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.

 Item imageItem image Item image Item image

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. 

Buy One, Give One


Last year, we told you about a great clothing company Amber and I discovered called CAbi Clothing. We love it because they also have a Foundation whose mission is to empower disenfranchised women with a greater opportunity through the gifts of our clothing, financial support, our volunteer efforts, all given in the spirit of God’s love.

Over 25 million dollars in CAbi clothing and hundreds of thousands of dollars have been donated to domestic and international nonprofit organizations that are dedicated to impacting women in need. More than 1.5 million pieces of clothing have been donated to women in need. Over 800 microloans have been funded in 45 countries and 25 U.S. communities.

This time of year is special for CAbi. It’s their “buy one, give one” promotion. Beginning November 22nd through December 25th, for every item you buy, CAbi gives one to a woman in need. In 2010, they donated 100 pallets of clothes to women around the world from this promotion alone.

If you’re looking at gifts that give back this year, I encourage you to consider adding CAbi to your list.

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.

Get to Know the Candidates on the Allen County Ballot

For the past five years, I’ve had the privilege of volunteering with YLNI the VOTE. And every year, I’m reminded by how fortunate we are to have this under-utilized resource in our community. It’s easy to get burned out on election rhetoric and campaign ads, but I find this non-partisan approach to the information to be refreshing.

YLNI surveys each candidate on the ballot in Allen County (local through State offices) and produces their responses in a simple, apple-to-apples brochure. Candidates responses are published in the order they appear on the ballot and without edits. Where else are you going to get side-by-side comparison of candidates on issues relevant to future generations?

In addition to the candidate brochure, they host a Candidate Meet-and-Greet event where each candidate will be given time to address the audience but the rest of the time is spent in informal networking. For many, this is a unique opportunity to ask your questions directly to the candidates.

I encourage to attend the event this Thursday evening where you can also pick up a copy of this year’s Candidate Information Brochure. If you can’t attend, a PDF of the brochure is available online here.

And mark your calendar now to VOTE November 6, 2012!

Order Fries and Support the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir

In honor of the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir’s Ruby Anniversary (40th anniversary), Ruby Tuesday’s is hosting Fort Wayne Children’s Choir Day on September 18 and 19 at their Coliseum Boulevard restaurant. On these two days, Ruby Tuesday’s will donate 20% of sales to the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir to advance the organization’s music education programming.

All are welcome to come and eat lunch or dinner – or lunch AND dinner, and will need to have the flyer from Ruby Tuesday’s in order to qualify for the donation. The form can be downloaded from the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir website at or printed from this post.

Click Here to Download and Print Flyer

Serve in Big Way

There are currently over 500 children – 76% of whom are boys – in Northeast Indiana on the waiting list for an adult role model. And almost as many children are waiting to be put on the waiting list. This is a big problem that needs a Big answer. You!

Our Little throwing the first pitch at a TinCaps game.

This is one organization and opportunity close to my heart. My husband was matched with his Little in the community-based mentoring program over a year ago. We see the growth and development in our Little, but being matched has meant so much to our lives. I promise you, if you’re willing to make the commitment, you’ll see the benefits. Another thing I promise, you have time to do this!

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana has a goal of 300 new “Bigs” in the next month. There are several ways you can have an impact and get involved:

Community-Based Mentoring

  • Bigs and Littles meet together one-on-one, out in the community to share fun activities like playing catch, going to the zoo, or baking cookies.
  • Matches meet 2-4 times per month for one year.

Site-Based Mentoring: School Buddies

  • Bigs and Littles meet in a local school to eat lunch, read, work on academics or simply spend time together playing games or talking.
  • Matches meet 1 hour per week for the duration of the school year.

Visit or call 888-456-1600 to start something BIG today!


About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana

In 2011, Big Brothers Big Sisters matched more than 1,773 children with a caring adult mentor in our 13-county service area. Our site-based mentoring program is in more than 75 elementary schools across Northeast Indiana and South-central Michigan. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana has one of the largest mentoring programs in the Midwest – serving more children than Indianapolis, Chicago and Cincinnati.

American Heart Association Seeking Women for BetterU Makeover Challenge [verbatim]

Go Red for WomenChallengers will receive free screenings and ongoing medical and fitness support for 12 weeks

 Fort Wayne, IN (July 22, 2012) – If you are a woman and need to lower your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke, then the American Heart Association is looking for you.  The association is seeking 20 women who are ready to improve their health to participate in the Go Red BetterU ChallengeTwenty area women will be selected to participate in the 12-week challenge which begins with an overnight Boot Camp at Camp Potawatomi on Friday, August 24.

Participants will receive free wellness screenings, medical consultations, coaching from personal trainers and dieticians, plus additional resources to help them make healthy changes to their lives.

Applications are available online at or For more information, contact Mary Pat Leonard, American Heart Association, at 260-485-9890 or  Completed forms should be emailed to or faxed to 260 485-6731. The deadline to submit applications is August 7, 2012.  

Women must meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 18-years-old
  • Have at least one area of their health in which they would like to improve, such as weight, blood pressure or fitness, Be willing to participate in a 12-week program that will include free consultations with medical professionals, dieticians and fitness trainers
  • Have access to a computer and the Internet
  • Be willing to blog about their experience during the 12 weeks of the program
  • Serve as a spokesperson for the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement

The Go Red BetterU Makeover Challenge Participants will be celebrating completion at the Fort Wayne Go Red For Women Luncheon being held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Memorial Coliseum on Nov.15, 2012.  The BetterU program, 2012 is sponsored in part by Parkview Physicians Group – Cardiology, Fort Wayne Metals and the Greater YMCA.

Go Red BetterU is a free 12-week online nutrition and fitness program that can makeover your heart. Each week focuses on a different area and provides step-by-step guidance. The site provides everything from daily expert tips and an online journal to a downloadableBetterMecoaching tool.  Go Red For Women is sponsored nationally by Macy’s and Merck.

Party for Potential with Junior League

Guest post by Michele Platte

It’s that time of year again! The Junior League of Fort Wayne’s Annual Special Event is quickly approaching, and it is sure to be another fantastic evening filled with delicious food, great conversation, exciting auctions, and incredible live music.


The “Party for Potential” will take place Friday, March 9th at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art in Downtown Fort Wayne. The night will kickoff at 7:00PM with cocktails, heavy hors d’oeurves, and silent auctions in the auditorium.

At 8:00PM, auctioneer Jerry Ehle, will start the bidding at the live auction, and afterward, Chris Worth and Company (formerly Chris & Paul) will rock the night away. And did we mention that you can take a chance at the 50/50 raffle to win cash?

This event is open to the public, and we encourage all to join us as we celebrate the success of the Junior League of Fort Wayne and raise funds to further develop the potential of women and children in our community.

Tickets for this event are $50 per person and can be purchased on the Junior League website at, or by contacting the Junior League of Fort Wayne office at (260) 425-3447.

About Junior League of Fort Wayne, Inc.

Mission: An organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.

Vision: The leading force in building a better future for women and children.

Reaching Out: Junior Leagues reach out to women of all races, religions, and national origins who demonstrate an interest in and commitment to voluntarism.