Category Archives: Charity

Why? United Way Rock the Catwalk Giveaway!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Today is your last day to enter to win one of two Bruegger’s gift cards to thank a deserving teacher in your life. Check it out and remember you can tweet daily for additional entries!***

Spring event season is in full swing! Which not only means that there’s tons of fun ways to do good happening around town, but also means you might be wondering what to wear to these events. Well, one event has you covered with both: United Way of Greater Cleveland’s Rock the Catwalk!

rtc_logo_largeRock the Catwalk takes place inside the gorgeous Cleveland Museum of Art atrium on Thursday, May 14. The event is hosted by the United Way of Greater Cleveland’s Women’s Leadership Council, with all proceeds benefiting early learning programs to ensure that every child has access to quality education.

Aside from the fabulous venue and great cause, you’ll enjoy food, drinks, and a fashion show modeled by civic, business, and community leaders.

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Tickets for Rock the Catwalk are now on sale online. VIP tickets are $225 and include hors d’oeuvres, open bar, and premier seating. General admission tickets are $125 and include hors d’eouvres and two drink tickets.

And to help you have a charitable and fashionable spring, I have two general admission tickets to give away! 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 which of the featured boutiques‘ fashions you most want to see at Rock the Catwalk.

2. Visit Cleveland Women’s Leadership Council and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

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

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

I want to Rock the Catwalk with @UnitedWayCLE and @WhyCLE. Enter to win tickets here: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-2lP

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

The giveaway will close on Monday, May 4 at 11:59pm and the winner will be announced the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the United Way of Greater Cleveland to help promote Rock the Catwalk. In exchange, I will receive 2 general admission tickets to give away. I declined my own 2 tickets due to scheduling conflicts. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Silver Spoon Awards Party!

Last night, I attended Cleveland Magazine’s Silver Spoon Awards Party to benefit the Arthritis Foundation. This is always one of my favorite events of the year and last night’s party hit the trifecta of a great venue, fabulous food, and wonderful people.

The party was held at the Crawford Auto Aviation Collection, part of the Western Reserve Historical Society. As you sipped and snacked, you got to walk through the collection and see antique cars and airplanes.

IMG_2775My favorite thing to see (and experience) was the newly-restored, fully-operational Euclid Beach Grand Carousel. Not only is the carousel beautiful, but riding it made me feel like a carefree kid (in a party dress).

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#carouselfie

Another favorite was the Indians-themed VIP area, looked over by the Chief Wahoo sign from Municipal Stadium.

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What a great place to combine the past with the present! Speaking of VIP, the culinary delights started there. The VIP room was a who’s who of the hottest spots in town, with amazing food from Lola Bistro, Adega, and Trentina, as well as martinis from Billy’s A Cappelli Martini Bar and beer from Willoughby Brewing Company.

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The deliciousness continued on the main floor. My favorites included the market burger from Heck’s Cafe, the shortrib and creamed corn from Red the Steakhouse, the sushi from Ginko, the tiramisu from Luca, and the classic oysters and champagne from Pier W.

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And Luna Bakery definitely wins my vote for most beautiful presentation (and the desserts were so delicious too)!

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And the people…there was a healthy helping of the restaurant folks I love to see like Jonathon Sawyer, Dan Deagan, and Matt Harlan. There were lovely friends to catch up with like Alicia, Nadine, Jessa, and Charlene. And there was a photo op with the one and only Bernie Kosar, who was so gracious to the long line of people waiting to chat and take photos.

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It was another fabulous Silver Spoon Awards Party! Can’t wait to see what next year brings!

***Disclosure: I was lucky enough to receive a complimentary VIP ticket from Alicia, who had an extra one. I owe her many gluten-free treats and some midday pup visits. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Playhouse Square Partners Events!

***A bit of blogkeeping: I needed to choose a new winner for the Aveda Rare Bloom giveaway, so congratulations to Cheryl (Comment #17)! Please check your email for details.

Also, have you entered to win one of two $10 Bruegger’s gift cards to thank a special teacher in your life? Check it out and remember you can tweet daily for additional entries!***

By now, you know I’m a member of Playhouse Square Partners and, hopefully, that Partners has a lot of great events beyond Jump Back Ball. I wanted to recap one and let you know about one that is upcoming that anyone can attend.

First, the recap…last Thursday night, Partners hosted a mixology class in the gorgeous lobby of the State Theatre. This was a members-only event, so membership in Partners definitely has its privileges and perks!

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Not only did we get to mix up tasty cocktails, but we got to do it in this fabulous setting! Buckeye Vodka provided our host for the evening, as well as the vodka to make our cocktail creations. Each cocktail that we made was first expertly explained by Mike, our Buckeye bartender.

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We got to make four different cocktails, which were spins on classic drinks, such as the Buckeye 75 (a take-off on the classic French 75). We also learned the proper way to muddle ingredients, as well as use things such as egg whites in a drink.

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Aside from the hands-on practice and getting to drink our tasty creations, we also got recipes to take home and impress our friends at our next cocktail party. Cheers to a fabulous Partners evening!

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And since we now know how to create fabulous drinks, we are prepared for the next Partners event: Bartending for Buses. This event takes place on Wednesday, May 20 at Around the Corner and raises money for the Partners Bus Fund.

Image Source - playhousesquare.org

Image Source – playhousesquare.org

The Partners Bus Fund helps schools get their students to Playhouse Square to see live theater by subsidizing the cost of buses. Supporting the Bus Fund is a great way to support the arts community, by giving the next generation access to the wonderful theater opportunities in Cleveland.

At Bartending for Buses, various Partners members will take turns bartending at Around the Corner from 6pm-10pm. Your tips to your bartenders, along with purchasing entries in the 50/50 raffle, go toward the Bus Fund. Also, for $20, you get access to a pizza and wing buffet.

You do not need to be a member of Partners to attend…all are welcome! I’ll be bartending from 7pm-8pm that night and I hope to see a lot of you there to enjoy a drink, some food and fun, and help out the Partners Bus Fund.

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

jenclesig_pur

Why? Market at the Foodbank Giveaway!

On Sunday, May 3, the Greater Cleveland Foodbank is hosting the 20th anniversary Market at the Foodbank, a food and wine tasting event, held right at the Greater Cleveland Foodbank.

Image Source - greaterclevelandfoodbank.org

Image Source – greaterclevelandfoodbank.org

Just a few of the restaurants serving up tasty bites that evening are BOMBA Tacos and Rum, AMP 150, Spice Kitchen and Bar, Trentina Restaurant, and Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream. There will also be plenty of wine and beer samples to enjoy!

Beyond just delicious food and tempting beverages, the event offers an opportunity to see the Greater Cleveland Foodbank’s impressive facility. It’s an up close and personal look at where the money raised that evening will go and gives you a sense of the immense need served by the Foodbank. 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. Attendance at Market at the Foodbank, as well as participation in the great auctions and raffles that evening, go a long way toward achieving Harvest for Hunger’s fundraising goal!

Image Source - greaterclevelandfoodbank.org

Image Source – greaterclevelandfoodbank.org

Tickets for Market at the Foodbank are on sale now. VIP tickets, which get you a signature wine glass and access to a VIP reception, are $175. General admission tickets are $100. 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. Visit the Greater Cleveland Foodbank and Why CLE? on Facebook, and leave a comment letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Follow @CleveFoodbank and @WhyCLE on Twitter and 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 win tickets to @CleveFoodbank’s tasty #Market2015 thanks to @WhyCLE: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-2l0

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 26 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!

Last night, Matthew and I attended Cleveland’s Finest Hors d’Oeuvre Contest, a foodie fundraiser to benefit Our Lady of the Wayside. Held at the Terrace Club at Progressive Field, we not only enjoyed impressive food, but impressive ballpark views.

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The renovations to the ballpark look amazing and I can’t wait to take in a game there!

The participating restaurants and chefs brought their A Game and choosing a favorite hors d’oeuvre was a difficult, yet tasty, task. Some of our favorites:

The lobster rolls with spiced tomato jam from Hodge’s

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The chicken leg confit with gorgonzola polenta and braised collard greens from Chinato

The romano-crusted lamb chop with spring vegetable orzo from Horseshoe Cleveland

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The mini shortrib mushroom ragout tartine from Tartine Bistro

The vegetable empanadas from Barrio

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There were tasty desserts from Becker’s to add a touch of sweetness to the evening, too.

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The winners of the attendee-voted contest were:

3rd place – Carrie Cerino’s pepperoni and rock shrimp with corn and tomato salsa over parmesan crostini

2nd place – Corleone’s lump crab and salmon cake

1st place – The Tree House Gallery‘s surf and turf pierogi

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But the real winner is Our Lady of the Wayside, who hosted another fabulous fundraiser to benefit their mission of providing residential, respite, transportation, and day programming services to children and adults with developmental disabilities.

Next up for Our Lady of the Wayside is Grapes and Ale on Friday, June 26. This is always one of my favorite events of the summer, so stay tuned for more details!

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

jenclesig_pur

Why? Peaceful Fruits!

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Evan and hearing about his exciting venture called Peaceful Fruits. Not only are Peaceful Fruits super tasty, but they have an inspiring back story and support a great cause.

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So, I interviewed Evan to get more of the scoop and share it with you.

Tell me how Peaceful Fruits got started.

After 2 years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in a village in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest, I came home but I couldn’t stand to totally leave my experience behind. Working, on my own terms, to help make a difference for people was too satisfying to give up!

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That’s why I started Peaceful Fruits: a social good company that uses delicious, healthy food products to encourage sustainable development in the Amazon. My company is founded in the belief that sustainability and development should not be mutually exclusive – there are ways to help people make money and improve their standard of living that still respect traditional ways of life and the environment.

Though our acai comes from the people of the Amazon Rainforest, Peaceful Fruits literally started in my parents’ kitchen – in Peninsula OH.  That’s where we came up with the exact formula for our sustainable, super snacks and decided that this was how to launch the company. It’s a wild path that has taken me from my hut in the jungle to my mom’s kitchen table and now to store shelves throughout NE Ohio – but it’s been incredibly rewarding so far!

What are Peaceful Fruits? How/where are they made?

Peaceful Fruits are our supersnacks – basically, fruit rollups like you would not believe.  Made from nothing but pureed whole fruits, we slow-dry the blended fruits into a naturally-preserved fruit snack. The main ingredient is wild acai, harvested in the region where I was a Peace Corps Volunteer, and we mix it with other delicious fruits to make unique flavors – right now we have Acai+Pineapple and Acai+Apple. No sugar added and no preservatives – our natural drying process is enough to maintain the flavor and nutrition of our snacks for months!

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Organic, superfood acai is the main ingredient, which means are snacks are rich in the antioxidants (anti-cancer, anti-aging) and omega fatty acids (important for heart and brain health) that made acai famous. Our snacks are naturally GMO-free, gluten-free, vegan, and paleo – because we believe that fruit snacks shouldn’t have anything besides fruit!

We currently produce our snacks in partnership with the Cleveland Culinary Launch Kitchen and Ms. Julie’s Community Kitchen in Akron.  We are working to increase production by partnering with a local organization that employs people with with disabilities in our community (hopefully we will have an announcement on that soon!)

I love NE Ohio and am so happy to launch this business here and produce here – but my eventual goal is to move production to the Rainforest.  I want the people there to benefit from the value-added steps in the process as well, so they can capture more of the economic opportunities in this enterprise.

What is the mission of Peaceful Fruits?

Peaceful Fruits’ mission is to support sustainable development in the Amazon Rainforest and help people around the world enjoy the incredible, renewable bounty of the rainforest. We are a for-profit social good enterprise; that means we believe long term success is only possible when you take care of all your stakeholders – from the ground where the tree grows, to the person that harvests it, all the way to the mouth that eats it and the package that gets discarded.

The main ingredient in our products, wild acai, is harvested by the indigenous peoples of the Amazon Rainforest. We provide a market – and a path to economic development that does not push them to abandon their home or traditional way of life. Wild acai helps them monetize a renewable resource that can only be found in the unspoiled rainforest, supporting progress while encouraging preservation.

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How can we support Peaceful Fruits? Where can we buy Peaceful Fruits?

Peaceful Fruits is available for sale at select stores throughout Cleveland and Akron – from fair trade galleries like “In the 216″ to foodie spots like Jim Alesci’s and The Grocery in Ohio City. You can also buy us direct online at www.peacefulfruits.com

If you have a favorite fitness studio, grocery store, or other appropriate venue – mention to the staff that you’d love to be able to buy Peaceful Fruits snacks there! Or message us (via fb, twitter, or our website) to reach out to them!  As a growing startup there are lots of other ways to get involved as well – we are always looking for partners that are passionate about our mission. Drop us a line if you want to know more!

Thanks, Evan! Peaceful Fruits is a great new Cleveland company doing great things! Be sure to support their tasty products and humanitarian mission!

***Disclosure: While at the Ohio Blogging Association meet-up at Jim Alesci’s Place, I received a complimentary sample of Peaceful Fruits. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Handpicked: A Different Kind of Bridal Event Giveaway!

Spring is finally here, which means wedding season is right around the corner! Handpicked: A Different Kind of Bridal Event is happening on Friday, May 1 at MOCA Cleveland to help you get everything you need to make your big day absolutely fabulous!

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The host for the event is Baci Designer, a stationary and event design boutique. Other fabulous vendors for this unique bridal fair include Bittersweet’s Chocolate and Pastry, Lather: A Salon, and The Wandering Wardrobe.

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Tickets are $20 in advance ($25 at the door). Your tickets gets you access to the open-house style bridal fair from 5:30pm-9pm. You also can peruse the MOCA galleries until 6:30pm. Plus, you’ll get tasty nibbles, two drink tickets, and a guest favor.

A portion of the proceeds from Handpicked benefit Brides Across America, which provides military wives with wedding dresses. So, not only can you find the perfect things for your big day, you can help someone else’s big day be perfect, too!

Tickets are available online now. 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. Leave a comment and tell me what inspiration you’re most hoping to get from Handpicked (e.g., hair, color scheme, desserts, etc.)

2. Visit Handpicked: A Different Kind of Bridal Event and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Follow @HandpickedEvent 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 attend the @HandpickedEvent at @MOCACleveland thanks to @WhyCLE: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-2jG

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

The giveaway will close on Friday, April 10 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Baci Designer to help promote Handpicked: A Different Kind of Bridal Event. 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? Just-a-Buck Giveaway!

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a dollar store shopper. But when I heard about Just-a-Buck, I was intrigued. Just-a-Buck stores in Cleveland are operated by Solutions at Work, which helps people with developmental disabilities find employment.

All of the employees at Just-a-Buck, excluding managers, are people with developmental disabilities. Their jobs at Just-a-Buck provide a safe environment to learn retail skills and gain the fulfillment that employment provides.

Plus, every item at Just-a-Buck is really “just a buck.” When you check-out, the employees simply need to count up your items to figure out what you owe.

I headed to the Parma location (there are also stores in Rocky River and South Euclid) to check out the Just-a-Buck holiday section. I was able to stock up on a ton of goodies for my nieces’ Easter baskets.

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Plus I got some adorable little stuffed bunnies for Jeffrey’s friends in music class.

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The seasonal section at Just-a-Buck is a nice, cost-efficient way to pick up party decorations, kids gifts, and more. And the items I found for my nieces included Princess Sofia, Dora the Explorer, and other popular characters.

The Just-a-Buck employees were friendly, efficient, and made the shopping experience a great one! This is more than just a place to pick up affordable merchandise, it’s a way to support those with developmental disabilities finding fulfilling employment.

So, put aside your preconceived dollar store notions, and check out Just-a-Buck. It’s not only shopping, but it’s contributing to Solutions at Work’s positive mission! And to help you do just that, I have a $25 gift certificate to give away to Just-a-Buck.

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 store to find a bargain.

2. Leave a comment if you like Just-a-Buck and Why CLE? on Facebook, letting me know you like both pages.

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

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

I want to save money and help others at @JustaBuckNEO thanks to SAW, Inc. and @WhyCLE: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-2iY

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

The giveaway will close on Sunday, March 29 and the winner will be announced the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by SAW, Inc. to help promote Just-a-Buck. In exchange, I received a $25 gift certificate for myself and a $25 gift certificate to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

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

There are few things I like more than a good hors d’oeuvre. It gets the meal off on the right foot, it perhaps satisfies a craving not hit by your entree, and it’s usually communal food with the table, which I always enjoy. There is a definite art to creating the perfect hors d’oeuvre.

On Thursday, April 16, some of our best restaurants will compete for the title of Cleveland’s Finest Hors D’Oeuvre at an event to benefit Our Lady of the Wayside.

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The event is held at The Terrace Club at Progressive Field, with fabulous views of the ballpark to get you in the mood for spring. That’s if you can tear your eyes away from the food! There will be a host of great restaurants competing, including Barrio, Tartine Bistro, Hodge’s, Spice Kitchen and Bar, and the Zack Bruell Restaurant Group. You not only get to taste all the food, but you get to vote for your favorites!

There will also be live music from Nate Jones, complimentary beer and wine tastings from Mill Street Brewery and Tom Gore Vineyards, and plenty of shenanigans from hosts Jen Toohey, Tim Richards, and Desiray Cross from Cleveland’s New 102.

This awesome evening benefits Our Lady of the Wayside, which provides services to 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. Leave a comment telling me your current favorite hors d’ouevre in Cleveland and where to find it.

2. Leave one 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 one comment letting me know you follow both.

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

I want to win tickets to Cleveland’s Finest Hors D’Oeuvre Contest from @OurLadyWayside and @WhyCLE: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-2iv

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

The giveaway will run though Sunday, March 22 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 two complimentary tickets for myself and two tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Jump Back Ball!

FEB 28 2015 18:00 Enter the Jump Back to the Future VIP Party at the Connor Palace Theatre at Playhouse Square. Stop at the Lexus photo booth to document the fun you’re about to have and how handsome your date is.

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FEB 28 2015 18:15 Peruse the Connor Palace Theatre lobby enjoying the evening’s signature cocktail, the Flux Capacitor, a blend of Buckeye Vodka, tropical fruit mix, and club soda.

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FEB 28 2015 18:30 Nibble on tasty VIP small bites from Driftwood Restaurants and Catering, including calamari, cavatelli with lamb bolognese, mini bruschetta, and prosecco ice cream. Yes, prosecco ice cream.

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FEB 28 2015 19:00 Enter the State Theatre and join the throngs of other excited Clevelanders (and some out-of-town friends) who are ready for a fabulous evening.

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FEB 28 2015 19:15 Marvel at the handmade decorations created by Playhouse Square Partners that take you right into scenes from the “Back to the Future” movies. Maybe even find the sign you helped to make at a Shop Night.

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FEB 28 2015 19:30 Make your way to the stage of the State Theatre and grab a libation from the champagne bar or the Buckeye Vodka ice luge (or both). Fill up your dinner plate with haute comfort food like chicken a la king, cornbread, and mashed potatoes, also from Driftwood Restaurants and Catering.

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FEB 28 2015 20:00 Enjoy the Motown music provided by Eugene Ross and Company, which is a perfect fit for the Enchantment Under the Sea dance decor. Mingle with friends and take in how fabulous everyone looks.

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FEB 28 2015 21:00 Wander around the State Theatre and have your palm or tarot cards read, try your luck at the raffle, silent auction, and wine pull, and stop for a photo by the iconic clock tower.

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FEB 28 2015 22:00 Return to the State Theatre lobby for late night dancing with music from Thunder Gun Express and late night eats from Driftwood.

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FEB 28 2015 23:59 Head home with tired feet, a camera full of selfies, and the knowledge that you not only had a fantastic evening. but you also just supported one of Cleveland’s finest institutions. Immediately mark your calendar for Jump Back Ball 25.

***Disclosure: I was asked by Playhouse Square to help promote Jump Back Ball. In exchange, I received one complimentary ticket when I purchased a ticket of equal value. I am also a member of the board of Playhouse Square Partners. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur