Posted by: Janet Hughes | May 12, 2010

Thank you, Nora!

Members Making a Difference...Kudos to Vision First secretary Mrs. Nora Waliczek

During 2003, a story in my local paper about Senate Bill 805 prompted a special person to call me…Mrs. Nora Waliczek.

“Thank you for Amy’s Vision Law,” she cried. “I tried over thirty years ago to get a bill passed but it failed when the screeners and medical doctors lobbied against eye exams. I think it’s great that finally there’s a law in favor of what’s best for children’s vision.”

Mrs. Nora Waliczek, an Illinois PTA honorary life member and former Illinois PTA Valley Area council president, experienced the shortfalls of vision screenings during the 1970’s.  As another parent whose child fell through the cracks of a broken system, we became instant friends.

“When my son passed his vision screenings, his teachers and I thought his eyes were okay. But it wasn’t true. My son struggled with reading until an eye exam with an optometrist found his vision problem and treated him with vision therapy.”

Illinois PTA adopts resolution "Required Vision Exam Before Entering Kindergarten" in 2004

Nora shared with me her dad often told her, “If you want to do something, you find a way. When you don’t want to do something, you find excuses.”

Nora and I joined forces to raise the standards of eye care for our children’s visual welfare.

Illinois PTA’s annual convention was first in 2004.

Every child. One Voice. Join the PTA!

Together with the late Dr. Floyd Woods, we persuaded the delegates to support the resolution, “Required Vision Exam Before Entering Kindergarten.” It was a tremendous experience! Read more about our dear friend Dr. Woods here…

Success breeds success. Also a member of the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT), Nora gave the newly adopted PTA resolution to her local teachers’ union, Local 571 in 2005.

The IFT unanimously adopted the resolution! Two years later, Illinois had required eye exams for all children starting school. Read the full story here…

All children should have an eye exam before starting school.

Kudos to Mrs. Nora Waliczek for being a pioneer in caring that our children see a bright and beautiful future!

In addition to serving on the Vision First board as secretary, Nora recently retired as a teacher’s aide in a suburban Chicago school district. She enjoys knitting original garments and designing beautiful floral pieces. Also a breast cancer survivor, Nora doesn’t let anything stand in her way.  She continues to advocate for organ donors on behalf of her son who is in need of a kidney transplant.

Nora and her husband, Rich, have two sons and are the proud grandparents of four boys and a new puppy girl named, “Lola.” Read about her grandson’s first eye exam here…

Thank you, Nora, for all you do for PTA, too!

Make a difference in the eyes of child!

1. KNOW vision screening is not a substitute for eye examination.

2. MAKE comprehensive eye and vision examinations by an eye doctor part of a child’s healthcare.

3. KEEP eye care health and good vision habits a priority.

Join the “Kids Eyes Count” email list here.

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Sign-up here today!

Thank you for your interest and support.

Let's bring children's vision into the 21st century.

We love you Nora!

Copyright © 2010 Janet Hughes. All rights reserved.


  1. Happy Birthday, Nora! May all your wishes come true. You are a treasure to all who know you!

  2. Please pray for Rich and Nora’s son, Rich, Jr. He needs a live kidney donor.

    Richie has been dealing with kidney disease since 1997. After going on dialysis, he had to wait nearly 5 years for a transplant. Family and friends were tested, but none were suitable.

    In 2005 he had the transplant and did well for one year. He’s married and now has a 9 month old son. He has been in rejection and his health continues to decline.

    On 3/26/10, the cardiologist was emphatic about the need for a live donor. Currently the average waiting time is around 6 years.

    Dialysis keeps you alive but not healthy. More people die waiting for a transplant than those who actually have one. Our concern is, if he has to wait that long he may not be healthy enough to have a transplant.

    God bless you.

    Rich and Nora Waliczek

  3. Good luck to Nora in all aspects of her life and a Happy Belated Birthday as well! Everything always works out.

  4. Mrs. Nora Waliczek have made a great job to help children’s to have a better vision. Thank you, Nora!

  5. Congratulations Nora!

    You and Janet truly do make a difference.

    Keep up the great work!

  6. Happy Birthday Nora. You deserve a wonderful birthday celebration. I wish you a healthy and enjoyable year surrounded by family and friends.

  7. My lovely niece, you are such a joy! Keep up the great work that you do for all of the children. I am very proud of you, as a wonderful mother and as a great woman. I am proud to be your aunt!
    Aunt Linda

  8. Happy Belated Birthday Nora! Janet and yourself make a great team! Children are the world to you both as I can tell! Thanks for all you both do for the children….accomplished and yet to be accomplished! My very sincerest wishes for your son and his transplant. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!

  9. Hope you had a great day on the Anniversary of your Birth!
    Hope things work out for your son, Nora.
    You and Janet would make a great Team!

  10. Happy Birthday to a dedicated, lovely person.
    You have put children first your whole life and should be proud and happy as you retire.
    May God look over you and your son.
    Nice getting to know you through Vision First,
    Pat Fox

  11. Nora Waliczek,

    I admire you for your years of harboring your desire and resurging your energies to go at it again with the Hughes family and other teachers and parents to pick up on what you personally sought to correct when your son was trapped in the same visual nightmare Janet Hughes faced with her daughter Amy.

    This time it was a little different, you had the support of hundreds of caring parents, teachers and legislators.

    Once these silenced majority were truly appraised of how the ball was dropped and overlooked on children with severe visual learning problems, the mentioned trio, parents, teachers and legislators resolved the roadblock, and now the children receive comprehensive professional eye and visual examinations and you will never be forgotten in your motherly efforts.

    You and this trio have inspired the nation to see this problem, and are inspiring the same action for a solution. So pleased you are part of that movement as well.

    To a great parent…
    Dr. Floyd Mizener

  12. Janet,

    You are amazing. You have so many commitments and responsibilities and you still make time for others, such as myself and my son.

    Thank you also for all the beautiful comments and support. The encouragement is greatly appreciated.

  13. Janet you deserve a medal !! Hope they will find a suitable kidney replacement for Nora’s son soon , take care !!

  14. To my Dearest Aunt Nora..
    You are such an inspiration.. I love and miss you dearly ..

  15. Eye exams for children play an important role in ensuring normal vision development and academic achievement of all kids. This is very important to preventing eye disease and detecting visual impairment.

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