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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
social entrepreneurship, impact investing, philanthropy
and corporate social responsibility.

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: February 2016

Friends of Hudson River Park Announce Capital Campaign To Raise Funds For The Redesign of The Chelsea Waterside Play Area During The Playground Committee’s Inaugural Luncheon

NYC Council Member Corey Johnson Allocates Funding For The Estimated $1.5 Million Renovation Project From The City To Transform The Play Area; Philip & Janice Levin Foundation To Match All Remaining Donations Up To $150,000 Until March 31

February 1, 2016 (New York, NY) – The Friends of Hudson River Park Playground Committee, a first-of-its-kind group of parents working to promote and support Hudson River Park’s offerings for children, announced Friends of Hudson River Park’s capital campaign to raise crucial funds to redesign and renovate Hudson River Park’s Chelsea Waterside Play Area during its sold-out inaugural Luncheon event, which raised $167,846 for Hudson River Park, on Friday, January 29. The Park’s Chelsea Waterside Play Area is an integral recreational staple in Hudson River Park that requires renovation due to regular wear and tear from enthusiastic and rigorous play. NYC Council Member Corey Johnson has allocated $820,000 of the $1.5 million goal from the City for the project, while the Philip & Janice Levin Foundation has generously agreed to match all remaining donations up to $150,000 until March 31, 2016 for Chelsea’s beloved play area.

Hudson River Park has benefited from its supportive elected officials, some who were in attendance such as Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, State Senator Brad Hoylman and Councilmember Corey Johnson. Assemblyman Richard Gottfried has pledged $500,000 towards potential bathroom facilities for the Chelsea Waterside Play Area.

Neighborhood parents and tastemakers convened at the Luncheon to advocate and fundraise for the continued safety and beauty of the Park’s amenities for families and children. Council Member Johnson spoke about the importance of Hudson River Park and the need to perpetually evaluate and enhance the city’s playgrounds.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to invest and improve this vital community resource,” said Mr. Johnson. “The Chelsea Waterside Play Area is a remarkable gathering spot for our neighborhood families. I look forward to working with the community and Friends of Hudson River Park to make it even better. I can’t wait to see the faces of children as they play on the most updated playground equipment and enjoy their new surroundings.”

Designed to raise awareness and advocate for Friends of Hudson River Park, The Playground Committee provides a new way for families with young children to become involved with Hudson River Park. Friends of Hudson River Park is committed to fostering community participation in the redesign of the Chelsea Waterside Play Area, most recently hosting a design charrette intended to guide the vision of Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects.

“The outpouring of support for the Chelsea Waterside Play Area and The Playground Committee has been extraordinary,” said Catherine Juracich, President of the Friends of Hudson River Park Playground Committee. “We all feel strongly about preserving and beautifying Hudson River Park for downtown families and all New Yorkers to enjoy.”

“The momentum and passion for the redesign of Chelsea Waterside Play Area is outstanding and we’re pleased with the community’s involvement and collaboration to help us create what is sure to be an invaluable asset,” said Gregory Boroff, Executive Director of Friends of Hudson River Park. “I am sincerely grateful to NYC Council Member Corey Johnson, the Philip & Janice Levin Foundation and all donors who help fundraise for Hudson River Park, which receives no government funds for its operations, maintenance and programming.”

For more information on the Chelsea Waterside Play Area Capital Campaign, and to make your gift, please contact ChelseaWaterside@fohrp.org or visit hudsonriverpark.org/ChelseaWaterside.

Sotheby’s International Realty sponsored a silent auction during the Luncheon that raised $50,000 for the Park. The auction’s best-selling items included a Pier 62 Carousel Creation, a private cooking lesson with Chef Scott Conant and a private dinner event at The Little Owl. During the auction, esteemed comedian Karen Bergreen, who has appeared on Comedy Central’s Premium Blend, New Joke City and Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, entertained the crowd.

Playground Sponsors include: Playgarden and CBRE. GOTHAM Magazine is the exclusive media sponsor.

Jenna Lyons is on the Playground Committee’s Honorary Host Committee. Host Committee Members include: Jasmine Barr, Jill Bouquard, Kristin Cederholm, Coral Dawson, Claudine De Niro, Kerianne Flynn, Tracy Goodwin, Emily Lange Heitner, Catherine Juracich, Julie Hackler King, Ashley Kirkham, Robin Lockwood, Sara Maggio, Alison Marsh, Elizabeth McNellis, Madelyn Mejia, Lauren Silverstein Netter, Jessica Ogilvie, Marlaine Olinick, Allison O’Neill, Kim Pillemer, Alison Porterfield, Faith Rosen, Joy Semple Sanchez-Mejorada, Blair Scheuer, Morgan Shara, Megan Sheetz, Randi Sidikaro, Erin Silvers, Paul Sohn, Robin Stein, Katie Van Pelt Stein, Jenny Vorhoff, Christine Walsdorf, Greg Wasserman and Melissa Wasserman.

About Hudson River Park

Hudson River Park, which extends from Chambers Street to 59th Street along Manhattan’s west side, is the longest riverfront park in the United States. This free, urban recreational oasis is home to award-winning skate parks, playgrounds, sports fields, gardens and nature exhibits, boating and maritime activities, art installations, and myriad year-round events that celebrate the diverse cultures and neighborhoods along its shores. The Park plays a critical role in protecting the Hudson River ecosystem, and though it receives no public operating funds from city, state or federal government, its development has transformed four miles of decaying piers and parking lots into a premier New York City destination for local residents and visitors alike. The non-profit, Friends of Hudson River Park helps to ensure ongoing sustainability by serving as the Park’s primary source of fundraising, advocacy and support, working in concert with the Hudson River Park Trust, the city-state entity that oversees the design, construction and operation of the Park. For more information, please visit www.hudsonriverpark.org. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @HudsonRiverPark, and LIKE us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/HudsonRiverPark.

New York City Lunar New Year 2016 “Year Of The Monkey Celebration” To Be Held At Iconic Venues With Broad Partnership Across The City February 6-10

“Fantastic Art China: International Creative Festival” Exhibit, Programs and Live Performances at Javits Center Along With a Special NYC Lunar New Year Students Day on Feb. 8 at Javits Marking First Time New York City Public Schools Close for the Lunar New Year Holiday for 1.1 Million Students

Additional Highlights include an Empire State Building Light Show, a Fireworks Spectacular and a Community Event at Lincoln Center preceding the New York Philharmonic’s 5th Annual Chinese New Year Concert and Gala

New York, NYThe New York City Lunar New Year 2016 “Year of the Monkey Celebration,” a five-day-long festival marking the lunar new year holiday, will be held Feb. 6-10 at iconic locations across the city and headlined by the Fantastic Art China: International Creative Festival exhibition at Javits Center North (11 Avenue between 39th and 40th Streets). The festival programs, events and activities – all free and open to the public – will not only highlight Chinese arts and culture but also environmental conservation for monkeys in China. Partner organizations include the US-China Cultural Institute, Committee of 100, New York Philharmonic, National Dance Institute, The Nature Conservancy, Columbia University Teachers College, New York School of Interior Design, Museum of Chinese in America, and the China Institute.

Fantastic Art China: International Creative Festival, a 72-000 square foot exhibit presented by the China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) – China’s largest and most prestigious art academy which has been the source of many of today’s respected Chinese artists – is showcasing rising young artists, tomorrow’s contemporary Chinese artists, as well as established artists. The exhibit, which will be open daily Feb. 6-10, will consist of the following highlights:

  • A Public Art Exhibition including projects by contemporary artists Pan Gongkai, Su Xinping, Jiang Jie and Duan Haikang
  • A Pavilion of Contemporary Arts including paintings, sculptures, installations, videos, interactive digital media, and photography, as well as “View,” a re-examination of Chinese traditional ink painting and its presentation
  • A Cross-Cultural Exhibition featuring the works of teachers, students, graduates from major art academies in Beijing and New York
  • A Hall of Creativity and Design dedicated to original Chinese design products
  • A Thematic City Exhibition featuring Changsha, Hunan Province’s capital, that focuses on urban development and art in a modern Chinese city

On February 8th, there will be a special NYC Lunar New Year Students Day at Javits Center North to celebrate the city’s historic designation of the Lunar New Year as a school holiday in 2016 for 1.1 million public school students, becoming the largest school district in the country to close on the holiday. Activities include an opening ceremony, live acts and mass dance lessons featuring monkey dances taught by National Dance Institute, as well as a special presentation by The Nature Conservancy on the endangered golden monkey and conservation.

Additional events in support of the New York City Lunar New Year 2016 “Year of the Monkey Celebration” include a Fireworks Spectacular over the Hudson River (Feb. 6), an Empire State Building light show (Feb. 6 and 8), lion and monkey dances at Lincoln Center Josie Robertson Plaza (Feb. 9), an art display on David Geffen Hall and New York Philharmonic’s 5th Annual Chinese New Year Concert and Gala at David Geffen Hall (Feb. 9).

“We are delighted to partner with so many important New York cultural institutions to celebrate the Lunar New Year 2016 and the year of the monkey. We hope the events of this five-day festival will provide a view of the future direction of modern Chinese arts, culture, and conservation,” said Yu Ding, Director of China’s Central Academy of Fine Arts and President of Fantastic Art China: International Creative Festival.

“The new school holiday for students is a great expression of New York’s embrace of its cultural diversity. We hope the events and programs of this festival will help young New Yorkers enrich their understanding of China today, its arts and conservation efforts,” said Shirley Young, Chair of US-China Cultural Institute, and US Co-Chair of Fantastic Art China: International Creative Festival.

Following is the complete schedule of free events for the New York City Lunar New Year 2016 “Year of the Monkey Celebration” (Feb. 6-10):

Fantastic Art China: International Creative Festival
Saturday, Feb. 6 to Wednesday, Feb. 10 from 10 am to 6 pm each day
A 72,000 square foot exhibit at Javits Center North featuring contemporary and updated traditional art, US-China art school exhibits and live performances open to the public. The February 6th opening events will include a concert by iSING! led by Haojiang Tian, Chinese dances by National Dance Institute public school students, a special presentation by The Nature Conservancy about the golden monkey and conservation, and special tours of the art exhibition.

Fireworks Spectacular on the Hudson River
Saturday, Feb. 6 at 8:30 pm
A large scale Fireworks by Grucci show at Pier 84 with simulcast of accompanying music by Oscar and Grammy Award winner Tan Dun

Empire State Building Light Show
Saturday, Feb. 6 and Monday, Feb. 8 evenings
A 3-minute light show on the Empire State Building

Columbia University Teachers College
Sunday, Feb. 7
Arts Education Symposium (by invitation)

NYC Lunar New Year Students Day at Javits Center North
Celebrating the inaugural NYC Lunar New Year Public School holiday
Monday, Feb. 8 9:30 am to 6:00 pm
The daylong festival, free to the public, will include an opening ceremony, live acts, and performances and mass dance lessons for student attendees featuring monkey dances taught by National Dance Institute (NDI). Also featured will be a special presentation by The Nature Conservancy on the endangered golden monkey and conservation. Special tours of the art exhibition will also be available.

Community Event at Lincoln Center Josie Robertson Plaza
Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 4:30 pm
Monkey dances by National Dance Institute Celebration Team and Traditional Lion Dance by the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company against the backdrop of David Geffen Hall decorated with Chinese artwork by Duan Haikang.

New York Philharmonic Chinese New Year Concert (ticketed)
Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 7:30 pm
5th Annual Chinese Lunar New Year Concert featuring the New York premiere of “Nu Shu – The Secret Songs of Women symphony for 13 micro films, harp and orchestra” by Oscar and Grammy award-winning composer Tan Dun. Student discounts are available for $16.50.

Other partner events include:

China Institute’s “Chinese New Year Family Celebration: The Year of the Monkey”
Saturday, February 13th from 11 am to 3 pm

Museum of Chinese in America’s “Lunar New Year Family Festival”
Saturday, February 20th from 11 am to 4 pm

For more information, please visit www.nyclunarnewyear.org or follow www.facebook.com/nyclunarnewyear

Clickstop Cares Celebrates First Year of Helping Those in Need

Urbana-based charity making a difference in the lives of others in Benton county and surrounding communities.

URBANA, IA (PRWEB) FEBRUARY 01, 2016: In just one year, Clickstop Cares has made an undeniable impression on many in the area- more than 500 people to be exact. What began in January 2015 as a dream of helping families and individuals who had fallen on hard times, has quickly turned into an organization that does just that- and more.

The first goal for Clickstop employees was collecting, sorting, and tagging donated clothing and housewares to fill the company’s old office building on Bing Miller Lane in Urbana. From the first donation drive in February through the end of the year, nearly $10,000 in inventory has been stocked and ready for those visiting “the “Closet” as it’s been nicknamed by employees.

Clickstop Cares Director Loraine Kelty says that while the donations are what got Cares started, the group often purchases items that are requested but not available at the Cares Closet. Monetary donations from employees and others in the community are what make these possible.

“We’ve purchased kid’s snow boots if they are needed in a particular size; a car seat for a young family with a new baby on the way; a bed for a young man aging out of the foster system and moving out on his own; those are just a few examples. If possible, we try our best to find what they need,” said Kelty.

The process to receive help is simple. Those in need can message Clickstop Cares via their https://www.facebook.com/clickstopcares/ or email. An application is required and the individual will work directly with someone from the organization to determine whether or not they qualify for assistance.

Kelty says the majority of calls for assistance come via local social service organizations and schools.

“We’ve been so fortunate to develop a great relationship with social service workers in the area and in our local school districts; they will contact us if they are working with someone in need, or if they know of a family who could benefit from our help.”

That work with the local schools also presented a unique opportunity for Clickstop Cares to assist with helping over 150 children in the Vinton Shellsburg school district with school supplies, clothing, and shoes last fall.

Additionally, the group reaches out to local coaches and teachers in the area school districts to let them know sports gear may be available at Clickstop Cares for students in need, and encourages them to donate any gently used gear so that others in the area may benefit.

So how does Clickstop Cares do it all? Kelty says it’s all thanks to its volunteers- most of whom are Clickstop employees. Family members of employees also often pitch in to help when needed, whether it’s wrapping Christmas gifts for the organization’s “adopted” families, moving furniture to help Clickstop Cares’ recipients, or organizing donations. The group also has two regular volunteers through AmeriCorps.

“The number of employees we have helping through volunteering has been absolutely astounding; we know we have good people who work at Clickstop, but launching Clickstop Cares truly could not have happened without our own people giving their time and talents,” said Kelty.

Clickstop Cares operates as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which means donations are tax-deductible. Currently, the group is focusing on increasing their stock of sports gear (baseball pants, football cleats, etc.) for local student athletes, formal wear for prom, and professional wear such as suits, dresses, etc. for those entering the workforce.

The Clickstop Cares team is also researching grants and corporate funding options, and reaching out to other local business to help fill Clickstop Cares and provide to those in need.

If you’d like to donate items, make a personal monetary donation, or on behalf of an organization, please call 1-888-794-1413 or email Cares(at)Clickstop(dot)org for more information.

About Clickstop, Inc.

Clickstop is the parent company of a suite of online retail stores based in Urbana, Iowa. Its focus on great workplace culture has landed the company multiple work environment-focused awards including two first place achievements as the Coolest Place to Work. Clickstop web properties serve diverse markets that include the moving and cargo control industry, energy efficient insulation products, and home organizing solutions. For more information visit Clickstop.com.

Philharmonia Orchestra of New York (PONY) Brings Symphonic And Visual Spectacle To Debut Concerts At Jazz At Lincoln Center, March 29 & 30, 2016

World Premiere Films Shot and Projected in 4K on Massive Screen to Accompany Mahler Resurrection Symphony and Berlioz Symphony Fantastique; State-of-the-Art Lighting from Pop Music World

Most Musicians and Singers Ever Assembled at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater Miki Requiem to Commemorate 3/11 and 9/11 Anniversaries

New York, NY, January 12, 2016 — The Philharmonia Orchestra of New York (PONY) debut season at Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall will bring unprecedented visual spectacle to two landmark symphonies of Mahler and Berliozin a pair of concerts under principal conductor Atsushi Yamada. The first on March 29 brings together the most performers ever assembled onstage at Rose Theater for Mahler’s monumental Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection” with PONY’s 80-plus musicians and a chorus of 230 Japanese and American singers. The second on March 30 features Berlioz’s tour-de-force Symphony Fantastique and a performance of Minoru Miki’s Requiem for chorus, vocal soloists and piano in commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the 3/11 east Japan disaster and fifteenth anniversary of 9/11. PONY will play each symphony accompanied by a full-length original film shot and projected in 4K, the latest in HD technology.

“We’re trying to destroy the stuffy classical concert traditions that can make this wonderful music inaccessible to new audiences,” said Atsushi Yamada, who conducted regularly at the New York City Opera during the 2000s. “We’re breaking classical music taboos and bringing innovations from the world of film and popular music to add excitement, while staying true to the integrity of the music with exceptional playing by some of the world’s finest musicians.” PONY is comprised of musicians who have played with all the major Lincoln Center ensembles, including the Met Opera Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet Orchestra and former New York City Opera Orchestra.

“Striking visuals have been part of the PONY experience from the beginning,” said David Titcomb, Co-Founder and Orchestra Manager of the Philharmonia Orchestra of New York. The orchestra has performed with video projections in concerts ranging from Madison Square Garden with Andrea Bocelli to the Lincoln Center Festival’s “Danny Elfman’s music to the films of Tim Burton.”

Spectacular Visuals for Spectacular Music

PONY has commissioned international stage director and video designer Joachim Schamberger to create full-length films to accompany the Mahler and Berlioz symphonies projected on a massive screen and projection towers. Shot with the latest in film equipment, including drone cameras, the films draw imagery from the composers’ personal lives and the stories and themes explored in their symphonies. Six robotic cameras will roam the orchestra and project live images of the musicians on the screen, drawing the audience close to their intensity and athleticism. Dynamic, state-of-the-art lighting more typically found in pop and rock arena concerts will add another visual dimension, courtesy of lighting designer Ayumu Poe Saegusa.

“We’re taking the kind of information a concert-goer would typically read in a printed program and expressing it a grand visual way on the big screen,” said Mr. Schamberger, who has designed video for over 30 original productions in the Americas, Europe and Asia using digital film, 3-D animation, and projection mapping. “My goal with the visuals is to enhance the experience and suggest a story, while leaving enough room for the audience’s own imagination to respond to the musical storytelling of the orchestra and chorus. My hope is to satisfy both musicologist and first-time concert-goer.”

Mahler’s transformative masterpiece is a journey on a grand scale. Schamberger’s film will reflect on the symphony’s theme of resurrection, taking the audience to locations of Mahler’s own life from the small hut on an alpine lake where he composed the work through breathtaking natural vistas all the way to the composer’s final resting place in Vienna. The textsung in the fourth and fifth movements is integrated in English into the film.

The film accompanying Berlioz’s symphonic hallucination has a stronger narrative thrust as it tells the story of the composer’s infatuation with famed Shakespearean actress Harriet Smithson, for whom he wrote the symphony. His bizarre love letter reflects his own attempts to seduce her, leading to his own beheading and a dance of witches. Audiences will follow Harriet in a story of obsession and unrequited love come to life onscreen.

Atsushi Yamada and Project Hand-in-Hand

Maestro Yamada is a self-taught musician who worked for IBM and SONY before pursuing his passion for music. He interned at the New York City Opera and served as assistant conductor to its music director, George Manahan, before becoming a regular conductor with the company. He has a long history of intertwining music with cultural exchange and charity work. The Mahler concert on March 29 features more than 200 chorus members, including students from Japanese high schools and The College of New Jersey. PONY invited the students to perform in the concert through Project Hand-in-Hand, which aims to support the recovery of the East Japan disaster by creating international friendships and exposing students to global views.

Philharmonia Orchestra of New York (PONY)

The Philharmonia Orchestra of New York (PONY) is an ensemble of over eighty of New York’s finest musicians. Its members have played with all the major Lincoln Center ensembles, including the Met Opera Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet Orchestra and former New York City Opera Orchestra. They are joined by recent graduates of America’s finest conservatories. The orchestra uses technological advances and a project-based business model to innovate classical music performance. The musicians first performed as PONY in Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton at the Lincoln Center Festival in July 2015. PONY musicians are proud members of Local 802, American Federation of Musicians. For more information on the Philharmonia Orchestra of New York, please visit www.nyphilharmonia.com.

TICKETS ON SALE FEBRUARY 1, 2016

Visit www.nyphilharmonia.com to purchase

$5 tickets for every seat at March 29 Mahler Resurrection “Hand-in-Hand” (inclusive of handling charges)

Tickets range from $5 to $30 for March 30 Berlioz Symphony Fantastique (not including handling)

http://www.facebook.com/philharmoniany
http://www.twitter.com/philharmoniany
http://www.instagram.com/philharmoniany

BNO.Com (Bid Network Online) Launches Its First Ever Live Streamed Charity Auction To Feature One Of A Kind Travel Escapes And Experiences Including A Week Stay On Sir Richard Branson’s Private Island, 2 Daily Passes To The 2016 Masters, And Luxury Box Tickets To The American Music Awards

BNO.com has partnered with Los Angeles based charity – Community Inspiring Today’s Youth’s (CITY) annual fundraiser – to host a first of its kind live streamed, interactive online charity auction on Monday, February 15th.

(Los Angeles, CA, February 1, 2016) – Bid Network Online (BNO.com), the world’s first interactive, real time, live streaming online auction marketplace – is partnering with City Gala 2016 to launch its first-ever live streamed charity auction. The “City Gala Fundraiser” takes place at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, immediately following The 58th Annual GRAMMYs(R) on Monday, February 15, 2016. The online auction will stream live at 2 PM PST, just hours before the event starts. Keynote speaker is entrepreneur and philanthropist Sir Richard Branson (founder, Virgin Group). Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin and American businessman and philanthropist John Paul DeJoria (co-founder, Paul Mitchell and The Patron Spirits Company) will be honored at the event. Emcee for the night is Jeff Timmons of the Grammy-nominated pop group 98 Degrees. The event is an exclusive invitation-only black tie fundraiser featuring an open bar, open buffet, honors ceremonies, live musical entertainment, a charitable poker tournament, tours of the Playboy Mansion grounds, celebrity meet and greets, a fashion show, as well as a live and silent auction.

The auction will feature over 50 lots consisting of travel escapes, exclusive experiences and autographed collectibles. Online auction bidding is open to the public starting February 1st at www.BNO.com.

Highlighted lots in the auction include:

  • Sir Richard Branson’s Private Island for a week stay
  • 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club (2 Daily Passes & 3 Nights Hotel Accommodations)
  • Country Music Awards in Nashville, TN (2 Tickets and 3 Night Hotel Accommodations)
  • American Music Awards in Los Angeles, CA (2 Luxury Box Tickets & 2 Nights Hotel Accommodations)
  • 2016 Kentucky Derby (2 Daily Millionaires Row Tickets & 3 Night Hotel Accommodations)
  • Yankees vs Red Sox at Yankee Stadium Hosted by Legendary Yankees Pitcher David Wells (2 Luxury Box Tickets & 2 Night Hotel Accommodations)
  • Saturday Night Live NYC Weekend Package (2 VIP Tickets and 4 Night Hotel Accommodations)

“We’re excited to offer unique one-of-a-kind auction items such as a week stay on Richard Branson’s Private Island and luxury vacation trips to premiere destinations all over the world including Costa Rica & Cabo San Lucas… all to support CITY’s mission.” said Saul Escudero, auction manager for City Gala.

Proceeds from the auction and City Gala 2016 will go to benefit Community Inspiring Today’s Youth’s (CITY), a non-profit organization that supports and mentors underserved teens and young adults in developing their own start-up businesses in Los Angeles. Funds raised will also support From the Heart Productions, Fire Life Foundation, The Scheer Foundation and Supporting our Servicemen (SOS).

Event sponsors include JetSmarter, Seed Invest, BELLA Magazine, OK! TV, Modern Luxury Angeleno, Hemp Blue, Hemp Inc., Imbue Model Management and AirVuz.

For more details and City Gala 2016 admission information, please visit www.CityGala.org.

About BNO

Bid Network Online (BNO.com) is a unique, new auction website where a professional auctioneer hosts a live entertaining auction streamed online in real time. It offers an exceptional user experience, combining the exciting feeling of being immersed in a live, brick and mortar auction, with a user-friendly online bidding platform, and proprietary features for pro-bidders. BNO offers auctions in a variety of different categories including: Creations (Art & Collectibles), Autobahn (Automobiles), Real Estate (Land & Properties), and Charity (Fundraiser Auctions).

About CITY, City Gala 2016 Host Foundation

Founded by Chandra Stovall in 2013, Community Inspiring Today’s Youth (CITY) is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization based in Los Angeles, California. The organization provides structured business development programs and technical support to at-risk and underserved teens and young adults throughout Los Angeles, resulting in the establishment of their own small businesses. CITY’s students launch fully functioning businesses through its 46-week micro-entrepreneurship program, illustrating how CITY students graduate as well-trained entrepreneurs with a positive mindset for business.

About From the Heart Productions, City Gala 2016 Fiscal Sponsor

From the Heart Productions, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, is the fiscal sponsor for the CITY Gala 2016. Founder and president Carole Dean created the Roy W. Dean Grant in 1992. The grant awards cash, goods, and film services to financially struggling filmmakers who need help completing unique films that make a contribution to society. Donations to From the Heart support their initiatives to assist independent filmmakers, which include not only the grant, but also their fiscal sponsorship program that allows donors to films to get tax deductions, and the Intentional Filmmaking Class which teaches filmmakers the fine art of fundraising.

700 Russian-American Jews Pack First-Ever Limmud FSU West Coast In LA

PASADENA, Calif., Jan. 31 – The first-ever Limmud FSU West Coast conference wrapped up today in Los Angeles, drawing more than 700 Russian-speaking Jews from across Greater Los Angeles and the entire country for a three-day festival of arts, spirituality, political dialogue and learning.

The three-day conference drew major figures including hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons, who joined Rabbi Marc Schneier to discuss the Jewish response to Islamophobia; Jewish Agency Chair Natan Sharansky; Emmy Award-winning actor Ed Asner; Israeli film star Tamara Klingon; LA City Councilor Zev Yaraslovsky; Russian rock star Andrey Makarevich; Russian satirist and author Victor Shenderovich; Russian-Israeli singer Irene Talia Rosenfeld;and Russian jazz musician Leonid Ptashka. Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin, also delivered remarks via video.

Other participants include Jewish Women’s Renaissance Founder Lori Palatnik; former Israel Defense Forces Maj. Gen. Uzi Dayan; Reut Institute President Gidi Grinstein; Member of Knesset Nachman Shai; Rabbi David Wolpe; Hillel International President and CEO Eric Fingerhut; Jewish Federations of North America CEO Jerry Silverman; LA Jewish Federation President and CEO Jay Sanderson; and LA Jewish Journal/TRIBE Media President David Suissa.

Photo Credits: Sergey Buzovsky.

Co-chairing Limmud FSU West Coast were Sasha Shteyn and Viktorya Kernes of Los Angeles and Leo Hmelnitsky of San Francisco. Honorary chairs include Limmud FSU Board members and philanthropists Michal Grayevsky and Diane Wohl and philanthropist Ada Horwich. Also participating are Limmud FSU Chair Matthew Bronfman and 25 young leaders from the West Coast Russian-Jewish community.

“Limmud FSU has revolutionized how we strengthen the Russian-speaking Jewish community worldwide, and Limmud FSU West Coast offers a historic opportunity to engage and inspire this emerging community for generations to come,” said Limmud FSU Founder Chaim Chesler.

“We are thrilled to be bringing the premier Limmud FSU experience to the West Coast, with its fascinating Jewish history and growing Russian-speaking population,” said Limmud FSU Co-Founder Sandra Cahn.

Limmud FSU West Coast offered an eclectic lineup, from a concert by Makarevich to spiritually stirring Shabbat (Sabbath) and Havdalah (end of Shabbat) ceremonies, to interactive improvisation comedy and film screenings. The conference featured over 100 sessions on such issues as Russian-Jewish identity, the Russian-Jewish community in LA and Jewish perspectives on relationships.

There are an estimated 80,000 Russian-speaking Jews in the greater Los Angeles area, with other large Russian-speaking Jewish communities in the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere in California. There are some 700,000 Russian-speaking Jews in the U.S. altogether.

To learn more about the conference and see the full program, please visit: http://westcoast.limmudfsuus.org.

About Limmud FSU:

Limmud FSU is a nonprofit founded 10 years ago by Chaim Chesler, former treasurer of the Jewish Agency, and Sandra Cahn, a philanthropist from New York, to serve young Russian-speaking Jews around the world. Limmud FSU brings together and empowers young Jewish adults who are revitalizing Jewish communities and culture in the countries of the former Soviet Union, as well as in countries with Russian speakers around the world. The organization operates in Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, the U.S., Canada, Australia and Israel. Some 35,000 participants have taken part in its conferences, projects and festivals. Key partners include the Claims Conference, JDC, philanthropist Matthew Bronfman, Aaron Frankel, Diane Wohl, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs, the Jewish National Fund (KKL), the Jewish Agency and others. For additional details: www.limmudfsu.org.

Breedlove Foods Inc. Launches National Campaign to Benefit Africa During Severe Food Shortage

LUBBOCK, TX (February 1, 2016) – Breedlove Foods, Inc., a Lubbock, Texas-based humanitarian relief organization, launched its national campaign “Breedlove for Africa: Spreading Hope One Meal at a Time” (#Breedlove4Africa) today with the goal of raising $75,000 in an effort to send three containers of its dehydrated food blends to countries in eastern and southern Africa. The donation is a response to the current food crisis caused by the worst drought the continent has suffered in nearly five decades.

Breedlove Foods Board Members have pledged to match money raised by giving an additional $75,000 to the campaign, bringing the total amount to $150,000. With that, Breedlove Foods will fill and ship three full containers of dehydrated food blends to countries in Africa to offer nearly three million meals to people in need.

Due to El Nino, some regions of Africa are experiencing a diverse range of unusual weather. Areas are suffering harsh drought conditions while other areas are being pummeled by periods of excessive rain—both causing catastrophic crop failure and loss of livestock. In Ethiopia, the number of children requiring emergency food aid has doubled in the past three weeks (CSIS). In the Eastern part of the continent, Malawi has 500,000 children under the age of five who are facing exceptional food shortages (Action Against Hunger USA). The remaining regions of Eastern Africa, as well as the Southern part of Africa, have figures that are just as alarming. Two million households in South Africa are facing water and food shortages caused by the worst drought since 1982 (Aljazeera).

The Breedlove food consists of a dry lentil and dehydrated, unflavored vegetable blend that is prepared as a soup. It is easy to digest, contains complex carbohydrates (essential for energy), and can be seasoned to accommodate local food culture. The blends also have a two-year shelf life, making storage easy. The preparation is simple and its versatility results in more than 300 recipes.

Africa’s need for assistance during this current food shortage is dire. Since its inception, Breedlove has served over 65 countries around the world, including disasters such as the earthquake in Nepal in 2015 where it furnished almost one million servings of food.

To make an online donation to the “Breedlove for Africa” fundraising campaign, please visit their website at: www.breedlove.org, and click on the “Donate” tab. Donations can also be mailed to the corporate office: 1818 N. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Lubbock, Texas, 79403, or by calling 806.741.0404.

ABOUT BREEDLOVE FOODS

Breedlove Foods, Inc. is a nonprofit processor of food products developed for humanitarian relief. Breedlove began operations in October 1994. Over the years, Breedlove has stayed committed to transforming lives through hope and encouragement by partnering globally to provide nutritious food to the world’s most vulnerable. Since their beginning, they have distributed more than 1.5 billion servings of food globally. Their food blends have been used in hunger relief programs in over 65 countries. For more information, visit their website www.breedlove.org.

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