NEW YORK, Feb. 19, 2007 – The world-famous tower lights of the
Building will be turned off for 28 minutes on March 1, 2007, to remember the 28 million people around the world who are unnecessarily blind.
Before the lights go out at 20:20 military time (8:20 p.m. ET), the tower will shine blue and white in tribute to the 25th anniversary of ORBIS International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving sight worldwide. Through its work, ORBIS volunteers and staff have directly restored the vision and transformed the lives of millions of people in 85 countries.
“We see this as a tremendous opportunity to help advance the work of ORBIS and have an unprecedented impact, both in terms of raising awareness and making a global call for the eradication of unnecessary blindness,” says James Connors, Empire State Building general manager.
ORBIS President and Executive Director
Oliver Foot says, “Most people hear ‘20/20’ and think of perfect vision. When the
Building turns off its lights at 20:20 this will draw attention to the plight of 28 million people who are blind and could be cured – right now – if they had access to the proper eye care. It is tremendously encouraging that the world’s most famous office building is supporting this initiative and lending its name to a global call for action.”
“ORBIS Day” in the Big Apple
March 1 has been proclaimed “ORBIS Day” by the Honorable Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of the City of
Throughout the month of March and all across the Big Apple, ORBIS hopes to make more people aware that 75 percent of those who are suffering can be cured.
- New York Stock Exchange – ORBIS and FedEx, the nonprofit’s first global sponsor and the sole sponsor of the "Delivering Sight Worldwide" program, will ring the Opening BellSM of the New York Stock Exchange on March 2 in honor of ORBIS’s 25th anniversary.
- Times Square – A public service announcement by ORBIS will debut in
Times Square on March 1 and run for the entire month on the News Astrovision by Panasonic, the gigantic video screen constructed on the building famous worldwide for the New Year's Eve ball drop.
- Print Campaign – A new print advertisement campaign, "Uncover the Truth About Blindness," will be unveiled on donated ad space from Titan Worldwide and placed on MTA buses across the five boroughs of
New York City.
- L’Occitane en
Provence – A limited edition Teddy Bear Soap, designed by a visually impaired artist, will be available March 1-31 at L’Occitane boutiques nationwide, with 100 percent of the purchase price donated to ORBIS to support its sight saving programs worldwide.
- Dark Dining Projects – A sensory feast hosted by Dark Dining Projects and served to blindfolded guests will benefit ORBIS’s efforts to restore sight. The event takes place March 1 at CAMAJE Bistro. Advanced reservations are required and may be made by calling (212) 673-8184.
ORBIS supports educational efforts around the world to alert individuals to the steps they can take to prevent blindness. To learn how you can help make a difference, call 1-800-ORBIS-US or visit www.orbis.org.
Ann Marie Gothard