Local optometrist participating in World Sight Day Challenge

  • Oct. 13, 2009 2:00 p.m.

Optometrist Kevin Hesterman of the Rimbey Eye Care Centre in encouraging the public to assist in alleviating blindness and/or vision impairment in the Third World with donations of cash or used eyeglasses.

Staff reporter

In this day and age, $5 one way or another might not amount to much more than a hill of beans for the average Albertan, but that certainly doesn’t mean a sum as tiny as that can’t have a profound effect on someone in the Third World – especially when it comes to eyesight.

In recognition of World Site Day, optometrists, their patients and the general public throughout the developed world are encouraged to donate cash and/or used eyeglasses during this month. The funds and glasses will assist in alleviating vision problems for an estimated 670 million men, women and children who are blind or suffer from vision impairment simply because they cannot access an eye examination and/or corrective glasses.

“World Site Day has been around for three years with the idea being that we can raise money for Third World optometry,” said Dr. Kevin Hesterman of the Rimbey Eye Care Centre. “The big thing is people wonder where their donated eyeglasses go, and the idea behind this program is it not only gives the Third World donated eyeglasses, but it also trains people there how to become optometrists as well as providing eye health centres.

Distributed under the auspices of the organization Optometry Giving Sight, the program expects to distribute several million dollars to help screen and provide basic eye care to more than 1.7 million people, train 1,500 mid-level eye care personnel and construct 101 vision centres and optical workshops in Sri Lanka, South Africa, East Timor, Latin America, indigenous Australia, New Guinea and other parts of the world.

“For as little as $5, the program can provide a full eye exam and a pair of donated glasses to someone in the Third World, so it can make a big difference,” Hesterman said. “With increased awareness across Canada and throughout the world, we’re seeing an increase to the point where this year we’re expecting to see $3 million worth of donations.”

There’s also a Rimbey connection to the program that could expedite the shipment of used eyeglasses to the less fortunate, particularly in Ghana where Dr. Pam Syrota, also of the Rimbey Eye Care Centre, is involved in a program to distribute glasses.

“I am proud to join thousands of optometrists around the world in making a difference. The patients I see every day have a number of sophisticated vision care services and vision correction options available to them,” Hesterman said. “Yet there are millions of people around the world who don’t even have access to the basics – an eye exam and eyeglasses. There are millions of children who can’t see at school and adults who can’t work to provide for their families. We are proud to be able to support Optometry Giving Sight in its efforts to bring sight to people in countries with little or no access to quality vision care.”

Anyone who would like to offer assistance is invited to visit the centre where they can drop off used eyeglasses or make cash donations.

If requested, receipts will be issued for donations exceeding $20.

The Rimbey Eye Care Centre is located at 5010 50th Ave.

Just Posted

Hawk Tail Brewery ready to open doors

New Rimbey business to begin operation

Peace officer keeps busy

Trenholm’s duties include ensuring municipal bylaws and provincial legislation is adhered to

Rimbey RCMP get called to domestic dispute

Rocky Mountain House and Ponoka RCMP assist

Motorist flees police near Ponoka, escapes on foot

While attempting a traffic stop police say the driver sped off before hitting the ditch

Girl opens Christmas present she gave to boy when she dumped him in 1971

Adrian Pearce, now a married father of two, received the small present from his highschool sweetheart

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

Alberta Finance Minister says equalization program not working

Equalization formula fails Alberta again, says UCP

Omar Khadr to ask for Canadian passport to travel, permission to speak to sister

He spent years in U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay after he was caught when he was 15

Missing B.C. man might be headed to Alberta

Jeremy Bauer, 40, was last seen on Dec. 6

Military closes book on oft-criticized support unit for ill, injured troops

The transition unit will provide support and services to military members struggling with physical and mental injuries so they can return to work.

Vancouver Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson named NHL’s first star of the week

Canucks centre scored two goals and six assists in three games

Protester says Canada doing U.S. ‘dirty work’ outside Huawei exec’s bail hearing

The U.S. wants to extradite Meng to face fraud allegations after Canada arrested the high-profile technology executive.

Top House Dems raise prospect of impeachment, jail for Trump

It could be an “impeachable offense” if it’s proven that President Donald Trump directed illegal hush-money payments to women during the 2016 campaign.

Most Read