Local News

Counterfeit glasses jeopardize eclipse viewing parties at schools

Posted August 16, 2017 6:54 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 1:39 p.m. EDT

— The recent spate of counterfeit eclipse glasses sales could spoil some of the festivities planned at schools around the Triangle.

Vanessa Marijosius said she did not want to be caught off guard and decided to order glasses weeks ago.

She paid several hundred dollars for what she thought were certified solar eclipse glasses, to donate to the Excelsior Classical Academy, where her two children go to school.

Marijosius said she wanted all of the students to be able safely witness Monday's historic eclipse.

"I just ordered them on Amazon. They had a bulk package of 600 glasses for a couple hundred dollars," Marijosius said. "It said eclipse glasses and said they were certified so I thought, ‘OK fine’."

Marijosius received an email from Amazon warning her the glasses she had ordered may not be safe.

"I was like ‘I can't feel responsible to give those to 600 kids’," Marijosius said.

The school's executive director, Cynthia Godal, said she was stunned and disappointed to learn the news, but didn't think twice about the potentially counterfeit glasses.

In the meantime, Marijosius scrambled. She contacted the original company she ordered from to tell them the glasses were ordered for children.

"They didn't say that they weren't counterfeit but they refunded the money," she said.

She found Lundt Solar, listed as a "reputable vendor" by the American Astrological Society. They cut her a deal and offered fast shipping.

They said the new glasses will arrive in time for a viewing event.

"I think the kids are all excited and we've even had parents ask if they can come join us so we said yes we shouldn't have enough glasses," Godal said.

The principal at Holy Grove Elementary School in Holly Springs said, out of an abundance of caution, students will watch the eclipse indoors.