Latest News Shopko Optical Expands Project Eyecare Program and Opens First of 35 New Locations Planned for 2020 By Staff Thursday, February 13, 2020 12:21 AM GREEN BAY, Wis.—Shopko Optical said it has expanded its Project Eyecare program and, in partnership with local Lions Clubs, will provide more than 800 deserving children opportunities to receive free eye exams and eyewear this year. As of Monday, Feb. 10, Lions Clubs near Shopko Optical locations will identify and give vouchers to children in need between the ages of 5 and 17 within their communities. These children will receive a free comprehensive eye exam and pair of eyeglasses from Shopko Optical.Separately, Shopko Optical opened a new location in Crystal Lake, Ill., earlier this month. The company noted that this practice is “the first of 35 new locations” that are expected to open this year. Dr. Joseph Herba is the new OD at the Crystal Lake location. Shopko Optical, which emerged as a standalone business in mid-2019 after former parent company Shopko Stores liquidated through a bankruptcy court filing, now operates more than 80 locations in Wisconsin and other parts of the Midwest and Far West.With the work of a focused team, an efficient plan and an experienced investment group, Shopko Optical was able to open the 80 free-standing optical centers in 180 days last year, as VMAIL reported. The company noted that this is the 21st year of Project Eyecare and its growth is “a testament to the program’s success.” Shopko Optical chief operating officer Kirk Lauterback added, “We want to continue building healthier communities, starting with those in need of proper eyecare.”Children with uncorrected vision or undiagnosed eye problems can face physical and academic barriers, studies have shown. Comprehensive eye exams help detect vision and eye issues early, giving children the tools to succeed both in school and athletically. Shopko Optical is the trade name of Shoptikal LLC, an affiliate of Monarch Alternative Capital LP, a private investment firm with approximately $5 billion in assets.