Area residents who dined at one of 11 participating restaurants on Tuesday supported local HIV and AIDS programs and awareness.
The annual Dining Out For Life fundraiser for Evergreen Health Services gave area residents the chance to dine for a cause that has raised more than $75,000 for local programs since its inception in 2003.
This year, the Southern Tier had 11 restaurants participating across Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties, each of which donated between 25 and 50 percent of proceeds. In Jamestown, Alfie's, Forte, Hometown Grill, House of Petillo, Labyrinth Press Company, Jones 212 Bakery and Cafe, and Sky Bar participated. EBC West in Fredonia, Andriaccio's in Mayville, Harbor Grill in Celoron and Patria at the Seneca Allegany Casino in Cattaraugus County also participated.
Area residents stop by Alfie’s in Jamestown to enjoy a meal during Dining Out For Life. Seated on left from front are Alyce Peterson and Tiffany Ferguson and on right are Kyle Cashmore and Samantha Muntz.
P-J photos by Dusten Rader
Each restaurant was staffed with ambassadors who helped those dining with any questions. At Alfies, the longest participating restaurant in Jamestown, Richard Baer served as an ambassador for the 11th year.
"When I moved to Jamestown I wanted to get involved, and this was a great organization," said Baer. "It's always a fun event, and every year it grows exponentially. Every year it shows a little bit more in the sales, and there are so many people that come out just for this event."
In addition to serving as an ambassador, each year Baer helps organize a drawing for those who attend Alfie's. This year's drawing was for a grill set donated by Big Lots of Jamestown.
According to Samantha Muntz, of Jamestown, she attended Alfie's with several of her friends - Alyce Peterson, Tiffany Ferguson, and Kyle Cashmore - to enjoy a meal and also support a good cause.
"I think it's important to support a cause such as this, especially because it's local," said Muntz. "I go out every year for the event, but this is our first time at Alfie's for Dining Out For Life, and I enjoyed it. I came to Alfie's because it donates 50 percent."
Cashmore, who didn't know that the fundraiser was occurring, said he was happy to learn that the meal he had just eaten also served to help a local charity, and that he would likely attend again next year.
"I didn't even know anything about it," said Cashmore. "I was working out, and Samantha called me to ask if I'd come. She told me it was for a good cause, so I did. It feels great knowing that 50 percent of the proceeds from my meal will be donated."
Not only was Alfie's one of the first Jamestown restaurants to participate, but it has also donated 50 percent of proceeds each year, which is the highest amount in the area. Tina Hetrick, Alfie's manager, said that she looks forward to the fundraiser each year because it is a lot of fun, it is a for a local cause and it is good for business.