An international fundraising event will once again hit Philadelphia and will include several new features to encourage donations.
Dining Out For Life will return to the city April 20. The annual event allows people to dine at restaurants and buy products while supporting local HIV/AIDS organizations, including Action Wellness, AIDS Delaware, Family and Community Service of Delaware County, the Camden Area Health Education Center and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Participants only need to make a reservation at a participating restaurant; 33 percent of their resulting bill will go toward these organizations.
Since Action Wellness, which at the time was called ActionAIDS, launched the event in 1991, DOFL has expanded to more than 60 cities in the United States and Canada, where it raises more than $4 million annually for HIV/AIDS organizations. Philadelphia raised $200,000 in 2016.
“It has been really exciting to see the growth,” said Action Wellness executive director Kevin Burns. “The challenge for us over the years has been, especially and most recently, how do we keep the event new and fresh and exciting? So we’ve been working really hard to add new things to the event.”
Among the new initiatives will be the option to text in donations for those who cannot attend. Additionally, Action Wellness will debut the Makers Market where attendees can meet the Philadelphia-area artisans and craftspeople who supply DOFL restaurants with locally roasted coffee, ice cream made with Pennsylvania dairy and other items. The “makers” will sell their wares at the Food Truck Pop Up, which has been a staple at DOFL for the past five years. The pop up includes several food trucks that will donate 33 percent of funds raised to Action Wellness.
Additionally, Yards Brewing Company formed a partnership with Action Wellness to produce Action IPA, a DOFL beer collaboration. Representatives from both organizations will give out T-shirts, hats and pint glasses at participating locations.
Burns noted the event is “inclusive,” with several participating restaurants at varying price points.
“It’s an easy way for donors to support the organization and to support restaurants,” he said. “When we originally started the event, we picked Thursdays because, in those days, Thursdays weren’t a real big restaurant night. It was a way to bring service to the restaurants and be supportive of them as well as support ActionAIDS and AIDS-service organizations.
“It’s a way to have a fantastic meal, be with your community and to support a really important cause, making sure no one faces AIDS alone,” Burns added.
If you go ...
- Visit www.diningoutforlife.com/philadelphia/restaurants for a list of participating restaurants.
- Food Truck Pop Up, which will include the new Makers Market, will take place 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on the 1300 block of Locust Street. Visit the event’s Facebook page for a list of participating trucks and makers: https://www.facebook.com/events/638566709663741. All trucks will donate 33 percent of their sales to Action Wellness.
- Action Wellness and Yards Brewing Company will present their beer collaboration, Action IPA, from 6-10 p.m. with representatives from both organizations distributing Yards merchandise. Visit http://bit.ly/2ojPoOq for a list of participating locations.
- Diners who donate an additional $25 or more will receive a 20-Percent Off Tuesday card, which will allow individuals to receive 20-percent off their food bill at participating restaurants on Tuesday evenings through April 2018.
Interested donors can also support the cause by texting DINE to 50155.