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March 31, 2014

OCNY Closes in on Campaign Goal, Honors Executive and Humanitarian at Eleventh Annual Gala

The Optometric Center of New York (OCNY), the foundation of the SUNY College of Optometry, held its Eleventh Annual “Eyes on New York” gala Friday night at a glittering Cipriani 42nd Street in Midtown Manhattan, honoring Mr. Andrea Dorigo, a former president of Luxottica Wholesale, North America and Ms. Edie Lutnick, the co-founder and executive director of The Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund. OCNY president Mr. Richard Feinbloom noted in his remarks during the evening that both honorees “have made significant contributions” to their communities through their professional and philanthropic activities.

After taking the podium, SUNY College of Optometry president, Dr. David A. Heath told the gathering of more than 350 people from across the ophthalmic community and beyond that the OCNY had now raised more than $9.5 million toward the $10 million goal that was established for the five-year Vision and the Promise campaign which the Foundation launched in 2009 to support the College’s education, patient care, research and community health care initiatives. “It is no longer a question of whether we will reach our goal,” President Heath said, “but by how much we will exceed it.”

During the evening President Heath announced two significant contributions that were recently made to the campaign. Dr. Mark Feder, a 1983 alumnus of SUNY Optometry, and his wife Sherrie provided significant support which, President Heath told the audience, would be recognized by the College naming one of its newly-renovated, state-of-the-art classrooms “Feder Hall.” In addition, the College will establish the Dr. Mark Feder Endowed Scholarship as well as fund other critical campaign initiatives.

“We’re proud to support the Vision and the Promise campaign,” Dr. Feder said in an earlier statement to the College. “SUNY is where I started my career more than three decades ago and it has been an incredibly rewarding journey for me to be able to improve so many lives with the gift of sight.”

President Heath also recognized a $250,000 gift from Essilor of America, the world’s leading provider of eyeglass lenses, which had been announced earlier in the day at Vision Expo East. This support, he noted, will help to ensure that the College’s dispensary remains an innovative facility for both its students as well as for patients of the University Eye Center. It was also announced that, in recognition for their generosity, SUNY Optometry has named its dispensary the “Essilor Eyewear Center.”

Mr. Dorigo, who held several senior management roles at Luxottica before joining Brooks Brothers in the newly-created role of president of North America earlier this year, expressed his honor at being recognized by the OCNY and noted that Luxottica takes “a long view” toward its commitment to both the ophthalmic industry and to the community at large. Mr. Dorigo was graciously introduced by gala co-chair Ms. Holly Rush, the current president of Luxottica Wholesale, North America.

Ms. Lutnick received the OCNY’s Humanitarian of the Year Award. The Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund, which she established in the wake of 9/11, addresses the needs of victims of terrorism, natural disasters and emergencies. Ms. Lutnick was introduced by co-chair and OCNY vice president Ms. Barbara Saltzman. In her remarks Ms. Lutnick expressed gratitude for the work that optometrists and other eye care professionals do, specifically noting the life-changing care that SUNY Optometry’s Dr. Neera Kapoor provided for one of her friends. 

“It was a remarkable evening and a wonderful testament to the great support that our community continues to provide to this critical campaign,” Ms. Ann Warwick, vice president for institutional advancement at SUNY Optometry and executive director of the OCNY said about the event.

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View a slideshow of photos from the evening below, or view individual images by clicking here


Also, you can view the video that was shown at the gala below: