Richmond, VA (PRWEB) June 15, 2011
The Foundation Fighting Blindness, a national nonprofit that drives eyesight-saving research, will honor Ophthalmologist and Virginia Eye Institute Founder Anthony D. Sakowski, Jr., M.D., F.A.C.S., at the Richmond Dining in the Dark event. The unique luncheon will take place at noon on June 16 at the Richmond Marriott.
Dining in the Dark is a distinctive sensory awareness experience in which guests participate in an unforgettable dining adventure, in complete darkness. For about 30 minutes, attendees will wear special light-blocking blindfolds and enjoy the entrée using only their senses of smell, sound, taste and touch, to get a glimpse into the unfamiliar lives of the blind.
“Dining in the Dark truly heightens awareness about the challenges individuals with vision impairment experience every day,” said Foundation Fighting Blindness CEO Bill Schmidt. “We’re very pleased to recognize our ongoing partnership with the Virginia Eye Institute and the achievements of Dr. Sakowski as we come together to support promising research toward brighter futures for people living in darkness. Both organizations are celebrating milestone anniversaries this year, the Foundation’s 40th and the Institute’s 35th, making the event that much more significant.”
Recognized for his commitment to eye health and vision care, Dr. Sakowski founded the Virginia Eye Institute in 1976 and has since grown the organization with his partners to be one of the largest and best known comprehensive eye care organizations in Virginia. Its 12 offices throughout Central Virginia provide a wide range of ophthalmology, optometry and optical services. Plus its campus-based Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) provides ophthalmology and Ear Nose, and Throat surgical services to pediatric and adult patients. With his specialties including LASIK and vision correction surgery, cataract surgery, and intraocular lens implants, Sakowski made history in 1981 when he and Dr. Walter Bundy performed Virginia’s first refractive surgery procedure.
“I am honored to be a participant in focusing on the very good work that is done by the Foundation Fighting Blindness to not only find cures and treatments for our patients now, but also in the future. The potential for wonderful restoration of vision, as well as prevention of blindness, is very significant with the support of our citizens for this foundation,” said Dr. Sakowski.
The event is co-chaired by Amy Ladd, Ph.D., and Byron Ladd, M.D., a retinal specialist at the Virginia Eye Institute and past Visionary Award honoree. Megan Mudd, one of Ladd’s patients who is affected with Usher syndrome, is also co-chairing the luncheon along with her husband Michael. Proceeds will benefit the Foundation Fighting Blindness’ mission to drive the research that will lead to preventions, treatments and cures for the more than 10 million Americans affected with retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, Usher syndrome and the entire spectrum of vision-robbing retinal degenerative diseases.
Individual tickets for Dining in the Dark are $175 and table packages begin at $750. For ticket and sponsorship information, contact Dina Gordon at 410-423-0625 or DGordon(at)FightBlindness(dot)org. To RSVP as a member of the media, or to schedule an interview with a Foundation Fighting Blindness representative or event spokesperson, contact Allie Gebhardt at 410-423-0643 or AGebhardt(at)FightBlindness(dot)org.
Where: Richmond Marriott
500 East Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23219
When: Thursday, June 16, 2011
12-2 p.m. Lunch and Award Presentation
Cost: $175 per ticket
About Foundation Fighting Blindness:
The Foundation Fighting Blindness is a national nonprofit driving blindness 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. In its 40-year history, the Foundation has raised more than $425 million as the leading non-governmental funder of retinal research. With a network of 50 chapters, the Foundation also provides free disease information and low vision resources to affected individuals and families. Most recently, a breakthrough Foundation-funded study using gene therapy restored some vision in children and young adults who were previously blind, paving the way for using this method to treat a wide variety of retinal degenerative diseases, and proving a cure is in sight.
About Virginia Eye Institute:
Virginia Eye Institute (link to homepage) (VEI) is a comprehensive eye care organization providing a wide range of ophthalmology, optometry, and optical services in 12 locations across Central Virginia. VEI offers an exceptional range of ophthalmologic care including cornea, glaucoma, retina, ocularplastics, pediatrics, refractive surgery (LASIK), and general. All Virginia Eye Institute’s physicians are board-certified and many are fellowship-trained. VEI optical shops provide board-certified opticians and contact lens fitters. VEI also owns and operates an out-patient Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) which provides ophthalmology and ear, nose and throat surgical services to pediatric and adult patients. VEI’s optical shops are ranked as one of the nation’s “50 Best Optical Shops”.