Drink Beer to Send a Kid to Summer Camp

Yep, you read that correctly. Drink beer, and you’ll help send a kid to summer camp. It just doesn’t get any cooler than this!

This Thursday, April 19 from 5 to 8p.m. Pyramid Alehouse will provide unlimited tastings of its new beer releases, light snacks, and live music for just $25. Proceeds will benefit UCP of Sacramento and Northern California’s Autism Center for Excellence, and send 15 children with autism to summer camp at Grizzly Creek Ranch in Portola.

Seriously! Let me repeat myself. You drink beer. Kids go to summer camp.

“Summer camp is a rite of passage, and we want to make sure all kids have the chance to enjoy this experience, regardless of having a developmental disability,” says Doug Bergman, president and CEO, UCP of Sacramento and Northern California.

Well, Doug, you had me at “beer.”

Buy a ticket. Help these kids out! (Must purchase tickets in advance.)

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New App Lets Customers Vent, Privately

These stickers for the iSuggest app can be found at participating businesses around Sac.

In a world of blogging, online reviewing, and social media, we have a lot of opportunities to shout about our customer experiences in public. Yet, where have all the suggestion boxes gone? A new, local app called iSuggest seeks to address this very issue, turning away from the public persona of sites like Yelp.

Unless you’ve been living in an Internet-free cave, you’ve probably heard of Yelp, the website that allows customers to review local businesses. Over the years, this foodie-centric site has taken grief from traditional food writers and restaurant owners alike for Yelpers’ ability to post snarky feedback based on a one-time bad experience that may or may not reflect the business’s otherwise consistent costumer service, or to praise a sloppy business because their mother runs it.

If you’re one of the many passive customers who long to leave feedback (good or bad), but don’t feel the urge to splash it all over the public internet, this Sacramento-based free app was recently released just for folks like you. iSuggest offers a way to send immediate, even anonymous, feedback to business owners.

What’s in it for the person leaving feedback? Business owners who opt in are encouraged to offer rewards or coupons for helpful suggestions. Of course, business owners love it because it eliminates public complaining, an opportunity to correct the problem and directly communicate with the person leaving feedback.

“This is a win-win,” says Sacramento’s Matt Brickley, iSuggest marketing director. Continue reading “New App Lets Customers Vent, Privately”

Isotopes vs. River Cats

Hungry, Hungry Homer

If you’re like me and have been meaning to catch a River Cats game this season, now’s the time to do it! Next Thursday, August 18 they take on the Albuquerque Isotopes, which promises to be a great night for several reasons:

1) The Isotopes are also the baseball team on the beloved animated sitcom, The Simpsons. You can make Simpsons jokes with your buddies all night while watching the game. Built in fun!

2) A volunteer from United Way California Capital Region will throw out the opening pitch, and folks from their Fit Kids project will lead the audience in the Seventh Inning Stretch–with prizes! Who doesn’t love a little community nonprofit support with their baseball? Both are truly all-American!

3) BBQ! United Way is hosting a saucy fundraiser of the most American kind during the game. They didn’t tell me if it’s brown sugar or honey-based, but I do know it will be slathered on meat. Albeit, they were not able to obtain Duff Beer. In consolation, there will also be live music.

4) It’s baseball! And the River Cats! Now quick procrastinating, and get yourself to a game before the season ends.  Continue reading “Isotopes vs. River Cats”

Jumble Sale, Beer, & Pizza! Oh My!

Not your ordinary shopping experience. Pictured are some of the old school duds for sale at the Verge Jumble Sale!

Calling all garage sale junkies, thrift store fanatics, and lovers of fun: come out to the Jumble Sale & Preview Party at Verge Center for the Arts tomorrow (Thursday) night! For a mere $15, from 6pm to 10pm, enjoy first-dibs shopping on throw back goods, beer, and Luigi’s pizza. You can also visit with artists in their studios and dance to live DJ Scott Soriano.

The whole shopping scene just keeps getting better and better in Sac! All this fun benefits a great nonprofit, Verge. (I volunteer there–I’ve seen their greatness first-hand.)

Can’t make the party, but still want to shop? The sale continues Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Check the website for details.

Explosively Fun Art Show this Saturday

Looking for the best of Second Saturday? The coolest party will be at The Urban Hive, 1931 H Street, from 6 to 9 pm, where the talented, outrageous and funny artist Jose Di Gregorio will be joined by musician and visual artist Neil Haydon playing acoustic folk songs.

Di Gregorio, born in Puerto Rico and raised in California, graduated from Herron School of Art and Design in 2006 and currently serves on the Board of Directors at Verge Center for the Arts, where he is also an artist in residence. If you’re familiar with Verge, it’s a local hub for the area’s most talented contemporary artists. Di Gregorio’s residency there, in addition to his outstanding artworks, speaks volumes about his credibility as an artist. His exhibit Saturday will feature 15 mid- to large-scale drip paintings on wood and paper.

Plus, it’s going to be fun. Di Gregorio is not only a painter; he’s also a performance artist. Known for over-the-top karaoke performances and doing cannon balls into pools at fancy affairs where everyone else is dressed in suits (I know; I was there), Di Gregorio entertains. The magnitude of his creativity explodes onto his paintings and into his everyday life with joyful fervor.

Don’t miss the excitement!

New Midtown Goodwill Opens with Boutique Flare

Sacramento’s thrift store junkies will have a new spot to shop for treasures. This morning, Goodwill opened a new boutique outlet in Midtown at 1621 L Street.

By noon the place was already crawling with shoppers on the hunt for a bargain. Designer shoes and purses were neatly stacked to the exposed ceilings. Color-coordinated racks were stuffed to overflowing with name-brand labels like Banana Republic and Ann Taylor–all with affordable price tags ranging from $6 to $15.

Twitter is aflutter with raves reviews from Sac’s local hipsters who descended upon the store today. Ashlee Gadd’s opinion, posted via Twitter: “Verdict is out: the new Midtown Goodwill rocks.” I agree!

Can You Spare a Square?

Once a year, the Sacramento nonprofit scene becomes aflutter with talk of a critical matter: toilet paper! That’s right–toilet paper. Like paper clips and copy paper, local nonprofits can’t live without the stuff. But it costs money they’d rather be spending on programs, like saving cuddly kittens or helping homeless women find jobs.

Can you spare a square? If so, today is the official drop-off day for the annual United Way toilet paper drive. Last year they brought in 50,000 rolls (that’s a lot of squares!). This year, they’re challenging the community to help them bring in 60,000.

The drive will take place today (Thursday) until 7 p.m. at the Cal Expo main entrance, 1600 Exposition Boulevard in Sacramento. The rolls will be distributed the following week to United Way’s certified nonprofit partners in Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties. For more information, visit www.yourlocalunitedway.org/tp-drive.