BOSTON and INDIANAPOLIS, May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- On May 25, one bright yellow IndyCar, the Number 12 Symantec Dallara Honda, will be racing to win the Indianapolis 500 bearing the symbol of a campaign to fight blindness -- Eyes on the Road. By emblazoning their car on both sides with the logo of Eyes on the Road, http://www.eyesontheroad.org, IndyCar owners Jay Penske and Steve Luczo of Luczo Dragon Racing and its driver, IndyCar Series veteran Tomas Scheckter of South Africa, add their support to a cause of great importance to all people and especially to anyone who loves to drive.
Eyes on the Road is the brain child of Indy 500 fan and trucking enthusiast Mark Harter of Indianapolis, who is legally blind, and consists of a partnership between Schepens Eye Research Institute in Boston and Truck.Net, the nation's leading trucking industry internet portal. Its purpose: to increase awareness of and funding for research to prevent and cure blindness.
"When we heard from Mark about the work that he and the Schepens were doing together to fight blindness, we were tremendously inspired and wanted to do what we could to help," says Jay Penske, who with partner, Steve Luczo, are already dedicated philanthropists who commit 50 percent of their winnings to charities each year.
Harter, who has idolized Penske's father Roger since childhood, reached out to the younger Penske in February with the hope that an IndyCar could be part of the Eyes on the Road initiative.
"Race car drivers are natural advocates for our mission," says Harter. "Like truckers, their ability to drive depends on great eyesight. We are thrilled that Luczo Dragon Racing agreed to bring our message to the racing community and the public."
The 32-year-old Harter, a trucker by birth and passion, founded the Eyes on the Road partnership when a search for his own cure -- after a motorcycle accident damaged his optic nerves three years ago -- led him to Boston's Schepens Eye Research Institute, the world leader in optic nerve repair and other vision research.
He dedicated himself to helping all those suffering from blindness. After he enlisted Truck.Net as a partner in his cause, the Eyes on the Road website went live in December 2006.
The message on the IndyCar will encourage other racers, Indy 500 fans and the public to become aware of and learn more about eye healthcare, safety and ways to support research to save vision.
Contributions will benefit the research not only to cure optic nerve and retinal disorders but also debilitating diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa, dry eye syndrome, diabetic retinopathy and all others that rob people of this profoundly important sense.
To learn more about the "Eyes on the Road" program, Mark's life and this educational vision health resource, please visit http://www.eyesontheroad.org.
Schepens Eye Research Institute is an affiliate of Harvard Medical School and the largest not-for-profit independent eye research institute in the world. The Institute fights blindness by developing new technologies, therapies and knowledge to retain and restore vision (http://www.schepens.harvard.edu).
Truck.Net, headquartered in Lebanon, Missouri, provides modern, cutting edge interactive recruiting services to trucking companies since 1996 along with an array of services from, web design and increased web presence to access to one of the largest trucking databases and industry discussion communities available anywhere on the Internet. http://www.truck.net
|SOURCE Schepens Eye Research Institute|
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