Dining Out for Life: An Interview with Donna Fuchs, Executive Director of NFAN

Words by Rob Nicholson

NFAN (Northeast Florida AIDS Network) is gearing up for its annual Dining Out for Life on April 27. The one-day-only fundraiser is part of a national campaign that encourages local restaurants to donate a portion of their sales for the day to a local HIV service, which, in Jacksonville, is NFAN. 

Nationally, more than fifty local HIV service organizations partner with 2,400+ participating restaurants, 4,100+ volunteers, and 300,000+ diners to raise over $4.5 million for people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States and Canada. Best part? All funds raised through a city’s Dining Out for Life event stay in that city to provide help and hope to people living with or impacted by HIV/AIDS.

In 2022, NFAN helped serve 21,000 meals to 523 families, 491 clients were provided medical case management, 730 people were provided some type of education, 693 people where given housing assistance and 185 clients were provided insurance. Funds raised as part of Dining Out for Life support NFAN’s Mary H. Lewis Food Pantry, which provides sustenance for food insecure clients and their families.

I talked to Donna Fuchs, executive director of NFAN, about the event and the generosity of locally-owned restaurants and the general public for supporting the cause by Dining Out for Life

The following restaurants will be donating between 25-50% of their daily sales (some include alcohol sales) on April 27 in support of NFAN. Why not show them some support?

Athenian Owl




Black Sheep Restaurant

Carmines Pie House

European Street Cafe–San Marco

Fred Cottens Landmark BBQ

The Garage

Hamburger Mary’s

Hot Dog Jen (first-time participant!)

Lola’s Burrito Joint

The Phoenix Bar & and Bowling

Restaurant Orsay

Tulua Bistro

To watch the full interview, click here.

About Rob Nicholson

Rob started his media career in the late 80’s working in the Press Office at the Georgia House of Representatives. From there, Rob segued in to Radio at The Voice of Georgia State University, WRAS Album 88.5 in Atlanta. In the early 90’s Rob was picked up by the Radio 2000 Group and became Program Director and later Vice President of Programming USA. In the late 90’s, while running 3 music-driven radio stations in Springfield, Missouri, Rob had the opportunity to put together and launch, Southwest Missouri’s Regional Periodical, 417 Magazine. A publication that is still in circulation today. After selling his interests in Radio 2000 in the early 2000’s, Rob returned to his hometown of Jacksonville Beach, Florida to be near family. For 10 years he worked with the Clear Channel Radio Stations: Planet Radio and KISS-FM. In 2010, Rob took a hiatus from radio and went in to concert promotion and event planning, while also running the now 30 year old Beaches Hospitality Network – the organization that is well known for bringing the Superbowl, 2004 to the beaches area. When presented with the opportunity to work with Folio Weekly Magazine, Rob said, “there was no way I could resist an opportunity to work with the local, independent news magazine in the city I’m from. I can’t wait to get to work every morning”. Rob currently resides in North Jax Beach with his brother, Rich and dog, Tonka.