NEW YORK—The New York chapter of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, (FFB) the world’s largest private funder of sight-saving research, held its fifth annual New York City Fashion Ball here recently at the Plaza Hotel. The event celebrated the industry achievements of notable honorees in fashion, while raising the funds needed to support the prevention, treatment and cure of blinding retinal diseases. The event raised more than $800,000 and was attended by over 500 attendees.

The group’s Visionary Award was presented to Holly Rush, president, Luxottica North America and to Anna Bakst, president, accessories and footwear, Michael Kors, in recognition of their visionary contributions to society.

Emcees for the evening included Peter Alexander, national correspondent for NBC News, and Rebecca Alexander, author of the book Not Fade Away, who lives with Usher Syndrome, a retinal disease which causes progressive vision and hearing loss.

This event raises awareness of retinal degenerative diseases, which affect more than 10 million Americans. The Foundation also has nearly 50 chapters that provide support, information and resources to affected individuals and their families.

Evan Mittman of Foundation Fighting Blindness and Luxottica’s Holly Rush. Visionary Award honorees Holly Rush (l) and Anna Bakst. (L to R) Holly Rush, Gordon Gund of Foundation Fighting Blindness and Anna Bakst.