2023 NC State Fair a Smashing Success for PBNC!

Another NC State Fair has come and gone.  Once again, Prevent Blindness North Carolina is feeling grateful for all the support by our volunteers, staff, sponsors and partners.  The Christine Hamlin Vision Screening Booth inside the Education Building hosted visitors for 12 hours a day throughout the 11-day event.  The team at the booth this year offered basic acuity vision screenings, retinal imaging, and educational materials around vision and eye health best practices.  We threw in a little fun and games as well!

This year, the team introduced a new offering – “Ask the Expert.”  A qualified expert in the vision and Eye Health Space shared time with our visitors and answered their questions about vision.  We extend our gratitude to Dr. Tim Jordan, an Ophthalmologist, and Mandy Horner, a diabetes expert, for generously sharing their expertise during these sessions. Many visitors had wonderful conversations with the experts and the opportunity to connect was a win-win for all involved. We are pleased that the “Ask the Expert” section was a hit, and we are committed to making it a staple in our future State Fair booths.

Also new in the screening booth this year were lots of giveaways.  Tons of T-shirts, Eclipse viewing glasses, lens cleaners, and other vision related items were distributed to the booth’s visitors.  Our grand prize raffle included a women’s pair of Coach sunglasses, a men’s pair of Ray Ban sunglasses, and a Yeti Lunchbox.  Stay tuned later next week to hear if you may have won!

An impressive 1,109 individuals received vision screenings at our booth this year. Out of those, 940 chose to undergo a retinal screening. Following these screenings, 82 people were identified and referred for follow-up care with eye care professionals. Additionally, we referred a significant number of individuals for acuity and risk factors, ensuring comprehensive eye care for all.

None of this would have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors. A special thank you to our Title sponsor, Hamlin Companies, for their steadfast commitment to our cause. We are also grateful to our weekday sponsors: Raleigh Eye Center, Amgen, Genentech, First Citizens Bank, Abbvie, Prevent Blindness, and Wilmington Eye. Your support enables us to make a meaningful impact on the lives of those we serve in the booth and in the field.

Over in the Parking Lot fundraiser project, we had a massive turnout despite two days of “sub-optimal” weather.  The parking lots were full, the volunteers had a great time, and the end result was another year of great fundraising to help further our mission at Prevent Blindness North Carolina.  The team parked almost 10,000 cars this year across the event dates. A new addition was the ability to accept credit card payments for drivers.  This change added a significant amount of revenue that will hopefully grow in years to come.  A huge thank you to our landlords and property managers for helping to make this fundraiser possible each year as well as the volunteers who worked shifts individually or as a group.

As we reflect on this successful year at the NC State Fair, we are energized and inspired to continue our mission of preventing blindness and preserving sight. With your ongoing support, we look forward to reaching even greater heights in the years to come.  If you or your organization has an interest in becoming involved for next year’s projects, please reach out to Angie Morris today.

Until next year….