View a PDF of VM's D.A.R.E. honorees for 2012
View a PDF of VM's D.A.R.E. honorees for 2011

NEW YORK—Vision Monday is proud to announce the winners of our 2nd Annual Dispensing and Retail Excellence (D.A.R.E.) Awards.

The D.A.R.E. Awards were originally conceived to honor daring optical retailers and dispensers from across North America in five different categories, with an additional winner, chosen by reader votes, for a sixth award.

Retailers and ECPs were asked to submit entries from June 6 through July 6. Those submissions were reviewed by a panel of judges (see details on page 61) and the winner in each category was identified. The judges also selected five entries they deemed worthy of special recognition for their daring approaches across different aspects of optical retailing to be put up for the ‘We the People’ Reader’s Vote Award.

From July 16 through Aug. 6, readers were then able to vote on those five nominees at to determine a winner. The entry with the second highest number of reader votes was named Honorable Mention.

Over the next several pages you will be able to see a small sampling of the submission entries and supporting materials that earned each of these retailers this year’s honor.

Some interesting facts about this year’s winners is that nearly all of them are independent optical boutiques; no big box retailers here. Additionally, the length of time our winners have been in business varied from just over a year to several decades, proving that it’s never too early or too late to be daring and think outside the box when it comes to running your business.

When we first launched the contest we hoped to get a good response, and this year we were once again gratified by the response we got and are impressed that most of the entries we received this year were brand new entrants who had not submitted last year.

So please help us in congratulating this year’s winners. And if you missed entering this year’s D.A.R.E. Awards, we hope the caliber of all our winners inspires you to participate next year. Stay daring!

Look for the complete story on where you will also be able to revisit the retailers who claimed the prize in 2011.

2011’s VM D.A.R.E. Honorees

•Valley Vision Optometry,
Port Alberni, British Columbia
•St. Charles Vision,
New Orleans, La.
•Eye Care Centers of America/
Davis Vision
, San Antonio, Texas
•Eola Eyes,
Orlando, Fla.
•Shopko Eyecare Centers,
Green Bay, Wis.
•Wilson Eye Center
, Valdosta, Ga.
•For Eyes Optical
, New York, N.Y.
•Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care
, Rockville, Md.
, Rocky Mount, N.C.
•Coastal Contacts Inc.
, Vancouver, British Columbia
•Luxottica Retail/OneSight
, Mason, Ohio
•Metro Optics
, Bronx, N.Y.

– Deirdre Carroll