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The Crowd: Seeing the light through philanthrophy

April 18, 2013|By B.W. Cook
  • Supporting The Doheny Eye Institute were Connie Van Vorst, Liz Shonk, Sonia Hathaway and Sarah Jennings.
Supporting The Doheny Eye Institute were Connie Van Vorst,…

One of the most important charitable and social organizations in Southern California held its annual confab March 28 at the Langham Huntington hotel in Pasadena. The Luminaires' annual spring benefit supporting the renowned Doheny Eye Institute took on the theme of "Seaside Spectacular" for the 38th annual spring celebration, which attracted an important contingent of Orange County citizens helping to raise more than $100,000 for the cause. And that cause, being the restoration of sight for people suffering from all degrees of vision impairment, including blindness, is surely one of the most important areas of scientific research.

The vision research and ophthalmic services of the Doheny Eye Institute are internationally recognized. One of the recent known advances, known as the Argus II visual prosthesis, under the direction of Dr. Mark Humayun is restoring sight following blindness and is becoming nothing short of a miracle for some patients. On Feb. 14, the Food and Drug Administration offered final approval for Doheny to market the Argus II visual prosthesis in the United States for use in patients with vision loss caused by retinitis pigmentosa.

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The upbeat celebration was chaired by Barbara Heublein and Sharon Giannotta, with décor in the hands of the talented Betsy Ulf creating an atmosphere of relaxed seaside elegance for the luncheon fashion show. Oversized palm trees were brought into the Langham ballroom, filtering rays of sunlight beaming through the tall French windows of the classic hotel. Round tables were placed along a fashion runway, which bisected the ballroom. Ice blue crushed satin tablecloths puddled at the base covered the tables surrounded by white gloss chiavari chairs. Tables were accented with vibrantly hued beach parasols in shades of hot pink, orange, lime green and sunshine yellow. Beautiful seashells were arraigned on each table to complete the beach theme.

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