My, but you ate a lot of Magical Dining Month meals, somewhere around 208,620 of them.
I was able to figure that out because at Visit Orlando’s annual meeting Thursday a check in the amount of $208,620 was presented to representatives of Freedom Ride and BASE Camp Children’s Cancer Foundation. Those two charities were selected as the beneficiaries of this year’s event. Participating restaurants donate $1 from the $35 prix fixe menu from each MagDinMo meal sold. Visit Orlando won’t tell which restaurants contributed the most one-dollar donations.
This is the first year that two charities have benefitted. Even with splitting the funds, they did better than the single charity from the first year that Visit Orlando made a local charity part of the mix. That first year raised only about $16,000. So, quite a difference.
Of course, there were a lot more participating restaurants this year, 118 in all.
And the total take was either aided or hindered by the arrival of Hurricane Irma just a little over a week after Magical Dining Month kicked off in September. (It actually started before Sept. with some preview days.) Besides keeping a lot of people home, not only during the storm but afterward, too, Irma knocked a lot of the participating restaurants out of commission for several days.
So Magical Dining Month became Magical Dining Month and a Half when Visit Orlando extended the event through Oct. 12.
In its 12 years, MagDinMo has become one of the area’s most anticipated and popular dining events. Participating restaurants offer a three-course menu for $35, which in most cases represents a significant savings from the a la carte menu. Diners use the opportunity to visit new restaurants or some that ordinarily might be out of their budget range. It’s a win-win situation.
And a win-win for the two charities, too.