Category Archives: Charity

Why? Weekends!

It was a busy and fun weekend! Saturday afternoon, I stopped by the Entertaining by Design event at the Ohio Design Centre. The intricate and beautiful tablescapes designed by local interior designers were really impressive!

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From Madame Butterfly to Red Hot Holiday to a Candyland Christmas, the designers really brought their unique ideas to life. If only my holiday table would look this nice! Even better, this year Entertaining by Design was a fundraiser to benefit the North Union Farmers Market‘s education and access programs.

On Saturday evening, Alicia planned a surprise birthday party for her husband Hans, centered around Hans’ favorite flavor: pumpkin!

1796645_10152469014293693_4466602890716165049_nThere was pumpkin chili, savory bread pudding, pumpkin chevre, pumpkin tortilla chips, pumpkin beer, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory’s recipe, and my go-to pumpkin cookies (recipe here).

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It was a fun night filled with all things pumpkin and a great way to celebrate the birthday boy! I’m just happy we all managed to keep it a surprise, too!

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On Sunday, I attended the John Carroll Alumni All Souls Mass and Brunch. It was held at St. Ignatius High School, which used to be John Carroll’s campus. I made sure to dress Jeffrey appropriately for the event in his mini St. Ignatius uniform of a blue blazer and khaki pants.

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Nothing like a little indoctrination into Jesuit education at an early age!

If you’re a JCU alum, we have an Alumni and Friends Social coming up this Thursday, November 13 at Willoughby Brewing Company. We’ll be enjoying their great craft beer, as well as collecting donation items to benefit the JCU Labre Project (and you get entered into a raffle for Cavs tickets if you bring a donation). You can get more details and RSVP here. Hope to see you there!

All in all, a lovely fall weekend! Although I might be pumpkin-ed out for a bit after Saturday night! How was your weekend?

***Disclosures: I was asked to help promote Entertaining by Design. In exchange, I received 2 complimentary tickets to attend the table showcase. I am a member of the board of the John Carroll University Cleveland Alumni Chapter. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Entertaining by Design Giveaway!

I can’t believe the holidays are almost upon us, which means lots of chances to have family and friends over for a meal. To give you some inspiration for your table, the Ohio Design Centre is hosting Entertaining by Design, an annual tabletop showcase, with tablescapes created by top interior designers.

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New this year is a Patron Party and Gala on Thursday, November 6 to benefit North Union Farmers Market. Attendees will get a first look at the designs, as well as specialty cocktails, savory small bites, live music, and the chance to bid on unique auction items. Tickets for the Patron Party and Gala are $100.

Then, on Friday, November 7 and Saturday, November 8, the sprawling Ohio Design Centre showrooms will be open to the public to take in these beautiful table designs and get inspired for your own holiday (and beyond) entertaining.

There will be the opportunity to vote for the People’s Choice Award, as well as see how your own personal choices match up with the winners chosen by a celebrity judge panel, including Brandon Chrosotowski from EDWINS restaurant and Charity D’Amato from i heart cleveland.

The showrooms will be open from 11am-7pm on Friday and 10am-4pm on Saturday. Tickets are $10 at the door to peruse the beautiful designs and proceeds similarly benefit North Union Farmers Market’s education and access programs. Or you can enter to win two tickets to the public table viewing good for either Friday or Saturday 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 for which holiday you need decorating inspiration.

2. Leave a comment if you like Ohio Design Centre and Why CLE? on Facebook, letting me know you like both pages.

3. Follow @ohdesigncentre 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 get inspired at @ohdesigncentre #entertainingbydesign to benefit @NUFarmersMarket thanks to @WhyCLE: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-29L

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

The giveaway will close on Monday, October 27 at 11:59pm and the winner will be announced the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Ohio Design Centre to help promote Entertaining by Design. In exchange, I will receive 2 tickets for myself and 2 tickets to give away to the public table viewings. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? L’Amour du Vin!

Last night, Matthew and I attend the Arthritis Foundation‘s L’Amour du Vin fundraiser. We met up with these fine folks for an evening of wining and small-bite dining.

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I seem to always find a new must-try restaurant at this event. Last year, it was Bistro 83 (who kept it up this year with some tasty spicy salmon cakes). This year, it was 41 North. Offering food in both VIP and the main room, 41 North brought delicious dishes that were as good to eat as they were nicely plated.

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In the VIP room, 41 North offered pork belly and swordfish. In the main room, they offered shrimp and grits and short ribs served on top apple risotto. After all these bites, I’m convinced I need to head out to Vermilion for a full meal there!

Other favorites of the evening was the gnocchi from Gatherings Kitchen, the smoked trout salad with apples and pumpkin seeds from AMP 150, the pulled pork sliders from Parker’s Grille and Tavern (loved the added jalapeno slices), and the lamb from Taki’s Greek Kitchen.

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I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the wonderful desserts, including oodles of Snoogles (and other pastries) from Kiedrowksi’s Simply Delicious Bakery and decadent chocolates from Sweet Designs (the cocoa nib truffle was my fave).

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There were plenty of delicious red and white wines to go with all the great food, along with Brown-Forman bourbon cocktails in the VIP room.

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We also entered the wine pull raffle, which not only scored us a great bottle for home, but a chance to win a Caribbean cruise (we didn’t).

I also have to take a moment to give a lot of praise to the planner of last night’s event, Alicia. L’Amour du Vin was Alicia’s last event for the Arthritis Foundation, as she is leaving her current role for a new, exciting, and perfectly-suited position at Evolution Yoga. You can read all about her upcoming new professional adventure here.

Alicia doing her thing

Alicia doing her thing

I am so proud of all that Alicia accomplished at the Arthritis Foundation and for following her heart to this new job! And what a way to go out, with one incredible party!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Arthritis Foundation to help promote L’Amour du Vin. In exchange, I received two complimentary VIP tickets to the event. As always, all opinions (on events and career decisions alike) are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

 

Why? St. Jude Give Thanks Walk!

You have to love when fitness and a good cause combine! The St. Jude Give Thanks. Walk. is returning to Great Northern Mall in North Olmsted on Saturday, November 22.

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The walk is a 5K that laps the mall 4 times and steps off at 10am. Strollers and wagons are welcome. There will be family fun activities and food lasting beyond the walk and participants are encouraged to stay and enjoy.

You can register as a team or as an individual. Registration is free and there is no fundraising minimum. However, there are fun incentives at different fundraising levels, including a t-shirt for the $35-$99 level, a tumbler for the $100-$249 level, and a tote bag for the $250+ level.

All proceeds benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which advances cures and prevention for catastrophic pediatric diseases through research and treatment. As a new mom, even typing the phrase catastrophic pediatric diseases makes me shudder, but thank goodness for places like St. Jude that step in to help when things like that happen.

Click here to register for the St. Jude Give Thanks. Walk. and start your fundraising for this wonderful organization! Last year’s walk saw 600 participants raise over $65,000 and the hopes are that this year’s walk will bring even larger totals.

jenclesig_pur

Why? Namaste, One Night for One World!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Have you entered to win 2 tickets to see the a cappella group The House Jacks at Shaker Heights High School? Check it out!***

Namaste means, “I bow to the divine in you.” It means showing respect to that which is special and sacred in each of us. International Partners in Mission is hosting its 12th annual Namaste! One Night for One World Cultural Celebration Benefit on Thursday, October 16, giving attendees a chance to show the respect of Namaste to those who work so hard for this wonderful organization.

At the Namaste Benefit, you can enjoy stunning views of the Cleveland skyline from the Ariel International Center, while nibbling on international cuisine, sipping wine, listening to live music including jazz guitarist Lee Bush, and perusing crafts and silent auction items from around the world.

More than ten of IPM’s Project Partners from around the world will also be on hand that evening to share stories about their countries and the work of IPM.

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Before Namaste, there will also be a unique immersion experience and VIP reception with Peter and Dorothy Nyong’o, who are active in Kenyan politics and non-profits and are also the parents of Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o, as well as Joseph Cistone, the CEO of IPM.

Namaste is sure to be a fun evening to benefit IPM’s wonderful work around the globe and it is a great way to show Cleveland’s support for this organization that calls our city home. Tickets are $100 for Patron VIP level, $40 for general admission, and $15 for students and can be purchased online.

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***Disclosure: I was asked by International Partners in Mission to help promote Namaste. In exchange, I was offered complimentary tickets to Namaste. I declined due to scheduling conflicts. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? L’Amour du Vin Giveaway!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Congratulations to Courtney (Comment #11), randomly-selected winner of 2 tickets to the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival. Please check your email for details. If you didn’t win, you can still purchase tickets online.***

Coming up on Thursday, October 9 is a fabulous fundraiser to benefit the Arthritis Foundation, Great Lakes Region, Northeast Ohio Chapter: L’Amour du Vin. This event takes place at the Avon Oaks Country Club and is a tasty mix of great wine and great food from Lorain County.

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In the main room, restaurants from Aladdin’s Eatery to AMP 150 to Parker’s Grille & Tavern will be serving up great eats. Kiedrowski’s Simply Delicious Bakery will be on hand with snoogles! The VIP lounge will feature food from 41 North, which is sure to be delicious.

Aside from all the food and wine, there are silent auctions, raffles, and live music! What an evening! General admission tickets are $65 and VIP tickets are $95. 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 most want to try.

2. If you like the Arthritis Foundation NEO and Why CLE? on Facebook, leave a comment letting me know you like both pages.

3. Follow @ArthritisFouNEO 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 #LAmourduVin from @ArthritisFouNEO and @WhyCLE: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-27X

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 29 at 11:59pm and the winner will be announced the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Arthritis Foundation to help promote L’Amour du Vin. 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? Chefs Unbridled!

Saturday evening brought fall-like weather and one of my favorite fall events: Chefs Unbridled to benefit Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center.

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Set at the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club Polo Fields, Chefs Unbridled has live and silent auctions to benefit Fieldstone Farm, as well as live music from the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra and a wonderful tasting dinner from some of Cleveland’s finest chefs.

This year, Matthew and I decided to select our favorite appetizer, entree, and dessert from the tasting dinner to share with you.

Appetizer

Urban Farmer Cleveland Steakhouse brought our favorite appetizer of the evening: scallop chips with bacon jam and tomatoes.

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The scallop chips are a housemade variation on the classic shrimp chip. The bacon jam is deliciously salty and the tomato added just the right fresh notes. Don’t ask how many of these we ate.

Entree

I had two favorite entrees from the evening. The first, which was Matthew’s favorite as well, was the grilled hanger steak with salsa verde and creamed corn from Driftwood Restaurant Group.

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The steak was prepared perfectly, the salsa was spicy, and anything with Ohio corn is a win in my book.

My other winning entree came from Radius: pork belly with pickled onions and a small cornbread cake.

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This was some of the meatiest pork belly I’ve ever had, which also made it a win in Matthew’s book.

Dessert

Urban Farmer gets the win in this column as well with their devil’s food whoopie pies.

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Rich and decadent, with the playfulness I’ve come to expect from Urban Farmer, these were my favorite sweet treat of the evening and paired perfectly with my 14 Hands Hot to Trot red blend.

Fun Touches

And in a needed category, here were two of my favorite fun touches of the evening: Hodge Podge Truck and an Irish coffee station.

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Who doesn’t love to warm up with boozey coffee and tater tots?!

All in all, it was another fabulous evening at Chefs Unbridled! Did you attend? What were your favorites?

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

jenclesig_pur

Why? Fashion Forward Giving Back Giveaway!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Congratulations to Jeff Anderle (Comment #23), randomly-selected winner of 2 weekend passes to the Cleveland Garlic Festival. If you didn’t win, you can still purchase tickets online. Remember you can save $1 off your tickets with promo code GFWhyCle.***

I love to shop and when I can shop for a good cause, it’s even better! That’s exactly what you can do at Fashion Forward Giving Back at Beachwood Place.

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Fashion Forward Giving Back happens on Saturday, September 13 from 10am to 9pm and is a day of fashion and fun to benefit Cleveland Clinic Children’s. There will be live music, family-friendly activities, cosmetic samples, exclusive shopping discounts, and a fashion show featuring local celebrities and patients and caregivers from Cleveland Clinic Children’s.

To participate in Fashion Forward Giving Back, you can purchase a $25 shopping pass online, which will get you access to all the great shopping discounts available that day. Or you can enter to win 2 shopping passes 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 retailers with exclusive discounts and leave a comment telling me where you’re most excited to shop.

2. Leave a comment if you like Beachwood Place and Why CLE? on Facebook, letting me know you like both.

3. Follow @BeachwoodPlace 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 shop to benefit @ClevelandClinic Children’s at @BeachwoodPlace thanks to @WhyCLE: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-263

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

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

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Fashion Forward Giving Back. In exchange, I will receive 2 shopping passes to give away. I declined my own 2 shopping passes due to scheduling conflicts. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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