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University of Iowa News Release


May 10, 2007

UI, Iowa Lions, Iowa Cubs Get In the Game For Project 3000 May 12

University of Iowa leaders and staff, along with Iowa Lions Club members, will join the Iowa Cubs Saturday, May 12, to raise awareness of -- and funds for -- the fight against Leber's Congenital Amaurosis (LCA), an inherited cause of blindness in children.

The "Project 3000 Night" at Principal Park in Des Moines will take place in conjunction with 1st Touch Foundation before and after the 7:05 p.m. Iowa Cubs game against the Sacramento River Cats.

A silent auction of signed Cubs baseball memorabilia, beginning at 5:30 p.m., and a "Play for LCA" opportunity will help fans get involved with the effort. In addition, thanks to Iowa Cubs owner Michael Gartner, the Iowa Cubs Foundation will donate $1,000 for every home run hit by an Iowa Cub and $100 for every strikeout an Iowa Cubs pitcher throws that evening.

Project 3000 refers to the number of people in the United States with LCA. It was launched when Chicago Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee and Boston Celtics CEO and co-owner Wyc Grousbeck, both of whom have a child with LCA, partnered with the UI to offer hope and find a cure. Nearly 500 Americans with LCA already are known, so 2,500 people in the nation remain to be identified.

UI representatives scheduled to attend include Jean Robillard, M.D., vice president for medical affairs and dean of the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine; Keith Carter, M.D., head and professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences; Edwin Stone, M.D., Ph.D., professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator; and members of the UI John and Marcia Carver Nonprofit Genetic Testing Laboratory, directed by Stone.

In addition, members of Iowa Lions Clubs who attend the game in a show of support will be offered half-priced admission. (Appropriate identification will be required.)

The silent auction of baseball memorabilia includes signed jerseys, bats and/or baseballs from Chicago Cubs stars Lee, Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Zambrano, Aramis Ramirez, Matt Murton, Ryne Sandberg, and Ryan Theriot, as well as all of the current Iowa Cubs. More items are being added daily, and 100 percent of the proceeds will go to Project 3000.

Project 3000 tables at the ballpark will allow fans to pick up fact cards on LCA, buy Project 3000 "Believe the Unseen" bracelets and sign up for "Play for LCA," hosted by Lee's 1st Touch Foundation. The "Play for LCA" program allows fans to donate to Project 3000 based on players' performances.

All funds raised will be passed on and managed by the UI Foundation to help, for example, cover genetic testing costs for people with LCA who cannot afford the fees.

Affected individuals are being offered testing at the UI Carver Nonprofit Genetic Testing Laboratory. Through the testing service, UI experts will give people with LCA more accurate information about their disease. The eventual goal is to find a cure.

For more information about Project 3000 night at Principal Park, or to order tickets, visit

For more information about the search for people with LCA, visit and click on the Project 3000 link or call toll-free 866-495-CURE (2873).

To support Project 3000, visit

To learn more about Play for LCA or Project 3000 "Believe the Unseen" awareness bracelets, visit

STORY SOURCE: Health Science Relations, University of Iowa, 5137 Westlawn Lawn, Iowa City, IA 52242

MEDIA CONTACT: Becky Soglin, 319-335-6660,

ADDITIONAL CONTACT:  Heather Scherber, 1st Touch Foundation, 916-212-0312 (Sacramento, Calif.)