For the past few years, Owen and his family and friends have collected donations during the holidays on behalf of Lighthouse of Collier. Owen is 12 years old and has Stargardt’s Disease, a genetic form of juvenile macular degeneration. People with Stargardt’s have central vision loss, blurred vision, and have difficulty recognizing faces, but their peripheral (side vision) is preserved.
Owen lives in Victoria Park where we all know that every home decorates for the holidays and it is a frequent stop for visitors to drive by and see the bright lights and decorations. Owen always sets up shop on the busiest corner with his friends and family with a large Lighthouse of Collier sign. Their purpose is to collect donations for Lighthouse of Collier.
I received an email last month (December) that Owen and his family and friends were not going to be able to personally collect donations due to COVD-19. His mother said that Owen was very disappointed because he really wanted to do something for Lighthouse of Collier.
Last Friday (January 8th) I received another email from his Mom. Below is her email:
Owen was SO bummed out that he couldn’t stand on the corner in Victoria Park during the lights to collect for The Lighthouse of Collier this year. He said Christmas felt so different without collecting in person. That right there is priceless! To know that he knows how much support and love he has from his family, friends and community!!!!!”
In lieu of the in person collection we teamed up with our dear friend Denny Bowers at Compass Relators and collected via the internet. You should receive $950.00 from Compass.Benevity.org. We also have $750.00 in checks and cash that people dropped off if they didn’t donate straight to Benevity. This is so great a total of $1,725.00!
Owen would love to hand deliver the checks and cash and the letter from Compass/Benevity. Scott, would you be able to meet us sometime with weekend?
I met Owen and his Mom on Saturday (January 9th) at Starbucks (he chose the place). It was so nice to see them. Owen told me he just made the basketball team. Then he pulls out a thick pile of checks and cash and said “this is for Lighthouse of Collier”! The total was $1,725.00 bringing the grand total that he has raised for the last three years to $9,553.80. I have attached a picture of him giving me the donations. This experience reinforced why I enjoy so much working for Lighthouse of Collier!