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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Vision Program Rolls on to Two More Schools

The Glazer Family Foundation's Vision Program visited Robles and West Tampa Elementary Schools this week, handing out prescription glasses to children in need with the help of several Buccaneer players


For the second week in a row, Tampa Bay Buccaneer players and cheerleaders joined the Glazer Family Foundation in giving the gift of clearer vision to Bay area students.

Tight end Drake Dunsmore, safety Cody Grimm, team mascot Captain Fear and Jeanne of the cheerleading squad visited Robles Elementary School on Wednesday to help the Foundation continue the impactful work of its Vision Program.  Together, the group delivered prescription eyeglasses to nearly 80 students in need.

"This means a lot to the students," said Bonita Wright, the school's registered nurse. "I know we are trying to make sure that the students see, but it also means a lot to the teachers. They feel like those students without glasses, they know that has been a barrier for them and their learning. So now that they have the glasses, they expect to see them excel, especially in testing and classroom kind of things. So it is a win all for all of us – for parents, students, faculty and staff."

The Glazer Family Foundation Vision Program helps improve the eyesight of underprivileged children by providing free eye screenings and prescription glasses to public school students throughout the Tampa Bay area. Since its launch, thousands of local boys and girls have been provided this much-needed service, which not only detects but also helps correct serious vision problems in those who might not otherwise be able to afford such care.

Dunsmore and Grimm, who upon their arrival led the group of eager students in a rousing "TAMPA – BAY" cheer, presented the glasses to children who had previously had their eyes screened and were deemed in need of glasses by the Glazer Family Foundation Vision Mobile.

"I think that every single kid was really excited to get them," said Grimm. "I thought that there would be a few of them that didn't want to wear glasses, but everyone was really excited to wear them which was good."

Dozens more children experienced the same excitement on Thursday, when tackle Demar Dotson, Buccaneers Cheerleader Cassie and Captain Fear visited West Tampa Elementary School to help deliver new glasses to another group of deserving students. For Dotson, the featured guest for nearly 60 students, the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of Bay area youth was not taken for granted.

"You see how excited they are when we come out on stage," said Dotson. "When you see a smile on a kid's face, it goes a long way in life. It has impacted them. When you talk to these kids, they take it to heart. You just enjoy it – you can never do enough of this."

The Glazer Family Foundation Vision Mobile, which can also be spotted at each Buccaneer home game, just to the south of Raymond James Stadium, is the signature component of the Glazer Family Foundation Vision Program, a health initiative to provide local schoolchildren with an opportunity to have vision problems identified and corrected. The program has already provided free vision screenings and prescription glasses to students at five Title I schools in Hillsborough County, and will carry out its services to seven more schools in Tampa Bay this winter and spring.  

After another week of school visits, it's clear that many more students are in for an eye-opening experience.

"One little girl said, 'I can see!," said Wright.  "To bring the students from darkness into light was just awesome. You can just see it in their eyes – 'Wow, this is what the world really looks like.' It was wonderful to see them respond in that way."

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