Author: Nancy Cardillo
There are two things we know for sure about Buffalonians: we love to eat out at our many amazing restaurants and we are very charitable. That’s why DINING OUT FOR LIFE, which takes place this Tuesday, October 1, is the perfect “win-win” fundraiser.
When you go out to breakfast, lunch or dinner on Tuesday at one of the 79 participating restaurants in Erie, Niagara, Orleans or Chautauqua counties (including six new restaurants in Erie County), you’ll not only get to enjoy a meal at your favorite restaurant (or try out a new one!), but you’ll also be supporting the work of Evergreen Health, a not-for-profit organization providing HIV treatment and prevention services since 1983 to Western New Yorkers living with HIV.
Here’s how it works: you enjoy your meal and the participating restaurant donates 25 percent (or more!) of the proceeds to DINING OUT FOR LIFE.
All the money raised during DINING OUT FOR LIFE stays right here in Western New York. Since it began 16 years ago, DINING OUT FOR LIFE has raised more than $1.3 million.
Here’s why this is important: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are more than 3,400 individuals in Western New York living with HIV. As the local leader in HIV care, Evergreen has a high success rate in getting its patients to be virally suppressed. People living with HIV with suppressed viral loads who take their medication as prescribed are leading healthy lives and have, effectively, NO risk of sexually transmitting the virus. So, the money raised from DINING OUT FOR LIFE allows Evergreen to continue providing services that create a healthier community for everyone.
“Evergreen’s patient-centered approach to care is what helps us stay focused and adapt to the environment around us,” says Ray Ganoe, Evergreen President and CEO. “We believe it’s all about finding new and innovative ways to connect people to care.
“To do this, we’ve established new service locations near our target populations, using data to identify opportunities and improve outcomes,” says Ganoe. “We can’t stress enough the importance of getting tested because, regardless of the results, Evergreen can provide medical and other services that can lead to a better quality of life.”
Here’s more good news: KeyBank is back for its fourth year as Presenting Sponsor of DINING OUT FOR LIFE, and will match – dollar for dollar – money donated by diners on October 1, up to $15,000! Plus, Lyft is offering DINING OUT diners a $7.16 discount off a ride to a participating restaurant that originates or ends in the greater Western New York area on October 1 between 5:00 p.m. and midnight when they enter the code DINEOUTBUF19 in the Lyft app.
Award-winning chefs Steve and Ellen Gedra are also back for the fourth consecutive year as honorary co-chairs of DINING OUT FOR LIFE. The Gedras are co-owners of The Black Sheep Restaurant & Bar, a true farm-to-table dining experience located on Connecticut Street on Buffalo’s west side.
The Gedras have participated in DINING OUT FOR LIFE since they returned to Western New York in 2009 and took over Bistro Europa; they opened The Black Sheep in 2014. As they did for last year’s event, the Gedras are donating 50 percent of each food bill (including alcohol) to DINING OUT FOR LIFE.
All you have to do is enjoy a delicious meal.