Why? Northeast Ohio Big Wish Gala!

Have you ever wanted to help make a child’s wish come true? Then, the Northeast Ohio Big Wish Gala to benefit Make a Wish Ohio/Kentucky/Illinois is the event for you!

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Taking place at the Hilton Cleveland Downtown on Thursday, April 4, the Big Wish Gala features a cocktail hour, delicious sit-down dinner, silent and live auctions with incredible prizes, and even some special surprises.

You’ll have the opportunity to meet and hear from Wish Kids and their families, whose lives have been forever impacted by Make a Wish.

The Big Wish Gala special guest is Vanessa Bayer, Wish Kid, Emmy-nominated actress, and former Saturday Night Live star.

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In 1999, Make a Wish Ohio/Kentucky/Illinois granted Vanessa’s wish to travel to Hawaii with her family.

Tickets are currently on sale online for $400. The Big Wish Gala is a truly inspiring and impactful evening, so consider purchasing tickets today!

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Why? The First Tee of Cleveland Upcoming Events!

As Spring is finally upon us, it’s time to start thinking about outdoor activities, like golf. The First Tee of Cleveland is getting ready for spring with two great upcoming events.

On Thursday, April 4, the organization is hosting Taste of the Tee. This event is a unique partnership between four non-profits: The First Tee of Cleveland, Cuyahoga Community College, EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute, and the Music Settlement.

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Taste of the Tee will feature:

  • A wine tasting by Sommelier Brandon Chrostowski, Founder, President, and CEO of EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute
  • Culinary creations from The First Tee of Cleveland’s Fit to a Tee participants along with Tri-C Culinary Arts students
  • Music performed by The Music Settlement students

Not only will you contribute to these great non-profits, but you will have a unique opportunity to see their work in action.

Tickets are $150 per person and are available online.

Then, on Saturday, April 6, join The First Tee of Cleveland for their Spring Open House. Families are invited to attend to learn about the programs offered, meet the coaches, and participate in fun golf activities. There will also be light snacks and beverages available.

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The First Tee of Cleveland offers programs for ages 6-18 that teach life skills, healthy habits, and core values through the game of golf. The Spring Open House takes place on Saturday, April 6 from 10am-noon at all of the First Tee of Cleveland locations: Washington Park, Meadowood Golf Course, Briardale Greens Golf Course, and Windmill Golf Center.

Support not only The First Tee of Cleveland, but other non-profits, then sign up for some of the First Tee’s amazing programs. Spring is here!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the First Tee of Cleveland to help promote their upcoming events. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary tickets to Taste of the Tee. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Cleveland Unites!

What happens when you combine Cleveland’s awesome music scene with a great non-profit cause? You get Cleveland Unites, a night of live entertainment at the Agora, hosted by the United Way of Greater Cleveland‘s Young Leaders.

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Held at the newly-renovated Agora on Saturday, April 13 from 7pm-midnight, Cleveland Unites brings together live music, networking, and philanthropy all in one event. You’ll learn more about United Way’s Young Leaders, as well as contributing through event proceeds to United Way’s efforts to give children living in poverty a better life.

Cleveland Unites is hosted by Mike Polk, Jr. and will feature music from Carlos Jones, The Sublets, DJ B, and The Whiskey Hollow.

Tickets for Cleveland Unites are currently on sale online and range from $50 to $75.

Then you can keep the fun going the next day, Sunday, April 14. Head to brunch at Lago East Bank between 11am and 3pm and a portion of the proceeds will benefit United Way of Greater Cleveland.

Cleveland comes together in music and fun for a great cause with Cleveland Unites! Don’t miss out!

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Why? Market District Giveaway!

I am one of those people who LOVE grocery shopping. Seriously. It’s not a chore. I LOVE it. So, you can imagine how excited I was to get to tour the brand new Market District in Westlake, which is enough to make anyone fall in love with grocery shopping.

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And at the Grand Opening of the new Market District, my grocery shopping was even more exciting because I got to do it with Food Network star Sunny Anderson!

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The new Westlake store is huge and packed with everything you need, from the everyday to the special. Market District prides itself on offering unique items, both in prepared foods and in groceries you can take home to use in your own recipes.

The dry-aged beef case is an example of these unique items, with amazing cuts of dry-aged beef, along with a knowledgeable butcher staff to help you select your meat and give you tips on how to prepare it.

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The seafood case also offers fantastic, fresh choices, with everything you need to create your own delicious Lenten fish fry at home.

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The bakery, cheese, and wine departments are stand-outs too, with not only incredible selections, but also staff that can help you find exactly what you’re looking for (and maybe something new).

The prepared foods section can make your weeknight dinners a breeze, with food prepared on-site by talented chefs.

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Speaking of making dinners a breeze, Market District has started its own meal kit service called Great to Go, with prepackaged, recipe-driven meals you can create in your own kitchen in a one-stop package.

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In case you get hungry while you shop, Wok Street offers grab-and-go sushi perfect for a quick lunch.

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Market District also heavily focuses on local products, including lots of Northeast Ohio craft beers, Pope’s Kitchen, Randy’s Pickles, Full Fork Premium Pasta Sauce, and more.

Beyond just selling local products, Market District is invested in the local community too. At the Grand Opening, Market District presented a $10,000 check to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank to help kickoff the Harvest for Hunger campaign. Throughout the campaign, you can donate at check-out while at Market District (or any Giant Eagle store).

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Market District makes grocery shopping fun, exciting, diverse, and delicious. And to make you a grocery shopping lover like me, I have a $50 Market District gift card (good at any Market District, Giant Eagle, or GetGo) to give away!

Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, four, or all five entries, just leave a separate comment for each):

1.Leave a comment and tell me your favorite thing for which to grocery shop for.

2. Visit Market District and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Follow @marketdistrict and @whycle on Instagram and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

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

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

I want to win a @MarketDistrict gift card from @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/03/11/why-market-district-giveaway

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

The giveaway will close on Thursday, March 14 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Grand Opening of the Market District in Westlake. I received a VIP tour of the store, Market District gift card, and swag bag for myself, as well as a Market District gift card to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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

Cleveland’s Finest Hors d’Oeuvre Contest to benefit Our Lady of the Wayside is one of my favorite annual fundraisers. I love a good appetizer and I love any reason to be at Progressive Field! And this year is sure to be even bigger and better, as the event celebrates its 25th Anniversary!

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Cleveland’s Finest creates a friendly chef competition between some of Cleveland’s best restaurants for who will be crowned as having the Finest Hors d’Oeuvre. The winners are voted on by attendees, who are the real winners, since we get to eat all the delicious appetizers!

The event takes place on Thursday, April 11 at the Terrace Club at Progressive Field. Participating restaurants include Corleone’s Ristorante and Bar, Cleveland Chop, Punch Bowl Social, Tartine Bistro, Mallorca Restaurant, and more.

Plus, there will be desserts from Cupcake Cravings, Simply Michele’s, and Simply Elegant Catering; wine tastes; beer samples from Saucy Brew Works; live music; hosts Tim Richards, Jen Toohey, and Desiray Cross from Star 102; a silent auction with awesome prizes; and lots more foodie fun!

Tickets are $80 and all proceeds benefit Our Lady of the Wayside’s mission of supporting over 900 children and adults with developmental disabilities through a wide range of services from transportation to housing to employment.

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Tickets are available online or you can enter to win two tickets to the event right here! Here’s how to enter:

1.Leave a comment here letting me know which participating restaurant‘s hors d’oeuvre you’re most excited to sample.

2. Head over to my Instagram page at @whycle for more ways to win!

The giveaway will close on Monday, March 11 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified 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 to the event for myself and two tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Jump Back Ball!

Saturday was the annual Jump Back Ball put on by Playhouse Square Partners. This year’s theme was Jump Back Across the Pond and the guests came decked out as everything from royalty to musicians to wizards.

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The VIP Party had the royal family make an appearance…

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…including the Queen’s corgi (in reality, Murray, who belongs to Beard and the Broad).

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We also enjoyed specialty cocktails from Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Pope’s Kitchen, high tea inspired appetizers from The Driftwood Group, and music from North Coast String Quartet.

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Then it was off to the main event, with more great food and drinks, music from Abby Normal & the Detroit Lean on the main stage and Faction on the late night stage, and tons of fun British-themed photo opps, all created by Playhouse Square Partners members.

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This was our eighth Jump Back Ball and I’m amazed how, every year, we have such an incredible time at this truly unique, fun, epic event!

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Oh, and did I mention it’s all to benefit Playhouse Square’s community outreach and education initiatives, such as the Dazzle Awards and the Disney Musicals in Schools program?

What a bloody brilliant evening! Stay tuned for next year’s theme announcement and ticket sales kickoff in Fall 2019!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Playhouse Square to help promote Jump Back Ball. In exchange, I received two complimentary VIP tickets to the event. I am also the co-chair of the Communications Committee for Playhouse Square Partners. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Tails and Cocktails!

Have you ever wanted to learn more about the animals, educational programs, and research being done both at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and beyond?

The Cleveland Zoological Society is launching a new speaker series called Tails and Cocktails that brings together experts from the Zoo and the Northeast Ohio community with, well, you for a fun and educational evening. Each event includes small bites, cocktails, and a speaker, themed on a certain subject.

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The first Tails and Cocktails takes place on Wednesday, March 20 from 6-8pm at the Zoo. The subject is “Gut Reaction.” The talk focuses on how scientists are working with sloth bear and orangutan diets to animal welfare and health, and how to apply these findings to human diets.

The speaker for Gut Reaction is Andrew Loudon, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Science Research Fellow. Guests will enjoy fermented food and drinks provided by Spice Kitchen and Bar and Terrestrial Brewing.

The other events in the Tails and Cocktails series are:

Tickets for each Tails and Cocktails event are $10 for Zoo members and $15 for the general public. You can purchase tickets online.

This fun and educational speaker series is a great chance to learn more about the work being done at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and its applications to our own lives, while enjoying cocktails and food and a relaxing evening out.

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Zoological Society to help promote Tails and Cocktails. In exchange, I will receive complimentary tickets to two of the Tails and Cocktails events. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Hudec Dental Relax Smile Serve Scholarship!

You know I love nothing more than a local business that’s doing good in the community. Which is why I’m so excited to tell you about the Hudec Dental “Relax. Smile. Serve.” Scholarship!

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This scholarship is designed to reward college-bound seniors who have improved their communities through service. Since the Relax. Smile. Serve. Scholarship program was launched in 2016, Hudec Dental has awarded over $60,000 to 60 deserving students.

This year, Hudec Dental will award a total of 18 scholarships totaling $20,000. The requirements for the Relax. Smile. Serve. Scholarship are as follows:

  • Valid proof of a cumulative or current semester GPA that shows a minimum 3.0 GPA. This can be a report card, transcript, or letter from a school counselor or principal.
  • College Bound Senior from Northeast Ohio (or Youngstown-area) high school in 2019.
  • A 500-word essay answering the following question: How did you change the quality of life in your community through service?

There are 18 scholarships available for 2019: 16 valued at $1,000; 1 valued at $1,500; and 1 valued at $2,500.

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If you or someone you know is a college-bound senior from a Northeast Ohio (or Youngstown) high school, you can apply online through April 5 to receive up to $2,500 to support your academic growth and reward your service to your community.

Hudec Dental will host an awards ceremony in April to honor the Relax. Smile. Serve. Scholarship winners.

Hudec Dental is not only doing good in the community, but also encouraging, honoring, and supporting others who do, too. That’s something to smile about!

***Disclosure: I have an ongoing brand ambassador relationship with Hudec Dental. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Better Than Good Snacks!

Do you struggle with wanting something sweet or salty to munch, but finding yourself drawn to snacks that are less than healthy? *raises hand*

Better Than Good Snacks is a local company that understands and wants to help make your snack time healthy and filling.

Better Than Good Snacks was started by Dr. Tina Mahajan, a physician and mom whose son was diagnosed with cancer. During her son’s chemotherapy, he was constantly craving junk food. So, Tina sought to create a snack that would satisfy his junk food cravings without the junk.

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Better Than Good Snacks are protein puffs with 16 grams of protein per serving and 2 servings of fruits and vegetables, that are non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, and 98% lactose-free.

They come in 4 delicious flavors: Ranch, Jalapeno Cheddar, Barbecue, and Salted Caramel. So whether you’re craving salty, sweet, or spicy, there’s something for you! I tried all four and they are delicious! Plus, I found myself filled and satisfied after eating them, with long-lasting energy that I could feel good about.

Speaking of feeling good, proceeds from each bag on Better Than Good Snacks go to cancer patients at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.

Want to give Better Than Good Snacks a try? I have a deal for the first 100 people to claim it: 50% off a four-pack of full-sized Better Than Good snack bags, with all four flavors for just $7.99. Click here to order.

And if saving money wasn’t enough incentive to order today, Better Than Good Snacks will be donating 100% of the proceeds from this promotion to University Hospitals Angie Fowler Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Institute!

Healthy, delicious, philanthropic, locally-based snacks…snack time doesn’t get better than that!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Better Than Good Snacks. In exchange, I received a complimentary sample of the snacks. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Go Red for Women 15th Anniversary Experience!

Today you’ll probably see your social media feeds filled with women wearing red for National Wear Red Day.

This day, started by the American Heart Association, kicks off a month focused on women’s heart health and helps to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease.

But National Wear Red Day is only a part of the awareness and fundraising movement. On Friday, February 15, the Cleveland American Heart Association will host their 15th Annual Go Red for Women event.

The Go Red for Women event includes a fun and informative health expo, where you can learn more about cardiovascular disease, warning signs, prevention, and CPR. There’s also a luncheon with healthy, delicious food and inspirational speakers.

Plus, there’s the chance to put women together with a collective mission. I’ve attended this event in the past and been amazed and energized by the collective passion in the room.

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This year, Go Red for Women is celebrating the 15th anniversary of this event, which is sure to be bring even more excitement to it! You can attend the Go Red for Women event, which is taking place at the Hilton Cleveland Downtown on Friday, February 15. Tickets are $250 and can be purchased online.

As someone whose family has been impacted by cardiovascular diseases in multiple ways, I am always happy to see and support the research, awareness, and life-saving mission of the American Heart Association.

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