Prevent Blindness America to Hold Sixth Annual ‘Eyes on Capitol Hill’ Event

CHICAGO—Prevent Blindness America (PBA), the nation’s oldest non-profit eye health and safety organization, will be holding the sixth annual “Eyes on Capitol Hill” event on March 2, 2011. This year’s event consists of community leaders meeting with advocates and key government representatives on the Hill, a national call-in day and the Congressional Vision Caucus Reception.

The activities are part of the PBA spring advocacy campaign promoting vision and eye health within the Federal appropriations cycle. Eyes on Capitol Hill follows the President’s Day advocacy week where affiliates and volunteers are being asked to contact their member of Congress locally in their home districts during the holiday Congressional recess.

“For the sixth straight year, Prevent Blindness America has worked to bring together those whose lives have been profoundly touched by some type of vision issue — eye disease, an eye accident, or the eye health of a loved one. We are excited to give them an opportunity to speak with their Congressman or Senator to give first-hand testimonies of the need for expanding existing eye health programs and funding,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of PBA.

While community leaders meet on Capitol Hill with congressional members to share their experiences and knowledge of the impact of vision and eye health issues on their home communities, vision health advocates across the country are being asked to participate in the Prevent Blindness America National Call-in Day. Those concerned about vision programs and funding are asked to call their national representatives to ask them to make vision health a priority this year in Congress. To obtain information about your Representative’s or Senator’s phone numbers or e-mail addresses go to preventblindness.net/eoch.

The Eyes on Capitol Hill week will conclude with the Third Annual Congressional Vision Caucus (CVC) reception during the evening. The CVC is a bicameral and bipartisan coalition of more than 80 Congressional Members and five Senate Members. The CVC is co-chaired by Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas), Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), and Rep. David Price (D-N.C.). The event will be held in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room B-369 at 5:30 p.m. and is co-sponsored by leading vision health organizations, including The American Academy of Ophthalmology, The American Optometric Association, The Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, Lighthouse International, Lions Club International, National Industries for the Blind, The National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research, VisionServe Alliance, Vision2020 USA and The Vision Council.

For more information on Eyes on Capitol Hill or how to become an eye health advocate, call (800) 331-2020 or visit preventblindness.net/eoch.

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