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Annual Fundraiser Celebrates the Culinary Arts Through A Live Cooking Competition: Guest Blog by CultureHaus

Monday, February 21st, 2011

CultureHaus, a social and educational support group of the Denver Art Museum connecting the young at heart with art, will host its annual fundraiser, the Art of the Chef, a live cooking competition featuring select Denver chefs, on Friday, February 25, from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. at Gourmet Fine Catering (3600 E. 40th Ave., Denver CO).

“We’re excited to host this year’s Banner event, Art of the Chef, at Gourmet Fine Catering, which sets the standard for distinctive and impeccable cuisine,” remarked CultureHaus Co-Chair Jenn Penn.  “Attendees will step into a celebration of art and food that will delight every palate.”

Each year, CultureHaus holds a “Banner” event, which is the organization’s signature party and fundraiser.  The name of the Banner event each year is chosen by combining the phrase “Art of” with a noun.  Past events have included Art of Fashion, Art of Pop, and Art of Sculpture. This year’s theme will feature a live cooking competition that includes a select group of Denver’s best chefs. Each chef will prepare a signature small plate to be judged. After the signature meals have been tasted, a panel of celebrity judges will then choose the winner. The entire culinary competition happens live and unscripted, and those in attendance will have the opportunity to taste the signature dish of each chef.

Attendees will also enjoy a pyrotechnic cooking demonstration, a martini luge, a roaming guitarist, and cuisine from the following: North, Limon/Campagna,Watercourse, Udi’s Restaurant, Snooze, the Kitchen Mistress, and Gourmet Fine Catering. In addition, an open bar will be available, compliments of Beluga Vodka, Vuka, and Breckenridge Brewing Company. The judges for the chef competition include Gabby Gourmet, Denver Post’s Suzanne Brown, Denver Magazine’s Ruth Tobias, Johnson & Wales University’s Jorge De La Torre, Holly Kylberg, and Kasia Iwaniczko.

Tickets to the event are on sale now. For CultureHaus members, tickets are $50, and non-members are $65. Additional tickets for a VIP Wine and Cheese pairingare available before the doors open from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.; tickets for this are an additional $20. To purchase tickets and RSVP, visit www.denvermagazine.com/culturehaus.

About CultureHaus

CultureHaus, a social and educational support group of the Denver Art Museum, connects the young at heart with art. CultureHaus provides its members with a wide range of opportunities to learn about art and collecting. At exclusive events held nearly every month, members and guests can enjoy unique insights about art, private exhibition viewings, and the chance to meet other art enthusiasts.  Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and others formed CultureHaus in 1997 to create awareness for the Denver Art Museum and the arts amongst the 25 to 40 year-old demographic.  For more information, visit www.culturehaus.com.

One day. One million dollars. One easy way to give…And one free beer for your donation to Colorado Gives Day: Guest Blog by Cori Plotkin

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

A while back, we did a write-up on a new concept making its debut in the Colorado philanthropic circle on December 8, 2010. After a few tough years for those of us in the fundraising game, GoodSpark commended the Arvada-based Community First Foundation on its innovative idea designed to increase charitable giving in our state by raising awareness of the ease of online giving – and promoting the importance of educated giving when making a gift, no matter how large or how small.

With a goal to raise $1 million in one day for Colorado nonprofits, Colorado Gives Day has the potential to forever change the landscape of giving in our state. For a 24-hour period beginning at midnight on December 8, philanthropic individuals can support any of hundreds of nonprofit organizations featured on the online giving website GivingFirst.org. Having funneled over $3 million in online donations to deserving organizations since its inception in 2007, GivingFirst.org has become a go-to resource for donors and nonprofits alike. GivingFirst.org helps to simplify online giving options for profiled nonprofits and provides philanthropic individuals with an up-to-date source of vetted charity options serving and/or headquartered in Colorado – and an easy way to support them online.

Over the last six months, Community First Foundation and its partner FirstBank have worked hard to spread the word about the effort. They have even established a special Incentive Fund for the initiative. With a lead gift of $250,000 from FirstBank, this fund has continued to grow thanks to donations from Colorado businesses and organizations. The fund will be divided across every donation made on Colorado Gives Day via GivingFirst.org – ultimately increasing the value of every dollar donated. In addition to the Incentive Fund, FirstBank has committed $50,000 to pay all credit card and processing fees for donations made in support of Colorado Gives Day – ensuring that 100% of every donation goes directly to charity.

As we come out of the Thanksgiving holiday and  prepare ourselves for the  winter months and the inevitable Season of Giving, we at GoodSpark are excited to show our support of Colorado Gives Day along with our partner, Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery and its charitable arm, The Rock Bottom Foundation.  Rock Bottom – also a supporter of Colorado Gives Day and contributor to the Incentive Fund – has generously offered to donate 200 free beers redeemable at any Colorado Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery location to help us encourage GoodSpark friends to give on December 8.

Here’s how it works…Make a donation on December 8 at GivingFirst.org in support of your favorite charities and Colorado Gives Day. Tell us where you gave by posting a message on the GoodSpark Facebook page. The first 200 people to post on our Facebook page, will receive a direct message from GoodSpark and we will mail you a coupon good for one FREE BEER at Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery!

So Give Where You Live on December 8 and help Colorado Gives Day raise $1 million in one day for Colorado charities!

- Cori Plotkin is President of Barefoot PR in Denver

Voting In Progress!!! (and almost done)

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

We have been blown away with the quality and quantity of submissions for our Get Up & Give Digital Media Challenge and continue to narrow down the finalists.  We hope to announce the finalists by NOON tomorrow.

Groupon gets in the philanthropic game

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

We know that many of you are big fans of the site Groupon, and wanted to mention their recent jump into the world of philanthropy.  Groupon actually grew out of activism focused site called The Point, and has just started to bring some of that philanthropic element to their successful shopping platform.
In a recent partnership with Donorschoose.org (website where public school teachers describe classroom projects they want to do and donors choose the ones they want to support), they are leveraging their platform and matching dollars pledged from the Pershing Square Foundation to facilitate and encourage online giving.  Although none of the individual elements (site with great traffic, org with a great concept that allows you to choose how your donor dollars are used, and a Foundation putting up matching $$) are new or revolutionary, we do feel that the combination has a lot of potential for success.

GoodSpark admittedly gets much more excited about efforts and orgs that focus on long term sustainable change rather than what we term “quick fix philanthropy”.  We know that the vast majority of online giving is one-time giving and we are constantly on the lookout for innovative ways to get people engaged and become real investors in change rather than occasional providers of short term relief.  That being said, we know how critical donor dollars are and applaud companies like Groupon for leveraging their platform.

One other critical point that we wanted to mention that you won’t find in the NYT article.  We give Groupon real props for the following:
“Hey folks, Charles here from DonorsChoose.org. The 50% discount is being funded by the Pershing Square Foundation (which is highlighted if you click into the promotion on our site), but Groupon is also making a major donation. They are going without any commission whatsoever, meaning that they are giving up significant revenue to enable this first ever philanthropic Groupon. Not only does 100% of the full value go to the cause of helping public schools, but you control exactly where it goes. Do you see a classroom project request on DonorsChoose.org that inspires you? You can support that project with a donation twice as large as you could otherwise afford!”
It is a rare thing to see a company in this situation not taking a cut (ala wireless companies and the Haiti texting fiasco), and we are happy to see it happening.

Link to NYT article

Chance To Win a $50 Gift Certificate to Root Down

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

GoodSpark is conducting a short survey (average completion time is 2 minutes), and would love your input.  Fill it out and include your email at the end of the survey to be entered in the drawing for the Gift Certificate to Root Down. Drawing for the gift certificate will be conducted on April 23rd.

Survey can be found here.
Thank you in advance for your participation.

The GoodBuzz Maiden Voyage

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Welcome to GoodBuzz, GoodSpark’s blog!  Why start a blog now after two years of getting by without one?  The simple answer is that it’s time to stop flying under the radar.  Most of our efforts thus far have been behind the scenes, and while we’ve had our share of successes as an organization, we’re ready to take things to the next level.
The main purpose of this blog will be to help people understand who we are and what we’re up to as an organization. That being said, we also intend to use the blog as our platform for spreading the word about upcoming events, great organizations, and all other things “Good” in and around Denver.  It’s inevitable that some opinion is going to get thrown into the mix on occasion as well.
In addition to all that one-way communication, we are really hoping for some feedback as well.  We encourage our growing audience to keep us on our toes and comment when they have something to say.  If you don’t feel like adding your two cents in a public forum or if you want to let us know about something offline, then please feel free to email us at info@goodspark.org