Dining Out for Life fundrasier to raise awareness and funds for HIV/AIDS

This Thursday, Minnesotans can help raise awareness and funds for HIV/AIDS by simply eating out. On April 24, 45 cities across the nation will be participating in the fourteenth annual Dining Out for Life fundraiser which helps The Awareness Project, an organization for people living with HIV/AIDS.

More than 130 restaurants in Minnesota alone will be participating in the fundraiser. The restaurants participating will donate a portion of each receipt to The Aliveness Project. Several of the restaurants are within five minutes of BSM such a Yum!, McCoy’s, and Barbette’s.

The restaurants are arranged under levels of donations starting from the Platinum level which are restaurants giving 35 percent or more from each bill to the Bronze level which are restaurants donating 15-19% of each bill.

The donations will go straight to The Aliveness Project services. The Aliveness Project offers HIV/AIDS awareness education, on-site meals, a food shelf, holiday baskets, resources libraries, and complementary counseling—all at its community center. More than 1,450 people use the services each year.

Executive Director of The Aliveness Project, Joe Larson, stresses the importance of raising HIV/AIDS awareness.

“Last year, 325 new individuals living in Minnesota were diagnosed with HIV infection. This is the largest number of people testing HIV-positive in our state since the mid-1990s. A significant number of these cases include teenagers and young adults,” said Larson. “Even though we have treatments for HIV/AIDS, we still do not have a cure. The Aliveness Project has seen a steady increase of individual living with HIV/AIDS in need of our services. Last year, we served 9 percent more people than in 2006.”

The Dining Out for Life fundraiser has raised $3 million a year on average. As an exchange for the donations, the participating restaurants are showcased in the Dining Out for Life publicity campaigns which help increase customers.

To get more information about the Dining Out for Life fundraiser, visit diningoutforlife.com and find a listing of participating restaurants near you.

alexandra sifferlin, editor-in-chief