Next Saturday: ‘Pizza for Good’ in Bethel, Conn. for SCOTTY Fund

PFGBethel

Our “Pizza for Good” event in Bethel, Conn., will be held next weekend!

 

More about SCOTTY Fund on their website:

The goal of the SCOTTY Fund is two-fold. First, to help erase the financial burden associated with a critical illness. Grant money is given to children for medical expenses, transportation and other ancillary costs associated with the illness. Secondly, to provide family support including nightly meals, child care, errand running and grocery shopping.

SCOTTY Fund has awarded nearly $1M in grants to those in need, which is awesome. Our event is up to nearly 50 guests and counting, so we’re hoping to add to the company’s totals.

We’ll be posting new recipes, photos, video and a full recap afterward. Please consider supporting Scotty Fund, here.

 

#QuotableMondays: Truth is Like a Mosaic [World AIDS Day]

entry-4-art20_photo_1

On a day of reflection for the 26th commemoration of World AIDS Day, we kick off ARTvision Atlanta‘s fund-raising season with a quote from a new artist presenting this year in support of Positive Impact. Dee Ruff, in her submission statement, talked a bit about how positive change and illumination do not always come in an instant:

“Having worked for more than 17 years as a MSW in health care, and 7 years in Medical Massage Therapy, I would be honored for my mosaic art to benefit Positive Impact. I reluctantly retired early from a beloved career because of some health issues (now mostly resolved). Shortly after retiring, I unexpectedly discovered mosaic art.

Positive change can transform disappointment into contentment. Positive change can transform PI clients into a state of peacefulness, and it can happen piece by piece, just like a mosaic. One of my favorite quotes: ‘There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic.'” (Anaïs Nin)

ARTvision got its start in 2006 as an offshoot of my annual New Year’s Eve gourmet-pizza celebration, and would launch its online fundraising every 1st of December. ARTvision, now a stand-alone event that culminates at the NYE party, has raised more than $50,000 for Positive Impact. And it all leads back to the power of the pie—bringing people together to make a difference.

Pizza for Good tells that story at great length, and gives you the tips and tricks to do it yourself at home, to build your own community.

(And if you buy it for the fun, yummy recipes nobody would blame you.)

Watch for more posts from me this month about the connection between ARTvision, pizza power, PFG and Positive Impact. ARTvision kicks off its 9th year of fund-raising today, and will continue throughout the month of December. (read more)

 

Reminder: Learn More about “Pizza for Good” at the Explore Tab

For a backstory on how Pizza for Good came to me an engine for building community, make sure to visit the Explore tab. Lots of good stuff there, including this mini doc created by Arno Hunter Myers. Enjoy!

Huge Response: PFG Party in San Diego Tomorrow Night!

Zoe, our inspiration for this weekend's fundraising

Zoe, our inspiration for this weekend’s fundraising

Tomorrow night, it’s all about our furry children.

We have more than 20 people RSVPed to “For the Pets,” a party I’m co-hosting with Wayne Sun and Ed. St. Michael. They wanted to honor their beloved Zoe, whom they lost suddenly—and many of the party attendees will be honoring their own pets as they support the mission.

This is the first-ever Pizza for Good party I’ve thrown outside of Atlanta, and I couldn’t be more excited! We’ve already received a donation for $25, and expect more to come in tomorrow. (We’ll release the full tally early next week.)

All proceeds will benefit the San Diego Humane Society. (read more)

All the pizzas, ingredients and other details are coming together! As always, we are going to emphasize locally-sourced ingredients. Have a look at what we decided on (the title and toppings; subject to change):

  • “P4” — Pepperoni, pineapple and pickled banana peppers
  • “Georgia Peach” — Grilled peaches, prosciutto, fresh parmesan with an EVOO-citrus glaze
  • “Squash Blossom” — lemon-zest-infused ricotta cheese topped with mint and squash blossoms
  • CFWB” — roasted corn salsa, cheese curds, mozzarella (from the pages of PFG)
  • “San Diego Alligator Pear” — grilled seasoned chicken, avocado, tortilla strips
  • Pesto Perfect” — the quintessential citrus-infused pesto pizza topped with mozzarella (from the pages of PFG)

I’ll be posting pics of our prep work and other tidbits along the way, so watch our Twitter feed and Facebook page for more!

We’re also looking to partner with a local Italian pizza place near SDSU for a dough-nation for our event! We will feature you on this blog and make sure to have our partygoers stop in for a meal. 

More to follow! While Zoe is our inspiration, Triscuit is our mascot—she traveled clear across the country with me to be here for the party.

Triscuit Pollock will be our event mascot

Triscuit Pollock will be our event mascot

 

UPDATE: A recap of Pizza for Good :: San Diego “For the Pets” has been posted—complete with recipes, videos and details about earning $520 for the San Diego Humane Society. Check it out!

 

 

 

(Still) Your Move, Chick-fil-A

"Closed on Sundays," right out of the oven

“Closed on Sundays,” right out of the oven

Early on, in advance of Pizza for Good’s release date last year, I wrote a post, “Your Move, Chick-fil-A,” that talked about the pizza I created called “Closed on Sundays.”

That pie, which calls for a honey-mustard base with diced Chick-fil-A chicken strips and mozzarella cheese, became the break-out hit of the annual New Year’s Eve gathering. The post details how the company and its leadership became embroiled in controversy when tax records revealed CFA gave to many anti-LGBT groups—including many back-and-forth statements about where the company landed in the debate.

Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 6, “Closed on Sundays”:

“I have personally struggled with how to handle offering this pizza. A private company should be able to craft its own motto, mission and raison d’etre, true; but I also don’t like the optics of outward discrimination, particularly when it comes to multinational companies conducting themselves that have, even at prior times, overtly excluded average people or consumers.”

The most recent turn in the saga is Dan Cathy’s recent interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in which he pledges never to weigh in on the subject again:

“Consumers want to do business with brands that they can interface with, that they can relate with,” Cathy told the newspaper. “And it’s probably very wise from our standpoint to make sure that we present our brand in a compelling way that the consumer can relate to.”

We agree. But there’s a further way you can engage with the LGBT community: by showing small levels of support here and there, as outlined in my earlier post. So, my offer to the company—to donate to our cause much in the same way the support folks on the other end of the ideological spectrum—still stands. Donate a few boxes of chicken breasts to the New Year’s Eve gathering, show good faith, and I’ll make a BFD about it.

Until then, I’ll slave over a hot stove and make them at home. Buy the book to learn the process!

Make fresh. buy local. raise money. #GoodRising

The Rise of ‘Chowfunding’

tennis

Last weekend I was suffering from a sore lower back – but I still drove out to Ackworth, Ga., to play a USTA league tennis match. I’m very glad I did, too, because it shows that sometimes creativity can emerge from the most unlikely of places.

Our opponents, Brian and Raj, were unbelievably nice and gracious to us—the city boys (Ken Shell was my partner) who had to drive nearly 45 minutes to get to our destination. Very often, discussions during court changeovers range from the mundane—like, “nice hold”—to other, more in-depth chats. We got to talking about professions, and then the question came around to me.

After I told Brian I was a freelance writer, he asked, “well, so what do you write?” After I told him my first passion is magazine-feature writing, here’s how the conversation went:

[me] “I also just published my first, book, too, which I’m really excited about.”
[Brian] “Good for you. Congratulations – what’s the topic?”
[me] “In a nutshell, it’s a blueprint on how to use homemade pizza to raise money in local communities.”
[Brian] “What a cool concept. So it’s like crowdfunding – an ask and a give?”
[me] “It’s actually more like a give and a give. I feed people and they donate to the charity I choose (Positive Impact). So it’s more like ‘Chowfunding.'”

I literally pulled that out of the air, on the fly—but it came when prompted by smart questions about Pizza for Good. And it’s all totally true: “Chowfunding” is alive and well elsewhere, too, as you’ll see in later PFG posts on restaurateurs who earmark time, energy and manpower to support local causes.

PS: just in case I snagged the domain Chowfunding.com – I know Rob O’Connor will be pleased. 😉

(Photo above: José Aponte playing an ALTA match/image by Will Pollock)

“Pizza for Good” Launch Party Photos

Stranger hugs. Joe Biden traffic. Vibrator jokes. Raffle-prize winners. Oh yeah, we also had a book to launch, too.

Thanks to all who attended the “Pizza for Good” book-release party at Baraonda Caffe – right in the heart of midtown Atlanta. We had a great turn-out despite traffic grinding to a halt during a visit by Vice President Biden. We rolled with the punches, as you’ll see below.

Special thanks to our host, Baraonda, as well as all party volunteers and special guests. We kicked off the book in style and hopefully sent folks away with some great memories.

Are you hosting your own “PFG” fund-raising party? Tell us on Facebook and Twitter and add #GoodRising to your post.

PFG is on sale now! Click here to buy from the Agate Digital website – use promo code “ROUND” for 50% off.