Preparations are already underway for one of the food-enthusiasts of the South End's biggest events: Taste of the South End.
The large-scale event is an annual fundraiser for the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts. This year's event, to be held on March 5, 2013, at the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts, will feature 43 different South End restuarants and includes food, wine, beer, cocktails, prizes and more.
Expect to see South End favorites like Myers & Chang, Hamersly's Bistro, Tremont 647, Aquitaine, B&G Oysters and other neighborhood favorites preparing unlimited food and wine samples. For your ticket price of $100, you get unlimited food and wine from the restaurants, who all set up right there on scene.
Organizer Cathy Kujala said the event, which enters its 18th year in 2013, draws a crowd of about 700 people each year.
"We see a really strong showing of people who live right here in the South End, it's a big neighborhood event," she said. "We have really great support from the South End restaurants - some very strong restaurants participate each year."
The AIDS Action Committee is connected to the South End through their MALE Center (571 Columbus Ave.) a clinic for gay and bisexual men that provides rapid HIV testing and mental health services.
"We test over 1,000 men a year there for HIV," said Kujala. "If they come in and they are positive we can guide them on the next steps, and if they are negative, we can guide them to stay negative," she said.
Besides pulling the South End community together for a common cause, the event serves as a major fundraiser for the organization, which hopes to raise $120,000 through the 2013 event.
"Unfortunately, we quite often see decreases in federal funding to fight HIV and AIDS, and we need to fill that gap," said Kujala, noting the drop in funding is even more sad because the efforts are working.
"Over the last ten years in Masssachusetts, we've seen a 53 percent decrease in HIV, which translates to thousands of lives being saved and also about $2 billion saved in health care costs,' she said. "So what we're doing is working, and we need to keep doing it."
Day: March 5, 2013
General Admission: 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
VIP Admission: 6:00 pm
The Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont Street, Boston