02/04/2017 3rd Annual Dining in the Dark Dinner & Dance

Dining in the Dark Logo

The 3rd Annual Lighthouse Dining in the Dark Event Recap

What a wonderful 2017 Dining in the Dark experience. On February 4, 2017, at the Silverthorn County Club, 120+ guests converged to Dine in the Dark and support services for the blind. Before dinner, guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while participating in our Silent Auction, 50/50 Draw, and Selfie Contest; visiting our Assistive Technology Display; and, wearing vision simulators which simulate what is seen with various eye conditions. Then, with the assistance of the Hernando County S.W.A.T. Team using night vision monocles, guests were seated in the dining room where they enjoyed their appetizer in complete darkness. Diners commented, by saying, “I have a new appreciation for the blind,” “Every mouthful was a tasty surprise,” and “It is good for people to do this because it’s such an eye-opening experience.” After the appetizer, the lights came up and guests continued with their meal, some still wearing simulator glasses and blindfolds. The evening wrapped up with speeches, and then dancing thanks to the compelling beat of DJ Willie Matos. We also gave our Bright Light Of the Lighthouse Award to Wayne Selk, for going above and beyond to maintain the Lighthouse network.

While our guests had fun with vision simulators, dining and dancing, and participating in various activities, one of the night’s highlights was listening to Carl, a Lighthouse client alumnus, speak about meeting the challenges caused by vision impairment. Carl is a husband and a business owner, and he is hearing and vision impaired. He told us about growing up isolated and alone because of his hearing loss, and how a recent vision loss drove him into emotional darkness. When Carl came to the Lighthouse, he was in need of counseling and training in order to adjust to being deaf-blind. His individualized program included connecting him with others also experiencing a dual-sensory loss, and a strong emphasis on the development of tactual abilities. Carl is now able to use a white cane for safe travel, a computer with access technology to stay connected, and braille to read and write independently. He is confident and at peace and says he is a better person because of his life’s experience and because of Lighthouse services.

Read more about Carl on our website.

Read Residents Dine in the Dark to Support the Lighthouse, published in the The Suncoast News, Spring Hill Beacon in March 2017.

Thank you to our donors, sponsors, guests, committee members, staff, volunteers, and Silverthorn, for coming out on February 4, 2017 to Dine in the Dark, and for contributing to the success of this very important event that raises awareness and funds for services for people who are visually impaired and blind.

Thanks to Photos by J David for capturing our 2017 Dining in the Dark event. You can also view this video of our 2017 Dining in the Dark, provided by DJ Willie & Joe Ferdinando:

Our 2017 Sponsors and Supporters


  • SunTrust Bank


  • Citarella Termite & Pest Management
  • PDQ

Silent Auction Donors

  • Addome Bella Spa
  • Black Diamond Ranch
  • Capelli Hair Salon
  • Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Inc.
  • Chefs of Napoli
  • Shawn Foster
  • Guido’s Pizza Cafe & Restaurant
  • Holiday Inn Harbourside Indian Rocks Beach
  • Island Grove Wine Company
  • Lenorative Yoga
  • Live Oak Theatre Company
  • Luigi’s Pizza
  • PRP Wine International, Inc.
  • Bill & Mary Repper
  • Rocco’s Pizza
  • Jennifer Selk/Suncoast Clinical Research
  • Harold Seltzer’s Steakhouse
  • Silverthorn Country Club
  • Up 4 Breakfast

Other Donors & Special Thanks

  • ABCO Graphics & Commercial Print
  • Angie Bonfardino/United Way of Hernando
  • Daffodil Hill Florist
  • Barbara De Simone
  • F.I. Grey & Son, Inc. Realtor
  • Terry & Mary Haas
  • Sam & Roseann Hammock
  • Captain James T. Powers, Jr. & Hernando County Sheriff’s Office
  • Nikki Lyon
  • John & Debbie Mann
  • Alvin Nienhuis II
  • Patriot Lending
  • Photos by J David
  • Bruce & Maria Pienkos
  • Publix Super Markets, Inc.
  • Ed Quigley/Quigley CPA
  • Spring Hill Central Rotary Foundation, Inc.
  • Staywell

Dining in the Dark Committee

  • J. Bruce Pienkos (Event Chair)
  • Maria Pienkos
  • Aaron Lyon
  • John & Debbie Mann
  • Joseph & Susan Mayer
  • Stefan & Rachel Mayerschoff
  • Captain James Powers
  • Mark & Zima Schrecongost

The 4th Annual Dining in the Dark

Same as webpage3rd Annual Event Flyer to be replaced soon!


Saturday, February 10, 2018, Reception at 6:00 p.m., Dinner at 7:00 p.m.
Silverthorn Country Club, 4550 Golf Club Lane, Spring Hill, FL 34609
For reservations, corporate tables & sponsorship:
Pasco (727) 815-0303 | Hernando (352) 754-1132 | sperez@lvib.org

If you would like to be on the event mailing list for the 2018 event, please email events@lvib.org. You can also show your support by sending a Dining in the Dark email to your friends & family.

About Dining in the Dark

Dining in the Dark is held in velvety darkness with interludes of light, allowing for diners to enjoy their appetizer in complete darkness, while providing them with a choice of eating their main course and dessert ‘with their eyes’ or while wearing a blindfold or simulator glasses. The simulation in vision impairment allows your sense of taste, smell, and touch to take over; you savor sensuous tastes, smells and textures, while challenging your palate to tease out the mysteries of the menu. Dining in the Dark is also a fundraiser, back by popular demand, in support of Lighthouse services for people who are visually impaired and blind.

Don’t miss out—seats are limited. Black tie is optional. 

Click here to view the 3rd Annual Dining in the Dark slideshow

Diners enter in the dark wearing blindfolds

The room was dark for the first course but we had our guests wear blindfolds going into the room since there was light in the hallway.