Dining Out for Life is a particularly popular fundraiser here in town that has benefited Nashville Cares thanks to the largesse of Music City restaurants and diners for more than a decade. On a personal note, I was one of the chairs of this year's event and I was absolutely blown away by the generosity of the restaurants that participated and the thousands of people who made it a point to eat out on a Tuesday night to help Cares support people living with HIV in Middle Tennessee.
I certainly don't want to claim any more responsibility for this year's results (other than the three meals I personally ate out that day), but 2013 was a record year for DOFL. In fact, the event blew past every single goal the organization set for this year, raising more than $160,000 from 73 participating restaurants! The largest money-raisers were Arnold Myint's restaurants blvd nashville and PM, in addition to his co-owned restaurant Suzy Wong's House of Yum, also owned by David Taylor, Keith Blaydes, Joey Brown and Todd Roman, which brought in more than $16,000 during the night of DOFL and through an extremely well-attended Sunday brunch at blvd. Thanks to all the patrons and restaurants who took part in this year's DOFL.
Another big event was New Belgium Brewing's Tour de Fat, which brought together 5,000 people in Centennial Park last month, with more than 1,200 of them participating in the fun and wacky bike parade.
Considering it was a free event to attend, it is astonishing that the Tour raised more than $35,000 for Nashville bicycle-related nonprofits Sound Forest, Walk/Bike Nashville and Ride For Reading. The money came from proceeds from beer and merchandise sales and donations from bike parade participants and will go a long way to improve the bikeability of our city.
One person who will personally benefit from any improvements is Ayzit Doydum, who committed to give up his car for a year as part of the tour's "car for bike swap" challenge. “Winning this opportunity to trade in my car for a bike will be a great way for me live how I want: in harmony with nature, my city and myself,” Ayzit said. “As far as I'm concerned, this is a win-win-win situation.”
Both events were definitely winners as far as I'm concerned, so pat yourself on the back Nashville!