Annual Dining in the Dark event returns to Savannah

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — The fourth annual Dining in the Dark event returns to Savannah over the weekend.

Hosted by the Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision, the Saturday evening event gives guests a unique glimpse into what it would be like to be totally blind.

The event runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and begins with a cocktail party and silent auction. 

Then, guests will be led into the dark by the Savannah Police Department’s SWAT team, who will use their night vision technology to guide the guests through a three-course meal provided by the chefs at 39 Rue de Jean. 

“I think one of the main things to know is don’t wear your best dress or your best shirt, because it does tend to get messy, but that’s just part of the fun,” said Lois Modell, the executive director of the Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision.

Modell tells News 3 that their SWAT team partners have been involved since the event started four years ago. 

“The first time out with this event, we said, ‘We have to have somebody who can see in the dark,’ so the natural outcome was the SWAT team,” Modell said.

“But it’s evolved since then, and over the last four years, we’re such a good partnership, and everybody in the community learns to look at these guys in a different light, even though there is no light.”

The event which is hosted by the Charles C. Taylor & Samir Nikocevic Charitable Foundation and Georgia Eye Institute, is anticipated to be a sellout, says Tara Reese, event chair for the Dining in the Dark event.

“Last year, the center raised $105,000, and we’re hoping to meet or exceed that,” Reese said. 

She attended 2019’s event, which brought together more than 350 guests.

“Last year when I was in the ballroom, I was looking through some of the night vision goggles with our SWAT Team, and there were people picking up the wine and setting it down and knocking the desserts, spilling stuff all over the place, but luckily we’ve never made a mess on the floor,” Reese said.

For those interested in the unique dining experience, the Dining in the Dark event takes place on Saturday, Jan. 18 at the Embassy Suites located at 605 W. Oglethorpe Ave.

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