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Miami Lighthouse For Blind Score Thanks To MLB, Marlins

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) - The Miami Marlins and Major League Baseball have hit a homer by helping the children in Miami see.

On Friday, the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind dedicated a brand new All-Star Mobile Eye Unit made possibly by a donation from the team and league as part of their 2017 All-Star Legacy projects.

Former Marlins Derek Lee and Alex Gonzalez were on hand for Friday's dedication.

"It is a responsibility as simple as that. Major League Baseball teams are nothing without the community and the fans showing up. It's just important to give back and do our part," said Lee.

The new unit will allow the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired to expand their important services of free eye examinations and glasses for eligible school children.

President of Miami Lighthouse for the Blind - Virginia Jacko says, "We have, based upon a survey, evidence that because of this program, children improve in their academic performance in school. This would not be an outcome if we could not bring the primary eye health care right to the school."

Earlier this year, Miami Lighthouse for the Blind's subsidiary, the Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program, was chosen as an All-Star Game Legacy Project.

Miami Lighthouse's Heiken Children's Vision Program provides free comprehensive eye exams and prescription glasses to low-income school kids who fail their state-mandated school vision screening and have no insurance for eye care. Since the program began in 1992, nearly 111,000 children have received exams with 80% requiring glasses.

This is the 20th anniversary of the MLB All-Star Legacy initiative. Since 1997, MLB and host All-Star clubs have donated more than $80 million.

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