14 November 2008

From South Philly to the Cherry Tree Massacre

From South Philly to the Cherry Tree Massacres

Last week flew by at light speed. I was greatly honored to give my good friend Bill Lapple, a past President of the NYSOA, and his family a tour of Georgetown University, my alma mater. Bill's daughter, Stephanie is looking to play golf in college, and wanted to visit Georgetown. We had a beautiful sunny day, and I greatly enjoyed showing them the campus and telling them stories about the Hilltop. After a lunch at the Tombs, I headed to Baltimore to meet Dr. Lauren Gormley, the chair of our Young OD committee. We took a drive up to Philadelphia, up Broad Street to the Pennsylvania College of Optometry--see picture to left. I am a SUNY grad, but have made several trips to the new Elkins Park Campus. It looks like a country club compared to the old campus. We had a wonderful visit with 38 students. Lauren and I were really excited about the turnout which was double the number of people we were expecting. It was great taking this road trip with Lauren, and hearing the perspective of a recent optometry school graduate.
On Thursday after work I took a drive to Pasadena, Maryland to a beautiful restaurant called Windows on the Bay for the Anne Arundle Optometric Society meeting. It was a nice to visit another part of the state. I got my driving directions from the AAOS Facebook page powered by Google Maps. In the dark, I thought I was driving right into the middle of the Chesapeake Bay. It is always an adjustment for me when I venture beyond the outer loop of the Capital Beltway-495. The AAOS President Jennifer Kungle gave a wonderful lecture on Vision Therapy. We all had a great time. Next door in the lounge a few women were even having a better time--it sounded like they were at a bachelerette party.

On Saturday, after seeing the Hoyas rout the University of Cincinnati at Verizon Center, I attended one of my favorite events: the Cherry Tree Massacre at Georgetown's Historic Gaston Hall. The Cherry Tree Massacre is a concert hosted by the Georgetown Chimes, the legendary A Capella group of Georgetown students, famous for performing at Presidential inaugurations. At the Cherry Tree Massacre, groups from other colleges are invited to perform, do skits and have lots of fun. This year the other a capella groups came from Tufts, UPenn, William and Mary, NYU, and Georgetown's own coed group the Phantoms. It was a great evening again. In the midst of the Presidential Primaries, I reflected on how I have personally heard every US President and major candidate speak at Gaston Hall since President Carter, as well as movies like the Exorcist, and concerts from Ben Folds Five. The Cherry Tree Massacre prepares me for March Madness, Vision Expo in New York and our Gala Fundraiser for the Optometric Center of New York at the Rainbow Room. On Sunday I took a drive up to Charlottesville, VA to visit two of my SUNY Optometry School classmates, Doug and Vick Weiss. They have two sons, their first son is now looking at colleges and is am his Godfather. Vicki is the President of Virginia VOSH. They also work with RAM in Virginia (Random Area Medical). This Sunday March 2nd at 7:00 PM their RAM clinic in Knoxville will be featured where they examined and provided spectacles for over 500 patients. It is great to be an optometrist and provide service to mankind! What a great week! It is a great way to prepare for March Madness and Vision Expo in New York!

Thomas A. Wong, O.D.President Maryland Optometric Association (MOA)
Board of Trustees The Optometric Center or New York
Vice-President Hoya Hoop Club
Board of Governors Georgetown UniversityProud Member of Generation Ewing


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