Category Archives: Charity

Why? Cleveland Garlic Festival Giveaway!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Have you entered to win two tickets to the Cleveland Foodbank’s Taste of the Browns fundraiser? Check it out! Remember, you can tweet daily for additional entries.***

As the summer festival season winds down, one of the most unique and fragrant festivals is still to come: the Cleveland Garlic Festival taking place on Shaker Square on September 6 and 7.

gf_logo

The Cleveland Garlic Festival features 14 live bands, a kids’ Mighty Locavores area with activites and fun, appearances by Miss Garlic, all the tasty garlic dishes you can handle from tons of great vendors, and a grill-off competition featuring local celebrity chef competitors and judges.

Cleveland Garlic Festival 2012

Saturday’s grill-offs feature grass-fed beef and free-range chicken prepared by chefs from Cibreo Italian Kitchen, Urban Farmer, The Willeyville and more. Sunday’s grill-off features pasture-raised heirloom pork prepared by chefs from Ligali’s Bistro, Sterle’s Country House, and more.

Ashley Young

Proceeds from the Cleveland Garlic Festival benefit North Union Farmers Market, which operates farmers’ markets around Cleveland. North Union Farmers Market has educational and charitable market programs that are supported by the Cleveland Garlic Festival, helping to bring quality local food to an even more expanded population.

Tickets for the Cleveland Garlic Festival are $9 for adults and $5 for children and seniors for one-day admission. You can purchase tickets online and can save $1 off your admission with promo code GFWhyCle. Or you can enter to win two weekend passes to the Cleveland Garlic Festival 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 way/dish to use garlic.

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

3. Follow @CleveGarlicFest 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 entered to win passes to attend the @CleveGarlicFest thanks to @WhyCLE and you can too: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-25F

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

The giveaway will close on Monday, September 1 at 11:59pm and the winner will be announced the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by North Union Farmers Market to help promote the Cleveland Garlic Festival. In exchange, I will receive 2 weekend passes for myself, 2 weekend passes to give away, and a reader promo code for tickets. Images courtesy of North Union Farmers Market. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Taste of the Browns Giveaway!

Clevelanders love two things for sure: football and food. So combining those two into a fundraiser for one of Cleveland’s best causes, the Greater Cleveland Foodbank, is a touchdown.

TOB_SaveDate_14

On Monday, September 15, the 16th annual Taste of the Browns will turn First Energy Stadium into a Clevelanders dream mix of Browns players and fabulous food. Chefs such as Rocco Whalen, Jeff Jarrett, Eric Williams, and Zack Bruell will be on hand preparing tasting dishes to enjoy. There will also be the chance to mingle with current and former Browns players, including event co-chair Joe Haden.

There will be a silent auction packed with sports memorabilia and other fabulous prizes and a wine and craft beer pull (new this year). Last year’s event raised over $175,000 for the Greater Cleveland Foodbank, which equates to more than 700,000 meals distributed to those in need in Northeastern Ohio. This year’s totals hope to be even bigger and help even more people!

Need more proof this is a can’t-miss evening? Check out my recap of last year’s Taste of the Browns!

Tickets are $175 for general admission and $250 for VIP. Tickets can be purchased 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 you’re most looking forward to trying.

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’re following both.

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

I want to help tackle hunger at @CleveFoodbank’s #TasteoftheBrowns. Win tickets from @WhyCLE: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-259

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

The giveaway will close on Sunday, August 31 at 11:59pm and the winner will be announced the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Taste of the Browns. 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? Weekends!

After surviving my first week back to work from maternity leave, this weekend provided a perfect combination of time at home with Jeffrey and time out with friends to relax. On Friday night, Matthew and I attended the Cleveland Zoological Society’s Date Night at the ZOOvies. This year’s event was sold out and it was great to see so many people out enjoying a nice evening at the zoo.

IMG_0181

When we arrived, the Australian Adventure and African Savanna areas were open to explore. There were also critters you could get up close and personal with, including a snake and an owl.

PicMonkey Collage

There were heavy appetizers, wine, and Great Lakes beer to enjoy before the movie.

IMG_0187

Then during the show, there was a plethora of movie theater treats, like popcorn, hot pretzel sticks, and candy. Eating Reese’s Pieces while drinking red wine is what being a grown-up is all about, right?!

IMG_0191

The movie was “The Great Outdoors,” a fun 1980’s comedy with John Candy and Dan Aykroyd. We relaxed under the stars in the zoo’s amphitheater and enjoyed the show!

IMG_0194

Proceeds from Date Night at the ZOOview benefit the Cleveland Zoological Society. It’s a fun night out and it’s easy to see why the event is gaining popularity every year. Make sure to put it on your calendar for next summer!

Saturday evening, we went out to dinner to celebrate our dear friend Amanda‘s birthday.

PicMonkey Collage2

We went to one of my favorite spots: Spice Kitchen and Bar. A glass of Prosecco for me and a “Gin It to Win It” (gin, green chartreuse, celery syrup, lime, vermouth, and lemon bitters) for Matthew started the evening off right.

IMG_0211

Matthew and I shared the mushroom beignets (a must-order at Spice) and the pork & shiitake dumplings to start. For our entrees, I had the mushroom pappardelle, served with local mushrooms, fava beans and local chevre, in a light cream sauce. After our experience at the Spice Plated Landscape Dinner, we knew Chef Ben Bebenroth knew what he was doing with mushrooms and this dish proved no exception. Matthew also had pappardelle, but his was an evening special with rabbit.

PicMonkey Collage3

Spice prides itself on using the freshest, most local ingredients, which I love. Their dishes are creative, seasonal, and always delicious!

When in Gordon Square, it’s impossible to resist a stop at Sweet Moses. We ended the evening sweetly, with a chocolate turtle sundae for Matthew and triple berry pie a la mode for me.

IMG_0221

It was a great night celebrating a great friend! I hope this year brings you much happiness, Amanda!

How was your weekend? Did you attend one of the many sports events downtown on Saturday night?

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Zoological Society to help promote Date Night at the ZOOvies. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? IPM General Assembly!

International Partners in Mission is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and as part of the celebration will be hosting an inaugural General Assembly from October 13-17, with the theme “Connecting Cleveland to the World.”

logo-side

Image Source – ipmconnect.org

IPM started in St. Louis, but moved its headquarters to Cleveland in 2001. IPM’s mission is to work “across borders of faith, culture, and economic circumstance with children, women, and youth to create partnerships that build justice, peace, and hope.” The primary way to accomplish this is through IPM’s Immersion Experience Program.

IPM’s General Assembly will host participants from Cleveland and around the world, from academic, government, inter-faith, non-profit, and philanthropic realms. Each day of the General Assembly will also include at least two public presentations. The wide range of interesting speakers include:

  • Meran Chang Rogers, GALA
  • Rodrigo de Castro Amédée Péret, OFM, Pastoral Land Commission, Uberlandia, Brazil
  • Anthony Dowell, World Food Programme, Rome, Italy
  • Jay Friedlander, College of the Atlantic, ME
  • Hillary Kazoora, Watoto Wa Lwanga, Nairobi, Kenya
  • James P. Keane Ph.D, Catholic Memorial School, MA
  • J. Clinton McCann, Eden Theological Seminary, MO
  • Jay McNally, founder of Ibis Consulting—a Pittney Bowes Company
  • Randell McShepard, RPM Inc.
  • Paul Nuendorfer, The Refugee Response
  • Dorothy Nyong’o, African Cancer Foundation & Mother of Oscar Winning Actress Lupita Nyong’o
  • Judith Ranger Smith, The Singing for Change Foundation, SC
  • Joy Roller, Global Cleveland
  • Stavros Spryopolous, Eaton Corporation, East Africa
  • Rick Steves, Public Broadcasting Personality and author of Travel as a Political Act

Of particular note on the speakers list are Rick Steves and Dorothy Nyong’o. Rick Steves will be discussing “Travel as a Political Act” and his views of becoming a “temporary local” and getting off the beaten path while traveling. His presentation will be on October 17 at 6:30pm at the Breen Center for the Performing Arts at St. Ignatius High School. Tickets are $30 for adults and $10 for students. Click here to purchase tickets.

Dorothy Nyong’o will be part of a panel discussion on October 14 at 6:30pm at Notre Dame College. Her background includes research on strategies for increasing the visibility of NGO’s in Kenya. Plus, her daughter is an Academy Award winner! Ticket information will be available soon from IPM.

The IPM General Assembly is a wonderful opportunity not only to expose international writers, thinkers, and leaders to Cleveland, but also vice versa through the public events surrounding the General Assembly. Keep an eye on IPM’s Facebook page for all the latest details on the General Assembly and speaker events.

jenclesig_pur

Why? Chefs Unbridled!

One of my absolute favorite culinary events in a town packed with some incredible ones is Chefs Unbridled, happening Saturday, September 13 at the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club Polo Field.

Chefs photo

This annual fundraiser brings together eight of Cleveland’s best chefs for a delicious tasting dinner. This year’s chefs are Scott Kuhn and Chris Hodgson of Driftwood Restaurant Group, Tim Bando of Grove Hill, Brad Cecchi of Urban Farmer Cleveland Steakhouse, Andy Dombrowski of Cowell & Hubbard, Jeff Jarrett of AMP 150, Matt Mytro of Flour Restaurant, and Ian Thompson of Radius Restaurant at South Franklin Circle.

In addition to the tasting dinner, guests can enjoy food trucks such as Hodge Podge, a microbrew truck, and a cupcake truck. There will be entertainment provided by the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, horse-drawn carriage rides, and live and silent auctions.

Chefs Unbridled benefits Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center, which provides equine programs for people with disabilities. Fieldstone Farm participants range in age from 2 years old to seniors, with a wide range of cognitive impairments and physical disabilities. Through the Fieldstone Farm programs, participants gain coordination, balance, strength, self-esteem and confidence.

Ticket prices start at $125 per person, a portion of which is tax deductible. Reservations are due by Friday, August 29. Click here for an RSVP form. Chefs Unbridled is always a fun and delicious evening. I hope to see you there!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Chefs Unbridled. In exchange, I will receive 2 complimentary tickets to the event. Image courtesy of Fieldstone Farm. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

 

Why? Autism Speaks Cleveland Chef Gala!

Saturday night was a truly extraordinary Cleveland night, filled with great chefs, wonderful food, and a beautiful setting. Matthew and I attended the Autism Speaks Cleveland 2014 Chef Gala, thanks to Cleveland Chick.

IMG_8123

Held in the stunning Cleveland Museum of Art atrium, this event brought together 20 Cleveland chefs for a tasting event prior to a celebrity cooking and dinner presentation by hometown favorite Chef Michael Symon and his friend and “The Chew” co-star Chef Mario Batali.

IMG_0102

But I’m getting ahead of myself! Before Chefs Symon and Batali took to the stage, we had the opportunity to sample stand-out dishes from 20 of Cleveland’s best chefs. And in a nice surprise: the program included recipes for each of the dishes we tasted.

The chefs brought their A games for this event! Some favorites of the many delicious dishes we sampled:

Hamachi crudo with white soy ponzu, pine nuts, radish and cilantro from Fahrenheit

IMG_8113Bison tartare with duck egg gribiche, shiso puree, and spiced salt from AMP 150

IMG_8115Goat cheese and leek tarts with duck confit and fig from Driftwood Restaurants and Catering

IMG_8117

Ricotta panna cotta with tomato mousse from Coquette Patisserie

IMG_8120Heirloom tomato and watermelon consomme from SowFood

IMG_8110

Strangolapreti alla Trentina from Trentina

IMG_0099and Goat Cheese Sunday from The Cheese Shop.

IMG_8109

After absolutely stuffing ourselves, it was time for Chefs Symon and Batali to take to the stage to prepare a four-course dinner: heirloom tomato salad with feta, cucumbers, mint and dill; agnolotti with basil pesto and pomodoro sauce; braised shortribs with soft polenta and pickled chile salad; and the Lola S’more.

IMG_8127

Chefs Symon and Batali have great chemistry and humor. Watching and listening to them prepare the meal was a treat in itself!

IMG_8129

While higher-level donors got a full, plated dinner and some lucky bidders got to sit on stage with the chefs, all attendees were able to try tasting-sized portions of all the celebrity chef dinner courses. This was a really nice touch that allowed all donor levels to feel connected to the event.

IMG_8134

Aside from the ridiculous amount of amazing food, there was also a silent auction that raised $26,000 for Autism Speaks! Matthew and I walked away as silent auction winners with a Step 2 wagon, a family membership to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, tickets to the Zoo’s Circle of Wildlife Carousel, and tickets to the Cleveland Zoological Society‘s Animal Attractions event!

IMG_8135

It was a truly elegant and delicious evening for a wonderful cause! And it was another reminder of how Cleveland’s chef community, even those who are well-known on a national stage, come together with their time and talents to help others. We are truly lucky to not only have an extraordinary food scene, but also such caring people in it!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Cleveland Chick to attend the Autism Speaks Cleveland 2014 Chef Gala in her place, in exchange for blogging about the event. I received 2 complimentary tasting tickets to the Chef Gala. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Twilight at the Zoo!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Congratulations to Dan and timzaun! You have both won 2 general admission tickets and a parking pass to the WGAR 2014 Dollar Bank Country Jam. Please check your emails for further details. If you didn’t win, you can still purchase tickets online.

Also, you still have through today to enter to win tickets to Night Before 9: Out in Art. Check it out!***

Friday night brought one of my favorite summer events: Twilight at the Zoo, put on by the Cleveland Zoological Society.

IMG_4455

Where else can you hear 18 different bands, spanning genres from rock to swing to country to blues, plus get to see elephants, lions, birds, and other zoo critters at the same time?!

We started our evening in the VIP area. Twilight is an event where purchasing VIP tickets is definitely worth the extra investment. You get into the zoo an hour earlier than everyone else, plus you have closer parking and more extensive food and drink options.

We enjoyed ceviche, oysters, and carrot cake from Mitchell’s Fish Market, grilled filet and au gratin potatoes from Fleming’s Steakhouse, pasta and chicken marsala from Carrabba’s Italian Grill, and arugula, peach, and goat cheese salad and short rib sliders from AMP 150.

IMG_4440

We met up with Amanda and Scott and enjoyed our small bites and Sam Adams beers. While it seemed a bit early for Octoberfest beer, I really enjoyed that one (and with as early as the summer beers come out, I guess it’s inevitable to drink Octoberfest in August).

PicMonkey Collage

While it did start to rain a bit early in the evening, all the bands were under tents this year and were able to keep playing despite the weather. Our favorites from the night were Wanted: The Bon Jovi Tribute Band, Joe Bell & the Swing Lizards, Craic Punks, and Shady Drive.

IMG_4462

We also peeked through the glass at the new Circle of Wildlife carousel, which is beautifully crafted and a very nice addition to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

IMG_4461

Good friends, good music, good food, and a good cause made for another great Twilight at the Zoo! This is a don’t-miss event, so mark your calendars for next August!

IMG_4463

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

jenclesig_pur

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.

photo5 (6)

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.***

jenclesig_pur

 

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.

IMG_4307

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;

IMG_4315

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

IMG_4319

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!);

IMG_4314

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

IMG_4312

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.

IMG_4316

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.

PicMonkey Collage

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!

IMG_4308

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.***

jenclesig_pur

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.

Locavore_CMYK_Orange

 

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.***

jenclesig_pur