Lighthouse International Celebrates Philanthropy and Raises Funds to Fight Vision Loss

"Lighthouse Music School Students perform at LightYears 2010."

Lighthouse Music School Students perform at LightYears 2010. Lighthouse's The Filomen M. D'Agostino Greenberg Music School is the only community music school for people with vision loss in the U.S. Photo Credit: Ibrahim Dabo.

Report and interviews by Ibrahim Dabo

NEW YORK CITY, NY—Lighthouse International, a leading non-profit organization that dedicates its work toward fighting vision loss through prevention, treatment and empowerment, on Nov. 22, 2010 hosted “LightYears,” its annual gala at The Plaza Hotel in New York City.

LightYears 2010 did “Salute the Art of Film” and brought together celebrities across the U.S. who are involved in the film industry. But more importantly, the philanthropic role of some of those individuals making a significant difference is what was celebrated. 

Ibrahim Dabo (Ib's Blog founder) and honoree Robert Osborne (actor and Primetime Host, Turner Classic Movies). Photo Credit: Ryan McCune.

Ibrahim Dabo (Ib's Blog founder) and honoree Robert Osborne (actor and Primetime Host, Turner Classic Movies). Photo Credit: Ryan McCune.

Robert Osborne, host Turner Classic Movies; Charles S. Cohen, president and CEO of Cohen Brothers Reality Corporation and Clo Cohen; Dr. Madeleine Sherak, educator and film producer; Tom Sherak, Revolution Consulting Services and president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, were all honored at the gala.

“It’s very nice when people pay attention to what you do and think you contributed something, to the point you should be honored,” Osborne told Ib’s Blog in an interview.

“I’m not sure I qualify for all this but I’m grateful for the esteem of such a fine group of people as Lighthouse International.

“It is very flattering to be honored and also it is a gathering of a lot of people I know. So it is a great time to see friends and get together.”

Osborne acknowledged the work of Lighthouse International saying the the gala was “for a really great cause because the Lighthouse is doing a very important thing with what it does for people who have visual impairment. They do a lot for people.”

Mark G. Ackermann, president and CEO of Lighthouse International, spoke exclusively to Ib’s Blog about his organization and the work they are doing to help people fight visual impairment.

“Tonight we are at LightYears, which is the annual gala for Lighthouse International,” Ackermann told Ib’s Blog.

Lighthouse International President and CEO Mark Ackermann

Lighthouse International President and CEO Mark Ackermann speaking at LightYears. Photo Credit: Ibrahim.

“We are very fortunate to have 400 of our closest friends here this evening who are celebrating with us the successes of the Lighthouse over the years, the work that we do with those who are blind and those who have low vision.

“They are helping to support not only our clinical and rehabilitative work, but helping to support our research and all the other work that we do to help those with low vision and blindness.”

Sharing some of the success stories of his organization, Ackermann said: “We have provided care for those who are blind and those with low vision all of these years.

“We have clinical services and rehabilitative services. We have pre-kindergarten and nursery school; we have a school of music which is a really wonderful school. It is the only school in the country for individuals who are blind or have vision problems.” Read full Interview with Mark Ackermann

The LightYears Gala highlights the important role design, fashion, film, and music have had on the history of the Lighthouse. The LightYears Award is one of the most prestigious honors of the Lighthouse. It is presented to those who contribute philanthropic, civic, and professional services to the community.

L-R: Tom Sherak (President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Sherak formerly served as Chairman of Twentieth Century Fox Domestic Film Group), wife Madeleine Sherak (educator, filmmaker) and Ibrahim Dabo. Photo by Ryan McCune.

Also read:
. EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: There Is Hope For People With Vision Problems, Lighthouse International President and CEO Mark Ackermann Tells Ib’s Blog
. Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit, Warner Music Group CEO Lyor Cohen, Entertainer Jay-z Honored At Annual Benefit Gala
. CCBF “Breakthrough Ball” Benefit Gala Raises Funds to Help Aid Treatment for Cancer and Blood Diseases; Katie Couric and Others Honored
. Celebrities Walk With Their Dogs on the “Green Carpet” As North Shore Animal League America Hosts its 5th Annual Gala

About Ib Dabo

Ib Dabo, founder and executive editor of Ib Talk Online, is a writer, journalist, photographer, and communications and IT leader whose mission is to inspire and work with people to make a difference in our world. Visit his official website - - to learn more. Follow @IbDabo on Twitter and also @IbTalkOnline on Twitter.