Casa Modesta, Algarve, Portugal

Our new offering in Olhão, located in the Algarve’s countryside in Southern Portugal was a great sustainable find this spring. Charming siblings, Carlos and Vânia restored and redesigned their family’s seaside home built in the 1940’s set back up the road from flat bike paths running through the wetlands of the Ria Formosa National Park. This family run multi award winning property can sleep up to 19 people for a fun family reunion or celebration. Recipients of the 2017 Conde Naste Johansen’s Award for their green practices, Casa Modesta is just an hour’s drive to the Spanish border.  Delightful historic towns of Tavira, Faro, Vila Real and nearby beaches make great day trips.
With Casa Modesta’s organic garden with lemon and carib trees, fresh water chemical free pool, views of the tide flats and so much attention paid to small details, we did not want to leave this unique slow moving life on the planet. We were spoiled with Carlos’ gentile and charming nature from the moment of arrival until departure and enjoyed the time he took to teach us about down to earth Portuguese life in the Algarve. We savored each bite of the amazing southern Portuguese meals served with local, fresh and healthy fruits, vegetables and seafood: razor clam risotto, authentic seafood cataplana, fresh baked cakes and breads, traditional Dom Rodrigo, local cheeses and fruits. Incredible. With a clean, minimal, contemporary rural tourism feel, you can relax here, leave your smart phone in your room, doze off  in your own hammock or on your rooftop patio with a view of the tide flats or take off for hours to explore the neighborhood and the national park.

Our package to Casa Modesta includes a Portuguese cooking presentation, fresh breakfast buffet and dinner daily, walking tour in the Ria Formosa National Park, olive oil tour, bike riding and birdwatching for flamingos and beautiful migratory birds from Africa. Casa Modesta is  the recipient of the 2017 Achitizer A+ Award. ​The Architizer A+Awards, is the world’s largest and most visible architecture awards program and the only red carpet event to honor the year’s best architecture. Local cork, bronze and red ceramic tiles are used throughout the design. With the Green Leader’s Gold Level on Tripadvisor as well as their Certificate of Excellence, 5 star rating and number 2 rating for hotels in Olhão, you can’t go wrong with Casa Modesta.

MusiCares Smokey Robinson Tribute

Trips 4 Fundraising and Plataran Resorts supported the memorable 12th Annual MusiCares MAP Fund Tribute Benefit Concert to GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter Smokey Robinson at the Novo by Microsoft in Los Angeles. Robinson received the prestigious Stevie Ray Vaughan Award in recognition of his support to MusiCares and helping people recover from drug addiction. What a stellar event hosted by Cedric the Entertainer! Musicians and artists came together for a tribute to Smokey Robinson while raising funds for MusiCares MAP Fund. Through the MusiCares MAP Fund, The Recording Academy is able to provide members of the music community access to addiction recovery treatment regardless of their financial situation.
 
 
 
"LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 18: Singer Smokey Robinson attends 12th Annual MusiCares MAP Fund Benefit Concert Honoring Smokey Robinson Gifting Lounge Day 1 at The Novo by Microsoft on May 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/WireImage)"
Magic Johnson and other guests enjoyed performances full of talent and presentations by Angela Basset, Andra Day, Barry Gordy, El DeBarge, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, Kem The Backstreet Boys, Tamar Braxton, Smokey Robinson, and Cee Lo Green. A night to remember.
 
 

CUBA LIBRE! Customize Your Cultural Experience To Cuba!

So close, but frozen in time for Americans in a bygone era, Cuba’s deep culture, friendly people and majestic landscapes is worth the visit.  Learn about agricultural trades side by side a Cuban cowboy through the roaming farmlands, practice some new baseball skills with aspiring Cuban baseball players or birdwatch for some of Cuba’s beautiful endemic bird species. Meet with Cuba’s medical researchers or doctors face to face and learn about their advancements and worldwide contributions to disease and community health. Or spend time in Cuba’s world famous music and dance academies.

Experience Cuba as an ordinary Cuban in an immersive tour and cultural exchange on a wide offering of subject matters.

 

Trips 4 Fundraising is now offering tailor made fundraising trips to Cuba!

Take your board, members, students or volunteers or auction or raffle a trip at your next fundraiser. We will work with you to customize an experience of your choosing. Experiences can include but are not limited to:

 

  • Cuban Modern Art
  • Cuban Medicine
  • Cuban Traditional, Modern or Classic Music
  • American Classic Cars
  • Current Events
  • Cuban History and Architecture
  • Cuban Traditional, Modern or Classic Dance
  • Cuban Wildlife
  • Cuban Handicrafts
  • World Heritage Sites
  • National Parks
  • Cigar, Coffee and Rum Making
  • Cuban Cuisine
  • Caving
  • Sports
  • Education
  • Social Welfare
  • Agriculture
  • Ernest Hemmingway
  • Natural History
  • Volunteer
  • ETC!

Cuba

Includes People to People License!

What does “People-to-People” Cuba travel mean?

People-to-People travel is an initiative allowing U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba on a limited basis to participate in cultural experiences and have direct contact with the Cuban people to learn more about them and their culture, while they learn about the American way of life. People-to-People activities focus on education and cultural exchange as you meet Cuban birders, volunteers, scientists and more.

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Grammy kickoff MusiCares Person of the Year Dinner honoring Bob Dylan

MusiCares-LOGO
Musi Cares LOGO

Bob Dylan was honored as the 2015 MusiCares Person of the Year on Friday, Feb. 6, 2015 at the Los Angeles Convention Center Los Angeles during GRAMMY Week right before the 57th GRAMMY Awards. The MusiCares Person of the Year tribute ceremony is one of the most prestigious charitable events held during GRAMMY Week. Proceeds from the 25th annual benefit gala dinner and concert went to MusiCares. This year’s event was the most successful event in MusiCare’s history in monies raised and in tickets sold. Trips 4 Fundraising was honored to be a part of it! Rolling Stone magazine has a fantastic write up and photography of the event.

MusiCares provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need. MusiCares’ services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies, and each case is treated with integrity and confidentiality. MusiCares also focuses the resources and attention of the music industry on human service issues that directly impact the health and welfare of the music community.

 

 

The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards - VIP Gifting And Auction Signings
The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards – VIP Gifting And Auction Signings

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter presented Bob Dylan with MusiCares Person of the Year Award. Performers during the spectacular tribute concert included past GRAMMY winners: John Mellencamp, Alanis Morissette, Willie Nelson, Aaron Neville, Beck, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Norah Jones, Tom Jones, Los Lobos, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, Susan Tedeschi, Neil Young, among several others. The event included a gala with a reception and amazing silent auction followed by a dinner, the award presentation and a memorable tribute concert by talented award winning musicians. You can watch event highlights here.

 

 

 

 

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Plataran logo

 

Trips 4 Fundraising and Plataran Resorts in Bali partnered to provide MusiCares an incredible 8 Night VIP Bali Package for the charity auction. Thank you so much Plataran! Plataran Resorts in Bali, Indonesia, just aired on ABC’s, The Bachelor on one of the final dates with Ohio native, Chris and one of his final two picks, Whitney. You can also book a trip to Plataran Resorts in Bali by special request.

Sources: www.Grammy.com and MusiCares.

Our Tuscan Farmhouse Fall Tour

Last November I made Trips4Fundraising Tuscany Farmhouse package a reality with a small group of girlfriends. Our tour Pat organized was just splendid. Our villa host, Rita, pictured here took exceptionally good care of us. Her villa near Bocine dates back to the 1800’s and the large farm it sits on was purchased by her Grandfather in the 1940’s. The charm of this villa is tied to its location, right in the center of Tuscany between Arezzo, Florence and Siena and placed on the south-eastern borders of Chianti. We want to return for a special Porcine mushroom tour next fall and go mushroom picking and learn some Italian porcine mushroom recipes. This location is perfect to invite family and friends for a special celebration you have in mind and visit the wine cellars that produce some of the most renowned wines in Italy and taste the products of the estate in a special context , in the very place where they are made.

Westin Rooftop
Westin Rooftop
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Rita

We visited Poggio Molina for my most memorable authentic farmhouse wine dinner EVER with owners, Claudio and Alba! The 90 hectare farm is situated in the hills of the Val’d’Ambra. They produce high quality wines, olive oil, corn, potatoes, livestock and other crops. Our meal of porcine mushroom cream, baguettes, traditional Ribollita Tuscan soup, eggplant, preserved olives, tomatoes in olive oil, prosciutto and Poggio Molina Chardonnay from 2010’s grape harvest: all produced at the farm was extraordinary and a first class experience.

Poggio Molina Wine Dinner
Poggio Molina Wine Dinner
Florence Villa
Florence Villa

Pat
Pat
We checked out Lucca and a beautiful villa with pool there. Another great option for families. Montepulciano was one of my favorite towns to visit; perched on a mountaintop with beautiful views of vineyards and small farms. An ancient underground winery and unique artisan and gourmet food shops made me want to settle right in for the season!
We also spent time just 15 minutes outside Florence with Paola. Her 17th century aristocratic villa sits on a lovely historical estate with an olive and cypress grove. The attention to detail in every corner was marvelous. Paola loves collecting antiques and interior decorating and does a fantastic job. The villa is set up nicely for different sized groups. Paola gave us a lovely historical walking tour of Florence. The city is magestic. My favorite location was the rooftop at the Westin, pictured here, situated in the middle of the city-a grande location for a family dinner or cocktail with friends. Can’t wait to return!
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Latest Distinction for Jackson Hole’s Bentwood Inn – Named to Bedandbreakfast.com’s Diamond Collection By our guest blogger, The Bentwood Inn

The Bentwood Inn is proud to be a perennial favorite of Trips-4-Fundraising clients, and T-4-F guests remain among our favorites as well! The unique combination packages that we’re able to offer, including skiing, fishing, rafting and wildlife excursions, appeal to T-4-F guests who purchase our packages at charity events around the country.

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The Bentwood Inn (http://www.bentwoodinn.com/) was recently invited to be a part of the BedandBreakfast.com Diamond Collection, a distinction reserved for premier inns offering extensive amenities and top-rated guest reviews.

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Launched in October, 2009, the Diamond Collection was introduced to help travelers streamline their search for the country’s best inns. Members represent the nation’s finest, professionally inspected and guest-reviewed luxury inns, setting the mark for industry excellence.

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Jacksonhorses2To qualify and maintain membership in the Diamond Collection, B&Bs and inns must pass a comprehensive professional inspection measuring the property’s quality, service, hospitality, accommodations, food, amenities, and more. To qualify for membership, Diamond Collection properties all maintain top guest ratings and reviews on BedandBreakfast.com and offer a professional reservation experience, including extensive property photos and online

According to the Collection’s website, “Diamond Collection members provide the amenities that today’s travelers require, including private baths, free Internet service, luxury appointments and amenities, professional staffing, and flexible check-in/out times.” In the case of the Bentwood Inn, the list also includes a private fireplace in each guestroom, a full chef prepared breakfast each morning and an evening social hour with complimentary appetizers.

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We believe vacation time is a valuable commodity these days, and we want all of our guests to feel like VIP’s, pampered by the comfort and luxury of an intimate getaway surrounded by the grandeur of Jackson Hole and the Tetons.

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Diamond Collection membership is the latest accolade for the inn. We were recently recognized with a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for being #1 rated in the B&B / Inn category, and Outside Magazine selected the Bentwood as “One of North America’s Top 10 Ecolodges.”

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The Bentwood Inn is thrilled to have been part of the Trips4Fundraising family of vacation experiences for the past six years and we look forward to hosting many more guests in the future.

VIP Experience at American Music Awards 2013

Our wonderful guests from Michigan enjoyed a VIP Experience in Los Angeles at the 2013 American Music Awards in November. Stunning performances at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live included Katy Perry, One Direction, Imagine Dragons, Pitbull, Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Lopez, among others. Martina’s most memorable moments of the weekend were before the show started, watching the glamorous celebrities posing on the red carpet. They saw Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna and many others. Their great seats allowed them to see celebrities standing up to get their awards. Part of the group upgraded accommodations to beautiful suites at the LA Hotel downtown and enjoyed a champagne toast before the show. Afterward they dined out on the town and then partied into the wee hours of the morning at the Greystone Manor, one of Hollywood’s most exclusive night club’s and popular young celebrity hang out. We are so thrilled they had a Trips 4 Fundraising experience they will not soon forget! Thanks for sharing your experience with us!!

On Assignment in Costa Rica by guest blogger, Liatris Day 5

Climbing a tree in the Costa Rican rainforest is a little different from the apple tree in my back yard. For one thing, the first branch to grab is a half mile up whereas in my back yard it only takes a little hop to begin the climb. Luckily, Hacienda Baru has spiffy harnesses to help get into the canopy:

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I was surprised at how secure I felt with the gear on. Perhaps part of the safe feeling was that as time went on I became fairly certain I didn’t have the strength or coordination required to climb more than three or four feet, and how hurt can you get with a fall from three feet? The advertisement said that great strength wasn’t required, but one should be “fit.” I guess fit is relative, but I did eventually make it up the tree. Once I figured out the balance and weight distribution for maximum leg muscle use instead of wimpy arm muscle use I started up into the wild green yonder!

Our guide, Carlos, was patient and knowledgeable. He spoke English very well and put up with my efforts at Spanish with humor. Along our walk to the tree, he proved to be an interesting guide. He explained that the property had been a cocoa plantation. He showed us the fruit and the bean. He even let me taste the bean which although bitter, had a faint chocolate taste to it.

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The forest here is lovely, particularly jungly. They brought along a spotting scope to get closeup views of birds, monkeys and other wildlife.

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I need to tell you, though, that it took all of my energy resources and then some to get up that tree. If you are active and strong it will be fun and exciting, but if you are not used to using your muscles it will be a challenge. I was so proud of myself and so excited to see the forest from the top that I was utterly disappointed when Carlos said, “Okay – Are you ready to go down?” after about 3 minutes. I had expected some education about the forest canopy, who lives there, why it is important, how a rainforest operates… But I went back down and survived to tell the tale.

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Back at the Hacienda we stopped for a mango con leche which was delicious. Then went for a stroll through the butterfly garden where we saw a Blue Morpho as many other delights.

Horse Convention at the falls

Almost like a parking lot!

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On Assignment in Costa Rica by guest blogger, Liatris Day 3

On the Isla Cano trip, day three of our Costa Rica Adventure, Reymer was proud of their boat. “Much better than yesterday,” he assured me. He was right! Bahiaaventuras has a seat for each passenger instead of bench seats with no backs. Our captain was cheerful and his sailor, a fourteen year old young man, was obviously very pleased to be there as well.

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We saw turtles! They were on the surface of the water, and we spotted them by the birds perched on their shells. No photos of them, but they were a delight to see. When we arrived at La Isla, we were unable to land because the government has limited access for several months. I understand this, but I was a little disappointed.
Reymer did his very best to make this day sensational. I was nervous, having never been snorkling before. The entire group, however, was in the spirit and everyone managed to get in the water without injury or drowning. There were some little stingers – maybe jellyfish? that were startling when we first got in, but we got used to them and the stings didn’t last and weren’t everywhere.
Sited on this trip but without an underwater camera so you’ll just have to believe me were Angel fish, Parrot fish, yellow fish, bright blue fish, striped fish, and a thousand gray fish all swirling like they do on Planet Earth. After we were all safely geared up and in the water, Reymer joined us and dove down the middle of the circling fish. Marvelous and beautiful to watch him dive. He tried to shepherd the most fabulous fish our way, or at least point them out. He tried to shepherd us toward the most likely spot to see the magical coral reef. What we did see, and I actually chased it for a while, was a white tipped shark! Also, a ray flew by on its way to somewhere more important.
Lunch this day with Bahiaaventuras was better than the day before. We boated to a new playa at Corcovado to enjoy our food and relax in the shade of the palm trees. We swam in the surf and got sunburned. To make up for missing the indigenous tour of the isla, on the way home Reymer took us to las ventanas, or the windows.

2 photos here

As the tide went in and out we admired the color and view, and then the captain went on through! Maybe not an extreme sport, but thrilling for me. Reymer pointed out each passenger’s hotel as we pssed on our way back to Ballena Marine and home. Another fabulous, wondrous day.

On Assignment in Costa Rica by guest blogger, Liatris Day 2

I should probably tell you that Howler Monkeys do not howl. The sound they make is more a cross between a roar and a bark.They wait until the gloaming, when the light is unreal, then sing again at dawn.The second morning we were awakened by howlers and cicadas again, but this was a good thing since we planned to leave for Corcovado National Park at 0700hr. The Bahiaaverturas company sent a car for us at La Cusinga. We and our new traveling pals piled in and enjoyed hearing about the potential sitings for the day. We had rented a car primarily because we thought we had to get ourselves to the Oso Peninsula for this tour but such was not the case. I would suggest again that you check out Easy Ride or another transfer company instead of renting a car. We rode to Sierpe where we saw Scarlet Macaws and these locals:

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Also in Sierpe, a boat awaited us.Not only did we not need a car, we were going by boat! I love boats, as you can see here:

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our guide, Reymer, is just behind my left shoulder. Since only four La Cusinga customers were taking this tour on this day, we joined another company for the boat ride, but Reymer gave the four of us a tour that included botany, history, biology and zoology.He obviously understands and respects the jungle. He had snuck up on a Puma the day before! The scariest thing we saw was a crocodile which I learned about AFTER we swam in the poza below his pool, thank heavens (and Reymer!)

Home of Light

I visited Home of Light recently, a boarding school for the blind, founded in 1995 and located in Vientiene, Laos just on the edge of the city at the Ministry of Health. It’s the first of three existing schools for the blind in Laos, under the care of the Vientiane Ophthalmology Centre. Holland and Laos Ministry of Education have been the main funders of the Home of Light. The school’s administrator, Khamkeo Xongboua Kham, was gracious enough to meet with me briefly and tell me about the school.
Children learn to be self sufficient here, they learn to be literate in braille, how to cook and do household work. When they leave, at very least, hopes are that they can be productive in society and lead a more normal life and have same skills as any other graduate. Three graduates are currently in college and studying to be English language teachers and two graduates are already teaching. Young students come from all over Laos’ country sides where their families have a hard time to provide them the specialized education they need. Many arrive only speaking their native language, but here, they learn to speak Lao. When I visited, 32 kids where studying there and ages ranged from 4 to 16. Two girls around age 7 where helping those without sight. It was touching to see and they were having a ball playing with one another. They loved the stuffed animals I brought with me donated by Child United. Want to donate or volunteer? Write Khamkeo at khamkeo1986@hotmail.com.

 

Children at Home of LightIMG_0269 Children at Home of LightIMG_0270One of Home of Light students makes Green Papaya Salad IMG_0289 IMG_0290

A Special Visit to Jagshanti Udayan Ghar

On my recent trip to India, I visited the Jagshanti Udayan Ghar girls home in Noida just outside the capital of New Delhi. The Director, Brig, gave us a tour and history on the home’s internet center, beauty parlor and sowing room and library. I listened to several success stories of girls now in college, in professional careers and happily married. Brig said what they most need is volunteers to come stay and volunteer for a minimum of a month. Indian and overseas volunteers, come and stay, some even for long periods. Many even return after their memorable experiences at the home. They have four guest rooms at the home. There was a sweet German girl there, Katerina, who had come for her fourth time to volunteer! The girls were very lively, polite and a delight to meet. Thanks to Child United, I took small school bags filled with school supplies and fun assessories for the girls.
This video instroduces you to some of the girls we met

Jagshanti Udayan Ghar is a red brick home, completed in 2003 and inaugurated by Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Prof. Vishnu Kant Shastri. This foster home, equivalent to 3 Udayan Ghar units, is home to 42 girls, varying in age from 8 to 22 years- including the girls in the Aftercare Programme who are above 18. With a large basement and three storeys, it is built around a courtyard. Looking up, you are surrounded by girls scurrying above you on all four sides! That’s if they aren’t outdoors in the large basketball court and play area where they cycle, or in the basement busy with yoga, dance or art classes.
On the ground floor, is a counseling center and a library. The Ghar also houses an Udayan Care IT&VT Centre with computer classes on the ground floor and stitching, tailoring and beauty therapy classes in the basement, all of which cater to the neighbouring communities as well.
The Jagshanti Udayan Ghar also houses the hostel for women, where our girls, who are above 18, live. Most are pursuing higher education, while some, on their way to independence, are exploring job opportunities. For more information on Udayan Care visit: http://www.udayancare.org/udayanghars.htm

Udayan Care’s Group Foster Care model

Udayan Ghars (Homes) are Homes for long-term residential care of children, who are orphaned, abandoned and abused and who do not have natural families. These homes are known as ‘LIFE Udayan Ghars’. These Homes have relevant statutory licenses, under ‘Women & Children’s Institutions (Licensing) Act 1956’ and ‘Orphanages or Charitable Institutions (Supervision & Control) Act, 1960’ and work under ‘Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection) Act 2000.

These homes are set up with the goal of:

Creating residences for orphaned, abandoned and abused children in a ‘Family-like-environment’ to promote family bonding, physical and mental health, social integration and to enable them to experience the ‘Joy of Living’.

Enabling people of vision to join hands with us and make a difference to the lives of such children by setting up and managing Homes under its model of ‘Group Foster Care’.

Educating the children in the best tradition of learning, so that they become self-sustaining and responsible members of society.

Inculcating human values in the children, which will enable them to make a positive difference to society when they assume their place in life

Promoting social, individual and legal initiatives to set up new homes in different parts of India for the purpose of being able to cater to rehabilitation and development needs of growing number of such children.

At present, Udayan Ghars are nurturing 183 children (120 girls and 63 boys) across 12 homes in Delhi, NCR Kurukshetra and Jaipur. Source:http://www.udayancare.org

Trips 4 Fundraising Supports Vampire Diaries, Kat Graham and Ian Somerhalder Raise Thousands for The Water Project Charity Alongside Co-Stars and Other Celebrities

Celebrities and LA Socialites came out to the Sunset Luxe Hotel this winter to support The Water Project Charity at “The Ripple Effect” hosted by stars of The Vampire Diaries, Kat Graham and Ian Somerhalder. The night was in association with Somerhalder’s foundation, ISF.

Other celebrities that showed up to support the cause were Emmy Rossum (Phantom of the Opera,) Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries,) Michael Trevino (The Vampire Diaries,) Jenna Ushkowitz (Glee,) Arielle Kebbel (John Tucker Must Die,) Krysten Ritter (Breaking Bad,) Camille Winbush (The Secret Life of the American Teenager,) Christa B. Allen (Revenge,) Matthew Koma (Singer,) Deborah S. Craig (Heart of Dixie,) Matt Lanter (90210,) Tiffany Hines (Nikita,) Judi Shekoni (Twilight,) Perez Hilton (Celebrity Blogger,) Tamra Barney and Eddie Judge (Real Housewives of OC,) Bianca Lawson (The Vampire Diaries,) James Kyson Lee (Heroes,) and Marisa Quinn (Twilight.)

Kat Graham became passionate about The Water Project Charity after she helped build a well in Uganda where people do not have daily access to clean water. In addition to a silent and live auction supported by Trips 4 Fundraising, the night included a performance by Matthew Koma, best known for his hit “Novocaine Lips,” on the Abduction soundtrack.

Guests enjoyed a multi-course meal complete with Vivid Vodka mixed drinks and wine. Gift bags included NYX makeup, Cetaphil skincare, Paula’s Choice products, OPI Nail Polish, Hard Candy makeup, Christine Reed salon gift cards and more.

Most importantly, the event raised enough money to build 5 wells and bring clean water to people across Africa.

Kat Graham and Ian Somerhalder with Peter Chasse, founder of The Water Project

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Hosts, Kat Graham and Ian Somerhalder from Vampire Diaries

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Honeymooning on Palm Island, Grenadines

Congratulations to Marty and Ellie! They just returned from their honeymoon to Palm Island in the Grenadines through Trips 4 Fundraising and are this month’s guest bloggers:

I wanted to take a moment to thank each of you in your part for the fantastic honeymoon that we had on Palm Island from Saturday evening, February 11 through Saturday morning, February 18. Almost every day, the weather was perfect! It was so beautiful on Palm Island! We also wanted to personally thank you for the “special upgrade” to Room 47. Our “special Valentine’s Day dinner” at the tree shaped like a heart was fantastic! I wish we could have extended our stay through today which is my birthday, but plane reservations were more important!

We want to thank Alyssa, Randi, and Chanda for helping with the preliminary arrangements for the trip. Thank you for taking the time to explain the process and help with the details! We had a lot of questions because neither of us had ever bid on a trip of such value in our lives. Everything worked perfectly!
We want to thank Rob and his excellent management and serving staff for the ideal place for a honeymoon getaway! We found the staff highly trained and willing to help in any way. They were all very friendly and went out of their way to make your stay memorable. We’ll always remember the trip, especially the nature walk with Ping!
Thanks again for a memorable honeymoon vacation in paradise! Marty

Thanks for taking your honeymoon with us Marty and Ellie! We wish you a long, happy life together!

Marty and Ellie at the Heart Tree on Valentines Day at Palm Island courtesy of Palm Island
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Kristin Bauer and Hubby, Abri Van Straten, Vacation at the Moornings in the Florida Keys

Trips4Fundraising was delighted to arrange a relaxing autumn getaway for Kristin Bauer, who stars as “Pam” on the hit series “True Blood” and her husband, South African musician, Abri Van Straten.

“Abri and I feel so lucky to have found, thanks to Trips4Fundraising, a real oasis in the Florida Keys, The Moorings. This was exactly what I needed — a peaceful, beautiful, private place to unplug. There are 18 private homes secluded in a coconut grove in Islamorada, on the water, with a white sand beach. We biked, we kayaked, we snorkeled, and lounged during the day and at night we walked over to their two lovely restaurants right on the Gulf. It’s an amazing place, our cottage was on the Atlantic and a block away, on the other side of the key, is the Gulf – so we saw the sun rise for breakfast and set for dinner. Truly an oasis! I cannot think of a better word to describe this find or recommend The Moorings enough. Thank you so much to Trips4Fundraising and also The Moorings for the prefect restoration before heading back to work in Los Angeles.”
-Kristin and Abri

The Moorings is an 18-acre property harboring 18 cottages and homes on what was once a coconut plantation. Ranging from one to three bedrooms, each residence is a short walk from 1,100 feet of crystalline white sand- one of the largest and most beautiful private beaches in The Florida Keys. From the beach you can experience the thrill of wind surfing or the serenity of kayaking across the aquamarine waters of the Atlantic. Life at The Moorings is quiet and simple. You can do a lot, or if you choose, nothing at all. By staying a The Moorings, we believe you’ll get an honest taste of what life is all about in the laid-back American Caribbean islands called the Florida Keys. www.themoornings.com

Kristin and Abri, thanks for vacationing with us, and shaing your experience. We are happy you had a relaxing break from filming and performing.
And a BIG Thank you to all at the Moornings for taking care of our special guests!

Photos courtesy of Kristin Bauer and Abri Van Straten

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Janie’s trip to the Emmy’s in Los Angeles

Janie took her Trips4Fundraising charity trip to the Emmy’s and celebrity gifting lounge
September 17th and 18th and had a blast!

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“We had such a great time! The Eco Emmy Lounge was really fun. We met so many interesting people and everyone was so friendly. We ended up taking a limo to the Emmys even though we were only steps from the  Nokia. Unfortunately they had the street blocked so we would have had to walk several blocks to get there. The traffic was terrible and we  got there literally in the nick of time and rushed into the theatre and took our seats…

so, we didn’t really get to experience the red carpet
(It was crazy anyway!). Oddly enough, many people approached me and asked what show I was on! My husband got the biggest kick out of watching people watch me and the paparazzi followed me and photographed me when we came out of the Nokia! It was a riot! Anyway, thank you so much for everything! Janie” Janie we are thrilled you had such a great time and you looked stunning!!
Thanks for sharing your experience!

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Experience Botswana and Zambia!

Trips4Fundraising is now booking a
9 DAY LUXURY AFRICA TOUR FOR TWO for fundraising events nationwide!
Experience Botswana and Zambia!

The package includes:
Accommodations, Air transfers in helicopter and light aircraft in Africa between camps, meals and drinks, 2 guided wildlife
tours per day, park entrance fees, accomodations and government taxes for two people.

Enjoy 3 Nights at Xigera Camp, 3 Nights at Duma Tau Camp, and 2 Nights at Toka Leya Camp

Xigera Camp, Botswana is a luxury tented camp situated in the Moremi Game Reserve in the heart of the Okavango Delta. Xigera has something for everyone, in an area where there are no other Moremi camps and where permanent water all year round allows one to enjoy a variety of activities. Enjoy a true Delta experience while you sit back in a mokoro (dugout canoe) and silently glide through the tranquil Okavango waterways or watch the sunset and birds gliding home to roost from a motorboat on the Xigera Lagoon. When water levels permit, game drives (usually September to May) allow the opportunity to observe wildlife and the unique Delta scenery from the comfort of a Land Rover.

Toka Leya Camp, Zambia is situated on the banks of the Zambezi River in the eastern sector of the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, some 12km up from the Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Accommodation consists of 12 safari-style tents, each en-suite with a view of the magnificent Zambezi River. The camp’s dining and bar area are under a canopy of trees overlooking the River and there is swimming pool. Activities include a tour of the Falls on the Zambian side, game drives, river cruises and guided walks. Other activities on offer in the area at an additional charge include sunset cruises, helicopter flights, micro-lighting, canoeing, jet boating, white water rafting and fishing amongst others.

TokaLeyaCamp

DumaTau Camp

is a 10-roomed tented camp located in the private 125 000 hectare Linyanti Wildlife Reserve which borders onto the western boundary of Chobe National Park in northern Botswana. The camp is built on raised boardwalks under a shady grove of mangosteen trees, overlooking a large hippo-filled lagoon on the Linyanti waterways. Day and night game drives are conducted in open 4×4 vehicles along the Savute Channel and the banks of Linyanti River. Enjoy wildlife viewing up close and away from a vehicle. The area is famous for its elephant concentrations in the winter months and for the great general game viewing all year.Huge herds of elephant congregate in winter along the waterways and lagoons and at waterholes that are located along the Savute channel. All the predators such as lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena and wild dog feast on the prey species in the area including impala, zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, lechwe and tsessebe. Contact us to book!

XigeraCamp

Green Fire, A 40 Year History of Huxley College.

Last month Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington launched their first 40 year history book, Green Fire. The book is beautifully written by Pulitzer Prize winner, William Dietrich and Huxley College students. I was honored to be one of the 40 out of 4000 graduates profiled in the book. Each profiled alumni had a unique interesting career path since graduation. The Mayor of Bellingham, also a Huxley graduate, attended the launch at Village Books and was profiled in the 177 page book along with one of the top ten climbers in the world, Director of Seatac Airport, powerful attorneys and other environmental leaders and professionals.
In 1969 Huxley College was established at Western Washington University and educated some of our nation’s environmental heroes and leading environmental professionals. The environmental movement and milestones from the 1970’s into the 21st century is highlighted throughout. The book is complete with great archival photos and fun student photos from the 70’s.
About the Author:
William Dietrich won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting on the Exxon Valdez oil spill. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University (1987–88) and won National Science Foundation fellowships to Antarctica in 1994 and 1996. He has written fifteen novels and non-fiction books including, Napoleon’s Pyramids, The Rosetta Key, The Dakota Cipher, and The Barbary Pirates. Copies of Green Fire can be purchased through Village Books or Huxley College through Manca Valum at 360.650.6542, email Huxley.Book@wwu.edu. All proceeds from the book go back to Huxley College.

William Dietrich talks about the development of Green Fire at the launch last week.

William Dietrich left, myself and Huxley Dean, Brad Smith.

greenfire

Catherine O’Hara Vacations with Trips 4 Fundraising in St. Martin

Actress, Catherine O’Hara, recently returned home from her Trips4Fundraising vacation to gorgeous La Samanna in St. Martin , French West Indies. She took her family with her on her dreamy St. Martin Easter holiday. In her note to me she commented “Thank you for arranging our wonderful stay for four nights at La Samanna. What a beautiful hotel! Our two bedroom condo was right on the sand at the perfect beach. A big breakfast was served on our outdoor dining table every morning and all the meals we had at the hotel were delicious. We played tennis every evening on the grass court. The staff was kind and helpful. Rough life. And it’s all because you were kind enough to make the trip happen. Thank you so much. Again, Thank you Alyssa!” Wow, talk about dreamy! And a special thanks to La Samanna and their wonderful staff for taking such good care of Catherine and her family over the busy Easter Holiday!

Photo of Catherine O’Hara at Writer’s Guild Award

Catherine+O+Hara+2011

 

courtesy of www.zimbio.com
St. Martin Villas at La Sammana in St. Martin

LaSamanna