AEC in the Community

Associated Eye Care has a long history of giving back. From charitable donations to performing surgery on patients who are less fortunate, we are dedicated to the communities that we serve. We are currently involved in all the major programs listed below, but there are many others that we actively participate in.

On September 1st, 2014, the employees of Associated Eye Care elected to formalize all charitable programs under the name iCARE. The iCARE program encourages employees to log hours spent working with charitable organizations in the community outside of work. In return, Associated Eye Care offers special recognition to these employees at an end of year gathering. In the first four months of the iCARE program, employees logged 340 total hours donated.

Major Programs

The ASCRS Foundation - The ASCRS Foundation works to support physician education and to provide humanitarian cataract surgery in the United States and Africa. Through its programs and partnerships, the foundation works to maximize the benefits of modern ophthalmology and to treat thousands of needy patients both at home and abroad. Operation Sight is the ASCRS Foundation’s U.S. - based charitable cataract surgery program. Its mission is to eliminate treatable cataract blindness in the United States. By leveraging the combined strength of established charitable organizations and ASCRS-member volunteer surgeons, Operation Sight is providing needed care to those unable to access or afford surgery. Visit our Operation Sight page for more details.

Respectacle - Respectacle is a nonprofit organization that uses the power of the Internet to facilitate redistribution of quality, used eyeglasses to underserved communities worldwide. The glasses are donated by members of the community. They are then cleaned, categorized, and loaded into an online database based on their prescription. AEC’s Dr. Jeffrey Lynch is the CEO of Respectacle.

The Retina Rumble - Every year we donate 2 bi-lateral LASIK procedures to this event as they look to raise research money that goes towards finding cures and therapies for degenerative eye diseases. Associated Eye Care is the primary sponsor of this event and has been involved with the group since inception. The Retina Rumble is a charity motorcycle ride that continues to grow in participants each year.

Twin Cities Vision Walk - This is a sister event to the Retina Rumble, in which we are also a primary sponsor. We also donate a LASIK procedure to this event and have a group of walkers every year who circle the path that surrounds Lake Harriet in Minneapolis.

Lions Club - AEC donates used glasses to the Lions Club, whose Recycle for Sight program is one of the clubs most popular activities. Lions have recognized the urgent need for corrective lenses and continue to lend their support to the Lions Recycle for Sight Program.

Step Up For Down Syndrome - AEC is a Gold Sponsor for this annual walk. This is one of the largest Down Syndrome walks in the country and raises almost half of what’s needed to operate the Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota. In turn the organization applies that money to direct services ranging from consultation with new and expectant parents to support for established families. Funds generated from the walk help subsidize major conferences, an annual bike camp, maintenance of a lending library, website and other information-rich resources to families in Minnesota.

Westfield’s Hospital/Hudson Hospital Foundations - Associated Eye Care is a sponsor for both the Westfield’s Hospital and Hudson Hospital Foundation’s annual golf tournaments. Associated Eye Care physicians perform surgery at both Hospitals and many of our Western Wisconsin patients elect to have surgery at these locations. Both these tournaments raise funds to support Hospital & Clinic services and community health related programs such as the PowerUp initiative that promotes healthy eating amongst children.

Boutwells Landing - Boutwells Landing is a senior living community in Oak Park Heights with close to 1,000 residents. Associated Eye Care’s Hearing Specialist performs free hearing exams to residents and members of our optical staff perform glasses adjustments on site. In order to support the facility further, Associated Eye Care pays transportation costs for residents who need to visit the clinic for other services.

Gift of Sight - Every 3 years, AEC hosts an event called the Gift of Sight. The program allows 3 worthy people to have LASIK surgery at no charge. Candidates submit essays online stating why they are worthy and through social media avenues such as Facebook, patients can vote through several knockout rounds until 3 worthy winners are selected.

Food Drives - Valley Outreach Food Drive and Meals from the Heart are two of our favorite events. Valley Outreach is a local food shelf used by members of the community and we look to participate in food/clothing drives at least once a year. Meals from the Heart is a local meal packing event held in conjunction with Andersen Windows and helps stock local food shelves such as Valley Outreach.

Other Events - AEC participates in many local health fairs, including the primary community hospitals: Westfield’s Hospital, Lakeview Hospital and Hudson Hospital to name a few. We also love to donate items as well as our time! We donate Maui Jim sunglasses to aid in scholarship for youths attending YMCA camps and programs through Camp ST. Croix in Hudson. We donate Maui Jim sunglasses to raise money for charity events through Stillwater Veterans Foundation. In fact, AEC donates approximately 30 pairs of Maui Jim sunglasses to charitable organizations that come up throughout each year. These are usually donated to events that employees participate in through the iCare program however we also give a lot of consideration to events submitted by patients.

To keep up with the latest developments in our iCARE initiative, like us on Facebook.

If you would like us to consider your charitable organization or event for sponsorship, please visit our Community Sponsorship page for application details.