Feeling the Mission
There was nothing in my life to prepare me for the experience of Dinner in the Dark. I’ve supported many nonprofits, as a board member, consultant, and donor. I’ve been to many luncheons and galas where I heard many speeches, sat through many tug-at-the-heartstrings videos, and joined in many silent or live auctions that inflicted varying degrees of pain or entertainment. However, never have I attended an event that immersed me as deeply in the mission of the organization as Dinner in the Dark did.
It’s pretty basic. Sofia Sees Hope fights rare, inherited retinal diseases like Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) in hopes of curing blindness. Dinner in the Dark offers a multi-course, gourmet meal with wine pairings. While blindfolded. To say it’s challenging, and life-altering, is putting it mildly.
It’s harder to enjoy a fine meal when you can’t appreciate the presentation. Sometimes it was even hard to tell what was served, though the scents and tastes were tantalizingly familiar! It’s hard to carry on a conversation when you can’t make eye contact to interrupt, or to share a joke, and when you don’t even know if someone is still at the table. And it’s hard to savor nice wines when you can’t see them – especially when you’re afraid of knocking over a wineglass while attempting to locate your knife.
Don’t get me wrong – Dinner in the Dark is a tremendously fun event that will have you laughing and reflecting for months afterward. It’s also very challenging and very moving, and will make you truly appreciate the gift of your eyesight. And the ability to take off the blindfold to bid and to dance!