4th ''Dinner in the Dark'' to Benefit Inherited Retinal Disease Community Oct 14

Mystic, CT – Tickets are on sale for the annual culinary adventure, Dinner In the Dark, taking place Saturday, October 14, 2017 at the Mystic Marriott Hotel & Spa.
Now in its fourth year, Dinner in the Dark is the major annual fundraiser for Sofia Sees Hope, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to funding research and providing education and support to families affected by blindness caused by Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) and other rare inherited retinal diseases.
This event comes at a critical time for the retinal disease community.  “With advances in research like CRISPR and gene therapy, and successful clinical trials reversing blindness in children, we have more than just hope that cures on the horizon,” says Laura Manfre, organization co-founder and board president.  “Now more than ever, it is critical that our patient community is supported, educated and informed, understands our role in moving research forward, and makes our voices heard in industry and policy. We rely on Dinner in the Dark to fund our mission and keep research moving forward.”
This dinner is a true culinary adventure — guests will dine with a blindfold on and the menu is a secret! The Mystic Marriott’s Chef enjoys this challenge of creating an exclusive menu that appeals to all of the senses. New this year, wine pairings are provided by Angelini Wine along with their producers, Il Borro Cellars from the Ferragamo estate in Tuscany, and Carpenè Malvolti in Veneto. Another new addition are the “Majestic Pearls”, donated by jeweler Simply Majestic in Mystic.   
The keynote speaker this year is David Brint, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Foundation Fighting Blindness. Brint has helped lead FFB’s research efforts for more than 15 years and is currently Vice Chairman of Research.  Brint has a personal connection to inherited retinal degenerative diseases as his son, Alan, is affected by LCA.
Dinner in the Dark begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday, October 14, at the Mystic Marriott Hotel & Spa. Tickets are $150 per person or $2,020 for a 20/20 Vision Table Patron. In 2016, this event sold out early and is expected to do the same this year.
The evening includes a live auction with exciting travel packages, an experience with award-winning pastry chef, Chef Franck Iglesias, from Cake by Franck, and more. The festivities end with music by The Cartells and dancing. Be prepared for a unique menu, fine wines, and sensory adventure! Tickets are available at www.sofiaseeshope.org
Event sponsors include:

  • Mohegan Tribe
  • Simply Majestic
  • Renewal By Andersen / Window of Giving
  • Yale New Haven Health/Lawrence + Memorial Hospital
  • Mystic Aquarium
  • Spark Therapeutics
  • Dominion Resources Services, Inc.
  • A/Z Corporation
  • AGTC
  • Andersen Oil Co.
  • Berry Land Clearing
  • Brown Jacobson
  • Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT
  • Charter Oak Credit Union
  • Chelsea Groton Bank
  • CrossFit Stonington
  • Design Intervention
  • Eye Doctors Elgart, Pinn, Gordon & Elgart
  • Eye Specialists, LLC
  • Eyecare Expressions
  • Foxwoods Resort & Casino
  • Groton Eye Center
  • Hoyt, Filippetti & Malaghan, LLC
  • Kelsar Physical Therapy
  • Lee & Company Salon
  • Le Francois Floral & Gifts
  • Mary-Jo Shultis Photography
  • Miranda Creative
  • Noank Village Boatyard
  • Pine Point School
  • Retina Group of New England
  • Simply Majestic
  • Suisman Shapiro Attorneys-at-Law
  • Sun Media
  • The Morrison Family
  • Universal Package Store
  • Valenti Auto Mall
  • Voice Glance 
In-kind sponsors:
  • Angelini Wine
  • Mary Jo Shultis Photography
  • ABC PhotoLab
  • Clarity Quest Marketing
  • Eighty Six Media
  • Foxwoods Resort and Casino
  • Le François Floral & Gifts
  • Skincare and Wellness on the Thames LLC
  • The Cartells
  • The United States Coast Guard Academy
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About Sofia Sees Hope
Sofia Sees Hope was founded in 2014  by Laura Manfre, whose daughter Sofia has Leber's Congenital Amaurosis (LCA). This rare degenerative genetic condition causes the cones and rods in the retina to deteriorate and eventually leads to total blindness.
The mission of Sofia Sees Hope is to transform the lives of those affected by blindness caused by inherited retinal disease. The nonprofit organization generates awareness, raises funds for diagnosis, treatment, and cures, and supports affected families with financial assistance for medical related travel.