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Alvin and Friends Raises HIV/AIDS Awareness with Fundraiser

A New Rochelle restaurant recently linked up with an international restaurant-based fundraising campaign to raise money for local HIV/AIDS services.

Alvin and Friends was part of Dining Out For Life. The popular Memorial Highway restaurant offers a menu that is inspired by both Southern and Caribbean cuisine. Its atmosphere is contemporary yet elegant; the colorful artwork lining the walls harks back to the restaurant’s Caribbean roots.

Alvin Clayton, the owner of the restaurant, frequently maintains his involvement in the New Rochelle community through various fundraisers and charity events. Clayton highlighted this event as important due to its significance internationally.

“It’s not a disease or illness that touches one segment of the population,” he said. “It affects everyone in many different ways.”

Sunny Hostin, co-owner and CNN Legal Analyst, was also involved in the event. Her desire for a cure of the life-threatening disease hits closer to home.

“My uncle, Ed Cummings died from AIDS back in the ‘80s so I’ve always been very supportive of the cause,” Hostin said.

In support of Dining Out for Life, a portion of the restaurants’ proceeds from the evening were donated to Hudson Valley Community Services. Diners had the opportunity to make donations as well.

“I frequently visit this restaurant from time to time, mostly for the food and great service,” said diner Evelyn Ortiz. “It’s nice to see them giving back to the community, especially for such a significant cause.”

Over the course of the event, diners also had the opportunity to enjoy a live performance by jazz guitarist Lou Volpe.

“The environment here is great, you can’t beat good food and good music – especially when it’s done for a cause,” diner Armand Miranda said. “You can really underestimate the power of a disease until it personally affects you. We shouldn't stop raising awareness, we have to keep people informed so one day there can be a cure.”

Clayton says he won’t stop raising awareness here – he will continue to promote the cause with various fundraisers and charity events. According to Clayton, due to the success of the event as well as the support of the community, an additional event for AIDs awareness may be in the near future.

“I've always been a person that’s looked out for those less fortunate,” he said. “I’m always going to try to be a part of the community in any way I can.”

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