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Eat at these restaurants and support programs for those with HIV/AIDS, hep C

A Taste for Life returns for 11th year April 26 
A Taste for Life, which raises funds for Réseau Access Network, returns April 26. Bella Vita Cucina owner and chef Filippo Rocca and Réseau Access Network co-ordinator of community resources Justin Burns helped to promote the event at a recent press conference. (Heidi Ulrichsen/   

If you've been meaning to go out for a meal with friends, April 26 would be a great day to do it.

That's because 12 local restaurants are participating in the 11th annual A Taste for Life fundraiser for Réseau Access Network next Wednesday.

If you dine in at one of the participating restaurants, they'll donate 25 per cent of the cost of your meal to the cause.

Formerly known as Access AIDS, Réseau Access Network provides local HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C education, prevention and outreach programs.

Filippo Rocca, owner and chef of Bella Vita Cucina on Kathleen Street, said this is his sixth year participating in A Taste for Life. 

He said he has about 100 people visit his restaurant for the event every year, raising between $1,200 and $1,500 for the cause.

“Us, the lucky ones, we're healthy and we work, we should help the unlucky ones that need help, and in this case people that live with AIDS and hepatitis,” Rocca said, speaking at a April 19 press conference.

Réseau Access Network executive Richard Rainville said A Taste for Life accounts for about 19 per cent of the agency's yearly fundraising efforts. 

Since its inception, the event has raised more than $110,000, and the agency is hoping for another $14,000 this year.

“We appreciate the restauranteurs, owners and managers who recognize the benefits of being part of such a worthwhile event,” Rainville said. 

“We are encouraged by the growing number of patrons who visit their favourite participating restaurants year after year.

“Réseau Access Network could not provide the services it does without your help. Wednesday, April 26 is soon approaching, and I hope many of you here today will be able to make it out to a participating restaurant for either lunch, dinner, or perhaps both.”

Participating restaurants:

Lunch and dinner

  • Fionn MacCool's – Kingsway and Regent
  • Fromagerie Elgin 
  • Hardrock 42 Gastropub
  • Peddler's Pub
  • Tucos Taco Lounge

Dinner only 

  • Anke & Tony's Seafood 
  • Bella Vita Cucina
  • My Thai Palace – Notre Dame and Long Lake
  • Rose Apple Restaurant 
  • Signatures Restaurant

Heidi Ulrichsen

About the Author: Heidi Ulrichsen

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