Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Guest Blogger: Diana Wong: AMIGOS Eye Ball

Last month was the 19th Annual AMIGOS Eye Ball (awesome name, huh?).  For those of you who don’t know, AMIGOS EyeCare is a non-profit student organization that provides eye care to underserved populations all over the world.  We are Pacific University College of Optometry's student chapter of Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (VOSH). The Eye Ball is AMIGOS’s biggest fundraiser of the year and it is a semi-formal event that includes a dinner, dance, and auction.  It is attended by students, community members, and doctors from across the country.

This year, the AMIGOS Eye Ball was hosted at the newly renovated Grand Ballroom inside Hilton Portland and Executive Towers.  The venue was absolutely gorgeous and so were the guests (who knew PUCO’s students and professors can clean up so well!).  The night began with wine, mingling, and the silent auction, which was incredible this year. There were a wide variety of cultural items brought back from last year’s AMIGOS trips, ranging from handmade scarves from Guatemala to authentic coffee from Costa Rica.  Of course, we can’t forget the vast collection of wines donated by local wineries and gift certificates to Portland’s finest restaurants. Equipment reps were very generous this year and we were able to auction off the latest optometric equipment. 

Dinner began at around 7pm… I was starving!  The food was definitely worth the wait.  We started off with a mixed field greens salad paired with dried cherries, candied walnuts and a white balsamic vinaigrette.  For my main dish, I had the portabella and vegetable strudel.  I snuck a few bites out of my friend’s roasted pork loin when he wasn’t looking; I couldn’t decide which was better.  Finally, the best part—dessert!!!  There were alternate plate settings of Hood River apple filo cup and grand marnier bombe.  I had the grand mariner bombe: grand marnier mousse on a chocolate cake coated with chocolate glaze and vanilla cream sauce—need I say more?  If dinner was a like a fairy tale, the dessert definitely made it a happily-ever-after ending. 


During dinner, the AMIGOS president, Cassie Solis, gave a presentation of what AMIGOS has accomplished and where we’ve gone over the years.  Dr. Ann Edmonds was presented with the Doctor of the Year award for her outstanding dedication in providing vision care to underserved populations throughout the world. Congratulations Dr. Edmonds!

 Later, we had a live auction with brave students offering a dance to the highest bidder.  Brave souls enticed the audience with teasers of their savvy dance moves.  They definitely provided the entertainment for the evening.  Professors and faculty donated events to be auctioned off.  The events ranged from shooting UZIs with Dr.Statton to the annual “Pat and Randy’s Magical Mystery Wine Tour”  (some say the wine tour may be the most epic event of the year!).

There was a professional DJ that definitely knew how to make everyone (even the doctors and professors!) bust out their best dance moves.  The dancing did not end at the Grand Ballroom, however. People took advantage of the Hilton being in downtown Portland.  After the Eye Ball ended, everyone made their way to The Barrel Room, an awesome duelling piano bar with the best music!

Not only was the Eye Ball one of the most fun social events of the year, it helped make the AMIGOS trips during Spring Break and summer of next year possible.  We have eye care mission trips planned to Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Guatemala.  Last year, we saw over 5000 patients and we plan to see even more this year.  We really appreciate all those who supported AMIGOS.  Thank you for helping the world see!

Friday, November 11, 2011

The 3D Craze. . .

There is a short video from AOA (American Optometric Association) discussing 3D vision as Pacific introduces its new clinic in Beaverton, Oregon:



- Cayla

Road - deh - Whats??

I'm not the most horticulturally educated person around, to be honest most green things die quickly under my attentive supervision.  Despite my efforts I lost a Heirloom tomato plant last summer.  I thought I would try something a little more sturdy this year and purchased a single bamboo shoot.  Soon it turned yellow.  Maybe I should just get a mini cactus? It's a shame that all of those botany classes in undergrad didn't give me a green thumb, but I could still name the cellular components of the xylem and phloem in an instant.

On a recent Portland excursion with some classmates, we ended up stopping by a garden on our way home.  Even though it wasn't the time for the flowers to be in bloom, we explored the cute sidewalks, fountains, and duck ponds!

This awesome hidden park hanging out in SE Portland is called Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. Another really cool thing about Portland is that it has so many awesome parks within city limits.  Another example would be Washington Park which is where other attractions like the international test rose garden and the zoo are located.  You can go on some intense hikes while you are still in the city.

I'm looking forward to returning to the Rhododendron Garden when the blooms are back!


(top photo from netstate.com)  

Look - More Trees!

You know the moment when you finally realize why something was named a certain way and you feel silly for not making the connection all along?  Well Forest Grove is aptly named because it is truly home to a lot of trees.  It makes for a beautiful setting in every season, right now being fall the colours are bright and are hard not to notice.

But, on the topic of trees, the Portland area is EXTREMELY eco-friendly (as is our campus of course).  In fact, I think being earth friendly is culture across all of Oregon.  This is something I had to get used while living here.  Now when I go to the cafeteria at school there are half a dozen different receptacles for types of recyclables.  Food products, plastics, paper products, and more - it is really quite a site.

Now the whole reason I had trees on my mind is because I wanted to share with you the latest show that I attended which was at a venue called Doug Fir in Portland.  Fir logs shape the walls and cross sections of the branches decorate the serving area.  Normally I would roll my eyes when seeing such a literal interpretation of a business's name in their decor, however I could never do that to DF.  This venue has been rated in America's top 40.

I must say I have never been in any theatre or concert hall that has so perfectly been able to capture the smallest accenting sounds and blend live instruments with vocals so wonderfully.  Doug Fir knows how to do music and I highly recommend visiting it when you are in the area.  I know I will definitely be back, I still need to try their food!

A classmate and I had tickets for a show by The Drums before they headed north to Seattle.  The band was close to the audience and there wasn't a bad spot in the house.  Fantastic experience all around!

- Cayla