Why? Cleveland Garlic Festival Giveaway!

One of my absolute favorite parts of summer in Cleveland is all the festivals. From food to music to food to games to food, there’s nothing better about this season. The 7th annual Cleveland Garlic Festival is coming up on August 27 and 28 on Shaker Square and promises to combine all the best things about summer festivals.

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You’ll be able to purchase delicious garlic-laced food (like Mitchell’s garlic ice cream), plus buy lots of varieties of garlic to use at home. There will also be a Top Chef Garlic Cook-Off, with well-known chefs and judges; live music throughout the weekend; a Mighty Locavores area for the kids; and Miss Garlic Festival complete with a parade.

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All of this festival fun benefits the North Union Farmers Market, which not only hosts delicious farmer markets throughout the Cleveland area, but also teaches communities about healthy eating habits.

Daily tickets for the Cleveland Garlic Festival can be purchased online. Tickets are $9 for adults, $5 for seniors (65+), and $5 for children (4-12). You can also buy a $50 VIP ticket for Saturday night, which includes 2 drink tickets, snacks, music, and private restroom access.

Or you can enter to win 2 weekend passes (good for general admission for both days of the Cleveland Garlic Festival) right here! 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 here letting me know your favorite way to incorporate garlic in your kitchen.

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

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

4. Follow @CleveGarlicFest 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 attend the fragrant @CleveGarlicFest to benefit @NUFarmersMarket thanks to @WhyCLE: https://whycle.com/2016/07/29/why-cleveland-garlic-festival-giveaway-3 #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 Tuesday, August 2 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified 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 and 2 weekend passes to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Recovery Resources Run for Recovery!

You’ve got to love when the chance to do a fun activity in a great location for a good cause all come together. That’s why I’m excited to tell you about the Run for Recovery to benefit of Recovery Resources and kick off National Recovery Month.

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Held on Saturday, August 20 at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Run for Recovery offers a 5K run, 1.5 mile wellness walk, and kids’ fun run. There will also be family-friendly activities, such as music and fun provided by the Children’s Museum of Cleveland. And all participants receive admission to the Zoo for the entire day following the Run.

Run for Recovery proceeds benefit Recovery Resources, which has been providing education and prevention, outpatient treatment, and supportive services to those dealing with mental illness and drug, alcohol, and other addictions in Northeast Ohio for 61 years.

You can register for Run for Recovery as an individual or a fundraising team. Registration prices are as follows:

  • $25 for 5K Run (this increases to $30 after Friday, July 22)
  • $15 for the 1.5 mile Wellness Walk
  • $15 for the Kids’ Fun Run

You can also purchase additional Zoo passes at a discount for family and friends to join you after the Run for Recovery at $6 for those 12 and up and $4 for those ages 2 to 11.

This is sure to be a fun and fit morning for a wonderful cause! Hope to see you at the Run for Recovery!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Run for Recovery. In exchange, I will receive 2 complimentary race registrations for myself. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

What a busy and fun weekend it was! We had nothing but family time planned and it was pretty perfect. On Friday evening, we went to the St. John Vianney church festival. From good food to fun games to live music, this festival is always on our summer must-do list.

This year at the festival, we also took Jeffrey for a ride on the Euclid Beach Rocket Car!

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He had so much fun (and I dare say we did too)! There’s something about flying along in the shiny silver rocket ship, listening to oldies music, and having passers-by wave at you. It was a perfect summer evening!

On Saturday, we had our friends Elizabeth and Andrew over for dinner, along with their adorable daughter Mia. Jeffrey loves having his friends over to play and he and Mia had a great time, especially since the weather was so lovely to be outside!

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Elizabeth and family are vegetarians, so I had to go outside my typical stash of recipes to try to find something to make. I chose this Spicy Sun-Dried Tomato and Broccoli Pasta recipe and was really happy with the results.

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The pasta was flavorful and satisfying and a great choice for summer. I also imagine the leftovers would have made a tasty chilled pasta salad…if there had been any leftovers! Even non-vegetarians can appreciate this tasty recipe.

Sunday was a super busy day, but also so much fun! We started out at a birthday party for one of Jeffrey’s little friends. It was held at the Orange Community Recreation pool. The pool is perfect for all ages, with a zero-depth wade in and a nice splash area, as well as a water slide and lap pool.

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The lunch at the party included pizza from Jim Alesci’s Place, which meant everyone enjoyed their food! And I think you can tell how Jeffrey felt about the birthday cake…

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After the party, we took Jeffrey to his first Indians game. The tickets we purchased for the game were part of a fundraiser for Autism Speaks. Since we never even made it to our seats, I’m glad the ticket price went to a good cause!

We spent our time getting Jeffrey his “first game” certificate (there are so cute and you can get yours at Section 176), doing all the standard photo opps…

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…and hanging out in the Kids Clubhouse. This area is awesome! It’s filled with fun toys from Step 2 and offers an air-conditioned spot for kids to run around and play during the game. There are plenty of baseball-themed activities, too, like this giant home plate for bouncing.

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Plus there are massive windows that look out on to the field, as well as some outdoor seating, so you don’t have to miss all the on-field action.

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Pro-tip: while the line to get into the Kids Clubhouse does keep moving, you’ll have time to get yourself a Summer Shandy to enjoy while you’re waiting. And once inside the pandemonium of kids, you’ll be glad you did!

Jacob’s (I mean, Progressive) Field holds a really special place in my memories and being able to take Jeffrey there was really special for me.

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Also, check out this awesome giveaway truck from W.B. Mason – Jeffrey has not put it down yet! 

It was a really wonderful summer weekend! Hope yours was lovely, too!

***Disclosure: I am a member of the Autism Speaks Cleveland Chef Gala committee. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Twilight at the Zoo Giveaway!

We’re getting close to the 23rd annual Twilight at the Zoo, Cleveland’s largest fundraiser! On Friday, August 5 from 7pm-12am, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo will be filled with bands, food, adult beverages, and lots of fun all to benefit the Cleveland Zoological Society.

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Nineteen local bands from a wide variety of musical genres will perform simultaneously throughout the Zoo during the event. You’ll hear everything from 80’s hits to swing to current pop favorites from bands like Disco Inferno, Robbing Mary, Almost Famous, and more.

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Admission also includes food, Samuel Adams beer, Twisted Tea, Beach House wine, and soft drinks. Plus, you’ll get to explore the Zoo and get to see some of the animals while dancing the night away under the stars. This is truly one of my favorite events of the summer! Twilight at the Zoo is always a blast!

Need proof? We love it so much, we made the video!

General admission tickets for Twilight at the Zoo are $85 and can be purchased online. Or you can enter to win two general admission tickets right here (you must be 21 years + to enter and win this giveaway):

1.Leave a comment here telling me your favorite animal song (e.g., “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”).

2. Visit the Cleveland Zoological Society and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

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

4. Follow @clevezoosociety 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 have a #wildaboutCLE night at @clevezoosociety Twilight at the Zoo thanks to @WhyCLE: https://whycle.com/2016/07/07/why-twilight-at-the-zoo-giveaway-2 #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 Tuesday, July 12 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Zoological Society to help promote Twilight at the Zoo. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary VIP tickets for myself and two general admission tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Autism Speaks Cleveland Chef Gala!

This summer is FLYING by! Which means that the Autism Speaks Cleveland Chef Gala happening Saturday, August 6 is just around the corner!

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Held in the Cleveland Convention Center Grand Ballroom, this event brings 20-plus chefs for an evening of decadence to benefit Autism Speaks. The list of participating chefs includes Jonathon Sawyer, Doug Katz, Anna Harouvis, Chris Hodgson, Jeff Jarrett, John Selick and many more.

There will be a tasting portion of the event, with small bites from a host of Cleveland’s favorite chefs. And then guests will enjoy watching Chefs Michael Symon and Bobby Flay prepare a demo dinner that will be served to them in a fun, family-style manner in the Grand Ballroom.

There are also fabulous live and silent auction items, including a seat up on stage with Chefs Symon and Flay, restaurant gift cards, vacations, and more.

All of the proceeds from the evening benefit Autism Speaks, which has grown into the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.

Individual tickets for the Cleveland Chef Gala are now available. Individual tickets are $250 and include tastings from all the Cleveland chefs, family-style dinner service of the Chefs Symon and Flay meal, 2 drink tickets, and complimentary valet parking. You can sign up to purchase individual tickets online. Hope to see you there!

***Disclosure: I am a member of the Autism Speaks Cleveland Chef Gala committee. I will also receive one complimentary individual ticket for helping to promote the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Zippity Zoo Doo!

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is not only a favorite spot to take Jeffrey, but it’s also a great place for adults. The Cleveland Zoological Society events have become a favorite way to experience the Zoo in an adult setting. On Friday night, Matthew and I attended the revamped Zippity Zoo Doo fundraiser and had a wonderful time!

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In the past, Zippity Zoo Doo included a sit-down dinner, but this year, the Cleveland Zoological Society switched up the caterer to The Driftwood Group and created dinner stations around the tents, along with additional bars serving specialty cocktails.

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This allowed guests to mix, mingle, and also explore the beautiful new Rosebrough Tiger Passage, which was the centerpiece of the evening’s celebration.

The new tiger exhibit has five times the space as the former exhibit, with raised walkways for the Zoo’s Amur tigers to move from area to area.

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And while the Zoo’s current tigers won’t be breeding, the exhibit is set up to accommodate tiger cubs someday!

The Driftwood Group also made the Rosebrough Tiger Passage the center of their food selections, with “Eye of the Tiger” steak, “tiger-striped” ravioli, and tiger shrimp appetizers. The names were creative and the taste was delicious!

Some of the best parts of Zippity Zoo Doo remained with the new format: the chance to get up close with some Zoo critters and have a wonderful evening out with friends while supporting the Zoo’s educational programs.

If you’re looking for a fun way to support the Zoo, tickets for the wildly popular (see what I did there?) Date Night at the ZOOvies go on sale next Monday, June 20 at 9am. Last year, tickets sold out within the day, so you’ll want to set your smartphone reminder now!

Date Night at the ZOOvies takes place on Friday, August 19. You’ll be able to explore the Australian Adventure and African Savanna exhibits while enjoying complimentary beer, wine, and light appetizers. Then head to the Savanna Theater to watch “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” under the stars. Tickets are $40 a piece or $65 for two tickets. This is one of my favorite summer events! Hope to see you there!

Oh, and a friendly reminder that you can still save 15% through June 30 on a Zoo membership by clicking here and using promo code WHYCLE on an Individual Plus, Family, Family Plus, or Family Select membership.

***Disclosure: I received one complimentary and one discounted ticket to Zippity Zoo Doo, two complimentary tickets to Date Night at the ZOOvies, and a complimentary membership renewal for helping to promote these various Cleveland Zoological Society events. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Membership!

In case you didn’t already know, we have a world-class zoo here in Cleveland. The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo offers the chance to see everything from elephants and giraffes to bears and reindeer, plus participate in special events from Kids Days to Twilight at the Zoo. There’s something for all ages at the Zoo!

One of the best ways to experience the Zoo is by purchasing a Zoo Membership. This is the second year that Matthew and I have a Zoo membership. From the time Jeffrey was little, the membership allowed us to take him to the Zoo and tailor our schedule around his capacity to take in the animals (read: we didn’t feel the pressure to do everything in one day).

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And now it allows us to easily make the Zoo part of our regular plans, whether it’s going to The RainForest in the winter…

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Boo at the Zoo…

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or simply a play date (the Ben Gogolick Giraffe Encounter is a favorite).

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But the Zoo isn’t just for kids! We’ve loved the adult Zoo events like Twilight at the Zoo, Date Night at the ZOOvies, and Zippity Zoo Doo.

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BTW, Zoo membership includes discounted carousel rides! 
A Zoo membership pays for itself in about two visits, which is easy for anyone to accomplish. So, what does membership get you?

  • Free unlimited admission to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and The RainForest. You can choose the membership level that fits your needs, from one adult and a guest to two adults, up to six children, and two guests. Matthew and I have the Family Select membership, which allows us to bring two guests each trip, which is perfect for play date companions or grandparents to come with us!
  • Subscription to Z Magazine
  • Discounts on camps and educational programs
  • Exclusive invitations to special events
  • 10% discount on Zoo gift shop purchases
  • Discounts on tickets to Animal Attractions and Twilight at the Zoo (Twilight discount applicable in May only)
  • Discounted daytime admission to over 150 zoos nationwide (we took advantage of this when we were in Texas this past fall and it’s a nice bonus)
  • Your membership dollars benefit the Cleveland Zoological Society‘s mission of supporting the Zoo and it’s educational programs

Plus, there are a lot of new and exciting things at the Zoo that will have you wanting to spend time there!

  • The Rosebrough Tiger Passage opens in June and boasts five times the space of the previous tiger exhibit, including two elevated pathways offering unique views for visitors.
  • The sea lion and harbor seal exhibit was recently renovated to allow better viewing for all visitors, even the smallest.
  • A 50-seat 4D theater is slated to open any day now, showing a summer feature of a 12-minute “Ice Age – the Age of Dinosaurs” film. Members will receive a discount on tickets to the theater.

As you can see, a Zoo Membership features a lot of benefits and gives you access to one of Cleveland’s finest and most fun attractions! And I have a discount code that lets you save 15% on a membership!

When you purchase a membership online, enter code WHYCLE to save 15% on the Individual Plus, Family, Family Plus, or Family Select membership levels. The discount code expires on June 30, 2016.

I hope to see you at the Zoo soon for a wild time for all ages!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Zoological Society to help promote zoo membership. In exchange, I will receive a complimentary membership renewal for myself, as well as the discount code for readers. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Grapes and Ale!

On Friday evening, Matthew and I headed to Progressive Field, not to take in a Cleveland Indians game, but to enjoy an evening of BBQ, wine, and beer at Our Lady of the Wayside‘s annual Grapes and Ale fundraiser.

And while the Indians might not have been in town, they did have representation from their fuzzy mascot, Slider!

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We nibbled on some delicious BBQ offerings from local restaurants. The pulled pork tacos with pineapple salsa from Crooked River BBQ were delicious and I loved having my choice of their different sauces to add.

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We also loved the braised pork dish from The Cutting Board. This is the second event where their food has really impressed us…we need to get there for dinner soon!

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Happy Dog served up their Slider Dog, a hot dog topped with mac ‘n cheese, bacon, and Froot Loops. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. It’s a great blend of salty and sweet, with a nice crunchy texture.

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My favorite nibble of the night was from Agostino’s Catering & Event Center. Crispy wonton cones were filled with pulled pork and topped with mashed potatoes. A play on an ice cream cone, these bite-sized treats were as delicious as they were creative!

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Of course, Grapes and Ale gets its name not from the tasty BBQ, but from the huge selection of wines and craft beer to sample. All the wines at Grapes and Ale can be found at Giant Eagle, so it’s easy to go out and purchase whatever you might love from the evening.

There’s also a variety of both local and national wines. The labels on these Laurello Vineyards wines meant I just had to stop to try a taste. I really liked the Dry Red!

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There was also live music to enjoy, Chinese raffle items to win, and lots of fun to be had. It was a beautiful night at the ballpark for a great cause!

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Our Lady of the Wayside’s mission of supporting children and adults with developmental disabilities through group homes, transportation services, and more is certainly of deserving of our support. So, mark your calendars for next summer’s Grapes and Ale!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Our Lady of the Wayside to help promote Grapes and Ale. In exchange, I received 2 complimentary VIP tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Race for the Place!

On Sunday, June 5, The Gathering Place will hold its sixteenth annual Race for the Place to celebrate National Cancer Survivors Day and help raise funds to support The Gathering Place’s mission.

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The Gathering Place provides free services to those battling cancer and their families. These services include everything from counseling to art therapy to massage and yoga to cooking classes. The Gathering Place offers comfort, support, and needed help during a time of chaos in the lives of those touched by cancer.

Participants in Race for the Place can run or walk either a one-mile or chip-timed 5K course surrounded by those who have been touched by cancer and helped by The Gathering Place. Aside from the race and awards ceremony, there will also be a National Cancer Survivors Day ceremony. Bring the whole family, as there will be face painting, games, music, and more in Celebration Village.

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You can register individually or form a team. Click here to register and start fundraising today! You will not only have a great time, but you will be supporting a great cause!

jenclesig_pur

Why? Silver Spoon Awards Party!

Last night was pretty much a high holy day for Cleveland foodies: the Cleveland Magazine Silver Spoon Awards Party to benefit the Arthritis Foundation. There is so much to eat, drink, and see at this event that you have to be strategic about your choices (and you’re still going to go home completely overwhelmed, in a good way).

Here’s what we found that was spot-on at this year’s event:

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  • Speaking of sliders, those were a popular choice for a lot of the participating restaurants, so kudos to those who changed them up, like Pier W above or Betty’s Bomb Ass Burgers. Betty’s provided a beef slider with cheddar, glazed onions, and a brioche crouton instead of a bun. Loved the taste and loved not getting filled up by a lot of bread!

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  • Keeping things bite-sized! If you’re lucky enough to be a Silver Spoon Awards nominee or winner, you’re making amazing food. So, I want to try it. Keeping portions bite-sized allows me to try even more places! Like the mini duck confit Wellingtons from L’Albatros, which were nibbles of duck deliciousness.

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  • Although, my Silver Spoon Awards Party companion might disagree. Matthew dug in to a full-sized pork confit taco (we apparently can’t resist confit) from Barrio and enjoyed every bite!
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I swear, he said I could post this picture. 
  • Keeping things interesting! Trentina‘s veal tartare was both delicious and visually pleasing (plus it also wins in the bite-sized category).

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  • Bringing together a lot of elements well! Adega‘s Serrano ham croquettes were served with Bechamel sauce and wine-soaked figs. A bite that included everything on the plate was practically perfect!

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  • Sweetening the deal! As we know, I’m a girl who needs her dessert. The cookie sandwiches from Melt Bar and Grilled (lemon poppyseed for me, chocolate for him) were a sweet end to a delcious evening!

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Looking back on all that food, I’m thinking maybe the VIP bags need to include a juice cleanse! But it was worth every bite to spend the evening with the best of the best on the Cleveland food scene!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Silver Spoon Awards Party. In exchange, I received 2 complimentary VIP tickets. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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