Each year, the Challenge gets bigger with more and more students around the world choosing to give back and have fun in support of the World Sight Day Challenge.
Students of Optometry and pre-Optometry from the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Germany, Norway and Australia have raised a record $71,720 as part of the 2013 Student Challenge – a 46% increase over 2012.
“We are once again impressed and delighted by the commitment and creativity of these students, who we know really enjoy raising funds so that their peers in emerging countries can have access to the same educational opportunities that they do,” said Clive Miller, Global CEO, Optometry Giving Sight.
“More trained optometrists in underserved communities means more people gaining access to the eye and vision care that they need, and that is a win for everyone”.
There were many fundraising highlights as part of the 2013 Challenge.
Under the remarkable leadership of student Micaela Ann Crowley, NOVA Southeastern University in the USA raised a record-breaking $12,097. Gleaning inspiration from our “Optoms Cycling for Sight” event in the UK (which now includes optometrists as well as students and this year raised £20, 000), the students and faculty of Nova cycled for a total of 3,459 miles on stationary bikes and in spinning classes, and garnered donations all across the country through family and friends.
“World Sight Day is optometry’s holiday – a day for people to celebrate something they hold close to their hearts. I’ve always thought the best (and only) way to do that is by giving back,” said Micaela.
The students of the University of Montreal in Canada organized an evening of Laser Quest. The 76 participants had a blast “letting off steam” and eating plenty of pizza. The students also organized a silent auction and raffle for fabulous prizes, in addition to selling Optometry Giving Sight t-shirts and wristbands.
For the second year, University of Waterloo, also in Canada, successfully undertook a “Dining in the Dark” event with a silent auction and raffle. The Waterloo event began with a local musical duo including a very talented vocalist/guitarist with vision impairment. Prior to dinner being served, every participant tied a black scarf around their head and eyes to simulate ‘dining in the dark”.
In Australia, the students at Deakin University in Canberra held a colourful carnival day featuring sumo-wrestling suits. UNSW gave us our iconic photo / logo image for the year and created a dedicated Facebook site. University of Melbourne Optometry Student Society held a comedy night and bake sale!
Keep an eye on our website for registration details for the 2014 Challenge – and start planning your activities now!
2013 WSDC global wrap!
Optometry Giving Sight is delighted to announce that, thanks to the efforts of fundraisers all around the world, more than USD$850, 000 was raised in the 2013 World Sight Day Challenge.
Globally, the Challenge saw an array of fantastic fundraising efforts from optometrists and their practice staff, including fun runs, cocktail nights, car washes and a charity sky dive! This year also saw the introduction of the new World Sight Day Challenge wristbands, which were used by many practices to encourage patient donations.
Eye care companies around the world again showed their commitment to helping end avoidable blindness by taking the World Sight Day Company Challenge. CooperVision staff held fundraising events in all their global offices, with many other companies participating at the national level. Alcon Foundation supported the ‘Kids Celebration of Sight’ program, whereby school children in Forth Worth, Texas and Chennai, India exchanged cards and letters to share the experience of being screened and given glasses on World Sight Day.
VSP Global formed the World Sight Day Challenge Coalition in the USA, culminating in a large-scale outreach event in Atlanta, Georgia. It saw local optometrists, Coalition members and other community organizations join together to raise awareness and provide eye care and eyewear to 4,000 people in need.
Thousands of optometrists, their staff, optical companies and students participated in the World Sight Day Challenge across Australia, Canada, US, UK, Ireland, Norway and Italy. There was also a free screening event held on World Sight Day in Singapore, for local disadvantaged youth and the elderly.
“Once again, members of the optometric profession, optical community and students have made outstanding efforts to raise money for those in desperate need of eyecare,” said Clive Miller, CEO of Optometry Giving Sight. “Preventable blindness is a solvable problem, and the World Sight Day Challenge is a great way for everyone to make a meaningful contribution and help to provide eye and vision care for all people.”
Main image - Students from NOVA Southeastern University, United States.
Photos below (Top Left to Bottom Right): 1. Charity sky dive in the UK 2. World Sight Day screenings in Singapore. 3. Sure Optical in NSW Australia held the 'Highballs for Eyeballs' cocktail evening. 4. Optoms Cycle for Sight, based out of the UK, saw an international cycling effort. 5. Linden Optometry in the US 6. VSP led the WSDC Coalition at a large-scale outreach event in Atlanta, Georgia on World Sight Day. 7. Queensway Optometric practice in Canada. 8. Students from NOVA Southeastern University, United States.