January 10, 2017
Great Living Cincinnatian honored at Feast for the Eyes Event
Nearly 300 supporters raised $130,000, which included the sale of artwork from nationally-collected artists such as Paul Chidlaw (1900-1989), a local painter and art instructor who suffered from macular degeneration later in his career. Chidlaw continued to create art until his death and is one of Cincinnati’s most-collected artists.
“The event proceeds support The Foundation’s four adult vision clinics in greater Cincinnati; the training of tomorrow’s eye care professionals, including support of the Ophthalmology Resident Program at the UC College of Medicine; and an innovative research fund seeking new cures and treatments for eye disease,” said Patrick Ward, President and CEO of The CEI Foundation.
The free vision clinics serve 2,000 low-income patients a year who have no private or public eye care coverage.
“The Codys have made a positive impact on our community that will be felt for generations,” said Ward. “By graciously lending their name to the event, they are continuing their legacy of leadership.”
Mary Ellen Cody is a longtime community volunteer. She is a board member of Every Child Succeeds; The Carnegie Center; and the Central Clinic Foundation. She is a past president of Dress for Success Cincinnati and a former board member of St. Ursula Academy and 4C for Children. She served on the development board of the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus and was named Enquirer Woman of the Year in 2006.
Tom Cody is current chairman of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and serves on the boards of Xavier University and The Cincinnati Eye Institute Foundation. He retired as vice chairman of Macy’s and has chaired the United Way of Greater Cincinnati and Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce. In 2013, Cody was named a Great Living Cincinnatian.
In 2015, Tom and Mary Ellen were United Way Tocqueville Society Award recipients.
The CEI Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Cincinnati Eye Institute, is committed to supporting programs designed to promote and maintain a lifetime of good vision.
“What’s so important about The Foundation is that we tend to look at vision care as a minor need,” said Andrew Robbins, MD, a retired CEI surgeon and Foundation volunteer. “Yet at one of the last vision clinics, we saw a patient in his 60s who had difficulty seeing the big “E” on the vision chart. And his vision had been that way his whole life.”
“As a physician,” added James Faulkner, MD, another volunteer CEI Foundation physician, “it’s not unusual to have a young child who has never worn glasses react with, ‘Wow. I can see a leaf on a tree.’ But we never expect to see that in an adult. Several of my patients—even in their 40s—have had whole new worlds open up to them after treatment: opportunities for employment, for driving, for taking care of themselves.”
“So many eye diseases are like ticking time bombs and they are going to continue to progress until they’re discovered and taken care of,” said Tom Cody. “Many folks who come into The Cincinnati Eye Institute Foundation’s clinics are in that situation. The fuse has been lit, and not having the ability to come to the clinic and be taken care of will cause an irretrievable loss of sight.”
More than 21,000 lives have been touched by The CEI Foundation’s outreach and clinic programs since 2008.
For more information about The Cincinnati Eye Institute Foundation, call 513.569-3725 or visit Cincinnati Eye Institute Foundation.