Hey MindsEye friends, Paul here! On March 8th, we held our 51st annual MindsEye Soiree, and let me tell you, it was a blast. If you weren’t able to make it but are curious about the event, you’re in luck because this week’s blog will be a recap of the evening.

Cocktail Hour

The doors opened at 6:00 on the dot, and as guests started to arrive, they were ushered into a beautifully decorated room with floor-to-ceiling windows and a spectacular view, albeit a little gray, of Forest Park. The guests were then dazzled by the magical talents of Zi the Mentalist as he darted from group to group, reading and blowing minds. 

Spirits were high as guests perused the silent auction and sampled the delectable hors d’oeuvres, partaking in the wide variety of drinks available at the three open bars that had been placed around the room.  

Dinner Served

After the cocktail hour had concluded and ample time for making merry with friends and acquaintances had been given, the guests were invited to be seated in the dining room. Jason and Pascal took the stage shortly after that, and the program was underway. People raised their paddles for the first time that evening to get one last chance for the Marquee Table Raffle. Demetris Morrow, or D-Mo as he is lovingly known, gave a rousing speech about the Archers, the NBBA World Series, BeepBall as a whole, and what it does for blind athletes worldwide. 

“When I say Archers, you say bullseye!” D-Mo said passionately into the microphone.



The audience erupted into the chant at least three more times as everybody got riled up, smiles and laughter spread across the room, dinner landed on tables, and Haram from Caricature STL got to work on drawing the Marquee table raffle winners.


As dinner started to wind down, the program continued; with Erin from Raising Paddles taking the stage to kick off the live auction with some very tempting items up on the auction block this year. 

We then heard from Rita Howells, a long-time friend, patron and supporter of MindsEye, who told the guests about her experience as someone who has been involved with MindsEye for several decades. 

“What’s behind the success of a successful blind person?” Rita said, sharing with the audience a story of how she teaches fellow clients she works with.

“What’s behind their success is utilizing these kinds of services.” 

Once Rita was finished, we saw the incredible generosity of our donors as they raised their paddles to pledge hundreds, even thousands, of dollars to the mission.


After all the paddles were counted, Erin passed the mic back over to Pascal, who was excited to present the brand-new MindsEye logo to the public for the first time. A significant departure from the sharp corners and serif font of the old logo, the new logo and brand colors breathe new life into the organization and embrace the expansion of our programs and the inclusion of so many new faces that are discovering us for the first time. 

Pascal stands in front of new MindsEye logo, an icon of an eye with a curved line above and below a horizontal line with a circle in the center.


Once the guests had time to soak in the new logo, Jason presented the honorees, Randy Karraker from ESPN 101, Eric Warnhoff from Lighthouse for the Blind St. Louis, and Patty Donnelly, their awards – individuals, businesses and organizations that have been the backbone of our community for years. Check out our blog all about Patty Donnelly.

After Party

As the program concluded, many people made their way from the dining room to collect their silent auction winnings, grab another drink and mingle with other guests, all while DJ Rail Durrty played the best of jams to close out the evening. 

If you would like to see more photos of the event, check out our Facebook page, where we have uploaded all of them to an album. Facebook

Soiree guests posing for a group photo during cocktail hour.

Special Thanks

I wanted to give a massive thank you to everyone who made this event possible;

  • All the volunteers who came to help out with the games, registration and set up/clean up. 
  • Sarah Holt who volunteered as a Stage Manager for the program.
  • Stan, Stan and the guys from Stanco for spending hours getting the A/V up and running.
  • Myles Marshall and the people from Sonesta.
  • Anthony Torralba & Valerie Goldston for taking incredible pictures during the evening.
  • The MindsEye Staff
  • The Soiree Committee Debbie Andrews, Debbie Lavelle, Patty Donnelly, and Shawna Lyons.
  • Deaf inc. ASL Interpreters Rachel and Eric.
  • And, of course, our amazing sponsors!
Graphic showing the names and logos of the sponsors of the 2024 MindsEye Soiree, Lighthouse for the Blind St. Louis, Ameren Illinois, Mark and Kathy Slocomb, The Muny, Hoffman and Slocomb LLC, Jones Family Charitable Fund, John and Patty Slocomb, The Bolen Family, Heffernan Insurance Brokers, DeNatale Media, Happy Hour Sports Bar, Stanco Productions, Lohr Distributing, Anheuser-Busch.

End Result

After all was said and done, we raised over $100,000 that night, thanks to everyone who came out and participated. It’s because of you that we can continue to further the mission and grow as the community needs us to. I hope that if you couldn’t make it out this year, you can join us next time. As always, I hope you enjoyed this post, I’ll catch you all on the next one.

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