Salus University staff and students greeted the nearly 300 guests as they entered one of the finest, full-service country clubs in the country – the Philadelphia Cricket Club in Chestnut Hill - on the evening of Saturday, November 11. Cohosted by National Vision, Inc., the eleventh annual Looking Out for Kids
(LOFK) charity fundraiser was deemed a success. LOFK guests enjoyed an evening of enticing live and silent auction items, gourmet food and drinks, and a live band, all to support vision care for underprivileged children
in Philadelphia and Montgomery County schools.
After welcoming remarks from University president, Dr. Michael H. Mittelman, the highlight of the gala’s program was NBC10 news anchor Rosemary Connors’ interview with Yerani Diaz-Hernandez. A third grader at Whitehall Elementary School in Norristown, Pa., she recently benefitted from the LOFK program. After receiving her glasses, the 9-year-old felt much more confident in her studies.
“Before, when I didn’t have the glasses [my teacher] would ask me questions, and I couldn’t see the board that well,” she said. “I would just feel kind of bad for myself, but when the glasses came, I could see better, and I felt proud of myself.”
Colleen McCauley, health policy director for Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY), introduced the evening’s second annual Lighthouse Award winner, Shelly Yanoff, former executive director for PCCY. McCauley highlighted several of Yanoff’s numerous achievements on behalf of children’s health and well-being, including the creation of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Give Kids Sight Day. Yanoff graciously accepted the Lighthouse Award
, which honors those who are beacons of light and sources of strength in the community in which they live, work, and serve, above and beyond their occupations.
Following the formal program, a lively bidding war ensued as Dr. Susan Oleszewski, vice president of Institutional Advancement and Community Relations, auctioned off a New York City Broadway, hotel and dinner package and a hand-embroidered vision chart quilt. During this time, attendees also had the opportunity to fund the cost of a child’s total vision care, which includes a comprehensive eye exam and two pairs of eyeglasses.
All funds raised throughout the night will help Salus continue to provide vision care services and eyeglasses to uninsured and under insured children in Philadelphia and its surrounding communities. Each year, doctors and students from the University’s optometric clinical facility, The Eye Institute, provide more than 3,000 vision screenings, several hundred comprehensive eye exams and dispense nearly 1,000 pairs of glasses.