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Dining Out For Life
For the 16th consecutive year, Western New Yorkers can help raise funds to assist individuals and families in our community who are affected by HIV simply by enjoying a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner on Tuesday, October 9 as part of DINING OUT FOR LIFE, a national fundraising event held annually in more than 60 participating cities.
This year, 84 participating restaurants in Erie, Niagara, Orleans and Chautauqua counties will donate 25 percent (or more) of their proceeds on October 9* as part of DINING OUT FOR LIFE – Western New York’s largest HIV fundraiser (*two of the restaurants, Fortuna’s and Roost, will participate on Wednesday, October 10 as they are closed on Tuesdays). All money raised remains in Western New York and supports the comprehensive spectrum of HIV treatment and prevention services offered by Evergreen Health, a not-for-profit organization providing HIV services since 1983. Over $1.2 million — all of which has remained in Western New York — has been raised over the life of this event.
According to the New York State Department of Health, it is estimated that more than 2,000 individuals in Western New York are living with HIV. Evergreen provides these individuals and their families with a variety of HIV specialty care services throughout the region, including: primary care, full-service pharmacy, nutrition support, housing and transportation assistance, and mental health services. Outreach services touch another 10,000 in our community.
“Evergreen opens its doors for anyone in need, offering both medical and supportive services. We’re a one-stop shop, so to speak, for thousands of individuals and families to have access to care,” said Rob Baird, Director of Fundraising and Events at Evergreen Health.
“Dining Out for Life is one of our key annual fundraising events, and we could not do it without our 150 dedicated ambassadors, generous business sponsorships and the more than 12,000 diners who participate in this event annually,” says Baird. “Whereas we typically have close to 100 restaurants participating, this year we intentionally lowered the number to allow us to focus on the relationships we have developed with the generous restaurateurs who have supported us all these years and to allow us to better train our volunteer ambassadors who will be at each of the participating restaurants that night.”
KeyBank Signs on as Presenting Sponsor
KeyBank has signed on as Presenting Sponsor for the event for the third consecutive year and will match, dollar for dollar, money donated by diners the night of the event, up to $10,000. KeyBank will also provide a large contingent of employees who will volunteer at the event, greeting guests and encouraging contributions.
“Dining Out for Life has become one of Buffalo’s premier events and one that KeyBank is proud to promote and support,” said Gary Quenneville, KeyBank Upstate New York Regional Sales Executive. “Most importantly though, it helps fight HIV and AIDS by enabling Evergreen
Health to provide vital services and resources to thousands of patients in Western New York. We stand with them and urge everyone to come and dine out for a great cause.”
Black Sheep Chefs to Co-chair 2018 Dining Out For Life
Award-winning chefs Steve and Ellen Gedra are back for their third stint as honorary co-chairs of the event. The Gedras are co-owners of The Black Sheep Restaurant & Bar, a true farm-to-table dining experience located on Connecticut Street on Buffalo’s west side.
Executive Chef Steve Gedra and Owner/Operator/Baker Ellen Gedra have participated in DINING OUT FOR LIFE since they returned to Western New York in 2009 and took over Bistro Europa; they now operate The Black Sheep, which they opened in 2014.
As they did for last year’s event, the Gedras are donating 50 percent of each food bill (including alcohol) to DINING OUT FOR LIFE. As well, the Black Sheep’s wait staff will donate a portion of their tips that evening to this year’s event.
LYFT is again this year offering diners a 20 percent discount off rides ($10 per ride two rides per person maximum) that originate or end in the greater Buffalo area on October 9 between 5:00 p.m. and midnight when they enter the DINEOUTWNY code in the Lyft app.
Should diners wish to make additional donation during the event, volunteer ambassadors will be placed in each restaurant distributing raffle envelopes. If diners donate $25 or more they will receive a special offer: a gift certificate for a free Super Kiss car wash ($15.99 value) and a free $5.00 coupon for any other service. They are also automatically entered to win one of several other prizes, including a $500 gift certificate to Reeds Jewelers; an iPad Pro donated by Brian Szkatulski of HUNT Real Estate and more.
New This Year
Restaurants participating this year in DINING OUT FOR LIFE for the first time include Juicy Burger Bar; Dobutsu; Lucky Day; Griffon Gastropub (Transit Road location); Lloyd Taco (Williamsville location); Yoshi Sushi Bar & Eatery; Blaze Pizza; Shirt Factory in Medina; 100 Acres; Remedy House, Bravo! Cucina Italiana and SATO Brewpub.
Evergreen Health is excited to partner with the Buffalo Blogging Network, a group of bloggers and social media influencers who will be helping spread the word ahead of the event. Many bloggers will also be participating as ambassadors on DINING OUT night.
Additional information about the event, as well as a full list of participating restaurants, is available online at www.DiningOutForLife.com/WNY.
To learn more about Evergreen Health, watch the video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuYvAAonoOg