Fine dining for charity
Posted on Mar 06, 2013 in Features
Ever heard of partying for a cause? The Birmingham Aids Outreach Clinic (BAO) is all about it.
It is full steam ahead for the BAO this month as they continue a four-week string of meet and greets, aimed to help those battling HIV and AIDS in the Birmingham area.
Originating in 2008, ‘Passport to Dine’ is an annual fundraiser in the early spring by volunteers hosting parties in their homes and businesses throughout the Birmingham metro area, selling tickets for $25, $50, $75 or $100 each.
Each host donates their time, food and beverages to ensure that 100 percent of the profits go to the BAO’s efforts. Hosts can decide the date, time, theme and number of guests at their party.
Many are open to the public while others are by invitation only, and people are encouraged to attend more than one party. After all, it’s all about saving lives and meeting good people.
“The fundraiser receives outstanding amounts of support from the Birmingham community,” said Jamie Whitehurst, the Development Director of BOA.
“These events wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for our community and the support we receive. We have amazing volunteers, and we’re always looking for more.”
Businesses, like Ado Dram, Urban Suburban, B & A Warehouse, Omega Wellness and Mac Cosmetics, donate items to be featured in the BOA’s live and silent auctions.
Whitehurst said the support from the community is unsurpassed, especially from restaurants like The Silverton Café, which hosts a Passport to Dine party every year and supports the BOA in every avenue.
If you’re wondering what motivates these party planners, it’s not only the fantastic feeling that comes from helping others—there’s also a dream vacation on the line.
One lucky guest or host will win a Caribbean cruise for two on the MSC Divina. Hailed “The Most Beautiful Ship in the World”, it boasts modern Italian design, sparkling pools, massive theatres and a luxurious spa.
The ship will visit St. Maarten, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas and will dock out of Miami, FL in Feb. of 2014. Participants will receive one entry into the vacation giveaway for every $25 donated to the BOA. For instance, if they pay a total of $100 to Passport to Dine, they will receive four entries. Hosts gain an entry into the contest for every $100 their party generates. If they sell $1,000 worth of tickets, they will receive ten entries.
This month-long event will end with a bang on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17 at the “Sham on the Rocks” finale party, which will be held at The Furnace from 3 – 6 p.m.
The party will host talents like the Birmingham Sugar Babies and the “Once in a Lifetime” 80’s cover band. A silent and live auction will accompany complimentary champagne, light hors d’oeuvres, and catering provided by B&A Warehouse. For those who are feeling lucky, additional entries in the contest can be purchased at the party for $25 each. The event will cost $25 at the door, but is free to party hosts and guests.
All proceeds will help the BAO fund free HIV screenings and preventative education. They also aid the community by funding prescription co-pays, offering counseling services, donating food vouchers, helping people find adequate transportation, offering free legal services and even helping people afford pet food for their furry friends. Whitehurst said, “Whether it’s Passport to Dine or the Magic City AIDS Walk, we’re always trying to help”.
Those interested in hosting or attending a Passport to Dine party can apply online at www.birminghamaidsoutreach.org. The BAO is always taking volunteers for their food pantry and clothing closet. Call Jamie at (205) 322-4197 for more information.