[Sheena Sergeant, Lisa Martella. Taken at Dining Out for Life launch, Coast Restaurant's O Lounge]
Founded in 1991, Dining Out for Life is an annual HIV/AIDS fundraiser that 55 North American cities actively participate in. To date, the event has raised over $3 million. In Vancouver, that amount translates to 250 restaurants aiming to raise $200,000 in support of people living with HIV/AIDS.
A few facts about Dining Out for Life:
- Dine out for breakfast, lunch or dinner at any of the 250 participating restaurants from Whistler to White Rock and across the Fraser Valley
- A couple spending $140 at a Dining Out for Life restaurant will provide meals for 10 people through Friends For Life and A Loving Spoonful
- The Gastown/Downtown Eastside maintains the highest HIV infection rate in North America, affecting 30 per cent of the local population, mainly women
- In 2009, the majority of AIDS cases were reported in Ontario (50.9%), followed by British Columbia (25.0%), and Alberta (16.1%)
- Friends For Life provides holistic support services to people living with HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses
- A Loving Spoonful provides free, nutritious meals to men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS in Metro Vancouver
[Sheena Sergeant, Executive Director of Friends For Life; Ned Bell, Executive Chef at YEW; Lisa Martella, Executive Director of A Loving Spoonful]
This year, Executive Chef Ned Bell of YEW at the Four Seasons Hotel will team up with the Dining Out for Life organization as honorary chef to help this vital fundraiser benefitting 18,000 British Columbians currently living with HIV/AIDS.
Bell is “excited to have this opportunity, together with Yew restaurant + bar to support two great organizations that provide invaluable nutrition and therapeutic services – Friends for Life and A Loving Spoonful. Dining Out for Life is about giving back to the community and also giving yourself a break. What a better way to give than to treat yourself and your friends for a night out on the town.”
The big day is Thursday, March 29. 250 Dining out for Life participating restaurants will contribute 25% of their food sales to support both A Loving Spoonful and Friends for Life. As well, event sponsor Stella Artois will donate $1 from every bottle of beer sold throughout the evening.
Click here to locate a participating Dining Out for Life restaurant across the Lower Mainland. Support two vital organizations at once and perhaps even discover a new favourite dining spot in the process!
Photo courtesy of Wink Photography.