Category Archives: Charity

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.

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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.***

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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.***

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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.***

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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.***

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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.***

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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.***

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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.

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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.

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

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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?!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.***

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.***

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