Communing over food and drink has always been a fundamental aspect of the human culture. Dining together provides sustenance for the stomach and spirit, giving the diners a moment to reflect and connect, which is likely why dining out for a good cause is such a brilliant and successful fundraising model. Pierce County Aids Foundation (PCAF) has this in mind when hosting their annual Dining Out for Life fundraiser, due to occur this year on April 27.
One Dining Out for Life supporter says, “This is probably one of my favorite events every year. Why, you ask? Because you get to help support a great cause just by eating! How much better could that be?”
And seriously, how much better does it get? The idea is that folks can choose a participating restaurant of their liking and that establishment donates a percentage of proceeds from that day to the cause. The event boasts one of PCAF’s largest outreach and fundraising efforts of the year with all proceeds directly benefiting their programs and services available in the South Sound.
PCAF Development Coordinator Hannah Febach said of their mission, "PCAF, through education and service, prevents HIV infection, assists persons affected by HIV and AIDS, addresses related health problems, and combats associated stigma and discrimination by providing these services. The services are provided at one of our two locations, an office in Tacoma and an office in Olympia, through which we serve people affected by HIV in Pierce, Thurston, Mason, and Lewis Counties.”
The PCAF website clarifies more so, stating: “We’re dedicated to assisting persons living with HIV to meet their needs for food, housing, healthcare, and personal support. We also provide extensive outreach, education and prevention programs including free HIV testing to help stop the spread of HIV and work to combat HIV related stigma.”
Dining Out for Life isn’t just a Pierce County phenomenon. The event occurs nationwide on the final Thursday in April annually in over 60 cities. Participating establishments can donate anywhere from 25 to 100 percent of proceeds to benefit the cause, though all money raised locally stays local. This year marks the 23rd year that PCAF has hosted the event in the South Sound. The list of participating establishments is diverse and includes more than 40 options in this region.
Olympians can stay local with places like Dillinger’s Cocktails and Kitchen and Traditions Café. Early bird Tacomans can begin bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with breakfast staples like Old Milwaukee Café or Marcia’s Silverspoon. Adventurous diners can go international with places like East West Café and Gateway to India. Indulge during your lunch break with pick-me-ups like the Red Hot or Happy Belly. Or even make a date night or ladies night out of it and dine with Primo Grill, sip ice cold brews at 7 Seas Brewing or enjoy a wee dram with Heritage Distilling Company.
If you can’t make it out to dine out with friends during festivities, you can still contribute to the cause by making a donation. Febach says, “We will have volunteers stationed at restaurants talking to diners about the event and giving them the opportunity to donate. If, for any reason, a diner doesn't connect with a volunteer while dining out, they can still donate online.”
For more details about the Pierce County Aids Foundation or to make a donation or view the full list of participating restaurants visit www.diningoutforlife.com/southsound.