Gift of Sight Masquerade

Funds provide sight-restoring cornea transplants and fulfill donor wishes

2023 Gift of Sight Masquerade raises record-breaking funds in support of Eversight’s mission

Eversight and event co-chairs Candace Jordan and Michael Caputo hosted 170 guests at The Peninsula Chicago on October 13, 2023, for the 25th annual Gift of Sight Masquerade. 

This year’s theme was “Silver Spectacle” and the event raised nearly $231,000—the most raised in the event’s history—to provide sight-restoring cornea transplants to people in need, fulfilling the wishes of donors and their families. All proceeds from the Gift of Sight Gala go directly toward helping the thousands of individuals in need of sight-restoring cornea transplants. 

This year, Eversight was proud to celebrate M. Soledad Cortina, MD, as the 2023 Gift of Sight Honoree and John C. Robak as the 2023 Person of Vision. 

Gift of sight masquerade honorees

M. Soledad Cortina, MD, is a professor of ophthalmology and director of the Comprehensive Ophthalmology Faculty Practice, the General Eye Clinic and the Keratoprosthesis Artificial Cornea Program at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System.   
Dr. Cortina specializes in corneal transplantation and external eye diseases with a special interest in keratoprosthesis. She also focuses on providing care for underserved populations and underrepresented minorities, in particular those of Latinx origin.

Watch this video about the impact Dr. Cortina and surgeons like her have on their patients and donor families. 

Recognized internationally for her research in corneal surgery and keratoprosthesis, Dr. Cortina has presented at meetings and symposia around the world and has numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals. One of her published titles, "Keratoprostheses and Artificial Corneas: Fundamentals and Surgical Applications," is the first comprehensive textbook dedicated solely to the topic of keratoprosthesis surgery and the artificial cornea. She also serves as an instructor for several KPro courses throughout the year and created an international keratoprosthesis fellowship at the University of Illinois Chicago.  

Dr. Cortina is an active member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology, Eye Bank Association of America, Cornea Society, Women in Ophthalmology and Illinois Society of Eye and Physician Surgeons. She volunteers for the American Board of Ophthalmology and serves as a medical director on Eversight's Medical Advisory Committee. Dr. Cortina has received the "Best Doctors in America" recognition annually since 2010. 

Dr. Cortina
John C. Robak

John C. Robak is the former Chairman & CEO of Greeley and Hansen, a leading international water infrastructure consulting engineering firm. In December of 2022, John successfully brokered the acquisition of Greeley and Hansen to a multinational infrastructure corporation. A committed proponent of altruistic action, John is personally involved with many Chicago-based nonprofit organizations, supports many civic causes and serves on many boards. 

John serves as Chairman of the Chicago State Foundation and Chairman of the Chicago Police Community Policing Advisory Panel, which brings together community leaders to focus on efforts and strategies for reducing crime and building community trust. He is a sought-after speaker and published author on human resources, workplace diversity, leadership and career management topics. 

The Eversight Gift of Sight Masquerade was made possible by our generous and dedicated sponsors, honorary committee members, contributors and guests, including: 

Visionary sponsors 

  • Anonymous 
  • John C. Robak 
  • Paul and Cindy Vogel 

Leadership sponsors 

    • Collette Taylor Worthing Donor Fund 
    • Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary 

    Table sponsors 

    • Anonymous 
    • BMO Harris 
    • Cabrera Capital Markets 
    • Chicago Cornea Consultants 
    • Gift of Hope 

    Supporting sponsors 

    • Ken & Irma Bates 
    • Gail Garza in honor of Dr. E. Lee 
    • Susan Gohl 
    • Jarvis Foundation 
    • PNC 
    • William & Andrea Zopp 

    Event sponsor: The Peninsula Chicago 

    Exclusive magazine sponsor: Chicago Magazine 

    Exclusive media sponsor: Chicago Star

    View photos from the 2023 Gift of Sight Gala here

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    In this season of gratitude, Eversight has launched a matching


    campaign to impact even more lives. Please consider supporting Eversight and help us earn a generous $4,000 match from our Board of Directors.

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