The CEI Foundation to Host A Feast for the Eyes

Honorees Michael Petersen, M.D., Ph.D and Hisham Arar, M.D.


Annual community outreach fundraiser will honor two CEI physicians as Leaders of Vision 


An evening of inspiration, fine food and wine will be held Thursday, Nov. 30 at the fourth annual “A Feast for the Eyes” gala supporting The Cincinnati Eye Institute Foundation’s (The CEI Foundation) initiatives including community outreach.

The event will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Pavilion Room at the Cincinnati Hilton Netherland Plaza in downtown Cincinnati. Funds raised support Foundation initiatives that provide community outreach, education programs for eye care professionals and research support.

“This year, The Foundation will honor two physicians as its ‘Leaders in Vision’ for their contributions to innovations in eye care, improved community health and enhanced quality of life for thousands of people in the community,” said Patrick Ward, president of The CEI Foundation.

Michael R. Petersen, M.D., Ph.D., of Wyoming, whose foresight led to the establishment of The CEI Foundation and served as its first president; and Hisham H. Arar, M.D. of the west side, medical director for The Foundation’s three, soon to be four, vision clinics for the underserved, will be honored.

“Opportunities to acknowledge those leaders whose vision made The CEI Foundation a reality are rare,” said Ward. “These men are part of a visionary group of local ophthalmologists who care deeply about preserving and improving the precious gift of sight for all Cincinnatians.”

As CEI’s first vitreoretinal surgeon, Dr. Petersen led the way in sophisticated macular and sub-retinal surgery in the greater Cincinnati region. He has conducted extensive research in both basic and clinical sciences and has authored three books, published numerous articles in national and international scientific journals, and has had his research supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Arar has been a leader and innovator first as a biomedical engineer, then during a post-doctoral fellowship in eye research involving corneal wound healing and macular degeneration. His research has received the Ohio Lion’s Eye Research Award.

Dr. Arar has a global vision perspective that he brings to third-world mission trips to El Salvador and Honduras where, in addition to operating on hundreds of patients, he teaches local doctors medical techniques they can use after he returns home.

Both physicians, along with vision clinic volunteer ophthalmologists Dr. Richard Kerstine; Dr. James Faulkner; Dr. Andy Robbins; and Dr. David Brounley, have improved the vision of more than 8,000 low-income, uninsured adults since The Foundation’s first vision clinic opened in 2008.

The evening’s entertainment will feature Tom Sullivan, a recording artist, composer, actor, author and producer, as well as a skier, golfer, marathon runner and inductee into the Wrestling Hall of Fame in Oklahoma. Blind since birth, Sullivan will speak on the topic of living a life that accepts no limits.

Sullivan’s best-selling book, If You Could See What I Hear, became a major motion picture in 1982. He composed and performed much of the music for the film.

The Foundation annually serves about 2,000 working poor, unemployed, homeless and struggling adults whose family income falls below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level at The CEI Foundation vision centers in the West End; Price Hill; College and North College Hill; and Middletown, Ohio in September.

Additionally, the Richard Kerstine Vision Outreach program screens about 3,200 seniors and minorities at high risk for eye disease annually. The Foundation continues to support Oyler School’s OneSight Vision Center as it brings eye care to Cincinnati Public School children and students from charter and parochial schools around the city.

A Feast for the Eyes sponsorship opportunities are available from $20,000 to $1,000, with program listings and tables of 10 included, depending on the level of sponsorship. Single tickets are $175 and couples’ tickets are $325.


Reservations are available until Nov. 13. For more information, to attend, or to become a sponsor, contact Ward at or call (513) 569-3725.