A bit of a public service announcement...
It's been a while since I have posted anything on Field Gulls. Work and family responsibilities and all that. (Not that I've been missed with all the outstanding stuff going up on this blog daily.)
One thing keeping me busy these days is serving on the Board of Directors of the South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council (SCHAC) here in my adopted hometown of Columbia. Despite some exciting recent medical advances, HIV/AIDS still constitutes an enormous public health crisis in the US (.pdf). SCHAC is responding to the crisis in South Carolina by providing community-based education for HIV prevention, testing for sexually-transmitted infections, and case management for people living with HIV/AIDS. Unfortunately, funding from state and federal agencies (as well as private foundations) has become increasingly scarce.
On draft night (and every 4th Thursday in April), hundreds of local AIDS service organizations will participate in Dining Out for Life. This North American fundraising event is the best kind--the kind where you don't have to write a check but still know you helped. All you have to do is show up at a participating Dining Out for Life restaurant and pay for your meal. Each restaurant will donate a percentage of the evening's proceeds to a local AIDS service organization like mine. All the money raised at the event will remain entirely in your neighborhoods, helping your family, friends, and neighbors. It's as easy as that.
To recap, you can be part of the fight against HIV/AIDS in your community in five easy steps: (1) go to DiningOutforLife.com, (2) locate your city on the map, (3) find a participating restaurant near you, (4) notify your crew where the draft party will be, then (5) go glory in Mel's hair (or yell at it if you find that more therapeutic).
So, maybe you were just gonna have a few friends over for pizza and beer. Please consider going to a Dining Out for Life restaurant for your draft night festivities instead. Seattle alone has well over 50 participating restaurants. So, there's lots to choose from. And, you'll be using your NFL draft fetish for good instead of evil.
One last thing. When you patronize a Dining Out for Life restaurant on Thursday--and I hope you do--please thank them for participating.