Tom and Mary Ellen Cody were honored as 2016 Leaders of Vision at the third annual A Feast for the Eyes gala. The event was a fundraiser for the Cincinnati Eye Institute Foundation’s community outreach efforts.
Nearly 300 supporters raised $130,000, which included the sale of work from artists such as Paul Chidlaw (1900-1989), a local painter and art instructor who developed macular degeneration later in his career. Chidlaw continued to create art until his death and is one of Greater Cincinnati’s most collected artists.
“The event proceeds support the foundation’s four adult vision clinics in Greater Cincinnati; the training of tomorrow’s eye care professionals, including support of the Ophthalmology Resident Program at the UC College of Medicine; and an innovative research fund seeking new cures and treatments for eye disease,” said Patrick Ward, president and CEO of CEI Foundation.
The free clinics serve 2,000 low-income patients each year who have no private or public eye care coverage.
“The Codys have made a positive impact on our community that will be felt for generations,” said Ward. “By graciously lending their name to the event, they are continuing their legacy of leadership.”
Mary Ellen Cody is a board member of Every Child Succeeds, The Carnegie Center and the Central Clinic Foundation. She is a past president of Dress for Success Cincinnati and a former board member of St. Ursula Academy and 4C for Children. She served on the development board of the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus and was named Enquirer Woman of the Year in 2006.
Tom Cody is board chairman of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and serves on the boards of Xavier University and the Cincinnati Eye Institute Foundation. He retired as vice chairman of Macy’s and has chaired United Way of Greater Cincinnati and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce. In 2012, he was named a Great Living Cincinnatian.
In 2015, the couple were United Way Tocqueville Society Award recipients.
“So many eye diseases are like ticking time bombs, and they are going to continue to progress until they’re discovered and taken care of,” said Tom Cody. “Many folks who come into the Cincinnati Eye Institute Foundation’s clinics are in that situation. The fuse has been lit, and not having the ability to come to the clinic and be taken care of will cause an irretrievable loss of sight.”
More than 21,000 lives have been touched by the foundation’s outreach and clinic programs since 2008.
Photos by MJS Photography