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Blindfolded moms will brunch with Guiding Paws’ puppies

Dogs training program wants to teach about visual impairment

Midas%2C+a+two-year-old+guide+dog%2C+trained+with+the+Guiding+Paws+of+the+Palouse+last+winter.
Midas, a two-year-old guide dog, trained with the Guiding Paws of the Palouse last winter.

Midas, a two-year-old guide dog, trained with the Guiding Paws of the Palouse last winter.

Courtesy of Guiding Paws of the Palouse

Courtesy of Guiding Paws of the Palouse

Midas, a two-year-old guide dog, trained with the Guiding Paws of the Palouse last winter.

KATIE GROVES, Evergreen reporter

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To raise awareness for and educate about blindness, Guiding Paws of the Palouse is hosting its fourth annual Blindfold Brunch.

Guiding Paws of the Palouse is a training club under the organization Guide Dogs for the Blind, and one of more than 400 of its kind on the West Coast alone. Amanda Amore, co-founder of the training club, said they match puppies with “raisers” who take them for one year. Each puppy will have one to two raisers.

Brunch will come from Happy Day Catering, according to the event website. Guests will have the opportunity to spend a few hours learning what it’s like to live with a visual impairment, and to experience some of the day-to-day challenges the visually impaired face.

In addition to the Blindfold Brunch, this year’s speaker is Nicole Schultz-Kass and her guide dog Figaro.

As a member of the Mommies with Guides alumni chapter, Schultz-Kass is highly involved and has volunteered at Camp Guide Dogs for the Blind, a camp for children with visual impairments.

Schultz-Kass will help with the education aspect of the event. She has progressively lost her eyesight, Amore said, and will teach people about what it means to be blind.

After checking in at the Chinook, guests can expect to be blindfolded and walked to their table with a sighted human guide. Guests will then eat brunch and move on to fun tactile games, all without sight, said Guiding Paws of the Palouse co-founder Chandler Fish.

The event will include a maze in the Chinook and an obstacle course. There will also be a photo booth with guide dogs to take pictures with, and a merchandise table with Mom’s Weekend apparel and guide dog items, Amore said.

Amore and Fish will table on the Glenn-Terrell Friendship Mall outside the CUB and the Chinook, selling tickets for the event.

“We helped create it in the beginning, and seeing it grow and become more popular has been really cool,” she said. “[We hope] it stays being successful.”

The main goal of this event is education, Amore said.

“While you can tell someone to pretend to be blind for a day, and then go through the day pretending to be blind, that doesn’t really do much,” she said. “To physically blindfold people and have them eat a meal, they realize they need to use other senses.”

This event will take place from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Chinook Student Center. Tickets are available at Guide Dogs of the Palouse’s website on Eventbrite. Guests can also go to the event Facebook page and use the link there to purchase them for $25.

“It really is a fun event,” Fish said, “and something that people [hopefully] learn so much from.”

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Blindfolded moms will brunch with Guiding Paws’ puppies