‘Dining in the Dark’ shines light into world of visually impaired


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“Dining in the Dark,” scheduled for April 21 at the Melbourne Hilton Rialto Place, benefits the many programs of the Center for the Visually Impaired, which serves residents of Brevard, Volusia, Flagler and Putnam counties.

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The Center for the Visually Impaired’s “Dining in the Dark” event takes the concept of walking in someone else’s shoes a step further.

The signature fundraiser, slated for April 21 at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place, allows guests the opportunity to experience life as a blind person.

Guests begin the evening with a lighted cocktail reception and silent auction, before being served a gourmet dinner served in complete darkness.

“It’s pitch dark when they’re eating, so we tell people to wear washable clothes, because there will be spills,” said Sid Mickle, the director of development for the Center for the Visually Impaired .

When Mickle says it will be pitch dark, he means it, for even the exit signs in the banquet room are covered. Officers from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office will wear night vision goggles so they can lead guests to their seats.

Once seated, they will have to navigate the dinner, and the beverages, without the sense of sight to help. The chef at the Hilton has been tasked to create a menu with a full-flavor spectrum to compensate for the lack of visual stimulus.

Tickets are $100 per guest and can be purchased online at cvicentralflorida.org/dining-in-the-dark-brevard-tickets.html.