BUSINESS: The Independent Eye: Optical on Main Street Indies and Etnia Barcelona Team Up for Super Bowl Vision Day Program By Staff Thursday, February 4, 2021 8:30 AM BRANDON, Fla.—When we think of the Super Bowl, we think of lots of things: football, of course; beer, probably; snacks and commercials, naturally—but probably very few people immediately think of eye health when the Super Bowl comes to mind. This year, Etnia Barcelona is changing that. At Bell Shoals Church in Brandon, Florida, just an hour outside of Tampa, where Super Bowl LV will take place, Etnia Barcelona is teaming up with five local optometrists to provide free eye exams to children and students in need. This special one-day program will run on Saturday, February 6, the day before the Super Bowl, from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and will be open to all children and students in need. The program is in partnership with Von’s Vision, a vision foundation founded by Denver Broncos player Von Miller. Each registered child will receive a free eye screening and if needed, a free eye-exam and corrective eyewear—so far, Etnia Barcelona says, there are over 150 children registered. The five local optometrists taking part are Dr. Ornella Aluweisi and Dr. Ryan Oldin of Eyes On Lakeland; Dr. Pauline Thai of Florida Eye Specialist & Cataract Institute; Dr. Kimberly Chaney; and Dr. Marielle Alcantara of OptiMart. A representative for Etnia Barcelona said, “The targeted demographic for this outreach program, children ages 6-12, face significant barriers as a result of their visual impairments. For younger children in elementary school, poor vision leads to a greater inability to perform fundamental skills like reading and writing. Because a child may not be able to see words and numbers correctly, their ability to learn and develop is greatly impeded. Even vision that is only slightly worse than that of their classmates can cause children to quickly fall behind in school, significantly hindering their education in the long run. Etnia Barcelona Foundation in collaboration with Von’s Vision hopes to ensure that subpar vision will not negatively impact these students inside and outside the classroom.”For indie frame brand Etnia Barcelona, and for indie ODs in the area, events like this one provide the perfect platform to give back to the community, and connect with community members they might not get a chance to otherwise. In fact, many of the indie ECPs VM has profiled in The Independent Eye over the past two years have cited community outreach as one of the most important and fulfilling parts of their jobs—and one of the major things that sets indies apart from larger chains. Most importantly, of course, this event will bring life changing eyecare to children and students who need it—just in time for them to watch the big game, too.