sponsored by Optometry Giving Sight and held a World Sight Day celebration at the Vision Source Member Support Center. Christina Sanko of Optometry Giving Sight and Alysia Gradney of Vision Source held a surprise Facebook Live stream at the Vision Source Kingwood office.

Vision Source members held 5Ks and "Pie in the Eye" contest to raise funds for Optometry Giving Sight. Jon Herring, Vision Source Member Support Center employee, used the power of song to highlight the importance of 'Giving Sight, Man."

Vision Source members raised funds through the selling of World Sight Day branded merchandise on VisionSourceGear.com and staff at the Vision Source Member Support Center raised over $49,000 in support of Optometry Giving Sight.

Dr. Scott Mundle, OD of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada was recently installed as president of the World Council of Optometry at its recent 2nd World Congress of Optometry in Hyderabad, India. One of his mandates is children’s vision.

“Children are the future and it is incumbent for us to help them in any way we can. As far as vision goes, we know that good vision is paramount for a good education and a productive work and social life. It is for this reason I have made children’s vision a central focus of my presidency,” said Dr. Mundle.

This World Sight Day, the WCO is proud to support the Our Children’s Vision Campaign. “The WCO is a Global Supporter and our fundraising initiative (Optometry Giving Sight) is a Global Donor, so it makes sense that we work in this arena. I look forward to working with everyone on this campaign,” Dr. Mundle said.

The WestGroupe team at meet & greet in Montreal
with legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk.

WestGroupe usually spread their activities out over the course of the year, and this year is no exception. They have several activities planned over the course of the next few weeks, including a 50/50 draw, 2 raffles and jeans week (employees pay to wear their jeans to work for a week). They also held a raffle in August for a chance to win tickets to a meet & greet in Montreal with legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk.

Wiley X developed a Facebook post.

Wiley X developed a Facebook and Instagram post. They also did an email campaign reminding their customers to celebrate World Sight Day by scheduling their annual eye exam as well as offering 25 percent off their purchase for the day.

Zeiss employees in France used VR One goggles to
see the world like visually impaired people.

At 15 sites in North America, Europe and Asia—among them Dublin and San Diego in California, Jena in Germany, La Rochelle in France, Shanghai and Tokyo—Zeiss employees participated in a variety of activities during Week of Sight and on World Sight Day.

Zeiss colleagues in San Diego donated and got World Sight Day Challenge shirts, while in Germany, France and China they used VR One goggles to see the world like visually impaired people. Dr. Harder from Zeiss’ partner Christoffel-Blindenmission gave a lecture on his work to fight avoidable blindness. The registered charity "Miracle of Sight"— founded by Zeiss to fund vision care for poor children—raised donations.

Zeiss launched a global website at www.zeiss.com/week-of-sight where the company compiled examples from all around the globe illustrating how Zeiss is engaged to help fight avoidable blindness and to make better vision available for all those who have no access to eye and vision care.

On Instagram, Zyloware showed their employees celebrating World Sight Day.

Zyloware used various forms of social media to get the message out about World Sight Day. The company did a blog post for World Sight Day in which they shared different ways to get involved and celebrate World Sight Day, as well as offering an explanation of the history behind the event.

Zyloware also had social media influencers share about World Sight Day and on Instagram they shared Zyloware employees celebrating World Sight Day.

Finally, two of the celebrities behind Zyloware’s brands, Daisy Fuentes and Randy Jackson, also took part in sharing for social media.

Many optometrists have given personal or practice donations. My Vision Clinic in Springfield Mo. hosted their most successful 5KM run to date, raising $6,000. In California, Dr. Greg Pearl’s office raised $9,000 through patient donations and through the donation of eye exam fees.

Students at 19 schools joined in on the World Sight Day activities from across the nation. Nova University and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences both held Dining in the Dark events with Nova also producing a clever “Wizard of Eyes” T-shirt which they sold to raise funds; the University of Houston College of Optometry held its annual talent show; the University of Waterloo held a “Color” marathon, blind 3-legged race and silent auction; and the University of Montreal held a “5 to 10 Optoberfest” night, an escape game event, customized gym towels sales and they raised $2,500 in a silent auction.

The Rosenberg School of Optometry at the University of the Incarnate Word in Texas, The Southern College of Optometry in Tennessee and the New England College of Optometry in Massachusetts were some of the schools that wore T-shirts, pins and interacted with followers on social media in an effort to create awareness. On the local level independent ECPs went all out in order to raise funds. Some, like British Columbia’s Pacific Eye Doctor, held bake sales; while others, like Texas’ Alamo Eye Care supported the cause by decorating their office with balloons and wearing the World Sight Day pins.

San Antonio, Texas’ Alamo Eye Care was decorative for World Sight Day with
balloons and pins.
Chris Schell Optometrist in Ontario, had
a bake sale as well as a “spin to win wheel.”
Linden Optometry held a fundraiser,
selling cupcakes and other goodies in Pasadena, Calif.
The New England College of Optometry encouraged their Facebook followers to
use the World Sight Day frame, created
by Orbis International.
British Columbia’s Pacific Eye Doctor sold
sugar cookies, butter tarts and much more in an effort to collect donations
for Optometry Giving Sight.
The Student Volunteer Optometric
Services to Humanity (SVOSH) at
the Rosenberg School of Optometry held their annual “Dining in the Dark” event.

Royal Oak Optometry offered some treats and a $100 gift card in honor of World Sight Day in Victoria, British Columbia.Some students at the Pennsylvania
College of Optometry at Salus University promoted their belief that universal eye
health is possible.
The Southern College of Optometry celebrated by wearing T-shirts to
observe World Sight Day.