Usually, making a donation to a particular cause requires writing a check or volunteering some precious time. On Thursday, all it takes is the lift of a fork.
Dining Out For Life is a charitable program taking place across the country on April 28 where participating restaurants donate a portion of the daysâ€™ earnings. Donations will help raise money and awareness for different licensed agencies â€“â€“ like the Northern Colorado AIDS Project.
Fort Collins has a long list of restaurants participating in the program that fit a range of budgets, from The Melting Pot to either of Mugâ€™s locations. For a full list of participating restaurants go to: http://www.diningoutforlife.com/northerncolorado/participating.
Those feeling hungry and charitable could schedule a whole day of meals around participating locations, starting with a breakfast burrito at La Luz in Old Town, a quick lunch at Mugs and ending with dinner at Austinâ€™s American Grill.
McCabe Callahan, the owner of Mugs, was especially eager to take part in the fundraiser for NCAP in part because their executive director,
Jeffrey Basinger, is a regular at the restaurant.
â€œJeff is a part of the Mugsâ€™ community so we were excited to be able to help out,â€ Callahan said.
Mugs is donating 10 percent of its food and beverage sales from the day for both locations, which would essentially wipe out his profit margin, according to Callahan.
â€œIâ€™m hoping itâ€™s a busy day and we can help raise some good money,â€ Callahan said. â€œWe wonâ€™t profit much from the day, so itâ€™s really about getting donations in.â€
The proceeds from Thursday will be used to further NCAPâ€™s mission â€œto improve the quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS and to help reduce the spread and stigma of the disease.â€
Nordyâ€™s, a local barbeque restaurant taking part in the fundraising event, found it to be a natural fit.
â€œWe do a lot of charity events throughout the fall and spring so when they approached us to take part we said, â€˜of course,â€™â€ said Shannon Brown, Nordyâ€™s bar and service manager.
La Luz Mexican Grillâ€™s owner Peter Schultz said heâ€™s thrilled to take part of Dining Out For Life and to support the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.
La Luz didnâ€™t participate in the fundraising event last year but not because of a lack of interest.
â€œThey didnâ€™t ask us to take part last year,â€ Schultz said.
This year Schultz expressed interest through a friend and got involved.
â€œItâ€™s just an important thing to do,â€ Schultz said.
Dining Out For Life was established in Philadelphia in 1991 and takes place annually throughout the country benefiting different agencies like NCAP across the country. Last yearâ€™s Northern Colorado event raised around $28,000 and nearly $4 million is raised nationally each year.
Staff writer Jesse Benn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.