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PHILADELPHIA, PA February 16, 2016 – Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley (LEBDV) is pleased to announce the Matching Funds Challenge Campaign exceeded its goal of $30,000 from community donors, allowing the Eye Bank to provide gratis tissue to 19 individuals for sight-restoring transplant surgery.

Board of Trustees and very generous supporters, Arthur and Debbie Roedel, Past District Governors from Mercer County, NJ, donated $30,000 to support the match challenge, raising over $60,000 overall.

“We are grateful for the generous contributions and continued support from the community. We have people in our neighborhood who do not have resources to pay for cornea transplantation, the Gratis Tissue Fund makes it possible to provide for those in need,” says Jim Quirk, LEBDV President and CEO.

Requests for financial assistance have doubled since 2012. To date, every request for financial aid has been granted by the Eye Bank. “We believe that everyone should have access to sight,” says Quirk. “Ability to pay should not be a barrier to one’s ability to see.”

Anthony’s mother, Terry, thanks those who supported the Gratis Tissue Fund. “Anthony and family are forever grateful for your life changing gift.” Anthony, who has Down syndrome and resides in Bayville, NJ, has restored vision because of the Gratis Tissue Fund. “There are no words to thank you enough and completely.”

Recipients of the Gratis Tissue Fund come from all walks of life. Forty-two transplants were made possible during the Eye Bank’s 2014-15 fiscal year. The cost associated for making those transplants possible amounted to over $125,000.

Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley is a nonprofit organization that obtains, medically evaluates and distributes human corneas for transplant, research and education. Since 1957, Lions Eye Bank has provided corneal tissue to nearly 40,000 individuals in need of a sight-restoring or sight-improving transplant.

LEBDV is one of the nation’s first and Delaware Valley’s only Eye Bank. Its mission is restoration of sight through corneal transplantation. LEBDV is a founding member of the Eye Bank Association of America (www.restoresight.com), the nationally-recognized accrediting organization.

Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley is still accepting donations. For more information, visit the website, www.LEBDV.org or call Jerilyn Krawczyk at 215-563-1679.

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