Safilo Commits to New Three-Year Partnership With Special Olympics International


PADUA, Italy—Safilo Group has re-committed its support to  Special Olympics, the global nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. The partnership between Safilo and Special Olympics dates back to 2003, and over the past 15 years, it has led to over 1.2 million optical frames and sunglasses being provided to Special Olympics athletes as part of the Special Olympics-Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes eye health and vision screening program. The announcement of the new three-year commitment was made at Safilo’s headquarters in Padua, Italy.

The partnership will produce an annual donation of over 60,000 optical frames and sunglasses as part of the Special Olympics vision screening program. The Special Olympics global health platform, which is made possible through the support of the Golisano Foundation, Lions Clubs International, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and various additional stakeholders, includes the Opening Eyes vision care program. This program provides Special Olympics athletes with vision exams, prescription eyewear and valuable referrals for follow–up care. Safilo is a global supplier of the program, the company stated.

Additionally, Safilo personnel will continue to take an active part in the implementation of the Special Olympics-Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes events as volunteers.

“We’re very proud to renew the partnership with Special Olympics, first signed more than 15 years ago, thereby confirming our efforts to bring primary eye care screenings and eyewear to Special Olympics athletes around the world,” said Angelo Trocchia, CEO of Safilo Group. “As we know, 2018 is a jubilee 50th anniversary for the global Special Olympics movement. Being such a longstanding supporter of Special Olympics is a great joy and honor for Safilo, and marks once again our commitment to eye health programs that will have an important impact on millions of lives globally.”

Opening Eyes, part of Special Olympics Healthy Athletes public health initiative, is the largest program in the world dedicated to providing vision care for people with intellectual disabilities. Since its start, 410,000 exams have taken place with 215,000 prescription eye glasses being prescribed. The Opening Eyes program also provides sports protective eyewear for athletes who train and compete in contact sports, the company stated.

“Opening Eyes is a crucial part of the Special Olympics health screening offering. Our assessments have identified that a large percentage of Special Olympics athletes have untreated eye problems with close to one in four athletes in need of a new eyewear prescription,” said Dr. Timothy P. Shriver, chairman of Special Olympics International. “Between now and 2021, close to 200,000 optical frames and sunglasses will be donated by the Safilo group to Special Olympics athletes. Added to this is the considerable time investment and invaluable expertise that Safilo volunteers will contribute to the Opening Eyes program. It is abundantly clear what a vital role Safilo plays in the successful delivery of the Opening Eyes program. Special Olympics is extremely grateful for their continued commitment for another three years and the benefits it will bring to so many Special Olympics.”