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Dining Out for Life: April 26

by Lisa Lipsey
Wednesday Apr 18, 2012

Tie on a red ribbon as a reminder to get out in the gayborhood and get some grub-breakfast, lunch and dinner-on Thursday, April 26. Don't miss The Center's 6th annual Dining Out for Life! With so many restaurants to choose from, it's going to be an international smorgasbord!

You know, because you participated the last five years, right? Each year Dining Out for Life San Diego has raised as much as $100,000 in support of The Center's crucial HIV/AIDS programs and prevention services. Their various programs from testing to behavioral health, to food and culturally sensitive/bilingual education and support reach more than 16,000 people annually.

This event won't succeed without you! "In six years, Dining Out for Life San Diego has grown from 40 participating restaurants to more than 100 participating venues. The Center is grateful to all the San Diegans who have generously committed to the growth of this much-needed event. It's really been a win-win for all involved," said Amber Cyphers Stephens, The Center's Director of Communications. "While it's difficult to gauge an exact number of event attendees, we know thousands of people participate in Dining Out for Life. Some people make a day of it and go out for all three meals," says Stephens.

Are you a hostess with the most-ess? The Center needs volunteers throughout the day at each restaurant. "One of the most exciting ways people participate is by volunteering. Dining Out for Life San Diego utilizes nearly 200 volunteers that reach out to thousands of San Diegans on the day of the event. Their effort helps ensure the event's success and increases HIV awareness throughout our city, which impacts an even larger group of people," said Stephens. Contact Jerry Tomszewicz Volunteer Coordinator at 619.692.2077 x 202. The next Volunteer Ambassador training is Tuesday, April 3.

Reservations are already happening. "But if you show up at a restaurant and it's busy, remember that funds raised include liquor sales and bar bites, so hang out at the bar." Says Event Coordinator Christopher Mills, who is new to The Center, but ran a similar successful event for The Chicken Soup Brigade while living in Seattle, Washington.

Mills' main goal is to get groups, clubs, and companies to adopt a restaurant. "We've got senior groups, Bank of America, the Flag Football League, softball teams, swim teams, etc. But we can use more, so sign-up! Have fun with friends and show your support. Also, if everyone can take a minute to promote it on Facebook; tell your friends where you are going to eat. That really helps us out."

When you get to a restaurant, be sure to also make a donation. "All donations of $25 or more will receive a 20 percent Off Tuesday' thank you card good for 20 percent off the food bill at opt-in bars and restaurants every Tuesday for an entire year. Cards will be mailed to recipients in mid-May and are valid June 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013," says Mills.

Find your favorite restaurant (conveniently organized by neighborhood) and plan your dining schedule for Thursday, April 26 at: Bon App├ętit!

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