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Eat grilled cheese, help a charity

Glen Weinzimer says he started the SMART Ride fundraiser for people fighting HIV and AIDS to prove that one person can make a difference.

On Nov. 15 and 16, the 10th annual event will see 450 riders and 250 volunteers make their way from Miami to Key West for what Weinzimer hopes will earn a record-breaking $1 million for the 10 benefiting agencies. In its first nine years, the SMART Ride has raised $4.2 million with every penny of the money raised by riders going to support HIV and AIDS agencies.

From 7:30 to 9:30 Wednesday night, New York Grilled Cheese Co. in Wilton Manors will host a fundraiser for the SMART Ride, with 20 percent of sales going to Weinzimer's organization.

"We're also doing raffles and we have silent auction items," restaurant owner Leor Barak says. "And every penny we raise off of those items and the raffles will go back to them."

Local drag queens Daisy Deadpetals and Nicole Halliwell will co-host the event.

Weinzimer says these small events not only help with production expenses for the SMART Ride, but also work to promote participation in the ride itself.

"It's a moving city of about 700 people over two days," Weinzimer says of the convoy that includes a medical team, bike technicians, an ice truck and even cheerleaders.

New York Grilled Cheese Co. is located at 2207 Wilton Drive, in Wilton Manors. Call 954-564-6887. The event is free and open to the public. For more information on the SMART Ride, go to or 954-356-4632.

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