Can it really be that simple? Go out to your favorite restaurant for a meal and you’re donating to an HIV/AIDS service organization? Yes, it is that simple, for one day a year, and the event is called “Dining Out for Life.” This year, the Tampa Bay, Orlando and South Florida chapters of Dining Out for Life are having their special day on Thursday, April 24. Dine at select restaurants that day and a portion of your bill will go straight to people in the community impacted by HIV/AIDS.
Dining Out for Life started in 1991 in Philadelphia by participating restaurants who donated part of their profits to the group ActionAIDS. Now, in 2014, over 60 cities across the United States and Canada hold their own local versions which help their communities. This includes Tampa Bay, Orlando and South Florida. Over $3 million was raised across United States and Canada on Dining Out for Life Day last year.
The organization that will be receiving proceeds from participating businesses is the AIDS Service Association of Pinellas (ASAP). Over 40 restaurants, bars and lounges are slated to participate in Dining Out for Life across Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties. The Chattaway in St. Petersburg and The Frog Pond in Redington Beach will be donating 100% of their proceeds on April 24 to ASAP. Other participants will be donating anywhere between 25% and 50% of their customers’ bills.
Some of the establishments donating part of their revenue for Dining Out for Life include The Broken Tusk, the Flamingo Resort, The Garage on Central Avenue, Georgie’s Alibi, Hamburger Mary’s in both Clearwater and Tampa, Oar House, Pro Shop Pub, The Queens Head, Quench Lounge, and the Ybor City Wine Bar. To find a list of all participating establishments, go to diningoutforlife.com/tampabay/restaurants.
Proceeds from Dining Out for Life South Florida will benefit Broward House, South Florida’s largest HIV/AIDS advocacy and service organization. Dining Out for Life South Florida’s spokesperson this year is New Orleans-born chef Chad Thilborger, author of the cookbook “A Whole Heap of Goodness.” He will be making an appearance at a participating restaurant (to be announced) on April 24 to sign copies of his book. Check in at diningoutforlife.com/southflorida closer to the event to find out exactly where he will be.
As of press time, 13 different restaurants, bars and lounges are participating in this year’s Dining Out for Life South Florida, with more restaurants expected to be added in the coming days. To view the full list, go to diningoutforlife.com/southflorida/restaurants. J. Mark’s Restaurant (1245 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale) will be donating 100% of its dinner proceeds to Broward House on April 24. Other restaurants pledge to donate between 25% and 50% of the evening’s proceeds. These restaurants include 11th Street Annex, 13 Even, Alibi, Courtyard Cafe Wilton Manors, Hot & Soul, Lips, Mojo’s, The Over Easy Cafe, Pink Submarine, Rosie’s Bar and Grill, Rumors, and Tijuana Taxi Company.