Celebration of Hope & Renewal

Celebration of Hope & Renewal

Each year, Iowa Lions Eye Bank hosts the Celebration of Hope and Renewal ceremony in the Iowa Lions Donor Memorial and Healing Garden in Iowa City. This event is to honor eye, organ, and tissue donors and recipients statewide, as well as those who support the work of donation and transplantation.


The following video segments were recorded during our Celebration of Hope and Renewal on May 23, 2019. Please watch and listen to each of our guest speakers as they share their individual connection to donation and transplantation.


Suresh Gunasekaran  is the chief executive officer of University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics and also serves as associate vice president for University of Iowa Health Care.  Mr. Gunasekaran provides the welcome address to all those in attendance. 

Lisa Gotzinger is from Potosi, WI.  Lisa shares her journey through heartbreak and tragedy as a donor mother to her only son Kyle, who was a true light in this world, and a true hero to others through organ, eye and tissue donation.

Larry Graham, from Okoboji, IA, speaks about his grateful journey to restored sight through corneal transplants he received in both eyes.

Dr. Mark Greiner serves as Medical Director for Iowa Lions Eye Bank and Corneal Transplant Surgeon at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics.  Since coming to Iowa in 2012, Dr. Greiner has pursued his interests in eye banking, corneal transplantation, and research. He strives to be the best possible steward of the gift of cornea donation, and shares both his personal and professional perspective on donation and transplant.

Esther Baker, Executive Director of Iowa Lions Eye Bank, provides the dedication of the commemorative paver purchased by Ted and Tracee Henke from Washta, IA, in honor and memory of their daughter, Natalee June Henke.

As Family Services Coordinator for Iowa Lions Eye Bank, Deb Schuett shares a special dedication of ILEB’s 5th Donor Family Quilt of Memories, honoring and memorializing 13 donors whose families chose to create a unique and artistic quilt square tribute to their loved one.

Listen to the beautiful, inspirational songs provided by a small group of volunteer members of the Oakdale Community Choir, whose goal is to cultivate communities of caring.  Performers for the ceremony include Peg Bouska, Barbara Swanson, Alisa Kandel, Anna Mary Mueller, Bridget Toomey, and ILEB staff member, Anna Wilcox.