On Thursday night, the wait staff at Columbia's Iron Bridge Wine Co. will be wear bright pink T-shirts declaring, "I'd rather be eating at Aida Bistro & Wine Bar."

The unusual endorsement is a make-good on a fundraising challenge issued by Iron Bridge owner Steve Wecker to fellow restaurateurs during April’s Pink Plate Specials fundraiser for Howard County's Blossoms of Hope project.

The challenge -- to raise more money than Iron Bridge -- was met by Aida owners Joe and Mary Barbera, who raised almost $6,000 more than Iron Bridge did for Blossoms of Hope, the cherry-tree beautification project in Howard County that raises awareness for breast cancer.

The Barberas will be basking in their victory glow at Iron Bridge on Thursday, and diners will be encouraged to contribute more money to Blossoms of Hope.

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