Threat of rain did not dampen festive mood at 6th Annual Gift of Sight Celebration presented by Southern Eye Bank
New Orleans’ Southern Eye Bank hosted the 6th Annual Gift of Sight Celebration at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans on Saturday, March 15, 2014. The commemorative event recognized those who have given and received the Gift of Sight and included a butterfly release to honor both donors and recipients. “The annual event is held in March during National Eye Donor Month to celebrate one of the most important things in all of our lives – the Gift of Sight,” said Executive Director William Buras. “Despite grey skies, over 500 recipients, donor families and members of the community attended the event, honoring the donors who make the Gift of Sight possible.” Each year three very special attendees release the butterflies into the wild. This year the release was presented by Cornea Transplant Recipient, Darlene Strahan; Transplant Surgeon, Clifford A. Hendricks, III, MD; and Donor Family Representative Destiny Breaux, youngest grandchild and only granddaughter of Mr. Ulysses “Monk” Eschete. Also in attendance was Loyola University’s Delta Gamma Fraternity-Epsilon Phi chapter. Delta Gamma Fraternity’s philanthropic purpose is “to stop blindness before it starts”. To see pictures of the event, visit our Facebook page.
Southern Eye Bank, located in New Orleans, Louisiana is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit eye bank that provides eye tissue for transplant, research and education in Louisiana, the United States, and throughout the world. Founded in 1947, Southern Eye Bank is the third oldest eye bank in the United States and is a fully accredited charter member of the Eye Bank Association of America. In addition to community service and donor awareness projects, Southern Eye Bank has assisted more than 40,000 people with receiving the Gift of Sight. On July 29, 1947 the “New OrleansEye Bank”, as it was first known, opened its doors. The success of the eye bank was astounding. Gradually, the New Orleans Eye Bank became the primary agency for the distribution of corneal tissue in the Southern United States. Reasoning that there should not be any city or state boundaries in restoring vision, the Charter of the New Orleans Eye Bank was amended on June 6, 1949 to change its name to Southern Eye Bank. In the field of medicine during the 20th century, one major development was the successful transplantation of human organs and tissues. The first tissue to be successfully transplanted in humans was the cornea. Later came the kidneys, skin, hearts, lungs, pancreas, and other organs and tissues. Such transplantation of human Gifts were greatly enhanced by a system of “banking” as to provide for an orderly acquisition, storage, and distribution of the donor tissues and organs. Southern Eye Bank relies upon the generosity of individuals from southern Louisiana to provide ocular tissue to those in need of a Corneal Transplant. Because of this cooperation, nearly 700 residents from Louisiana receive a most precious gift each year… The GIFT of SIGHT. Southern Eye Bank is a fully accredited charter member of the Eye Bank Association of America. Southern Eye Bank is a member of United Sight. Follow our Donate Life Team on Facebook