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Helping local charity feels - and tastes - good

Fundraiser sees restaurants give portion of the bill to ARCH -- HIV/AIDS Resources and Community Health
File photo

If you’re going out for dinner this week, think about going out tonight.

That’s the day your dining-out dollars can benefit ARCH -- HIV/AIDS Resources and Community Health – and that will benefit people in the region who need medical and emotional support as they go through treatment.

“It’s one of our biggest fundraisers,” Tom Hammond, executive director, said. “And we’re really excited that restaurants from across the catchment area are participating this year.”

Some 19 restaurants in the region are taking part in A Taste for Life, and will donate 25 percent of their sales on April 20 to ARCH. It’s part of a provincial initiative, so even if you dine out of the area, you can still support AIDs clinics across the province.

Hammond said they hope to raise $20,000 locally.

“The restaurants have been amazing,” Hammond said. “We have repeats that keep supporting us plus new establishments have come on board. And we appreciate the individuals who organize family and friend dinners on this day to help us out too.”

Each restaurant will raffle off a gift basket and participating diners can also enter a draw for a VIA Rail pass for two from Toronto to Montreal.

Hammond said ARCH used to hold gala events and they were very successful. But they take a lot of staff time to organize, he said. This event means people don’t have to make a donation, they merely have to eat at a participating restaurant on April 20. And being part of a provincial initiative adds momentum to the initiative.

Sheri Bishop, owner of With the Grain, said her restaurant has been part of a Taste for Life since its inception.

“We have a mandate to participate in community events and this fits with health and wellness for us,” Bishop said. “It’s a great event and we’re happy to be part of it.”

Bishop said With the Grain is generally busy every day so some of her customers might not be aware that they are supporting ARCH by buying a meal tonight.

“The way it works is so user-friendly,” Bishop said. “We have signs up and talk about the program. Many will make additional donations once they understand the cause.”

Participating restaurants in Guelph include: 39 Carden Street Bistro, Breezy Corners Family Restaurant, Artesenale French Country Cooking, Atmosphere  Café, Babelfish Bistro, The Bollywood Bistro, The Cornerstone, The Delhi Street Bistro, Diwa Classic Indian Cuisine, With the Grain Bakery Cafe, NV Lounge, The Works Gourmet Burger Bistro and Zen Gardens.

Outside of Guelph, visit the following restaurants to participate: Aberfoyle Mill, Puslinch; The Cellar Pub and Grill, Elora; The Bleeding Carrot, Owen Sound; The Brew House on the Grand, Fergus; Cork Restaurant, Elora; and The Spot Restaurant, Mount Forest.

Some restaurants require reservations; others are only open for lunch so it’s best to check the list of participating restaurants at