World Sight Day Luncheon 2014

Helen Keller International’s second annual World Sight Day Luncheon was held on October 9th at the Conrad Hotel in New York City.  A former Director of HKI’s River Blindness Division, VisionSpring Founder and Co-Chairman Dr. Jordan Kassalow was presented with the Helen Keller Service Award by his longtime friend Neil Blumenthal, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Warby Parker

Co-Chairs Lily Dorment and Graham Macmillan, both of whom have longtime associations with HKI and Dr. Kassalow, welcomed guests with their warm recollections of their early careers spent with Jordan providing vision care to disadvantaged communities in El Salvador.  Guests also heard from HKI’s President and CEO, Kathy Spahn, about our eye health programs which reach millions of people each year.  Dr. Kassalow accepted the award with a moving speech about dedicating his life to providing not only sight but also opportunity to disadvantaged people around the world, inspiring the guests to follow their passion with the assertion from Mark Twain that “the two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”  

View photos in Flickr.

Photos: © HKI/Hechler

Glasses for Glasses

On September 29th, an intimate group gathered at Moore Brothers Wine Company in New York for Glasses for Glasses, a fun-filled guided wine tasting.  Co-Chaired by Sarah FitzGerald and Cody Parker, the event raised funds in support of HKI’s ChildSight® New York program which provides vision screenings and eyeglasses to underprivileged New York City students, at no cost to their families.  Guests heard first-hand stories about the impact of the program on children from Nancy Prail, ChildSight® Director and Tonya Daniels, Program Manager of ChildSight® New York

Funds raised at the event were matched through a generous grant from The Cleveland H. Dodge Foundation, and guests who contributed received exciting incentives from TOMS, Fossil, and L’Occitane, and also had the chance to receive a signed copy of A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity the new book from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.  

World Sight Day Luncheon 2013

Helen Keller International held our inaugural World Sight Day Luncheon on October 10th, 2013.  The event raised nearly $75,000 in support of our eye 

More than 150 supporters and trustees gathered together at The Harvard Club of New York City in the presence of an inspiring portrait of our founder, Helen Keller, a graduate of Radcliffe College.  Guests heard from Dr. R.V. Paul Chan, the St. Giles Associate Professor of Pediatric Retina and Director of the Retina Service at Weill Cornell Medical College.  He spoke of the challenges facing the global eye health community, and of the critical need for programs like HKI’s. health and nutrition programs in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.

Longtime HKI trustee and advocate, Mary Lindley Burton, received the first-ever Helen Keller Service Award for her dedication to sharing HKI’s work with others and for her many years of distinguished service on our Board of Trustees.  

Photo: ©HKI/Julie Skarrat

Spirit of Helen Keller Gala 2013

HKI held its eighth annual Spirit of Helen Keller Gala on May 22, 2013. The event raised more than $1.1 million in support of its sight and lifesaving efforts in some of the world’s poorest countries.

More than 330 supporters and trustees gathered at Christie’s Auction House in New York to celebrate this year’s theme “The Spirit of a Woman,” and recognize the need to empower and support women as mothers, breadwinners and community leaders, with a powerful role to play in alleviating poverty.

Highlights included The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton accepting the Helen Keller Humanitarian Award in recognition of her tireless dedication to the global fight against undernutrition and improving food and nutrition security around the world.

“The leadership from this organization, rooted in such a remarkable woman, has changed so many lives and so many minds over the last century," said Secretary Clinton. "I'm proud of the work we've done together."

Photo: ©HKI/Clint Spaulding/