AOA CONGRESS, SAN DIEGO - (June 19, 2003) – Essilor of America, Inc., (EOA), a strong believer in supporting and enhancing the skills of today’s professionals and the next generation of optical leaders, plays a major role at this year’s 106th Annual American Optometric Association (AOA) Congress and 33rd Annual American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) meeting. From creative programs such as the Varilux® Optometry Super Bowl to the sponsorship of the event’s keynote speaker, Essilor is committed to our valued profession.

Varilux® Optometry Super Bowl XII

Optometrists are encouraged to attend one of the most anticipated and exciting programs of the year for optometry students, the fiercely competitive Varilux® Optometry Super Bowl. Contestants from all 19 US and Canadian schools and colleges of optometry will compete in the game show style contest for a chance to win a $1,000 scholarship and bring home the coveted crystal trophy. For the first time, optometrists will have the opportunity to support their optometry alma mater.

Sponsored by Varilux®, the premium progressive addition lenses from Essilor, the Optometry Super Bowl asks questions from all areas of optometric education. The event and a post-competition reception will take place Friday, June 20 at 8:00 p.m. in Ballroom 20 of the San Diego Convention Center.

Essilor Optical Technology Grants

For the second year in a row, Essilor is offering the Essilor Optical Technology Grants – three $20,000 grants to be awarded to colleges of optometry that exhibit their commitment to growing the industry through new advancements. Rodney Tahran O.D., F.A.A.O., vice-president of professional relations and clinical affairs for Essilor, will introduce the program at the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) breakfast on Friday, June 20.

Applications are being distributed at this week’s meeting and may also be retrieved by writing to Entry requirements include a description in 1,000 words or less why the school needs and deserves the grant. Applications will be judged on the school’s commitment to the growth of premium optical technology as well as how the money will help the school elevate the standards and visibility of ophthalmic dispensing for students. Recipients of the 2003 grants will be announced in December at the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) annual meeting.

Applications must be received by November 1, 2003 to Essilor Lenses, 2400 118th Avenue North, St. Petersburg, FL 33716. The panel of judges includes Essilor executives and independent optometrists.

Essilor Student Grant Program

Each year, Essilor awards a $500 grant to a student at each of the US optometry schools and colleges based on the excellence of case reports. This year’s National Award winner is Erin Cleary Sullivan, O.D. Erin and her faculty advisor Barbara Willis Brown, O.D. are both attending the AOA/AOSA meeting thanks to Essilor. Sullivan, a May 2003 graduate of the College of Optometry at the University of Missouri – St. Louis, won the trip based on her case report entry, “71 Year-Old Freed From Lines!”

Aviation Vision

Essilor’s commitment to professional education is also evident in its sponsorship of the AOA’s Aviation Vision program. Through this resource, optometrists have access to a variety of educational programs that will help them in their care for aviator patients.

One unique offering through Aviation Vision is a special cockpit simulator. The exhibit, which features unique occupational requirements of general, commercial and military aviators, will be on display this week at the AOA/AOSA meeting. It then makes upcoming appearances at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in late July and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Expo in Philadelphia in late October.

Keynote Speaker

Comedian and author Al Franken, a former cast member of the television show “Saturday Night Live,” will kick-off the joint AOA/AOSA meeting at its opening general session. This fun keynote speaker appearance is made possible through a sponsorship by Essilor.

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