Cones for the Cure- Graeter’s Ice Cream for a Great Cause

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It’s that time of year again. You can make a difference for pediatric brain cancer research and enjoy great ice cream from Graeter’s.

The Cure Starts Now and Graeter’s team up once again this September in their annual Cones for the Cure campaign. The campaign will take place September 10-20 at participating Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus and Chicago Graeter’s locations to help spread the word about The Cure Starts Now and its mission to find a cure for all cancers by focusing on pediatric brain cancer.

As part of their continued support for The Cure Starts Now, Graeter’s will be giving away free scoops of  Elena’s Blueberry Pie ice cream to customers two times during the campaign period. Elena’s Blueberry Pie is a special flavor that was created in honor of 6-year-old Elena Desserich, the inspiration behind The Cure Starts Now.

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“In many ways, this is where it started,” says Chip Graeter of Graeter’s. “Almost seven years ago we joined the charity with the creation of this special flavor and have been committed to the cause ever since. And this time we want to do even more.”

During Cones for the Cure, guests that visit a Graeter’s store during the campaign period have the opportunity to donate a $1 or $5 “Cone for the Cure.” Graeter’s will also offer a $20 savings booklet for every donation of $5 or more to The Cure Starts Now.

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The element of surpise is what makes this such a great campaign as the two free ice cream days will randomly be announced with the help of media outlets, bloggers and social media.

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Be sure to “like” the Cones for the Cure Facebook page at www.facebook.com/conesforthecure for the latest news about the campaign.

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New to the 2015 campaign is a social media photo contest where ice cream lovers can upload a selfie with their Graeter’s ice cream for the chance to be named the “Ultimate Graeter’s Fan” as well as the grand prize of free Graeter’s for a year!

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In 2014, over 40,000 people participated in the campaign which generated $75,000 for The Cure Starts Now. To date, over $200,000 has been raised through the campaign to fund homerun cure research.

 

To learn more about Cones for the Cure, please visit the website at www.conesforthecure.org.

“It may be the very best way to make a difference while treating yourself to the best ice cream around,” says Graeter.

 

 

 

Thanks to Graeter’s for sending me a swag bag of goodies for helping get the word out.

 

Bluegrass for Babies 2015 Tickets and Green BEAN Delivery Giveaway

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A few years ago I interviewed the Founders of the Bluegrass for Babies event who wanted a way to give back to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Each year this event has grown and continued to provide an excellent event for the whole family.

On Saturday, September 19, Bluegrass for Babies returns to Sawyer Point for its 7th annual concert benefiting Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. The family-friendly concert, which runs from 3-9pm, features music from top bluegrass bands, plenty of family-friendly activities, a variety of vendors, local and organic concessions, and much more.

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This year’s concert lineup features performances from returning local bands, Hickory Robot at 3pm and Comet Bluegrass All-Stars at 7pm. Special guest Jennifer Ellis will perform her popular children’s songs at 4:15pm. Headlining the event with a performance at 5pm is Pennsylvania band Cabinet. Cabinet was recently named one of the “Top 10 Country Artists You Need to Know in 2015” by Rolling Stone.

New for this year’s concert are expanded food options including booths from Eli’s BBQ, Mazunte, Dewey’s Pizza and Green BEAN Delivery. Local craft beer offerings have also expanded with beers from Mad Tree and Mt. Carmel breweries on tap.

The concert, an official Giving Hope Fundraising Event for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, was started by Anne and Matt Schneider in 2009 as a way to give back to Children’s, which had provided life-saving surgery to their newborn son. Since the first concert in their backyard in 2009, Bluegrass for Babies has raised nearly $130,000 for Children’s, and has evolved into the Healthy Roots Foundation, a year-round organization providing tools, programming, and resources as well as hosting a variety of special events with the mission of helping parents create an optimal environment to raise healthy children.

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“Our lives were forever changed because of the care we received from the physicians at Cincinnati Children’s,” said co-founder Anne Schneider. “We created Bluegrass for Babies to not only raise funds for the hospital, but with the goal to help educate parents on raising healthy children.”

Money raised at the concert will be donated to the Perinatal Institute at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and an innovative pilot study being conducted at the Center for the Prevention of Preterm Birth. Dr. Louis Muglia and his team are working to better understand environmental exposures such as air and ground pollution and their effects on pregnancy outcomes. Rather than using geographic and EPA data, the researchers will provide pregnant women with personal monitors that will collect specific, individual data. For the first time ever, researchers will have detailed information about the environmental impact on increased risk for preterm birth and still birth.

 

Tickets for the Bluegrass for Babies benefit concert are $15 for adults in advance and $20 day of, with children admitted for free. Group tickets, new this year, are $10 in August and $12 in September. Presale period ends Friday, September 18, 2015. Tickets can be purchased at www.bluegrassforbabies.com.

**New this year, group tickets are available for the concert. Group tickets are $12 (instead of $15). The group with the most participation will win several great prizes. Learn more here.

Sponsorship packages for families and organizations are available, offering VIP perks at the benefit concert, such as guaranteed parking. Details can be found at www.bluegrassforbabies.com.

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**** Green BEAN Delivery has a special deal for Healthy Roots Foundation Supporters. Everyone who uses the code HEALTHYROOTS will get $15 off their first bin.
Additionally, 5% of their next 25 bins will go to the Healthy Roots Foundation.

 

I’ve been given a pair of tickets to the Bluegrass for Babies Concert

(kids 12 and under are FREE)

AND

A Combo Bin from Green BEAN Delivery to Giveaway!

***In order to receive the bin you will have to register on the site which includes entering credit card information. You will not be charged for this bin, but you will be responsible for cancelling your registration to avoid being charged in the future.

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Disclosure: I was provided tickets and bin for review purposes. All opinions are my own. 

Beer, Wine and Food Festival to Benefit Pediatric Cancer Research

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Last year I attended the Beer, Wine and Food Festival for the 1st time. It was a great event for a great cause, benefitting The Cure Starts Now Foundation that focuses on pediatric brain cancer.

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Gramps Bicycling Across America for His Grandson

 

Gramps Bicycling Across America for His Grandson

I want to introduce you to Bill Fowler. I went to school with his daughter, Deanna and I found out about her dad’s inspiring adventure from a recent facebook post. I immediately messaged her to see if Bill would be willing to be interviewed. His answers will inspire and encourage you to make a difference however you can.

Why are you bicycling across America?

Many years ago, I lost my wife and soul mate to cancer. It devastated me. Faith, friends and two small children that needed a father even more than before were the only thing that pulled me through. Years later, God blessed me with another wonderful wife and soul mate. I have even more children and nine grandchildren. Even with all of these blessings, I carry a scar on my heart that is tender beyond belief.

As much as my loss hurt, I cannot imagine what the loss of a child would be like for a parent. Now my son and daughter-in-law face the very real probability of the loss of their son, Logan, to Duchenne muscular dystrophy. I cannot not sit idly by, facing the loss of my grandson.

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Why is your cause so important to you?

There are approximately 30,000 youth that die each year from Duchenne muscular dystrophy and they often die before they are mature enough to have a voice. If I do something bold and daring enough, maybe I can help in being in voice for them. We have cured many diseases. Duchenne’s can be cured also.

Where did you get the idea to cycle solo across America?

There are walks, runs, rides and such all the time for good causes. I wouldn’t begin to know how to organize one of these. However, I thought that if I did something bold and daring enough, it could fire the imagination and accomplish something useful in the fight against Duchenne’s. An old man riding 500 miles? That seemed too short! Ohio to the east coast? Half of a continent still seemed too short. I decided to go all the way across – and to add to the challenge – to go solo.

How did you prepare for your trip?

I began training in January, six months prior to departure, using a three-phased approach. Phase One was conditioning. I used a cross training workout, with a heavy emphasis on cycling. At first, I trained one hour a day, three days a week. Eventually, I increased this to two hours a day, five days a week. I knew that I wouldn’t be as strong as I needed to be, but I planned to start slow and increase my efforts as I built up my strength. Phase Two was knowledge. I read numerous books, blogs, and articles from others who had done similar trips. Phase Three was putting a plan together for the journey based on what I knew and what I wanted to accomplish. Phase Three has changed numerous times and continues to evolve even as I travel.

Continental Divide behind me!

How long do you plan on being gone?

My original plan was to be on the road for about 8 to 9 weeks. At my current rate, it looks like it might be more like 10 to 11 weeks, but I’m getting faster and the road conditions are improving.

What do you hope you accomplish?

My hope is to raise over $100,000 for Duchenne muscular dystrophy causes and to raise awareness of this disease that affects over a quarter of a million people.

What obstacles did you have to overcome to start your journey?

I had to find the courage to say to the world that I was going to do this, even though I wasn’t sure I could. And I had to leave my wife with a heavy load and tremendous anxiety. I worked hard to leave her with as light a burden as possible before my departure.

Day 13 - looking back at Glacier

What challenges have you encountered on the road?

I’ve encountered hours of physical exertion so intense that it left me unable to eat. Cycling up mountains in 100 degree temperatures with no ability to stop, put me close to heat exhaustion. I’ve had several incidents where I ran out of water and didn’t know where or when I would find more. I’ve had hundreds motor vehicles passing too close for safety. I’ve experienced loneliness such as I haven’t felt in years. Finally, I’ve worried about whether I’m a worthy voice for the thousands afflicted with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

What have been some of your most memorable experiences so far on your trip?

  1. Finding numerous encouraging messages waiting for me after a particularly difficult 2-day ride.
  2. The smell of the cool air while I ride towards the sun as it slowly lights up the eastern sky.
  3. The view from mountain tops that I felt I might never reach.
  4. My grandson saying I was his hero.

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What have you learned about yourself during this journey?

I have learned that even though age has softened my body, mentally, I can be as strong or stronger than I have ever been. It has also reinforced my knowledge that, with God’s blessings, nothing is impossible when people pull together.

What have you learned about the people you’ve met along the way?

I knew that I would meet some wonderful people during the course of my cycling trip. However, the kindness and generosity of people that I’ve met has been unbelievable. One person responding to my blog said that my stories had restored their faith in the goodness of people.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to raise awareness for a cause?

Even at my advanced age, I feel more confident in my ability to meet the physical challenges than in my ability to raise awareness for a cause. With that said, I’d recommend having a good story and sharing it far and wide. It’s important to recruit and use help – friends, family, organizations and such. It’s also helpful to have a website and a blog and to use social media, flyers and business cards. Last, but not least, prayers.

Gramps Bicycling America

How can someone connect with you on social media?

Easy! People can read more about the trip on my website grampsbicyclingamerica.com. They can also find me on Facebook and Twitter or can email me directly at bill@grampsbicyclingammerica.com.

 

Why I Rappelled Down a 10 Story Building for Over the Edge for Elders

 

Why I Rappelled Down a 10 Story Building for Over the Edge for Elders

Rappelling down a 10 story building downtown is not something that you get to do everyday. It’s also not something that you get to do legally unless you have a permit, which is why I was really excited about the opportunity to help share awareness for the Over the Edge for Elders event for affordable housing for seniors by Episcopal Retirement Homes. The YMCA building, where the rappelling took place, was significant because the top floors would benefit from this event to become affordable housing for seniors in the community.

My grandfather lived to be 95 and he was such an amazing person. I love that Episcopal Retirement Homes is helping not only value but also giving a quality of life to a generation that can be forgotten or overlooked in our society.

Over the Edge for Elders

You might remember my interview with 94 year old Astar Daniels. She is one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met. She volunteered to rappel down the building to raise money to help give other seniors in the community the opportunity to live in housing that was not only affordable, but also provided a sense of community, which gives a better quality of life.

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She was brave enough to rappel down on Friday night to kick off the event along with a few other local celebrities like Jim Tarbell, who rappelled down the building in tails and a top hat on top of his helmet.

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Jim Tarbell

My adventure was scheduled for 2pm on Saturday. I think the worst part is waiting while watching everyone else go down because it gives more time for you to get nervous. I’ve rappelled before and I’m generally ok with heights but there is always that bit of doubt in your mind that imagines what could go wrong.

I had my family to cheer me on except for my husband who had to work that day. I was fortunate to have Maria and Jason Walley from Kandidly (which is kind of like an uber service for finding a photographer)  to document my adventure as I prepared.

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Due to safety restrictions, I couldn’t have anyone come with me to get pictures from the top. I am forever grateful to the Over the Edge volunteer who took these pictures at the top of the building for me.

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The views of Over the Rhine from the rooftop were incredible!

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The views were also a crazy reminder of how high up I was before going over the edge.

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We had a safety training on top of the roof before our rappel to make sure that we were comfortable with the equipment and knew how to control our speed on the way down.

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Fortunately, I’ve rappelled down mountains and cliffs before, so I knew the hardest part is leaning away from the structure at the beginning. You just have to trust the equipment which can be hard to wrap your mind around.

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Jason Walley captured the rest of the moments on my way down the building.
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On my way down I did get radioed a few times to slow down my pace or the safety line could lock up. My brake hand could feel some heat through the glove from the friction so I decided to listen to their advice.

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The descent down the building went really fast and was over before I knew it.

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I was excited that my boys could be there to see that it’s great to face your fears and challenge yourself to try something new.

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You can find out more about supporting affordable living for seniors from the Episcopal Retirement website. 

 

You can also learn more about using photographers from Kandidly from their website.

 

Disclosure: I was invited to participate in the Over the Edge for Elders event and provided images from Kandidly to help bring awareness. All opinions are my own. 

Meet Astar Daniels – The 94 year old who is rappelling down a 10 Story Building for Charity

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I had the privilege of interviewing Astar Daniels. When I heard about her story, I knew that I had to do anything I could to meet her. What makes Astar so interesting? Where do I even begin?????

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Well, first off, Astar, at the young age of 94, will be repelling down the 10 story YMCA building in downtown Cincinnati to help raise money for affordable living for seniors. That alone is AMAZING!!!!!

So why is she passionate about raising money for affordable living enough to rappel down a 10 story building?

Astar Daniels also makes me feel like I need to up my game when it comes to adventures. She has experienced many.

How have your dreams and goals changed over the years?

Astar is also an artist. During my visit to interview her, she showed me some of the art pieces that she created.

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Interview with Astar Daniel art

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The picture below is a self portrait.

Interview with Astar Daniel self portrait

 

What will the fundraiser money go toward?

Episcopal Retirement Homes (ERH) now has open online registration for the Over the Edge for Elders fundraiser coming June 12th and 13th. Instead of asking people to sponsor walkathon participants, ERH has brought in a new twist and people will be sponsoring Edgers who will rappel down a 10-story building! It’s all part of the summer fundraiser for Affordable Senior Living by ERH communities. The event will take place at the Central YMCA at the corner of Elm Street and Central Parkway, where the top six floors are being renovated by ERH into 65 apartments for older adults with limited incomes.

 

The two-day event kicks off June 12th with CELEBRATE! — ERH’s annual fundraising BBQ dinner, and auction – where 10 celebrity Edgers will rappel to get the action started. The next day, June 13th Over the Edge for Elders will feature 92 Edgers rappelling the 10-story YMCA building to help raise money for the cause. The event also offers a “Toss your Boss” category where employees can donate to see their favorite bosses take the rappelling plunge.

 

A major fundraising goal for ERH has been to ensure that support services are fully funded at its Affordable Living communities. This effort is essential now with its expansion goal of operating 30 limited-income senior residences by 2020.

 

 Maureen Gregory, ERH Fund Development Manager, explains, “As we expand we need to triple our annual fund to have the money available to operate our support services. All of our communities will have extra services not often found for seniors with limited incomes. The ERH model goes well beyond the HUD requirement of safe and sanitary senior housing because ERH believes that deserving seniors who include our veterans, former teachers, firefighters and others who have worked hard all their lives, deserve to live in a safe, enriching environment no matter what their current income status might be. For every apartment that becomes available, there are 10 seniors who are qualified. There is a housing crisis that is looming, and ERH is making a difference.”

About Episcopal Retirement Homes

Since 1951, Episcopal Retirement Homes (ERH) has dedicated itself to improving the lives of older adults through innovative, quality living environments and in-home and community-based services delivered by experienced and compassionate professionals. ERH owns or manages fourteen senior living communities: two premier communities, Deupree House and Marjorie P. Lee, in Hyde Park, and twelve affordable living communities for low-income seniors. ERH also operates in-home services such as their geriatric care management service, Living Well Senior Solutions; delivers 75,000 Meals on Wheels annually; and provides counsel and support to 75 churches to renew their role in healthcare through advocacy, education and wellness programs through Parish Health Ministry.

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Interview with Astar Daniels gym

 

 I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to meet Astar. She is one of the most positive people that I’ve ever met. Her gratitude and willingness to still try new things at her age is so incredibly inspiring!

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How can you help?

 

You can help Astar reach her $1,000 fundraising goal by donating on her fundraising webpage.

 

You can learn more about Over the Edge for Elders or donate on their website and learn more about ERH affordable living here.

For more information, visit www.episcopalretirement.com, or call 513.272.5555. ext. 4288.

 

 

5 Simple Ways to Reduce Landfill Waste

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BringingInnovation #CollectiveBias

5 ways to reduce landfill waste

Our family has been working on little changes that we can do to make our environment better. My boys and I even took a local landfill tour ….(yes they give educational tours) a few years ago and it really impacted us. It was really mind blowing to see how much waste is created collectively. I learned on that tour that our garbage goes straight into the landfill. I had always assumed that it was sorted somewhere before it entered the landfill. That made me realize that our family could do our part in reducing waste by making some simple changes.

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LifeStraw® Go- A Water Bottle That Gives Back

LifeStraw® Go- A Water Bottle
I was given the opportunity to check out the LifeStraw® Go. I was interested in the product for two reasons.
You can take this water bottle on adventures and you don’t have to worry about if you run out of bottled water because LifeStraw® Go can filter water from a stream or river to become safe for drinking.
LifeStraw® Go- A Water Bottle
The second reason I was interested in this product was because of its give back concept for each filter purchased.
LifeStraw® Go- A Water Bottle

‘Follow the Liters’ Program:

  • LifeStraw®’s  ’Follow the Liters’ cause marketing campaign harnesses the collaborative power of individuals to help solve one of the world’s most pressing issues – lack of access to safe drinking water for people in developing countries.
  • Under the ’Follow the Liters’ campaign,  when a consumer purchases any LifeStraw® water filter, a portion of the funds are used to provide one school child in Africa with safe drinking water for an entire school year.

LifeStraw® Go- A Water Bottle

The filtration process is extremely simple.

Unscrew the top and take the filter out.

LifeStraw® Go- A Water Bottle

Fill up the water bottle with water.

LifeStraw® Go- A Water Bottle

Screw the top back on and let your kid test the water first.

LifeStraw® Go- A Water Bottle

Why would I let my son test it first???

Here is why

LifeStraw Go:

  • LifeStraw® Go converts microbiologically contaminated water into safe drinking water, removing 99.9999%

After each drinking session, unscrew lid and blow through the LifeStraw® to expel dirty water. This water bottle can filter up to 1,000 liters!

 

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The LifeStraw® Go Retails for $34.95

 

You can connect with LifeStraw®

LifeStraw®  website

LifeStraw®  Facebook Page

LifeStraw® Pinterest Page

LifeStraw® Twitter Page

 I’ve been given a LifeStraw® Go to giveaway!

 

 

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Disclosure: Lifestraw Go, information, and additional product have all been provided by Vestergaard. All opinions are my own. 

 

Vestergaard:

  • LifeStraw® is manufactured by Vestergaard a Swiss-based global company dedicated to improving the health of disadvantaged people with game-changing solutions that fight malaria, HIV/AIDS, diarrheal disease and neglected tropical diseases.
  • The company is the largest producer of long-lasting insecticidal bed nets that prevent malaria under the PermaNet® brand, and its award-winning LifeStraw® water filters have been designed for individual, family and community uses.

Interview with the Geeky Explorers

Interview with Geeky Explorers

 

I discovered Geeky Explorers because of their amazing pictures on instagram. Their profile also mentioned their blog website which intrigued me even more because they sold everything to travel by RV across the country. I immediately knew that I wanted to interview them for the blog. Tricia and Keith graciously agreed to meet me at Coffee Emporium before they started the next leg of their journey. They were fascinating in person too. I always admire people who take the leap of faith to live their dreams. 

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