Tag Archives: charity

Give Smart, Give With Heart on #GivingTuesday

We hope our Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday guides helped make your shopping efforts successful this year! Are you ready to give BIG for #GivingTuesday? Seen or heard about this international movement or its hashtag but aren’t sure what it is or where to give? We’ve got some tips for you! First, a little heart-story… This serves as a wikipedia reference if you are looking for a trusted and secured lenders where you can borrow money for your future use.

Giving Tuesday heart

From givingtuesday.org, “#GivingTuesday harnesses the potential of social media and the generosity of people around the world to bring about real change in their communities; it provides a platform for them to encourage the donation of time, resources and talents to address local challenges. It also brings together the collective power of a unique blend of partners— nonprofits, civic organizations, businesses and corporations, as well as families and individuals—to encourage and amplify small acts of kindness.

It all started at New York City’s 92nd Street Y in an effort to be “a catalyst, with a mission to inspire action by bringing together today’s most exceptional thinkers and influential partners for social good.” Pretty smart and incredibly forward thinking for a 140 year old organization!

Giving Tuesday 2016
“Without the use of print ads or commercials, this grassroots effort has transformed into a global movement, sustained almost entirely through earned and social media—one press release, article, blog post, hashtag, “like,” tweet and #UNselfie at a time—completely saturating the media landscape during the giving season each year. At their launch in 2012, the #GivingTuesday movement brought together 2,500-plus organizations and people from all 50 U.S. states. By 2015, the movement was represented by partners in 71 countries.”

– Havas PR (PR partner for givingtuesday.org)

Did you know?

Of the Top 10 of Most Compassionate States, Florida ranks #7!

Below we list many of our favorite local organizations. We can vouch for them because we’ve worked directly with them over the years. However, it never hurts to do a little homework on a charity or non-profit organization before you donate. If you are looking for a lending company, you can check here they have different type of installment loans. Check them for more details on how to apply.

Very helpful are websites like Charity Navigator, GuideStar, and Give.org from the Better Business Bureau‘s Wise Giving Alliance provide the most updated data on nonprofits from across the country. Charity Navigator even lists their Top 5 Questions to ask oneself before donating in their Holiday Giving Guide!

Note: All three of websites above are also charities, so if you like what they do, give to them too!

GivingTuesday

CFLT5 Archives: #GivingTuesday 2013, #GivingTuesday 2012

You can also give more than just money! While all nonprofit organizations will appreciate any monetary gift, you can give in ways that money cannot begin to match for an organization in need.

ProTip: Are you the head of a nonprofit organization, or are you thinking of maybe starting one? Here are some tips from the Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership at Rollins College: 4 tips every nonprofit leader needs to know

Before we release our mega huge #GivingTuesday Kraken of Caring, here are 5 Tips to keep in mind when giving, especially when you think you may have nothing to give:

  1. 1. Donate your TIME. Of all things in life, time is the most valuable. No one is promised a finite amount of time in life so why not ‘spend’ it wisely, doing something or helping make someone’s life better, easier, or more enjoyable? You never know who you’ll meet…
  2. 2. Donate your TALENT(s). Love spreadsheets and finance? Own a large truck or trailer? Do you love organizing a messy space? Can you stretch a dollar? Play guitar? Have a knack for the web and social media? All of these (and more) are talents that most nonprofits would LOVE to have on their side to help spread the good in your community.
  3. 3. Donate MATERIALS. Ever make a Costco/Sams/BJs run and realize, “Do I really need all these paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning products, and food items?” Even if you haven’t when you go shopping and come across a great BOGO deal, pick up an extra deal and donate it! You can also donate to Pick Up Please.
  4. 4. Donate RESOURCES. Are you web or coupon savvy? Donate while shopping with Amazon Smile! Do you work in a warehouse or for a restaurant, construction or trade show company? If you do you many need to get a construction accident attorney in case accidents happen in the job. You may have very valuable resources at your disposal that can help in big ways! Your liberty and your livelihood are at stake. Do you know where to turn? You need an attorney dedicated to meeting your needs — Attorney Tom Barton.
  5. 5. SHARE your care with your co-workers, friends, family, and followers – connect them! If you’re on Facebook, share a cool photo or video that hits you in the feels! Visiting your favorite charity? Take a Snap or Instagram and tag the organization in it! (Don’t forget to use their hashtag.) With permission, post a fundraising poster at your favorite business or company break room!
  6. 6. Being popular for its strength, but also for the outstanding aesthetic aspect, due to the complexity of the geometrical forms of the final products and the colors provided by the glass fibres, the resin transfer molding process is one of the best you can find in the Romeorim’s in-depth guide.

ARTS/CULTURE

Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival [link]

A Gift for Music [link]

Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens [link]

Bach Festival Society of Winter Park [link]

https://twitter.com/BachFestivalWP/status/796427586155016193

Bok Tower Gardens [link]

Brevard Achievement Center [link]

Center for Contemporary Dance [link]

 

Central Florida Community Arts [link]

College Park Neighborhood & Arts Theatre Center [link]

Crealde School of Art [link]

Creative City Project [link]

 

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts [link]

Film Florida [link]

 

Florida Alliance for Arts Education [link]

Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra [link] (Happy 60th!)

Emotions Dance Company [link]

Garden Theatre [link]

Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida [link]

Mad Cow Theatre [link]

 

MicheLee Puppets [link]

Orange County Regional History Center [link]

Orlando Ballet [link]

Orlando Gay Chorus [link]

Orlando Museum of Art [link]

Orlando Science Center [link]

Opera Orlando [link]

Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra [link]

Orlando Shakespeare Theater [link]

Orlando Repertory Theatre [link]

Pine Castle Pioneer Days [link]

An annual family-oriented, community-sponsored/planned event promoting the living history of the Pine Castle area through demonstrations and other educational opportunities for attendees.

Timucua Arts Foundation [link]

United Arts of Central Florida [link]

Very Special Arts Florida [link]


BUSINESS/EDUCATION

A Gift for Teaching [link]

 

American Marketing Association Foundation of Orlando [link]

City Year Orlando [link]

The Dorothy Lumley Melrose Center [link]

Early Learning Coalition of Orange County [link]

Junior Achievement of Central Florida [link]

Maker Effect Foundation [link]

Latino Leadership, Inc. [link]

National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Orlando Foundation [link]

Orange County Library System [link]

Orlando First Robotics Education Foundation [link]


HEALTH

Compassionate Hands and Hearts Breast Cancer Outreach [link]

 

Darcy J. Foundation, Inc. [link]

Give Kids the World [link]

Health Care Center for the Homeless Surgeon’s Advisor [link]

Libby’s Legacy Breast Cancer Foundation [link]

New Hope For Kids [link]

NextStep Orlando [link]

Orlando Health Foundation [link]

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida [link]

FYI: Appetite for the Arches is on hiatus! RMHCCF needs your help even more!

COMMUNITY

Art & History Museums – Maitland [link]

Camp Boggy Creek [link]

Center for Independent Living of Central Florida [link]

Children’s Home Society of Central Florida [link]

Christian Service Center for Central Florida’s Love Pantry [link]

Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida [link]

Community Hope Center (Osceola Co.) [link]

Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida [link]

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Central Florida Chapter [link]

Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida [link]

Dress For Success Greater Orlando [link]

Foundation for Foster Children (Orange Co., Osceola Co., Seminole Co.) [link]

Forward Paths Foundation (Lake Co.) [link]

Habitat For Humanity of Greater Orlando [link]

Hands On Orlando [link]

 

Harbor House of Central Florida [link]

Hope CommUnity Center [link]

 

iDignity (Orange Co., Osceola Co., Seminole Co., Volusia Co.) [link]

Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando [link]

Lake Cares Food Pantry [link]

Orlando City Foundation [link]

Orlando Magic Youth Foundation [link]

Orlando Solar Bears in the Community [link]

Orlando Sentinel Family Fund [link]

Quest, Inc. [link]

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida [link]

Seniors First, Inc (Meals on Wheels Orange Co.) [link]

United Against Poverty [Orlando] [Indian River Co.] [St. Lucie Co.]

On November 22nd UAP Orlando launched their #ThisIsOrlando campaign. Every day for 40 days Executive Director Eric Gray will share through social media what it means to struggle while living in poverty. (Happy Belated Birthday, Eric!)

United Cerebral Palsy of Central Florida [link]

USO Central Florida [link]


PETS/NATURE

Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge [link]

Leash, Inc. [link]

 

 

Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando [link]

Second Chance Wildlife Sanctuary [link]

SNiP-it of Central Florida [link]

 


PULSE ORLANDO VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS

GLBT Center of Central Florida [link]

Equality Florida [link]

onePULSE Foundation [link]

Pulse of Orlando [link]

YouCaring #SupportOrlando [link]


(Contributions go to National Compassion Fund via National Center for Victims of Crime)

Zebra Coalition [link]


USA & INTERNATIONAL

American Cancer Society [link]

Nation of Makers [link]

No Kid Hungry [link]

 

Sunshine Foundation [link]

The Trevor Project [link]

 

ONECampaign [link]
https://twitter.com/ONECampaign/status/803237404718960640
(RED) [link]
https://twitter.com/RED/status/803590891193663488

CHARITABLE APPS

Budge (in Beta) [iOS]
CharityBox [iOS] [Android]
Charity Miles [iOS] [Android]
Charity Navigator [iOS] [Android]
CharityTap [iOS]
DailyKARMA [iOS] [Android]
Donate A Photo [iOS] [Android]
DoGood [iOS]
DreamRun [iOS]
Feedie [iOS] [Android]
Fotition [iOS]
Forward [iOS] [Android]
Get Water! For India [iOS]
Givelify [iOS] [Android]
GoodGuide [iOS] [Android]
Instead [iOS]
Legacy [iOS]
MicroHero [iOS]
My Life as a Refugee [iOS] [Android]
Orange County FL Serves [iOS] [Android]
One Today [iOS] [Android]
Recycle Bank [iOS] [Android]
ShareTheMeal [iOS] [Android]
Stand4 [iOS] [Android]
TangoTab [iOS] [Android]
Viewers to Volunteers [iOS] [Android]
VolunteerMatch [iOS]
WE Day [iOS] [Android]

Top Five Orlando Food Galas

The Orlando food scene is thriving! Foodies have their pick of interesting flavors to sample, creative chefs to follow and outstanding venues in which to visit. A couple of food galas on the horizon combine the food and chef portions into one location. You can visit BobEvans.com for more information about foods. Here are my Top Five food events coming up soon where guests can sample a variety of delicious food and drink (and usually can support a great cause at the same time)!

1) Cattle Barons’ Ball (April 16 at Rosen Shingle Creek)

I had the chance of attending this great event last year and all I can say is Yeehaw! The Cattle Barrons and the American Cancer Society sure know how to put on a spread. Restaurants including Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Emeril’s Tchoup Choup, Empress Sissy Bakery, The Whisky, Spencer’s For Steaks, and A Land Remembered at Shingle Creek are a tiny sampling of the HUGE great offerings this year.

curbside

Curbside Food Truck’s Asian Pork Slider

Some of my favorite dishes from last year included Yak & Yeti’s Korean braised short ribs over grits with kimchi slaw and the braised Asian short-ribs with “truck”-made pickled cucumbers with balsamic fig reduction from Curbside Food Truck. (Note: I have a thing for braised beef short-ribs AND huy fong sriracha. You, too?!)

Cattle Barons Ball is generously sponsored by: A.T.A.P Companies, Coca-Cola, Bags, Bright House Networks Business Solutions, Rosen Hotels & Resorts, Tavistock Foundation to name just a few. My mother is a breast cancer survivor, so this event is near and dear to my heart.

 

 

 

2) The Taste at I-Drive 360 (May 1)

Formerly held at Pointe Orlando, The Taste at I-Drive 360 has moved to usher in a round of new flavors and fun. This brand-new location will offer lots of new food choices to enjoy. Stroll around Orlando’s newest observation tower and neighboring attractions while nibbling on treats from: Sugar Factory, Tin Roof, Cowgirls, Shake Shack, Naru Sushi Bar, Paramount Fine Foods, Outback Steakhouse, Buffalo Wild Wings and Tapa Toro.

Taste at I-Drive 360
Since this is the inaugural event at this location, my recommendation is based on visiting just about every location in the line-up with special favorites the Mediterranean food from Paramount, Sweets, Treats and Eats from Sugar Factory, and Shake Shack’s burgers and (YUM) their cheese fries. While I’m not sure what they’re offering for The Taste at I-Drive, I’m confident that they, and all the participating restaurants, will do themselves proud.

Taste at I-Drive 360 benefits the Esophageal Cancer Program at Florida Hospital Cancer Institute. There are close to 17,000 diagnosis of Esophageal Cancer projected in 2016. If you have frequent reflux, talk to your doctor. Prevention is the key and there ARE steps you can take to prevent this disease. To learn more, visit www.floridahospital.com/esophageal-cancer.  Purchase advance tickets for $35 at www.TasteatIDrive360.com, $40 at the door day-of or Email Ayslinn.Husebo@FLHosp.org for ticket packages and sponsorships.

Insider tip: If you haven’t visited the attractions at I-Drive 360, this will be the perfect opportunity. Ticket holders for The Tast at I-Drive 360 can enjoy 25% off the attractions there all day!

 

3) Taste of the Nation (August 27 at Orlando World Center Marriott )

As a Social Media Ambassador to this incredible foodie fete, I can say wholeheartedly that visitors will enjoy tasting their way around exciting offerings from SO many restaurants, including ones from top resorts and travel destinations. From selections by Universal Orlando Resorts and Fulton’s Crab House at Disney Springs, to MOOR at Gaylord Palms Resort and Resort and Highball and Harvest at Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, the “tastes” are varied.

#OrlTaste #NoKidHungryDon’t forget: Wear comfortable shoes and pace yourself! You’ll need a plan of attack as there are “that” many places to try, not just food either. Beverage suppliers like Cooper’s Hawk Winery, Winter Park Distilling Company, Funky Buddha, and Quantum Leap ensure no one leaves (shall we say…) thirsty.

I was a hungry child in Orlando, so knowing this event supports Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is another fine reason I support . Additional beneficiaries include the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Florida Impact. Talk about a Win/Win situation.

4) Gourmet Soiree (June 5 at Rosen Shingle Creek)

Even if I wasn’t intimately involved with this event, I’d still declare it to be one of the most fun food events I’ve ever been to. It’s the “anti-gala” in that you don’t have to get “fancified” to attend. Chefs from the best restaurants in town cook right at your table, and guests become “sous chefs” for the night preparing meals with Whole Foods hosted by Food Network celebrity and chef Robert Irvine, Gourmet Soiree is a high-energy night of fun and food held at the beautiful Rosen Shingle Creek.

Chef Robert Irvine hosts Gourmet Soiree and it's all for the kids!

Chef Robert Irvine hosts Gourmet Soiree and it’s all for the kids!

Kids as well as adults are welcome to attend this fundraiser for Mission: Fit Possible and other programs for Florida Hospital Foundation. Last year my (then) 8-year-old and his pal Lucy enjoyed “hunting” down our table’s requested ingredients and preparing them. We all had a blast talking, sharing, laughing and eating. If you’re not into formal galas, this is the one for you. And if you DO want to get all formal for it, well no one would judge. It’s quite relaxed with the goal of having fun and raising funds for community outreach programs and health initiatives.

Favorite chefs of mine participating include Emily Ellyn, the Retro Rad diva and winner of Cutthroat Kitchen, Kevin Fonzo of K Restaurant and new this year Val Domingo of NOVA Scratch Kitchen. Sure to bring his A game, too, is Tello Luna, head chef for Rosen Hotel’s Centre (who’s a two-time winner at this event!).

5) United Way’s Chef’s Gala (May 21 at Walt Disney World Resort)

A chocolate garden, courtesy The Ganachery

A chocolate garden, courtesy The Ganachery

Though I haven’t attended this event previously, I was invited to a sneak peek preview tasting. Speaking of “peek,” Chef Vegel of JW Marriott’s Primo served up Peeky Toe Crab Salad, and Waldorf Astoria’s Bull & Bear offered a Syrah Wine Braised Beef Short Rib (my favorite item of the day. Talk about tender and rich!). Thank you Chef Lebas!

The theme for the event is “You’ve Got To Try This,” and if the preview is any indication, you’ll be uttering those very words over and over May 21! Don’t say I didn’t warn you when you dive in to the exquisite savory selections AND when you get dessert from the likes of The Ganachery who served us a chocolate garden plated with cocoa almonds, salted caramel macaroon, raspberry ganache square, pistachio ganache square, Kalamansi curd and white chocolate krispies. I’m drooling here just TYPING this!

ChefsGalaSocialContest

Want to win tickets to Chef’s Gala? They’re holding a Social Media Contest. Followers and fans can win two tickets (a $300 value).

To enter: Create a 60-second video on why you support United Way and post it using the hashtag #ChefsGala2016 and tag Heart of Florida United Way on Facebook and @HFUW on Twitter. Post by April 29th for a chance to win. Winner will be announced May 13. (Good luck!)

United Way’s largest fundraiser, Chef’s Gala, supports programs that help thousands of Central Floridians in the areas of education, income, health and basic needs.

The bottom line is: If  you don’t have the ability to visit the top 50 restaurants in person over the next couple of months, these galas bring their tastes to you. Buy a ticket, enjoy some of the best food and drink Central Florida has to offer, and feel good that you’re changing lives while expanding your culinary repertoire.

#PushupChallenge for #MissionUnited and Heart of Florida United Way

As Kelly mentioned yesterday, we love our Veterans – local vets, United States Vets, all Vets. So when Heart of Florida United Way challenged me to the Mission United Push-up Challenge, I had to accept.

Giving $20 is the easy part for most people, and anyone who’s able could (and SHOULD!) do that, no problem. The other part of the #20or20 challenge was a little bit more challenging. Twenty push-ups. Non stop, no breaks. Probably not as painful as it sounds.

I can’t tell you the last time I did a pushup, let alone twenty in a row. (Sad, I know.) If my laughable efforts in doing twenty pushups can raise awareness or even $20 to help make a Vet’s life a little easier, then it’s the least I can do for them. THIS was the challenge for me, or so I thought. Our veterans (and their families) voluntarily give up so much for our freedom and are not given due credit – or a break – when they return home. This definitely needs to change and NOW.

I’m totally out of shape but still, arguably, strong and… youngish. To hold myself accountable I decided to take the Push-up Challenge even further and tripled the challenge;

  1. Do said push-up challenge in the middle of your driveway where all of your neighbors – who are mostly gone at this time of the afternoon – are ALL conveniently home and ALL outside. With their kids. And their dogs.
  2. Dedicate each push-up to Veteran. Twenty Push-ups, Twenty Veterans.

Number Two was more of a challenge than I thought initially. I mean, I know a bunch of Veterans including two of our Central Florida Top 5 writers and contributors, Nando Torres and Gerald Clark, but for some reason I blanked after nine?

So I posted on Facebook, asking my military friends (female, male and canine) for their branch of service and rank but didn’t tell them what I was doing, other than they’d get a laugh in the end. Not with me but at me – and I’m totally fine with this!

Heart of Florida United Way is hoping Mission United will be a sort of hub for veterans and their families to dial and locate services. A simple call to 2-1-1 “serves as a central contact for veterans to access community support, ensuring that service members and their families are never more than two steps from the help they need,” says the website.

Also, according to local stats on the Mission United site, 118,000 veterans call Central Florida home, where a staggering third of the homeless population in Florida is made up of homeless male veterans. The State of Florida also has the third largest population of veterans, after California and Texas.

Listed below, in no particular order, are twenty Veterans I dedicated my (pathetic yet slightly comical) push-ups to in the video above;

  1. (My Grandfather) Private First Class Walter Steib, United States Army, World War II (even though I said WWI)
  2. (My Uncle) David Steib, United States Air Force
  3. (My Great Uncle) Private First Class Clay Cain, United States Marine Corps
  4. Captain Sara Kirstein, United States Marine Corps
  5. (CFLT5!) Staff Sergeant Fernando Torres, United States Air Force
  6. EM2 David Kuskie, United States Navy
  7. First Lieutenant Paul Reickhoff, United States Army and US Army Reserves
  8. E4 Louis James Sellitto, United States Navy
  9. Staff Sergeant and Cancer Survivor Shirley Desiree Rincon, United States Army
  10. Specialist 4 and Cancer Warrior Larry Klein, United States Army, Vietnam
  11. Sergeant Tom Santiago, United States Army, Desert Storm Vet @OrangeBuickGMC
  12. MM2 Jamie Nestrick, United States Navy
  13. ET1 DJ Nestrick, United States Navy
  14. Master Sergeant Don Eggert, United States Army
  15. E5 Sergeant 82nd Airborne and Cancer Survivor Roland Seidel, United States Army
  16. Robert Spar, United States Navy Medical Core
  17. United States Navy Captain and International Space Station Commander Scott Kelly
  18. (CFLT5!) Specialist Gerald Clark, United States Army Reserve
  19. Lieutenant Colonel Donald Briere, 82nd Airborne, 5th Special Forces Group & Founding Member of Delta Force
  20. Sergeant First Class Robert E Dolim, United States Army and United States Air Force

If I can do twenty push-ups, you certainly can! Do a quick video, share it on social media and challenge others using the hashtags; #MissionUnited #PushupChallenge #20or20. Make sure to tag @HFUW too on Twitter!

Not into sweat, potential public embarrassment or physical exertion? Donate $20 to Mission United here.

Get Cheesy at O-Town MacDown this Saturday!

Things are getting severe up in here… for Give Kids the World!

I love macaroni and cheese. I know YOU love macaroni and cheese.

Imagine a place where you, your friends and fellow connoisseurs can sample the cheesy goodness from over 30 chefs from places like Hard Rock Cafe Orlando, 4Rivers Smokehouse and Four Seasons Resort Orlando. They all will compete and make you all the mac and cheese you can eat, then make it for you again as often as you like… until 4pm.

This, my friends, is the O-Town MacDown Presented by Tom and Chee, (benefitting the magical Give Kids the World Village in Kissimmee), and you NEED to be there this Saturday, September 12th!

What’s going down this year aside from the MacDown itself? A Fun Zone for the kids, live entertainment from start to finish, Celebrity Chef Cooking Demonstrations and more than 30 vendor booths such as; Medieval Times, Trader Joe’s, Orlando City Soccer and of course Tom+Chee!

Visit gktw.org

O-Town MacDown 2015 at Osceola Heritage Park

Need deets? We’ve got ’em! (For up to the minute updates, visit the Facebook Event Page!)

WHERE/WHEN:

Osceola Heritage Park, 11am – 4pm (new venue)

1875 Silver Spur Lane

Kissimmee, Florida 34744

COST/PARKING: 

$10 advance tickets/$15 at the door (Adults)

$5 in advance tickets/$10 at the door  (Children; little ones under 3 are free)

Click HERE for online ticketing!

Parking is FREE

 

26th Annual Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry sears off tonight!

Central Florida Top 5 Instagram fans, prepare yourselves. No, seriously. You may want to sit down for this.

As you’ve seen, we’ve been quite food heavy recently with the photos, tempting you with tasty goodies from our neighbors. Tonight will be no exception.

An event SO massive, it will be a food coma for your eyeballs (while helping a great cause)!

And if you saw how much fun we had supporting last year’s Taste of the Nation, this year is sure to be even more special!

#OrlTaste #NoKidHungry

Central Florida’s foremost culinary experts will be on deck at Orlando World Center Marriott cooking up their support for No Kid Hungry, a Share Our Strength campaign to end childhood hunger in America.

With a 26 year legacy of combating childhood hunger locally and across the nation, Orlando’s Taste of the Nation has raised millions in critical funds to support children’s nutrition programs provided by local beneficiaries Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, regional beneficiary Florida Impact, and national beneficiary Share Our Strength.

Taste of the Nation 2015

Of the 44 restaurants participating this year, twelve are brand new to the event including; Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, Black Fire Bull, MOOR and Old Hickory Steakhouse at Gaylord Palms Resort, Highball and Harvest at Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes, Itta Bena and Lafayette’s Music Room at Pointe Orlando, Tapa Toro Tapas Bar at I-Drive 360, TR Fire Grill, The Whiskey, Urban Tide Hyatt Regency, and Yak & Yeti at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

On related article about animals, pest control services Carlisle provide expert pest and rodent control on your home. Visit their latest update at www.millerthekiller.com

In preparation for Taste of the Nation 2015, several Central Florida hot spots have stepped up to help our friends and neighbors;

  • World of Beer Dr. Phillips and Downtown Orlando have both been donating a dollar from each pint sold, and will directly benefit our friends at Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida!
  • Eola Wine Company also jumped into help with their Wednesday weekly wine tastings with a $15 donation at the door, also benefitting the Coalition and Second Harvest.
  • In case you can’t make it out to the event, through tonight, Ancient Olive in Winter Park is donating one dollar from each bottle of their ultra-premium extra virgin olive oils, aged balsamic vinegars, and flavor-infused olive oils sold between July 7 and August 8.
  • In July, Hawkers Asian Street Fare in Orlando and Jacksonville started the Roti for a Cause campaign. Guests enjoyed a free round of Hawkers’ signature Malaysian-style flatbread Roti Canai for donating a minimum of $2 on behalf of Share Our Strength’s childhood hunger relief programs which helps people in need locally and across the country. Generous eaters were also entered into a drawing to win tickets to Taste of the Nation, so if you see the winners tonight be sure to thank them and Hawkers for helping our community!

Also new to this year’s event is The Giving Tree, a towering tree that will give participants an opportunity to win a taste of Orlando’s most popular restaurants. For a $50 donation, participants are invited to choose a hanging envelope from the tree; each hanging envelope contains a restaurant gift card ranging from $50 to $200 in value. Not a bad deal!

Make sure to follow along with us on Instagram and Twitter as our Central Florida food femme, Kari, experiences the appetizers, entrees, desserts, spirits, Wine Cellar game and fully automated mobile silent auction featuring signed memorabilia, stays at upscale hotels, dining experiences, rounds of golf on area courses, and exotic adventures and getaways at Taste of the Nation for the first time!

Complete list of restaurants participating: 

1. 4Rivers Smokehouse and The Coop

2. A Land Remembered at Rosen Shingle Creek

3. Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort

4. B Resort and Spa and American Q

5. B.B. King’s Blues Club

6. Black Fire Bull

7. Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine

8. Cafe Tu Tu Tango

9. Cala Bella Restaurant at Rosen Shingle Creek

10. Capa at Four Seasons Resort Orlando

11. The Capital Grille Orlando & Millenia

12. Cress Restaurant

13. Cuba Libre

14. Dragonfly Robata Sushi & Grill

15. Emeril’s Tchoup Chop

16. Empress Sissi Cake & Pastry Specialties

17. Fresh Point

18. Fulton’s Crab House, Downtown Disney

19. Highball and Harvest at Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes

20. Itta Bena

21. JJ’s Grille

22. JW Marriott

23. K Restaurant and Wine Bar

24. Lafayette’s Music Room

25. Marlow’s Tavern

26. MOOR at Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center

27. Old Hickory Steakhouse at Gaylord Palms Resort

28. Opa Orlando

29. Orlando Airport Marriott Lakeside

30. Orlando World Center Marriott

31. Red Wing Restaurant

32. Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld

33. Seasons 52 Fresh Grill

34. SeaWorld Orlando

35. Second Harvest Food Bank -Culinary Training Program

36. Soco Thornton Park

37. Symphony Pastries

38. Tapa Toro Tapas Bar

39. Three2OH Ice Cream

40.TR Fire Grill

41. Universal Orlando Resort

42. Urban Tide Hyatt Regency

43. The Whiskey

44. Yak & Yeti Restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

 

Orlando’s Taste of the Nation is presented nationally by Citi and Sysco and sponsored nationally by media sponsor Food Network, and in select markets by Emmi Roth USA, OpenTable, and Kikkoman Sales USA, Inc. Special thanks to local sponsors AmeriFactors, Regions Bank, Darden Restaurants, Quality One Wireless, Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, and Heron Lawn and Pest Control, as well as Orkin in Atlanta, GA.

ABOUT ORLANDO’S TASTE OF THE NATION® FOR NO KID HUNGRY

Orlando’s Taste of the Nation® for No Kid Hungry brings together the area’s top chefs who donate their time, talent and passion to end childhood hunger in Central Florida. Along with culinary delights, guests have the opportunity to sample select wines, cocktails and premium beers and enjoy silent and live auctions and entertainment. Every dollar raised fights hunger and homelessness in the Central Florida. Local beneficiaries include Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.
ABOUT SHARE OUR STRENGTH

Share Our Strength®, a national nonprofit, is ending childhood hunger in America by connecting children with the nutritious food they need to lead healthy, active lives. Through its No Kid Hungry® campaign—a national effort to end childhood hunger in America—Share Our Strength ensures children in need are enrolled in effective federal nutrition programs; invests in community organizations fighting hunger; teaches families how to cook healthy, affordable meals; and builds public-private partnerships to end childhood hunger, at the state and city level. Working closely with the culinary industry and relying on the strength of its volunteers, Share Our Strength hosts innovative culinary fundraising events and develops pioneering cause online marketing campaigns from Nelson Marketing that support No Kid Hungry.

Cheesy Kids at Orlando Science Center Tout MacDown

O-Town MacDown, the family-friendly cooking competition with entertainment, kids zone, crafts, and more will be held Saturday, August 23, 2014 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. Benefiting Give Kids The World Village,  O-Town MacDown presented by MacDown CollageSeaWorld will pit professional chefs, restaurant chefs, and home cooks in a competition to see who has the best mac-n-cheese in Central Florida. (Read more about it here.)

To help spread the word, the Orlando Science Center invited science campers to make “extreme macaroni-and-cheese” on August 1. These physics-minded kids catapulted blocks of cheese into vats of noodles for high-flying, cheese-hurling fun!

What do catapults and mac and cheese have in common? Well… not a whole lot, but on this one day they were combined when cheese blocks were sent flying, in addition to some Angry Birds!

Pre-event tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids, but you can win a pair right here! Click on this Rafflecopter Link, and follow instructions. Some luck winner and their “Plus One” will get their fill of macaroni and cheese on us.

Contest ends 08/18/2014 at 12:00 a.m.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Full details: http://centralfloridatop5.com/2014/08/09/o-town-macdown-mac-and-cheese-competition-to-benefit-give-kids-the-world/

Heart of Florida United Way Raises $18.3 Million in Annual Campaign

Local Business Leaders Recognized for Contributions; Lockheed Martin, Publix and Walt Disney World Honored as Million-Dollar Medalists

Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW) recently concluded its 2013-2014 campaign at the LIVE UNITED Celebration – raising $18,319,177 since September 2013. Hundreds of workplace giving campaign participants attended the Olympic-themed culmination event held at the Orlando Museum of Art. Chaired by Tom Sittema, chief executive officer of CNL Financial Group, the campaign surpassed its goal and garnered a 4.3 percent increase in individual donations over last year.

Leading workplace giving were Walt Disney World, Publix and Lockheed Martin, which were all honored as “Million-Dollar Medalists.” Walt Disney World raised $3.6 million among its cast members and corporate resources. Publix ranked second, tallying $3.1 million from its associates. Defense contractor Lockheed Martin rallied more than 2,500 of its local employees to generate $1 million in donations to rank third among leading donor organizations. UnitedWayHeartofFlorida

“The results of this year’s campaign show the commitment and generosity of businesses, government entities and individuals throughout Central Florida,” said Sittema. “The funds raised over the past several months will allow United Way to continue investing in programs aimed at prevention and address the problems that affect our community.”

More than 400 Central Florida companies and organizations ran workplace campaigns and organized fundraising events to benefit local non-profit programs supported by United Way that provide food, shelter and other services to Central Floridians in dire need. Other recognitions included:

“Chairman’s Award” was given to Publix Super Markets, Inc., recognizing it as the “M.V.P.” of the campaign for using best practices to achieve incredible results.

“Phenomenal Executive Champion” was awarded to Malcolm Barnes with Duke Energy for exemplifying the LIVE UNITED philosophy of teamwork.

“Spirit Award” was presented to PCL Construction Services, Inc. for invoking the spirit of community through giving.

“Exceptional Employee Campaign Manager” was earned by Jill McMillan with Florida Hospital, recognizing her for going the extra mile and leading by example.

(Still time to get Tickets to Heart of Florida United Way 22nd Annual Chef’s Gala)

Top campaign partners included Darden Restaurants Inc., SunTrust Bank of Central Florida, Florida Hospital, Orange County Government, the City of Orlando, UPS, Tupperware Brands, and AT&T.

Major Partners, each raising more than $100,000, included Wells Fargo, CNL Financial Group, Inc., SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Enterprise Holdings, Inc., Bank of America, OUC – The Reliable One, Fifth Third Bank, FedEx, Siemens Energy, Inc., Duke Energy, University of Central Florida, CenturyLink, Target, Orlando Health and Lowndes, Dorsdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A.

“Thanks to the hard work and outstanding leadership from everyone involved, including Tom Sittema, his cabinet, and the campaign managers, our community will directly benefit from the millions of dollars raised this year,” said Robert H. (Bob) Brown, president and CEO of HFUW. “As we celebrate the outcome of our efforts, let us not forget the tens of thousands of homeless children, hungry senior citizens, students in need of opportunities, and families struggling to make ends meet. This is all for them.”

 

Heart of Florida United Way 22nd Annual Chef’s Gala (Media Preview)

 

 

Black and White Party For Charity!

Dress up in Black and White! Support BASE Camp Children’s Cancer Foundation

“I’m in. Cause May 17 is a leave your kids at home, forget about your exes, live life to the fullest and don’t worry about all your problems kind of party.” via Heissam via instagram! (http://instagram.com/p/Ysiuk6scPx/)

Buy tickets, it’s for Charity! Then share this with a friend and tell them to try should try their luck!

Giveaway below! Buy tickets HERE!

Heissam I’m in. Jebailey and Press On Events Presents the LARGEST and LONGEST Running BLACK AND WHITE PARTY FOR CHARITY in the UNITED STATES which will take place on Friday, May 17.

The Black and White Party itself is from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday night. However, anyone is welcome to start at noon by the pool and last until Saturday, May 18 at 6 p.m. by the pool.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Facebook Invite: https://www.facebook.com/events/305993962852657/

FULL Details @ bw4-CF5.eventbrite.com

Save the Date: June 13 is http://Cflg10.eventbrite.com