The Polakoff Foundation Provides Diagnostic Equipment & Education For Free Glaucoma Screenings

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The Polakoff Foundation, through a grant from Allergan, has purchased new diagnostic equipment to detect glaucoma. The new equipment will be used to screen underserved communities of high-risk citizens in Baltimore, Maryland. In association with the new equipment will be an aggressive, four month, educational, direct mail campaign commencing in September.

With the help of Allergan, The Polakoff Foundation has completed the purchase of new equipment to measure eye pressures and test for peripheral vision loss. This equipment will be used in concert with The Eyes Have It Program...Baltimore's visionary fight against glaucoma. The Polakoff Foundation, a founding member of the program that is now in its third year of all volunteer service, is focusing on the underserved population who are considered high-risk for glaucoma. The Eyes Have It Program provides free monthly screenings for glaucoma and offers pathways for those who are found to have the disease but have no medical coverage. Glaucoma is a blinding eye disease with no symptoms or warning signs. Sight lost to glaucoma can never be recovered. "Prevention is the key to saving sight," according to Polakoff Foundation Chairman, Sam Polakoff. Polakoff himself is a glaucoma patient having learned of his condition through a routine eye exam at the young age of 27. Polakoff added, "The ability to purchase this equipment and the associated supplies for our free screenings is key. Prior to this, each volunteer doctor would have to bring his or her own equipment to the screening."

In addition to the new equipment, The Polakoff Foundation has funded an aggressive direct mail campaign that will reach more than 17,000 Baltimore City residents between September and December. A professional mail house will be sending a customized postcard to all homes and churches within a two mile radius of a program site approximately ten days prior to each free screening date. The postcard is intended to educate high-risk citizens about glaucoma and to motivate them to attend a free screening. The mailing will focus on low-income residents who are African-American and/or over 60 years of age. The postcard features a bold look with the caption "NO WARNINGS...NOW YOU'RE BLIND." The back of the postcard has basic glaucoma information and a notice about the next free area screening.

On Monday, June 14, The Polakoff Foundation will hold its main fundraiser, The Golf Outing To Fight Glaucoma. The event will be held at Mountain Branch Golf Course in Joppa and will be a Best Ball format. A shotgun start is planned for 8:30 AM. The cost is $185 per golfer and includes golf, breakfast and lunch. Get more information by visiting http://www.fightglaucoma.org.

The Raffle To Fight Glaucoma is now underway. The grand prize is a new $3,000 Home Arc Trainer donated by Cybex International. This is a state-of-the-art cardio machine and can be shipped anywhere in the continental U.S. Tickets are $10 each or 3 for $25. Get more information by visiting http://www.fightglaucoma.org.

About The Polakoff Foundation

The Polakoff The Samuel R. and Denise F. Polakoff Foundation, Ltd. (The Polakoff Foundation) was started in 2006 to assist in the fight against glaucoma and is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation based in Forest Hill, Maryland. The Polakoff Foundation concentrates its fundraising efforts to assist those who can pursue breakthrough research in the quest for a glaucoma cure. It also provides assistance to organizations offering services related to the fight against glaucoma. These services include free regional screenings in the Baltimore metro area as well as educational material to aid those who may be newly diagnosed or at risk. The Polakoff Foundation maintains an all-volunteer staff.

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