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The UMOGD Sight Preservation Foundation is a charitable foundation dedicated to raising funds to enhance the lives of visually and physically disabled children, helping them to reach their full potential. The genesis of the organization dates back more than 50 years to the Upper Midwest Optical Golf Day (UMOGD) event, an annual golf outing in Southern Minnesota. The actual UMOGD moniker for this golf event began 20 years ago under the leadership of Charles “Pat” Patterson and his able assistant Bev Spencer from Walman Optical. Pat was the Executive Director until 2001 when he handed the leadership role over to Craig D. Giles and Bob Klaers at Soderberg Optical.

In the early days, the purpose of the outing was to bring the optical industry community together to enjoy each other’s company and play a friendly round of competitive golf. Under Pat Patterson’s leadership, the UMOGD committee’s purpose changed to begin the process of charitably benefiting optical related institutions such as (at the time) Anoka Technical College Optical Technology Program. In recent years, the committee embarked upon expanding the scope of charitable giving and the vision of the organization. They adopted the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind Foundation as its sole charitable recipient.

In 2008, the committee changed direction and formed the UMOGD Sight Preservation Foundation. At this time, they became a 501(c)(3) tax exempt charitable organization.

In the past ten years, the UMOGD Sight Preservation Foundation has donated more than $200,000 to the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind Foundation (MSABF) which benefits the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind in Faribault, Minnesota. The first project the UMOGD Sight Preservation Foundation (SPF) had major financial impact upon was the playground, which is an extension of the physical and occupational therapy areas of the school. That year, the SPF gave $4,000 to this effort dating back to 2003. The following 2 years the foundation continued to contribute several thousand dollars to assist in supporting the MSABF and its charter to enhance the education of students that are visually and physically disabled so that they can reach their full potential. In 2006, the committee formed a greater purpose and became more focused in reaching out to the optical community and beyond with a goal of raising $25,000 in 2006. We are happy to declare that the UMOGD Sight Preservation Foundation raised $24,000 that year. Subsequently, the foundation set goals of $30,000 and obtained those goals in 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010. In 2011 we surpassed all previous years, raising $42,000 for the MSABF and their current campaign of “Education through the Art of Music.”

 
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