The annual Celebrity Waiters Dinner was held on Wednesday, October 24 at the Italian Community Center- with more than 250 guests in attendance, the event raised more than $155,000, which will support our sight-saving work. Guests were served by members of the Admirals Hockey Team, and enjoyed a presentation reflecting on 60 years of vision health, and honoring the work of past board members. Northwestern Mutual was presented with the Community Partner Award, in honor of their role in our organization’s founding, and in appreciation of their many decades of support. Also present was our 2018 Preschool Vision Screening Ambassador Lizzy, and her parents, who graciously shared their story of how early detection and intervention have reversed Lizzy’s amblyopia after just a few months of treatment- we’re so proud of you, Lizzy!
If you were not able to attend this years gala, you can still be a part of the celebration by watching the
When many of us think of diabetes, we often think of it affecting our nerves and circulation. But have you ever thought of how diabetes affects your eyes? Surprising to many, diabetes is the leading cause of new blindness in adults. It has a significant impact on our vision health, even if we maintain our blood sugar levels! In fact, those with unmanaged diabetes are 25 times more likely to have vision loss than the general population.
While it may not directly, or perhaps immediately, impact vision, 75% of people with diabetes will have some type of retinopathy occur in their eye. Diabetic Retinopathy affects the back of our eyes, also known as the retina. Similar to the foundation of a house, the retina is the foundation of the eye. Without a healthy retina, the entire health of the eye is challenged and vision complications are likely to occur.
Early detection and treatment of diabetes is key and can reduce permanent vision loss by 95%. While symptoms are sometimes manageable, and steps can be taken to slow or stop further deterioration, diabetic retinopathy is irreversible.
We recommend people who have diabetes to have an A1C of 7 or lower, and anyone with diabetes should consider advocating to receive annual dilated eye exams, or as their eye doctor recommends. Remember, retinopathy can form rapidly and early detection and treatment is key!
High School Helpers Save Students’ Sight
In October, Prevent Blindness Wisconsin trained approximately 80 high school students in Racine and Washington County as certified Children’s Vision Screeners. These students will help to provide vision screenings in their own school districts elementary schools. “We love the opportunity to volunteer and for the students to learn a skill for their resume,” said teacher Maguita Stroud of Park High School in Racine. We applaud these schools and their students for supporting vision health and public education in their communities! If you would like to schedule a training at your high school, please contact Shelby at [email protected].
Prevent Blindness Wisconsin had the wonderful opportunity of partnering with United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County for their annual outreach event, Project Homeless Connect. The event provided services for over 700 adults and children experiencing homelessness or extreme poverty in Milwaukee County on Thursday, October 18. All services were offered, free of charge, including; bike repairs, a job fair, haircuts, dental cleanings, vision screenings, legal aid and more! Prevent Blindness Wisconsin screened 90 adults, referred 87 on for further care with an eye doctor, and 5 were scheduled for an eye exam with Prevent Blindness Wisconsin’s Voucher Program.
We received reactions of “I’m afraid of losing my glasses because they are the one thing that help me see…without them, I can’t see anything.” And “it’s really important for me to protect my eyes. They help me see my granddaughters.” We are truly humbled from this experience and would like to thank United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County for inviting our team to serve the community in a new way! We would also like to thank Marquette University Nursing Students for volunteering their time to become Certified Adult Vision Screeners to help us screen at this event, as well as the District 27-A2 Lion’s Club for providing additional vision care resources for guests, such as reading glasses, sunglasses, and further vision care opportunities. When we work together, we can make healthy vision a priority for all Wisconsin adults and children alike!
Upcoming Children’s Vision Screener Trainings
If you are interested in becoming certified as a Children’s Vision Screener, please register for one of the following upcoming opportunities. For more information or to schedule additional training opportunities, please contact Shelby at [email protected].
Development Director Julie Cordero visited the Waukesha Sunrise Rotary, speaking to 20+ local professionals about the importance of children’s vision screenings. They celebrated the volunteer efforts and sight-saving work happening in Waukesha County, and were eager to learn about future partnership opportunities. Thank you for hosting us, Waukesha Rotarians!
Share Your Sight Saving Stories
We love to share in your success and celebrate children receiving an eye exam and pair of glasses! If you know of a child that received glasses as a result of a vision screening, please encourage the family to complete the success story form and share a photo. From now until December 14, Head Start Staff, School Nurses, and Lions/Lioness who submit a Success Story will be entered to win a $50 gift card to Amazon or Walmart – winner’s choice! The children help us share the good work you do and make wearing glasses a more relatable experience for other children. If you have any questions, please contact Alex at [email protected].
Thank you to our community and corporate partners who joined with Prevent Blindness Wisconsin this October to celebrate World Sight Day 2018 with children’s vision screenings through the Adopt-a-School Program!
Executive Benefits Network partnered with Prevent Blindness Wisconsin to provide vision screenings to students at Bruce-Guadalupe Community School. Together, we vision screened 204 students and of those students screened, 72 did not pass and were referred for a complete eye exam. That is a 35.3% referral rate, which is more than triple the national average referral rate of 10%! Thank you Executive Benefits Network for helping ensure these children have they healthy vision they need to begin their educational careers with success!
Satisloh North America, a global leader in ophthalmic and precision optics manufacturing equipment that shares Prevent Blindness Wisconsin’s passion for healthy vision, provided vision screenings to Germantown students. Together, we vision screened 315 students at Rockfield Elementary School and of those students screened, 56 did not pass their vision screening. It was wonderful getting to work together to ensure the students at Rockfield Elementary School received vision screenings, especially since Rockfield Elementary School is where Satisloh and Prevent Blindness Wisconsin’s partnership first began! Thank you Satisloh for helping make healthy vision a priority in our community!
The Woman’s Club of Wisconsin adopted the Early View Academy of Excellence and provided vision screenings to 192 students. Of those students screened, 51 did not pass their vision screening and were referred for a complete eye exam. Like many private schools, the Early View Academy of Excellence does not have a school nurse to provide vision screenings meaning students are at-risk of being left out and left behind. Thank you Woman’s Club of Wisconsin for ensuring these at-risk children who otherwise would not receive vision screenings are now vision-ready to learn!
Prevent Blindness Wisconsin is excited to announce it has been awarded grants from the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, the Ladish Company Foundation, and the Shopko Foundation to support our sight-saving children’s services.
Thank you Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin for supporting the Children’s Vision Screening Program in Crawford, Iowa, Grant, Green, Lafayette, Rock, Sauk, Vernon, and Walworth Counties! This grant will help support healthy vision for approximately 20,000 children in the 9-county Southern Wisconsin area!
Thank you Ladish Company Foundation for supporting the Preschool Vision Screening Program, ensuring 3 to 5-year-old children have healthy vision to begin their educational careers with success!
Thank you Shopko Foundation for supporting the Children’s Vision Screening Program in Brown County, ensuring children in Green Bay are vision-ready to learn, play, and grow!
Founded in 1958, Prevent Blindness Wisconsin improves the lives of children, adults, and families through early detection of eye conditions to prevent blindness and preserve sight. On-going vision screening activities and state-wide public health education lead to a lifetime of healthy vision.