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College of Optometry professor to celebrate birthday with bike ride for charity

by Rodney Tanaka

February 13, 2015

Read 2 mins

Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry Chief of Primary Care Bennett McAllister, OD, FAAO, will celebrate his 60th birthday by riding his bicycle 60 miles to raise money for his students.

McAllister turns 60 on Feb. 20, 2015. The following day, he will ride a 12-mile loop every hour for five hours, beginning and ending on WesternU’s Pomona, California campus. He is asking supporters to donate $1 per mile.

McAllister is WesternU’s faculty-student liaison to the American Academy of Optometry (AAO). He is raising money to send a College of Optometry student to the AAO Annual Meeting in New Orleans in October. If the College raises $750, the American Optometric Foundation (AOF) will match that amount, allowing a second WesternU student to attend.

“We want to encourage in our students the culture of learning, so when they graduate they continue striving for scientific excellence throughout their careers,” McAllister said. “We want to encourage them to develop a mindset of continuing excellence and a lifetime of learning.”

McAllister had major knee surgery at age 18 due to osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), a rare condition that occurs when a segment of bone begins to separate from its surrounding region due to a lack of blood supply. He started riding a bike to help him get stronger. He now rides 80 to 100 miles a week.

“Riding keeps me going,” McAllister said. “It clears my mind and helps me stay in shape.”

Click here to donate to Dr. McAllister’s bicycle ride fundraiser: Under “College,” enter “College of Optometry.” Under “Special Notes,” enter “Dr. McAllister’s bike ride for AAO student travel.”

Click here for Dr. McAllister’s bike route:


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