"So That Others May See" - The Illinois Eye-Bank 'Extravaganza at Annabel's'

"Vision is the gateway to understanding ..." a wise man once said, and that was no more apparent on Thurs. night (June 14th) when the beautiful Peninsula Hotel was transformed into a famous nightclub called Annabel's, popular in London.  Founded in 1963 and named after the late Sir James Goldsmith's wife Annabel, Annabel's was a member - only nightclub that catered to aristocrats and Royals alike, including Princess Anne and the Prince of Wales, as well as President Nixon and Frank Sinatra. Renowned for its stellar reputation for catering to an exclusive clientele of royalty and celebrities, Annabel's lived up to its reputation in extravagant style ....

Attended by over 220 of the city's most upstanding and high profile contributors, this signature gala was the Illinois Eye-Bank's 14th Anniversary.  To preserve and restore eyesight through transplantation, research, education, and partnership is the mission of the Eye-Bank and the beloved Beverly Blettner would certainly be proud to see how the foundation has grown, as her legacy lives on....

In the spotlight was Mamie Walton, honored as the 2012 Woman of the Year.  The Illinois Eye-Bank's late friend and ambassador Beverly Blettner is credited with introducing Mamie to the Eye-Bank and since then, Mamie's generosity and extraordinary efforts have become an unparalleled example of philanthropy.

As Medical Director of the Illinois Eye-Bank, Dr. Joel Sugar was also honored for his 25 years of unending devotion and dedication.  His research has led to tremendous progress in surgical treatment of corneal diseases.  In 2008 Dr. Sugar received a Lifetime Achievement Award and has been named one of America's Best doctors every year since 1989.

Diane Hollingsworth, Executive Director remarked on how grateful she was for everyone's support and their tireless efforts to continue this noble cause. Jean Antoniou presented Mamie with the Woman of Vision award and for a special treat Mamie sang to her audience a wonderful old tune "Time After Time."

Master of Ceremonies was Bill Zwecker and the evenings entertainment was The Mark Olen Trio.  Kudos also go to MarCon Communications for their participation with the gala.

For more information on the Illinois Eye-Bank, click here.


All Photos Credit: John Reilly Photography


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