Archive for the ‘Charity’ Category

Sotheby’s to Auction Heirloom Vegetables

July 8, 2010

I stumbled upon this Heirloom Vegetable Auction in Great Performances monthly newsletter. The idea of using Sotheby’s New York  to auction off vegetables is genius and I’d love to beam over to NYC to see this done (and, not to mention, ogle the culinary VIP’s in attendance). If you happen to be in the city, tickets for the event start at $250 and go to a great cause.

Here’s the scoop on The Art of Farming event:

Just in time for the 2010 harvest season, Sotheby’s New York will host the inaugural Tri-State Heirloom Vegetable auction, The Art of Farming, on September 23, 2010. This first-of-its-kind event will celebrate edible heirlooms and the art involved in their creation. The novel concept provides a unique platform for local farmers, purveyors, celebrity chefs, food industry experts and high-profile New Yorkers to join together for a shared interest in the vitality of the Greenmarket and raise important funds for the GrowNYC New Farmer Development Project and The Sylvia Center at Katchkie Farm. The event is supported by leaders and visionaries in the sustainable food and farming movement, including Eric Ripert, Ruth Reichl, Martha Stewart, Bette Midler, Dan Barber, Liz Neumark, and others.

The Art of Farming evening will begin with a cocktail reception with “local” hors d’oeuvres by renowned restaurant Rouge Tomate, which strives to address social and environmental issues, taking pride in farm to table cuisine and implementing sustainable practices such as their firm dedication to composting. Jamie Niven, Chairman of Sotheby’s North America, will lead a live auction of Heirloom vegetables from more than 40 local farmers from the tri-state area, including Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell of Beekman 1802, John Gorzynski of Gorzynski Ornery Farms, Russell Glover of Consider Bardwell, Tom Culton of Culton Organics, and Richard Ball of Schoharie Valley Farms. All seeds for the produce on sale have been donated to the farmers by Landreth and Seed Savers.

Also on the block will be incredible food and drink experiences such as summer farm internships for students, field trips for school classes, celebrity chef dinners, vegetable futures, farm-to-table dinners, New York wine country getaways, Brooklyn brewmaster tastings, and a bountiful silent auction of delectable items.

Following the auction, there will be an exclusive four-course dinner for benefactors, designed by a line-up of renowned celebrity chefs, including Jeff Gimmel of Swoon Kitchenbar in Hudson, New York, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Chef of Jean Georges, Roberto Alicea, Executive Chef of Andaz 5th Avenue, and Dominique Ancel, Pastry Chef of Daniel. The decadent menu will be created using fresh, seasonal ingredients like those on sale at the auction, donated by local organic markets and livestock providers. Each table will be hosted by a local farmer.

To complement the evening’s festivities, earlier the same day Sotheby’s will also host a series of high-profile gallery talks illuminating how art and food, flavor and culture, and trade and sustainability all impact- and are affected by- the journey from farm to table. The afternoon’s line-up, led by Karen Karp, President of Karp Resources, includes industry veterans Scott Exo, Executive Director, Food Alliance; Mitchell Davis, Vice President, James Beard Foundation; and others.

The Art of Farming will coincide with and kick-off the 2010 Eat Drink Local week in New York City, the annual celebration of the local food chain, co-produced by Edible magazines and GrowNYC. All proceeds from the event will benefit the GrowNYC New Farmers Development Project, which identifies, educates and supports immigrants with agricultural experience to become local producers and establish farms in the region, and The Sylvia Center, a program that inspires and teaches children to eat well through hands-on experiences at Katchkie Farm and in school and community centers all over New York City.


It’s a Plastic Jungle Out There

August 21, 2009

Okay, fess up.  We all have gift cards lying around somewhere with just a few dollars on them or (gasp) that have never been used – like the one for $50 to some restaurant in Nebraska from Aunt Beatrice to entice you to visit – when you live in NYC.

Now there is a way to get rid of all those extra cards through the website Plastic Jungle.  A gift card version of EBay, you can sell or donate your card for up to 100% of its current value.  If you’re selling, you’ll only get about 80% of the value of the card, but donations are 100%.  All donations go to, an online charity that connects people who care about education with public school classrooms in need.   

You can also purchase someone else’s unused card for a portion of the price as well, and there are some good deals out there. 

So what does this have to do with events?  Well, aside from being a great idea for us shoppers (and non-shoppers), gift certificates are often handed out at events.  And next time I’m going to recommend to clients that any left-over certificates are donated to charity.  It’s a win/win—the money goes to a good cause and the company gets recognition for participating in the community.

What gift cards are you going to list on Plastic Jungle?