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Several AIDS advocacy groups, along with 30 city restaurants, have planned a city-wide fundraiser tonight to support AIDS victims in Philadelphia. For everyone dining at any of the 30 participating restaurants throughout the city, up to 50 percent of their bills will be donated to ActionAIDS, which will use the money to give counseling and legal service to the AIDS victims, and the Metropolitan AIDS Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance, which will use the money to deliver hot meals to people with AIDS. Julie Dryson, one of the event's organizers and news director of WXPN, said that ActionAIDS and MANNA are involved, so it will be as easy as possible for donors to contribute. "What's really exciting about this event is that it requires so little of people to support AIDS services," she says. "Nobody needs to walk 10 kilometers, write a check, bid at an auction, or buy a ticket. All they have to do is go out to dinner, which many of us do and enjoy frequently." Dryson said the level of public interest in AIDS has diminished, compelling her to come up with this event. "I started to get concerned about the future of ActionAIDS as a volunteer there," she said. "The city's financial situation was worsening, and it was clear that the state and federal governments were not going to provide local funding for AIDS programs." Business has been brisk at participating restaurants; more than half were booked solid as of yesterday. The City Council has passed a resolution naming today the "Dining Out For Life" day. Mayor Wilson Goode and several city council members have said they will participate in the event. The Palladium will be the only campus restaurant particitpating. Ennes Littrell, executive director of ActionAIDS, said while many restaurants were eager to sign up, she had a hard time convincing others. Wharton junior Andy McCoy, who said he plans to be dining at the Palladium, said he thinks the projects are "a great idea." Drake said organizers hope to make Dining Out for Life an annual event, adding that whether it continues will depend on its success tonight.

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