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Eye doctor giving the gift of vision

Staff Reports

Local optometrist, Dr. Somer Lyons of Valley Eyecare & Eyewear Gallery in Minden, is taking the World Sight Day Challenge to help give sight to people in developing countries.

On World Sight Day, Oct. 14, Lyons will donate her eye exam fees to help provide eye exams and glasses to children in developing countries who can’t see well enough to learn at school, as well as adults who don’t see well enough to provide for their families.

Optometry Giving Sight, the organizer of the challenge, funds programs that provide eye exams and glasses, train local eye care professionals, and develop vision centers that provide long-term care to people in need.



According to the organization, there are 670 million people who are blind or vision impaired simply because they don’t have access to an eye examination and glasses.

“This is our second year to participate in World Sight Day, and I am proud to support such a worthwhile cause,” said Lyons. “It’s easy to take good vision for granted so taking the World Sight Day Challenge is a great way to raise funds to help people who don’t have access to even basic vision care.”



Lyons was inspired to hear how 9-year-old Nlando’s life was changed by receiving her first pair of glasses, which help her to learn at school. Living in a township in South Africa, where the average family income is just $7 per day, education is the only real opportunity she has to escape the cycle of poverty into which she was born.

By the end of 2010, Optometry Giving Sight aims to have committed $4 million to help provide eye exams and glasses to millions of people in need through sustainable programs. Raised funds are directed to projects in 18 countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Just $5 can provide an eye examination and a pair of glasses for someone in a developing country. Lyons invites her patients to make a donation at Valley Eyecare & Eyewear Gallery on Oct. 14. Everyone making a $5 donation will be entered to win a gift certificate from Tahoe Ridge Winery.

Optometry Giving Sight guarantees that 85 percent of all funds raised by optometrists and their patients go directly to programs that give sight to those most in need.

Valley Eyecare & Eyewear Gallery is located at 1644 Highway 395, Unit B-1, Minden. Call 783-1111 to schedule an appointment.

For more information about Optometry Giving Sight and the World Sight Day Challenge, visit http://www.givingsight.org.