While many 20/20 readers are getting ready for Vision Expo East, optical industry rockers, including me, are warming up our voices and tuning up our instruments in preparation for our annual fundraising concert on behalf of New Eyes for the Needy, the nonprofit organization that provides prescription eyeglass programs for children and adults in need in the U.S. “Rockin’ for New Eyes” will take place at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square in New York City on March 17. The St. Patrick’s Day show, which has been dubbed “Luck of the Iris” by organizers, will again feature many industry singers and musicians as well as a band made up of optometric students.
Speaking of these future ODs, these talented and energetic rockers provide one of the evening’s high points, and together with their friends and fans in the audience add a wonderful jolt of energy to our show.
While musical preparations are underway, sponsors are lining up early to support Rockin’ for New Eyes. National Vision, Inc. is returning as the show’s presenting sponsor and is providing support for optometry students who wish to attend. Jobson Optical Group is once again the media sponsor.
Last year’s show raised a record $203,000 in contributions from corporate sponsors and ticket sales, and organizers hope to surpass that level this year. Denise Mogil, director of professional services for Costco, is again heading up fundraising efforts. Prospective sponsors should contact her at [email protected].
Craig Sasson is also returning as the show’s producer. Sasson is director of a School of Rock in New Jersey and is a progressive instrumentalist and seasoned guitarist with a passion for teaching and a songwriter spanning across the hard rock, blues and funk genres. A high-energy bandleader with a performance career that spans two decades, he has performed at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and at Irving Plaza for Fuse TV.
I hope to see a lot of 20/20 readers at Rockin’ for New Eyes. Bring some friends and dance the night away with us at a historic NYC rock club. (Bands like The Who and Cream used to perform at the Hard Rock in the ’60s when it was the Paramount Theater.) It’s a great way to spend a Saturday night in New York while supporting a worthwhile cause.
• Andrew Karp
Group Editor, Lenses and Technology