Culinary Excellence for Under $30

In two weeks you can enjoy one or two nights of real food prepared under the direction of a real chef for under $30 each night.  Yes, there are students involved and no, you don’t have to rent a tux.  (Does anyone dress up anymore?)

Here’s the best part – You’ll be supporting Cornerstone Youth Center (CYC), a pro-youth organization that offers FREE membership. According to CYC’s Facebook Page, they “provide opportunities for positive moral growth and sustainable life-skills development for youth and families in Southeast Allen County.”

But in reality there’s No Such Thing as a FREE Lunch…I Mean Dinner.  So here’s what CYC is doing this month to support their mission:

Cornerstone fundraiser

Monroeville is about 30 minutes from Fort Wayne and they have cheesecake.  Contact Kent Castleman for tickets at 260-348-2973 or

Shop for Success!

If you’re anything like me, you hardly need an excuse to shop. But if you’re looking for a good excuse, here’s an excellent one. For the entire day of November 6, you can shop the stores at Covington Plaza and support Dress for Success, a program of the Women’s Bureau.

For more information about stores and % donated, visit DFS Covington Plaza

Online Shopping to Support JA

Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana

As a board member and volunteer for Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana, I see first hand the impact sharing financial concepts can have in a young life. Whether it’s inspiring the next entrepreneur, laying out a plan for a successful resume or seeing them learn hands on in BizTown, kids walk away inspired to succeed. For the past several years, JA has made it fun (and easy) to support their efforts through their online auction.

If you’re shopping for the person who has everything, definitely check out their site. There are many “experience” gifts, including a night behind-the-scenes of The Score with my husband.

November 20th at 8pm – November 27th at 8 p.m. EST. 

To View Auction Items, CLICK HERE.

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Some items that are available:

  • Certificates to local restaurants: Chop’s, Club Soda (all inclusive), Cork ‘n Cleaver, Don Hall’s Restaurants, Papa John’s…
  • Local & professional sporting event tickets: Chicago White Sox Scout Seats!, Notre Dame, Fort Wayne Komets, TinCaps, and Mad Ants…
  • Overnight get-a-ways: 1 Weekend Stay in Tennessee, Over Night Stay in Indy, and Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast in Indiana…
  • Entertainment packages:  DJ for 4 Hours, Honorary Team Captain for Mad Ants, Guest TinCaps Radio Broadcaster, Behind the Scenes Sports Announcer, Bowling Parties, Ultra Zone Lazer Tag, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Movie Packages…

Thank you, on behalf of the over 101,000 students being reached throughout the 25 counties Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana serves. 

Books & Theatre

There’s a good chance you’ll be shopping this weekend for Christmas gifts. Whether you’re shopping for kids or adults, books make a great gift! Even better is giving a gift that makes a difference.

This Saturday, shop local Barnes & Noble stores with 10% of sales supporting Fort Wayne Youtheatre. All you have to do is tell the cashier you want your purchase to benefit Fort Wayne Youtheatre. (Online, enter bookfair ID #10870582 at checkout.) All purchases go to the cause including books, games, gift items, home and office products, Starbucks coffee, Cheesecake Factory cheesecake, CDs, DVDs, and children’s toys.

To say thank you, the theatre will be performing live from Noon to 2:00 pm at the Glenbrook Mall location. And as a mom of a Fort Wayne Youtheatre student, I say “thank you!”

Being Contagious with Your Holiday Shopping

I am not one of those people who starts their holiday shopping in June. (I’m usually just finishing up as Santa slides down the chimney.) But, it’s never too early to consider what will be on your giving list. That’s why I want you to “save the date” for Giving Tuesday.

#GivingTuesday is a new campaign that encourages individuals and businesses to think differently about the holiday season. To begin on Tuesday, November 27, the campaign aims to inspire increased philanthropy, conscious consumerism, and volunteerism during the holidays.

To better help you be a conscious consumer this holiday season, they’ve put together a list of 22 online gift stores that benefit nonprofits:

And don’t just wait for November 27th, get involved now and stay aware of ways you can be a part of #GivingTuesday.

Removing the Mask Gala

1st Annual “Removing the Mask” Gala

October 27, 2012 at 6:00 pm

at the Landmark Conference & Reception Centre

This first annual event supports education and advocacy for individuals struggling with mental illness through the work of Mental Health America in Allen County, Inc. The evening features cocktails, dinner, silent auction and music from The Paradise Band. Black tie is optional and masquerade masks will be provided.

Tickets are available for $85/person; $150/couple; or $750/table of 10. Purchase your tickets or make a donation to support the work by visiting

Running for a Reason

As you know, Amber and I are passionate about living and serving in our community. (We hope that passion is contagious!) Lately, we’ve also grown a passion for running. So logically, this post is going to be about the marriage of those two passions – supporting non-profits and running.

On any given weekend, you can find a 5k run/walk to participate in where the proceeds of the race go to charity. In fact, this month alone, you can still choose from all of these area races:

So what’s the point? I’m not advocating that everyone run out (pun intended) and sign up for any or all of these races. But what I would advise is to treat these events (and golf outings, fundraisers, etc.) as you would when investing your dollars through donation and time through volunteering.

If you’re just looking to run, you can do that on a local trail. You sign up for these events because you want to support the cause, yes? If that’s true, I recommend you do the following before registering:

  • Make sure you match your effort with your passion. Especially when there are this many events to choose from! Are you passionate about children’s causes? Healthcare? Clean water?
  • Ask how much of your registration goes to support the mission of the organization. If you were making a donation or paying for a ticket to an event, they would disclose this.
  • Learn how much of your gift goes to operating costs, etc. and how much goes directly to the mission? This will vary with each organization depending on if they operate from an endowment, have staff or are all volunteer.
  • Consider whether your not your gift stays local. Does the event support a local charity, national or global? Consider if that even matters to you?

This might seem like overkill for something as simple as a 5k. But if you’re making the investment to train and pay a registration fee, you might as well make sure you’re making a wise investment for your personal passion.