Author: Nancy Cardillo
It’ll be the most satisfying meal you’ll ever eat. Why? Because when you participate in the 16th annual Dining Out For Life fundraiser coming up this Tuesday (October 9), you’ll be helping those in our community who are affected by HIV. How? Simply by enjoying a delicious breakfast, lunch, or dinner at one of the 87 participating restaurants in Erie, Niagara, Orleans and Chautauqua counties (breaking news: Buffalo Proper, Bacchus Wine Bar & Restaurant and Rowhouse Bakery and Restaurant just signed on to participate). That’s all you have to do.
It’ll be the most satisfying meal you’ll ever eat. Get it now?
Seriously, it’s this easy to participate: just call up some friends, pick a participating restaurant (we suggest making reservations, if possible, as these restaurants book up for this event) and enjoy some delicious food and drink. The restaurant will then donate a percentage of the profits from your meal to the event.
Best of all? All the money raised through Dining Out For Life stays right here in Western New York, and it goes to support the comprehensive spectrum of HIV treatment and prevention services offered by Evergreen Health, a not-for-profit organization that’s provided HIV services since 1983. In the last 15 years, Dining Out For Life has raised over $1.2 million for Evergreen Health.
According to the New York State Department of Health, it is estimated that more than 2,000 individuals in Western New York are living with HIV. Evergreen provides these individuals and their families with a variety of HIV specialty care services throughout the region, including: primary care, full-service pharmacy, nutrition support, housing and transportation assistance, and mental health services. Outreach services touch another 10,000 in our community.
Dawn Trotter has worked at Evergreen Health for five years. In her current position as Patient Adherence Specialist, she assists and supports patients who are newly diagnosed or have been in care but are struggling with medication adherence. She is in a unique position to offer support, as she has been living with HIV since 2007.
“When my original provider moved to Evergreen, it made sense for me to follow, especially since I was working there,” says Trotter. “I have found Evergreen to be a non-judgmental, very diverse and very supportive agency.
“Evergreen offers so many services in addition to specialty care, such as housing, mental health, LGBT services and so much more in a safe environment,” says Trotter. “Patients from all walks of life are welcomed kindly and are able to get most of their care in one place. Evergreen plays an extremely important role in our community.”
Presenting Sponsor for this year’s Dining Out For Life is KeyBank; they will match, dollar for dollar, money donated by diners the night of the event (up to $10,000). KeyBank employees will also volunteer at the event. This is KeyBank’s third year as Presenting Sponsor.
It’s also the third year award-winning chefs and Black Sheep Restaurant and Bar co-owners Steve and Ellen Gedra are event co-chairs. They’re donating 50 percent of each food bill (including alcohol), and the wait staff is donating a portion of their tips.
Here’s another great way to support the event: LYFT is offering diners a 20 percent discount off rides ($10 per ride two rides per person maximum) that originate or end in the greater Buffalo area on October 9 between 5:00 p.m. and midnight when they enter the DINEOUTWNY code in the Lyft app.
Additional information about the event, as well as a full list of participating restaurants, is available online at www.DiningOutForLife.com/WNY.
To learn more about Evergreen Health, watch this video:
Lead image: Osteria 166