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Hal Kibbey
IU Media Relations

Dean Gerald Lowther
IU School of Optometry

Last modified: Tuesday, February 3, 2004

IU School of Optometry and IU School of Medicine share $150,000 grant from Pulliam Charitable Trust

Funds to support Eye Care Community Outreach program

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University School of Optometry and the School of Medicine's Department of Ophthalmology have received $150,000 from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. The funds will be used for the Eye Care Community Outreach program.

The ECCO program has three primary goals:

(1) To raise public awareness of the value of adult, youth and infant visual health.

(2) To provide easier access to, and to deliver, vision care services to medically underserved, low-income and uninsured men, women and children by coordinating the resources of health centers, hospitals, primary schools, day care centers, youth centers, social service organizations, churches and other community organizations.

(3) To identify and refer individuals receiving eye care who are in need of additional medical and social services.

The IU School of Optometry and the School of Medicine's Department of Ophthalmology were among 23 Indiana nonprofit organizations receiving grants and commitments totaling $1,541,000 from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust at the Trust's check presentation event held Nov. 14 at the Indiana State Museum. This was the third of three funding rounds for the Trust in 2003.

"Our funding helps people in need, protects animals and nature, and enriches community life in Arizona and Indiana, the states Mrs. Pulliam called home," explained Harriet Ivey, president and CEO of the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. "Ten grantees are first-time recipients of the Trust's giving. Grants range from $9,000 to $150,000," Ivey added.

"As the Trust completes its sixth year of funding, we are most pleased with the long-term impact of our grant dollars and the relationships and programs established with our family of grantees," said Trustee Carol Peden Schatt. "Nina would have been so proud of the work her dollars are supporting today."

"The Trust will be a part of this community for many years to come during the next 44 years of the Trust's 50-year life and, more importantly, through the legacy of your work," Trustee Chairman Frank E. Russell stated.

Trustee Nancy Russell updated the audience about the Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholars program, which opens doors of higher education for men and women who are often overlooked for traditional college scholarships.

"We are very pleased that many of our Nina Scholars are referred from nonprofit organizations the Trust supports," Russell said. "Beginning in 2001, each year the Trust has sponsored five new students at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis and 12 new students at Ivy Tech State College, Central Indiana Campus. Since the Trust began making grants in 1998, it has committed $41,617,393 to 272 nonprofit organizations in Indiana."

For more information contact Dr. Gerald E. Lowther, dean of the IU School of Optometry, at 812-855-4440 or