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'Dining Out For Life' fundraiser happening Tuesday

Last year the annual HIV fundraiser pivoted to support restaurants hurt by the pandemic, this year it returns to supporting Evergreen Health.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Returning this year is a fundraiser that supports a local health organization focusing on HIV by dining out. The annual Dining Out For Life fundraiser is back this year in person after last year's proceeds supported restaurants as a way to give thanks to the restaurant industry hit hard by the pandemic.

More than 50 restaurants will be donating a portion of their sales to Evergreen Health, which specializes in HIV and hepatitis C testing. The bulk of Dining Out For Life will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 12, but some restaurants will be participating on other days throughout the week.

Most restaurants donate 25% of the bill to Evergreen, but some restaurants are going above and beyond. Coco Bar & Bistro (October 12), Fat Bob’s Smokehouse (October 13), Lenox Grill (October 13) and The Black Sheep (October 14) are all donating 50% of sales to the fundraiser. For a full list of participating restaurants, dates and percent donated, visit the WNY Dining Out For Life website.

Dining Out For Life is Western New York's largest HIV fundraiser and has raised more than $1.25 million for in HIV and hepatitis C testing, treatment and care, as well as drug user services at Evergreen. As of 2020, Evergreen Health cares for about 1,500 patients living with HIV/AIDS.

“All of the funds donated by our generous local restaurants, as well as any separate donations received from restaurant diners, go directly to Evergreen Health’s HIV services, providing care and support for people in our community,” said Rob Baird, director of advancement at Evergreen Health. “Reducing stigma and raising money for HIV services like testing, care and treatment is as simple as making a reservation for breakfast, lunch or dinner at one of your favorite local restaurants and enjoying a meal with your family or friends.”

KeyBank is the presenting sponsor for Dining Out For Life and will match dollar for dollar money donated by diners on Tuesday up to $12,000.

People can also make donations directly to Evergreen on its website. People who donate between Oct. 12 and Oct. 31 will be entered into a raffle to win prizes including: 

  • Two round-trip tickets on JetBlue
  • A private tasting and tour for six at Lockhouse Distilling
  • One of five $100 gift certificates to a DOFL restaurant of your choosing
  • An iPad Pro courtesy of Brian Szkatulski of HUNT Real Estate