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World Sight Day Challenges raises over $1 million

06/02/2019By Callum Glennen
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Optometry Giving Sight has announced the final donation tally for the 2018 World Sight Day Challenge. More than 160 companies and 360 optometry practices globally raised US$970,000 (AU$1.34 million) for charity, with several Australian businesses making significant individual contributions.

According to Optometry Giving Sight, the amount raised is enough to deliver eye exams and glasses to more than 190,000 people in need of eye care.

“Every World Sight Day Challenge, we’re blown away by the generosity and loyalty of our supporters. We’re thankful for each one: from the large companies generously donating to the small practices passionately fundraising,” Ms Leigh Cleave, Optometry Giving Sight’s Global Director of Development, said.

Several Australian businesses made notable contributions to the 2018 campaign. Mr Steven Johnson, CEO of ProVision, took part in the ‘The Blindfold Challenge’, when he was blindfolded for an entire day and raised in excess of $5,000 in the process.

Members of Eyecare Plus Optometrists Australia also contributed, with Eyecare Plus matching member donations up to $10,000.

Bausch + Lomb Australia donated $1 for every kilogram of contact lens waste sent to TerraCycle, a program aimed at finding ways to reuse materials that are typically difficult to recycle.

Hansen Optometrists in Orange NSW, donated the consultation fee from a patient seen on World Sight Day.

Internationally, the combined efforts of more than 40 CooperVision sites and teams saw the company surpass its previous donation record. CooperVision raised more than US$260,000 (AU$360,454), consisting of employee contributions matched by the company. This figure takes CooperVision’s total donations to World Sight Day to-date in excess of US$1 million (AU$1.39m).

The University of Montreal was the highest fundraising optometry school raising CAD$7,000 (AU$7,396) through a number of events.

Other notable initiatives included Canadian frame distributor WestGroupe’s launch of the #WithoutMySight social media campaign, which encouraged people to upload a 30-second video of them completing an everyday task while blindfolded.

World Sight Day is held annually on the second Thursday of October, and the World Sight Day Challenge organised by Optometry Giving Sight encourages people to undertake a fundraising campaign on the day.

Optometry Giving Sight is a global fundraising initiative that specifically targets the prevention of blindness and impaired vision due to uncorrected refractive error. Last year it announced a merger with the Brien Holden Vision Institute Foundation.

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