The Clayco Foundation is committed to bringing change and making a positive impact through supporting multiple causes. One organization especially holds a special place in the Clark family–Illumination. Founded by my son Shawn in the wake of our family’s loss of Ellen, Illumination sets out to raise funds and awareness on rare disease. Their way of achieving this goal is by putting together a vibrant, interactive performance.  

Leading the cure with a spectacle

Illumination is an organization raising awareness on Retinal Vasculopathy with Cerebral Leukodystrophy (RVCL). By organizing its famous light spectacular, Illumination raises funds to find a cure for RVCL. These funds go to research efforts at The John Atkinson Research Lab at Washington University.

The other part of Illumination is dedicated to supporting artists, designers, creators, and performers who contribute to this interactive, lively event. Their creative minds bring this exceptional evening of lights and interactive installations to life. Because of the pandemic, Illumination canceled the bright lights event and named 2020 “The Year Without Light.” This didn’t mean passing an opportunity to commit to the cause. In place of the original event, artists, designers, and performers created an original short film to bring a little magic and color to the viewer’s screen.

Optimism for the future

We cannot change past circumstances. The only thing we have the power to change is the present and the future. I remain optimistic that this initiative will make a large impact in finding a cure for RVCL and protect future patients and their loved ones from experiencing the pain of this rare disease.