Two ways to dine out for good causes

“No frills, no fuss, no tuxedos, no tickets required,” says Harry Brown about the third annual Dining Out For Life fundraiser.

Basically, all participants have to do is “go out and eat,” explains Brown, fundraising chair for the Western North Carolina AIDS Project (WNCAP).

Here’s how it works: Order breakfast, lunch or dinner at any one of more than 60 participating restaurants on Thursday, April 28, and 20 percent of the money you spend will go directly to WNCAP.

At each restaurant, a WNCAP volunteer (there will be 114 of them all together) will be on hand to thank you for your contribution and answer any questions you might have.

The fundraiser will wrap up with a Dining Out For Life “after party” (replete with live entertainment) at Tressa’s, beginning at 9 p.m.

The event has grown in leaps and bounds since its local debut two years ago — from 24 participating restaurants that collectively raised $24,000 in 2003 to 44 participating restaurants that raised $45,000 in 2004. This year, 61 restaurants are participating — including establishments in Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Maggie Valley, Hot Springs, Weaverville and Black Mountain.

Asheville is one of 22 cities holding a Dining Out For Life event on the same day (10 additional cities will hold it at a different time). The concept started 14 years ago in Philadelphia before expanding nationally. The money raised in each community stays in that community, going directly to support a local AIDS services agency.

Established in 1986, WNCAP provides case management services to more than 300 men, women and children affected by HIV, helping them access needed services, including shelter, food, medical and dental care. It’s also the only agency in WNC that conducts HIV prevention and education outreach programs throughout the community.

For a list of participating restaurants, visit www.wncap.org or call WNCAP at 252-7489.

— Lisa Watters

CarePartners Mountain Area Hospice Celebrity Dinner

How would you like to be waited upon by such local luminaries as Asheville City Council member Holly Jones, morning host of Supertalk 1350 Radio Bill Fishburne, UNCA’s women’s basketball coach Betsy Blose, and president of Asheville Pizza & Brewing Company Mike Rangel?

These and other media personalities, sports figures, elected officials and business leaders will serve as celebrity waiters at the 2005 CarePartners Mountain Area Hospice Celebrity Dinner on Thursday, April 21, at the Crest Pavilion on Crest Mountain. All proceeds go to Mountain Area Hospice.

In celebration of CarePartners’ silver anniversary, this year’s dinner will be a decidedly more upscale event, replete with “movie stars,” champagne, and dancing to the sounds of Tuxedo Junction. Semiformal to formal attire is encouraged.

The evening begins at 6 p.m. with a cash bar, followed by dinner and dancing from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $100. For more information, call the CarePartners Foundation at 277-4815.

— Lisa Watters

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