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Dining Out For Life is win-win fundraiser

Those looking for a good reason to dine out Tuesday have one: Nearly 100 restaurants in Erie, Niagara, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties will participate in the 11th annual Dining Out For Life community fundraiser.

Choose a restaurant, make reservations and enjoy dinner. Participating restaurants will contribute 25 percent or more of that day’s food sales to Evergreen Health Services of WNY, formerly AIDS Community Services.

The agency is dedicated to stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS in the region and providing vital services to those living with the disease. It is estimated that 7,800 area families have someone living with, or at high risk for, HIV/AIDS.

Tom Lombardo Jr., partner and beverage manager at Ristorante Lombardo in North Buffalo, is event chairman.

“All you have to donate is your appetite,” he said in a statement. “The restaurants take it from there. Thanks to our hometown restaurant owners, managers, chefs and wait staffs, this has become a successful communitywide fundraiser. We encourage groups of families and friends to get together for a fun night out with an important purpose.”

Volunteer “ambassadors” will be present at the various restaurants to welcome diners and thank them for helping to raise community awareness about HIV/AIDS.

Participating restaurants range from fine dining to casual. For a complete list of area restaurants, visit or call 847-0340.

Founded in Philadelphia in 1991, Dining Out For Life is produced in 60 cities in North America, raising an annual total of $4 million. Buffalo’s event started in 2003 when 27 restaurants raised $22,000. Last year, 20,000 Western New York diners helped to raise $93,000. The total amount raised in the Buffalo area to date is $704,000. All funds raised here stay here.