Diners help raise HIV/AIDS awareness

Carolinas News Notes

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — On April 25, Western North Carolina AIDS Project (WNCAP) will hold its largest annual fundraising event, Dining Our for Life (DOLF) which benefits HIV prevention and care.

“…The most important benefit is how many people are educated about the ongoing crisis of HIV/AIDS,” said WNCAP Executive Director Antonio del Toro.

Ninety-five local restaurants will open their doors and will donate 20 percent discount of their gross sales to WNCAP. These restaurants are open for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner (see diningoutforlife.com/city/asheville/ for the complete list.). Contact the restaurants and make reservations today.

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Thousands of individuals in WNC are living with HIV, and many of them do not know their status. WNCAP helps the local community access HIV prevention tools, including PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) a daily pill to help prevent HIV. WNCAP also helps those living with HIV engage with medical care so that their viral load can become undetectable, creating effectively zero risk of transmitting HIV sexually. Resources generated by Dining Out For Life help individuals survive and thrive in a world where there remains ample stigma surrounding HIV.

DOFL was honored with a “Best Of WNC” award by Mountain Xpress for Best Local Fundraising Event. Asheville also ranked in the top 10 DOFL cities in 2018 — outranking New York and Chicago.

WNCAP assembles a team of over 250 volunteers to help support Dining Out For Life. “We work hard to recruit dependable community volunteers to serve as ‘ambassadors’ during each meal shift at all of our participating restaurants,” explains WNCAP Community Resource Coordinator Chris Winebrenner. “The ambassador’s role is to invite their family, friends, and colleagues to come out to eat at their assigned restaurant. Volunteer ambassadors will greet diners, thank them for supporting the event and offer up extra donation envelopes which will enter diners into a raffle for one of three great grand prizes! Simply by donating a few hours at their favorite participating restaurant, ambassadors are able to make a crucial difference in the lives of people living with HIV in our community.” To receive more information about becoming an ambassador, email Winebrenner at wncapvolunteer@wncap.org. or visit wncap.org/DOFL.

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This year’s fundraiser is underwritten by presenting sponsor, Prestige Subaru.

Another Carolina city holding a DOLF event is Charleston, S.C. Monies raised there will benefit the Roper St. Francis Ryan White Wellness Center, 1481 Tobias Gadson Blvd., Suite 1. There are 29 participating restaurants that are donating from 10 percent to 50 percents of gross sales.

The kickoff for their fundraiser begins on April 20, 11 a.m., at Tanger Outlet Mall, 4840 Tanger Outlet Blvd., North Charleston, with participating food trucks Happy Thai, CastIron and Miracle’s Tasty Hotdog Express. Joined by Mix 95.9 this family event will feature health screening, family games, a special Le Creuset raffle giveaway and cooking demonstration and a photo opportunity with Charlie the Riverdog.

Other lead-up events being held during the week’s awareness and fundraising effort are: Wig Out Wednesday benefit show at El Jefe, 468 King St., on April 24, 8 p.m.; food truck and more assembly on the Greenway and Bon Secours St. Francis Hospitals, 2095 Henry Tecklenburg Dr., on April 25, 11 a.m.; Takeover Charleston, April 25, hosted by Taco Boy, 217 Huger St.; nightcap at Dudley’s on Ann, 42 Ann S., and Patti O’Furniture Drag Show at 11 p.m.; and The Charleston Riverdogs appreciation night (ticket purchase at riverdogs.com/groups; password, dineout), 360 Fishburne St.

The list of restaurants can be found online.

info: diningoutforlife.com. wncap.org/dofl. rsfh.com/ryan-white-program.

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Posted by Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at specialassignments@goqnotes.com and 704-531-9988, x205.