If you’re like a lot of Ashevilleans, chances are you’re ordering from a waiter at least as often as you’re cracking open a cookbook. And with Western North Carolina’s amazing culinary lineup, why waste time cooking at home (and doing the dishes … ugh)? Foodies can put their gastronomic passions to work for charity on Tuesday, March 8, when the Asheville Humane Society partners with a host of local eateries for the annual Dine to Be Kind fundraiser.
“Dine to Be Kind is a collaboration of local restaurants who partner with AHS for one day to help raise funds by donating 15 percent of their day’s sales,” says Lauren Weldishofer, special-events manager for AHS. “Thousands of community members contribute to the success of this fundraiser by dining out at our participating restaurants and making individual contributions.”
The area’s only open-admission shelter, AHS is dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming thousands of animals each year. The fundraiser helps support the AHS adoption center in addition to benefiting the organization’s other good works, which include offering pet food assistance through local food pantries, low-cost spay and neuter services, and foster care for homeless pets.
“Funds raised will directly assist our lifesaving programs and goals in creating a healthy and safe community for all pets and their people to live and thrive together,” says Weldishofer.
The long list of this year’s participating restaurants includes relative newbies to the local culinary scene such as THE BLOCK off biltmore and Blue Dream Curry House, as well as longtime favorites such as Chai Pani, City Bakery (north and downtown), The Hop Ice Cream Cafe (north and west), Mellow Mushroom, Plant, Sunny Point Café and others. So, Dine To Be Kind offers an excuse to try someplace new or indulge in an old favorite.
This is the event’s 13th year, and the ante is upped with each edition. “Each year this event gains popularity and raises more money,” says Weldishofer. “Last year we raised over $54,000, and we hope to beat that number again.”
The result of that revenue is pretty impressive. “Last year, we adopted out over 3,200 animals, rehomed over 750 animals through our relocation program and reunited 1,300 lost animals with their families,” Weldishofer adds. “Including all of the pets served through our safety net resources, pet food assistance and community pets initiatives, we served 8,022 in 2015.”
For those who can’t make it out to eat on March 8, AHS will happily accept a donation instead.