EyeSight Foundation celebrates giving

SPECIAL TO THE REPORTER

The EyeSight Foundation of Alabama celebrated its 10th anniversary of grant giving at the Summit Club Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2007.

Trustees and Grantees from 1997 to present joined together to celebrate extraordinary achievements in serving the eye care needs of the state.

ESFA started with an endowment of $54 million, has grown its assets to almost $70 million, and in the process has contributed $36 million to nonprofit organizations and programs.

ESFA’s grant making portfolio over the years has grown to include 30 nonprofit organizations and programs that are engaged in activities that address the eye care needs of the state, including scientific research into the causes, prevention and treatment of blinding eye diseases. These 30 organizations were recognized at the event.

As part of the celebration of the 10th Anniversary of ESFA, a $50,000 Visionary Award was also given to Sight Savers of Alabama, The Children’s Eye Care Network, in recognition of its efforts for bringing eye care to low income/indigent children throughout the state. “Sight Savers of Alabama has become a national model for childhood vision health,” says Torrey Smitherman, ESFA executive director. Leaders from other states are now contacting Sight Savers to set up the same services for children in their own respective areas.

Sight Savers provides a comprehensive and timely vision health program for young children. After receiving referrals of children identified through a variety of screening programs, Sight Savers “adopts” the child’s eye care from parental notification of a potential problem to final conclusion that the appropriate eye care is obtained.

Sight Savers also has placed vision aids in the homes of more than 120 Alabama children suffering with low vision, and they are beginning the task of placing assistive technology in the homes of children who are totally blind