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HomeminewsHighballs for Eyeballs Raises Over $13,000 for WSDC

Highballs for Eyeballs Raises Over $13,000 for WSDC

The fifth annual Highballs for Eyeballs event has raised AU$13,270 for the World Sight Day Challenge – enough to provide 2,500 people with an eye exam and pair of glasses.

Organisers, Amanda Rungis (Sure Eye Care) and Gordon Ryan (ReviveR Cocktail Bar) were overwhelmed by the generosity and support shown by the local Central Coast business community, which this year collectively donated more than $25,000 worth of prizes and silent auction items for the event.

“Our goal this year was to raise $10,000 for the 10th anniversary of World Sight Day Challenge,” said Ms. Rungis. “It was a massive goal given that we raised just under $6,000 last year, which was the Australian record. But I am proud to say that we not only met our goal, we smashed it, thanks to the unbelievable generosity of all those who joined us at ReviveR last Thursday evening, the businesses that donated goods and services, and the people who donated online.”

Sure Eye Care has been named Australian Practice of the Year for the past four consecutive years in recognition of its contribution to the World Sight Day Challenge. Additionally, Ms. Rungis has been invited to join the Optometry Giving Sight National Committee as a result of her efforts. Highballs for Eyeballs has now raised the grand total of $31,775 towards the prevention of avoidable blindness.

My team and I take great pride in the fact that we are helping to prevent avoidable blindness in our local community through the work we do daily at our practice

Around 600 million people around the world currently live with low vision and blindness despite the fact that 80 per cent of the visual impairment they suffer is completely avoidable and easily treatable. “Often the solution is as simple as having access to an annual eye test and a pair of glasses, which in third world countries only costs around AU$5 per person,” said Ms. Rungis. She said she was inspired to play her role in raising money for WSDC having watched her grandfather lose his sight to macular degeneration many years ago.

Ms. Rungis’ practice, Sure Eye Care at Riverside West Gosford, is a purpose built education and preventative eye care practice. “My team and I take great pride in the fact that we are helping to prevent avoidable blindness in our local community through the work we do daily at our practice. We see Highballs for Eyeballs as our way to play a role in doing the same on a global scale,” she said.

Ron Baroni, Optometry Giving Sight’s national country manager, said funds raised through World Sight Day Challenge provides eye testing and treatments to restore vision while also teaching young eye care professionals. “In June this year, 20 optometry students graduated in Nicaragua, a country that has never had access to optometrists before,” said Mr. Baroni. “This means the estimated one million people in Nicaragua who are needlessly vision impaired, many of whom are children, now have access to locally trained optometrists who can provide sustainable vision care services.”

Optometry Giving Sight is the only global fundraising initiative specifically targeting the prevention of blindness and impaired vision. Held as part of the annual World Sight Day Challenge, Highballs for Eyeballs is linked to the global awareness campaign and fundraising initiative established by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2000.