Make a Statement of Equality and Style with Gay Pride Bow Ties

When I think of style, class, and high profile events, I have always thought of bow ties. For some reason, they just give me the feeling and look of sophistication, so I have always included one in my outfits for any major event I attend in the past few years. Recently I met Jorge Santana, President of Gay Pride Bow Ties, and he shared with me that he would like people to think of equality when they see, wear, or think of his ties. The mission of his company is to unify people and make a difference in the world.

Gay Pride Bow Tieswere recently at Kansas City Pride, the PFLAG National Convention in Portland, and I’m sure quite a few same-sex weddings. I am so excited to wear mine this fall and winter for the formal events I know I’ll be attending.

John Raphael from the digital comedy series 'A Brit and a Yank'

The neat thing about these ties is that five dollars from each tie sold is donated to various non profits, depending on the style you purchase. This means you look good and do good at the same time!

Gay Pride Bow Ties are made of fine silk and are high quality pieces to add to any dapper guys wardrobe. With the various styles, there is sure to be one that fits your personality perfectly and there are even pre-made ties for those of us who just can’t get the hang of tying a perfect looking bow tie.

How many of us like to wear something that stands out and makes a statement? I’m sure most of us would love to have a special piece in our collection that will make us look sharp and grab attention wherever we go. Plus in the age of selfies, I must say, Gay Pride Bow Ties make for quite a picture and post! And trust me, they aren’t just for same-sex weddings, you can rock these classy ties at any wedding or event!

James Stapleton from the digital comedy series 'A Brit and a Yank'

When I asked Jorge about what he hopes for for the future of Gay Pride Bow Ties he responded, “The next step is to create the best bow tie for breast cancer and that for every $400 donated it will help 12 women battling breast cancer to get a wig. If people start purchasing the product and don’t care about the name Gay Pride Bow Ties, then we have done our part. We hope to create more bow ties like this in the future.“

How do you wear your pride? Pick one up for yourself and show the world.

You may recognize him.. had to show off mine as well.

Friend Movement and Modern Oats join forces for Friendly Meals

Each month, my friends at Friend Movement feed the homeless and hungry in Los Angeles. It’s one of the many programs they are adopting to help the community and let people know there is someone out there they can count on. To do this they need sponsors, donations, and help. Each of you can help out by donating here: Friendly Meals.

You can also get involved by attending events held in the Los Angeles area. One such event, the Stardust Soiree will be held this coming Saturday, October 24th and I will be there as cohost. I would love to see some familiar faces and meet some new ones! There will be music, auction items from some amazing companies, and so much fun with the most amazing hearts around. Join us by going here: Tickets for Stardust Soiree.

I have been actively involved with Friend Movement for years now because I believe in all they do and are striving to accomplish. I’m always willing to get others involved in any way I can. I especially love when I mention the organization and people respond positively. that was the case with my friend and PR wizard, Joey Hodges. I mentioned friendly meals to him and he immediately brought the idea to Modern Oats, the gluten free, all natural oatmeal.

Yesterday for the monthly Friendly Meals, Modern Oats donated their individual packets to the cause. I can’t tell you how happy it made me to know that people would have a little extra, much needed, nutrition. Modern Oats is truly a generous and socially conscious company. I sincerely hope that other companies will get on board. It’s great PR and you get the satisfaction of knowing you really are helping someone who needs it.

Why the Race to Erase MS is so important to me

Multiple Sclerosis and I have a bit of a history. It’s not something I talk about often because thankfully, my experience was a scare and it just feels like something I prefer not to remember but it definitely shaped the person I am today. With the Race to Erase MS event coming up, I thought it might be time to share the story, which is also how I became interested in Social Good to begin with.

Let me start from the beginning and to do that, we have to go back to high school for a bit. It was my senior year at Edward R. Murrow high school in Brooklyn and I was enjoying my english classes as always. I remember looking forward to reading Hamlet and studying it in depth. I finally got the teacher I had been hearing so much about and he really had a gift for turning anything we studied into an event.

As luck would have it, I started having trouble with my eyesight. I wore glasses to read but my eyes seemed to be getting worse. I told my parents and they scheduled an appointment for me to see the optometrist. Seemed simple enough, I just needed a stronger or different prescription.

Over the next few days, my eyesight got progressively worse and I mentioned that I was having trouble seeing the blackboard and then I was having trouble seeing my own reflection in the mirror. This terrified my parents so we headed to the optometrist that afternoon. By the time I got to the doctor’s, I couldn’t see anything out of my right eye. I remember him asking me to cover my left eye and tell him what line I could see. I said “none” and he asked “Do you see the light in the box on the wall where the letters are?” I responded, “I can’t even see the wall.”

My father and the doctor left for a few minutes where I later found out that the doctor was telling my father that he suggest we head to the hospital because he had never seen anyone lose their sight so quickly and the prognosis could be a brain tumor or something else that made the doctor uncomfortable sending us home without a cat-scan.

Invicta Women's Baby Lupah Quartz Peace & Love Watch w/ Seven-Piece Leather Strap Set

The decision was made to head to our family ophthalmologist, who may be able to better diagnose me or at least put us in the right direction. The doctor my grandparents and parents had always gone to had just retired but a new doctor had taken over his practice. I’m not sure if any of us had met her yet but that day, I was introduced to Dr Louise Tubio-Cid and I don’t think I’ll ever forget her.

She examined me for what seemed like forever, she was very patient and concerned. Her diagnosis was the same as the optometrist. She couldn’t send me home without more tests that only a hospital could conduct. She was afraid it could be a tumor, or something equally as threatening. She called over to the hospital to have them fit me in immediately.

Well, immediately wasn’t so immediate (not the doctor’s fault) but I finally got my cat-scan. More dreaded news. There were shaded areas on the scan, which meant brain tumors for sure. I have no idea how much time went by but I was being admitted and then we got the news that the next few people who received scans after me, had the same exact results. There was something wrong with the machine so we needed to retake the test.

After the second test, it was determined I did not, in fact, have brain tumors. The new diagnosis was the onset of some form of Multiple Sclerosis. After a battery of neurological tests, I was totally exhausted and I’m not going to lie, downright scared. Now it was about midnight and Dr Tubio-Cid had been calling to check on me and was now standing in front of us at the hospital. She was trying to convince my parents to let me stay overnight but I felt fine and they were more comfortable if I came home so we had to sign me out. I was to go directly to Dr Tubio-Cid’s office for more tests the next day.

That night, I researched MS and heard my parents talking about their own fears. I remember hearing things about being in a wheelchair, not being able to use the right side of my body if it progressed, and more things that were just too much. At 17 years old, I just wanted to finish studying Hamlet and graduate. I wanted to enjoy my senior year and go back to hanging out with my friends. My grandmother asked my parents to bring me over to her house. She had this idea that I would look different or that she would see something different and she needed to see me for herself. I looked the same, just felt exhausted. It was everyone and everything else that looked different to me out of one eye.

I don’t remember how long I actually had to miss school, how long I had to go to Dr. Tubio-Cids office, or how many visits in total I do know that my father had just started a new job and our medical coverage hadn’t kicked in. I know that the doctor didn’t charge for every visit and I know that even with that, it was a very expensive experience. The kindness Dr Tubio-Cid showed is definitely one of those things that changes you and becomes a part of you. You know you have to find a way to pay that type of gesture forward.

I do know that I spent lots of time in that office while she would run tests and there would be no change. Then, one day I was able to make out the box around the chart on the wall! I could see SOMETHING! From that day on, my vision improved slowly, until one day it was back to normal. There was talk that I wouldn’t get my peripheral vision back at all or it may be compromised but, eventually, that came back too.

This is why Social Good has been so important to me. I know I had angels rallying for me and I know that each of us can be an angel to others. I have seen social media used to help raise money for so many amazing causes as well as awareness. I know I was given a pass and I would love to see a day where MS is a non issue, a diagnosis that has a cure. I would love to see everyone get a pass.

When I found out we would be able to attend the Race to Erase MS gala, I jumped at the chance. This is something personal to me. The experience I went through changed me in many ways and had a part in shaping who I am today. I know that together, we can do just about anything.

I encourage you to follow along on Friday April 24th as I bring you information, photos, and coverage from the event where there are a whole host of celebrities that will be attending and speaking. There will also be performances by Ne-Yo and Rita Ora. The gala will be honoring fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger as well.  Saturday, April 25th we will be attending a conference with more information. I’m sure all of us can recall a time when we felt we had someone looking out for us, let’s be that for others.

You can find out more about how you can help and the gala here: EraseMS.org You can find out how you can get one of these classy, great looking watches designed by the talented Nancy Davis here: Evine.com Proceeds go to Erase MS. Be sure to follow @RacetoEraseMS on Twitter and like them on Facebook.

Let me know what causes are near and dear to your heart in the comments and if you are attending the gala on Friday, let me know!

I look forward to tweeting with all of you this weekend!

 

 

Friend Movement Presents Stardust Soiree

Friend Movement is made up of a team of passionate individuals who are dedicated to promoting friendship through the arts and social media.” I am proud to be even a small part of this team that embodies so much positivity and love. I still remember when my friend Ronnie Kroell first introduced me to the idea and his work. He was SO passionate about it and I felt so strongly that this would be an inspiring force to be a part of. He began this grass roots movement and attracted the most authentic group of talented and passionate artists committed to making a difference. Together they have formed quite the force of good!

Being bullied is something most of us can relate to, something I know all too well, something that we would love to put a stop to. As victims, it would be so satisfying to know that someday no one will have to suffer at the hands of a bully. Until that day comes, there are ways we can alleviate the issue by positive reinforcement and by raising the confidence of those who suffer. I have always believed education was the key as well as positive influences, messages, and images. This is exactly what Friend Movement aims to do. The premise is that everyone can be a friend and everyone needs a friend. Friendship can be magical, uplifting, and empowering. To think of all the people, of all ages, we lose to suicide and how many are due to bullying as well as that feeling of hopeless loneliness. So many could be saved if they had hope, had FRIENDSHIP, and felt truly cared for.

You can visit their website to find out much more and to donate, plus be sure to like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter if you are there!

Next weekend on Saturday, September 20th there is a very special event if you are in the LA area called the Stardust Soiree where you can mingle with like-minded people while raising money for a very worthwhile cause! Be sure to check it out, it really will be a most fantastic evening of music, laughter, and FRIENDship!

Dana Jacoviello is Making sure Bullies Keep Out in a unique way

A few weeks ago, I participated in the NOH8 photo shoot in NYC and then walked as part of team NOH8 in AIDS Walk NY with my friend Dana Jacaviello. Dana has been a friend of mine since I became active in Social Media and she is someone who supports great causes. She has a big heart, is always helping others, and encourages a positive attitude in everyone she meets.

Dana also shares my passion for entertainment as well as an interest in how people in the entertainment world can use their influence to highlight causes and help so many. I thought it would be a true treat to interview her so I could introduce you all. Turns out, I was right, our conversation covered many topics and Dana was not afraid to answer in detail. I hope you all enjoy reading this, meeting Dana, and it encourages you to visit her sites, read her work, and find out even more about her.

Q: How did the idea for Bullies Keep Out come about?

DJ: I have always been an advocate for causes and try to provide as much support as I can as far as spreading the word, donating, or volunteering; however, there has always been something inside of me that I felt I was meant to do it as well. I am big on living a life of service, giving back, and activism. After my grandmother passed away, I was just looking at my ceiling in the dark trying to sleep and all these ideas came into my head to start up a social media movement for all forms of bullying and hate and other causes too. I know by the name it just seems it is about bullying, but I also talk about equality, animal abuse, healing and recovery, addiction, and so on and so forth. There is a great deal of motivation and inspiration behind it. They all pertain to the same topic and can be intertwined into some type or form of bullying or hate whether it is done by another or by ourselves.

I wish I could tell you it was some amazing moment or experience that inspired BKO haha. My friends laugh when I tell them that story. They say only you D would come up with something in the middle of the night when you never sleep.

I wanted to do something and make a difference in my life and others through things that I enjoy doing. I’ve been like that since I was a child. Any career I thought I wanted to do always involved working with people, helping them, making them laugh, reaching them personally through writing and other art forms, and changing lives, hence, my other side gigs I do such as motivational speaking, writing, and mentoring/coaching, social media networking, and social media entertainment networking.

It is funny because I actually almost went into the entertainment field as an actress or writer/behind the scenes. It is one of my deep passion, and it always has been. That was my one and only goal growing up. While my friends were doing their thing, I was writing, performing, and making people laugh. That is all I dreamed about. I did things here and there and my family worked in the business behind the scenes. I figured I can create beautiful work on or off screen through that form of art; however, I got side tracked, but you never know. I am still a young almost 35 haha. I do still dabble in it in a different aspects and have met such amazing people. I have some great friends in the business (entertainment field) who have also helped and gave me advice with Bullies Keep Out.

Basically, if I could have fifty jobs, I would haha. I am headed that way at this point. I marinated on so many fields before going back to school for psychology, which I am still in the process of. I love continued learning and experiences. I feel it helps in what I do and working with others.

I feel what you do in life should be rewarding and make you happy rather than superficial or based on material goals. I am not a person that can be happy just working 24/7 because I make a fortune doing it. I want to be successful in both aspects.

In a nutshell, after that long winded answer, I have a huge heart for philanthropy type work…especially if I was a millionaire haha.

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