UR Medicine’s Flaum Eye Institute received a $20,000 donation to support its program to provide free vision care for needy schoolchildren. Kids Reaching Hearts Through Performing Arts, an organization of area high school students dedicated to supporting children through artistic expression, raised the funds during a gala event and variety show in October.
“We are grateful to see such talented students dedicated to helping others,” said Steven Feldon, M.D., M.B.A., director of the Flaum Eye Institute and chair of Ophthalmology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. “It saddens us to know that children go to school and are not able to perform to the best of their ability because of a vision problem. These funds will help children succeed.”
The funds will be used to support the Glover-Crask Charitable Trust Eyeglasses for Kids program, providing vision exams and eyeglasses to children who attend schools in Rochester and Finger Lakes region. Ophthalmologists and support staff work closely with principals and school health leaders to identify youngsters who need eye exams, and if they need eyeglasses, the FEI team crafts them immediately.
“It’s heartwarming to see the smiles on the kids’ faces when they receive the glasses and to know how much it means to them to go home seeing better,” Feldon said. The endowed program began a year ago with funding from the Glover-Crask Charitable Trust, led by John Harris, an FEI Board member, and has grown quickly.
The Kids Reaching Hearts Through Performing Arts gala event Oct. 10 raised $40,000 in total, which was shared between FEI and L.V. Prasad Eye Institute in India, to fund a similar program for children. FEI and Prasad scientists collaborate on research initiatives to improve care for common and rare vision disorders.