What is Dining Out For Life?
Dining Out For LifeÂ® is an annual fundraising event involving the generous participation of volunteers, corporate sponsors and restaurants. In exchange for their financial support, restaurants are listed in a city wide marketing campaign in an effort to increase customer traffic.
In 1991, Dining Out For LifeÂ® was created by an ActionAIDS volunteer in Philadelphia. Dining Out is now produced in over 55 cities throughout the United States and Canada.
More than 3,500 restaurants donate a portion of their proceeds from this one special night of dining to the licensed agency in their city. Nearly $4 million dollars a year is raised to support the missions of agencies throughout North America. With the exception of the annual licensing fee of $1,000, all money raised in these cities stays there.
About the 20th Year
April 29, 2010 is the date of the 20th annual Dining Out for Life, when participating restaurants donate one-third of their proceeds to local AIDS service organizations. The idea is simple – dine out, fight AIDS – and strikingly effective. Last year, the nearly 200 restaurants that participated in the Philadelphia event raised $290,000.
“It’s amazing how far we’ve come in the last two decades,” said ActionAIDS executive director Kevin Burns. “In our first year, with just a handful of restaurants in Philly, we raised about $20,000. Today, it is our largest fundraiser. Through the gracious support of the restaurant community, and the thousands of people who dine out that night, we are able to provide
year-round education, testing and life-sustaining support.”
Participating restaurants include London Grill, Mexican Post, Rembrandt’s, Venture Inn, Westbury and Zocalo – all six of which been involved for the last 20 years. Iron Chef Jose Garces – who made a cameo appearance in this year’s Public Service Announcement alongside “Food Network” host Ted Allen and actress Pam Grier – will also participate with five of his local restaurants taking part: Amada, Chifa, Distrito, Tinto and Village Whiskey.
Stephen Starr, whose Starr Restaurant Organization participates in DOFL each year, received last year’s “Friend for Life Award,” along with Subaru of America SVP/Chief Marketing Officer Tim Mahoney. Both advocates were recognized for their commitment to “nourishing charitable, community causes,” said Burns. The awards were announced in a ceremony at Starr’s Parc – one of his 13 Philadelphia restaurants. This year’s winners will be announced on April 29.
ActionAIDS developed Dining Out for Life in 1991, selling it five years later to a newly formed non-profit, Dining Out for Life International, at a price of just $1 so the idea could grow to include other cities. Today, DOFL is held in 53 cities in North America, includes 3,500 restaurants and raises nearly $4 million annually. The monies raised are used to fund care, prevention, education, testing, counseling and other essential AIDS services in each city. It is sponsored by Subaru of America.
A complete list of participating restaurants will be available after March 15. For more information, call 1-877-EAT4LIFE (1-877-328-4543) or go here.
ActionAIDS, a Philadelphia-based organization works in partnership with people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS, to sustain and enhance their quality of life. We provide a range of direct services and take an active and professional approach to leadership in service, education and advocacy. Staff, volunteers and the board of directors are committed to including and assisting people from our heterogeneous community and are responsive to the dynamic needs generated by the epidemic. ActionAIDS is the main fund that Dining For Life proceeds will go to. To learn more about this organization check out its Website.
“Dining Out For Life is an easy way to make a meaningful contribution without spending more than a meal. Thank you for your participation, and help in the fight against AIDS” – Ted Allen, host of the Food Network Shows Food Detective and Chopped.
To learn more about Dining Out For Life, and to get a full list of participating restaurants across the country, check out its Website.