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!