Mon”DO”: Savor and Share Dining Out for Life with Others

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Spokesperson Mondo Guerra, winner of Lifetime’s Project Runway All-Stars, tells us why he shares Dining Out for Life with those he cherishes in his life. Check out his response here and be sure to make a reservation at a restaurant participating in your city Thursday, April 25th at www.diningoutforlife.com.

For more Mondo and Dining Out for Life videos, visit Youtube.com/DineOut4Life

 

Mondo Guerra Dining Out for Life® hosted by Subaru® Tee Available for Sale Online!

Mondo Guerra Dining Out for Life Tee

Mondo Guerra, winner of Lifetime’s Project Runway All-Stars, has created a limited edition “Movers and Shakers” t-shirt for Dining Out for Life International hosted by Subaru®, an annual HIV/AIDS fundraiser. The limited edition t-shirt is available for $25 at SubaruGear.com.

Dining Out for Life International hosted by Subaru will be held on Thursday, April 25th in 60 cities across the United States and Canada. Some 3,000 restaurants participate by donating a generous percentage of proceeds from the day to a local AIDS service organization. An estimated $4 million will be raised in just one day of dining. Funds raised in each city benefit the designated AIDS service organization in that city.

Guerra, who disclosed his HIV-positive status on Project Runway, has become a prominent advocate in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Guerra was announced as the newest spokesperson for Dining Out for Life and debuted his tee shirt and custom Dining Out-inspired looks at a Valentine’s Day event in Philadelphia: “I am a creature of expression through fashion and through my advocacy work. Dining Out for Life is our opportunity to celebrate friends, food and being truly fabulous in helping others,” said Guerra. Watch a highlight video here.

Dining Out for Life spokespeople also include Ted Allen, host of Food Network’s Chopped, Author and Actor Pam Grier (Foxy, Jackie Brown) and Chef Daisy Martinez from Food Network’s ¡Viva Daisy!

Subaru of America is proud to enter its seventh consecutive year as host sponsor for Dining Out for Life. According to Chief Marketing Officer Dean Evans, “Subaru of America is deeply committed to this community and invested in the cause. Our nationwide network of Subaru dealers is also supportive of AIDS Service Organizations across the country, and Subaru drivers are foodies who enjoy dining out!”

 Cities participating on the April 25th date include: Albany, Asheville, Baton Rouge, Bay Shore (Long Island), Birmingham, Charleston, Charlotte, Charlottesville, Chattanooga, Chicago, Cincinnati, Clearwater (Tampa Bay), Columbia, Denver-Boulder, El Paso, Ferndale (Detroit), Fort Collins, Colo., Fort Lauderdale, Hawthorne (Hudson Valley), Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kalamazoo, Kamloops, Kansas City, Lake Charles, Lexington, Memphis, Minneapolis, New Brunswick, New Haven, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Palm Springs, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Ore., Portsmouth, Providence, Reno, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, St. Louis, Tacoma, Tulsa, Washington, DC and Vancouver Island.

 

About Dining Out for Life International

Dining Out for Life began in Philadelphia in 1991 and has since grown into an international event in more than 60 cities – raising an average $4 million annually. The idea behind the single-day event is simple and effective: Dine Out, Fight AIDS. Each restaurant donates a percentage of the day’s food sales, which goes to local organizations to fund care, prevention, education, testing, counseling and other essential HIV/AIDs services. For more information, visit diningoutforlife.com or Facebook/DiningOut4Life.

 

About Subaru of America, Inc

Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 600 dealers across the United States.  All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. For additional information visit www.subaru.com.

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Tomorrow’s Special: Savor A Satisfying Meal And Fight HIV/AIDS

Dining Out for Life® hosted by Subaru®

On Thursday, April 26, you can help those affected by HIV/AIDS in your city simply by dining out at a favorite restaurant. The annual Dining Out for Life® hosted by Subaru® is a unique event designed to bring people together over food to support this worthy cause. Over 3,000 restaurants will donate a generous percentage of the day’s receipts to a local AIDS service organization. An expected $4 million will be raised in just one day of dining.

 

Cities holding Dining Out for Life on April 26th include: Albany, Asheville, Birmingham, Cambridge/Boston, Charleston, Charlottesville, Chattanooga, Chicago, Columbia, Denver/Boulder, Detroit, Fairbanks, Ft. Walton Beach/Pensacola/Destin, Grand Rapids, Hampton Roads, Hudson Valley, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kalamazoo, Kamloops (B.C.,) Kansas City, Lake Charles, Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New Haven, Northern Colorado, Northern Nevada, Palm Springs, Philadelphia, Phoenix/Prescott, Portland (ME), Portland(OR), Portsmouth, Providence, San Diego, St. Louis, San Francisco, Seattle, Silicon Valley, Tacoma/Olympia, Trenton(NJ), Tulsa, and Washington, DC. View participating restaurants and make a reservation at diningoutforlife.com.

 

According to Dining Out for Life President Stacie Walls-Beegle: “We have made significant progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, however, there is much to be done. Support for people living with HIV/AIDS and the prevention of new infections is necessary to move forward.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 20 percent, as many as 240,000 of the 1.2 million Americans living with HIV/AIDS, do not even know they are infected and may unknowingly pass the disease on to others. New HIV/AIDS diagnoses are rising at alarming rates among youth ages 15 through 24.

 

“Subaru of America is proud to be part of this important event for the sixth consecutive year. We are deeply committed to this community and are invested in this cause nationally. Our nationwide network of Subaru dealers is also supportive of AIDS Service Organizations across the country,” stated Subaru of America Chief Marketing Officer Dean Evans.

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The Face Of Dining Out For Life

 

 

I am the face of Dining Out for Life,” says ambassador, Sara Poplau.

 

It’s the efforts of Poplau, and thousands of others around the country, who give Dining Out For Life a face and a smile while restaurant patrons dine out to raise funds for their local AIDS Service Organizations.

 

Poplau, a Minnesota native, was drawn to the HIV/AIDS cause at a young age. “In college, one of my friends was in a situation where she was exposed to the virus,” Poplau says. “We did a lot of self-education, but [10-15 years ago], there wasn’t a whole lot of information, except with the [AIDS Services] Organizations.”

 

 

It was at the AIDS Service Organization that Poplau became connected with volunteering for HIV/AIDS causes. “They were so kind and helpful, I wanted to give back.”

 

At my core, I volunteer to give back for what I got, and making sure that other people get the same thing when they’re in a stressful situation.” Now, Populau volunteers for the Aliveness Project in Minneapolis, MN.

 

Poplau is involved in several HIV/AIDS awareness efforts in addition to Dining Out for Life. She is the president of the Minnesota Latino HIV/AIDS network, where she works with other volunteers to provide testing throughout the city, and HIV/AIDS education in both Spanish and English.

 

As a volunteer with the Aliveness Project, Poplau participates in a Christmas basket program every year. “[Donors] can adopt a person or family” to purchase Christmas gifts for, and then Poplau, along with her father, deliver the baskets. “Just seeing the looks on some people’s faces who don’t have anyone to celebrate Christmas with, or the extra income,” Poplau says, “it’s just so heartwarming—they’re so excited.”

 

This year will be Poplau’s sixth year volunteering at Dining Out for Life. “It’s so fun; it’s like a party environment,” Poplau says. “Go out to eat, drink wine, eat dessert—live it up. How could you not want to be a part of that?”

 

Be A Hometown Hero: Dine Out And Fight AIDS On Thursday, April 26, 2012

On Thursday, April 26, you can help those affected by HIV/AIDS in your citysimply by dining out at a favorite restaurant. The annual Dining Out for Life® hosted by Subaru® is a unique way to bring people together over food to support this worthy cause. Over 3,000 restaurants will donate a generous percentage of the day’s receipts to a local AIDS service organization. An expected $4 million will be raised in just one day of dining.

“Dining Out for Life is such a winner for everyone. All we have to do is exactly what we do many other nights of the week – go to a restaurant when we’re hungry. The cost isn’t any higher and it even gives you an excuse for that extra glass of wine or saying, ‘yes’ to dessert. You just have to eat at a participating restaurant on a specific day, and the money stays in your city, “ said Chopped host and event spokesperson Ted Allen in an interview with St. Louis’ FEAST Magazine.

According to Dining Out for Life President Stacie Walls-Beegle: “We have made significant progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, however, there is much to be done. Support for people living with HIV/AIDS and the prevention of new infections is necessary to move forward.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 20 percent, as many as 240,000 of the 1.2 million Americans living with HIV/AIDS, do not even know they are infected and may unknowingly pass the disease on to others. New HIV diagnoses are rising at alarming rates among youth ages 15 through 24.

Cities holding Dining Out for Life on April 26th include: Albany, Asheville, Birmingham, Cambridge/Boston, Charleston, Charlottesville, Chattanooga, Chicago, Columbia, Denver/Boulder, Detroit, Fairbanks, Ft. Walton Beach/Pensacola/Destin, Grand Rapids, Hampton Roads/Norfolk, Hudson Valley, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kalamazoo, Kamloops, Kansas City, Lake Charles, Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New Haven, Northern Colorado, Northern Nevada, Palm Springs, Philadelphia, Phoenix/Prescott, Portland (ME), Portland(OR), Portsmouth, Providence, St. Louis, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Silicon Valley, Tacoma/Olympia, Trenton(NJ), Tulsa, and Washington, DC.  View participating restaurants and make a reservation at diningoutforlife.com.

About Dining Out For Life International: Dining Out for Life (diningoutforlife.com) was first held in Philadelphia 22 years ago and is now held in 60 cities across North America. The vast majority of Dining Out for Life events are held on the last Thursday in April. The event is sponsored internationally by Subaru of America, Open Table and Cellit, as well as many other regional sponsors and media partners and supported by thousands of volunteers. Dining Out for Life celebrity spokespeople are Ted Allen, host of Food Network’s Chopped, actor Pam Grier, and Daisy Martinez, ¡Viva Daisy! host and cookbook author. More than 3,000 restaurants donate a generous portion of their proceeds from this special day of dining to the licensed HIV/AIDS organization in their city.  Nearly $4 million dollars is raised annually to support the missions of AIDS advocacy agencies throughout North America. All money raised in each city stays in each city.  Over 40,000 total people follow Dining Out for Life on Facebook and on Twitter.

About Subaru of America, Inc.: Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, NJ, the company markets and distributes Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 600 dealers across the United States.  Subaru boasts the most fuel efficient line-up of all-wheel drive products sold in the market today based on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel economy standards.  All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. For additional information visit www.subaru.com.

“My Life, As I Knew It, Was In Danger Of Coming To An End” AIDS Service Organization Puts One Man’s Life Back On Track

Lifelong AIDS Alliance in Seattle, WA, is just one of the many AIDS Service Organizations throughout the country bettering the lives of its clients each and every day. We had the opportunity to interview one client, Jeffrey Smith, about the life-saving services of Lifelong AIDS Alliance.

 

 

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? How did you end up in Seattle, Washington? What are some of your hobbies? What’s something you would like us to know about you?

A: I’m originally from Charleston, S.C. In 1987 a friend who I met while he was in the Navy (stationed in Charleston) returned to his home here in Seattle (Tacoma, actually). He became ill, and I moved out here to be with him. It was my first funeral. I fell in love with Seattle and never left. I love film and theater, thrift-store shopping, and decorating with mid-century modern.

 

Q: How long have you been a client with Lifelong AIDS Alliance?

A: I became a client in October of 2000 when the agency was known as the Northwest AIDS Foundation.

 

Q: What are some of the services that you receive from Lifelong AIDS Alliance?

A: I was terribly ill when I sought help. I’ve used just about every service available – emergency fund, housing advocate, transportation, meal and grocery delivery and pick-up, case management, will-call, etc.

 

Q: What motivated you to seek the services of Lifelong AIDS Alliance?

A: My life, as I knew it, was in danger of coming to an end. The agency did everything to put me back on a track to normalcy.

 

Q: Do you volunteer or participate at fundraisers like Dining Out for Life or the HIV/AIDS Walk?

A: Yes – I have been a kitchen/warehouse volunteer for five years. I also assist with the will-call program and volunteer at special events.

 

Q: How has HIV/AIDS personally affected you?

A: I have lost too many friends and acquaintances to count – that, combined with my own brush with death, I would say affected me quite profoundly.

 

Q: How have you seen Lifelong AIDS Alliance help other clients?

A: I have seen an impact on the quality of life in a very positive way – from counseling and case management (dealing with bureaucracy), grocery and meals, even entertainment.

 

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

A: Seattle is pretty progressive. I would like to think the community is fairly well-educated, but it could just be the circles I’m in. I suppose there is always room for improvement.

 

 

Q: Dining Out for Life is a great fundraiser that contributes directly to Lifelong AIDS Alliance. What would you say to the people of Seattle to encourage them to participate in the event?

A: We all have to eat. Dining out might just be for special occasions, but why not, if you can, choose a restaurant with a social conscience that gives back to the community.

 

Q: Tell us how Lifelong AIDS Alliance has impacted your life. If you can, please give an example of how or when they helped you, or the service or treatment you appreciate the most.

A: In the last (almost) 12 years, I have been on the receiving end of so much assistance and genuine care it is hard to list them all. What strikes me is the wonderful, caring, giving attitude and positive encouragement. I am really glad that by volunteering for the last five years I have been able to give something back.

 

 

The 19th annual Dining Out for Life in Seattle, WA, will be on April 26, and all proceeds donated will go directly to Lifelong AIDS Alliance, the organization that is helping Jeffrey Smith, and countless others, in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Giving Comes Full Circle In Washington, DC

Howard Casaway IV

 

 

During her lunch break, Sondra West will be volunteering as a Dining Out For Life Ambassador. That’s right, she’s utilizing a break from her full time job to support Washington, DC AIDS Service Organization, Food & Friends. What makes her work so hard? “My goal,” says West, “is to help spread the word about Food & Friends and the work they do.”

Though this is West’s first year as an ambassador, she is no stranger to working with the local ASO. For nearly ten years Sonda West has helped prepare food, raise money and, as she puts it, spread the word about what the organization does. Food & Friends provides meals to those in need, and groceries to those who have the ability to cook for themselves. “Some patients are diabetic, so you need to watch for that. Others are on a low sodium diet. And there are children, too, who you’re packing meals for.” West’s life was deeply touched by the organization and her involvement with Food & Friends has been her personal way of giving back.

 

“My brother lost his battle with AIDS in 2004,” says West. “And then my step-brother, Howard Gasaway, developed throat cancer. Food & Friends helped my step-brother get the nutritious, pureed meals that he needed. He was a big bear of a guy, and the illness took a real toll on his body. It was so important to get him something nutritious.” West explains that he lives on in memory and in spirit. Her one year-old great nephew shares not only Howard’s name but also his birthday.

“I know a lot of volunteers deliver the food, and they get to meet the clients. They see the impact of Food & Friends,” explains West. “I already saw that in my own family, so I’m usually in the kitchen, packing the meals.” But this year is different, this is the year West steps out as ambassador.

To West, there’s no question in her mind about wanting to reach out and help others. “It’s important to help people because you never know when you’re going to be the one who needs the help,” she states. “[Dining Out For Life] is such an easy way to make an impact,” says West. “Just go out and eat, and you’re raising money. I know plenty of people do it inadvertently because they’re just eating out. That’s how easy it is!”

Sonda West will be at Tabard Inn in Washington, DC during the lunch shift. Stop in and say hi, show your support, and fight HIV/AIDS.

Taking Charge: Restaurant Owner Takes The Reins In The Fight Against HIV/AIDS

Whatever I can do to shed light on this topic, I’d be tickled to death to do,” says Michael Patrick, owner of Rizzo’s Diner in Memphis, TN.

Patrick is known around the southern city for his culinary talents from working at other restaurants. Now he’s six months into owning his own restaurant, Rizzo’s, and is using his new-found power responsibly.

HIV/AIDS has always been on my radar, but I’ve always been a chef at a restaurant, not the owner,” Patrick said. “Now that I’m in a position that I can affect people’s lives—whether it be through employment or fundraisers—I want to do it.”

Patrick grew up in the 1980s, and recalls the media coverage and the repercussions of the HIV/AIDS outbreak on cities throughout the country. “I’ve known people who have had HIV/AIDS,” Patrick said, and recalled that “[there was a rumor that] a Kodak film solution—used to develop film—could fight HIV/AIDS. People died from that,” Patrick says. Now, he wants to see more funds raised for not only the cure, but for the treatment. “[I’d like to see more] research done to decrease the cost of the medicine,” Patrick said. “Bringing the cost down so it’s more affordable to live with HIV/AIDS” is a key motivator for Patrick.

Another reason Patrick participates in the fight against HIV/AIDS is his involvement in the LGBT community. This community sparks his interest in bettering the city of Memphis. He began his involvement with Friends for Life, the Memphis AIDS organization, and Dining Out for Life after recommendations to do so came from his friends involved in GLAAD.

Patrick aims to support the LGBT community in Memphis by being an advocate for civil rights. “A lot of legislature is being passed and [makes it] feel like it’s 1612,” Patrick said. As a restaurant owner, Patrick “wants to have a dining room where a gay couple should be able to hold hands.”

Patrick’s upscale diner, Rizzo’s, will be participating in the Memphis Dining Out for Life, and he hopes his contributions will help Memphis residents living with HIV/AIDS. “Nowadays, HIV/AIDS patients can live longer, and live a functional life,” Patrick said. “I hope fundraisers like Dining Out For Life can help.”

The Magic Of Turning Regulars Into Donators

In the fight against HIV/AIDS, awareness is crucial. Groups like AIDS Project New Haven have been bolstered by dedicated communities, including businesses like Café Amici. The restaurant has used their vast clientele database to bring awareness—and funds—to AIDS Project New Haven.

“[Café Amici] wants to raise awareness for [AIDS Project New Haven],” owner Stephen Barraco said. “It’s a good cause, and a good fundraiser to work with,” adding that “people are becoming more educated about HIV/AIDS and are more aware,” because of the work being done by organizations like AIDS Project.

Each year since the restaurant’s opening in 2007, they have aimed to “get as many people in here as possible,” during the annual Dining Out for Life, said Barraco.

So how does Barraco bring in donations for AIDS Project New Haven? Advertising, and lots of it. “We have a lot of regular customers, and we send out an email to the distribution list,” which consists of about 800 patrons. The restaurant also uses its presence on Facebook and Twitter, with posts being sent out on a regular basis.

Barraco knows his clientele well, and knows that “people recognize the need for doing good in the community.”

Patrons can know that the restaurant is pledging 25% of the proceeds from Dining Out For Life on April 26 to AIDS Project New Haven, which works to help individuals, and their families, infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.

Why Dine Out? Bill Pfaff ~ Education Makes A Difference

AIDS Alabama volunteer and member of the Board of Directors Bill Pfaff has high hopes for the city of Birmingham and the fights against AIDS.

Pfaff first heard of Dining Out for Life when he came to Birmingham. Since moving to the southern city, Pfaff has seen education about HIV/AIDS make an impact on the community. “Education is very important, and we’ve made great strides in the past few years,” Pfaff said. “HIV is growing fast in the South, and education helps slow that increase.”

The University of Alabama is one of the top HIV research facilities,” Pfaff said, noting that Birmingham is a place where the “stigma [of HIV/AIDS] isn’t as big as other places.” Pfaff attributes this openness to education to the active HIV/AIDS organizations in the area, such as AIDS Alabama and the 1917 Clinic. “The ASOs have a high level [of visibility].” In Birmingham, “people show more respect for [HIV/AIDS] than they would elsewhere.”

The funds raised during AIDS Alabama’s Dining Out for Life will go towards a community in need.  Incorporating DOFL into the fundraising events has given the city more funds for the people who need it. “The goal of Dining Out for Life was to add more restaurants, and to get more funds donated, and we’ve reached that.”

Facebook, posters, coasters, and table top tents help promote DOFL throughout Birmingham. This year, Pfaff and other volunteers will be ambassadors at restaurants throughout the area. Restaurants like Jacksons have been “packed to the gills” in the past, and Pfaff will be there again this year to support Jacksons and their 50% donation to DOFL and AIDS Alabama.

The amazing support and dedication from people like Bill Pfaff have made a difference in communities all over the United States. We thank you for your continued support and hard work to the FIGHT against AIDS.

To find restaurants near you participating in Dining Out for Life, please visit diningoutforlife.com. The site will continue to be updated through March.

To keep up with the latest event updates and HIV/AIDS news, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @DineOut4L

Most of all we want to hear from you! Why Do You Dine Out?

If you want to share your own Dine Out For Life story send us an email: DOFL@chatterblast.com