The recent public health emergency due to HIV infections in Indiana is a reminder that HIV and AIDS are still a threat.
“HIV cases have been rising in Rhode Island, we must remember,” said AIDS Project RI executive director Stephen Hourahan. “We’re not facing what Indiana is facing, but we need to be vigilant. People need to get tested for HIV, practice safe sex, and take other steps to help the state reach its goal of zero new HIV infections.” HIV is the virus that can lead to AIDS.
Funding testing programs and services is also key, and one way to do that is through participating in “Dining Out for Life” at many restaurants in the Rhode Island area on Thursday, April 30. Part of breakfast, lunch or dinner bills will be directed to AIDS Project RI.
“We’re asking people to visit our website to get the complete list of restaurants, which will continue to grow up to the day of the event,” said AIDS Project RI development director Julie Casimiro. The website address is www.aidsprojectri.org. Restaurants, food trucks, cafeterias and the like interested in participating should call her at 401-519-2289 or email her at Julie@aidsprojectri.org. “We’re pleased to partner with the EatDrinkRI Festival, which is kicking off the same day with ‘Dinner by Dames to benefit AIDS Project RI’ at Roger Williams Park Casino in Providence. Visit eatdrinkri.com for more information.”
As of this writing, the following restaurants/food events are participating: in Cranston: Bistro 22; East Greenwich, Grille on Main and Tió Mateo’s; Newport, Despina’s Café and SpeakEasy; North Kingstown, the Carriage Inn and Bravo Wood Fired Pizza; North Smithfield, Cafe900; Pawtucket, Hose Company #6 and Rasoi; in Providence, Blaze East Side, CAV, Easy Entertaining, EatDrinkRI’s “Dinner by Dames,” GPub, Gracie’s, India, Kitchen Bar, Los Andes, the Melting Pot, New Rivers, Parkside, Pizzico, Rosalina, and Three Sisters; in Warren, Federal Hill Pizza and Simone’s; and in Woonsocket, the Burrito Company. The event is sponsored by Rustigian Rugs in Providence.
“We work to fill these restaurants, even introducing their establishment to new customers, so they have a great business day and end up sending a sizeable check to AIDS Project RI,” she said. Restaurants donate 25 to 50% from each dinner check—or checks from all meals on that day—or donate a flat amount.
This year’s honorary co-chairs for the event are: NBC 10’s Mario Hilario; David Dadekian, founder and president of Eat Drink RI, a leading local culinary media, marketing and event production company; and Jamie Coelho, an associate editor at Rhode Island Monthly and the producer of the food and restaurant email newsletter “The Dish.”
For more than 30 years, AIDS Project RI has provided HIV/AIDS prevention and education services, as well as assistance for people living with HIV/AIDS. AIDS Project RI is a division of Family Service of RI. More information is available at www.aidsprojectri.org.