March 9, 2009

Children's eye clinic to benefit from 3rd annual March Madness Against Blindness

Brendan as a toddler
Brendan Hepner

ANN ARBOR, MI – While only one team will win the 2009 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, the children who visit the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center's Pediatric Ophthalmology Clinic are the real winners in the upcoming March Madness Against Blindness (MMAB) event. Myron Hepner, the force behind the annual event, now in its third year, will donate this year's proceeds to build a new play structure for Kellogg's youngest patients.

Hepner will collect pledges for the children's eye clinic while he watches all 32 games of the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Damon's Grill (3150 Boardwalk) in Ann Arbor, March 19 and 20. The restaurant will donate a portion of its dining receipts to the fundraiser and donors who contribute $75 or more will be entered in a drawing for balls autographed by U-M coaches John Beilein and Rich Rodriguez.

Hepner created MMAB in 2007 to thank the physicians and staff at Kellogg who treated his son, Brendan, for retinoblastoma – a cancer of the eye – when he was only 9 months old. Brendan, now a healthy 6-year-old, returns to Kellogg for annual checkups.

Children treated in the pediatric ophthalmology clinic generally have complex conditions that require longer than usual visits, says Hepner, adding that a play structure will benefit both children and parents during their visits. The structure will be installed in the new pediatric ophthalmology clinic to be located in the Kellogg Eye Center's expansion, which is scheduled to open in spring 2010.

During the first two years of MMAB, more than $11,000 has been raised for the Kellogg Eye Center.

You can donate to MMAB 2009 in one of three ways:

  1. Visit and complete the on-line donation form.
  2. Visit Damon's and request that your dining receipt go toward the fundraiser. Over the two-day event, Damon's will contribute 20 percent of all dining receipts to the fundraiser.
  3. Visit Damon's and purchase a paper basketball. During March, Damon's will sell paper basketballs in gold ($10), silver ($5) and blue ($1). Donors can write their names on the basketballs, which will be posted in the restaurant.


Written by Aimee S. Bergquist

Last Modified: Monday, 28-Mar-2016 13:26:03 EDT