Foundation Fighting Blindness To Honor Jonathan Adler and Elaine Gold at Fashion Ball: Dining in the Dark

May 22 Event Offers First-Hand Glimpse into the Lives of the Blind to Support Sight-Saving Research

New York, NY (March 26, 2013) — The Foundation Fighting Blindness, a national nonprofit focused on vision-saving research, will honor fashion industry leaders Jonathan Adler, founder and CEO of Jonathan Adler Enterprises; and Elaine Gold, founder and president of  Elaine Gold Enterprises, with Visionary Awards at its 3rd Annual New York Fashion Ball: Dining in the Dark. The unique fundraiser, taking place Wednesday, May 22, at The Plaza Hotel, will give diners a first-hand glimpse into the lives of the blind by challenging guests to eat their entrée in complete blackness. Proceeds will benefit sight-saving research into preventions, treatments and cures for retinal diseases like macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa that affect more than 10 million Americans. Serving as Master of Ceremonies will be writer, fashion personality and famous window dresser Simon Doonan.

The unforgettable Dining in the Dark awareness experience will last approximately 30 minutes, while visually impaired servers, trained especially for the event, share their stories and use a system of ropes and stanchions to help guests navigate this new culinary journey of heightened smell, sound, taste and touch. Created in Germany, Dining in the Dark is a one-of-a kind concept that has been enjoyed by many people across Europe before moving to America in 2005.

“The experience of Dining in the Dark opens guests’ eyes to what people like me, who have a vision impairment, deal with on a daily basis,” says Dinner Co-Chair Evan Mittman, of Armonk, New York. A Foundation Fighting Blindness board member and CEO of Cipriani Accessories, Mittman didn’t let a sight-robbing genetic disease stand in his way of building one of the largest companies in the accessories industry. “Our hope is to shine light on the impact of retinal disease while raising funds for cutting-edge research in promising areas like gene therapy, stem cells and pharmaceutical treatments. The evening’s deserving honorees, Jonathan Adler and Elaine Gold, are visionaries in the fashion industry, just as the Foundation Fighting Blindness is a visionary committed to ending blindness.”

Iconic potter, designer, author, and personality Jonathan Adler launched his internationally recognized design brand in 1993 with a collection of pottery.  He has since expanded his collection to include home furnishings, bath accessories, gifts, bedding, lighting, handbags and more. Adler’s original Manhattan boutique has grown into over 20 stores worldwide, an e-commerce site, and a wholesale business with over 1,000 locations globally. Also an author of four books, the design expert released 100 Ways to Happy Chic Your Life last November to help people live happily and stylishly.

Also receiving the Visionary Award is accessories maven Elaine Gold, who began her career in an entry-level position at Vera Industries and worked her way up to become vice president of merchandising there. The savvy businesswoman went on to launch Anne Klein’s popular scarf line, form a fashion division for Totes, bring Ellen Tracy to market, and introduce Jones New York. Elaine Gold Enterprises, LLC was formed in 2003 when she licensed the United States Postal Service to use the magnificent archives of stamp art on fashion accessories. Private Label for major designers as well as retailers all using print and color is what the company is known for. Gold’s enthusiasm for the business is shared by many, and she serves on many industry Boards here and abroad, and is an Honorary Fellow of Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art in Israel.

Co-chairing the Fashion Ball with Mittman is Kay White, vice president of Dilliard’s. Individual tickets are available for $500 each and sponsorship packages begin at $5,000. For ticket and sponsorship information, contact Lisa Gallipoli at or (212) 244-1470, or visitDiningInTheDark. To request media credentials to Dine in the Dark, or to coordinate an interview with an event spokesperson, contact Allie Gebhardt at 410-423-0643 or


New York Fashion Ball: Dining in the Dark, Benefiting the Foundation Fighting Blindness


The Plaza Hotel
Fifth Avenue at 58th Street
New York, NY 10019


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

6 p.m. Cocktail Reception
7-9 p.m. Award Presentations & Dining in the Dark

About Foundation Fighting Blindness

The Foundation Fighting Blindness is a national non-profit organization driving the research that will lead to preventions, treatments and cures for retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, Usher syndrome and the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases that affect more than 10 million Americans. Since 1971, the Foundation has raised more than $500 million as the leading non-governmental funder of retinal research. Breakthrough Foundation-funded studies using gene therapy have restored significant vision in children and young adults who were previously blind, paving the way for additional clinical trials to treat a variety of retinal degenerative diseases. With a coveted four-star rating from Charity Navigator, the Foundation also has nearly 50 chapters that provide support, information and resources to affected individuals and their families in communities across the country.

Original Date: 
Tuesday, March 26, 2013