The partnership between the Italian-based second largest eyewear manufacturer Safilo Group, parent company of the Solstice Sunglasses retail chain, and Special Olympics dates back to 2003 and over the past 13 years has led to over 1 million optical frames and sunglasses provided to Special Olympics athletes all over the world. Special Olympics is the world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Special Olympics now serves more than 5.3 million athletes and Unified Partners in sports training,competition and related services worldwide.
Safilo Group renewed its support of Special Olympics earlier this year with a donation of over 160,000 pieces of eyewear per year until 2018 for Special Olympics athletes. Safilo has been the global frames supplier to the Special Olympics Opening Eyes vision care program since its first involvement in 2003, with Safilo personnel taking an active part in the implementation of the events as volunteers, donating their time and expertise for the benefit of Special Olympics athletes.
Opening Eyes, part of Special Olympics Healthy Athletes® public health initiative, is the largest program in the world dedicated to providing vision care for people with intellectual disabilities. A large number of athletes have the chance to benefit from the vision screenings and above all, to receive prescription eye glasses to correct their vision impairments and sunglasses to protect their eyes. The Opening Eyes program also provides sports protective eyewear for athletes who train and compete in contact sports.
Opening Eyes was founded by Dr. Paul Berman of the American Optometric Association's Sports Vision Section and formally incorporated into the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program in 1997. A generous grant from the Lions Clubs International Foundation, the largest service club in the world, formalized a global partnership and enabled the Opening Eyes program to expand internationally. In collaboration with Essilor International, who provides polycarbonate lenses necessary for the fabrication of eyewear, Opening Eyes is able to provide prescription eyeglasses to athletes in need.
Solstice is proud to show our support of Special Olympics in partnership with our parent company Safilo Group to raise awareness for this invaluable organization that helps so many individuals bring their extraordinary visions to life. We are a proud contributor, donating frames designed with craftsmanship and quality for comfort and fit, said Jan Michel, SVP — Head of Solstice.
Special Olympics has found that one out of every five athletes competing at our World Games has never had an eye examination and more than one in three athletes need a new eyewear prescription, explains Mary Davis, Chief Executive Officer of Special Olympics.
As part of Special Olympics' global health platform made possible through the support of the Golisano Foundation and various stakeholders, the Special Olympics-Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes® program provides Special Olympics athletes in more than 80 countries with vision examinations, prescription eyewear and valuable referrals for follow—up care.
Special Olympics is a global movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports, every day around the world. We empower people with intellectual disabilities to become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all. Using sports as the catalyst and programming around health and education, Special Olympics is fighting inactivity, injustice and intolerance. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 5.3 million athletes and Unified partners in 169 countries. With the support of more than 1 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and over 108,000 games and competitions throughout the year. Special Olympics is supported by individuals, foundations and partners, including the Christmas Records Trust, the Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics, The Coca-Cola Company, The Walt Disney Company and ESPN, Microsoft, Lions Clubs International, Toys Us, Mattel, P&G, Bank of America, Essilor Vision Foundation, the B. Thomas Golisano Foundation, Finish Line, and Safilo Group.
SOLSTICE Sunglasses is an upscale sunglass specialty chain owned and operated by Solstice Marketing Concepts (SMC), LLC, the New York City based subsidiary of the renowned Italian designer eyewear manufacturer Safilo Group.
Safilo Group is the fully integrated Italian eyewear creator and worldwide distributor of quality and trust, leader in the premium sector for sunglasses, optical frames and sports eyewear. Design inspired and brand driven, Safilo translates extraordinary design into excellent products created thanks to a superior craftsmanship expertise dating back to 1878. With an extensive wholly owned global distribution network in 39 countries —in North and Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific and China — Safilo is committed to quality distribution of its products all around the world. Safilo's portfolio encompasses Carrera, Polaroid, Smith, Safilo, Oxydo, Dior, Dior Homme, Fendi, Gucci, Banana Republic, Bobbi Brown, BOSS, BOSS Orange, Celine, Elie Saab, Fossil, Givenchy, havaianas, Jack Spade, Jimmy Choo, Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, Liz Claiborne, Marc Jacobs, Max Mara, Max&Co., Pierre Cardin, Saks Fifth Avenue, Swatch, and Tommy Hilfiger. Listed on the Italian Stock Exchange (ISIN code IT0004604762, Bloomberg SFL.IM, Reuters SFLG.MI).