Residents gathered for a night of charity and good times — part of which they were blindfolded for — at the sixth annual Dinner in the Dark on May 4 at the Rockville Links Club.
The event, held by the Rockville Centre Lions Club, was intended to raise awareness to the challenge of those afflicted with blindness, and fundraise along the way. The group is the oldest international service organization in the world, according to chapter president Joan MacNaughton, and part of their mission is to aid the blind.
During the event, guests put on blindfolds, while Ted Fass, a member of the Lions Club who went blind at about age 12, turned off the lights. They then were asked to try simple tasks, such as eating their dinner while blindfolded, so as to simulate the challenges blind people go through every day.
“When you have a disability, you are the only one that knows what that disability actually feels like,” MacNaughton said. “We wanted to be able to have other people have a basic awareness of the challenges a blind person has to face.” She added that everyone at the event, which featured live music and boasted a Kentucky Derby theme, seemed to have a ball.
This year’s event honorees were longtime Rockville Centre residents Ed Asip and Kevin Mulry.
Asip, a former Lions Club president from 2011 to 2013, currently serves on the Lions Club Board of Directors and on the Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Board as treasurer.
Mulry has lived in Rockville Centre for more than 20 years. He is a member of the St. Agnes Pastoral Council and St. Agnes Fathers’ Club, and is a former president of the St. Agnes school board, as well as a trustee on the Friends of Mercy Medical Center’s Board of Directors.
MacNaughton said the Lions Club raised about $25,000. A portion of the event’s proceeds will benefit an all-inclusive park to be adjacent to the Hickey Park ball field on the corner of North Forest Avenue and Sunrise Highway. It is to be named after longtime Recreation Superintendent Anthony Brunetta, widely known as Mr. B, who died in 2016.