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OWA Awards


Each year the OWA presents awards to individuals who exemplify a passion for promoting the role of women in our industry. The recipients are honored in New York City during Vision Expo East at the annual Champagne Breakfast and Star Awards Ceremony.

OWA Charities of Choice

Each year, the annual OWA award honorees receive $1000 each to put toward a charity of their choosing. The Charities of Choice selected for 2024 are: If you would like to make an additional contribution to any of these charities, please visit their respective donation pages.

Read below for more information about each honoree's choice.

Lifetime Achievement Award

2024 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient — Marge Axelrad

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Marge Axelrad's Charity of Choice — SUNY College of Optometry Foundation

Marge has been on the board of the SUNY College of Optometry Foundation (formerly known as the Optometric Center of New York) since 2014. SUNY College of Optometry is one of the country's leading academic institutions, guiding the future of optometry in practice, research, and community services.

Pleiades Award

2024 Pleiades Award Recipient — Rebecca Giefer

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Rebecca Giefer's Charity of Choice — Opening Your Eyes Scholarship Foundation

Opening Your Eyes is a scholarship program of The Vision Council Foundation designed to provide financial assistance and career opportunities to minority high school seniors throughout the United States who have an interest in pursuing a career in the optical industry. The program launched in 2021, and the first round of recipients was selected in July 2021.

Pyxis Award

2024 Pyxis Award Recipient — Trudi Charest

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Trudi Charest' Charity of Choice — Women for Women International

Women for Women International was founded in 1993 during the Bosnian war by Zainab Salbi to reach and empower forgotten communities of women through social and economic enrichment programs. "Our vision is to create a world in which all women determine the course of their lives and reach their full potential." Women for Women International provides educational resources, job training, skills workshops, and victim support services to women affected by conflict. The organization also educates women on their voting rights, sexual and reproductive health, mental wellbeing, and other issues that help empower them within their communities.

Pyxis Award

2024 Emerging Leader Award Recipient — Reagan Colpitts

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Reagan Colpitts's Charity of Choice — Foundation for Women's Cancer

Foundation for Women's Cancer strives to bring together all communities of advocates, patients, caregivers, partners, and the healthcare team to eradicate or lessen the impact of gynecologic cancer through research, education, and public awareness.

Check out some of OWA's other awards and previous recipients:

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