Dining Out For Life Raises Funds for Compass 

Volunteers at Starbucks and Compass pose together during Dining Out For Life. Photo via Compass, Facebook.

Last week, Compass raised thousands of dollars for people impacted by HIV/AIDS in their joint event with Dining Out For Life, a national fundraising event held annually. 

This was Palm Beach County’s first time participating in the event. Five restaurants in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, and Lake Worth all donated 30 percent of their proceeds to Compass’ HIV/AIDS prevention services. Although Compass is unsure if they met their $10,000 goal, Chief Development Officer Julia Murphy said the donations from restaurants alone totaled $3,345.  

“Our LGBTQ community in PBC really loved the event and have already asked to bring it back,” Murphy said.

Compass also plans to bring the event back next year, according to Murphy.

Some locals like Carole Benowitz, the president of Palm Beach County’s Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) chapter, ‘dined out’ last week to support Compass.  

“The event is very important to me as an individual who has many friends living with the HIV virus and knowing that there’s a need to be tested,” she said. “I look forward to doing this next year, because it positively brings the Compass community closer, and you meet and make new friends.”

Dining Out For Life events happen all over the country and in Canada. Last year, according to their website, Dining Out For Life raised $4.1 million through over 300,000 dinners. 

A staple of the event is that the money raised in a given city or area, like Palm Beach County, stays in that area. The same applies for Broward County’s Dining Out For Life event, where its event was held the week prior to Palm Beach County’s. Broward’s proceeds benefited Broward 

House, a Fort Lauderdale organization that works to educate the community and prevent HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses.

Compass currently oversees around 400 cases of HIV/AIDS through its case management program, according to its website. Along with case management, Compass also offers free testing Mondays and Thursdays 4-7:30 p.m. and Tuesdays 1-5:30 p.m. Compass also hosts countless awareness events, like its World AIDS Day commemoration and its National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.  

“Many of us are talking about next year, when we will make this an all-day 

extravaganza beginning with breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner and [nightlife] fundraiser for Dining Out For Life,” Benowitz said.