Whoever said “love is blind” never met David and Yara Shoemaker. In their case, the power of love is giving the gift of sight. Dr. Shoemaker, founder and CEO of Center For Sight, and his bride Yara were married in December of last year in a private ceremony. They celebrated their nuptials with friends and family on April 27 under the stars at the Ca d’Zan in Sarasota.
More than 300 guests attended the event, but presents adorned in extravagant paper and ribbons were notably absent. “We are so fortunate to have found each other and there is no better way to rejoice in our marriage than to help others,” says Dr. Shoemaker. In lieu of gifts, the couple requested that guests share in the celebration by making contributions to Center For Sight Foundation. To date, donations in honor of the couple have topped $50,000.
Center For Sight Foundation was created earlier this year to restore vision and transform lives by providing world class surgical care to patients who, due to financial need, would otherwise be left untreated. The primary initiative supported by the Foundation is Mission Cataract, which identifies people living at or below the federal poverty level and suffering from vision loss due to cataracts and provides surgery at no cost.
Every dollar donated to Center For Sight Foundation goes directly to procure the essential medications and supplies required before, during and after sight-saving surgery; including the intraocular lenses used in cataract surgery. The time and expertise of the surgeons, nurses, technicians and administrative personnel is completely donated; so too is the use of Center For Sight’s state-of-the-art surgical facility.
The impact of the Mission Cataract program has been profound. Over the course of nearly two decades, more than 600 sight-saving cataract surgeries have been donated at a value of $2.4 million. Just this past March, a record-breaking 76 surgeries were performed, including a corneal transplant. “With the support of Center For Sight Foundation we have been able to not only serve more patients, but it has enabled us to expand the range of treatments made available to people in need,” says Dr. Shoemaker . “Yara and I are so grateful to everyone who has supported this cause. We can’t imagine a more meaningful gift than to help others regain their sight.”
Center For Sight Foundation is a donor-advised fund that is maintained and operated by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, a section 501 (c)(3) organization. To learn more about Center For Sight Foundation, or to make an online contribution, visit www.CFSfoundation.org.