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Dining Out for Life: Fight HIV/AIDS by Going Out for Dinner

By Warren Tong

April 26, 2011

On Thursday, April 28, you can enjoy a great meal while, at the same time, supporting the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Dining Out for Life is an annual dining fundraising event that raises money for HIV/AIDS service organizations in the U.S. and Canada. The concept is simple: On April 28, you eat breakfast, lunch or dinner at any of the more than 3,500 participating restaurants in 56 cities across North America. The restaurant then donates a portion of the proceeds to a particular HIV/AIDS organization in that area. (The portion donated varies by location. The local HIV/AIDS organization that receives the money signed up for the event by paying a $1,000 licensing fee.)

Last year, the event raised $4 million total. This year, the organizers aim to surpass that amount.

The campaign's spokesperson, Ted Allen, host of Food Network's hit series Chopped, said he was eager to get involved. "It is more important than ever to keep HIV/AIDS on the front burner," he said. "Too many people think it's a minor problem solved by swallowing a few pills. It isn't."

Allen added, "Dining Out for Life is an easy and fun way to support a great cause. Gather a group of friends and have a good meal amongst others in your community that are there for the same reason. The generous contributions by participating restaurants go a long way to help AIDS service providers in a time of major funding cutbacks."

This is the 20-year anniversary of Dining Out for Life, which was started in 1991 by a volunteer for ActionAIDS in Philadelphia, Pa.

At a time when U.S. AIDS Drug Assistance Program cutbacks keep growing and many HIV/AIDS assistance budgets are shrinking, why not help out and have a good time in the process? See if your city is participating and find a restaurant by visiting Dining Out for Life.

Warren Tong is the research editor for and

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