Dining by Design: Aid for AIDS groups

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Decades after it was mostly limited to younger gay males, the AIDS epidemic now affects men and women, old and young, black and white, rich and poor.

The scope of the disease has broadened - and so has the fight against it. Proceeds from DIFFA's Dining by Design, the annual charity tour that stops in Columbus next weekend, will help fund two local organizations working to adapt to the changing face of victims.

"This is the first time in the event's history that a city has named two beneficiaries," said Gary Bias, executive producer of EventCo Productions, which produces Dining by Design here. "We wanted to show the diversity of the affliction. That was part of the appeal in picking these ones."

Here's more about this year's recipients.

Pater Noster House

In addition to medical treatment, many who are HIV-positive need jobs and housing, a sense of community and a way back into society. That's what they'll find at this nonprofit group with two shelters in Columbus.

For 30 years, the organization has given a hand up - not a hand out - by providing a wealth of occupational assistance to those affected by AIDS.

"We're the only houses of our kind serving Ohio," co-director Stephen Wilson said. "It's the last place to go for many individuals."

During the past several years, the group has seen a 93-percent success rate - clients reentering the workforce and getting the keys to their own place. Donations from Dining by Design will help the group thrive for years to come.

Web: paternosterhouse.org

Nationwide Children's Hospital FACES

This leading hospital has treated pediatric patients with HIV since 1985 and, less than a decade later, began to care for infected adult family members of children in the clinic.

Today, the Family AIDS Clinic and Educational Services offers a range of services aimed to improve quality of life, including primary, specialty and hospice care.

Numerous community-based initiatives promote HIV awareness and prevention, and a program guided by the Ryan White CARE Act reaches out to poor and minorities affected by the disease.

Web: nationwidechildrens.org