Category Archives: Charity

Why? Silver Spoon Awards Party!

Wednesday night, Matthew and I went to one of the hottest foodie events in a town that is pretty flush with foodie events! Of course, I’m talking about Cleveland Magazine’s Silver Spoon Awards Party to benefit the Arthritis Foundation, Great Lakes Region, Northeastern Ohio.

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We met up with the usual suspects, including event-planner extraordinaire, Alicia. The VIP area was a wonderful palate of of chevron linens and candles and white leather couches: very plush! Society Lounge was whipping up cocktails, including gin fizzes and Manhattans.

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Not only were the drinks a big hit, but the awesome bartenders made ordering a cocktail a show to behold. I also have to give Society lots of credit for whipping two different mocktails on the fly that evening! Also in VIP were Cork & Cleaver Social Kitchen, which was named Best New Restaurant, and Red, the Steakhouse, serving up some tasty nibbles.

Downstairs on the main floor was so much delicious food, you couldn’t possibly take it all in! Blue Point Grille served up raw oysters.

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Continuing on the “food that looked delicious, but I couldn’t eat” theme was Driftwood Restaurants deconstructed tuna roll, which got a lot of rave comments.

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I spent most of my evening sitting upstairs while Matthew was the world’s best food runner, picking out lots of tasty treats for me to try. Some favorites of mine included the mini reubens from Lucky’s Cafe, the szechuan beef from Pearl of the Orient, the shrimp tempure sushi from Pacific East, the cannoli from Mama Roberto’s, and the ropa vieja from Paladar Latin Kitchen and Rum Bar.

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Aside from the delicious food, there was great entertainment from the St. Edward Trash Talkers and silent auctions and raffles galore.

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In it’s 20th year, the Silver Spoon Awards Party outdid itself once again! It was a fabulous night and we can’t wait for next year!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Arthritis Foundation to help promote the Silver Spoon Awards Party. In exchange, I received 2 complimentary VIP tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Photography Class!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Awhile back, I got Matthew a certificate for a walk-around photography class. I figured an excuse to learn something new and play around with his camera would be something he would enjoy. Little did I know I’d also get a guest post out of it!

The class was given by J. Ambrozica Cleveland boomerang who has been involved in a bunch of different ventures in the city. Matthew wrote a recap of his experience and I’m happy to share his guest post with you.***

J. offers a beginner class as well as an advanced one, which is the one I took. The classes start out at his studio with a great view of the downtown Cleveland skyline.  We talked through the experiences of the people in the class and then headed outside.  The day was beautiful and warm and perfect for doing anything outside.

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We took a couple hours to simply walk around the neighborhood, looking for inspiration.  J. would stop us every block or so, and point out an opportunity to use the area and the natural light around us to improve our photos. We each got to practice some new techniques, taking portraits of the other students and being a model for their work.

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At the end of the 3 hour class, we went back to the studio to check out the images we had taken on the computer.  It was a good time to review what we had learned, see what worked and what didn’t while it was still fresh in our minds.  It gave me some thoughts on how to try things again the next time. The best part of the class was watching how the other students and J. looked at the surroundings and found ways to see and manipulate the images we were aiming for. It was a very relaxed class, and I thoroughly enjoyed spending a morning taking a new look at the City.

At the studio, J. was setting up for a photography show he is putting on later this month.  He’s had the great fortune to travel all over the world with his camera and has come away with some amazing images of exotic places.

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I enjoyed getting a preview of the some parts of the show and looking at his memories of some places I’ve been too. On Saturday, May 24 at 5:00pm, the gallery will have a night to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the G-70 Chemosabes‘ Light the Night Walk team.  For $25 there wll be music, hors d’oeuvres, a charity raffle, painting and more.  Tickets are $20 online or $25 paper ticket or at the door. Check out this link for more information and to purchase tickets.

***Again, thanks to Matthew for the recap of his photography class. I should get him gifts he can blog about more often!***

Why? Market at the Foodbank!

Last night, Matthew and I attended the Greater Cleveland Foodbank‘s Market at the Foodbank fundraiser.

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This strolling food and wine event helps to raise money for the Harvest for Hunger program. Every $1 raised through ticket sales, raffle, and silent auction contributes 4 meals to Harvest for Hunger.

We met up with Kimberly, Chris, Alicia, and PIP Mom and started working our way through the tables.

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There were some great dishes to sample. Some of our favorite savory dishes included Anna in the Raw‘s watermelon salad, AMP 150‘s pea soup, Pearl of the Orient‘s szechuan beef on a wonton crisp, and Tri-C Hospitality‘s prosciutto panini and carrot soup.

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There were a ton of dessert options, as well (almost to the point of the choices feeling a bit lopsided – I think I ate more desserts than savory food). A definite favorite was the berry and apple crisp topped with vanilla ice cream from Lucky’s Cafe.

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The kid in me (literally, haha) couldn’t resist Melt Bar & Grilled‘s cereal treats, with Cap’n Crunch, Coco Puffs, and Froot Loops treats on a stick.

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Aside from the food, there was plenty of wine and beer choices, for those who could enjoy such things.

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There was even a local celebrity spotted: Arthur Chu of Jeopardy fame. Being a fan girl, I of course managed to snag a picture with him!

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While I felt the food choices to be a bit heavy on the desserts and was generally surprised at how quickly the tables ran out of food, it was still a nice event for a great cause! The Greater Cleveland Foodbank has a couple other upcoming events worth checking out. On July 10, the inaugural BrewHaHa will combine local comedians and local craft beers for an evening of lagers and laughs. And in September, the spectacular Taste of the Browns returns to First Energy Stadium. Both are great ways to support the Foodbank and have fun at the same time!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Greater Cleveland Foodbank to help promote Market at the Foodbank. In exchange, I received 2 general admission tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Zippity Zoo Doo!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Congratulations to stephanie mcfarland (Comment #3), randomly-selected winner of 2 general admission tickets to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Fan Fest. Please check your email for more details. If you didn’t win, you can still purchase tickets online.***

On Friday, June 6, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo will host the Cleveland Zoological Society‘s swanky annual fundraiser: Zippity Zoo Doo.

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Now in it’s 41st year, Zippity Zoo Doo features an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, a delicious sit-down dinner, live entertainment from The Element, dancing, and the opportunity to meet some of the Zoo’s cute critters, all while spending a summer evening outdoors at the Zoo.

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This year, instead of a live auction, guests can make a donation either prior to or at the event to the Giving Tree, which supports Zoo scholarships. There will also be great silent auction items up for bid, including exclusive behind-the-scenes Zoo tours.

Tickets start at $250 for the bronze level attendee and can be purchased online. Zippity Zoo Doo is sure to be a night of fun, food, and fundraising that you don’t want to miss! Need more convincing? Check out my recap of last year’s event!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Zoological Society to help promote Zippity Zoo Doo. In exchange, I was offered 2 bronze-level tickets to the event. I declined due to the proximity of the event to my due date. All images courtesy of the Cleveland Zoological Society. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Silver Spoon Awards Party Giveaway!

Remember last week, when I said that spring brought with it a whole host of great foodie fundraisers? Well, one of the biggest and best in town is happening on Wednesday, May 14: the 20th Annual Cleveland Magazine Silver Spoon Awards Party!

Image Source - downtowncleveland.com

Image Source – downtowncleveland.com

The event benefits the Arthritis Foundation, Great Lakes Region, Northeastern Ohio. One in every five American adults is diagnosed with arthritis. Arthritis also affect 300,000 children across the country. The Arthritis Foundation’s mission is to improve lives through leadership in the prevention, control and cure of arthritis and related diseases.

Aside from the fabulous restaurants  you can enjoy at the event, there are also silent auction and raffles to help raise even more funds for the Arthritis Foundation. Silent auctions and raffles are highlights of events like this for me. First, when Matthew and I are lucky enough to receive tickets to an event, the silent auctions and raffles provide us with an opportunity to still give back to the cause.

But, that’s not all. There’s the chance to win some amazing prizes! This year’s Silver Spoon Awards Party Silent Auction is shaping up to be quite amazing. Check out some of these prizes:

Accommodations including a Tuscan Villa in the heart of Italy, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, and a vacation home in Naples, Florida.

Culinary experiences including three autographed Michael Symon cookbooks, and 4 tickets to see the Iron Chef live a taping of The Chew in NYC from Michael Symon Restaurant Group and a cooking class for 6 with Rose Wong at Pearl of the Orient’s East side location.

Behind-the-scene opportunities including a private tour for six people with a curator at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Concert tickets to see Lady Gaga on Sunday, May 18, and Katy Perry on Thursday, August 14 at The Quicken Loans Arena — care of Cleveland’s New 102.

And much more! There will also be wine and “stock-the-bar” raffles going on that night! Not only can you leave the event with a belly full of Cleveland’s best food, you can also leave with a great prize or two! Follow @silverspooncle on Instagram to get a sneak peek at some of the auction items.

Tickets for the Silver Spoon Awards Party are currently on sale online for $150 for VIP and $100 for general admission. Or you can enter to win two general admission 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 and tell me which Silent Auction item mentioned above you’d most want to win.

2. Leave a comment if you like both Cleveland Magazine and the Arthritis Foundation on Facebook, letting me know you like both pages.

3. Follow @SilverSpoonCLE 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 win tickets to @SilverSpoonCLE from @WhyCLE: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-1WL #CLEfood

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

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

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Arthritis Foundation to help promote the Silver Spoon Awards Party. In exchange, I will receive 2 VIP tickets for myself and 2 general admission tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Market at the Foodbank Giveaway!

Spring is here, bringing with it warmer weather and a host of great foodie fundraising events. On Sunday, May 4, the Greater Cleveland Foodbank is hosting Market at the Foodbank, a strolling food and wine extravaganza.

Image Source - greaterclevelandfoodbank.org

Image Source – greaterclevelandfoodbank.org

There will be food to sample from some of Cleveland’s finest restaurants, including Spice Kitchen and Bar, The Greenhouse Tavern, AMP 150, and the Zack Bruell Restaurant Group. There will also be plenty of wine and beer to enjoy!

Image Source - greaterclevelandfoodbank.org

Image Source – greaterclevelandfoodbank.org

Beyond just delicious food and tempting beverages, the event offers an opportunity to see the Greater Cleveland Foodbank’s impressive facility. If you’ve never been, the Foodbank is a great place to check out both to see how well run the operation is, as well as to get a sense of the level of need that the Foodbank serves.

Proceeds from Market at the Foodbank benefit the Harvest for Hunger campaign, which is one of the largest community food and funds drives in the country. This year’s Harvest for Hunger goal is to generate 17 million meals through the campaign. Attendance at Market at the Foodbank, as well as participation in the great auctions and raffles that evening, go a long way toward achieving this goal!

Image Source - greaterclevelandfoodbank.org

Image Source – greaterclevelandfoodbank.org

Tickets for Market at the Foodbank are on sale now. VIP tickets, which get you in to the event an hour earlier and also include passed hors d’oeuvres and an address from Foodbank President and CEO Anne Goodman, are $175. General admission tickets are $85. You can purchase tickets online.

Or, you can enter to win two general admission 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. Check out the list of participating restaurants and leave a comment telling me which restaurant’s fare you most want to sample.

2. Leave a comment if you like the Greater Cleveland Foodbank and Why CLE? on Facebook, letting me know you like both pages.

3. Follow @CleveFoodbank and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know you follow both.

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

I want to help end hunger and win tickets to @CleveFoodbank’s #MarketatFB with @WhyCLE: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-1Ww

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

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

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Greater Cleveland Foodbank to help promote Market at the Foodbank. In exchange, I will receive 2 general admission tickets for myself and 2 general admission tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Cleveland’s Finest Hors D’Oeuvre Contest!

It was a beautiful spring evening at Progressive Field last night!

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We weren’t there to watch a game, however. We were there to sample some very tasty hors d’oeuvres prepared by some wonderful Cleveland restaurants, all to benefit Our Lady of the Wayside. Matthew also took full advantage of the wine bar, as he should!

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There were 12 different restaurants with hors d’oeuvres to try. Our personal favorites? The Woods presented a huge and perfectly-seared scallop on top of citrus risotto. The citrus added wonderful, bright notes to the risotto and went perfectly with the seafood.

We also enjoyed the New Zealand lamb lollipop with blueberry Frangelico cream from Lago and TownHall. While a bit more entree than appetizer for me, the meat was tender and flavorful!

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Other notable dishes were the carne asada wonton tacos from Battery Park Wine Bar. I haven’t been there since they switched chefs and if the spicy, tasty tacos are any indication, I’ll be heading back soon.

Sweet Melissa also did a great job with their pan-seared diver scallops with brussel sprout confit, proving they are more than just a place to get a fabulous dessert.

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Speaking of dessert, there were plenty of sweet treats last night, with no need to vote on those! Becker’s Donuts and Bakery provided lots of tasty pastries, from brownies to kolacky. And The Chocolate Bar had a chocolate fountain with lots to dip, from fresh fruit to krispie treats to Oreos.

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Add to all the food and drink some great live music from Nate Jones and silent and Chinese auctions with wonderful prizes and you have all the makings of a fabulous evening!

Oh, and the winners of Cleveland’s finest hors d’oeuvre? Third place went to Lago/TownHalll; second place went to Carrie Cerino’s, and first place was a tie between The Woods and Corleone’s.

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Coming up next for Our Lady of the Wayside is another fun event at Progressive Field: Grapes and Ale! Stay tuned here for more information on this summertime must-attend event and a chance to win tickets!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Our Lady of the Wayside to help promote Cleveland’s Finest Hors d’Oeuvre Contest. In exchange, I received 2 complimentary tickets and a parking pass to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? TEDxCLE!

On Friday, Matthew and I each took a half-day off work to go get inspired at TEDxCLE. This is one of our favorite Cleveland events, full of speeches from Clevelanders doing amazing things.

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The theme of this year’s TEDxCLE was “Import/Export” and all of the speakers were either Cleveland imports or Cleveland exports.

Image Source - tedxcle.com

Image Source – tedxcle.com

Here’s a quick recap of the speakers and my favorite nuggets of wisdom from each (their name links to their TEDxCLE bio):

Jonah Bayer

Life is about not having a roadmap and forging your own way.

Having friends is great, but having integrity is better.

Failure is part of the process!

Brian Michael Bendis

You realize what you want to do when you experience true storytelling.

The walls have come down like never before. If you want to be something, be it.

Uncontrollable nerd rage is a unifying language.

Jennifer Coleman

A clearly articulated “why” is a North Star during times of change.

What is Cleveland’s why? What is its ethos?

Revel in that magical moment before you change everything.

Art Falco

Playhouse Square is a fairy tale come true.

One person can make a difference.

Complacency is not an option.

Andrea Lane

Believes in hands-on education, not just lectures.

All students, at any age, have the capacity to do amazing things if given the opportunity.

Jeffrey McClellan

MC2STEM High School uses Cleveland as its campus, with students taking classes at the Great Lakes Science Center, GE, and Cleveland State University.

Student success triangle made up of motivation, social engagement, and self-management.

Angelo Merendino

Through life’s hardest times, we must be patient, communicate, and remember to be silly.

If you have something to say and you believe in it, then share it!

When asking his wife, “How did you touch so many people,” she responded, “Because they touched me.”

Alonzo Mitchell III

I’m immune to “no.”

Every plan starts with having a great idea and ends with letting the universe take over.

We’re ALL Cleveland.

All the miserable people who whine about what we’re not, let’s just put ‘em on a bus!

Megan Moynahan

We must utilize design thinking in medical technology.

Look at what the end-user’s priorities are and show empathy for the end-user.

Lisa Peng

Human rights must be the basis for political debate.

We show our love and gratitude for our country by holding it to the highest standards.

JD Samson

Being a token is part of activism.

Perhaps a pocketful of tokens will someday equal change!

Baiju Shah

The Harrington Project brings together non-profits and for-profits to create more medicines out of medical discoveries.

David Shimotakahara

We can never know where our choices will take us, but make a beginning.

Self-reliance has limits, so ask for help.

Stop thinking as different entities and start working as one idea.

Michael Williams

Focuses on clothes, but not fashion.

Emphasizes the importance of locally-made products and meeting the people who make what you wear.

Jack Andraka

The Internet is a neutral space for idea.

Kathryn Schulz

We generate stories about the world around us, then the world turns around and astonishes us.

The miracle of your mind is not that you can see the world as it is, but that you can see the world as it isn’t.

This event again took place at the Cleveland Museum of Art, with the monthly MIX happy hour serving as the TEDxCLE after-party.

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Did you attend TEDxCLE? Which speakers were your favorites?

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Why? Cleveland’s Finest Hors D’Oeuvre Contest Giveaway!

There’s nothing I like better than when good food, good times, and a good cause combine! On Thursday, April 10, that’s exactly what will happen at the Terrace Club at Progressive Field as Our Lady of the Wayside presents their 20th annual Cleveland’s Finest Hors D’Oeuvre Contest.

Horizontal Cleveland's Finest Logo

Chefs from some of Cleveland’s best restaurants will present hors d’oeuvres for you to nibble, enjoy, and then vote for your favorite. Participating restaurants include Sweet Melissa, Corleone’s, District, Town Hall, and the Zack Bruell Restaurant Group.

There will also be complimentary beer and wine tastings and scrumptious desserts courtesy of Becker’s and Chocolate Bar. The event is hosted by Tim Richards and Desiray Cross of Cleveland’s New 102 and there will be live music from Nate Jones.

All this food and fun benefit the great work Our Lady of the Wayside is doing to help children and adults with developmental disabilities in our area.

Tickets are $80 and can be purchased online. Or you can enter to win two 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. Check out the list of participating restaurants and leave a comment telling me which you’re most excited to try.

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 follow both.

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

I want to help pick Cleveland’s Finest Hors D’Oeuvre with @OurLadyWayside and @WhyCLE: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-1Uv

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

The giveaway will run though Thursday, March 13 at 11:59pm and the winner will be announced the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Our Lady of the Wayside to help promote Cleveland’s Finest Hors D’Oeuvre Contest. In exchange, I will receive 2 tickets for myself and 2 tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Jump Back Ball!

On Saturday night, over one thousand Clevelanders (and at least one DC-resident, my dear friend Jen) were shaken and stirred at Jump Back Ball 0023, presented by Playhouse Square Partners. This black-tie fundraiser, in its 23rd year, was themed on James Bond, which led to glitzy decor and swanky outfits.

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We kicked off our evening in with the VIP party, catered by Chef Dante Boccuzzi and the Dante Dining Group. Each restaurant in the Dante Dining Group provided small bites, which were both delicious and creatively presented.

From Dante, there was creamy polenta topped with pork ragut; from DC Pasta Co., there was butternut squash soup and arancini; from the soon-to-open Dante Next Door, there was seafood salad playfully served in sardine cans; from Ginko, there were vegetarian sushi pops; and from DBA, there were banana split parfaits and chocolate mousse cups.

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From VIP, we moved on to the main event, with a full dinner provided by Driftwood Restaurant Group. From mac ‘n cheese to pierogi to Shepherd’s pie, the dinner was a tasty spread of high-end comfort food. The main stage band, Your Villain My Hero, played a great mix of current pop songs that had the crowd dancing up a storm on the State Theater stage.

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When you needed a break from dancing, there were casino games, fortune tellers, and fun photo ops, as well as champagne bars, ice luges, and Bond-themed cocktails. The late-night band, Pop Rocks, brought the party out to the State Theater lobby with rock-style versions of classic dance favorites.

Co-chairs Kimberly and Megan, along with the Jump Back Ball committees, put on quite the fantastic party! But more than just the food and the bands, I really loved the chance to get dolled up and spend the evening with my own handsome James Bond

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and my favorite Bond girls.

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Mark your calendar now for Jump Back Ball 24! While the theme is different every year, the delicious food, great music, and chance for a perfect evening out supporting Cleveland’s amazing theater community at Playhouse Square remains the same every year.

***Disclosure: I was asked by Playhouse Square to help promote Jump Back Ball. In exchange, I received one complimentary ticket when I bought a ticket of the same value. I am a member of Playhouse Square Partners and was the co-chair of the Jump Back Ball Raffle Committee. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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