Crystal Cornea Award

Crystal Cornea Award

The Crystal Cornea Award is presented to individuals or organizations from outside healthcare and eye banking.

Successful nominees will, through their words and actions, elevate public awareness of corneal donation and transplantation. Direct involvement with their local EBAA-member eye bank and efforts to engage the eye bank with their own organization and/or the broader community, are particularly valued.

Eligible nominees include, but are not limited to:

  • Individuals
  • Public figures
  • Lawmakers
  • Media organizations or broadcasters
  • Writers
  • Artists

…or others who advance corneal donation and EBAA’s mission.


  • Eligible nominees include, but are not limited to: Nurses, Medical Examiners, Funeral Service Professionals, Social Workers, Clergy, Hospital Administrative Personnel and any professionals who have worked to encourage corneal donation.
  • Nominations must be made by Executive Directors and/or Medical Directors of member eye banks for a professional associated with their eye bank who has made outstanding contributions to the eye bank, eye banking, and the “Gift of Sight.”
  • Previous nominations may be submitted.
  • EBAA will provide the awardee with one night of lodging, the award, a press release, and coverage in the EBAA Year in Review and the Insight e-newsletter.
  • The submitting eye bank is responsible for all other expenses.
  • Recipient should be present at the Annual Meeting to receive the award.
  • Salaried eye bank staff or paid outside consultants are not eligible for the award.

The 2022 nomination cycle has passed.

Honoring the 2021 Crystal Cornea Award Recipient:


Makala Ashmar
Nominated by: SightLife

Makala Ashmar’s passionate, impactful advocacy for cornea donation began shortly after losing her father, Sam, who gave the selfless gift of sight in 2014. As a donor family, she saw how partnering with SightLife through the donation process supported her own family’s grief and healing process. Through this, it became crystal clear to Makala that her personal story and advocacy skills could help uplift the cause of donation, ensuring more donor families and transplant recipients experienced the same benefits she had. And she did just that right up to her own untimely passing on September 5th, 2020, after which she – like her father before her – gave the gift of sight to two people in need.

The Crystal Cornea Award is presented annually to individuals or organizations whose work helps the eye bank community give the gift of sight. Makala is being recognized posthumously for her efforts to promote cornea donation.