Dr. Ron Baldassare urges patient to lose their glasses and help those in need

Kelowna, B.C. — Kelowna’s top corneal specialist has teamed up with charity organization Canadian Vision Care to offer eyeglass recycling at Vivid Laser Centre.

Led by eye surgeon Dr. Ron Baldassare, Vivid Laser Centre offers all manner of eye surgery that can reduce or eliminate a person’s need for glasses. With the new recycling depot, those unneeded eyeglasses will now be making their way overseas to those in need.

Vivid-laser-kelowna-eyeglass-charityPHOTO: Lions Club volunteer Bill McCarry and Dr. Ron Baldassare set up an eye glass recycling depot at Vivid Laser.

“Vision is so fundamental to our quality of life, and for children so much of how they learn is visual,” said Dr. Baldassare. “In most developing countries, an eye exam can cost as much as one month’s wages; your gift of glasses that you no longer need is the gift of sight that can change lives.”

The popularity of Vivid Laser, where more than 70 procedures are performed each month, mean a steady stream of donate eyeglasses for Canadian Vision Care (CVC) outreach clinics

“I applaud the efforts by Vivid Laser Centre to help collect glasses in the Okanagan,says CVC president and founder Dr. Gerry Leinweber. “Since 1981, CVC has provided over $85 million worth of eye care, with an administration cost of under 2 per cent.”

The donated glasses from Vivid Laser Centre will be collected by volunteers from the local Lions Club and shipped to the national Canadian Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center located in Calgary where they will be cleaned and categorized by prescription.

Long time volunteer Bill McCarry welcomes the new depot in Kelowna. McCarry has personally picked up over 50,000 pairs since 2004 and sorts them in his garage before boxing them up for shipping to Calgary.

“This is my fifteenth year volunteering with the Recycle for Sight Program and I’m so excited to see a new depot established at Vivid Laser Centre — a central location that is open and accessible to all,” he says. “Bring in your glasses, your old frames, even your sunglasses and let’s all help bring the gift of sight to children and families that have so very little.”

The glasses will be sent to community projects in developing nations in the Americas, Africa and Asia, thanks to the dedicated effort of the non-profit Canadian Vision Care.

Canadian Vision Care’s recent project in Manila, Philippines, was the Eye Train where an abandoned rusty commuter rail car was converted to well-equipped eye clinic. With the help of Canadian optometrists, the clinic offers free eye health exams and glasses to millions of working poor in the city devastated by the class-five typhoon Haiyan. Glasses and lenses were collected from Lions Clubs across Canada for the project. Learn more at www.canadianvisioncare.com

Kelowna residents can drop off glasses at Vivid Laser Centre, located at 1571 Sutherland Avenue just off Highway 97.

Since 1917, Lions Clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired and made a strong commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world. Find out more at www.lionsclubs.org.

About Vivid Laser Centre
Vivid Laser Centre is Kelowna’s premier laser eye surgery centre led by Dr. Ron Baldassare, the only corneal specialist in the interior of B.C. Dr. Baldassare has devoted his career to the study and treatment of the cornea starting with some of the earliest LASIK research in 1994. After finishing his medical and ophthalmology training at McGill University in Montreal, Dr. Baldassare received his corneal fellowship training at Emory University in Atlanta, working with Dr. Doyle Stulting, MD, PhD, a pioneer in cornea and laser eye surgery. vividlaser.com