Recording Artist Danny Gokey to Donate Old Eyeglasses to Raise Funds for Free Eye Exams and Glasses for Needy Children
GLENDALE, Wis., Nov. 17, 2010 -- Since early October hundreds of Danny Gokey fans have donated used eyeglasses and non-perishable food items at Wisconsin Vision stores throughout the state. In exchange for their donation, today those fans get to meet Gokey, the 19/RCA Nashville recording artist and 2009 American Idol finalist, when he shows up to contribute his own used pairs of eyeglasses at Wisconsin Vision's new Glendale location. Gokey's glasses will then be auctioned online to raise funds for a new program announced today by Wisconsin Vision and Sophia's Heart to provide free eye exams and glasses for children in need.
Wisconsin Vision will also present a $10,000 contribution to Gokey for Sophia's Heart, the non-profit organization Gokey founded in memory of his late wife Sophia to help mend and heal the hearts of children and families who have been touched by poverty, sickness, disease, broken families and broken dreams.
First Medical Relief Program Focuses on Vision Care
The Clear Days Ahead program is the first medical relief program for Sophia's Heart. Each month Wisconsin Vision will auction several pairs of Gokey's eyeglasses for the non-profit. The funds will help pay for reduced-rate eye exams provided by Wisconsin Vision optometrists. The optical company will then donate the needed lenses, frames and fabrications valued at more than $200 per pair. The Milwaukee Teachers Education Association will help screen and refer children eligible for the free exams and eyewear.
"Danny and Wisconsin Vision share a strong sense of community values and during his last visit he expressed his desire to use his old glasses to help others," explains Darren Horndasch, Wisconsin Vision's president and CEO. "Our company has collected and donated thousands of pairs of eyeglasses to those who can't afford them. We're excited to involve our employees, customers and partners, and use our relationship with Danny to help further support our communities."
Adds Hsing Liu, Director of Operations, Sophia's Heart Foundation, "This program is a great way to engage Danny's fans across the country and utilize Wisconsin Vision's advanced, quality vision care to benefit area children. We hope to eventually grow this program in other communities."
The program will initially start with a selected school yet to be determined within the Milwaukee Public School system. Gokey's first pairs of eyeglasses will go online for auction early next year. As Gokey donates his old pairs, Wisconsin Vision, as part of its relationship with the recording artist known for his passion for eyewear, will replenish Gokey's vast collection with up to 60 new frames. Gokey's relationship with the optical company began earlier this year. Since then, he's been featured in Wisconsin Vision advertising and social media. His first store visit attracted about 1,000 fans in just a few short hours.
"With Thanksgiving and the holidays coming up, we wanted to use my visit today to help give back," Gokey says. "We're so grateful to the many fans that have been so generous with both their time and hearts to support the community."
Wisconsin Vision estimates they've collected 500 pairs of glasses and 800 food items for the Lions Recycle for Sight program and Hunger Task Force during the past six weeks and expects to collect much more after today's Gokey visit.
Danny Gokey, a Milwaukee native and 19 Recordings/RCA Nashville recording artist, made chart history this year with the release of his debut album, My Best Days, delivering the best first-week sales of any debut country male in 18 years. His current single is "I Will Not Say Goodbye."
Wisconsin Vision, the state's largest independently owned optical company, has 22 locations and operates 5 locations in Illinoisand Indiana as Heartland Vision. The family-owned company is also managing partner of Chicago-area Eye Boutique with 7 locations. Wisconsin Vision carries the largest selection of frame styles of any competitor. Licensed Doctors of Optometry perform all eye exams while lab professionals make lenses using the industry's most advanced equipment.
SOURCE Wisconsin Vision