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A Visionary Evening & Gala Benefit for Lighthouse Guild and Road Recovery

The event honored Lauren Oplinger and Simon Kirke.




A Visionary Evening & Gala Benefit for Lighthouse Guild and Road Recovery
Dr. Calvin W. Roberts, President & CEO, Lighthouse Guild and Honoree Lauren Oplinger Photo credit: John Sanderson/

(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK CITY — The signature sold-out event brought together two noteworthy charities dedicated to helping people overcome the challenges created by mental health issues, addiction, and vision loss. Lighthouse Guild, with over a hundred years of experience, is a leader in providing coordinated vision and health services, skill-building programs, and technological innovations that inspire people who are visually impaired to achieve their goals. Road Recovery, founded in 1998, has served the needs of thousands of at-risk youth in rural and poverty-stricken communities by helping them find a path to productive and fulfilling lives through its education and mentorship-based musical and peer support programs.

The event generated over $250,000 via corporate sponsorships from this inaugural Lighthouse Guild and Road Recovery Gala to support vital mental health and vision-related services for thousands of individuals involved in the programs of both nonprofits. The investment from corporate sponsorships will support youth and people who are visually impaired, empowering our communities to drive positive, societal change.

“Lighthouse Guild provides services ranging from eye exams to college and workforce preparation and emotional health support that is akin to the vital work of Road Recovery,” said Dr. Calvin W. Roberts, President and CEO of Lighthouse Guild. “Tonight is an example of how organizations can collaborate to expand the reach of services for thousands of individuals.”

Lighthouse Guild honored Lauren Oplinger, a long-time volunteer and supporter of the organization and Vice President at JP Morgan. Outside of work, Ms. Oplinger is active in raising issues related to vision loss and advocating for people with vision impairment.

“The work Lighthouse Guild does is meaningful and impactful and I hope I am an exemplar of that tonight. And I hope to inspire everyone who supports Lighthouse Guild and Road Recovery to continue to make a difference for people of all ages who are affected by vision loss and other adversities.” said Lauren Oplinger

Road Recovery honored one of its own, Simon Kirke, a long-time board member and Creative Staff Mentor. Mr. Kirke was recognized for his decade of humble service of “showing up & walking the walk” together with generations of the charity’s youth.


Gala Info: Ken Dashow, Q104.3 Afternoon Drive Host & Sunday mornings “Breakfast With the Beatles” emceed the event with performances by:

  • Simon Kirke, musician and drummer of the legendary rock bands FREE and Bad Company, Road Recovery Board Member;
  • Darryl DMC McDaniels, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee singer/songwriter, Run-DMC; Road Recovery Board Member

Leadership Gala Co-Chairs included Joseph C. Papa, Chairman and CEO, Bausch Health Companies Inc., James Dubin, retired Executive Chairman of Conair Corporation, Eric Maidenberg, Managing Director at Parley for the Oceans, Dr. Christopher Starr, Ophthalmologist at Weill Cornell Medicine.


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