Philadelphia Chapter Welcome Letter

Welcome to the Philadelphia Chapter of FFB! Our goal, as chapter leaders, is to provide education and support for people with retinal degenerative diseases. We also work to provide a sense of community and promise you that if you are a first-time attendee at our meetings, you’ll feel very warmly welcomed and want to come back.

The Philadelphia Chapter is one of 50 across the country that works very hard to help people stay current on the latest research and developments for retinal diseases. We also stay apprised of support services and other opportunities that are available in the Philadelphia area. Chapter meetings have had presentations from retinal specialists, low vision specialists, and FFB researchers. Topics are varied and cater to the interests and needs of our members. We have developed a program to work with Retinal Specialists in Philadelphia to provide them with information, brochures and updates on FFB. This is called our Partners For Retinal Health Program and is beneficial to both the retinal specialists and to FFB chapter members.

Together we work to help support FFB’s research through FFB’s signature grassroots event VisionWalk in the fall and Dining in the Dark in late spring. As chief ambassadors for the Foundation Fighting Blindness, we want to make sure that as many people as possible know about our chapter, about FFB and about the hope that we all have for a future with sight.

Our 5th annual VisionWalk on October 22, 2011 was a huge success. We raised over $228,000, had 46 teams (12 new teams), over 1200 walkers and an absolutely beautiful fall day. Our new walk site "Independence National Historic Park" is the perfect venue as we are all looking for a cure so that we can have our "independence". Congratulations Philadelphia!!!

The urgent mission of the Foundation Fighting Blindness is to drive the research that will provide preventions, treatments and cures for the entire spectrum
of retinal degenerative diseases.

Ed Summers, the president of the Raleigh/Durham Chapter in North Carolina, has managed to put into words what we all feel and how we can achieve the mission.

FFB exists for the benefit of people that are losing vision due to retinal degenerative diseases. Our ultimate success will be measured by the number of preventions, treatments and cures that are available in the marketplace.

I think the FFB achieves its mission by connecting people who share a passion to cure retinal diseases. These people may be research scientists, clinicians, affected individuals, or family members of affected individuals. The key word is “passion”. Passion is why people donate their time, talent or money.

Many of us first feel the passion as anger, fear, frustration or a profound sadness. These raw emotions are completely natural and expected. However, raw emotions cannot create treatments, preventions or cures for diseases that steals sight. Raw emotions create only tears. Each tear that we cry in isolation lands on an inhospitable surface and evaporates into thin air. These tears are cried in vain. However, the tears we cry together collect in small streams that lead to a raging river. It is the concentrated force this raging river that creates the power required to save sight.

In other words, no single person has the knowledge or means to find a treatment, prevention or cure. The FFB combines the efforts of thousands of individuals by channeling it to the most promising areas of research. The good news is that there are many promising areas of research. The bad news is we don’t have the funds to pursue all of them.

This is where our chapter can help. Indeed, I believe it is why our chapter exists. I think the mission of our chapter is to find people that are passionate about saving sight and cultivate that passion.

Thank you, Ed, for allowing the Philadelphia Chapter to share your "Passion".

Philadelphia is indeed fortunate to have an active and engaged chapter leadership that carries the spirit of FFB’s Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board Gordon Gund. His vision is our vision: We will, through helping to fund vital research, save and restore sight.

Chapter meetings are posted on our website and will take place 3 or 4 times per year. It is also beneficial to be on our email list since notification of meetings and topics are also sent out via email. Most meetings take place on Saturdays from 10 AM to 1 PM Two of the additional benefits to being involved in our chapter are the friendships we share and the good times that we have together.

We hope this letter encourages you to make plans to participate. Your thoughts on program content, meeting time of day, length of meeting, networking desires and anything else that may be important to you is important to us and to our chapter board leaders. I’d love to hear from you and on behalf of the Philadelphia Chapter board we welcome your participation in the Philadelphia Chapter!

With best wishes,

Barbara Moffatt (
Marie Raquet (