Science and Fashion for a Better View of the World

Herme de Wyman Miro, Ken Fischer, Veronica Atkins

Herme de Wyman Miro, Ken Fischer, Veronica Atkins

PALM BEACH, FL– It was a feast for the eyes amid the quest to keep them healthy.

For guests at the “Night for Sight” gala, presented by the Schepens Eye Research Institute/Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, there was something for everyone.

Mary and Mark Freitas

Mary and Mark Freitas

Neiman Marcus Palm Beach presented a formal runway fashion show of the spring 2013 collection, and John Fernandez, president and CEO of Schepens/Mass. Eye and Ear, provided a glimpse into the future of vision research, all to raise funds to eliminate blinding eye disorders in children and teens.

Connor Boss, the Miss Florida USA finalist who is legally blind, was the special guest of honor. Boss is afflicted with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that robs people of their central vision and is not correctable with prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses or surgery. There is no treatment for the disease, an inherited condition similar to age-related macular degeneration that impacts mostly children and young adults.

Richard Davis, Connor Boss

Richard Davis and Connor Boss

Boss was the first legally blind contestant in the pageant’s history. Currently a freshman at Florida State University, she was president of her class and a cheerleader at Glades Day School, where she graduated with a 4.2 grade point average.

The evening Nov. 30, 2012, at The Breakers, was chaired by Kay Lyons, Anne Moran, and Julie Rudolph, who also served as auction chairman.

Beth Pine, vice president and general manager of Neiman Marcus Palm Beach, presented the fashions, which was followed by a dinner party honoring Kathryn Vecellio and Herme de Wyman Miro.

Toni May was emcee for the program, which also included a musical performance by Ayla Brown, an American Idol finalist.

A by-invitation-only cocktail reception was held the evening prior aboard the elegant M/Y Lady Kathryn V, hosted by Leo and Kathryn Vecellio.

Click on photos to enlarge.

Vice chairmen for “Night for Sight” included Colleen Bain, Caroline Collings, Linda Salandra-Dweck, Mary Freitas, Judith Murat Grubman, Michele Kessler, Sandra Krakoff, Beverly Myers, Sharon O’Neil, Monika Preston, Nancy Shaw Raquet, Joan Rubin, Laurie Silvers and Andrea Stark.

Schepens Eye Research Institute/Mass. Eye and Ear, affiliates of Harvard Medical School, is a world leader in Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Its research led ultimately to Lucentis, Avastin and other drugs that slow the progression of the disease. In addition, Schepens’ scientists are pioneers in the use of stem cells to repair damaged retinas in animal models, and are working to turn skin cells into stem cells to ultimately regenerate the retinas in humans.

More information, call (617) 912-0100 or visit

Photos by Lucien Capehart Photography.


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