Running for a Cause

People running on asphalt

Written by Craig Smith, EEF Development Officer

For the second year in a row, faculty and residents in the Department of Ophthalmology will be running in this year’s Pittsburgh Marathon to raise money for important causes within the Department.

Thanks to support from generous donors, last year we were able to raise $2,500 to support efforts for the Guerrilla Eye Service (GES) in their work providing vision care in the community. This year, in addition to raising money for GES, a second team of runners will be raising support for the 2024 Mission of Mercy event.

Both Guerilla Eye Service and Mission of Mercy are the leading efforts by faculty and staff in the Department of Ophthalmology to provide vision care to some of our most vulnerable neighbors in the Pittsburgh region. GES holds free community clinics throughout the year at various locations, whereas Mission of Mercy is a singular, two-day event where patients can receive free vision screenings and glasses, along with also receiving hearing and dental care. Volunteers at this past year’s event saw over 700 patients in two days!

The two teams this year are the Phaco Fanatics and the Open Globe Trotters, raising money for Mission of Mercy and GES, respectively. Phaco Fanatics team members include Ian Conner, Zachary Nadler, Tadhg Schempf, David Mora-Boellstorff, Chris Hampton, and Patricia Campos. Open Globe Trotter team members are Colin Xu, Samyuktha Melachuri, Amani Davis, John Gote, and Aidan Dmitriev.

Please join us in cheering on both of our teams as they tackle the Pittsburgh Marathon on May 5, 2024!

If you’d like to support the efforts of either, or both, teams in this year’s marathon please visit and make a donation today. Your support of our community efforts is greatly appreciated!