Celebrating our 100,000th student served through our technology based children’s vision screening program is a significant milestone and we have many people to thank for this achievement. However, there are a handful of pivotal moments that really created turning points and opportunities to reach these heights and on this path to 100,000 a key investment from longtime supporters Horst and Gloria Arfert is one of those moments.
In 2015 Conexus established a scholarship fund to help defray costs and support VisioCheck programming to some of the more underprivileged Virginia communities. Horst and Gloria made the first sizable donation to this fund which allowed us to reach 22 diverse school divisions and 30,000 students across the Commonwealth.
This was the first large scale “statewide” VisioCheck delivery. This gave Conexus the opportunity to collect extensive data, identifying trends and service needs across Virginia. Successful programming at this level helped Conexus to be successful in the 2017 General Assembly, making changes to the VA Code to support improved children’s school based vision screening, and encouraged the development of a study with VCU to recommend VisioCheck as best-practice programming.
The scholarship fund is fully expended each school year to reach the maximum number of students possible. We are making great progress through the investments of those who believe that no child should unsuccessful in school simply because they need a pair of glasses. We hope you will be as inspired as we’ve been through people like Horst and Gloria, to make a difference. Become a member of our 2020 monthly giving Club. $20/month will provide Visiocheck programs to 2 full classrooms of students, finding more than 9 who need vision correction.
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The staff at Virginia Eye Institute’s Watkins Center location enjoyed a delicious hot breakfast in celebration of their fundraising efforts in the holiday Gift of Light Campaign. Under the leadership of Michael Cuffee, the Watkins Center office more than tripled their efforts from 2015 and raised $1,583.93 in support of Conexus school-based programs, narrowly beating out the three-time winners from the Forest Location by just $7.26!!
Virginia Eye Institue CEO Brad Smith joined Conexus President and CEO Tim Gresham in congratulating the Watkins staff and helped Michael Cuffee recognize his top fundraising associate, Pam Combs, who raised a whopping $641.82 over the 4 weeks of the Campaign!!!
Congratulations to all of our Virginia Eye Institute locations for an amazing campaign that raised over $18,000 in support of improved school based vision programs for area students!!
Conexus received a gift from the Coleman Hunter Charitable Trust as a match to the outstanding Cabell Foundation challenge award. The Coleman Hunter gift moves Conexus one step closer to finalizing the $114,500 match, with just a little over $19,000 still pending. Conexus is eager to close the gap and secure the much needed funding to purchase additional equipment, software, and technology upgrades and finalize the last few items on the renovations of the Conexus headquarters. If you are interested in making a donation to the Capital fund, please contact Tim Gresham at Tim@ConexusVision.org.
Less than one week after receiving the generous donation (see story below) of Remington bronze sculptures from long time Conexus supporter and friend Dennis Brining (Cultural Patina), Conexus sold two of the amazing pieces. Conexus established a temporary “gallery” of sorts to house the exquisite artwork while plans could be made for a later sale. Conexus friends and visitors who have had the opportunity to view the collection have expressed tremendous interest in the collection as well as a deep appreciation for the generous gift to the organization. We look forward to making these items available for sale in the near future.