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Essilor Extends Partnership With Special Olympics Opening Eyes

By Essilor News


DALLAS – (July 7, 2006) – Essilor of America, Inc. is pleased to announce that it will serve as the official global supplier of ophthalmic lenses and sponsor for the Special Olympics—Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes® program, with an extended contract through December 31, 2008. The mission of Special Olympics—Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes program is to improve the quality of life for the millions of individuals diagnosed with intellectual disabilities by optimizing their vision, eye health and visual skills through quality eye care.

"The Special Olympics is an outstanding non-profit organization that strives to empower individuals with intellectual disabilities. Essilor is proud to be a sponsor of Special Olympics and is excited to support its Opening Eyes program for the next three years," said Hubert Sagnières, president, North America & Europe, and CEO, Essilor of America, Inc. "As a corporate sponsor of the Special Olympics—Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes program, Essilor employees have the chance to contribute to their communities and receive life-long memories of working with inspirational athletes."

In the United States, Essilor has more than 60 laboratories that support Special Olympics State Games by processing prescriptions provided to athletes while they attend state competitions. As part of its partnership with the organization, Essilor labs processed 23,000 athlete prescriptions in 2005.

The partnership between Essilor and Special Olympics began in November of 2002. This initiative was established to respond to athletes’ needs for greater optical services and offer them superior care that they may not receive otherwise. Through the Opening Eyes program, Special Olympics athletes are able to receive free vision screening, as well as lenses for eyeglasses and sports goggles from Essilor.

Essilor employees also recently participated at the Special Olympics Texas Summer Games at the University of Texas at Arlington on May 26-28, 2006. At the Games, Essilor employees volunteered as scorekeepers, greeters and provided staffing support. Volunteer optometrists were also available to perform vision screenings and eye exams for the athletes.

Photo Caption:


Special Olympics athletes participate in the track event at the Texas Summer Games.

(More photos of the Special Olympics Texas Summer Games available upon request.)


About Essilor of America

Essilor is the leading manufacturer of optical lenses in the United States and is the market leader in progressive, high-index and anti-reflective coated lenses. A pioneer in the development and production of ophthalmic lenses, Essilor employs over 6,100 people in more than 100 facilities throughout the 50 states. Essilor manufactures optical lenses under the Varilux®, Crizal®, Thin&Lite®, DEFINITY™ and other Essilor brand names. Essilor Laboratories of America (ELOA) is the largest, and most trusted, optical lab network in the U.S. and offers a wide choice of services and lens brands, including Essilor premium lenses, to eye care professionals across the nation. Essilor of America, Inc. (Essilor) is a subsidiary of Paris-based Essilor International, S.A., a publicly held company traded on the Euronext Paris stock exchange (Reuters: ESSI.PA).

About Special Olympics

Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives by promoting understanding, acceptance and inclusion between people with and without intellectual disabilities. Through year-round sports training and athletic competition and other related programming for 2.25 million children and adults with intellectual disabilities in more than 150 countries, Special Olympics has created a model community that celebrates people’s diverse gifts. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship. There is no cost to participate in Special Olympics. Visit Special Olympics at

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Varilux and Crizal are registered trademarks and DEFINITY is a trademark of Essilor International, S.A. Thin&Lite is a registered trademark of Essilor of America, Inc.