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Black Ties & Blindfolds raises funds & awareness for blindness research & cures

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Visually impaired people and their friends and families enjoyed food, music and fun Saturday at the 5th annual Black Ties & Blindfolds at the FSCJ Wilson Center for the Arts.

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Over 100 people attended the gala-style fundraiser benefiting the Foundation Fighting Blindness. Guests bid on silent auction items such as restaurant gift cards, sports memorabilia, and museum memberships. The guests also had the opportunity to experience what it's like to be blind as they listened to guest speakers while blindfolded. Guest speakers included Allison Miller, special assistant to Mayor Alvin Brown; Brendon Cavainolo, VisionWalk youth chair; Adriann Keve, Jacksonville Chapter vice president of the Foundation Fighting Blindness and VisionWalk media chair, and Megan Mauney, VisionWalk chair.

After the guest speakers, MOMS for Sight executive director and Black Ties & Blindfolds host Lisa Pleasants and Mauney presented the organization's first Visionary Award to low vision teacher Elaine Pozin for her dedication to helping students with visual impairments learn to adjust to life with low vision.

Black Ties & Blindfolds raised over $4000 through ticket sales and the silent auction, Pleasants aid in an email on Wednesday. Proceeds will benefit the Foundation Fighting Blindness via the 6th Annual Jacksonville VisionWalk.

Pleasants was thrilled with the results of her fundraising efforts and hopes to grow the event more each year, she said in an interview on Thursday. She added:

We raised thousands of dollars to support research, but more importantly we raised awareness and strengthened our community and support for people with visual impairments and their families.

Black Ties & Blindfolds is a fundraiser benefiting the Jacksonville VisionWalk that takes place April 26 at the University of North Florida. For more information on the VisionWalk, please visit the website or contact Kim Marlow at 954-496-0776 or kmarlow@fightblindness.org.

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