Guests with impaired vision rose with sighted guests Saturday night to applaud Fayette Birtcher, founder of the nation's 10th largest development firm.
The 79-year-old developer, who suffers from retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative vision disease that usually causes blindness, received the Man of Vision award from the Orange County chapter of Retinitis Pigmentosa International.
Birtcher, who has only 5% of his vision remaining, attended the event at Le Meridien Hotel in Newport Beach that saluted his support of those with hereditary degenerative diseases that impair vision.
Guided to a podium by his sons, Art and Ron, Birtcher ran his hands over the award, a bronze eagle head. "We chose the sculpture," said Mary A. Casper, chapter executive director, "because eagles soar above the sky, above the sun, above the storm, just like Fayette has done. And they have very special vision, just like Fayette."