WEST CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, October 2022: PanAmerican Seed is pleased to announce that its 2022 charitable donation reached over $81,000.00 (USD) thanks to this year’s proceeds of Beacon® Impatiens global seed sales. The donation was presented to two worthy organizations fighting low vision issues and macular degeneration, a disease affecting millions of people worldwide. Spectrios Institute for Low Vision (Wheaton, Illinois, USA) and Macular Society (United Kingdom) each received a generous check on behalf of PanAmerican Seed and Beacon Impatiens.
Low vision is the loss of eyesight and vision capabilities that cannot be corrected through lenses or general surgery. While not blindness, as limited sight remains, low vision can include blind spots, poor night vision and blurriness.
Both Spectrios and Macular Society support and empower people to optimize their visual capabilities and independence through the use of technology, prescriptive tools and rehabilitative training. This issue was brought to the attention of PanAmerican Seed through one of its own employees living with low vision.
“The proceeds from Beacon Impatiens sales continue to impact and shine the light on lesser-known charitable organizations, and it’s great to see gardeners everywhere contribute to this annual donation,” says Sarah Makiejus, Marketing Manager for PanAmerican Seed. “We are honored to support two well-deserving organizations like Spectrios and Macular Society as they build awareness and help those in need."
According to Dr. R. Tracy Williams, Executive Director for Spectrios: “We recently had a patient in our office who had sold his business, retired, and thought his life was over. After he left, he wished he visited us sooner because we were able to help him go back to work and do the things he loves. We hear stories like this every day. This donation will help individuals with low vision lead full, independent and productive lives and enable us to keep our programs affordable, sustainable and accessible to those in need.”
“We’re hugely grateful to PanAmerican Seed for this very generous donation, which will make a real difference to the lives of those living with macular disease,” commented Cathy Yelf, CEO of Macular Society. “Macular disease is the biggest cause of sight loss in the developed world and has a devastating impact on the lives of those affected. It can often leave people unable to do the things so many of us take for granted, such as reading, watching TV, or even recognizing the faces of our closest friends and family. Donations such as this mean we can continue to provide vital support services to those affected, as well as fund groundbreaking research so we can beat macular disease for good.”
Beacon Impatiens, a series of I. walleriana with proven high resistance to Impatiens downy mildew, brings flower-filled enjoyment back to shade gardens everywhere. As part of a dedicated mission to “shine the light” on worthy but less-widely known charitable organizations, PanAmerican Seed has committed to donating a percentage of its global seed sales to a new charity each year.
A new charity will be announced soon for the 2023 sales season. Stay tuned for the announcement and for ways to promote and contribute to this give-back effort.
For more information about Beacon Impatiens, explore www.beaconimpatiens.com. Contact your Ball Seed sales representative for availability.
About Spectrios Institute for Low Vision
Spectrios supports approximately 3,000 people in the state of Illinois, USA. The team empowers children and adults with vision loss to optimize their visual capabilities and independence through the use of prescriptive tools, technology and rehabilitative training. Donations help with providing low vision exams, accessibility tools, technology training, support groups, as well as training the low vision providers of the future. Visit www.spectrios.org.
About Macular Society
Located in the UK, Macular Society is on a mission to beat Macular Disease, which affects 1.5 million people in the UK – nearly twice as many than those affected by dementia. Through funding world-class research and providing the best advice and support to patients, Macular Society will beat the fear and isolation of macular disease. Their efforts will also ensure eye health is pushed to the top of the national agenda. Visit www.macularsociety.org.
About PanAmerican Seed
PanAmerican Seed is an internationally renowned breeder and producer of seed-raised flowers and vegetables based in West Chicago, Illinois, USA, that produces high-quality and best-performing varieties. Research facilities in North and South America, the Pacific Rim and Europe enable us to test and evaluate new varieties under numerous climate conditions. Our state-of-the-art seed distribution center guarantees quick, efficient processing of orders for our worldwide customers. Visit www.panamseed.com for more information.