The Bergstein’s Are Striking Out Blindness
The Bergstein family has always been passionate about helping the Foundation Fighting Blindness.
With three Bergstein generations diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa (RP), Jordan Bergstein and his wife Paula started a golf fundraiser for the Foundation in 2000. But after many years of organizing the local golf outing, they decided to pass the fundraising torch to their son Jason and daughter Bari. When Jason started high school and found out that he too had RP, the timing felt “meant to be.”
“Starting a fundraiser was an easier way for Jason to get his diagnosis out there, as opposed to going to his friends and telling each of them,” says Paula. “It was somewhat therapeutic for Jason to share how he felt through the event. When people are brave enough to talk about their own battles, it really brings people together and it helped individuals in our community to be more open and generous.”
The Bergstein family chose to organize a family-friendly bowling event in their Long Island, New York community. Jason first began the fundraiser, naming it ‘Bowling for a Cure,’ and his sister Bari took over the event in the spring of 2018 and rebranded the event as, ‘Strike Out Blindness.’ Since 2015, this annual bowling fundraiser has raised over $390,000 for the Foundation’s sight-saving mission.
Their fundraiser has evolved over the years, recently adding an event committee to get their friends involved and raise more funds and awareness. The committee members visit local shops to solicit donations or gift certificates to use as sweepstake prizes, and even ask larger corporations to sponsor.
“We’ve been very fortunate that we have a lot of family and friends that come out to support the fundraiser every year,” says Bari. “Getting event sponsors and local support is key, but just getting everyone in our community together is what makes the fundraiser special.”