Shortly after 9 a.m Friday, the vision line at the Remote Area Medical Clinic closed due to lack of volunteer optometrists.
A large number of people, including many children, had to be temporarily turned away for eyeglasses because there is currently only one optometrist to handle hundreds of clients, said Stan Brock, founder of RAM.
“We could use four or five optometrists immediately,” said Lori Dengler, a RAM spokeswoman.
The missing optometrists had committed to coming but didn't show up Friday morning for the free clinic, Brock said.
“We desperately need people who know how to refract in order to get prescriptions for eyeglasses,” Brock said.
Brock asked any available optometrist to come to Manatee Technical College to help with the need.