Apr 03, 2013 •
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For the month of April, shoppers at Rancho Santa Fe Village Market can join FACE Foundation’s fundraiser for The Vision of Children Foundation. VOC, founded in 1991 by long-time Rancho Santa Fe residents Sam and Vivian Hardage, raises money to fund researchers around the world who are working on cures for hereditary blindness and other vision disorders. Courtesy photo
RANCHO SANTA FE — The Rancho Santa Fe Village Market, 16950 Via De Santa Fe, will focus on vision disorders during its April point-of-purchase fundraiser. When customers check out, shoppers can donate $1 or $5 to The Vision of Children Foundation (VOC).
VOC was founded in 1991 by long-time Rancho Santa Fe residents Sam and Vivian Hardage, whose son was born with a rare genetic eye disorder called Ocular Albinism. VOC raises money to fund researchers around the world who are working on cures for hereditary blindness and other vision disorders. It also provides a support network for hundreds of families nationwide and donates state-of-the-art, hand-held magnifiers to schools. At the time, very little was known about the disorder and they were told that there was no cure, no treatment and no hope. The Hardages found that unacceptable and vowed that no other parents should have to hear those words.
Since then, VOC has been a pioneering force in driving research on hereditary vision disorders, many of which are lesser-known, and therefore, under-funded. “The focus is on finding the genetic pathway to various retinal eye disorders,” said Sam Hardage, who is also co-founder and chairman of The Hardage Group, a hotel and real estate development company headquartered in San Diego. “We know that gene therapy is a viable solution that has been proven to work. Still, there’s much more work to do before we can eradicate genetic eye diseases, and we’re very grateful for the Stump family’s willingness to help us raise funds so we can expand the number of researchers working on a cure.”
In addition to the Village Market, the Stump’s Family Marketplace in Point Loma will also participate in the month-long fundraiser for VOC. “We’re happy to give back to the community in which we operate,” said Matt Basham, manager of the Rancho Santa Fe Village Market. “We’ve worked with local sports teams, churches and scouts, and we just recently finished the Buy A Shamrock campaign to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association.”
For more information about the Vision of Children, visit visionofchildren.org or e-mail [email protected]