Category Archives: Charity

Why? Jingle in July!

There’s a lot of excitement surrounding Christmas in July and, for me, the same was true for Jingle in July! Jingle in July was the kickoff for the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis, happening December 14 at Legacy Village.

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Jingle in July was held at Lilly Pulitzer. Guests enjoyed small bites and sipped on “Beach House” cosmos, while listening to a presentation on the latest fall trends and shopping Lilly’s colorful and comfortable chic resort wear.

PicMonkey CollageSo what is trending for Lilly in the fall? Bohemian styles, fringes and tassels, and tortoise shell, just to name a few! Lilly is also focusing on pieces that easily transition from season to season, allowing you to bring a bit of summer into your fall wardrobe.

Ten percent of all sales during the event were donated to the Arthritis Foundation, Great Lakes Region, Northeastern Ohio Chapter, the organization that sponsors and benefits from the Jingle Bell Run. It was a fun and fashionable evening!

As I mentioned, the Jingle Bell Run/Walk takes place on December 14. This is a festive event, with a costume contest for runners and the addition of a Family Fun Run this year. Registration is $25 and can be completed online. Through September 1, you can save 25% off your registration fee by using code LILLY when you register, so sign up soon and take advantage of the savings!

I hope to see you rockin’ the latest fall trends next season, as well as rockin’ some jingle bells on your running shoes in December!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Jingle in July event, which was a free event, open to the public. I did not receive any compensation for attending and my choice to blog about the event was my own. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Veggie U Food and Wine Celebration!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Congratulations to Jill (Lady Lazarus) (comment #6), randomly-selected winner of two tickets the Locavore fundraiser to benefit the MS Society’s Ohio Buckeye Chapter. Please check your email for further details. If you didn’t win, you can still purchase tickets online.***

Saturday night, we went on a world tour of cuisine without leaving Cleveland at the Veggie U Food and Wine Celebration.

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Each participating restaurant created a tasty treat representing a different country or region. Our favorite bites took us all over the globe: Mexico with carne asada from Urban Farmer Cleveland Steakhouse;

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India with crab pakora from University Hospitals and Sodexo; Asia with pork belly from Hodge’s served with edamame, five spice, and Asian pear;

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the Southern United States with chicken cracklins from Peachtree Southern Kitchen; our own backyard with Lake Erie perch with corn pudding from Bacchanalia Cleveland (I can’t wait for them to open!);

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and France with crepes with berries, whipped cream, and candied kumquat from Tri-C Hospitality Management & Culinary Arts.

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Wines from all over the world were available to compliment the dishes. Matthew and I really enjoyed the Vina Bujanda from Spain: a spicy, bold red.

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Craft beer was on tap from Rockmill Brewery and Townhall, too. There were also two different bands providing live entertainment while we ate and drank the night away.

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The evening benefited the Veggie U Classroom Gardens program, a five-week program available to elementary school and special needs classrooms. The program helps children learn about healthy eating and where their food comes from through a science-based curriculum, including growing their own veggies!

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I loved the focus on local restaurants and the downtown Cleveland location of this year’s revamped Food and Wine Celebration. A delicious trip around the world to help kids close to home? What a perfect evening!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Veggie U to help promote the Veggie U Food and Wine Celebration. In exchange, I received 2 complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Locavore Giveaway!

Are you a locavore? I know I am! What is a locavore you ask? A locavore is a person who makes an effort to eat food that is grown, raised, or produced locally, usually within 100 miles from home.

Locavore is also a fundraising event to benefit the Ohio Buckeye Chapter of the National MS Society. The event celebrates locavores with food, wine, and chocolates from Northeast Ohio.

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Held at Windows on the River on Thursday, August 21 and sponsored by Ulmer & Berne, this is an event that any locavore won’t want to miss. You’ll sample foods from great local restaurants, including Momocho, Lago, and Urban Farmer Cleveland Steakhouse.

There will be wines from Ferrante Winery, Valley Vineyards, and M Cellars. Lilly Handmade Chocolates will provide sweet treats. And you can try your luck at raffles and blind wine pulls, which also benefit the MS Society, which provides support, advocacy, education, and research for those living with MS.

Event tickets are $60, which includes unlimited food and wine. Patron tickets are $80 and include an exclusive wine tasting, in addition to the unlimited food and wine. Tickets can be purchased online. Or you can enter to win two Event tickets right here!

Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, or all four entries, just leave a separate comment for each):

1. Leave a comment telling me what you do to be a locavore (e.g., shopping at local farmers’ markets).

2. Leave a comment if you like the MS Society Ohio Buckeye Chapter and Why CLE? on Facebook, letting me know you like both pages.

3. Follow @nmssohiobuckeye and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know you’re following both.

4. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment letting me know you tweeted:

I want to celebrate being a #Locavore thanks to @nmssohiobuckeye and @WhyCLE: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-21A

You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment each time you tweet.

The giveaway will close on Sunday, July 20 at 11:59pm and the winner will be announced the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the MS Society Ohio Buckeye Chapter to help promote Locavore. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary Event tickets for myself and two Event tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Congratulations to David Fearn (Comment #93), randomly-selected winner of 2 tickets to the sold-out Date Night at the ZOOvies put on by the Cleveland Zoological Society. Please check your email for further details. Thanks to all who entered!***

It was a lovely summer weekend in Cleveland! Friday kicked off the weekend right, with everyone in a great mood celebrating LeBron James’ return to the Cavs. Seriously, the excitement and general good vibes that came out of that announcement will keep Clevelanders smiling for awhile!

My Friday afternoon was spent with Mom and Jeffrey at Crocker Park. I started with a pedicure at Charles Scott Salon, while Mom strolled around with the kiddo. What a nice way to relax!

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After that, it was time for lunch at 87 West. I had the Devils on Horseback (chorizo-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon with sticky soy glaze), the vegetarian tacos, and the deconstructed s’more dessert.

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While I’m not a vegetarian (see, chorizo and bacon), the tacos were a really great choice, packed with flavorful fajita veggies, slaw, corn salsa, and edamame. They were surprisingly filling, too.

That evening, Matthew, Jeffrey, and I met up with Matthew’s dad for the St. John Vianney church festival.

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From games to funnel cakes to the Euclid Beach rocket car to live entertainment, the festival was the perfect family evening out.

On Saturday, Matthew and I had a date night planned so that we could enjoy the Luau on the Lake, to benefit Shoes and Clothes for Kids.

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Luau on the Lake is held at Wendy Park at Whiskey Island. Saturday was the perfect night to be there, with nice breezes off the lake and a beautiful sunny sky. We met up with some friends, including Kimberly and my giveaway winner Rachel, who was also enjoying a nice child-free date night.

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We sipped on island cocktails like pina coladas and margaritas (Matthew enjoyed the Kona Brewing Big Wave beer from Hawaii) and noshed on a tasty Caribbean-themed dinner courtesy of Aramark, with chicken, pulled pork, and rice. There was a cornhole tournament, sand volleyball, and a limbo contest. And I happened to recognize one of the limbo participants

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It was a fun night for a great cause! For every dollar donated to Shoes and Clothes for Kids, the organization can purchase $20 worth of new clothes and shoes for low-income children in Northeast Ohio. That’s a lot of bang for your buck!

As we were leaving and taking in the skyline view, I thought that not only does Cleveland have it pretty good right now, but so do I!

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How was your weekend? Did you celebrate LeBron’s return?

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Shoes and Clothes for Kids’ Luau on the Lake. In exchange, I received two complimentary Big Kahuna VIP tickets. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Date Night at the ZOOvies Giveaway!

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is not just for kids and there are a host of events that prove just that! On Friday, August 22, Date Night at the ZOOvies is an adults-only evening of food, drinks, zoo critters, and an outdoor movie, which also raises money for the Cleveland Zoological Society.

From 7-8:30pm, you can enjoy the Australian Adventure and African Safari areas of the Zoo, along with beer, wine, and light appetizers.

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Then, at 8:30pm, head over to the Zoo Amphitheater to watch “Ghostbusters” under the stars and munch on movie snacks like hot pretzels and popcorn.

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Date Night at the ZOOvies is a very popular night out and is sold out for this year! But, no fear if you missed out because you can enter to win 2 tickets right here! Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, or all four entries, just leave a separate comment for each):

1. Leave a comment telling me your favorite line or scene from “Ghostbusters.”

2. Leave a comment if you are fan of both the Cleveland Zoological Society and Why CLE? on Facebook, letting me know you are.

3. Follow both @CleveZooSociety and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know you’re following.

4. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment letting me know you tweeted:

Who you gonna call? I want to win tickets to see Ghostbusters at @CleveZooSociety’s #DateNightattheZoovies from @WhyCLE: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-210

You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment each time you tweet.

The giveaway will close at 11:59pm on Sunday, July 13 and the winner will be announced the following day. The winner and guest must be 21 or over to attend. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Zoological Society to help promote Date Night at the Zoovies. In exchange, I will receive 2 complimentary tickets for myself and 2 tickets to give away. All images courtesy of the Cleveland Zoological Society. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Grapes and Ale!

On Friday night, Matthew and I attended a great summer event: Our Lady of the Wayside‘s Grapes and Ale fundraiser.

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Held at Progressive Field, Grapes and Ale combines food, music, silent auction items, and, of course, wine and beer tastings into a fun strolling picnic. And what’s a picnic without friends to enjoy it with?!

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There were saucy BBQ offerings from restaurants such as Famous Dave’s, Hot Sauce Williams, Battery Park Wine Bar, and 100th Bomb Group. I enjoyed the Famous Dave’s plate of sausage, a chicken wing, and cornbread. But my favorite nibble of the night was Battery Park’s BBQ beef brisket with ancho chile slaw. The sauce had a delicious sweet tang and the slaw added just the right amount of heat.

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100th Bomb Group’s peach BBQ sauce and mango slaw were both tasty, but the ribs were way too difficult to eat while trying to hold a wine glass and maneuver through the crowds.

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Speaking of holding a wine glass, there were over 50 different wineries represented in this year’s tasting, including the new Cupcake Vineyards wine truck, which was a very popular spot!

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I stuck with “known quantities” for my wine choices (wines I know I love), such as Petite Petit, Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel, and Predator Zinfandel.

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Matthew enjoyed some new finds in the craft beer area, including a surprisingly good Russian Imperial Stout from Leinenkugel’s.

The whole time, we were enjoying great music from Colin Dussault’s Acoustic Side Project, as well as taking in great views of Progressive Field.

photo7 (1)It was a fun night for a great cause, supporting Our Lady of the Wayside’s mission of “providing residential, respite, transportation, and day programming service for 500 children and adults with developmental disabilities.” Our Lady of the Wayside’s next fundraising event is the Amateur Golf Championship on Monday, August 11. Click here to register for the event!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Our Lady of the Wayside to help promote Grapes & Ale. In exchange, I received 2 complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Playhouse Square Partners!

There are a lot of “young professionals” groups in Cleveland that help promote networking, connect you with a great organization, and provide opportunities for socialization and service. Playhouse Square Partners is one of those groups and, in my entirely biased opinion, the one you should join!

Playhouse Square Partners raises money to support the cultural enrichment brought to Cleveland by Playhouse Square; puts on the biggest party of the year with Jump Back Ball; gives members early ticketing access to Playhouse Square shows and discounts on Partners events including JBB; opens up volunteer opportunities at events such as the International Children’s Festival; and hosts fun events throughout the year, such as this past Monday’s Pub Trivia Night.

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Held in the Kennedy Theatre at Playhouse Square, which looks like a small Irish pub, this event was a great way to mingle with other Partners, enjoy drinks and small bites, and test your smarts in categories like “Cleveland,” “Current Events,” and “Playhouse Square.”

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For the second year in a row, the team I was on (aptly named “We’re Not Cheating”) won first place! Each couple on the team won a pair of loge tickets to see Motown the Musical in October. I’m convinced we won this year because of our good luck charm!

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Matthew and I joined Partners last year and I served as co-chair of the Jump Back Ball raffle committee. After that, I was incredibly honored to be not only nominated to the Partners board, but also chosen as New Partner of the Year! Partners gives you a chance to not only have a good time, but to get involved and to be recognized for your efforts.

So, if you’re looking for a fabulous organization to join or if you just want to hang out with me more often, check out Playhouse Square Partners. There are several levels of membership, so you can pick the financial commitment that works best for you. By the way, you do not have to be a member of Partners to attend our events, so watch the online calendar and come give an event a try if you want to test the waters before committing to membership. Hope to see you at a Partners event soon!

***Disclosure: I am a member of the Playhouse Square Partners Board. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Twilight at the Zoo!

On Friday, August 1, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is going to get even wilder than usual for the 21st annual Twilight at the Zoo.

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Twilight is a fundraiser put on by the Cleveland Zoological Society, but it’s also a huge party, combining 18 local bands, zoo critters, food, beer, and wine into one amazing night!

The bands represent a wide variety of musical styles from the 70’s and 80’s with Disco Inferno, swing with Joe Bell and the Swing Lizards, country with Robbing Mary, blues with Shady Drive, and much more.

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This year, all bands will be under tents, so if the rain comes like it did last year, the bands will still play on!

Ticket price is $75 for general admission, which includes all entertainment, light appetizers, and unlimited Sam Adams, Twisted Tea, wine, and soda. VIP ticket price is $150, which includes the above, plus priority parking, open bar, a special VIP band, and expanded food selections from some great Cleveland restaurants.

The price goes up in July, so buy now! Tickets can be purchased online. Also, you can enter to win tickets over at Poise in Parma until Friday and stay tuned to the Cleveland Zoological Society’s Facebook page for more chances to win!

This year will be my third time attending Twilight at the Zoo and it is truly one of my favorite events of the summer! Plus, it benefits our wonderful Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Pick up your tickets today and I hope to see you rocking out under the stars, next to the lions!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Zoological Society to help promote Twilight at the Zoo. In exchange, I will receive 2 complimentary VIP tickets. Images courtesy of the Cleveland Zoological Society. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Luau on the Lake Giveaway!

It’s summertime in Cleveland and what better place to enjoy this season than Wendy Park at Whiskey Island? On Saturday, July 12, the park will be turned into a luau fit for a Tiki god for the Shoes and Clothes for Kids Luau on the Lake.

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There will be food, drinks, music, a limbo contest, sand volleyball, and, new this year, a 24-team cornhole tournament. The winner of the cornhole tournament will receive a cornhole set and 4 Indians tickets. All this lakeside luau fun benefits Shoes and Clothes for Kids, which provides no-cost shoes and clothes to children in need.

To help get you ready for the luau, there will be a kick-off happy hour on Thursday, June 12 at The Clevelander. Your $20 admission gets you unlimited drinks and an appetizer bar, plus you’ll be entered into a raffle to win a Big Kahuna package for the Luau on the Lake and be able to purchase Luau on the Lake tickets at the lowest price.

Tickets for Luau on the Lake are $40 for general admission/$50 for Big Kahuna VIP admission through June 13, when the price for each goes up $10. General admission includes unlimited food, beer, wine and soft drinks. VIP admission includes all that, plus three island cocktails, a lei, souvenir cup, and tote bag.

You can purchase tickets online or you can enter to win two Big Kahuna VIP tickets right here. Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, or all four entries, just leave a separate comment for each):

1. Leave a comment telling me your favorite beach/island destination.

2. Leave a comment if you like Shoes and Clothes for Kids and Why CLE? on Facebook, letting me know you like both.

3. Follow @SC4K and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know you’re following both.

4. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment letting me know you tweeted:

I want to be a Big Kahuna at the @SC4K Luau on the Lake thanks to @WhyCLE: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-1Z2 #SC4KLuau14

You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment each time you tweet.

The giveaway will close on Sunday, June 15 at 11:59pm and the winner will be announced the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Shoes and Clothes for Kids to help promote the Luau on the Lake. In exchange, I will receive 2 Big Kahuna VIP tickets for myself and 2 Big Kahuna VIP tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Grapes and Ale Giveaway!

What do you get when you combine over 200 different varieties of wine samples, loads of craft beer samples, nibbles from some fabulous BBQ joints, and live music, all at Progressive Field? It’s Our Lady of the Wayside‘s summertime fundraiser, Grapes & Ale, happening Friday, June 27.

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This event continues to grow and will be spread across expanded space at Progressive Field this year. Also new this year will be the Cupcake Vineyards wine truck. I find their white wines particularly refreshing on a hot summer day, so I’m excited for this addition to the event!

Colin Dussault’s Acoustic Side Project will be back this year, playing great dance-able tunes. There will also be BBQ to sample from restaurants including Famous Dave’s, Hot Sauce Williams, and Battery Park Wine Bar.

Tickets are $50 for the premiere grand tasting, which includes wine samples, BBQ samples, admission to the beer garden with craft beer for purchase, and a souvenir glass. VIP tickets are $125 and include all of the above, plus admission an hour early for a special private wine blind tasting. You can purchase tickets online or you can enter to win 2 premiere grand tasting tickets right here.

Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, or all four entries, just leave a separate comment for each time):

1. Leave a comment, telling me your favorite summer wine or beer to sip.

2. Leave a comment if you like Our Lady of the Wayside and Why CLE? on Facebook, letting me know you like both pages.

3. Follow @OurLadyWayside and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know you’re following both.

4. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment letting me know you tweeted:

I want to sip and get saucy at Grapes & Ale with @OurLadyWayside and @WhyCLE: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-1Yp

You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment each time you tweet.

The giveaway will close on Sunday, May 25 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Our Lady of the Wayside to help promote Grapes & Ale. In exchange, I will receive 2 premiere grand tasting tickets for myself and 2 premiere grand tasting tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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