What’s even better than dining out at your favorite Austin restaurants? Helping our community while eating that delicious food! All you have to do is dine out on April 25, 2017, at any of the 65+ local restaurants that are donating a portion of their proceeds to Dining Out for Life.
The money from #DineOutATX goes directly to AIDS Services of Austin and will help serve more than 5,000 Austin residents living with HIV. AIDS Services of Austin also provides preventive screenings, education, outreach, and advocacy to at-risk populations. Special Events Coordinator, Cambriae Bates, emphasized they are working hard to raise awareness, fight stigma, and expand services in the Austin area. Dining Out for Life furthers the cause tremendously. In 2015, this event raised more than $40,000.
From Humble Beginnings
When AIDS Services of Austin opened 30 years ago, they started out on a small scale. They’ve slowly but surely grown their profile in Austin, bringing increased awareness and services. Dining Out for Life is one of the organization’s most visible annual events. Anyone can participate by dining out at a participating restaurant on April 25.
This year, more restaurants are involved than ever before, an exciting development for the event’s 25th year. Another win for Dining Out for Life is that all participating restaurants are donating proceeds from sales all day long, versus for only one meal in previous years. They want diners to photograph and post photos to social media with the #DineOutATX hashtag to shine light on the event. We can do this, Austin!
What’s New This Year?
This year, AIDS Services of Austin will have volunteer Ambassadors at each participating restaurant. These Ambassadors will thank guests as they dine out for the cause and answer questions about AIDS Services of Austin. Last year, the nonprofit had a soft roll-out of the Ambassador program. People and restaurants responded well, so they are enlisting even more Ambassadors in 2017, via a volunteer database, and on social media and their website. They welcome new volunteers and provide the necessary training.
Ambassadors also sign diners up for a grand prize drawing. Prizes are donated by AIDS Services of Austin sponsors. This year’s prize has yet to be announced, so stay tuned.
Another factor this year is growth, as the number of participating restaurants sets a new record. Bates noted that with the predicted budget cuts in grants and other funding to AIDS Services of Austin, local restaurants and the local community at-large have stepped to the plate to make up some of the difference. AIDS Services of Austin has also worked to improve communication with participating restaurants to strengthen their working relationships. Several fundraisers will be held this year, such as the recent 1st Annual Food Truck Round Up.
Where Do the Proceeds Go?
AIDS Services of Austin is extending their outreach in the community through testing and educational programs. They are also opening a clinic and pharmacy this year, in order to service more Austin residents who are either living with HIV or at high risk to contract the virus. Currently, the organization serves approximately 7,500 Austin residents in high-risk populations. They estimate Austin is home to 6,000 people with HIV.
Bates stressed the need for more services as Austin’s population swells. With the influx of people, there is a corresponding increase in HIV cases. Based on 2016 CDC statistics, 61 percent of people living with HIV are between the ages of 20 and 39. They record a 40 percent increase in HIV cases among people aged 15 to 24. Among those with HIV, one in eight do not know they have it. This sobering data underscores the importance of extending the organization’s reach among high-risk residents.
Dining Out for Life Participating Restaurants
The list is long, but to whet your appetites, let’s talk about the options you have for good eats.
- Magnolia Cafe
- Amy’s Ice Creams
- Galaxy Cafe
- Ruby’s Barbecue
- Top Notch Hamburgers
- Bouldin Creek Cafe
- Mother’s Cafe
- Hoover’s Cooking
- Texas Chili Queens
- Via 313 (North Campus location)
You can make it a date night at:
See the full list of participating restaurants on the event website. Whatever you do on April 25, make an effort to #DineOutATX and support these businesses who are giving back to our community. You can make an even bigger impact by eating progressive dinner style with your friends!
@theAustinot wants to know:
Where will you eat during Dining Out for Life?
We always have unique content on the Austinot, and we love to give things away. You know, like CDs, event tickets and other cool stuff. We only send out our Best of the Austinot newsletter two times/month. It’s where we give you a recap of our best articles and give stuff away. Interested? Subscribe to Best of the Austinot here!