Caption: A diner at YNot Pizza in Virgina, who supports the Hampton Road 5K VisionWalk and Foundation Fighting Blindness, wears a simulation mask of either macular degeneration or retinitis pigmentosa when eating her meal.

When Virginia patrons stop by YNot Pizza April 8, they will support the Foundation Fighting Blindness with a donation, and they also will be offered an opportunity to experience a meal from a unique perspective: Dining in the Dark.

From 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., YNot owners have agreed to donate 10% of proceeds from all four restaurant locations to support an upcoming VisionWalk.

“They do this at all four locations: two in Virginia Beach, one in Chesapeake and one in Norfolk,” said Gilda Solomon, co-chair of the 3rd Annual Hampton Roads 5K VisionWalk, which is planned for April 27.

She and her husband, Chesapeake dentist Albert P. Solomon, DDS have been involved with the foundation for several years.

“Albert participated in the walk last year,” she added.

And though patrons are not required to wear them at the Dining in the Dark event, simulation masks of either macular degeneration or retinitis pigmentosa will be available to be worn when ordering from the menu and eating meals.

Created in Germany, the Dining in the Dark concept arrived in America in 2005. The Foundation Fighting Blindness hosts Dining in the Dark events in cities across the nation to raise awareness about the impact of retinal degenerative diseases and to generate funds for sight-saving research. By challenging guests to navigate a meal without sight, the eye-opening experience shines light on the Foundation’s important mission to prevent, treat and cure vision-robbing diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration and related conditions.

The April 8 event in Virginia, organized completely by the volunteers in the market, is led by Debra Laughlin and Solomon.

Find out more about the Foundation Fighting Blindness at: and details about the April Dining in the Dark and VisionWalk fundraisers in Virginia at: