Actor Jake Gyllenhaal made an appearance at the New Eyes for the Needy See For Change II fundraiser on Thursday, March 31. The actor made an appearance at the Short Hills nonprofit’s fundraiser at the La Pomme nightclub in New York City, where he told the packed house about his poor eyesight, saying he reserved wearing glasses only for when he “has to look smart.

He spoke about how his grandfather persuaded him when he was a little boy to send his old glasses to New Eyes. “At first I said ‘no way’ but… have since learned the error of my ways… When I wake up all I see are colors and fuzzy things because my eyesight is so bad. I can’t imagine what it would be like if I didn’t have the resources to be able to see clearly.” In fact that is why the celebrity has advocated for New Eyes for several years now.

The actor launched the evening’s silent auction urging the audience to spend broadly and lavishly on all the auction items and then graciously posed for pictures with guests and New Eyes Board members.

“Jake has been a wonderful supporter of New Eyes and we so appreciate that he took the time to thank our guests for participating in this special night for us,” said Sue Dyckman, Executive Director of New Eyes.

The See For Change II event is the brainchild of Diana Epstein, a New Eyes supporter who wanted to “give back” after battling vision problems as a child. Epstein coordinates and organizes the See For Change fundraisers from her home in Boston and recruits a cadre of friends and family to help her pull the charity event together. “Diana has raised over $20,000 for New Eyes through See For Change nights” Dyckman said. “She is a testament that one person can indeed make a difference.”

Since 1932, New Eyes has improved the vision of more than seven million people throughout the world. New Eyes provides new prescription eyeglasses to children and adults in need in the U.S. and distributes used glasses to the poor in developing countries. The nonprofit raises monies through foundation and corporate grants, individual donations and special events such as See For Change.

New Eyes also raises funds through its Fabulous Finds Boutique that sells fine and costume jewelry, watches, crystal and assorted giftware that have been donated to New Eyes. Visit