Two weeks ago, the dine-to-fund event benefitting the St. Mary Medical Center’s Comprehensive AIDS Resource and Education (C.A.R.E.) program was an overwhelming success, doubling last year’s efforts.

The C.A.R.E. to Dine event, where 28 restaurants throughout the city donated 20% of diners’ checks to the program in coordination with over 60 community groups and individual leaders, raised nearly $30,000.

“It was an honor to work with C.A.R.E this year to increase both corporate and individual donations,” said Vice Mayor Robert Garcia, who also served as honorary chair for the event as well as hosting the official after party. “I am so proud of the entire C.A.R.E team, and look forward to partnering again next year for an even larger event, and to raise even more money.”

The event’s success relied not just on restaurants participating, but the communal efforts of many groups which helped coordinate the event, including St. Matthew’s Church, The Center Long Beach, Long Beach Front Runners, Out and About, Long Beach Pride, CSULB students, and the employees of St. Mary’s Medical Center.

“I believe it’s our local cohesive community—from elected officials to non-profits, from community groups to the restaurants—coming together on one day to support a local, vital and important comprehensive HIV/AIDS program that drove its success,” said Raúl Añorve, board member of The Center as well as the Human Relations Commissioner for the City. “The CARE Program is truly one-of-kind provider serving the greater Long Beach area.”