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 www.womensbureau.org. 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. 

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 www.MHAAC.com.

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.

Your Story, Made Here- new website launch

Heather and I love our community, but we aren’t the only ones. In fact, there are entire organizations devoted to shining a spotlight on all of the reasons our region rocks. The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership is one such organization, and today it launched a new website, Your Story, Made Here,  the centerpiece of a strategy to attract and retain talent in Northeast Indiana. We choose to live here, work here, and play here, along with thousands of others. This website gives you a glimpse into all the reasons we do. Check it out!

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!

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 www.bbbsnei.org 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.

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 www.jlfw.org, 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.

Nominate Someone for McMillen Center’s Vitality Awards

A new event for the community is this year’s Vitality Awards. On May 17, 2012 the McMillen Center for Health Education and their Family Table project will recognize four individuals or organizations who are working to create a more vital community. Professionals or volunteers in the areas of direct healthcare, wellness and/or health education will be recognized in one of the following categories:

  • Nutrition
  • Drug, Alcohol or Tobacco
  • Social & Emotional Well Being
  • Human Growth & Development

The McMillen Center for Health Education will also award a $500 Vitality Student Ambassador Award to someone pursuing a health or wellness career. The student must be currently enrolled or accepted in a certificate or degree program.

Nominations for the Vitality Awards and Scholarship are due by March 10, 2012.

Find more information and the nomination form online or contact the McMillen Center at 260-456-4511.

Local Inspiration: The Big Heart Club

You know we’re all about sharing the love. The love for our community. The love for our local organizations serving others and making a difference. The love for those who give of their time, talent and treasure to help us all improve.

While attending the Hunger Banquet, I noticed a table set up for The Big Heart Club. Their mission seemed like a good match for our blog. “Inspiration. Community. Leadership. Character.” They are composed primarily by IPFW students but do welcome those from the community.

  • Purpose and Goals of Organization:
    To volunteer in the local community by participating in IPFW and Fort Wayne events as well as supporting community needs with donation events.
  • Membership Requirements and Obligations:
    Attend at least one meeting and one volunteer event per semester.  Dues are $1.00 a year.
  • Activities and Events Planned for Current Year:
    Food, clothing, supply drives, meetings, soup kitchen, mentoring

If you’re interested in learning more, email bigheart at students.ipfw.edu to “help make a positive change in YOUR Fort Wayne Community.”

Do you know of other groups or individuals who are working to inspire others? We’d love to add to our list!