Vision First

“Vision First”, that was the theme for World Sight Day 2019. Taking place on the second Thursday of October, World Sight Day is a global event that shines a light on blindness and vision impairment. Every year, Student Volunteers in Optometric Service to Humanity (SVOSH) plans one of the largest events to raise funds for this foundation.

The event, titled “Dining in the Dark” takes the challenge of vision impairment and serves it on a dinner plate, literally. It is a unique sensory awareness experience that gives guests a first-hand glimpse into the lives of those with low vision. Guests are invited to attend a formal dinner where the entire culinary experience will be in the dark. As dinner is served, guests put on blindfolds and the lights are turned off in order to experience navigating a simple meal with no vision.

The event takes place in the top floor of the Rosenberg Sky Room located at the University of the Incarnate Word Broadway campus. Before putting their blindfold on, guests can enjoy the magnificent skyline view of Downtown San Antonio, listen to live music, and participate in a silent auction.

This opportunity is open to RSO students, faculty, family, and the public. The servers for the night consist of optometry students; this year, I was one of them. After I helped serve the dinner, which consisted of a side salad, lasagna, and garlic bread, I walked around the tables I was assigned to and assisted with anything the guests needed. Some requests included helping someone find their water, or their fork. My personal favorite task, however, was confirming to one guest that he did, in fact, finish all his food.

The event had live music, brought to you by “The Spectacles,” a band made up of RSO faculty and family, a silent auction, and a raffle. Over 150 tickets were sold with 100% of ticket proceeds being donated to Optometry Giving Sight (OGS).

This year, SVOSH raised over over $5,000 for OGS.

Carolyn Smith, 2019 SVOSH President, shares:

“With a mission designed to inspire the development of ’caring and compassionate health care providers’, I believe we here at RSO have a unique niche. Dining in the Dark is not just a fundraiser, but an opportunity to bring the RSO community together in recognition of World Sight Day- a day dedicated to raising awareness for the blind and visually impaired”.

There is no better example of community and service than Dining in the Dark and those who helped make it possible.

A huge congratulations goes to the SVOSH team for the impact they have made in many lives. We are so proud to play a part in the progress being made.

“Restoring sight can turn a life of poverty, into a life of opportunity. For many people, that’s vision for life.”

-Optometry Giving Sight

Students prepare to serve blindfolded guests

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