Illinois Eye Institute Hosts First-Ever “Eye Ball” Gala
June 24, 2009 (CHICAGO) — The Foundation of the Illinois Eye Institute (IEI), the clinical division of the Illinois College of Optometry (ICO), hosted the first-ever “Eye Ball” gala in combination with ICO’s May 16, 2009, graduation.
More than 300 people enjoyed dinner, dancing and the opportunity to bid on auction items at the Ritz Carlton Chicago. Lauren Jiggetts of NBC-5, Chicago’s news affiliate, hosted the event and Paul Vallas, former CEO of Chicago Public Schools, received the “Visionary Award” for his work with student vision and learning issues in three major U.S. cities.
“We’re pleased that our first-ever gala was a success,” said Dr. Vincent Brandys, senior director of governmental relations and advancement for IEI. “The gala provided an opportunity for the IEI Foundation to gain exposure among new audiences and showcase the many charitable programs we offer to current and prospective donors.”
Donors contributed to the gala by purchasing tickets, participating in the silent and live auctions and buying raffle tickets. The gala also provided the opportunity for IEI guests and staff to network with NBC’s Lauren Jiggetts, her father and former Chicago Bears player Dan Jiggetts, and Paul Vallas. All three are committed to helping IEI next year to ensure the gala remains a success.
“The IEI Foundation is dedicated to finding new ways to broaden its reach and help a greater number of people through the charitable programs it provides,” said Dr. Brandys. “The ‘Eye’ Ball gala is one way we will continue to attract new audiences and additional donors to the Foundation.”
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About the Illinois Eye Institute
Illinois Eye Institute (IEI) is the clinical division of the Illinois College of Optometry. IEI is a nonprofit, multi-specialty eye center that provides comprehensive eye care to individuals of all ages from the Chicago area and beyond, regardless of their financial status. It is designed and staffed to meet general ocular health and visual needs and provide highly specialized optical services. The IEI has over 90,000 visits annually from a largely low-income, medically underserved patient population and provides charitable services and outreach programs to assist people in need, through its foundation. For more information about the Illinois Eye Institute, visit www.illinoiseyeinstitute.com.
About the Illinois College of Optometry
The Illinois College of Optometry (ICO) provides excellence in optometric clinical education and is one of the world’s leading urban optometric institutions. Since its founding in 1872 by Dr. Henry Olin, ICO has offered aspiring optometrists the education and experience needed to meet the challenges of a changing health care environment and become leaders who will advocate for patients and the profession alike. Located in Chicago, ICO has a long and distinguished legacy as the oldest continually operating educational facility in the world dedicated solely to the teaching of optometrists. For more information about the Illinois College of Optometry, visit www.ico.edu.