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The Foundation Recognizes Generous, Sight-Saving Supporters

Jan. 22, 2013 – With several clinical trials now underway for treatments of retinal diseases, hope is at an all-time high for people impacted by these blinding conditions. One reason for the optimism is the extraordinary progress made, in both research and outreach, by the Foundation Fighting Blindness in 2012. But the need for additional funding to translate promising lab studies into treatments and cures is still a top priority.

“As we look back on 2012, and ahead to further breakthroughs, our supporters deserve special recognition for their generosity,” says Foundation CEO, Bill Schmidt. “Giving comes in several forms – from private donations to event sponsorships to planned giving – and each is important in helping us achieve our endgame to eradicate retinal disease. We sincerely thank those who have made a significant impact through contributions over the past few months.”

Among those who’ve made contributions are the following:

The Cleveland, Ohio-based George Gund Foundation gave FFB $2 million for research into the genetics of retinitis pigmentosa. Established in 1952 by the late George Gund, this Foundation has supported blindness research for more than 30 years.

Barbara and Steffen Suchert
, who reside in Germany, pledged $150,000 over three years to support nutritional therapies and environmental studies of retinal disease.

The F.M. Kirby Foundation, a Morristown, New Jersey-based family foundation endowed in 1931, contributed $80,000 toward sight-saving research, building on its longstanding support of the fight against blindness since 2000.

The Michael W. Louis Charitable Trust contributed $55,000 to research.

In memory of Toufic Hajjar, a longtime Foundation supporter in the Boston area, Toufic’s nephew, Charles Hajjar, and his wife, Anne, made a $50,000 gift for research targeting Usher syndrome type 1c.

On the events front, the Foundation’s various Visionary Awards Dinners often get a boost from high-level sponsors. At the inaugural Madison Dining in the Dark, the David G. and Nancy B. Walsh Family Foundation supported the event with $50,000 as a Visionary Sponsor.

Gift planning
is another means of support, allowing people to leave a lasting legacy by helping to better the lives of millions affected by retinal diseases. While any bequest, large or small, has a real impact, two recent contributions deserve special recognition. From the estate of the late Jill Sandusky Sprinkle, a Californian affected by Usher syndrome, the Foundation recently received more than $150,000. Another significant contribution, exceeding $264,000, came from the estate of the late Thelma M. Pettigrew.

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