COURTESY PHOTO // A young Burmese child and his mother leave ORBIS' Flying Eye Hospital after his post operative examination.

Jennifer Alvarez

ORBIS International, a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting blindness, is going to hold a three-day fundraising event to raise awareness about their cause at Pearson International Airport starting today.

Christina Ip, donor relations and fundraiser co-ordinator at ORBIS Canada, said the organization has hired up to 100 volunteers for the event, which is to display the charity’s airplane known as the Flying Eye Hospital.

“All of the volunteers will get an opportunity to tour the plane and meet some of our Flying Eye Hospital staff who will also be on the plane and giving the tours,” Ip said.

ORBIS International is a New York-based non-profit dedicated to saving sight worldwide since 1973.

“The plane is really special and it doesn’t visit Canada very often so I think we’ll get a chance to meet people who are interested in what we do,” Ip said. “There will also be an opportunity for those who are new to ORBIS to learn a little bit more about our organization.”

The Flying Eye Hospital is a fully equipped, state-of-the-art DC-10 jetliner with an operating room, recovery room, and 48-seat classroom.

Local optometrist Dr. Lorne Berman, whose practice is located at Rexdale near Humber North campus, said he thinks the ORBIS tour is a positive event that encourages good will in others.

“I think that certainly by doing that [touring], they’re bringing attention and awareness about eye care and the developing world…it encourages people to volunteer and helps them get funding as well,” Berman said.

Humber nursing student Niall Tamayo, 21, says he thinks the ORBIS International Canadian Goodwill Tour is an opportunity for college students.

“To see the impact on people’s lives as a result of the work of others, who are basically working for free, is just inspiring,” said Tamayo.

The tour is open to the public and ORBIS is asking for a $20 donation from patrons.

People interested in attending the event must pre-register in person at the ORBIS Canada office on 340 College St. or over the phone by calling 1-877-ORBIS-CA (672-4772).