Dining Out For Life

Dining Out For Life On Thursday, May 1, 2008 join the AIDS Coalition of Southern New Jersey (ACSNJ) for the 17th anniversary of Dining Out for Life, an International fundraiser supporting AIDS service organizations. This year, 38 restaurants will participate in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester Counties to raise awareness and essential funds for ACSNJ programs and services. A full list of participating restaurants is available on www.diningoutforlife.com.

On the night of Dining Out for Life, 33 percent of all food sales from participating restaurants go directly to ACSNJ. These funds support ACSNJ’s 18 programs and services including case management, a food bank, employment counseling, legal services, support groups, transportation and a Camden-based drop-in center. Dine out and make a difference by inviting family, friends and co-workers to dine at one of the participating restaurants in Southern New Jersey. Reservations are highly recommended. “Each year Dining Out for Life produces outstanding support from local community members to help those living with HIV/AIDS. This year is significant for ACSNJ because it is the agency’s 20th Anniversary year of providing programs and services for those affected by HIV/AIDS,” said Arthur Dion, President/CEO of ACSNJ. “Those who dine out have the opportunity to enjoy a great meal at some of Southern New Jersey’s finest restaurants and also make a difference in the lives of those affected by this terrible disease. Thank you to all of the donors and volunteers who help to make Dining Out for Life a success.”

ACSNJ is also currently recruiting volunteer restaurant ambassadors to help with this event. An ambassador is a trained volunteer who acts as a representative for ACSNJ at Dining Out for Life participating restaurants. Ambassadors are outgoing, fun and confident individuals who support ACSNJ’s mission to provide effective, free social services to those affected by HIV/AIDS in Southern New Jersey. Ambassadors help fill restaurants with people and answer diner’s questions the night of the event. This volunteer role is essential to the success of Dining Out for Life.

“The idea behind Dining Out for Life is simple – dine out, fight AIDS. People of all ages and backgrounds can join together and enjoy a meal with friends and family while helping to address this important issue. We invite all members of the Southern New Jersey community to dine out on May 1st,” said Donald Albertson, ACSNJ Director of Marketing and Development.

“In 2007, Dining Out for Life raised over $35,000 for ACSNJ programs and services. This was the agency’s biggest Dining Out for Life fundraising total to date. This year we hope to top that amount,” Albertson said.

Dining Out for Life was started 16 years ago by ActionAIDS, a Philadelphia-based AIDS service organization. After raising $20 thousand the first year and continuing to expand over the next five years, ActionAIDS reached out nationally and sold the event to Dining Out for Life International. Now Dining Out for Life takes place in 46 cities across the United States and Canada raising over $3 million per year.

In total, six AIDS service organizations participate in Dining Out for Life in the Philadelphia region including: ActionAIDS, AIDS Coalition of Southern New Jersey (ACSNJ), AIDS Delaware, Family and Community Service of Delaware County, Planned Parenthood Association of Bucks County and Planned Parenthood of Chester County.

Based on the December 2007 New Jersey HIV/AIDS Report (www.state.nj.us/health) from the Department of Health and Senior Services, there are 34,470 people living with HIV/AIDS in the state of New Jersey. In fact, New Jersey ranks first in the proportion of women living with HIV/AIDS, third in pediatric cases and fifth in cumulative AIDS cases. In the four county area that ACSNJ serves (Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem) there are 2,627 individuals living with HIV/AIDS.

For more information about the event, log on to the national Dining Out for Life website at www.diningoutforlife.com, call the toll free hotline at 1-877-EAT-4-LIFE, or call ACSNJ Event Coordinator, Suzanne Paquette, at 856-933-9500, ext. 204.

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Author: Press Release

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