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 2022 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.
About the Pleiades Award
2022 Recipient — Erinn Morgan
Each year, our Pleiades Award honors an individual who has shown exceptional support in advancing the leadership role of women in the optical industry. This award is named after the star cluster The Pleiades
, also known as the Seven Sisters
— referring to the seven brightest stars in the cluster, located in the constellation of Taurus. According to Greek mythology, each star was named after the seven daughters of Atlas who were turned into stars by Zeus. Together these stars create one of the brightest clusters visible in the northern hemisphere, just as by working together, the women of the OWA have created an organization that is bigger and brighter than the sum of their individual efforts.
Erinn Morgan's Charity of Choice — Alzheimer's Association
"For my charity of choice, I'd like to choose the Alzheimer's Association
. My grandmother, whom I was very close with, passed away 7 years ago after years of suffering from Alzheimer's, so our family knows this terrible disease intimately. I would like the OWA donation to be made in her name: Beatrice Joyce Woll. She was a great inspiration to me, and a woman who broke the rules and broke down barriers for others."
About the Pyxis Award
2022 Recipient — Laura Dorris
PYXIS is a constellation in the southern sky known as The Compass
. The PYXIS Award is presented to a member of the OWA who actively participates in the organization and promotes the OWA throughout the optical industry, contributing to OWA's continuing growth. The recipient of the PYXIS Award is exceptional in her commitment to support and develop the OWA. She helps set direction of the organization by her actions and inspires by her leadership.
Laura Dorris' Charity of Choice — The High Hopes Head Injury Program
"I've chosen High Hopes Head Injury Program
, which is dear to my heart. My brother and only sibling suffered a traumatic brain injury as the result of an accident at age 17 and this organization has been a true godsend for my family and so many others. High Hopes was started in 1975 in Southern California. This one-of-a-kind non-profit charitable organization is dedicated to the rehabilitation and retraining of loved ones who have been devastated by traumatic head injuries."
"High Hopes provides a unique and successful day treatment program. At High Hopes, skills thought lost forever are regained. Their goal is to provide the best and lowest cost program to as many people who need help."
"Conservatively, one million six hundred thousand head injuries are estimated to occur annually in the United States. On average, seven million dollars will be spent over a lifetime for the rehabilitation and care of each survivor. Automobile, motorcycle, stroke, and sports related accidents cause the majority of head injuries. Although head injuries range from mild to severe, more than 50,000 victims each year are left with severe physical and cognitive impairments. For any individual and family faced with the prospect of significant life-changing disabilities and lengthy rehabilitation, the task often feels overwhelming to say the least."
About the Emerging Leader Award
The Emerging Leader Award, created in 2018, is presented to a woman who is a rising star and exemplifies leadership qualities as a new distinctive talent within the optical industry. Examples may be a Millennial or GEN Xer but is not limited to these generations. Unlike the Pleiades and Pyxis Awards, the Emerging Leader Award may not necessarily be presented every year.
Katie Lauver's Charity of Choice — Every Mother Counts
"I would like to donate to the charity Every Mother Counts
, an organization working to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for all women everywhere. Their goal is to help women receive quality maternity care and raise awareness around the challenges that are happening globally with maternal health."
Jennifer Stewart's Charity of Choice — Malta House
"I've been fortunate to be involved with many fundraising efforts for Malta House over the years, and I am honored to have the OWA donate to this organization that is near and dear to my heart. Malta House provides homeless mothers and their children with support, love, and education to help them rebuild their lives and become independent mothers. As a mom of two young boys, I'm thankful this organization exists in my community."
Check out some of OWA's other awards and previous recipients: