Eat for a cause this week: Dining in the Dark and Dining Out for Life

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Put your dining dollars toward a good cause this week to fund blindness research and to help in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

On Wednesday, April 27, The Foundation Fighting Blindness, a national nonprofit that drives blindness research, is holding the Dining in the Dark event at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club in St. Petersburg. This will be a distinctive sensory awareness experience in which guests dine in complete darkness — for a portion of the meal.

Dining in the Dark will be hosted by Tampa Bay Rays Senior Advisor Dick Crippen and the event will honor the late Edie Loebenberg, co-founder of the Florida Holocaust Museum, and Ronald L. Vaughn, Ph.D., president of The University of Tampa, with Visionary Awards. Mrs. America, April Lufriu, will be speaking at this dinner. Lufriu has two children with the eye disease retinitis pigmentosa (which progressively leads to blindness) and is active with the Foundation Fighting Blindness.

Attendees will get a glimpse into the lives of the blind by wearing special light-blocking blindfolds when the entrée course is served, using only their senses of smell, sound, taste and touch.

Dining Out for Life Tampa Bay is back again this year and taking place at over 75 restaurants across the Bay on Thursday, April 28. Participating restaurants have pledged to donate 25% of diners' meal costs to local organizations that are dedicated to helping the thousands of people in Tampa Bay who are living with HIV/AIDS.

Kelly's For Just About Anything!, Peg's Cantina, Parkshore Grill, Cafe Alam, Datz and Streetcar Charlie's are just a few in the long list of restaurants partaking in this benefit event.

See the Dining Out for Life website to see the complete list of participating restaurants and for more information.

Dining in the Dark: Wednesday, April 27; 6-9 p.m. 501 5th Avenue NE, St. Pete. $150, table packages begin at $2,500. For tickets and sponsorship information, please contact Keytia Ortiz at (954) 308-5555 or [email protected]

Dining Out for Life Tampa Bay: Thursday, April 28; all day (see website for details). diningoutforlife.com/tampabay

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