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Delicious Dinners Do Good

Guess who's coming to dinner? Foodies united for a great cause, that's who

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? benefit
Tables all over town are being set for Project Transitions' Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? benefit Project Transitions/Facebook

In a week or so, Austinites will get gussied up and gather all over town to enjoy the delights of great food, fine wine and dining out with friends and family.

And how is that different from what we do every weekend? This time, they'll be eating and socializing for a great cause.

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? is one of Austin's most delicious and ingenious fundraisers. 

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? is an annual event put on by Project Transitions, the Central Texas agency that has provided housing, hospice and support for people with HIV/AIDs since 1989. The event, which takes place this year on Saturday, February 1, is also one of Austin's most delicious and ingenious fundraisers.

Event guests choose from of one of the 23 dinners on offer, which range from intimate meals in private homes to festival-sized. There, people make new friends and get caught up with old ones over fine wine and cuisine. Afterward, attendees can meet up for a dessert and champagne reception at NEST Modern.

There's a bit of a fun mystery twist involved as well: when you register, you pick your three favorite dinner themes, but you don't find out which one you are dining at until shortly before the event.

One hundred percent of each reservation donation goes to Project Transitions. The nonprofit was established in 1986 by Barbara Davis, led there by her work with issues of death and dying in persons with AIDS. Davis established one of the first support groups for people living with AIDS in the city. She saw the need for a residential hospice facility where such people could die with dignity and spend their final weeks in a compassionate and caring environment. She brought together a group of interested people, incorporated in 1988 and opened Doug’s House in July of 1989.

Project Transitions identified many other unmet needs within the community, primarily housing. The organization opened Roosevelt Gardens, a supportive housing program for individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS, in 1995. An independent living facility called Highland Terrace opened in 1998, offering affordable housing to residents living with HIV/AIDS, and a Community Housing program offers additional housing throughout the city.

No one is denied participation in any Project Transitions program due to inability to pay.

A sample Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? menu includes such delectable items as charcuterie and pickled vegetable board, trio of pierogies, braised short ribs and root vegetable goulash tart. 

A raffle is also held in conjunction with the dinner. The prize is a trip for two to San Francisco, where the story from the classic 1967 film Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner was set. The winner will enjoy nonstop service to SFO courtesy of Jet Blue Airlines and a two-night stay in one of the city’s hippest boutique hotels, the Hotel Abri, at Union Square. Raffle tickets are $25 each or five for $100.

Visit the Project Transitions website for more information and to make your reservation.

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