Breaking Bread To Benefit HIV/AIDS

Staff Writer

Each year for about the last 16, Craig Scherman has hosted a cocktail party one evening in November before heading out on the town to dine for a cause.

However, this year, he’ll somewhat break from tradition when he serves as an official captain – or a volunteer representative – of Dining Out for Life, the charity for which he has shown tremendous support since its inception in Louisville. Dining Out for Life is an annual event hosted in more than 3,000 restaurants in 60 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada as a fundraiser for licensed AIDS service agencies.

In its 16th year in Louisville, the event will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 28, at 58 locally-owned diners in Kentuckiana. Dining Out for Life will raise money for House of Ruth, a nonprofit community-based organization caring for families and individuals with or affected by HIV/AIDS. All participating restaurants will donate at least 25 percent of gross sales to House of Ruth; 100 percent of proceeds will be used to assist local residents and families. “House of Ruth is very important to the community,” said Scherman, who will be on hand at Simply Thai in his role as captain to discuss the agency and the importance of the fundraiser. “It answers the need of many people. AIDS is something that affects all of us, either directly or indirectly, and by supporting House of Ruth and Dining Out for Life it’s an easy way to make a contribution to this sector of the community.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 1.2 million people in the U.S. are living with the HIV infection, while 1 in 5 of those people are unaware of their infection. Approximately 50,000 Americans become infected with HIV each year, with the prevalence of new cases in Kentucky currently on the rise. “The thing that amazes me the most (statistically), the No. 1 demographic for new cases in Kentucky are senior citizens and African American women,” said House of Ruth Development Director Cindy Good.

Though AIDS and HIV are not as frequently publicized in the media as in the past, it’s important to continue backing the many people who are affected by the disease. By simply heading out to one of several local eateries in Louisville to enjoy a meal on the 28th, you become a part of the cause – it’s that easy. “I think it is amazing how the community embraces this event,” Good said. “We have one restaurant that’s completely booked already for Dining Out for Life.”

Proof on Main, Porcini, Derby Dinner Playhouse, Garage Bar, Comfy Cow and Simply Thai are just some of the 58 venues participating in this year’s Dining Out for Life. “We’re experiencing another record year as far as participating restaurants,” said Good. “In a time when giving is down our local restaurant community is stepping up.”

House of Ruth is a vital organization for those affected by AIDS and HIV. Last year, House of Ruth served nearly 1,300 people and almost 700 households. The nonprofit also owns 17 scattered-site housing units for HIV/AIDS individuals and families and is a partner in two collaborative grants that provide four one-bedroom units for those infected or affected by HIV/AIDS.

In addition to housing, the agency provides case management, emergency financial assistance, substance abuse recovery, children’s programs, educational workshops and events to promote functional and economic self-sufficiency for those living with or affected by HIV/AIDS.

“Financially (Dining Out for Life has) just been a remarkable and very necessary thing for House of Ruth,” said Good. “Thank you to the community and local restaurants. We continue to just focus on local restaurants and staying local; they have supported us and constantly come through. Other cities have reached out to national chains to find success, and we’ve been able to do that with just our local restaurants.”

For more information on Dining Out for Life, visit Info on the Louisville event can be found at For more on House of Ruth, visit

As a special thank you, each patron who dines at a participating location on Nov. 28 will be automatically registered for a Grand Prize Travel Extravaganza of two round-trip tickets via Southwest Airlines and a complimentary four-night stay at the luxurious Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, in Florida. Also included in the extravaganza is a 7-night stay in a three bedroom condo in Athens, Greece.

Contact writer Ashley Anderson at, 502.498.2051.