Actress Pam Grier to attend Dining Out For Life® hosted by Subaru® on April 27

Dining Out For Life hosted by Subaru Spokeperson Pam Grier will help raise awareness for HIV/AIDS issues on April 27, 2017.

 

Actress Pam Grier will participate in the 27th Annual Dining Out For Life hosted by Subaru. The delicious fundraiser, that’s expected to raise more than $4 million to help fund essential HIV/AIDS services, will be held on April 27, 2017, when over 3,000 restaurants in 62 cities across North America will donate a generous portion of the day’s proceeds to their local HIV/AIDS Service organizations.

Subaru is a proud, decade-long Host Sponsor of Dining Out For Life, with nearly $40 Million raised to support HIV/AIDS services throughout the life of this partnership.

“As part of the Subaru Love Promise philanthropic platform, we remain committed to supporting the causes our drivers care most about, including joining the fight to overcome an HIV/AIDS epidemic that affects many in our local communities and millions around the world,” said Alan Bethke, senior vice president of marketing, Subaru of America Inc.

Pam Grier, one of the organization’s four national spokespeople, will attend the event in Charleston, South Carolina to help raise awareness for HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention.

“Dining Out For Life is all about the community spirit of dining together with family and friends for a great cause,” said Pam Grier, actress. “It’s an easy, fun way to support those in need, while enjoying food and meaningful conversation.”

Grier will also deliver Subaru Loves to Care packages containing a blanket, travel mug, red-ribbon shaped cookies and note of inspiration to clients and volunteers of the Ryan White Wellness Center, recognized nationally for providing quality care and innovative wellness programs for people living with HIV. The center is affiliated with the Roper St. Francis Healthcare system in South Carolina, a region which claims the highest number of heterosexual HIV transmission cases in the U.S. and ranks eighth overall for new infections annually.

“It couldn’t be easier to give back.  Grab breakfast on the way to work, have lunch with your coworkers, or meet a group of friends for dinner,” said Kim Butler, director of the Ryan White Wellness Center. “The restaurant does all the work and makes a donation on your behalf.”

2017 marks Grier’s seventh consecutive year as a Dining Out For Life spokesperson. Grier was the first African-American woman to headline action films, playing bold, powerful women in Coffy, Sheba Baby, Friday Foster, Foxy Brown, Jackie Brown and The L Word. Most recently, Grier appeared in Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare DLC and penned the best-selling memoir Foxy: My Life In Three Acts.

Dining Out For Life’s other spokespeople include Ted Allen, author and host of Food Network’s Chopped, Chef Daisy Martinez, star of Food Network’s Viva Daisy!, and designer Mondo Guerra, winner of Lifetime’s Project Runway All-Stars, who will join The Aliveness Project in Minneapolis, MN on April 27th for Dining Out For Life.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

More than 3,000 restaurants in 62 cities across North America participate in Dining Out For Life.

WHEN: Thursday, April 27th, 2017 in most cities. Please note that some cities have alternate dates.

WHERE: Albany, Anchorage, Asheville, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Birmingham/Mobile, Boston, Broward County, Fla., Buffalo, Central New York/Syracuse/Utica, Charleston, Chattanooga, Columbia, Denver/Boulder, Detroit, El Paso, Fort Collins/Northern Colorado, Grand Junction/Western Colorado,  Houston, Indianapolis, Inland Empire, Jacksonville, Kalamazoo/Southwest Michigan, Las Vegas, Lexington, Louisville, Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul/Greater Minneapolis, Nashville, New Haven, New Jersey, New Orleans, Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Orlando, Orange County, Palm Springs, Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley, Phoenix/Prescott, Portland, Ore., Raleigh, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Sonoma County, St. Louis, Tacoma/Olympia, Tampa Bay, Tulsa, Vancouver/Whistler, and Washington, D.C.

MORE INFO: Visit www.diningoutforlife.com and follow on Twitter: @DineOut4Life   #DiningOutForLife

 

Pam Grier Talks Dining Out For Life, Red Velvet Pancakes and Empathy


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“When you have the privilege of dining out, whether it’s at a greasy spoon or at a five-star white tablecloth restaurant, you are nourishing yourself both physically and spiritually.”  Read more of Pam Grier’s chat with Mecca Bos-Williams, blogger for ‘Hot Dish’ in Minneapolis.

A Bold New Plan Could Keep More HIV/AIDS Patients in Treatment

Dining Out For Life AIDS service organization Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS a cutting-edge facility in downtown Phoenix, offers clients everything from child care and an on-site pharmacy to counseling and wellness programs—and even perks such as massages and acupuncture. It’s a full range of services aimed at keeping patients on track. “When people are diagnosed, it can be scary and life-changing,” says Ken Gabel, the center’s board chair. “You might get a diagnosis at a testing center, and then you are basically handed a flier.”  Read more.

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For ActionAIDS, Compassion is the Cure

ActionAIDS was founded in 1986 on a simple principle: “No one should face AIDS alone.” It was a reflection of a time when people were abandoned after contracting the virus and left with little support. “Back then there was nothing,” Michael Byrne, the group’s director of development, says. “People were shunned—even by their families. Funeral homes wouldn’t accept bodies”… (Read more)

 

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Can HIV Be Stopped in San Diego Within 10 Years?

Thanks to innovative treatment programs and powerful medication cocktails, HIV is no longer a death sentence. But the San Diego LGBT Community Center wants to stop the transmission of the disease altogether. Its goal? To help stop new transmissions of HIV in the city by 2024—and if its current progress is any measure, that might just happen.

Last year, the organization launched a major social media campaign, #BeTheGeneration, to fight the fear, stigma, and shame that can dissuade people from being tested or seeking treatment….Read moreUrbanMosstaffmemberEricaFlores2_0

How Hotline Grew into Formidable Force in the Fight Against AIDS.

Did you know that Dining Out For Life service organization San Francisco AIDS Foundation started the first HIV/AIDS hotline in the United States? TakePart.com interviewed Josie Larimer and others who are heavily involved in this incredible organization, which provided more than 15,000 free HIV and STI tests in 2013. Read more.

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Bisexuality and Health Care Disparities

ActionAIDS, Philadelphia’s Dining Out For Life ASO, posted an  article about Bisexuality and Health Care Disparities from guest blogger Lillian Klasen, a 2014 summer intern from Temple University’s Department of Public Health in the ActionAIDS Prevention Department. Lillian is now working as a Benefits Outreach Specialist, screening and applying for seniors’ benefits at Benefits Data Trust:

The challenges and health disparities that face the LGBT community won’t come as a surprise to ActionAIDS employees – or in general to readers of this blog. However, it is worth noting that data and research confirm the heightened risk for a range of negative health and social outcomes that bisexual-identifying individuals face when compared to their gay and lesbian peers.

According to a 2013 report by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bisexual women are at the highest risk for sexual violence: “a staggering 61 percent of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner,” while 35 percent of heterosexual women and 43 percent of lesbian women reported this type of violence. Further, Healthy People 2020 notes that bisexual women are less likely to have health insurance and more likely to have difficulty obtaining medical care, experience higher rates of breast cancer and heart disease, and report a lower quality of life. Bisexual men are 50 percent more likely to live in poverty than gay men and thus face challenges in gaining access to needed health care.

Finally, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has noted that “many, if not most, bisexual people do not come out to their health care providers or to researchers due to judgments that silence, stereotypes that shame, and assumptions that erase bisexual identity.” Similarly, a keyconclusion of the Ontario Public Health Association is that those who identify as bisexual are less likely to come out to their healthcare provider than their gay or lesbian peers. As such, importantly, there are missed opportunities to talk about a client/patient’s sexual behavior and discuss options for reducing their risk for HIV and STIs.

One way to create a more inclusive environment is to ensure that providers understand some of the misconceptions that surround bisexuality and result in biphobia and bi-invisibility. Some of these errors include:

  • Only considering a person’s sexual orientation based on their current partner’s gender
  • Believing bisexuality is just a phase or that people who identify as bisexual are confused
  • People who identify as bisexual are promiscuous or do not want to have monogamous relationship

Finally, some people just dismiss bisexuality entirely, believing that a person who comes out as bisexual will inevitably come out as “fully gay.”

While more research focused specifically on the health care issues facing bisexual individuals is needed, the data we do have is quite compelling and should give greater urgency for strategies ensure that we take appropriate steps to prevent and treat HIV in this population. Given its individualized, comprehensive approach to care, ActionAIDS is well positioned to support this population and reduce the burden of HIV among its bisexual clients by ensuring an inclusive environment for people to discuss their sexual behaviors. Hopefully, we can inspire others to do the same.

–Lillian Klasen

 

ActionAIDS is Dining Out For Life’s first AIDS service organization and will be celebrating 25 years of this event on April 30, 2015. For more info, visit: https://www.diningoutforlife.com/philadelphia.

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A Day at a Dining Out For Life ASO – The Damien Center

Indianapolis’ Dining Out For Life AIDS service organization, The Damien Center, was featured on the AIDS United Blog:

Picture a day with us. Our lobby is packed. Both client computers are in use for job searches. A young woman is requesting an emergency appointment with housing, since her job ended unexpectedly. A gentleman has re-entered care and our staff is walking him through available services. 

A woman has visited the food pantry and now waits for her appointment in the medical clinic. One patient is learning about health insurance options while the partner of an individual living with HIV is learning about preventive medications. The testing center is busy, helping clients learn their status and explore different prevention methods.

Then, an HIV+ patient, Michelle*, steps out of her care specialist’s office, a mix of relief and pride on her face. In 2013, she re-entered care after having dropped out of care years before. Her viral load was dangerously high – over one million. Don’t know much about HIV viral loads? The number represents the amount of HIV in the body, and Michelle was in risky territory.

Our intense personalized plan to support Michelle included daily phone calls to be sure she stuck to her strict medical regimen and weekly home visits. We walked alongside her, helping her eliminate the barriers to care that she was contending with.

That’s how our approach works – every patient works with our staff to develop an individualized care plan that provides the specific support they need to get their health back on track. The end goal? To empower patients to get in care and stay in care.

It’s been six months, and Michelle has just learned that she has achieved an undetectable viral load. The most amazing thing about Michelle’s story? It’s not unusual for our patients. The most effective way to prevent new HIV infections is to identify every individual living with HIV and provide them with the support they need to achieve undetectable viral loads. Our staff has helped Linkage to Care patients achieve an average viral load reduction of 93% within their first year in the program precisely through stories just like this one. 

Our comprehensive approach changes lives, and remarkable outcomes like this are our norm. On our website, you can explore more about what we do to empower our patients as well as help us restore health to our patients and eliminate the threat of HIV for future generations. Help us make more incredible stories like Michelle’s possible in 2015.

*Client’s name has been changed.

 

Dining Out For Life in Indianapolis is held on the International Date (April 30, 2015). To learn more, visit the city’s DOFL page: https://www.diningoutforlife.com/indianapolis.

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Ambassador Jermaine spreading the word about Dining Out For Life last year at the Indy Pita Pit Downtown.

 

Subaru® Dealers Support Dining Out for Life®!

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Pictured: Jay Dewey from ARCS, Peter Maher from Mid-Hudson Subaru, and Charles North from the Dutchess Co. Regional Chamber of Commerce.

AIDS-Related Community Service (ARCS), the Dining Out for Life® AIDS service organization in Hawthorne, New York, held their Dining Out for Life® kick-off party on April 9, 2013 at the Poughkeepsie Ice House on the Hudson, in conjunction with Mid-Hudson Subaru and the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber held an official ribbon cutting ceremony to honor the successful partnership between Hudson Valley Community Services and local businesses.

Mid-Hudson Subaru brought a highly coveted 2014 Forester model to the restaurant and gave away diversity badges for current Subaru owners. The Poughkeepsie Ice House provided an array of complimentary appetizers and live musicians. Over 80 guests attended, including other sponsors and participating restaurant owners, and the event was featured on our local newscast the following evening.

Is your local Subaru dealer is a Dining Out for Life® SUPERSTAR? Email  laura@15minutesinc.com

 

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Interview with Caitlin Huggins from HOPE!

We sat down with Caitlin Huggins from HOPE in Tulsa, OK and asked her a few questions. This is what she had to say!

· How long have you been involved in Dining Out for Life?

This is my 4th year involved.

· Do you volunteer with the HOPE other than DOFL?

Yes, I’m on the board and also help with other events and fundraisers.

· Tell me a little bit about yourself. How long have you worked with HOPE? Are you originally from Tulsa? Jeremy let us know that you’ve been a board member; when was that, and how did you get into that position?

I’ve been on the board with HOPE 4 years, the last couple years I’ve been on the executive board. I joined when I found an opportunity to get on the board through another group I was involved in on a trial basis. After a year I was given the option to join the board on a non-trial basis and jumped at the chance.

· What motivated you to join the fight against HIV/AIDS?

I grew up in the 90s when the HIV/AIDS news was coming out more. People were more open talking about it than in the 80s but there was still so much conflicting information. I’ve always been nosy (I work in TV news) and inquisitive and I was blessed with a family that didn’t sugarcoat things. I asked a question and they answered it. I knew about Ryan White, Rock Hudson, I had friends of my mother who were diagnosed while I was still in middle school. When I got older and found ways to help I was eager to do so.

· What continues to motivate you to remain committed?

Misconceptions, stereotypes, ignorance. Every time I hear someone say HIV/AIDS isn’t a big deal anymore, it’s something only homosexuals or sluts get, or people who have no idea how they can protect themselves from it I get angry. When I get angry I get loud and pro-active about educating people and raising money to keep educating people.

· How has HIV/AIDS personally affected you?

I’ve had acquaintances that battled HIV/AIDS my entire life. I was thinking back on World AIDS Day last year and I couldn’t remember a time that I didn’t know about HIV/AIDS, I did a thesis presentation in high school on sex education in public schools and how it failed my generation when it came to keeping us safe (did not go over well with the school, ha!) It’s something that’s always been a very relevant battle in my generation. The thought that one day there could be a generation that’s AIDS-free keeps me going.

· How have you seen the HOPE help its clients?

I get the reports updating our work in outreach, education and at the clinic in our board meetings, so I get to see the numbers breaking down our impact in the community, and of course hear from the employees in those same meetings about what they’re running into in the community.

· Which program do you want to see the funds for DOFL go? What would help the clients the most?

Our outreach program has shown the most growth as we get involved in more and more parts of our community to test at risk individuals. We also have some great programs aimed at educating other at risk groups.

· How is HIV/AIDS awareness received in Tulsa? Do you think the community is well educated about the disease, or would you like to see more education throughout the city?

I think parts of Tulsa are extremely well educated. We have a large LGBT community and partly from that and partly from our work I feel like a lot of the stigma has been taken away. That being said there are always pockets of the community that need educating or reminding about the implications and impact HIV/AIDS has on people with it and their friends and family.

· With the work you’re doing with the HOPE and DOFL, you’re contributing to a larger cause and helping to save and improve lives. How do you encourage others to volunteer or contribute?

My friends and family will tell you I’m the first person to nag them to sign up for events, buy a ticket somewhere, help volunteer somehow. When I first got on the board we were low on the condom packets we handed out at bars and I got my 13-year old sister to come over and sit and make them with me while I talked to her about protecting herself. I’m pretty obnoxious about making people get involved.

 

Thanks for the interview Caitlin!