To Teach Children the Impact of Healthy Vision on the Field and In Their Everyday Lives
Event Benefiting Children in the Tampa Bay Area with Free Eyecare Services and Baseball Clinic is First in a Nationwide Series of Events with Transitions Optical and Cal Ripken, Jr. Targeting Underserved Communities
PINELLAS PARK, Fla., May, 2013 – In an effort to raise awareness about the importance of healthy vision and its connection to success both on the field and in the classroom, Transitions Optical, Inc. teamed up with MLB Hall of Famer and baseball legend Cal Ripken, Jr. and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation to bring free eyecare services and a baseball clinic to more than 100 children in-need at the Sulphur Springs Boys & Girls Club in Tampa, Fla. This event, held May 13-15, marks the first of several events in which Transitions Optical, Cal Ripken, Jr. and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation will join forces to bring these services to underserved children across the country.
Children from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay benefited from Transitions Optical and its industry partner VSP® Vision Care bringing 40-foot long mobile eyecare clinic “Eyenstein” to the Club, onboard which the children received comprehensive eye exams conducted by local VSP optometrists, and if prescription eyeglasses were required, they chose a brand new pair of eyeglass frames fitted with Transitions® adaptive lenses™.
Following their eye exams, the children had the opportunity to participate in a baseball clinic with multiple skills stations, led by Ripken – a Transitions lens wearer – to demonstrate how healthy, enhanced vision impacts performance on the field. Ripken, who is currently serving as a brand ambassador for Transitions Optical’s “Official Sponsor of Sightseeing™” program, will appear at other community events alongside Transitions Optical this year to help spread the message about the importance of taking care of your eyes and the positive impact that can make in everyday life.
“Research shows that one in four children has an undetected vision problem that can interfere with the ability to read and learn,” said Brian Hauser, general manager, U.S. and Canada, Transitions Optical. “It is one of Transitions Optical’s central missions to reduce this statistic. And we are honored that Cal Ripken, Jr. is joining us in this endeavor to make a positive impact here in the Tampa community, and in other cities across the country.”
“Having good eyesight has had a significant impact on my career and in my personal life,” said Cal Ripken, Jr. “It really struck me knowing how many of our youth have vision-related issues and are unaware. The partnership with Transitions is a tremendous opportunity to work together to reach hundreds in need and educate families everywhere about the importance of eye exams and proper eyewear.”
In addition to the eye exams and baseball clinic, the children also received free, brand new books from Transitions Optical’s partner, Bess the Book Bus, a mobile literacy outreach organization which travels to underserved schools and community centers nationwide distributing books and encouraging children to develop a lifelong love of reading. One of the many books handed out at Sulphur Springs, entitled Hothead, was co-written by Cal Ripken, Jr. as part of “Cal Ripken, Jr. ‘s All-Stars” series, which focuses on teaching life lessons to children through stories about sports.
“Those of us at the Sulphur Springs Boys & Girls Club are so grateful that Transitions Optical, Cal Ripken, Jr. and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation have brought these services to us today,” said Britney Wright, club director, Sulphur Springs Boys & Girls Club. “Many of these children have never had an eye exam before and did not realize they had a vision problem – and seeing clearly now will make a significant impact in their ability to read, learn and play their favorite sports – especially baseball. It’s so rewarding to see the joy in their faces when they put on their glasses and can see things so clearly.”
The children also learned more about eye health through lesson plans provided by Transitions Optical as part of its Eye Didn’t Know That!® program, which serves as a resource for parents, teachers and students to understand the importance of regular, comprehensive eye exams and taking care of your eyes.