Zosia Ettenberg holds up one of 250 blindfolding masquerade masks that participants will wear while “dining in the dark” during the Langley Pos-Abilities inaugural Masquerade Gala on Oct. 30.

Zosia Ettenberg holds up one of 250 blindfolding masquerade masks that participants will wear while “dining in the dark” during the Langley Pos-Abilities inaugural Masquerade Gala on Oct. 30.

Dining in the dark

Langley Pos-Abilities Society’s blindfolded dinner brings eye opening awareness to those living with disabilities

Eating a meal with a blindfold on can take a bit of adjusting and a lot of creativity, Zosia Ettenberg recalled.

“Initially it was quite scary,” said Ettenberg, founder of the Langley Pos-Abilities Society.

“Until you got the idea of the weight of a little bit of food on a fork, you didn’t know if you were putting an empty fork to your mouth or not. You had to learn to be really careful.”

Ettenberg first attempted to eat blindfolded several years ago at a fundraiser for Langley Pos-Abilities, and on Oct. 30 she is challenging other residents in Langley to do the same.

The society’s inaugural masquerade charity gala is featuring “dinner in the dark” to give patrons a sense of what people who are blind experience every day.

Wearing blacked-out masquerade masks, participants will learn how small tasks, like pouring a glass of water, can change when their sight is gone.

They will be guided through the process by presenter Matt Salli, and the lights will be on for the servers and others working the gala.

“We tried this many years ago and the people were really enthusiastic,” Ettenberg said.

“I learned a lot. For example, it never dawned on me that if you’re dining with a blind person, and you want to talk to that blind person, you probably should say their name. If they’re around a table of eight, like they will be at the event, they won’t have any idea that you’re talking to them, because there’s seven other people at the table.

“So those are little things that you need to learn.”

Hosted by Kevin Evans at Cascades Casino, the gala is a continuation of a recent wheelchair challenge, where participants “try on a disability.”

“We believe if you can understand the disability, you are more likely to embrace the person and include them in your circle of friends,” Ettenberg said.

“If you don’t understand the disability, people may think ‘do I even talk to this person?’

“Knowledge is power.”

The event also features live music, a DJ from 9 p.m. until midnight, “karaoke for the deaf” by Shirley Eu, a silent auction, live auction and surprise gift boxes for sale, one which has a $1,200 stand of pearls inside.

Money raised will go towards purchasing two trailers to transport materials and supplies for the society.     One will be a covered trailer to transport wheelchairs and scooters, and the other will be uncovered to transport a new wheelchair obstacle course.

Tickets for the event are $100 and can be purchased by calling 778-726-0711 or visiting www.langley.pos-abilities.org.

Halloween costumes are also encouraged at the event.