Local celebrity Travis Freeman, who played football at Corbin High School despite being blind, is inviting people to experience a part of his world on March 18.
The Freeman Foundation is hosting the fourth annual Lights Out Dinner in the Dark at The Corbin Center.
While previous meals have featured have featured spaghetti, chicken breast, and even roast beef, Freeman said this year’s menu will feature chicken alfredo with pasta and broccoli.
“People love the experience. They have a ton of fun,” Freeman said.
“I want to give people different challenges such as trying to cut the chicken breast,” he said of the menu choices.
This year’s featured speaker will be extreme sports athlete Lonnie Bedwell.
The U.S. Navy veteran has been blind since 1997 when he lost his sight following a hunting accident.
Since then, Bedwell has embraced life, seeking out new challenges, becoming an extreme sports star.
Among the challenges he has met are, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, rock climbing, downhill skiing, and successfully traversing the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon in a kayak.
“He was with a group of kayakers, but was actually in a kayak by himself,” Freeman said of Bedwell.
Space is limited to 100 people. Dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 8 and under.
Tickets may be purchased through the Freeman Foundation Facebook page, or by calling Freeman at (859) 619-0663.
Freeman lost his eyesight at age 12, due to complications from surgery.
His story was recounted in the book, “Lights Out,” which was the basis for the movie, “23 Blast.”
Freeman said while food doesn’t taste different, he can definitely tell a difference in how it smells after losing his sight.
“A cheeseburger still smells like a cheeseburger,” Freeman said explaining that while it doesn’t smell different, he is more aware of the different smells of food as his other senses adjust for his loss of sight.
Proceeds from the event go to the foundation, which exists to promote awareness and understanding of the needs and potential of individuals with disabilities.
The foundation is continually seeking individuals, businesses and organizations across the region and the state to host either a dinner or Lights Out 5K race.
Anyone interested in doing so, may email the Freeman Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org
The foundation has established a partnership with an orphanage in Haiti that houses children with disabilities.
“These children receive one meal a day, and live in horrible conditions. A portion of the money raised by the foundation goes to raise the necessary funds for a second meal per day,” foundation officials stated on the website www.travisfreeman.org.