Philadelphia Eagles bring vision to students


Student receives a free eye examination from the Eagle’s Eye Foundation Jan. 29.

Lars Lonnroth, Assistant News Editor

Many LT students will watch to the Super Bowl this Sunday with a new pair of eyes as a result of LT alumnus Jake Elliott ‘13 playing for the Philadelphia Eagles. For 70 students from both NC and SC, it won’t just be Elliott on the field changing their view of the game: their physical ability to watch the game literally changed.

A charity run by the team, The Eagles Eye Foundation, stopped at the hometown of four players, including Elliott. On Jan. 29, the charity brought a truck, a van and an array of eye care professionals to offer free eye examinations and—if needed—free glasses to students in need.

“At the Eagles, we believe strongly that every child should have access to comprehensive eye care,” President of the Eagles Charitable Foundation Christina Weiss Lurie said in a statement. “If you can’t see, you can’t read. If you can’t read, you can’t learn.”

With the team’s success this year, the foundation—which primarily serves the Philadelphia community—took their services on the road as they drive to Minneapolis, Minnesota, the location of this year’s Super Bowl.

When the charity called LT’s Community Relation Coordinator, Jennifer Bialobok, asking if they could come to LT, the answer was an emphatic yes.

“If we can help provide that service to kids who might otherwise not have that, then absolutely,” Bialobok said. “We were happy to do it.”

Bialobok was informed of the charity’s potential stop six days prior to the event. The administration scrambled to find individuals who would most benefit from the services, with financial need being taken into consideration, NC associate principal Kevin Brown said.

“It was tricky to find the kids who would be best served and make sure that we could deliver,” said Bialobok, noting that the administration went to the nurses at each campus to identify those who might need these services.

The organization was founded by former Eagles player Jermane Mayberry, a first-round draft pick who lost vision in one of his eyes, partly because he had his first eye exam when he was 16 years old. The disease Mayberry had could’ve been treated if it was identified earlier, according to the foundation.

“I think it goes to the power of one idea,” Brown said. “This Eagles player wanted to help kids who were like him and maybe save someone else from losing their vision or help others with their vision.”