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Marchon promotes eye doctor's Africa volunteer trip

Garden City eye surgeon, Dr. Gerard D'Aversa, and

Garden City eye surgeon, Dr. Gerard D'Aversa, and his daughter, Jaclyn, in a Marchon Eyewear ad that focuses on a volunteer trip they made to Ghana. Credit: Handout

A Garden City eye doctor and his daughter this week are featured in a new ad campaign promoting their charitable work at a clinic in Ghana helping equip and train staff in advanced techniques for restoring sight to the blind.

Marchon Eyewear Inc., with a Long Island workforce of 500, is mostly known for its upscale lines of sunglasses and eyeglasses for labels such as Fendi and Sean John.

The company's promotion includes ads in optical trade magazines and a video on Marchon's website highlighting Dr. Gerard D’Aversa, of Ophthalmic Consultants of Long Island, and his daughter, Jaclyn, a Barnard College senior.

The maker of the eyeglasses the two are wearing in the ads? Marchon, of course: Dr. Gerard D’Aversa in style M-162 and his daughter, Jaclyn, in M-213.

In early 2011, the D'Aversas spent 10 days in Accra, the Ghanaian capital, Newsday reported in April 2011.

The two talk about the trip in the Marchon website video.

Their sponsor was Unite for Sight, a New Haven, Conn., charity that coordinates volunteer trips worldwide.

They delivered new equipment and supplies to the North Western Eye Clinic, and performed surgery on patients to restore their sight.

The delivery included equipment for performing phacoemulsification, which Dr. D'Aversa used to train the clinic's director, Dr. Michael Gyasi, in cataract surgery techniques that require smaller incisions with quicker recoveries, Marchon said.

“Prior to our trip, Dr. Gyasi was performing large-incision surgery on his patients which usually requires longer healing times,” D’Aversa said in a Monday news release. Now Gyasi is the second surgeon in Ghana able to perform the phaco procedure, he said.

The African clinic's phaco machine was donated by Island Eye Surgicenter, of Carle Place, D'Aversa said.

Other companies donated lenses and medical supplies. D'Aversa's clients and their families held fundraisers, and one grade-school student collected hundreds of pairs of eyeglasses by putting donation boxes in stores and going door to door.

“Without the support of so many, we never would have been able to carry out our mission,” D’Aversa said. OCLI, with a staff of 25 eye doctors and specialists, has offices in Rockville Centre, Lynbrook, Valley Stream, East Setauket, Manhasset, East Meadow, Port Jefferson, Inwood and Mineola.

Photo: Garden City eye surgeon Dr. Gerard D'Aversa and his daughter, Jaclyn, in an operating room at North Western Eye Clinic in Accra, Ghana.

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