Turning 50 is a big accomplishment. Much has changed since 1968 and for individuals, businesses, and communities who’ve seen it all, a celebration is in order. Come celebrate five decades of skill, service, and fun with Lacey’s Clarus Eye Centre and their neighbors.

Clarus 50 anniversary-Lacey location
Lacey’s Clarus Eye Center is celebrating 50 successful years with a fundraiser, celebration, car show, live music, and more. Photo courtesy: Clarus Eye Center

In 1968, a gallon of gas was 34 cents, new homes cost less than $15,000, and “Hey Jude” topped the charts. Families could sit down to watch the Mod Squad over a newly debuted treat, the 49-cent McDonald’s Big Mac. And if Thurston County residents needed eye exams, glasses, or other medical care for other vision issues they could head to Clarus for treatment.

Also turning 50 are the Lacey Rotary, Timberland Library system, Clarus Eye Centre’s very own Dr. Jay Rudd and the City of Lacey itself. Next-door neighbor TwinStar Credit Union has them beat being a still-vibrant 80. Join in their community celebration on August 3 and 4.

Dr. Penny Reck event chair and Kim Manthe, optical administrator at Clarus Optical and one of this year’s 50th event coordinators, can’t wait for the fun to start. Regarding the big event, “It seemed like it all started to work out all together,” says Manthe. The Clarus 50th Anniversary community celebration is Friday, August 3, with a food truck competition. Monies raised will benefit the Olympia Union Gospel Mission’s Vision Clinic and judges from near and far will decide the winners.

Just a few of these judges include Lacey Mayor Andy Ryder, gardening guru Ciscoe Morris, former Seahawk Hillary Butler, and in-house Clarus culinary chief, DeeDee Miller. Each celebrating business will have a table spotlighting their services, timeline, and background within the community.

Olympia’s KAYO/KGY FM will be presenting a live broadcast on both days and giving away goodies and concert tickets. There will be face painting for the kids, a live band for all to enjoy, and more. Clarus Eye Centre will close early so the fun can run from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Clarus 50 anniversary-blood drive
Weekend events include a blood drive, bone marrow registry, raffles, auction, vendors, live music, and a food truck battle for the ages. Photo courtesy: Clarus Eye Center

On Saturday, August 4, come back for the 12th annual Cruisin’ for the Cure Cancer Benefit sponsored by Clarus Optical. More than just a car show, the day is exciting, fun-filled and educational. In addition to chromed vehicles, there will be an on-site blood drive and bone marrow registration.

Funds raised at Cruisin’ for the Cure help the American Cancer Society, the Seattle Children’s Hospital’s Strong Against Cancer program, and a local family or individual dealing with a cancer diagnosis. This year’s recipient is Sarah Trott. At just 36-years-old, she’s been diagnosed—out of the blue—with stage 4 colon cancer. Though treatment is still ongoing, one surgery bill alone was more than $130,000 and it’s the first of many.

“Anything would be helpful,” says Manthe, whether you donate through entering a car into the show or just by attending you will be supporting an amazing cause. Last year they raised $18,000 in one day and hope to do the same.

After all the food, music, local and regional celebrities, raffles, and fun, perhaps the highlight of the day is the silent auction. “We do this through blood, sweat, and tears,” chuckles Manthe. Auction items are more than just generous donations from a kindhearted community.

Clarus 50 anniversary-car show
Events partner with local businesses and run from Friday, August 3 through Saturday, August 4 and raise money for cancer research. Photo courtesy: Clarus Eye Center

The belle of the ball is an extra special donation made by partner Panowicz Jewelers. “They are amazing people, so wonderful to work with,” says Manthe. “We’ve done this for years!” This $300 to $600 donated item can’t be won by just anybody. To obtain tickets for this drawing you must either donate blood or complete your Education Passport. To do so, guests visit stations with information on the American Cancer Society, learn how to protect their eyes from sun damage, or how to self-check for cancer.

Cruisin’ for a Cure started in 2007, when Manthe, who has worked for Clarus for more than 13 years, crossed paths with a heartbroken eye patient. “Many people have crossed my path in my life time, but on one humbling day in June of 2006, I had the pleasure of meeting Ron and Lynda,” she shares. “Ron shared that his wife has an incurable form of breast cancer and wanted everyone to be aware of what to look for. He also expressed a desire to walk for a cure with a team of men walking for their spouses. I informed Ron that Clarus Optical had decided to host a cancer benefit at our office. I asked if it would be alright to raise money for the American Cancer Society and his team. He accepted, and August 2007 was the beginning of the Clarus Optical Cruisin’ for a Cure benefit.”

Clarus Eye Centre is located at 345 College Street SE in Lacey. Events will be held in their expansive parking area and are free to the public and donations are encouraged. Call Clarus Eye Centre at 360-456-3200 with questions.


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