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Save the Date 2012 Old
2011 1  2 3  5
The Season
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Black Tie International:
Dining in the Dark


Jill Granoff, Evan Mittman and Rick Darling at

Jill Granoff, Evan Mittman and Rick Darling at
 Dining in the Dark event 2011


Fashion Industry Leaders to Dine in the Dark
in Support of Sight-Saving Research

New York, NY — The Foundation Fighting Blindness, a national
non-profit organization focused on vision-saving research, will open guests’ eyes to the challenges of the visually impaired community at its New York Fashion Ball: Dining in the Dark event on Wednesday, May 30, at the Plaza Hotel. Proceeds will benefit the Foundation’s cutting-edge research efforts into preventions, treatments and cures for vision-robbing retinal degenerative diseases like macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, Usher syndrome, and
related conditions.

Dining in the Dark is a distinctive sensory awareness experience in which guests participate in an unforgettable dining adventure, in complete darkness. For about 30 minutes, attendees enjoy their entrée using only their senses of smell, sound, taste, and touch, to get a glimpse into the lives of the blind. Visually impaired servers, who are trained specifically for the dinner to use a system of ropes and stanchions, will share their stories and help guests navigate through this new culinary journey. Created in Germany, Dining in the Dark is a one-of-a kind concept that has been enjoyed by many people across Europe before moving to America in 2005.

“Reactions to Dining in the Dark are truly powerful because people often don’t realize the daily challenges of living with low to no vision,” says Dinner Chair Evan Mittman, of Armonk, NY. A Foundation Fighting Blindness board member and CEO of Cipriani Accessories, Mittman didn’t let a sight-robbing genetic disease called enhanced S-cone syndrome stand in his way of building one of the largest companies in the accessories industry. “We’re thrilled to bring fashion industry leaders together to support research in promising areas like gene therapy and stem cells that offer hope to the more than 10 million Americans affected with retinal diseases.”

Chairing the event with Mittman is fashion executive Jill Granoff, who was honored with the Foundation’s Visionary Award in 2011. Notable committee members also include the evening’s keynote speaker Andy Hilfiger, fashion photographer Patrick McMullan, respected stylist Mary Alice Stephenson, LF USA CEO Rick Darling, Accessories Council President Karen Giberson, Calvin Klein President and CEO Tom Murry, and Vice President of PR for Dior Beauty Dianne Vavra. Guests will enjoy entertainment by a performer from Visionary Media, an organization that provides opportunities and a voice for blind and visually impaired musicians. Among the evening’s generous supporters is Innovator Sponsor Lucky Zone (Shanghai) Co., LTD.

What: New York Fashion Ball: Dining in the Dark,
Benefiting the Foundation Fighting Blindness

Where: The Plaza Hotel

Fifth Avenue at 58th Street

New York, NY 10019

When: Wednesday, May 30, 2012

6 p.m. Reception

7-9 p.m. Dinner & Program

Individual tickets are available for $500 each and sponsorship packages begin at $5,000. For ticket and sponsorship information, contact Events Manager Jennie Wexler at  or (212) 244-1470. To request media credentials or coordinate an interview with an event spokesperson, contact Allie Gebhardt at 410-423-0643 or .

About Foundation Fighting Blindness

The Foundation Fighting Blindness is a national non-profit organization driving research that will lead to preventions, treatments and cures for retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, Usher syndrome and the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases that affect more than 10 million Americans. In its 40-year history, the Foundation has raised more than $450 million as the leading non-governmental funder of retinal research. Breakthrough Foundation-funded studies using gene therapy have restored significant vision in children and young adults who were previously blind, paving the way for using this method to treat a variety of retinal degenerative diseases, and proving a cure is in sight. With a network of 50 chapters, the Foundation also provides support and resources to affected individuals and their families in communities across the country.


Joyce Brooks

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