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Thursday, March 25th, 2010 | 11:18 am

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Local restaurants to give 25 per cent of today's proceeds to Dine Out for Life

By Kathy Michaels

Profits have been tough for many business owners to come by over the last year, but one cause has prompted local restaurateurs to pony up a quarter of their proceeds for charity — for one day at least.

Today is Dining Out For Life, an event that sees participating Okanagan restaurants pledge 25 per cent of their revenues from breakfast, lunch or dinner to the Living Positive Resource Centre to help support the fight against AIDS.

“We’ve been doing this for six years and it grows each year,” said the centre’s Karen Alexander, of the event that started  in 1991 in Philadelphia.

Last year about $17,000 was raised through the one day event and this year the goal is to raise $20,000.

With more restaurants participating, and more locals aware of the cause, it should be easier to do.

Among the new recruits is Hanna’s Waterfront Lounge and Grill.

“We are a big supporter of Living Positive Resource Centre and we wanted to do something to support the community so we decided to take part in this,” said Jason Yeoman, the restaurant’s assistant general manager.

“We’ve taken part in other charities, but nothing like this one before. (This cause) is just one of those things that is starting to affect more people in the world and it’s a good cause for us to get involved in.”

While the cause has grown to more than 3,500 restaurants in 55 cities throughout North America, having raised more than $4 million for charity, funds raised locally stay in the community and they’ve never been more relevant than they are right now.

“We are really hoping for even greater community support for Dining Out for Life this year. The recent provincial budget has brought changes that will greatly impact many of the clients we serve, so the demands placed upon our organization and the services we provide are going to increase dramatically,” said Daryle Roberts, executive director of Living Positive Resource Centre.

A new addition to this year’s Dining Out for Life program in the Okanagan is the Community Challenge, which allows local businesses, organizations and service clubs to become a Restaurant Host and encourage all of their staff, members, clients, customers, family and friends to join them at the participant restaurant where they are the host.

To see the full list of participating restaurants make sure to visit the Dine Out for Life website.

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