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Black Tie International:
The Fashion Ball:  Dining in the Dark

Foundation Fighting Blindness Committee Chair Evan Mittman with the Fashion Ball: Dining in the Dark Visionary Award honorees Jill Granoff and Rick Darling  Photo by:  Kelly Sheehan

Foundation Fighting Blindness Committee Chair Evan Mittman with the Fashion Ball: Dining in the Dark Visionary Award honorees Jill Granoff and Rick Darling  Photo by:  Kelly Sheehan




Celebrates Fashion Visionaries, Benefits Foundation Fighting Blindness


WHO:                                       Visionary Award honorees Rick Darling, President of the world’s leading consumer goods supply chain management company, LF USA, and esteemed fashion executive Jill Granoff; Committee Chair Evan Mittman, Designer Vince Camuto, CEO of Lord and Taylor Brendan Hoffman, Cosmetic Executive Carlotta Jacobson, President of Licensing at Jones Apparel Group Mary Belle, CEO B&G Plastics Chet Kolton, Principal of Deloitte Consulting Mitch Katcher, and President of Schifter + Partners Tim Schifter.


WHAT:                                      The Foundation Fighting Blindness hosted THE FASHION BALL: DINING IN THE DARK on May 25th at the Ritz Carlton Battery Park to honor fashion visionaries who have supported the organization’s urgent mission to drive research that will lead to preventions, treatments and cures for people affected by macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, Usher syndrome, and the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases.


                                    Dining in the Dark was a rare and unique sensory adventure that took guests on a journey of taste, smell, sound and touch…all in the dark. For about 30 minutes, attendees enjoyed their entrée using only these senses, to get a glimpse into the lives of the blind. Visually impaired servers, who were trained specifically for the dinner to use a system of ropes and stanchions, helped guests navigate through this new experience.  It served as a memorable backdrop as the Foundation Fighting Blindness honored extraordinary individuals who made a lasting impression on the fashion community and on the lives of more than 10 million Americans living with blinding retinal diseases.


                                     “Dining in the Dark truly heightens awareness about the challenges visually impaired individuals experience every day,” said Foundation Fighting Blindness CEO Bill Schmidt. “We’re thrilled to recognize the contributions of these fashion industry leaders as we come together to support promising research to ensure brighter futures for people living in darkness.” 


                                    Guests also enjoyed the musical entertainment of Los Gatos del Barrio, a New York based Latino band of legally blind musician.


Over the last 40 years, the Foundation Fighting Blindness has honored the Honorable Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Steve Wynn, Lee Iacocca, J. Willard Marriot, Jr. and Ross & Margot Perot.


WHEN:                                     Wednesday, May 25, 2011


WHERE:                       Ritz Carlton Battery Park New York City


About Foundation Fighting Blindness

The Foundation Fighting Blindness is a national nonprofit driving blindness 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 10 million Americans. In its 40-year history, the Foundation has raised more than $425 million as the leading non-governmental funder of retinal research. With a network of 50 chapters, the Foundation also provides free disease information and low vision resources to affected individuals and their families. Most recently, a breakthrough Foundation-funded study using gene therapy restored significant vision in children and young adults who were previously blind, paving the way for using this method to treat a wide variety of retinal degenerative diseases, and proving a cure is in sight.


Joyce Brooks

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