Wexford charity hosts a dinner with a difference

By Amy lewis

Published 14/07/2015 | 00:00

Photos from the Dining in the Dark event in Navan
Photos from the Dining in the Dark event in Navan
The Dining in the Dark event in Navan took place several months ago and it was a huge success.

Diners will be left out in the dark when they take part in an unusual event that promises a feast full of surprises.

Guests at the NCBI Dining in the Dark dinner are invited to surrender their sight and succumb to other senses by eating a three-course meal while blindfolded.

The event, which takes place in Whites of Wexford on July 25, was set up to raise money for the National Council for the Blind of Ireland. It is the first fundraiser of its kind to be held in Wexford, following a similar one in Navan in recent months.

It's sure to be a dinner party like no other. Diners will be invited to take their seats at tables of 10, before being blindfolded by an NCBI representative and awaiting their meal. Natasha Harpur, manager of the NCBI shop in Wexford, is one of the members who will be present on the night. For her, the use of the blindfold is very significant.

'It will show people what the blind and visually-impaired have to go through on a day to day basis,' said Natasha, whose mother founded the idea for the event. 'Meals can be a difficulty. They have to cope with trying to find their knife and fork in front of them several times a day.'

Those who feel uneasy about the blindfold will be able to take it off at any stage, but not without consequences.

'People who remove their blindfold will be obliged to put a €5 donation in the kitty jar on their table,' she said.

Once hunger is sated, a blind auction will be held with Jimmy Gahan from South East Radio acting as MC. Guests must judge an item based on its description as they will unable to see what they are bidding for.

Singer Tina Dunbar and the Wexford Improv Group will also be in attendance to keep guests entertained until the end of the night.

In addition to raising some much-needed funds for the NCBI, Natasha hopes that the event will help to spread awareness about the charity.

'For years, nobody knew what the NCBI was about at all,' she said. 'We still have some work to do to get the name out there.'

The event has already received plenty of support from local figures, including Cllr. George Lawlor who printed the posters and tickets. The organisers have also received donations from local businesses, such as a hamper from Sam McCauley's and tickets for the Opera House.

Tickets are available from the NCBI store for €25. €10 will go to the NCBI, with the remainder going to Whites.

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