Dining In The Dark: A Sensory Experience

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By John McGee

The Brazos Valley Center For Independent Living will host its 6th Annual Dining In The Dark fundraiser on Saturday, April 7, from 5pm to 10pm at the College Station Hilton. Patrons will dine in complete darkness and rely solely on their other four senses while served by a staff consisting of volunteers who are blind or visually impaired.

“It’s definitely different; I don’t think a lot of people realize how jarring it can be sitting in a room in complete darkness,” says Shelby Catron, the office assistant at BVCIL. “We get rid of all the light in the room. There’s not even light that comes in through the doors. So mentally preparing yourself for something like that is really big, but I love it.”

The multi-course meal consists of food from a mystery menu that won’t be revealed to the guests until the end of the event. Drinks will be available throughout the night, and a silent auction and raffle will take place. Designated staff members will also be available to help participants to their seats or to the restroom, and there is a rope grid for added support.

All revenue raised by this event goes to funding the services and programs provided by BVCIL. “Anything that we do here, like our classes or our advocacy projects, it goes into those programs,” says Catron. Last year’s event raised $17,500, the highest net profit since the event began in 2013.

The event coordinators are always looking for more volunteers, sponsors, and donors to continue growing the event and raising awareness for those with visual impairments, according to Catron.

For tickets, volunteer information, sponsorship information, and more, visit www.dininginthedarkbcs.org.