Celebrating SEE’s 40th Anniversary

September 2014 | Events, SEE News

By Randal Avolio

President / CEO

SEE International celebrated our 40th anniversary as an organization in mid-September at Montecito Country Club, and I have to say, we had a terrific time! Thanks to all of you who came out to spend the evening with us and Honorary Chair, Léni Fé Bland, donated money to our mission, and bid on James-Paul Brown’s fabulous paintings. Overall, it was a truly wonderful success, the perfect way for SEE to celebrate its 40th anniversary. And we couldn’t have done it without you!

Lifetime Achievement Awards

For those of you who couldn’t join us, we had the honor of recognizing six wonderful individuals who have done so much for SEE and advancing the cause of treating preventable blindness worldwide:

Rick Feldman

Rick received the Humanitarian of the Year Award. Rick, who owns the Santa Barbara Eyeglass Factory, has generously provided eyeglasses to more than 10,000 individuals in the community. His partnership with SEE’s Santa Barbara Vision Care Program (SBVCP) aids over 1,000 underserved people a year.

John I. Crowder, M.D.

Dr. Crowder, who has served as our Medical Director since 1974, received a Lifetime Achievement Award. He joined SEE as a founding board member, and has continued working with us after retiring from surgical practice in 1998.

George B. Primbs, M.D., F.A.C.S

Dr. Primbs also received a Lifetime Achievement Award for founding and guiding the SBVCP. He has been a key figure with SEE since the beginning, as well as a widely-respected member of the Santa Barbara community. Under his close care, more than 52,000 men, women, and children have been seen through our local efforts.

Harry S. Brown, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Dr. Brown, our illustrious founder, received a Lifetime Achievement Award as well. He started SEE in 1974, in response to the overwhelming number of people worldwide living with curable blindness. Suffice it to say, SEE would not be where it is today without Dr. Brown!

Dave & Lois Franks

Last but not least, the incomparable Dave and Lois Franks received the Extraordinary Volunteer Service Award for their tireless financial and volunteer support of SEE. The Franks play an instrumental role in SEE operations, putting together packs of surgical equipment and supplies for our volunteer doctors going on expedition.

Looking Back

All in all, it was a great evening that demonstrated to the Santa Barbara community the new sense of energy, optimism, and professionalism that permeates SEE as an organization. We know SEE will be doing more fun and informative events in the future, and we promise to keep you posted. In summary, thank you all for making this 40th anniversary – and these 40 years – truly magical.

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