Since you have to eat, consider dining in restaurants this Thursday that support a good cause.
In its fourth year, restaurants that participate in Dining Out For Life Silicon Valley–the only major public fundraising event that supports The Health Trust AIDS Services according to a release–will donate a portion of their sales to help provide food, housing, case management and job counseling to more than 800 low-income clients with HIV/AIDS.
Out of the 44, five restaurants in Mountain View—, , , and —will participate this Thursday, April 26.
"We participate in Dining Out For Life for the fourth year in a row and consistently donate 40 percent of all proceeds for a simple reason: any business can only strive in a healthy community," said Hicham Essadki, the owner of Morocco's, who will donate for both lunch and dinner. "Helping our direct community, on top of feeling great and rewarding, is simply a recipe for us to give back and be successful."
Many of these restaurants have been participating in the event for several years but this year, there are quite a few newcomers, says Jon Breen, fund development coordinator.
First time participant, Susi Garcia, the owner of Fiesta del Mar and Fiesta del Mar Too, explained her restaurants would contribute 20 percent of proceeds.
"We've had a lot of people near to our hearts that have died of AIDS and we wanted to be supportive," she said.
Five restaurants on this year's list have participated in the event since its inception: Hobee’s and Amici’s, Park Place in Cupertino and Loft Bar and Bistro and Morocco’s in downtown San Jose—the sister location to the Mountain View spot.
"When we brought Amici's and our East Coast style pizza to Silicon Valley, we made this community our home," said Amici's President Peter Cooperstein in a release. "Dining Out For Life is a great way to give back, and to bring Valley residents together to help those among us who need our support the most.”
The event is part of a much larger one, which includes 60 cities in the US and Canada and more than 3,500 participating restaurants. The event was born in 1991 in Philadelphia.
Patty Fisher, director of policy and communications at the Health Trust says that there are many reasons to come out and dine at a participating restaurant but the main reason is to help serve others within the community.
"We are facing funding cuts as all nonprofits are and we really need the community to support our AIDS services," Fisher says. "It's getting harder and harder to depend on government funds."
In 2010, the event raised $48,000 for the organization and in 2011 raised $40,000. The organization hopes to raise $65,000 this year in order to make up for lost funds, Fisher says.
The money raised by the event will go back into the Health Trust's AIDS services, the largest HIV/AIDS program in Silicon Valley, with nearly 1,000 individuals and their families benefiting from it.
In 2011, the Health Trust AIDS Services did the following:
- Provided case management services to 755 people;
- Provided food baskets to 506 people;
- Provided housing assistance to 187 people;
- Provided transportation assistance for 300 people;
- Provided emergency funds to 259 people;
- Received 5,127 visits to its wellness and prevention community center.
Fisher says that there are two ways to support the program:
- Go out and eat at the restaurants.
- Donate. There will be envelopes at each of the participating restaurants that visitors can leave a donation. Donations can also be made here.
Won't find yourself in Mountain View for lunch or dinner? These are the participating restaurants by city:
- Habana Cuba
- Las Cazuelas
- Loft Bar & Bistro
- Los Pinitos Restaurant
- Old Wagon Saloon and Grill
- Paolo's Restaurant
- Sonoma Chicken Coop - San Pedro Sonoma Chicken Coop -Skyport
- Splash Video Bar (Where the official "After Party" will be held)
- Time Deli
- Casa de Cobre
- Plumed Horse
- The Basin
For more information and the complete list of participants, visit Dining Out for Life Silicon Valley.