Atlanta Chapter Featured Volunteer

Tee Buttone, Atlanta VisionWalk Co-Chair

Tee and Christopher

Only six short years ago, Tee began her journey toward supporting the visually impaired community when her son Christopher was born with significant visual impairments in both eyes. Christopher’s diagnosis came three days after his birth and was confirmed by a pediatric ophthalmologist on day five of his young life. He was born with Anopthalmia in his right eye which is the absence of an eyeball and Micropthalmia in his left eye which is a smaller underdeveloped eye. Having been an entrepreneur and the president of a facilities management company, Tee immediately jumped into action. The result was ongoing affiliations with Babies Can’t Wait, Georgia Pines, The Center for the Visually Impaired BEGIN program and a local Ocularist. Christopher was the busiest 2 month old ever but it wasn’t a surprise to anyone who knew his mother and her full devotion. Christopher’s vision issues has slowly led Tee down numerous roads that were never originally on the road map but are now necessary pit stops along the way. The last five years have been filled with therapies, doctors’ appointments and planning for living life without vision as the prognosis for Christopher has left no options for vision correction or assistance. Early intervention was instrumental and as Christopher graduated from most of the programs, things began to calm down with his schedule. It was at this point that Tee first found out about the Vision Walk and its affiliation with the Foundation Fighting Blindness. Although Christopher’s diagnosis isn’t exactly the diagnoses that the FFB sponsors, Tee knows that any and all research that is done on behalf of any of the visually impaired community will eventually benefit the entire community. With this in mind, Christopher’s Crew was born in January of 2012 with the Atlanta Vision Walk and plans to continue to help to increase awareness of the need for vision research for the benefit of all Humans.

Jason Welch, Atlanta VisionWalk Co-Chair

JasonJason is a close friend of Marilyn Green (National Board Member) and is currently volunteering as a committee member for our North Carolina Dining in the Dark. Jason has been working with the committee to try and secure celebrities to attend the dinner that we can market and encourage ticket sales. He lives in Atlanta and owns TOPSTARZ ENERGY. TOPSTARZ ENERGY (www.TOPSTARZENERGY.com) is an energy drink that you have likely seen in and around Atlanta, that promotes healthy energy. Jason has been inspired by not only Marilyn who is affected by RP but by growing up with Doc Watson. Early in the dinner planning process, Jason was introduced to the FFB produced video “A Brighter Tomorrow” and was overwhelmed with a desire to help find a cure. Since then, he has taken the FFB message with him as he travels promoting TOPSTARZ. In recent weeks, TOPSTARZ ENERGY has sponsored a race team at the 5th Annual Super Boat Great Lakes Grand Prix that drew a crowd of over 100,000 spectators as well as a team at the 25th Annual Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. Jason paid to have the FFB logo proudly displayed on both of these boats. Both teams took home first place! Jason is not afraid to share our mission and looks for every opportunity to do just that! He is very excited to meet our Atlanta volunteers and families and work with Tee to find creative ways to make VisionWalk a huge success!