RENDEZVOUS Resort has partnered with the St Lucia Blind Welfare Association in order to raise funds for the blind and visually impaired. As part of this new initiative, Rendezvous Resort will be hosting an exquisite Valentine’s Sensory Gourmet Dinner under the theme “Dine in the Dark” on Valentine’s Day, Friday 14th February. Persons at this dinner will be blindfolded during their meal. According to Rendezvous Resort, this experience will heighten the other senses, thus giving the individual increased gastronomic pleasure.
Proceeds from this dinner will be used to facilitate the acquisition of various equipment and resources needed for the continued operation of the Blind Welfare Association. The announcement of this special five-course dinner was made yesterday by Jacqueline Scott, Corporate Social Responsibility Officer for Rendezvous Resort.
Speaking on behalf of Rendezvous Resort, Scott remarked, “As an organisation, vision is one of our priority areas and we’ve been supporting the Blind Welfare Association for a while now. As we understand, they are facing financial difficulties and it’s quite a lot for a non-profit organisation to be able to meet all of its expenses and still be able to deliver services at an optimal level.” She continued, “We understand what their situation is and we really want to come in and support them,” hence the fund-raising dinner. The “Dine in the Dark” Valentine’s dinner will be available for the public at a cost of US $120 per person.
Scott said that persons attending the dinner would not only be supporting the Blind Welfare Association but would also receive the unique experience of dining in the dark. She said, “On Valentine’s Day people take their loves out for dinner and we would like to offer you a special experience; your dinner with a difference this year.” She said the dinner would sensitise people to the experience of the blind, and that it would give persons the opportunity of knowing what it is like to do ordinary things without sight. She affirmed that persons would enjoy the “Dine in the Dark” dinner with a great sense of intrigue, adding that flavours would be intensified when people cannot see what it is they are eating.
To elaborate on the experience more vividly, Rendezvous Resort invited media personnel to a meal blindfolded. Persons reported that they experienced a heightened sense of smell, touch, taste and greater consciousness throughout the meal.
Anthony Avril, Executive Director of the St Lucia Blind Welfare Association, was also present at this activity. In relation to the dinner, he said, “For a brief moment you will be entering the world of people who are living with blindness and vision impairment 24 hours a day.” He continued, “The purpose of it [the dinner] is to help one appreciate the challenges that people like myself face on a day to day basis. However, your comfort level is once you take off the blindfold, you are back to 2020 vision.”
Avril extended gratitude to Rendezvous Resort for aiding the association. He said that funds raised from the dinner would be used to purchase equipment for services and education programmes for children with blindness and vision impairment. Avril said it was the goal of the Association to invigorate its rehabilitation programme, adding, “It’s a very critical one because this is where we try to help people who are blind or have low vision, to reconnect to their society.” He said the Association was keen on holding onto its sports programme by continuing to support blind cricket.
The Association’s Executive Director touched on how important it was for them to carry on with the eye-health programme, stating, “We run a clinic and we provide a variety of services including the island’s only paediatric ophthalmic service addressing children affected by blinding eye conditions. The Association also assists the visually impaired in accessing employment.”
In closing, Avril stated, “The Association is badly in need of the support that corporate citizens like Rendezvous Resort are offering. It is very critical, so we would like to encourage Saint Lucians and friends of Saint Lucia to participate and support this dynamic activity.”