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Apr 23

Ending HIV Through Dining OUT

It is more than just a meal, its Dining Out For Life. The nation event that is hosted in 55 cities throughout the United States and Canada, with an average of five to six cities added to the list each year will be hitting the South!

Dining Out For Life was started by an ActionAIDS volunteer in Philadelphia in 1991. While ActionAIDS provides the materials and resources for the event, the funds raised in each city go directly to the local HIV/AIDS service organization that hosts the event. Nationally, more than 3,000 restaurants across the United States and Canada will donate a portion of their proceeds raised during Dining Out For Life to the licensed AIDS service agency in their city. In 2018, more than 300,000 diners helped raise $4.2 million to support more than 50 HIV/AIDS service organizations across the country. Locally, just last year, Dining Out For Life raised over $35,000! 

This national event will be coming to Charleston on April 25th. Several Lowcountry restaurants, food trucks and bars are participating in Dining Out For Life on Thursday, April 25 to help raise awareness and money for the fight against HIV/AIDS in our area. Proceeds from the event will directly benefit Roper St. Francis Healthcare’s Ryan White Wellness Center.The Ryan White Wellness Center is operated by Roper St. Francis Healthcare. The center is a sexual health non-profit organization focusing on wellness, education and advocacy. It is the only one-stop-shop in the area for clinical and supportive services for those who are HIV positive and/or at-risk. All services are free to those who qualify. The organization’s vision is to foster an HIV-free generation through quality care, case management, prevention, outreach and advocacy.

Some of the partners that have signed on for this year’s event include The Pub on 61, Cru Cafe, Dudley’s on Ann, Cast Iron Food Truck and Sugar Bake Shop.

To kick off this year’s Dining Out for Life event, there will be a Special Wig Out benefit show will be hosted at El Jefe on Wednesday, April 24. 

At the Greenway and Bon Secours St. Francis Hospitals Food trucks & fun activities will be happening. At Taco Boy, Takeover Charleston will once again host a gathering of food and entertainment the evening of April 25.

To end the night, Dudley’s on Ann will host a special Patti O’Furniture Drag Show starting at 11pm on April 25.

“We’re proud to lead an event that recognizes the importance of change in an ever-evolving scene of HIV care and prevention,” said Kim Butler, Director at the Ryan White Wellness Center. “We remind our patients and the community that there is life after an HIV diagnosis. Donations from Dining Out For Life increase opportunities for innovation, prevention and a true sense of rejuvenation in our community.”

Many restaurants are offering exclusive menu options and drink specials to raise awareness. For a full list of participating restaurants in Charleston, visit https://www.diningoutforlife.com/city/charleston/.

A full week of Dining Out For Life Events:

  • Wednesday, April 24 – El Jefe hosts Dining Out For Life for its Wig Out Wednesday. Drink specials and all money raised goes towards Ryan White Wellness Center. Guests who mention “Ryan White” in April will receive a free taco with their order.
  • Thursday, April 25 – National Dining Out For Life. Special food truck gathering on the The Greenway behind Roper Hospital Medical Office Building during lunchtime. Charlie the RiverDog and sponsor Crews Subaru of Charleston will have cars on display
  • Thursday, April 25 – 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. – Taco Boy in downtown Charleston hosts the official Dining Out For Life community celebration with entertainment from DJ Trevor D, Takeover Charleston and performances by Carmella Monet Monroe, Jaisee Alexander, Victoria Vixen and Symone N. O’Bishop.
  • Thursday, April 25 – 11 p.m. Patti O’Furniture Drag show at Dudley’s on Ann.
  • Saturday, April 27 – Roper St. Francis Healthcare night at Charleston RiverDogs game. Percentage of ticket sales go to Ryan White Wellness Center. To purchase, visit riverdogs.com/groups and enter password DINEOUT. 

“When my partner David and I started Sugar Bakeshop in 2007, we made a commitment to support our community,” said co-owner Bill Bowick. “The Ryan White Wellness Center makes certain that people living with HIV get the help they need. We’re proud to have created a custom cupcake design and are proud to be donating April proceeds to the cause.”

With so many events going on at one time, there is no reason to stay in! Go out, enjoy and Dine out for life! 

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