Contributions to Community 3

Asheville Eye Associates’ Charitable Core

In life, most of us are lead by our eyes. It’s sight that leads us forward, onto new adventures and innovations. In a fitting correlation, Asheville Eye Associates is leading the way in Asheville’s healthcare community.

We don’t just mean that Asheville Eye provides high-quality healthcare and innovative eye care to residents of Western North Carolina—that’s a given for this avant-garde practice—they do so much more. Asheville Eye is also at the forefront of a healthcare system that’s integrally tied to the community.

“Our mission is to be the premier provider to all the residents of Western North Carolina and surrounding areas,” says Denise Fridl, Chief Performance Officer at Asheville Eye Associates, “and community is a huge part of us contributing to the residents of Western N.C.” That contribution to community is beyond sizable; it’s the very heartbeat at the center of what defines Asheville Eye.

Their biggest event every year is their annual fundraiser. In 2008, when breast cancer struck close to home, Asheville Eye Associates wanted to do more to give back and to support a cause that was so dear to their personal community. So they arranged a huge fundraiser, culminating with the three-day Susan G. Komen Walk. Their efforts raised an astounding $20,000.

Since then, they’ve chosen a new charity to support every year in their annual fundraiser. Years past have focused on charities that spotlight health and wellness in the community, like the Low Vision Center and the Guide Dogs Foundation, raising $15,000 to $20,000 every year.

This year’s charity supported by their fundraising is Iron Girls, which helps adolescent girls navigate the troublesome waters of youth through exercise and mentorship. Local schools incorporate the program as an elective and bring girls into the gym during the school day, where they perform fun workouts and engage in classes on relevant topics like peer pressure and media literacy. “Because we have so many women who work for us, we’ve gotten really involved this year!” says Fridl. So involved that before the end of October they had already raised upwards of $25,000.

The Asheville Eye Associates team is constantly involved in other charitable acts beyond their fundraiser, especially through organizations that help the visually impaired. For example, they sponsor MARRS, or the Mountain Area Radio Reading Service, every year. MARRS broadcasts readings of popular newspapers, magazines and articles for local visually impaired community members. Asheville Eye also sponsors hearing devices at the Asheville Community Theatre, Flat Rock Playhouse and Asheville Symphony so that visually impaired playgoers can enjoy the show with spoken narrative guidance that tells them the physical actions occurring on the stage before them.

Asheville Eye Associates is truly Ashevillian in their environmental awareness. They are currently the only medical practice in Asheville with solar panels, just one more indicator of their innovativeness in the local medical field.

Though the Asheville Eye Associates’ contribution to community is physically evident in figures and dollar signs, the true evidence of their compassion lies in their actions.