Eat for a cause: Dine out to fight AIDS

More than 50 local restaurants will donate a portion of their sales Thursday to the AIDS Service Association of Pinellas.

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Grab a bite at some of Tampa Bay’s best eateries today and give back to the HIV/AIDS community.

More than 50 restaurants throughout Hillsborough and Pinellas counties are participating in this year's Dining Out for Life fundraiser. A percentage of the sales from meals you order today at those restaurants will benefit the AIDS Service Association of Pinellas.

Conceived in 1991 by an ActionAIDS volunteer in Philadelphia, the idea for Dining Out for Life has spread throughout the United States and Canada. Today the benefit raises nearly $4 million annually to benefit organizations offering HIV and AIDS services, boasting more than 3,000 participating restaurants in 55 cities. And every year, more cities are added.

ASAP has been providing health care and other HIV/AIDS services to Pinellas County since 1987. In 1997, it became an affiliate of Suncoast Hospice. ASAP hosts a number of well-known fundraising events throughout the year in addition to Dining Out for Life, including AIDS Walk St. Pete, the Santa Speedo Run and the Red Ribbon Dance.

For a complete list of restaurants participating in the Bay area’s Dining Out for Life, use the sidebar on the left and search by zip code, address or city.

PS: That ActionAIDS volunteer, Julie Drizin, was working in the office of Larry Biddle at the time, who was development director of the organization and helped the DOFL concept go national. He now lives in St. Petersburg, where he's head of development for the soon-to-open LGBT Welcome Center in St. Pete. (He's also married to Creative Loafing Editor-in-Chief David Warner.)

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