Frances Allen’s Desert Roundup—Dining Out For Life Raises Record Funds For Desert AIDS Project | BH Courier

Frances Allen’s Desert Roundup—Dining Out For Life Raises Record Funds For Desert AIDS Project

Posted: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 – 11:44 AM

The tally is now in and it’s impressive. More than 60 Coachella Valley restaurants participated in Dining Out For Life, raising $230,000 for client services at Desert AIDS Project (D.A.P.) in Palm Springs.

Although the Dining Out For Life event, which took place last April 27, was not unique – there were 51 other locations participating across the country – but, because of the generosity of local restaurateurs and sold out venues, the local event ranks third in overall fundraising as compared to 51 other participating locations in the U.S.

How it works is simple. Participating restaurants donate 33 to 100 percent, or more, of the cost of each meal served to Dining Out For Life, a national campaign held each year on the last Thursday in April throughout the U.S. and Canada to raise funds for AIDS Service organizations. 

In the Desert, the generous participating restaurants of the Coachella Valley contributed 33 percent or more of their food, beverage and liquor gross to support D.A.P. The three top restaurants this year, with a combined total of $55,400, are Lulu California Bistro, Spencer’s Restaurant and Trio. 

Five local restaurants: Towne Bagels, 533 Viet Fusion, The Barn Kitchen at Sparrows Lodge, Ristretto for Coffee and Rooster and the Pig, each, donated 100 percent of their day’s proceeds to D.A.P. And, not to be outdone, the entire wait staff at the Rooster and the Pig also chose to donate all of its tips from the evening to raise funds for client services at Desert AIDS Project.

Save the date; the next last Thursday in 2018 falls on April 26. But, you don’t have to wait until then. The participating restaurants are open all year round.

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“There are no bad dogs, just bad owners.”

One need look no further than the 19th Annual Pets On Parade Awards Luncheon held at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage where pets of all breeds and species co-existed with each other and their owners in presenting a fundraising luncheon benefiting two animal-centric organizations: Pegasus Therapeutic Riding and Loving All Animals.

It was striking how well behaved the pets, especially the dogs of all sizes, with no barking, growls or misbehaviors were … something their human companions should emulate.

Although it has grown remarkably over the past 30 years, Pegasus Therapeutic Riding is, and will always be, associated with its president and founder, Lori Sarner.

Sarner developed a program of equine therapy whereby handicapped riders —ranging in age from three to 93—can feel the benefits of a horse’s gentle gait while also enhancing their self-esteem. This program, tailored to each rider, began with only a couple of horses and four riders. Today, Pegasus has a stable of more than a dozen therapy horses and 120 volunteers serving more than 175 active, weekly riders who have been deemed handicapped by the public school system or Social Security.

The mission of Loving All Animals, founded by local animal activist Lindi Biggi, is to join with local and national animal welfare organizations to maximize programs intended to stop the killing of adoptable animals. They do this by facilitating the meeting of rescue animals with potential owners and easing the adoption process. One of the ways the organization does this is by their Pets to People transportation program: Mobile Mutts, which brings —in a stretch, white limousine— suitable dogs to interested parties for viewing in their homes.

More information about Pegasus Therapeutic Riding is available at 760-772-3057; for Loving All Animals, call 760-834-7000.