Category Archives: Fundraisers

Cuddle Up at the Zoo’s Animal Attractions on February 5

Animal Attractions Postcard 2015

Over the holidays, Scott and I celebrated our tenth anniversary together. I know that’s not so long for others (I marvel at my parents who have been married for over 45 and together for over half a century). But still, a decade.

All those mushy feelings make getting through the drabness of another cold winter much easier to bear. Because there’s nothing like a little bit of passion to warm the cockles of your heart when temperatures dip into the single digits.

The Cleveland Zoological Society knows what I’m talking about. This February 5th, join them in the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s RainForest for one of my favorite winter events, Animal Attractions.

Animal Attractions is an evening for adults only, featuring food, cocktails, and fun presentations on the birds and the bees … and lions and tigers and bears …¬†oh my. ūüėČ

In addition to the food, drinks, and presentations, some of the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's animals will be on hand for up-close meet and greets.

In addition to the food, drinks, and presentations at Animal Attractions, some of the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s animals will be on hand for up-close meet and greets.

From 6:00 to 9:00 pm, guests can enjoy a sampling of tastes from these area restaurants:

  • AMP 150
  • Butcher & The Brewer
  • Cleveland Cupcake Company
  • Creekside Restaurant & Bar
  • Great Lakes Brewing Company
  • House of Blues Cleveland
  • Merwin’s Wharf
  • Tremont Tap House
  • Whole Foods Market Cedar Center

I’m happy to see a few of my favorites from previous years’ Animal Attractions on the list (AMP 150 and Cleveland Cupcake Company are always must-stops for me!) plus new ones like¬†Butcher & The Brewer,¬†Merwin’s Wharf and¬†Tremont Tap House.

An open bar from Samuel Adams and Rain Organics Vodka, plus¬†wine tastings round out the evening’s menu.

You’ll also enjoy conservation education with a twist at Animal Attractions. In years past, Scott and I attended a 50 Shades of Grey presentation about the zoo’s elephants and a trivia game on the mating habits of bears.

All in all, it’s a wonderful evening out at one of Cleveland’s most beautiful spots.¬†The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s RainForest showcases more than 10,000 plants and over 600 animals from the jungles of Asia, Africa and the Americas.

Dr Chris Kuhar, the Zoo'S Executive Director, will be among the featured speakers at Animal Attractions

Dr Chris Kuhar, the Zoo’S Executive Director, will be among the featured speakers at Animal Attractions

With a 25-foot waterfall, research hut, and other interactive exhibits, the two-acre, two-level indoor space is a wonderful way to enjoy the Zoo — especially when it’s so cold out.¬†Getting the chance to explore it after-hours is definitely another perk to attending Animal Attractions.

General admission tickets for Animal Attractions cost $65. Or save $5 on your ticket and get a bunch of other great benefits by becoming a member of the Cleveland Zoological Society. You can purchase tickets online at www.clevelandzoosociety.org/events/2015/02/animal-attractions.

The Cleveland Zoological Society is also hosting an Animal Attractions sweepstakes on their Facebook page. You can learn more and enter it here: http://woobox.com/ronn89.

Disclosure: I was invited to attend Animal Attractions with a guest in exchange for blogging about it. I’ve attended this event in years past and opinions and the decision to blog about it are 100% my own.

Jump Back to the Future: PlayhouseSquare Partners’ #JBB24 Ticket Kickoff Party

PlayhouseSquare Partners' Jump Back Ball 24: Jump Back to the Future

The Back to the Future trilogy has a very soft spot in my heart.

Like most kids from the 80s, I watched the first Back to the Future a zillion times growing up. I don’t know whether it was my penchant for only listening to oldies music, but the Earth Angel scene was the one that stuck with me the most. The film also instilled in me a life-long obsession with Christopher Lloyd.

For some reason, though, I never saw the second installment and only a few scenes from the third on tv. So, when Scott and I started dating, he decided to remedy this.

For our first of many road-trips together, Scott bought a portable dvd player (this was before we could stream or rent movies on our tablet) and loaded it with the full trilogy. As we drove through the night, Scott and I watched the three films, back to back to back.

Back to the Future is also the reason I ended up joining PlayhouseSquare Partners when PlayhouseSquare showed it during their Cinema at the Square Young Professionals Night. I met Dawn and Robert, that year’s Membership Chairs, at the happy hour beforehand and that was it. I was hooked.

Five years later, I’m co-chairing the Partners board. So it’s sort of fitting that this year PlayhouseSquare Partners is jumping back to the future.

Of course that’s not the reason Jump Back to the Future is the 24th annual Jump Back Ball’s theme. In all honesty, I found out the theme the same time as everyone else. This is one reason why, though:

Screenshot from Back to the Future 2

Screenshot from Back to the Future 2

Yep, the future that Marty and Doc jump to in Back to the Future 2 is 2015.

For one night, you can pretend that time-traveling DeLoreans and hoverboards do exist. (Actually, a hoverboard of sorts is currently being Kickstarted.)

This year’s Jump Back Ball is taking place February 28, 2015 at PlayhouseSquare. While it’s still a few months away, you’ll want to get your tickets at the Ticket Kickoff Party on November 10.

Last year’s Jump Back Ball sold out¬†in only 10 days – breaking another record for ticket sales for this event. So if you don’t want to miss this year’s Jump Back Ball, you need to get your tickets right away.¬†Here’s the scoop on how.

Jump Back to the Future Ticket Kickoff

When? Monday, November 10 from 5:30-7:30pm

Where? Hofbräuhaus Cleveland (1550 Chester Ave.)

How much? $130 for Partners* and $165 for Non-Partners, a portion of which is tax deductible. Ticket prices increase by $15 plus handling fees the next day, so save the most at the Kickoff Party.

How many? Ticket limits will apply at the event. Non-Partners can purchase two tickets per person. Partners* can purchase two tickets at the Partners price and two at the Non-Partners price per membership.

Learn more about the Kickoff Party: facebook.com/events/1462714320674361

What’s all the fuss about?¬†Read my recap of last year’s Jump Back Ball to find out.

*If your current membership expires before Jump Back Ball, renew on or before November 10 to be eligible for discounted tickets.

PlayhouseSquare Partners is also partnering with the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland at this year’s Kickoff Party.

Bring a new, unused personal care item to do be donated to Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland and be entered into a raffle to win an overnight stay at the Wyndham the night of Jump Back Ball, a VIP upgrade for yourself and a guest, and loge tickets to upcoming performances at PlayhouseSquare.

Here’s a suggested list of items to donate:

  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Soap
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Lotion

So, join me at the¬†Hofbr√§uhaus on November 10 because once Jump Back Ball sells out, there’s no time machine to take you back.

Disclosure: I am a co-chair of this year’s PlayhouseSquare Partners board. I’m also a blogger for the event, offered one complimentary ticket in exchange for blogging about and purchasing a ticket to Jump Back Ball.

30 Seconds to Help Greater Cleveland Food Bank Win $60K

Hunger Action Month is almost done, but you have the ability RIGHT NOW to help Greater Cleveland Food Bank win $60,000.And it will take you only 30 seconds!

Hunger Action Month is almost done, but you have the ability RIGHT NOW to help Greater Cleveland Food Bank win $60,000.And it will take you only 30 seconds!

Fall is here and in less than a week, October will be too. While that means Halloween is around the corner, it also means that September’s Hunger Action Month is coming to an end.

Have you taken action yet to fight hunger with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank?

So far in September, the Food Bank has offered fundraising and volunteer opportunities and hosted events like the YP Pantry’s Hunger Action Month Happy Hour at Town Hall.

Of course, there was also last week’s Taste of the Browns fundraiser. 25+ restaurants filled First Energy Stadium, offering such delicious dishes as Hodge’s shrimp, chorizo and grits; Corleone’s Ristorante’s calamari steak; Momocho’s outstanding chicken tacos; and Little Devil Cupcakery’s sweets.

TASTE OF THE BROWNS FOOD

Attendees were also able to hang out with Browns players like Joe Haden (and his AWESOME shoes), Chomps and Brownie the Elf.

Taste of the Browns Twitter Image

By the end of the night, Taste of the Browns raised over $180,000 for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, equivalent to 720,000 meals for Northeast Ohio’s hungry.

With 6 days left in September, there’s still plenty of time to contribute to Hunger Action Month. Check out greaterclevelandfoodbank.org/about/hunger-action-month or the Greater Cleveland Food Bank’s Facebook page for more ideas.

Don’t think you have enough time to make a difference? Think again. Even if you only have 30 seconds per day, you can help the Food Bank win $60,000 to fight hunger.

Help the Greater Cleveland Food Bank win $60,000. Vote for them DAILY through October 5.

Help the Greater Cleveland Food Bank win $60,000. Click here to vote for them DAILY through October 5.

The Greater Cleveland Food Bank is currently in the running for a huge grant from Walmart. Walmart has committed to donating $3 million divided between 50 food banks across the country, and those 50 food banks will be selected by YOU.

Vote now and every day through October 5 to ensure the Greater Cleveland Food Bank is one of those 50 food banks awarded this much-needed grant. Vote at http://goo.gl/UOZaTo.

As of this blog post, the Greater Cleveland Food Bank is tied at #49 on the leaderboard so they NEED YOUR VOTE to stay in the top 50.

It’s a very impactful and easy way you can help #fighthunger this Hunger Action Month. Go do it now!

Disclosure: I was given two general admission tickets to Taste of the Browns which I shared with Poise in Parma in exchange for hosting a giveaway. The opinions here and hoice to blog about the Fight Hunger, Spark Change contest is 100% my own.

Celebrate IPM’s 40th Anniversary with an Evening with Rick Steves and the Inaugural Cleveland General Assembly Week

Giveaway Reminder: Don’t forget to enter to win 2 tickets to Taste of the Browns. The giveaway ends Sunday, September 7. Tweet daily for extra entries!

Colombian Children in the Ni√Īos Trabajadores program, one of IPM's project partners

Colombian Children in the Ni√Īos Trabajadores program, one of IPM’s project partners

Children suffering from Cerebral Palsy in Kenya are given an opportunity to learn computer skills and tailoring.

Impoverished and visually impaired women in Palestine are able to learn Braille, Arabic, and English and earn a high school diploma.

Teenagers in Nicaragua, forced to work during the day to support their families, have the chance to complete their studies at night.

These are just three of the global projects that International Partners in Mission has supported over the last 40 years.

ipm

For four decades, IPM has reached the far corners of the world from its home in Cleveland Heights. Last year alone, the organization helped 60,000 people by providing financial support, tech assistance, and training opportunities in 20 countries.

One way they do this is through Immersion Experience travel programs. The Immersion Experience goes beyond the traditional service project by focusing on a person-to-person exchange. As IPM explains on its site:

By meeting and living with individuals from across our global community, participants provide the greatest service there is ‚Äď being present to listen and learn from their hosts. Participants‚Äô roles are to share their compassion and to share themselves. By exposing the past and current socio-political conditions from a variety of perspectives, IPM Immersion Experiences allow participants to learn from our local friends what faith means to them, how their programs develop and improve their community, and about the local culture while taking in the sights, sounds, and foods of the country.

To mark its 40th anniversary, IPM is bringing their project partners and national and international experts to Cleveland for a week’s worth of panels, luncheons and dinner events for the public to enjoy.

IPM’s inaugural General Assembly week will take place October 13-17 and feature talks by individuals such as Dorothy Nyong’o, a consultant at the Africa Cancer Foundation and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o’s mother, and Sister Anthonia Ugheighele, whose Speranza II program provides a safe haven for African women trafficked from Nigeria to Italy.

At the same time, General Assembly week will also be a time of celebration with two special events: An Evening with Rick Steves and Namaste.

An evening with Rick Steves will take place October 17

An evening with Rick Steves will take place October 17

The party starts with IPM’s 12th annual gala and fundraiser Namaste! One Night for One World on October 16. The evening will showcase a world-tour of music and dance, as well as food and drink and fair-trade handcrafts from the regions touched by IPM’s programs.

The following evening, join IPM and The City Club’s Dan Moultrop for a private reception and talk with Rick Steves, host of the popular public television series “Rick Steves’ Europe” and best-selling author of over 50 European travel books.

Steves is a perfect fit for IPM’s General Assembly, often encouraging Americans to travel independently and become ‚Äútemporary locals.‚ÄĚ He’ll present his new book and reflect on how a life of travel has broadened his own perspectives and can be a significant force for peace and understanding in the world.

Steves’ talk will start at 6:30 at The Breen Center for the Performing Arts. General admission tickets cost $30 and can be purchased here (student and VIP tickets are also available).

If you’re interested in learning more about Namaste and IPM’s other General Assemby events, visit IPM’s Facebook page or contact Raluca Besliu at rbesliu@ipmconnect.org and 216-932-4082.

Taste of the Browns Giveaway: Tackle Hunger with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank

Win 2 tickets to

Win 2 tickets to the Sept. 15 event

Every four years, Feeding America, the nationwide network of 200 food banks, conducts its Hunger in America study.

It’s the largest survey of its kind, focusing on why hunger happens and its effects on local communities.

The most recent Hunger in America was released just last week, and showed that right here in Northeast Ohio, more than 574,000 people each year turn to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and other hunger programs.

If you’ve been thinking about getting involved with the Food Bank, now is the time.

September is Hunger Action Month, a nationwide campaign to raise significant funds and enlist volunteers in the fight against hunger.

And the Greater Cleveland Food Bank has made it easy and fun for you to contribute with two fantastic events.

First up is the Hunger Action Month Happy Hour on Monday, September 8th. From 5:30-7:30pm, drink and eat up at TownHall in Ohio City. A $20 ticket gets you unlimited selected drafts between 5:30 and 7:30 and flatbreads between 6 and 7. All proceeds benefit the Cleveland Food Bank, and you can find out more and buy tickets at the link.

It’s an excellent warm-up to the Food Bank’s main event the following week. That’s right, it’s time again for Taste of the Browns!

It’s the 16th year that the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, the city’s culinary scene, and the Cleveland Browns have teamed up to¬†tackle hunger in Northeast Ohio.

Photo from 2013 Taste of the Browns, courtesy of Greater Cleveland Food Bank

Photo from 2013 Taste of the Browns, courtesy of Greater Cleveland Food Bank

On Monday, September 15, more than 25 of the area’s finest restaurants and chefs will take over the City View Club Lounge at FirstEnergy Stadium. Some of the restaurants in attendance include:

  • Rocco Whalen‚Äôs Fahrenheit and Rosie & Rocco‚Äôs
  • Zack Bruell‚Äôs Chinato, Cowell & Hubbard, L’Albatros Brasserie, Parallax, Table 45
  • Eric Williams‚Äô Momocho and El Carnicero
  • Sam McNulty‚Äôs The Market Garden Brewery, Bar Cento, Speakeasy, Nano Brew and Bier Market
  • And my new favorite downtown dining destination Urban Farmer
Photo from 2013 Taste of the Browns by Poise in Parma

Photo from 2013 Taste of the Browns by Poise in Parma

Cleveland Browns fans also have the opportunity to meet and mingle with Browns alumni and current players and bid for items like Joe Haden’s ‚Äúfavorite things‚ÄĚ gift basket; footballs and jerseys autographed by Brian Hoyer, Johnny Manziel and Barkevious Mingo; and a signed copy of the Draft Day movie script.

New to this year’s Taste of the Browns is a wine and craft beer pull. For $10, attendees can purchase a bottle cap for a six-pack of craft beer, while $20 gets you a bottle of wine.

Need more convincing? Check out Poise in Parma’s guest recap of last year’s Taste of the Browns.

General admission tickets are available for $175, $75 of which is tax-deductible and can be purchased here. Proceeds from last year’s event raised more than $175,000 for the Food Bank, enabling them to distribute 700,000+ meals to agencies in six local counties.

Photo from 2013 Taste of the Browns, courtesy of Greater Cleveland Food Bank

Photo from 2013 Taste of the Browns, courtesy of Greater Cleveland Food Bank

You can also win 2 general admission tickets to Taste of the Browns in my giveaway.
How to enter: Do one, some or all five of the entries; a separate comment’s needed for each.

There are 5 Easy Ways to Enter the Giveaway
**You must leave a separate comment on this post for each entry**

1) Leave a comment on this post telling me which Taste of the Browns restaurant you haven’t been to before that you’d like to try.

2) Follow @CleveFoodbank and @ADHicken on Twitter and leave one comment on this post telling me you did both.

3) If you’re a fan of Clue Into Cleveland and the Cleveland Foodbank on Facebook, leave one comment on this blog post letting me know. If you’re not yet a fan, you can become one here and here.

4) Tweet the following and leave one comment letting me know you tweeted:

I want to tackle hunger at @CleveFoodbank’s #TasteoftheBrowns. Enter @ADHicken’s giveaway and you can too: http://wp.me/p2Ukr0-2zV

You can tweet once per day for additional entries. Just leave a separate comment each time you tweet.

5)¬†Subscribe to Clue Into Cleveland via a feed tracker like¬†Bloglovin‚Äô¬†or Feedly and leave one comment letting me know you did. This can also include signing up to receive email notifications in the top-right ‚ÄúSubscribe‚ÄĚ section of this page.

You have until Sunday, September 7 at 11:59PM to enter.¬†On Monday, September 8, I will select a winner using Random.org and will announce the winner‚Äôs name on my blog.¬† Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry ‚Äď good luck!

Disclosure: I was invited to attend Taste of the Browns with a guest in exchange for hosting a giveaway. My choice to post about this event and opinions are 100% my own.

The ALS #IceBucketChallenge: To quote Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s time “to give a sh*t.”

There's $31 million in this bucket

There’s more than $31 million in this bucket

“Building awareness.” The term can mean many things.

When it comes to the ALS #IceBucketChallenge, it can mean reaching people for the first time who don’t know what ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease is. Or educating everyone on just how devastating ALS is to the body. Or revealing that ALS research (and many other nonprofits) has been struggling with funding.

I will admit that at the beginning of the Ice Bucket Challenge, I was on the fence about people dousing themselves with ice water for a cause. Over the last couple of years, I’ve become a little jaded about social media stunts.

However, it was articles like What An ALS Family REALLY Thinks About the Ice Bucket Challenge¬†and Why¬†I¬†Won‚Äôt¬†Be¬†Ashamed¬†of¬†My¬†#icebucketchallenge¬†that changed my mind. You also¬†can’t argue with the fact that the challenge has raised¬†over $15 million $31.5 million for the ALS Association and additional millions for other ALS organizations. What could have been a short-lived stunt did much more than build awareness. It drove action.

Whether it’s $5, $10, $25 or $100…
Regardless of whether or not you film yourself dumping ice water on your head…
It’s time to donate to ALS research and treatments.

Although my bucket decided to sit this one out, I put my wallet where my mind and mouth are.¬†I encourage you to do the same if you already haven’t. Donate to ALS; or – if you would prefer – split your next donation between ALS and the charity of your choice.

And if you’re looking for a place to make your ALS donation, here’s one:

Jennifer Jackson is a friend of mine from PlayhouseSquare Partners (and an excellent board vice-chair!). A little over 8 years ago, her father Hank lost his life to ALS.

Her family now participates in the Cleveland Walk to Defeat ALS to give thanks to the ALS Association for supporting them through his battle. The organization provided respite care and home health aids that made a tremendous difference in his quality of life.

The 2014 Walk to Defeat ALS takes place on September 21. You can join me in helping Jen and her family surpass their goal by donating here.

If you still have your doubts about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, go and read those three articles that I linked to earlier and then read this exchange from Guardians of the Galaxy.¬†I watched this movie for the third time last night, and the more often I see it, the more I realize it’s the perfect movie for everything else going on right now.¬†

Peter Quill: Usually life takes more than it gives, but not today. Today it’s given us something. It has given us a chance.

Drax: To do what?

Peter: To give a shit.

P.S. – Thank you, Poise in Parma, for tagging me in the Ice Bucket Challenge. I had decided to donate but it was your tag that reminded me to take the 30 seconds to follow through. (Yet another reason this campaign is good — it fights forgetfulness!)

Sipping Grapes & Ale at Progressive Field (or Scott Writes a Sonnet)

Scott and I decided to switch things up at Grapes & Ale this year. I’d be the designated driver, and he’d have an opportunity to sample all of the wine. The only catch? That he’d write the recap.

Colin Dussault's Acoustic Side Project greeted people near the stadium's entrance.

Colin Dussault’s Acoustic Side Project greeted people near the stadium’s entrance.

Nestled at the corner of 9th and Carnegie, there’s just something about Progressive Field that I really enjoy. I’m a transplant to Cleveland, so my fondness for the stadium doesn’t stem from a home team association. And, as someone who competed in marching band through the Philadelphia and South Jersey region, I’ve been in my fair share of stadiums. But Progressive captures something few others do.

I’ve mulled over what that “something” is, and I currently claim it is “hopeful enthusiasm.” Clevelanders have a solid ability to both recognize “what is” while planning for and looking forward to “what could be.” Something about Progressive Field captures that. Regardless of its corporate origins, the stadium’s current name is very fitting for this city.

What makes everything better is when you have the opportunity to freely drink the official beverages of “hopeful enthusiasm” – wine and beer. The Grapes & Ale at Progressive Field event, which happened a few Fridays ago on June 27th, brings all this together for a great time. And, since it raises funds for Our Lady of the Wayside, we have a perfect storm of good vibes.

Wines, foods, and peoples.

Wines, foods, and peoples.

Arriving at Progressive Field a tad early, Amanda and I could smell the predominantly barbecued food that was waiting to accompany the many spirits that are automatically included with entry.

After getting our etched wineglasses, my first stop was to try the Johnny Appleseed hard apple cider, followed by some flipflop moscato. Then we moved on to grab some of the always-delicious Famous Dave’s wings.

Amanda was Designated Driver that evening, and there was plenty of bottled water and soda (“pop” if you’re not a transplant) for her. There was also salad and veggies, ample seating if you walked in deep enough, and even a putting green.

Famous Dave's not only provided good eats, but a nice take-home surprise.

Famous Dave’s not only provided good eats, but a nice take-home surprise.

If you don’t like wine, the Beer Garden had taken over Progressive’s Budweiser Patio. You don’t need to buy tickets to go in – although you do need an empty glass and then tickets if you want any beer – but the mini hot dogs were delicious and the snow cone machine was a great treat.

There were also some games spread about. If leaving with the little wine glass wasn’t enough, the beer tickets got you a handled mason jar and a Lime-a-Rita sample got you another festive glass. Although I didn’t have any, a trusted source told me the Leinenkugel’s stand had brought a¬†Russian Imperial Stout that was great.

I like my crushed ice plain.

I like my crushed ice plain.

If you didn’t bring extra cash for the beer (like me), no worries. There was still plenty of that free-flowing wine, as well as a few other spirits.

To be honest, my wine preferences are pretty narrow; the wine needs to be white and sweet. I’m not listing a lot of sampled names here not because there wasn’t a large selection, but because there was and my sampling was more copious than my note-taking.

The vendors stretched down an entire side of Progressive Field; there was plenty of wine I didn’t drink, and plenty of wine that I did. But you needed to do something special to stand-out in my memory, and the vendor which delivered that was Cupcake Vineyards:

  • Walk-in wine truck pulled into the stadium? Check.
  • Photo-op? Check.
  • Second photo-op? Check.
  • iPads with all the info and cat videos you could want? Check. (Especially because one of our cats is named Cupcake.)
  • Tiny cupcakes at the ready? Check.
  • Delicious Prosecco? Double check.

When it came to wine, Cupcake Vineyards got my vote for “Win.”

Cupcakes! Cupcakes cupcakes cupcakes! CUPCAKES!

Cupcakes! Cupcakes cupcakes cupcakes! CUPCAKES!

Great venue, great drinks, great food, great company – what more am I to say? Grapes & Ale at Progressive Field was a feel-good event last year, and it was a feel-good event this year, and I eagerly look forward to next’s. Until then, I declared I’d review this as a sonnet, so here it is:

Progressive Field is a really great space,
Open and cool and filled up with big smiles.
If the Indians don’t manage to place,
It’s still a spot where-in I’d walk for miles.

Awesome is Our Lady of the Wayside,
Caring for those who are needing a boost.
Providing shelter, respite, and a ride.
So help by drinking fermented grape juice!

Grapes & Ale at Progressive Field is fun,
Food, spirits, and beer all over – delish!
So buy some tickets, you son of a gun!
“This never should end,” is what you will wish!

So come on down to 9th and Carnegie,
Bring hunger and thirst…but not the baby.

Selfie! Selfie selfie selfie! SELFIE!

Selfie! Selfie selfie selfie! SELFIE!

Disclaimers: 

  • I know Carnegie/baby is a terrible rhyme, but how about YOU come up with a better word that rhymes with Carnegie!¬†
  • Also, Amanda was offered tickets to attend Grapes & Ale at Progressive Field in exchange for blogging about it. I got her second ticket because I can flap my eyeleshes like a pro.¬†The decision to attend and post about an event is her own, based on whether she thinks it‚Äôs something that may also interest others.
  • My decision to blog about the event was not my own, but part of Amanda’s agreeing to be Designated Driver so I could run about downing samples like a thirsty camel at an Oasis Sample Party. It seems batting eyelashes is not as powerful a tool of¬†persuasion¬†as I thought.

Twilight at the Zoo: Why It’s a Cleveland Summer Must-Do

The mayflies have come and gone and the July 4th holiday is here. In the Hicken house, this means it’s time to start making plans for the rest of summer.

I don’t care what else I do between now and September —¬†Twilight at the Zoo is my big must-do for this summer.

TWI_general admission party2

After scheduling conflicts kept us from going in previous years, Scott and I made sure last summer’s Twilight at the Zoo stayed open on our calendar.

And it seemed as if the gods would smile upon us for an evening of outdoor music and summer drinking … until the rains came. And, boy, did they come.

But you know what? Despite getting drenched and only seeing a few of the bands perform, Scott and I had a fantastic time with our friends. Plus we had a reason to buy matching safari hats.

(I tell myself that we needed something to keep the rain out of our eyes, but the real reason is that we love safari hats.)

I also got this awesome photo with WhyCLE’s husband:

Twilight at the Zoo rainstorm

The evening was one of the highlights of last summer, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for good weather on August 1, the date of this year’s Twilight at the Zoo.

From 7pm til midnight, stages will be staggered through the Zoo, featuring 18 local bands.

There will be something to satisfy every musical taste – funk to folk, rock to reggae.¬†This year’s bands include:

TWI_general admission party

General admission tickets, which cost $80 per person or $700 for a block of 10, also include free Sam Adams beer, Twisted Tea, wine and soda and a selection of small bites to eat.

Upgrade to VIP tickets ($150 per ticket/$1200 for block of 10) and get access to the VIP party from 6-9pm. ¬†VIP partygoers enjoy priority parking and early entry, an open bar, and catering by AMP150, Carrabba’s, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Mitchell’s Fish Market.¬†

And don’t drink and drive:¬†Arrange for a designated driver or book one of the Zoo’s hotel/ticket packages with the Cleveland Airport Marriott.

Purchase tickets online or go here for more information.

One other thing … if you’re planning on getting tickets, get them now. This event usually sells out, and if this year’s Date Night at the Zoovies is any indication (sold out yesterday for an August 22 event), Twilight tickets may be gone sooner than later.

Hope to see you there! I’ll be packing safari hat just in case.

Disclosure: I was invited to attend Twilight at the Zoo with a guest, in exchange for promoting the event. Opinions are 100% my own and based on attending last year’s Twilight.

Win 2 VIP Tickets to SC4K’s Luau on the Lake

lake erie

You’re lounging with a view of the water, frosty beer or fruity umbrella drink in hand. You can hear laughter coming from a Conga line and smell the spices of a delicious beachside feast. Maybe you’ll take in¬†a game of beach volleyball later.

Sounds like a fantastic afternoon, doesn’t it?

Fortunately,¬† you don’t need to hop on a plane to a tropical locale to enjoy it. ¬†On July 12, you only have to go as far as Whiskey Island’s Wendy Park for the 9th annual Luau on the Lake.

What’s even better is that all proceeds from the party will benefit Shoes and Clothes for Kids, the only non-profit in Greater Cleveland that provides new shoes and clothing throughout the year to thousands of children in need, all at no charge.

And best yet? You can win a pair of VIP tickets to the event on Clue into Cleveland.

luau on the lake

From 4 to 9pm on July 12, enjoy SC4K’s celebration fit for a Tiki God. A lakeside dinner is served til 7:30 featuring jerk-seasoned green beans, saffron and Caribbean-spiced brown rice, pan-seared chicken with spicy plum sauce, Polynesian BBQ pulled pork sliders, and island sorbet.

Beer,¬†wine, snacks, music, sand volleyball, and a limbo contest are available throughout the night for all ticketholders, while VIP “Big Kahunas” will also get a souvenir cup and three tickets for island cocktails, early admittance at 3:30pm, and a lei and floral tote to go with their Hawaiian shirts.¬†

New to this year’s Luau on the Lake is a 24-team, single elimination cornhole tournament. Up for grabs – a cornhole board set complete with bags and 4 tickets to an Indians game. Teams will be able to register for $20 each.

General admission tickets are $50 through July 7. After that and at the door, they’re $60. VIP tickets are $60 through July 7 and available for presale only.

The funds raised by Luau will be instrumental in helping SC4K distribute $2.4-million worth of new clothing and Payless shoe gift cards to children this year.

Want to spend your July 12th at Luau on the Lake? Enter my giveaway for two Big Kahuna VIP tickets right now.

There are 5 Easy Ways to Enter the Giveaway
**You must leave a separate comment on this post for each entry**

1) Leave a comment with what your favorite beachside activity is. (Mine is just relaxing by the water with a good book.)

2) Follow @ADHicken and @SC4K on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know you did both.

3) If you’re a fan of Shoes and Clothes for Kids and Clue Into Cleveland on Facebook, leave a comment on this blog post letting me know. If you’re not yet a fan, you can become one here and here.

4) Tweet the following and leave one comment letting me know you tweeted:

I want to party like a Big Kahuna at Luau on the Lake! Enter @ADHicken’s @SC4K giveaway for VIP tickets http://wp.me/p2Ukr0-2ww #SC4KLuau14

You can tweet once per day for additional entries. Just leave a separate comment each time you tweet.

5)¬†Subscribe to Clue Into Cleveland via a feed tracker like¬†Bloglovin‚Äô¬†or Feedly and leave one comment letting me know you did. This can also include signing up to receive email notifications in the top-right ‚ÄúSubscribe‚ÄĚ section of this page.

You have until Sunday, July 6 at 11:59PM to enter.¬†On Monday, July 7,¬†Random.org will select a winner and I‚Äôll announce the winner‚Äôs name on my blog.¬† Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry ‚Äď good luck!

Disclosure: I was invited to attend Luau on the Lake with a guest in exchange for previewing the event. My choice to blog about it is based on how much Scott and I have enjoyed this event in years past.

Giveway: BBQ, Brews and Blues at Our Lady of the Wayside’s Grapes and Ale

Nothing – not even an 8-days-and-counting sinus infection – could have stopped me from BBQing with Scott’s family this weekend.

Memorial Day Picnic

The weather was perfect (unbelievably so, after our winter), the grill was blazing with cheese brats and Dad Hicken’s BBQ-sauce-laced burgers, and Scott’s mom put together one of the best macaroni salads I’ve had.

Scott and I even squeezed in a bike ride down to the lake. It was a much-needed distraction to forget about the voice I lost 5 days earlier.

I love BBQs, and the best one of the summer happens in a few weeks. On June 27, Our Lady of the Wayside and Giant Eagle will host their annual Grapes & Ale party at Progressive Field. 

Grapes and Ale

From 7-10pm, enjoy barbeque from Hot Sauce Williams, Famous Dave’s, 100th Bomb Group, Battery Park Wine Bar, and Corleone’s while sampling 200 wines and beers from William Hill Estate Winery, St. Michelle, Chloe Wine Collection, Great Lakes, Magic Hat, and more.

Colin Dussault’s Acoustic Side Project is back this year with live blues music throughout the night.

This party pretty much sums up all the best parts of summer for me: BBQ, beer, and the Indians ballpark.

Just learn from my first Grapes and Ale experience. Don’t wear white unless you’re carrying stain remover.

I’m not the only one who loves Grapes and Ale. The event has gotten so big the last couple years that Our Lady of the Wayside is¬†expanding the space they use in Progressive Field. ¬†That means room for even more fun!

Also new this year: Cupcake Vineyards’ Wine Truck will be making a tour stop ¬†at the event.

Cupcake Tour

Grapes and Ale raises money for Our Lady of the Wayside. Located out in Avon, they provide services for 500 children and adults with developmental disabilities. Their programs include:

Grapes and Ale tickets start at $50 (Premiere Grand Tasting level), which gets you access to wine samplings and BBQ, a souvenir glass, music, silent auction and the Cupcake Truck Tour. Samplings of craft beers are also available for purchase at the WKNR Market Pavilion Brew Garden. The $125 VIP Majic of Wine Tasting ticket includes all of this, plus free parking and a blind wine tasting from 6-7pm.

Don’t plan on drinking? Enjoy BBQ, unlimited water and pepsi with a $20 Designated Driver ticket.

You can order tickets online or you can enter to win two $50 tickets right here!

There are 5 Easy Ways to Enter the Giveaway
**You must leave a separate comment on this post for each entry**

1)¬†Leave a comment telling me what’s your favorite side dish to serve at a BBQ.

2) If you’re a fan of Our Lady of the Wayside and Clue Into Cleveland on Facebook, leave a comment on this blog post letting me know. If you’re not yet a fan, you can become one here and here.

3) Follow @ADHicken and @OurLadyWayside on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know you did both.

4) Tweet the following and leave one comment letting me know you tweeted:

I want to win a night of BBQ, brews and blues at #GrapesandAle¬†–¬†enter @ADHicken’s¬†giveaway for tickets: http://wp.me/p2Ukr0-2vJ¬†#CLE

You can tweet once per day for additional entries. Just leave a separate comment each time you tweet.

5)¬†Subscribe to Clue Into Cleveland via a feed tracker like¬†Bloglovin‚Äô¬†or Feedly and leave one comment letting me know you did. This can also include signing up to receive email notifications in the top-right ‚ÄúSubscribe‚ÄĚ section of this page.

You have until Tuesday, June 3 at 11:59PM to enter.¬†¬†On Wednesday, June 4, Random.org will select a winner and I‚Äôll announce the winner‚Äôs name on my blog.¬† Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry ‚Äď good luck!

Disclosure: I was invited to attend Grapes and Ale with a guest in exchange for previewing the event. My choice to blog about this event is based on how much fun Scott and I had in years past. Opinions are my own.