Community steps up to give color-blind students specialized glasses
RIO RANCHO, N.M. – A local production studio pulled out all the stops for a group of Rio Rancho Public School students who got to see the full range of colors for the first time this week. They set up rainbow balloon towers, vibrant artwork, and a green screen with a color-changing backdrop.
“1, 2, change your lives,” Ron Neldon gave the familiar countdown Wednesday night, as seven colorblind kids put on their Enchroma Glasses. For three years, he has given his own time and money to provide color-corrective lenses to dozens of Rio Rancho students.
But lately, the demand has exceeded what Neldon has been able to give. So, after his most recent donation in April, community members stepped up to bridge the gap.
“We were just inspired as a staff, and so we wanted to give back,” said Ed Smith, the owner of Edit House Productions. Immediately after KOB’s story aired in April, he said he started looking for a community partner to help donate glasses to the remaining students who did not receive them this year.
“We contacted the Rio Rancho Community Foundation,” Smith said.
“Everybody acted fast and said, ‘Yep, let’s donate,'” added the foundation’s president Carey Plant.
After a few months and couple thousand dollars, eight more kids got their miracles, starting with the teen son of Rio Rancho’s police chief.
“That’s awesome,” he said, seconds after putting his glasses on for the first time before a tower of colorful balloons. “The purple, the blue, the yellow, the orange.”
“What colors could you not see before,” Neldon asked.
“The red and green together, like I couldn’t see the Christmas lights,” the boy said.
Parents and families seemed just as excited as the kids for the colorful change.
“I’m happy to see this little monkey see colors,” said Scarlette Lopez, the younger sister of recipient Revan Lopez.
“I actually saw the look on his face whenever he actually put them on for the first time,” their father Dayven Lopez added. “I can really tell that they worked very well. I could see the joy and excitement that he had in his eyes for sure.”
“I’m way happy because I could see everything now, “Revan said. “Dad’s shirt had way less detail before.”
Neldon’s kindness has not gone unnoticed. In fact a KOB crew paid it 4ward to him two days ago, and he did not hesitate to Pay It 4ward himself. He told KOB he immediately put the $400 toward next year’s Enchroma donation.
If you did not catch Neldon’s surprise during our Monday night newscast, it will air again this Saturday morning.