Tag Archives: charity

March of Dimes CT Signature Chefs Auction

I attended this event free of charge as a media volunteer. All opinions of the evening are my own.

You’ve heard me talk about the 75th Anniversary March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction Gala a few times now. The event seemed so far away when I first connected with Leigh-Anne Lefurge, State Director of Communications for the Connecticut chapter. She, Marc Spencer (Senior Community Director), Kaitlin, and I worked together to spread the word via social media and get more restaurants involved. I could hardly believe it when I woke up this past Thursday morning knowing the event was already here!


Right before kicking things off.


Some of the evening’s chefs, assembled for a group shot.

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Rizzuto’s at the March of Dimes Gala

I (unexpectedly) received the food and drinks in this post free of charge. All opinions of the experience are my own.

Next month (on Thursday 10/17), the Connecticut chapter of March of Dimes will host the 75th Anniversary Signature Chefs Auction Gala at The Riverview in Simsbury in celebration of 75 years of the organization fighting for stronger, healthier babies. Guests will have the opportunity to dine on food prepared by the chefs of some of the area’s best (and some of my favorite) restaurants such as Barcelona Wine Bar, Pond House Grille, Rizzuto’s, and more. Locally produced libations will be poured by Jonathan Edwards WineryPeel, and Olde Burnside Brewing. One of the hosts, Scot Haney, is definitely someone I’d consider a CT celeb!

All participants

Individual tickets are $175 each and tables of 10 are up for grabs at $1,750. Though the price may seem steep and perhaps is not realistic for some, those who are able to spend the funds can be assured that a) they won’t walk away hungry and b) their money is going to a great cause. The money raised by the gala will benefit research and programs like CenteringPregnancy, Healthy Babies Are Worth The Wait, and NICU Family Support. 1 in 10 babies born in CT are born premature, and the March of Dimes needs fundraisers like these to take steps to both improve that number and support affected preemies and their families. If you can’t make it to the event but are able to make a donation, I highly encourage you to visit the event page and do so. Attendees will also have the chance to contribute outside of ticket costs, via both live and silent auctions featuring fabulous items.

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Helping a Marvelous Cause

It’s time for a special Marvelous In My Monday (MIMM) in celebration of a marvelous cause! I blogged on Friday about my plan to participate in this past Saturday’s 2013 Hartford NEDA Walk (the second ever) as Team Caption of Team Amazing Me. I’m proud to share that we raised the fourth highest amount of any team – a grand total of $595.00 if you add in day-of donations that aren’t showing online. Currently the Walk website shows over $28,000 raised, which may not be the $35,000 goal, but I have not yet seen a grand total tally that includes day-of registration and donations!

Be sure to join Katie’s link-up and share your marvelous!

I can’t express enough how thankful I am to my parents and friends for putting aside time to walk with me, and to anyone who donated. As my mom said, it’s a shame we even have to have a walk for this, but it’s eating disorders are an important and prevalent issue that cannot be ignored. Participating only made me more excited and anxious to take on more advocacy efforts. I even signed up to receive advocacy action alerts!

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Hartford NEDA Walk 2013

I was debating on what to blog about today because I have another post going, but then I realized I hadn’t yet shared my participation in tomorrow’s annual Hartford, CT NEDA Walk! NEDA (National Eating Disorders Association) is an organization I am passionate about. The funds they raise support easier treatment access, prevention, early intervention, and increased awareness. NEDA’s goal is to provide support not just for the women and men suffering from eating disorders, but also for the family and friends of those suffering.


Clearly this is not a photo from the Hartford walk (see palm trees). Source

The Hartford, CT NEDA Walk takes place tomorrow (Saturday 9/21) from 12-2PM at UConn’s Greater Hartford campus (85 Lawler Street, West Hartford, CT 06117). You can still register online, and day-of registration is accepted and costs $10 for children, $15 for students, and $25 for adults. Registration includes a t-shirt to wear during the walk (I’m super excited to rock mine at work next week).

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TON of Fun at Taste of the Nation Hartford – Part 1

As we continue to mourn the tragedy at the Boston Marathon this past Monday, I know many hearts are still heavy. I’m continuing to blog about “typical” topics today, and hope that this post will provide some distraction for those whose minds remain troubled and disturbed by the attack.

I feel like comparing my (now) two Share Our Strength Taste of the Nation experiences – last year I went to New Haven and this past Thursday I went to Hartford – would be silly because the obvious answer is that I had the best time this year. So that’s why I will be splitting this into two posts, because as I’ve been working on writing this for the last several DAYS, I’ve realized that one post will be way too long and crash everyone’s Internets with all the photos.

When glasses attack!

When glasses attack!

But that’s because of how much I’ve grown as a blogger! Both events had crazy amazing food and drink and not enough time (or stomach room or blood alcohol tolerance) to try everything.

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Great Tastes at Top Nosh

Remember the Jewish Teen Learning Center charity event, Top Nosh, that I mentioned a couple weeks ago? Well that 18th birthday celebration for the Center was held last Wednesday 2/27, and it was the cherry on top of my February!


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Top Nosh in West Hartford!

Thank you for your comments on yesterday’s story about my encounter with my new friend Ed! I saw him again this morning at Peaberry’s and we chatted for a bit. Funny enough, after I told him that I’d gone to UConn, am almost done with my MBA, and have a full-time job, he just looked at me and said, “You’re the oldest kid aren’t you?” Yes we oldest, always the overachievers. Crazy how it’s always so easy to tell. I also learned that Ed was an NBA referee for three years! I’m excited to keep learning more about him – he’s already taught me so much, just by buying my coffee yesterday!

I was still in a funk for a lot of yesterday but at the end of the day as I sat on the couch watching TV with my dad and brother, sipping a little Cameron Hughes Pinot Grigio, and eating a dinner pretty easy on my stomach (very light on veggies, more heavy on frozen Ore-Ida fries…man I love those things), I felt quite at peace and thankful to be feeling a lot better physically and mentally than I had at the beginning of the day. My time to wind down and relax with the DVR and my books is so key to keeping me centered and calming me after anxiety-filled days – or even after the most normal of days. I’m grateful that I am able to easily access the things that calm me.

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Taste of the Nation Hartford Giveaway!

I can still remember the first time I read Bobbi’s Taste of the Nation recap several years ago when I first stumbled upon healthy living blogs. Then I noticed other bloggers doing recaps too of the same event, just in their areas. To me, attending a Share Our Strength Taste of the Nation event just screamed “I AM A BLOGGING FOODIE!” So when I had the chance to attend in New Haven last year, I was over the moon and ended up being far from disappointed.

I couldn’t make it to the Hartford tasting, so I did a blog post spreading the word about the great and tasty cause. I had the chance to interview committee members, and this year I am actually working with them directly to once again promote this year’s Taste of the Nation Hartford on Thursday April 11, 6-9pm, at 960 Main Street.

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Tuesday Tidbits

How are you all doing?! Thank you for the compliments on yesterday’s Blo West Hartford review! I wish I could tell you my hair looked like that every day, but alas, right now it is in a messy bun. And here’s some proof for you:

Blend run-in!

I am blogging from Daybreak right now because due to Sandy, my workplace has no power (thankfully I do have power at home and we only ended up losing it for an hour last night). As I was settling in here, someone approached me and introduced herself…the lovely lady pictured above, Rachel of Healthy ChicksI met her dad (a local) here awhile ago, and we got to talking and somehow my blog came up. He told me he had a daughter who blogged and lived in Boston, and put me in contact with her via Twitter. She came to stay with him during Sandy and recognized me blogging away – she was even expecting to possibly see me here since, as regular readers know, I am ALWAYS at Daybreak! I loved chatting with her and still can’t get over the coincidence. Never thought when I left this morning that I’d be meeting a blend today!

Tuesday Tidbits

Alliteration, come at me! I have a few pieces of cool information that I want to share with you all today:

The beautiful blogger (and fellow Vol, yes I consider myself one even though I didn’t go to UT) Sloane of Strength in Freedom is starting a campaign that is going to be an amazing support system for many girls – I just know it. The campaign is called Freedom From Perfection and is all about being able to share (anonymously if you wish) the thoughts you may have that put pressure on you to be perfect. Whether you suffer from disordered eating or are just sick of those occasional “should” statements that pop up in your mind, you can participate. Sloane is providing an outlet to be honest about those thoughts, get them out in the open, and push them away! She launched the campaign today, so make sure you check out her vlog that explains the campaigns message – and how to participate!

Next, I wanted to spread the word about something CT locals may be interested in. Yummy Hummy, a New London-based hummus, pesto, and salsa maker, has been mentioned on my blog a few times. I adore their products – so many unique flavors like Carrot & Dandelion Green Pesto, Curry Hummus, and Strawberry Salsa (all of which I’ve tried and love). This November and December, Yummy Hummy is offering a convenient way for local people to regularly receive tubs of their local products – a winter share with pickup at the Wethersfield Winter Farmers’ Market. For just $32, you can get access to four pickups (two in November, two in December). At each pickup, you will receive two containers of your choice. That’s a savings of $1 per container, and pickups are 11/1, 11/15, 12/6, and 12/20. So hurry and sign up! To do so, email Lexy at Lexy@yummyhummydips.com or call her at 860-334-2045.

Finally, I received a FB message from a high school friend letting me know about a product with a mission that I may be interested in. She was right about that, and I want to share it with you guys too. Her friends Alex and Mark previously worked for MANA Nutrition, a non-profit that (along with Unicef) provides ready-to-use-therapeutic food (RUTF) to children around the world with severe acute malnutrition. It’s basically a powerful dose of nutrients that these little bodies so desperately need to get them back to a level at which complete development can occur. Now Alex and Mark are starting “the TOMS for peanut butter” – Good Spread. They’ve developed a natural peanut butter (just peanuts, organic honey, organic sea salt) and will be donating to MANA funds for one RUTF packet for every one packet of Good Spread PB sold. In order to fund an initial production run that will result in enough PB to last six months, Alex and Mark need to raise $65,000 to fund ingredients, mixing, packaging, design, shipping, and stocking. That’s where WE come in! There are 7 days left in their Good Spread Fixed Funding Campaign. Even if you are only able to give a little, every donation counts, so click on that link if you are interested in reading more about and/or supporting the cause!

And that’s all I’ve got for you guys today. Or not “all”, because that was a lot! I hope that those affected by Sandy are safe and if you are without power, I hope it is not for long. I’m off to do some homework…maybe.

Have you ever run into a blend somewhere unexpectedly?

How are you faring after Sandy? Were you affected in any way?

Have you ever signed up for a local food share of any kind?

What do you think about Sloane’s campaign and/or Good Spread?

Pink Thursday at Cuvee Blo’s Up – Giveaway!

Congratulations to the winners of the Mama Micki’s Vegan Cookie giveaway! I received 136 entries – thank you so much for your interest in these local goodies baked with passion and care right here in New England.

Congratulations Jeanne and Audrey! I will be contacting you to get your shipping information and choice of prize! You also clearly have good taste 🙂

Remember the 3rd Anniversary Party I recently promoted and attended for Cuvee? Well they’re at it again, and this time you can support a good cause AND drink champagne at the same time in this fabulous champagne room in West Hartford’s Blueback Square.

At Cuvee, each Thursday in September has been Think Pink Thursday – wear pink and get a free glass of champagne! As you can probably guess, the pink is more than just a girly twist – it’s been selected because Cuvee has partnered with Susan G. Komen’s Connecticut chapter to support breast cancer awareness. In addition, patrons can purchase a pink champagne flute and bring it back next Thursday 10/4 for a three-hour open champagne bar!

Feasting on apps and champagne with my friend Kelly in one of Cuvee’s cozy, intimate corners!

This Thursday is the last Think Pink Thursday at Cuvee, and it will be an especially can’t-miss evening since Blo West Hartford will be there giving out beauty tips and information about this new Blo location and its services!

In honor of the last Pink Thursday at Cuvee, Blo West Hartford is giving away a free do from the Blo Hair Menu to one lucky Cait Plus Ate reader! Want to enter? There are several ways – but leave a comment for each or they won’t all count! Giveaway is open until 12PM this Thursday, 9/27!

  1. Comment on this post telling me which style on the Blo Hair Menu you’d choose! (mandatory)
  2. Tweet Blo up @CuveeCT for @komenct this Thurs 9/24 & enter the @CaitPlusAte @bloheartsyou #giveaway! http://wp.me/p1SfTW-1vt and comment with the link to your tweet.
  3. Follow @CuveeCT on Twitter and comment saying you did.
  4. Follow @komenct on Twitter and comment saying you did.
  5. Follow @ScarlettOHair_a on Twitter – owner of Blo WeHa – and comment saying you did.

Good luck to all who enter and remember – if you’re in the West Hartford area, THINK PINK this Thursday at Cuvee to support breast cancer awareness!