Foundation Fighting Blindness, Supermarket Industry Leaders and Parents of Visually Impaired Children Unite to Fight Blindness at “A Vision for the Future”

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Jan. 17 Event Will Honor Key Food Chief Executive; Special Guest Mrs. World

The Foundation Fighting Blindness, a national nonprofit that drives sight-saving research, will host its 2nd Annual ‘Una Visión Para El Futuro’ (A Vision for the Future) on Thursday, Jan. 17, at Terrace on the Park in Flushing Meadows Park. The event will honor the accomplishments and community involvement of Key Food Chief Executive Dean Janeway, as supermarket industry leaders come together to raise critical awareness and research funds for vision-robbing retinal degenerative diseases like macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa (RP).

Chairing the event for the second year is Jason Ferreira, of New Hyde Park, NY, a Foundation national trustee and first-generation Dominican American whose family owns a group of Met Foodmarkets. His young son JJ was born blind due to a rare genetic form of RP called Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA). Determined to help advance research toward treatments and a cure, Ferreira has been a passionate Foundation advocate since JJ’s diagnosis in 2010, raising hundreds of thousands for innovative work that could save his son’s sight.

“We’re thrilled to recognize the support and leadership of Dean Janeway,” says Ferreira. “Progress in gene therapy and stem cell-based clinical trials gives us hope for a brighter future for JJ and the 10 million other families in America affected by blinding retinal diseases. Leaders coming together for this important cause is a true testament to the giving spirit of our industry.”

Ferreira’s co-chair is Amie Kreisberg, of Manhattan, who is motivated in the fight against blindness because her stepson, Jeremy, has RP, an inherited disease that progressively robs peripheral vision. Her grandfather co-founded Key Food in 1937 in Brooklyn, and her father Lawrence Mandel currently serves as chairman of the board. Emceeing this year’s event is special guest, the reigning Mrs. World, April Lufriu, who is devoted to vision-saving research and awareness because she and her two children are also affected with RP.

As chief executive of Key Food Stores Co-Operative since 2008, Visionary Award Honoree Dean Janeway, of Morristown, NJ, oversees the company’s 125 supermarkets in New York and New Jersey. He’s also held leadership positions at Walmart, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, the Grocery Channel, and the Campbell Soup Company. The evening’s Visionary Sponsors include Acosta Sales; Advantage Sales Inc.; Allegiance Retail Services; Anchin, Block & Anchin; Bozutto’s Inc.; C&S Produce; C&S Wholesale Grocers; CBA Industries, Inc.; Farmland; Federated; Fresh Express; Krasdale; Amie and Louis Kreisberg; Man-Dell Food Stores; Nicotra; Procter & Gamble; RDD Associates Inc.; Ropes & Gray LLP; Tropicana; and Wright Program Management.

What:    A Vision for the Future, Benefitting the Foundation Fighting Blindness

    Where:        Terrace on the Park
            52-11 111th St.
            Flushing Meadows Park, NY 11368

    When:        Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013
            7 p.m. Cocktails
            8 p.m. Dinner & Program

Individual tickets are available for $350 and sponsorship packages begin at $1,000. For ticket and sponsorship information, contact Events Manager Katie Van Benschoten at KVanBenschoten(at)FightBlindness(dot)org or (212) 244-1470. To RSVP as a member of the media or to coordinate an interview with an event spokesperson, contact Allie Gebhardt at 410-423-0643 or AGebhardt(at)FightBlindness(dot)org.    

About Foundation Fighting Blindness
The Foundation Fighting Blindness is a Columbia, Maryland-based non-profit organization driving the research that will lead to preventions, treatments and cures for retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, Usher syndrome and the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases that affect more than 10 million Americans. Since 1971, the Foundation has raised over $500 million as the leading non-governmental funder of retinal research. Breakthrough Foundation-funded studies using gene therapy have restored significant vision in children and young adults who were previously blind, paving the way for additional clinical trials to treat a variety of retinal degenerative diseases, and proving a cure is in sight. With a network of nearly 50 chapters, the Foundation also provides support, information and resources to affected individuals and their families in communities across the country.

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Allie Gebhardt
Foundation Fighting Blindness
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