Dining Out For Life (DOFL), an annual event to raise funds for HIV prevention and care, will take place in Asheville on Thursday, April 25. During the event, local restaurants will donate 20 percent of their gross sales to Western North Carolina AIDS Project (WNCAP). “Thousands of people in Western North Carolina are living with HIV and Hepatitis C,” says WNCAP executive director Antonio del Toro. “Many aren’t aware of their status and still more are at risk of contracting blood-borne viruses. We have the tools to eliminate HIV and Hepatitis C in our community and to empower those living with HIV to live full and healthy lives. But we need financial support to help those in desperate need.”
Last year’s event raised more than $130,000 and, with several new participating restaurants and a new marketing strategy, this year’s DOFL is poised to raise even more. “DOFL is an event that brings together two distinctive Asheville characteristics: a love of fine local cuisine and a desire to give back to the community,” says del Toro. “Contributing to HIV prevention and care while dining out at a fabulous local restaurant? There’s nothing more Asheville than that! That’s why I think we’re consistently in the top ten DOFL cities, beating out larger cities like New York, Chicago and Atlanta, year after year.”
In addition to dining at participating restaurants on April 25, those interested in helping WNCAP can join a team of more than 250 DOFL ambassadors. “Becoming a DOFL Ambassador is a great way to have fun and give back to your community,” says del Toro. “Ambassadors fill their favorite restaurant with friends, family and coworkers, and invite diners to enter the DOFL raffle.” Dee Dee Allen has served as an ambassador for DOFL at West Asheville restaurants in past years. “I volunteer as a DOFL Ambassador because helping those who are living with HIV is important to me; as a friend, an ally and a human being,” she says. “Being an ambassador is one way that I can help with that. It’s also lots of fun.”
For more information and a list of participating restaurants, visit WNCAP.org/ DOFL. If you’d like more information about becoming a DOFL Ambassador, please contact Chris Winebrenner at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (828) 252-7489.