SVOSH Honors Dr. Al Fors with Endowment Fund
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SVOSH Honors Dr. Al Fors with Endowment Fund

Successful fundraising over the last several years by SVOSH – Student Volunteers in Optometric Service to Humanity - has enabled the popular student organization to increase the amount of money in the Dr. L. Allen Fors SVOSH Endowment Fund, bringing it to term.

SCO President Richard W. Phillips, OD '78, is pictured accepting a $30,830 check from SVOSH for an endowment fund honoring the late Dr. Al Fors. Joining him are Kaeleen Franson, '15, Madeline Bost, '15, Fallon Cone, '15, Craig Hossenlopp, '15, SVOSH Treasurer Jordan Dau '15, SVOSH President Alanna Khattar '15, SVOSH Advisor Dr. Beth Sparrow, Virgilio Gozum, '15, and Ashlee Henderson, '15.

SVOSH established the fund in 2009 in honor of Dr. Al Fors, a 1969 SCO graduate, long-time SCO faculty member and devoted supporter of SVOSH. Dr. Fors served as SVOSH’s Faculty Advisor for more than 30 years. During that time, he traveled to 10 different countries with SVOSH students and spent countless hours sorting glasses, creating awareness, and preparing students for their trips.

When it was created, the fund was intended to establish an award to honor Dr. Fors’ contributions and continue to help offset travel costs for the student organization’s growing membership,” said SVOSH President Alanna Khattar, ’15. “It is hoped that SVOSH continues to grow each year, allowing SCO students to provide as much vision care and to touch as many lives as possible. The hard work and dedication of SVOSH members past and present is why SVOSH was able to provide this gift, which will in turn continue to help SVOSH grow in the future. “

With the passing of Dr. Fors on February 2, 2014, the award bearing his name enables SVOSH to help sustain his legacy for years to come in recognition for his many contributions to the organization’s success.

SVOSH has grown greatly since its foundation in 1975. The first SVOSH trip was composed of 12 optometry students and three optometrists who went to Costa Rica. The previous two years have seen approximately 100 students and 14 doctors traveling to eight different locations each year, and 2014 trips will have approximately the same in number.

The Dr. L. Allen Fors SVOSH Endowment Fund is a manner for individuals, alumni or organizations to make a tax-deductible donation to SVOSH.  While a donation to the endowment fund cannot go to an individual SVOSH member’s fundraising goal for the year, it benefits the SVOSH group as a whole.

“As a non-profit organization, the endowment fund is a way to provide security for the future of SVOSH,” Khattar said. “Each year SVOSH will receive a percentage of the amount in the endowment fund to put towards travel costs and new portable equipment that will help us provide the best vision care possible on our trips. “

SVOSH is very grateful for donations in any form, and Dr. Fors’ family requested memorials to be made to this particular fund as one of two in which his memory can be honored.

To make a tax-deductible donation to the Dr. L. Allen Fors Endowment Fund, a check can be written to Southern College of Optometry, with “Dr. L. Allen Fors Endowment Fund” written in the memo.  Donations can also be made to the endowment fund online; instructions are available at If you would like to make a donation to an individual SVOSH member, a check may be written to SVOSH at SCO with the name of the member in the memo.

Learn more about the life and legacy of Dr. Fors in this news release about his passing.

Posted by Amy Dunbar at 3:01 PM


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