Cycle for Sight Raises Funds for Vision Research
If you pedal a bike for an hour, and don't get anywhere, are you making progress?
Yes, if you're one of the dozens of University of Wisconsin-Madison students, staff and community members who will be pedaling furiously to raise money for vision research.
The second annual "Cycle for Sight" event will be held from 10am to 2pm Feb. 11 at two UW-Madison recreational facilities, the Natatorium and the South East Recreational Facility (SERF). Relay teams of riders will use as many as 50 stationary bikes to raise money for the UW Eye Research Institute (ERI).
"Our goal is to raise money to combat blinding diseases,'' explains Dr. Arthur Polans, professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and ERI associate director. "The money raised will stay here on campus to support promising new initiatives by our faculty."
Growing from a small event in 2011, Cycle for Sight has teams from a wide variety of groups, including members of the UW tennis and cycling teams, and bike sponsors ranging from WPS to the Monticello Lions and Lionesses clubs. There is still time to register as an individual rider or a team or to sponsor a bike for the day by going to the Cycle for Sight website.
Cycle for Sight is co-sponsored by Rec Sports, under the leadership of Lori Devine, and by the Wisconsin Wellness initiative.
Others who have been active in promoting the event include students Nicole Wenman, and Ellen Ringle and the Pre-Optometry Club.
On the staff side, vision researchers Soesiawati (Yayuk) Darjatmoko and Paul van Ginkel have been working to make the event a success.
The event has special meaning to community member Becky Piper-Hayhurst. Her son, Aaron Hayhurst, was born with retinoblastoma, a childhood cancer of the eye. Friends and family will be cycling together on Team Oregon, which is sponsored by a $500 donation from the Oregon Lions Club.
In Wisconsin, estimates indicate that as many as 200,000 residents are blind or visually impaired, nearly four percent of the population. And that number will grow as the baby boom enters the age when degenerative eye disease becomes more common.
Date Published: 01/31/2012