‘Dining out for Life’ returns to Lexington

‘Dining out for Life’ returns to Lexington
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 3:10 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - More than 50 restaurants are participating in AVOL Kentucky’s ‘Dining out for Life’ event on Thursday.

The day is all about raising awareness about HIV/AIDS and sparking change in the fight to end it.

AVOL representatives said ‘Dining out for Life’ is the biggest fundraiser they do every year. They said it’s a fun and delicious way to raise money for an organization that meets the needs of many in the community.

“In one day, we’re able to really do a lot and create a lot of impact,” said Jon Parker, the executive director of AVOL Kentucky.

Dozens of restaurants in states across the country participate in ‘Dining out for Life.’ In the Bluegrass, all of the money goes to help AVOL’s mission.

“We have people who are living a long time with HIV, but they still need the support, medical care, medications and housing services,” said Parker.

Every restaurant that participates donates at least 25% of their sales from the day to AVOL. Third Street Stuff owner Pat Gerhard said they’ve participated for the last 15 years. She said she’s grateful to be a part of it.

“I had friends and colleagues, and that fear was so hard to get over and the help was so necessary for that population that I was super glad to hear that there was this Lexington group raising awareness,” said Gerhard.

Information tables were set up outside of each participating restaurant.

“There’s a lot of people who come out for ‘Dining out for Life’ and learn more about HIV and HIV prevention and HIV testing. One in seven people living with HIV don’t know they have the virus,” said Parker.

AVOL volunteer, Sarabeth Brownrobie said it’s encouraging to see people come by and support the mission, whether it’s dropping money in the bucket or buying a coffee.

“All sorts of people are donating. I’ve had some kids that go to Sayre that have been dropping coins in, and I have people who’ve dropped in larger donations as well,” said Brownrobie.

AVOL said they expect to raise upwards of $100,000 from the event. They said they’ll do a final count and make an announcement in November.