Leading By Example And How It Can Influence Thousands

“There are beautiful people dying from AIDS all the time, so we wanted to get involved in the fight against AIDS.”

This is why Mariposa Ice Cream co-owner Dick VanRansom, in San Diego, CA, is participating in Dining Out for Life. VanRansom co-owns this ice cream parlor with his wife, Anna VanRansom, and has been in the ice cream business for almost 60 years.

“[The fight against HIV/AIDS] is one of the biggest and most important causes,” VanRansom said.

Like many people, VanRansom remembers the devastation of the first HIV/AIDS outbreak in the 1980s. “All we could offer in the ’80s was our sympathy, because the ice cream business wasn’t as good as it is now.”

Since then, VanRansom has been successful in the commercial ice cream business and now donates 50% of his proceeds from Dining Out for Life to The San Diego LGBT Community Center. “It’s definitely necessary that we find a cure, and we want to contribute in any way we can.”

VanRansom encourages others in San Diego to Dine Out in a simple manner: by example. “We encourage other people to contribute by our example,” he said. “We hang posters, and we have thousands of customers.” With the number of people going to Mariposa for their ice cream cravings, VanRansom is able to get the Dining Out for Life message out to San Diego.

“[The San Diego LGBT Community Center] helps a lot of people,” VanRansom said. “We know 100% of the donations will be going towards fighting HIV/AIDS, [because] this is a fundraiser by the people directly affected.”

As a business owner, VanRansom would like to see as many people as possible contribute to Dining Out for Life. “Why wouldn’t they do it? It’s pretty selfish and not very caring if [people] don’t contribute,” VanRansom said. “Every restaurant should be involved in the program because it’s a great cause; it’s a great need; and it’s a great organization.”