Students from thirty Schools of Optometry and pre-Optometry clubs across North America have raised more than $40,000 as part of the 2016 World Sight Day Student Challenge, to help fund the development of Optometry in underserved communities throughout the world.
“Our sincere thanks to the student leaders from the American Optometric Student Association (AOSA), Student Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (sVOSH) and the Canadian Association of Optometry Students (CAOS) for their help in making the Challenge a success each year, and to all those who participate in their fundraising activities,” said Clive Miller, CEO, Optometry Giving Sight. “This is an outstanding result that will help Optometry students in places as diverse as Nicaragua, Vietnam and Africa to gain their Degree or Diploma and provide vision care services to people in desperate need.”
Optometry Giving Sight provides funding support to 9 Schools or Colleges of Optometry where 782 students are currently enrolled. 383 students have already graduated, with the potential to see 766,000 patients per annum.
Every year, Optometry Giving Sight, in partnership with VOSH International, offers three travel stipends to the schools that raise the most in donations. This year’s winners are:
University of Montreal School of Optometry – who organized a variety of fun and successful activities including a bowling event, a “5-10” social event, a silent auction, as well as sales of t-shirts, wristbands and custom water bottles. Special thanks to: Molly Perron (head organizer), Roxanne Arsenault, Genevieve Bourbonniere, Laura Pelletier and to the many other students who helped and participated in the festivities. With everyone’s gifts and participation, a total of $10,000 was raised!
University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science – who successfully undertook a “Dining in the Dark” event with a silent auction. During the event their participants were blindfolded during a meal to simulate what it would be like to be blind, and a silent auction for many items that were generously donated by the optometric community, local businesses and individuals. A big thanks to: Marina Sawatzky, Kristine Massicotte and Rahul Joshi, and to everyone who volunteered, participated, donated items and funds.
University of Houston College of Optometry – who, for the last six years, has been coordinating a successful Talent Show featuring students and faculty. This year the event was successfully coordinated by Christopher Lopez and included pianists, vocalists, dramatic performances and a flutist. A special thank you to all the students and volunteers for making 2016 the most successful talent show to date.
“Congratulations to these schools for winning the 2016 travel stipends,” said Dr. Greg Pearl, Optometry Giving Sight Board member and past President of VOSH International. “They provide a great opportunity for these student leaders to experience firsthand the vital work being done to train and mentor people in underserved communities so that they can provide vision care services to people in need on an ongoing basis.”