Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thank You Ryan Harrow, Lorenzo Brown and CJ Leslie!

First of all, let me state that I am a Carolina girl. Nonetheless, I want to extend my sincerest thank you to CJ Leslie, Ryan Harrow and Lorenzo Brown for signing with NC State for the upcoming basketball season. Why? Because despite my own basketball loyalties, my husband is a Pack man and NCState Basketball is all that I've been hearing about for what seems likes every second of the past few months. Quite frankly, I'm thrilled that it has not all been for nothing. The dream team that my husband will not shut up about has come together. If I had suffered through his obsession only to have the final piece of the puzzle fall through (CJ Leslie's signing), it would have meant additional grief in the form of a then hopeful, now bitter and pouting spouse.

Thank you to Ryan and Lorenzo for making the decision early and taking that weight off my husband's chest. I'm not sure that he could have handled the additional anxiety. Thank you to CJ for making the decision late and making this victory over "evil" (as Julius Hodge recently referred to this triumph over Kentucky on 99.9 The Fan radio) that much sweeter.

Thank you also to Sidney Lowe and the rest of the Pack for forming the core that enabled this to happen. Tracy Smith, my husband looks forward to watching your senior year. Thank you to all those State fans that keep posting mix videos of your new NCState team members. But, please stop. If I have to listen to or be forced to watch another one and fake enthusiasm for CJ's amazing 360 dunk, there is no telling what I'll do.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

We're Open in Durham, Join us Thursday for an After Work Social

We finally opened officially yesterday in Durham after a week and a half of training events. Stop by to catch a Durham Bulls game from our patio or grab dinner before heading to the DPAC to see Wicked. There is never a shortage of things to do on the American Tobacco Campus. In fact, the Music on the Lawn series kicks off this Friday!
But, even without an entertainment draw, we've always got the best sports viewing experience in the area, plus:
  • A 3,500 sq. ft. covered patio that overlooks the Durham Bulls Athletic Park
  • A large outdoor bar
  • Two semi-private dining rooms
  • Stadium-style seating
  • Fresh, delicious food
  • Exceptional service
Durham address: 280 S. Mangum St. Durham, NC 27701
Phone: (919) 937-9909

Join Us This Thursday for a Band Together After Work Social
What: Good people. Live music. Free appetizers. Drink specials. No covers or asks for money. Ever.

Who: Anyone interested in raising the Band Together Bar

When: Thursday, April 29, 7-10 p.m.

Where: Durham Tobacco Road Sports Cafe
Event hosted by Hosted Solutions

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Vote Now for Your Favorite Durham Non-Profit

Last week we launched a "contest" in Durham that would serve two purposes: to help us better get to know the Durham community and to help support the causes that are near and dear to the hearts of people that live in Durham. We asked Durham non-profits to send us an overview of their organization, so that we could narrow down a list of "finalists" and ask the people of Durham to vote on their favorite. We planned on holding a dinner event at Tobacco Road to raise money for the chosen non-profit (this plan has changed a little, more on this later in the post). The list of finalists is posted in the poll on the right side of this page. Read more about each organization here. The voting ends this Friday, April 30.

Narrowing down the list.
We couldn't believe how many emails we received, which is part of the reason why I am late in making this post. I have been reading through the emails and more about the incredible organizations in Durham that work in so many different ways to make the community stronger--whether its people or even its preservation of history and the landscape of Durham. I have had a difficult time narrowing down the list to the finalists which we are now asking the people of Durham to vote on.

I was especially blown away by the sheer number of organizations that have been launched to support the youth of Durham. The city of Durham certainly has embraced the "it takes a village to raise a child" concept. The programs were impressive not only in number but in the creative ways that they work to help kids, from programs to provide academic support, build skills and confidence to ones that serve the equally important purpose of giving kids the extracurricular opportunities that many of us enjoyed and (if you're like me) probably took for granted--like going to camp and learning how to ride a bike.

Submit your vote! 
I don't believe that any organization that I read about is more "worthy" than another. So, when we ask you to vote we are not asking you to try to decide which one is the most deserving. I actively support a number of organizations that help improve the lives of animals through providing protection, care and hopefully, homes where they can live out the rest of their lives being loved and well taken care of. Someone once suggested to me that this is not really a cause worth the time or money as long as people are still struggling for the same things (food, care, a home). I disagree. I don't think that animals are more important than people, but I also don't think that is a reason to not try to help them. Or maybe you will look at the list of non-profits and you will feel strongly that some are more deserving than others. That's fine too. Whatever your reasons, we welcome your vote and your thoughts.

So, what does the winner of the poll get?
Like I said, we planned on hosting a dinner before we opened in which we'd provide a free dinner and the non-profit could take donations or even charge a fee for the dinner which they would keep. But, after a long week of training exercises, we are almost upon our opening date (Tuesday) and out of time. So, we have an even better option. We signed on as a sponsor of the Durham Bulls. As a part of our sponsorship we are donating $50 for every home run that is hit by the Bulls. In addition, the Durham Bulls will match this number. At the end of the season we'll write a check for the total amount to the organization of our (or really, your) choice. Based on last year's home run tally, the total amount donated is expected to be around $7,000.

Durham Non-Profit Finalists

 Clean Energy Durham
Clean Energy Durham is an organization unique to Durham that works to promote cleaner energy on the local neighborhood level.  The organization provides workshops and instruction on home energy use, teaching neighborhoods, blocks, and individuals about energy efficiency.  Clean Energy Durham helps with the installation of programmable thermostats, as well as information on solar panels or solar water heaters.  The great success of the organization over the past few years has led to calls from other communities throughout the country about how to duplicate the work done here in Durham in other regions. 

Emily Krzyzewski Center
The Emily K Center’s core program, the K to College Model, prepares achievement-oriented low-income students to excel throughout elementary, middle, and high school and to achieve success in college and in 21st Century careers.  K to College Model students are expected to graduate from college and become leaders who break the generational cycle of poverty in their families, help achieve economic stability in their communities, and act as agents of change more broadly.  

The Exchange Clubs' Child Abuse Prevention Center  
Exchange Clubs’ Family Center in Durham is committed to strengthening area families and preventing child abuse through family support, counseling, and parent education programs. We provide 3 separate programs for families - Early Childhood Outreach Program (EChO), Family Support Program (FSP), and Parenting of Adolescent Program (POA).  Through these programs we can serve families with children from birth through 17 with a wide variety of issues.  

Genesis Home
Genesis Home has realized the need for continuing and increased support for families living in poverty and is meeting a critical need in serving families such as these in the Durham community. Graduates from Genesis Home’s Family Matters program are celebrated for successfully breaking the cycle of homelessness in their lives.  We are pleased to share that over the past five years, 75 percent of our families and young people have successfully retained permanent housing for at least six months after graduation. Since our inception in 1989, Genesis Home has helped over 350 families reunite, get off the streets, and live independently. 

Threshold strives to be an exemplary model for the community while promoting awareness of and appreciation for those among us living with mental illness in Durham County.  Threshold affirms the dignity and worth of all members by fostering an environment of acceptance, supportive relationships and access to resources.  We provide the foundation from which new experiences and attainment of one's full potential can occur.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Views of and from our new Durham location

We went to the Durham Bull's athletic park this weekend to catch batting practice and the game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The weather was beautiful and, as always, it was a good time at the American Tobacco Campus. Here is a view from our seats showing the new Tobacco Road Sports Cafe (right in the middle of the photo, bottom floor of the red brick building). During batting practice we stood on the Tobacco Road patio with others, trying to catch (or not get hit by) balls coming over the Blue Monster.
Construction is moving fast. In the past week the painting was completed, the floors installed, the bar finished, the lights and speakers hooked up. We're hoping to open in the next few weeks. We may not be open in time for the first home game against the Tides, but it shouldn't be long after that. View the Durham Bulls schedule here and the Durham Performing Arts Center here. Also, we're hiring for all front and back of house positions (except bartender). Click here to learn more.