PALM BEACH – Scientific research and designer fashion formed
an extraordinary collaboration when supporters of Schepens
Eye Research Institute celebrated “A Night for Sight” in
grand style as they observed the Institute’s 60th
Anniversary and its new union with Massachusetts Eye and Ear
on Wednesday evening, November 30th at The
Highlights of the evening included Neiman Marcus Palm Beach
presenting a formal runway fashion presentation of the
Monique Lhuillier Spring 2012 Collection, who was on hand
for the special occasion, and a tribute to the Institute’s
founder, Dr. Charles L. Schepens.
Joan W. Miller, M.D., Chief and Chair of Ophthalmology at
Mass. Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School, provided
a glimpse into the future of the new union created by the
Institute and Mass Eye and Ear.
The designer and the clinician scientist were the guests of
honor at the event. Beth Pine, Vice President of Neiman
Marcus Palm Beach, presented the fashions.
Following the runway fashion show, guests were treated to an
elegant dinner party and piano presentation designed by
Schepens’ Trustee Chairmen Kathryn Vecellio, Kay Lyons and
Toni May served as emcee for the program, which also
included recognition of longtime Schepens supporters by Mrs.
Vecellio, who presented an update on scientific research and
past accomplishments made at the Institute over the past 60
As Mrs. Vecellio asked the guests to imagine a life without
vision, she paid tribute to the scientists at the Institute
who are legacy of Dr. Schepens.
“As a supporter of the Institute, I have always been
fascinated by their research, but as an individual, I’m
proud to raise funds for scientists who follow Dr. Schepens’
mission to eradicate blindness for us all. I hope you will
join me in continuing to support the Institute so that your
vision – and that of those you love – may be preserved.”
Rich Godfrey, Patient Liaison at the Institute, provided a
look at the lifetime and legend of the Institute’s creator,
known as the Father of Modern Retinal Surgery.
Famed pianist David Crohan entertained the guests. Blind
since birth, the pianist has performed for such
distinguished people as President and Mrs. Clinton, Walter
Cronkite, Lady Bird Johnson, James Taylor, Carly Simon, Bill
Joel and many others. He entertained Rose Fitzgerald
Kennedy on her 100th birthday, and attended the
Perkins School for the Blind and the New England
Conservatory of Music.
A by-invitation-only cocktail reception was held the evening
prior aboard the newly christened M/Y Lady Kathryn V, which
arrived in Palm Beach for the occasion.
Grand Honorary Chairman of “A Night for Sight”
was Hermé de Wyman Miro. Judith Murat Grubman was honorary
chairman. Chairmen included Colleen Bain, Caroline
Collings, Linda Salandra-Dweck, Michele Kessler, Sandra
Krakoff, Anne Moran, Monika Preston, Joan Rubin, Julie
Rudolph, Laurie Silvers and Andrea Stark.
The Schepens Eye Research Institute, Mass. Eye and Ear, has
played a key role in changing the course for many people
living with low vision. It is a world leader in Age-Related
Macular Degeneration (AMD) research that led ultimately to
and other drugs that slow the progression of the disease. In
addition, Schepens’ scientists are pioneers in the use of
stem cells to repair damaged retinas in animal models, and
are working to turn skin cells into stem cells to ultimately
regenerate the retinas in humans.
Schepens was the first research center to regenerate an
optic nerve in animals, and are currently involved in
testing adult stem cells to regenerate the optic nerve.
Currently, Schepens scientists are working to prevent vision
loss from diabetes and improve the drugs used to stop and
reverse damage caused by leaking blood vessels in the eyes
of patients with diabetic retinopathy. The Institute’s
scientists are currently conducting clinical trials of new
drugs to arrest dry eye syndrome, a painful condition that
impacts hundreds of thousands across the globe.
More information of Schepens Eye Research
Institute is available by calling 1-877-724-3736 or at
www.schepens.harvard.edu. For more information about
Mass. Eye and Ear, visit