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  • Why I Attend the Orbital Gala

    "The Orbital Gala is an amazing time that I make sure not to miss each year. I don’t know how to have a better time, surrounded by friends and the leadership of the academy while supporting the mission of the AAO Foundation. The auction, dancing, food and drinks, great energy - I look forward to it ahead of every annual meeting!" - James G. Chelnis, MD, New York, NY

    "I have attended the Orbital Gala twice as a resident, and it has been an absolute highlight of the annual meeting! The gala is always held at a spectacular venue and the different themes make the evening so fun. I catch up with friends, mentors, and leaders within the Academy while enjoying delicious food and great music. We all dance the night away and best of all, support the AAO Foundation." - Andrea A. Tooley, MD, Rochester, MN

    “The Orbital Gala is my favorite social event during the annual meeting! I get to hang out with my pals over cocktails, enjoy awesome food, wear a fun party dress, dance with abandon AND score some great goodies (tax deductible!) at the silent auction. Plus the proceeds benefit our Academy's Foundation! It's a win-win-WIN!” - Jane C. Edmond, MD, Houston, Texas

    "The Orbital Gala often surprises people who attend for the first time. Many go in thinking it’s a formal stodgy affair, only to find out that it has evolved into a spirited soiree where you can see your colleagues and simply have fun. Best of all, it all supports the AAO Foundation.”  - Ron W. Pelton, MD, PhD, Colorado Springs, Colo.

    "It's a great event all around – drinks, fine dining, dancing and a fun silent auction (jewelry, trips and even OCTs). Importantly, it's been constantly improving and attracts the full cross-section of our diverse membership. It's a fun way to catch up with friends and colleagues. The Academy knows how to throw one heck of a party!”  - Alan L. Wagner, MD, FACS, Virginia Beach, Va.

    "We look forward every year to the Orbital Gala. This is an event where we always have the opportunity to share amazing moments with friends and colleagues from all over the world. As members of various international organizations, we think that the educational efforts of the AAO are unique and have a great impact in the ophthalmological community around the world. We are proud to be part of this."  - Jose A. Pitarque, MD and Andrea Molinari, MD, Quito, Ecuador

    "We go to the Orbital Gala because it's FUN! Being on the dance floor with friends and colleagues is the highlight for us – and it's for a great cause!" - Diana R. Shiba, MD, Pasadena, Calif.

    "As a member of the young ophthalmologist committee, I was highly encouraged to attend even though my impression had been that this was an event for elite ophthalmologists only. However, every year I've gone, it has grown in attendance and is now arguably one of the hippest parties at AAO. Yes, many of the leaders and highly successful patrons of our field are there. But rather than feeling out of place, the young ophthalmologists are warmly welcomed with multiple opportunities to meet these fascinating people. And it's a blast!" - Natasha L. Herz, MD, Rockville, Md.

    “The Orbital Gala is my chance to relax and be inspired. It provides opportunities to catch up with long-time friends and meet new people. I’m also hooked on the silent auction – it’s an opportunity to bid on unique gifts and great vacations.” - Daniel J. Good, MD, Hobbs, N.M.

     "The Orbital Gala is an evening of great food, music, dancing, and most importantly, quality time with friends who I often only see in passing during our busy annual meeting. It’s a tough act to beat: Have a fun time while supporting the philanthropic efforts of the AAO Foundation. The gala will continue to be a highlight of my meeting, and I'd love to see you there this year." - Jeff S. Maltzman, MD, Tucson, Ariz.

    "The Orbital Gala – where else can you let your hair down with your colleagues, bid on an eclectic mix of jewelry, artwork and travel, and all the while support the educational and humanitarian mission of the Foundation? I encourage my colleagues to become part of this annual tradition." - Tamara R. Fountain, MD, Chicago, Ill.

    “The Orbital Gala is a highlight of the annual meeting for me. It offers a great opportunity to take a break from the academic rigors of the week, party with your colleagues in an upscale yet relaxed atmosphere, bid on some cool items and even get a ringside seat to watch "Dancing with the (Ophthalmic) Stars"...and all for a good cause – the AAO Foundation!  - David A. Plager, MD, Indianapolis, Ind.

    "The Orbital Gala is a great place to relax and have fun with your colleagues during the hustle and bustle of the annual meeting. The gala is often held at very interesting venues, so you never know if you’ll be dancing with a dinosaur or under World War II planes. When you attend the gala, you also support the Academy's philanthropic and educational efforts such as EyeCare America, the ONE Network, Global Outreach and the Museum of Vision. The Orbital Gala is a must-do at the annual meeting." - Purnima S. Patel, MD, Atlanta, Ga.

    "The Orbital Gala is a way to give back to the Foundation that does so much for supporting education, thus ensuring that the public can obtain the best possible eye care. It's an honor to be a small part of this huge endeavor. It's also a lot of fun reconnecting with friends and meeting many of the Academy leaders." - Robert F. Melendez, MD, MBA, Albuquerque, N.M.

    "The Orbital Gala is the best function at the AAO meeting. It's always fun: socializing with friends, amazing auction items and music and dancing. And, it's always at a really cool location with something interesting to see. On top of all that, it's a fool-proof, tax-deductible way to support the Academy's charitable efforts like EyeCare America and the ONE Network. I like the gala because I can mix fun with support for a great cause! It's the highlight of the AAO annual meeting for me! - David Epley, MD, Kirkland, Wash.

    "Get ready for a party with great food and dancing! The Orbital Gala is a great event! It's a chance to connect with friends in a fun venue for a wonderful cause – our Academy Foundation! So grab your friends and come to the gala this year! I wouldn't miss it!" - Christie L. Morse, MD, Concord, N.H.

    "The Orbital Gala is always a highlight of the annual meeting for me: quality time with friends, a built-in opportunity to meet new people, and a great way to give back by supporting the mission of the Academy Foundation." - Anne L. Coleman, MD, PhD, Los Angeles, Calif.

    "The Orbital Gala is a wonderful part of the Academy's annual meeting. It's a fun way to catch up with friends over dinner and drinks, pick up some great auction items and unwind from a busy day at the meeting! It's also a great event to honor respected leaders and raise money for the Foundation. I strongly encourage my fellow ophthalmologists to join the party and bring your spouse, partner or colleague to the gala each year! It's a win-win – have tons of fun while supporting important programs." Mathew W. MacCumber, MD, PhD, Chicago, Ill.