By Anna Jaffray
Today, San Francisco will host its 11th annual Dining Out for Life, a fundraising event for HIV/AIDS services and programs throughout the United States and Canada. Participating restaurants agree to donate 25% of proceeds the night of the event to a local charity. Restaurant ambassadors, volunteers with Dining Out for Life, act as official hosts of their chosen establishment.
Dining Out for Life has raised over $17.2 million dollars towards the fight against HIV/AIDS. In San Francisco alone, the organization has raised over one million dollars through over 100 participating restaurants.
The proceeds from San Francisco’s events will go to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, which seeks to confront HIV in impacted neighborhoods.
According to a release provided by the SF AIDS Foundation, the program is working to distribute 2.4 million sterile syringes; provide 12,000 free HIV tests and screenings for other sexually transmitted infections; offer free prevention support groups to 1,500 people; provide free care coordination services for 600 people living with HIV/AIDS; offer free substance abuse and mental health counseling to 600 clients; and distribute 800,000 free condoms.
Laura Durakovich has been involved with Dining Out for Life as a volunteer and planning committee member for six years. “I look forward to this event every year. The HIV prevention programs that the Foundation provides really make a difference in San Francisco and I am proud to be a part of it as a supporter of Dining Out for Life.”
Sole Anatrone has been an ambassador for five years and planning committee member for four years. “I love Dining Out for Life. The reason it is so easy for me to volunteer is because I look at the event like a big dinner party for all my friends but without having to do the cooking or any of the clean up!”
This group of volunteers, corporate sponsors and restaurants was created in 1991 by an ActionAIDS volunteer in Philadelphia. The event is now featured in 60 U.S. cities and boasts thousands of participants, and is nationally sponsored by Opentable, a fine dining, online reservation network; Subaru; and locally sponsored here in San Francisco by dot429.
Visit the site here for a complete list of participating restaurants, and make the choice to dine out tonight for a good cause.