ClearVision’s Julia O’Hara shows off the medals she won at
the recent the 2003 New York State Special Olympic Summer Games.

Olympic Moment
Although the skies were rainy at Hofstra University’s Special Olympic Village in Uniondale, N.Y., the sun was shining in the hearts of athletes during the 2003 New York State Special Olympic Summer Games. The event hosted 2,800 Special Olympic athletes and coaches from across New York State. More than 20 competitive sporting events took place at Hofstra including volleyball, gymnastics, power lifting and tennis.

To support this event, 2,000 volunteers came together, including supporters from ClearVision Optical. The company participated by setting up a sunglass table to help educate the Olympians on the importance of sun protection for the eyes. By the end of the day, volunteers had given away more than 700 pairs of sunglasses. ClearVision employees felt particularly committed to the event because of a special connection they have with one participant, Julia O’Hara.

Julia O’Hara, 32, an employee at ClearVision, is a 20-year veteran of the Special Olympics and a gold medal winner many times over. Because the Special Olympics means a lot to O’Hara, ClearVision got involved. “What makes the Special Olympics so memorable are the friends you make,” she says. “It’s not about winning medals. It’s about meeting new people.”

“This is such a special event for all those involved and we are happy to contribute and be part of it,” says Corinne Johnsen, ClearVision’s public relations manager. “I cannot believe how many times I was stopped today, just to give a high-five. Next year’s Special Olympics cannot come soon enough.”

Those wanting to learn more about the Special Olympics and how to participate may visit the web site at       —Jackie Micucci

The CliC Pick
Here’s a highpoint of the “optically” important West Coast voting scene. Launched for the first time at International Vision Expo West, the industry’s Vision Choice Award drew hundreds of attendee entries for best new optical products. And the winner is… CliC Goggles, polarized sunwear with a bridge magnet and a headband system that makes for easy usage and unobtrusive wear around the neck when not in use. CliC also comes in the patented front connection “ready readers” in all diopters as well. “Eyewear has pretty much remained unchanged for the past 60 years. CliCs with their patented revolutionary magnetic front connection has changed all this, and the cool factor is off the charts,” says Ron Lando, president of CliC Goggles. “The Vision Choice Award and NPG are an opportunity to recognize innovation from the perspective of the ECP,” adds Eileen Baird, vice president and show manager for International Vision Expo. For more information on CliC Goggles visit  —James J. Spina
Digital Visions — VisionWeb has announced a new partnership with lab-management system Digital Vision Inc. (DVI) to expand DVI’s software and interface with VisionWeb. In its first phase the software interface will allow DVI labs to electronically transmit orders for spectacle lenses to other labs outside the DVI system through VisionWeb. The follow through step will enable DVI labs to receive orders electronically directly from VisionWeb members. VisionWeb recently tracked its one-millionth-order transaction. For more information or to register visit www. 

Eyefinity Partners Up — Eyefinity recently announced two new agreements with providers of practice-management software. Eyefinity will partner with First Insight to integrate Eyefinity’s services with First Insight’s “maximEyes” paperless practice-management software. Under their agreement, maximEyes users—which include nearly 1,000 independent vision-care practices, according to First Insight—will have access to Eyefinity’s online services, such as Vision Service Plan claim filing, product and lab ordering, continuing education, and access to practice-management information resources. “We are very excited about the opportunity to integrate maximEyes with Eyefinity, and being the first practice-management vendor to do so,” says Nitin Rai, president and CEO of First Insight. “We hope to utilize our technical expertise in product integration to provide a very good solution to our mutual customers, who have been eagerly awaiting this announcement.”

In addition, Eyefinity announced that through an agreement with Cincinnati-based Diversified Ophthalmics, its online services with be integrated into Diversified’s Practice Maximus office-management software. “Diversified Ophthalmics and Eyefinity share a common commitment to provide private-practice eyecare professionals with the most advanced products and services,” notes Gale Meyer, director of information systems for Diversified.

Eyefinity president Don Yee describes the pact with First Insight as “a major milestone toward uniting the industry and providing seamless solutions for private-practice doctors.”—JJS
Cruising. Sunwear is no risky business for actor 1. Tom Cruise. The Oscar winner loves his shades. He was recently spotted in a pair of Carrera Huron/s from Sàfilo while taking a break from promoting his soon-to-be-released film “The Last Samurai” (inset). He was also spied in Oliver Peoples Atlas… Bang your head. Metallica front-man 2. James Hetfield in Fendi style FS259 from Marchon. Metallica kicks off its European tour next month to promote their latest album “St. Anger”… Kiss off. Model 3. Karolina Kurkova wears Dior homme black tie2/s from Sàfilo as she blows kisses from a yacht in Majorca, Spain… Heir apparent. 4. Lisa Marie Presley wears Vogue style VO 3438-S 602/7C from Luxottica during a recent appearance on David Letterman… At a theater near you. Sàfilo shades hit the big screen in a trio of new movies. 5. Matthew Perry wears Ralph RA7504/s in “The Whole Ten Yards” sequel to “The Whole Nine Yards” while co-star 6. Natasha Henstridge wears Gucci style GG2493/s. 7. Sanaa Lathan, who stars with Denzel Washington, wears Christian Dior style Pop/s in color YB7 I4 in “Out of Time.” And in “The Big Bounce”  8. Sara Foster (who stars opposite Owen Wilson) wears Gucci style GG2653/s… Band aid. Perhaps to distract from the adhesive bandage on her forehead, actress 9. Halle Berry wears Dior Bangkok/s from Sàfilo… Punch drunk. 10. Adam Sandler sports Calvin Klein style 293S in black velvet from Marchon. The comedian recently completed “Fifty First Kisses,” a romantic comedy with Drew Barrymore… Make over men. The Fab Five from Bravo’s hit “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” in styles from Marchon. Design doctor 11. Thom Filcia in Nautica style Miami, color satin chrome; culture vulture 12. Jai Rodriguez in Fendi Suns style 267 in dark ruthenium; fashion savant 13. Carson Kressley wears DKNY style 7270 in black; food and wine connoisseur 14. Ted Allen in Marchon Airlock style 720/2 in java; and grooming guru 15. Kyan Douglas sports Calvin Klein style 420 in black… Stripped down. Singer 16. Christina Aguilera looks beautiful in Fendi style 285 in brown cord from Marchon… Jane said. Guitarist 17. Dave Navarro of Jane’s Addiction wears Donna Karan 9316S, color 250 from Marchon. The band kicked off a U.K. tour at the end of October… Heroes welcome. Ray-Ban from Luxottica once again participated as an official sponsor of the “Kids for Kids” celebrity carnival in New York benefiting the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. At the event are models 18. Joy Bryant in RB 3172 and Veronica Verekova in RB 2126, actress 19. Ellen Barkin in RB 2117 and “Law & Order” actor 20. Chris Meloni wearing RB 3179 along with his wife and daughter—all outfitted in Ray-Ban… Ciao Rocco. Chef 21. Rocco DiSpirito, who became a well-known face outside the kitchen thanks to the reality TV series “The Restaurant,” wears Flexon style 698 from Marchon. DiSpirito was also recently named one of People magazine’s “Sexiest Men Alive.” —JM
Jason and the…Are You Nuts?
Word has it that Kirk Originals has resumed its renowned “cheeky” print advertising. Cheeky might not be the proper word. In their words, “The Campaign features a scantily clad model wearing a frame from our ‘Wild’ optical collection and carrying a bag to cover her embarrassment.” 20/20 has added the black band to avoid any unbridled reader responses.  —JJS

Working Magic
Revolution Eyewear helped bring a little magic into the lives of participants at this year’s A Midsummer Night’s Magic, a series of celebrity-driven events put on to raise funds for The Magic Johnson Foundation. The foundation is a non-profit organization focusing on improving and addressing the health, educational and social needs of those residing in the inner city. Revolution was one of the sponsors of the celebrity gift bags. The events included the Celebrity All-Star Basketball Game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles; Magic’s Harlem Renaissance at Barker Hanger in Santa Monica and the Celebrity Comedy Slam at the Wiltern Theatre in L.A.
At the event are basketball legend Magic Johnson with Revolution Eyewear’s Gary Martin. Getting set up in some cool shades from Revolution are Antoine Walker of the Boston Celtics in RES808; Chuck Zito of HBO’s “Oz” in RES808; Darius Miles of the Cleveland Cavaliers in RES808; former NBA bad boy Dennis Rodman in RES806; Kareem Rush of the Los Angeles Lakers in RES818; and Lisa Leslie of the Los Angeles Sparks in RES818.  —JM

Fitting POP
Constantly trying to deliver their sun-protection solution of fashionable and functional sunwear that can “fit over” regular glasses the marketers at Fitovers have come up with a handy, hard-covered booklet that demonstrates their reason for being. Demo pages of the booklet show a full scale Fitover frame with an outlined area where a customer’s own glasses can be placed. The “fit over” point is easily made. Get to or e them at ussales@ to get your hands (and your patient’s hands-on experience) on this cool book.

Blanket Policy — The intensely successful partnership of Zyloware and Sophia Loren continues. And to mark that collaboration Zyloware has decided to showcase some of the collections new styles with a sampling of this legendary woman’s other licensing endeavors. Retailers who purchase any eight Sophia Loren Eyewear styles, including the new metal styles are being offered a private-label blanket from the Sophia Loren Home collection. The plush throw blanket is from the Sophia Loren Home private-label collection. It is a generous 60” by 60” size made of 100 percent cotton in a cable-knit weave. The classic wheat color matches any home décor. The throw blanket is machine washable and custom-packaged in a clear, zippered pouch. Cover yourself by calling (800) 765-3700.

Elements of Style — When it comes to style nothing makes the man better than Esquire magazine. Looking to refine that mandate Rem Eyewear is offering a promotion that enhances that image of the Esquire Man. For a purchase of just nine Esquire frames and three frames from Rem’s other brands including Timberland, Converse, Cosmopolitan, Barbie, Lauren Hutton and Esquire, customers will receive a Mover & Shaker starter kit. Customers will be given a year’s subscription to Esquire and a leather portfolio. The first level of the Esquire promotion comes with a set of three stainless-steel wine-stoppers on a matching stand. Those looking to put a little more investment into their Esquire lifestyles can really get shaking with a stainless-steel martini shaker. Customers receive a set of wine stoppers and an elegant black leather briefcase/satchel with multiple pockets and carrying strap. The second buy-in level requires a purchase of only nine Esquire frames and nine frames from one of Rem’s other brands. Customers can get the ultimate in Esquire elegance for only nine Esquire frames and 18 frames from Rem’s other brands. The final level of the promotion contains every element of the other two levels. Retailers receive an Esquire subscription, leather portfolio case, matching leather briefcase, set of three wine-stoppers and a martini shaker. The guys at Rem sum it up well—nothing gets you moving like leather and nothing gets you shaking like martinis. Whet your appetite for style by calling (800) 423-3023.

North By Southwest — Anything Americana is hot these days. Noting that Signature Eyewear has launched ClubDAKOTA and the Dakota Smith Country Store in a program designed to support the re-launch of Dakota Smith Eyewear. With a wink to the desert heart of the Southwestern artistically stroked by Santa Fe style, Dakota Smith is sighting the spirit of America for retailers.

“Our merchandising program reflects the personality of the Dakota Smith brand and will extend to every level of retail from the owner to the dispenser, right down to the end customer,” says Michael Prince, CEO Signature Eyewear.

ClubDAKOTA gives members an opportunity to buy great Dakota Smith merchandise at wholesale prices—40 percent off every item in the Dakota Smith Country Store. ClubDAKOTA membership is free with the purchase of Dakota Smith eyeglasses and sunglasses from an authorized optical professional. ClubDAKOTA memberships without Dakota Smith Eyewear purchase cost $25. Members also receive a Dakota Smith T-shirt as a gift.

There are offers for three distinct shopping departments for members. “Dakota Blues” offers denim wear for men and women including jackets, shirts and skirts. “Just Chillin” features casual, every day clothing such as T-shirts, golf shirts, polo shirts, logo ball caps and sweatshirts. “Steppin Out” features upscale men’s and women’s clothing items including soft leather letterman’s jackets, skirts, Southwest jewelry, belts and boots. Club members can purchase merchandise in the Dakota Smith Country Store at or by calling (866) 3DAKOTA for a store catalog. In-store merchandising features an array of POP including frame-backing cards, case sleeves, wall placards and mini posters for windows, mirrors and walls. —JJS
VisionWeb Getaway — VisionWeb has kicked off a new AOA GetAway VisionWeb Tournament to reward American Optometric Association (AOA) members and affiliates for ordering online via VisionWeb.
 The promotion, which runs through December 13, offers eyecare professionals that are AOA members a chance to win a $5,000 vacation, a computer system, a Dell Axim Handheld and other prizes. AOA affiliates can win up to $5,000 in "bonus royalties" from VisionWeb.

Scores are based on the percentage of AOA members ordering in an affiliate and the average number of orders per participating member. Prizes are awarded in four rounds. The first round ended October 11; round two runs to November 1, round three from November 2 to November 22 and round four from November 23 to December 13. For more information or to register for the promotion, ECPs may visit

Eye Sit And Watch As Tears Go Buy
Bio-Logic Aqua Technologies Biomedical Research is launching a national consumer advertising campaign for Nature’s Tears EyeMist. The product, which uses an ultra-fine mist of all-natural tissue-culture grade water rather than eyedrops, has received considerable attention recently following a study recommending the product as the perfect solution for eyes exposed to the duress of heat, sand and dust under extreme desert conditions. Nature’s Tears EyeMist is ideal as a pH correct moisture mist for the eyes. It provides all-natural moisture for the eye’s tear film without flooding the delicate tear film structure. It’s also contact lens safe and comes in a sterile container, free from additives, chemicals, preservatives and propellants. “The launch of Nature’s Tears EyeMist national media campaign will reach millions of people, educating them about dry eye conditions and how they can quickly and easily get immediate relief,” explains Sharon Kleyne, founder and chairman of the board. Savvy optical retailers would do well to consider the potential of informed consumers exposed to the national ad campaign.  —JJS

TOI Awards ‘Present and Earn’ Prizes to Henry Ford Optimeyes — Transitions Optical (TOI) has named winners from Henry Ford OptimEyes
in Dearborn, Mich., in the second grand prize drawing of the Transitions Optical Present & Earn Every Day Program, adding to the more than 50 prizes won by Henry Ford OptimEyes locations.

All 33 Henry Ford OptimEyes locations are participating in the promotion. Office manager Rebecca Rowen and a patient, Elesaha Mercer, each won a $2,000 American Express “Your Choice” Cash Card in the second grand prize drawing of the program.

Two more quarterly grand prize drawings for an up to $2,000 cash card are planned for the year. More than 10,000 prizes have been awarded through the program so far, which extends through December.

21st Century Hosts Gala for Top-Performing ECPs — More than 200 eyecare professionals from the New York metropolitan area attended “The Best of New York,” a celebratory event held recently by 21st Century Optics to honor eyecare professionals for exceptional growth with Transitions, Varilux and Crizal lenses. The event was held at the Copacabana in New York. The best of New York food, music and dancing were the highlights of the evening. Theater tickets, a helicopter ride, day spa certificates and a tour of Manhattan were among the prizes included in the drawing.

“This promotion is a perfect example of 21st Century Optics’ support, which along with Transitions Optical’s commitment to providing wonderful products and to driving patients into our practice, helps us grow our business,” says Brad Miles, sales manager, Miles and Tisch Eyecare, New York.

NASA Outreach Program Helps Lens Maker — The Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program (SATOP), a NASA-funded outreach program, has helped lens maker Chrysalis Development Company improve production methods that could significantly cut the price of its bifocal lenses. SATOP provides free engineering assistance to small businesses with technical challenges through the donations of time and expertise from 40 Space Alliance Partners.

Chrysalis, based in Deer Park, N.Y., was founded three years ago. The company's proprietary technology allows it to produce bifocals through compression molding rather than with grinding and polishing, according to Martin Greshes, general manager.

Essilor Offers New Training for Crizal Lenses — Essilor of America is introducing “Clear Frontiers” and “Knowledge Quest,” two new training programs focusing on Crizal anti-reflective lenses.

‘Clear Frontiers’ is an in-depth training program presented at selected eyecare professional offices. The training includes an industry overview, Crizal product education, demonstration techniques and hands-on training. The principle module is the Crizal differentiation module that shows Crizal’s integrated AR process. In addition, there are six modules that cover all aspects of the dispensing process.

“Knowledge Quest” is an online program that takes trainees on a journey through “Cleartopia,” the land of Crizal. It is self-paced and accessible at any time. ECPs can get product knowledge, selling skills, demonstration skills and even learn how to overcome objections by visiting exciting places like “Technology Trail,” “Presentation Palace,” “Valley of Lost Reflections” and “Gold Mine.” This training tool is available at under “training and staff development” in the tools section.

NIH Awards Grant to Chadwick for Low Vision Lens — Chadwick Optical, a low vision optical laboratory in White River Junction, Vt., was recently awarded a sizeable grant by the National Institute of Health (NIH) to develop and evaluate the effects of a novel design of prescription eyeglass lenses for homonymous hemianopia. Hemianopia is half blindness on one side of the visual field in both eyes due to brain injury. The main causes are stroke, car accidents and brain surgery. It is estimated that homonymous hemianopia affects around 1 million people annually in the U.S. The goal of the grant is to create an affordable field expansion lens using high-power prisms to aid stroke and brain trauma victims achieve increased mobility. Schepens Eye Research Institute, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School in Boston, will conduct mobility studies using the design. Eli Peli, MD, a senior scientist at Schepens, and a professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School originally conceived the novel lens design. Dr. Peli will consult on design improvement throughout the duration of the grant. Chadwick Optical hopes to incorporate the final design into its extensive line of prescription lenses and filters for low vision.

B&S, Midland Offer Savings on AR Lenses — B&S Optical Tools and St. Louis wholesale lab Midland Optical is offering eyecare professionals savings on anti-reflective lenses. If customers located in Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin or Denver order B&S products, the company will provide discount coupons for AR lenses ordered through Midland. Participants do not need to register or fill out applications.