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.

WINGS Helps Domestic Violence Victims become Victorious

You may have seen me tweeting about an organization called WINGS. I wanted to take some time to explain what they do a bit further and invite you to join in showing your support to victims of domestic violence. Many times a person who is in such a situation feels hopeless, alone, and embarrassed. I believe, and so does WINGS, that with the proper encouragement, and the option of a safe place to go, victims can become victorious. So many times being heard and understood can inspire people to make difficult choices and turn their situation around.

WINGS has become one of the largest domestic violence service and housing providers in the state of Illinois. Single women and women with children are able to receive temporary safe shelter through WINGS housing. The staff provides assistance on an individual, one-on-one basis that allows women to set personal goals which enable them to work, continue education, and take care of themselves and their children.

The statistics are staggering, 19.3 MILLION women in the United States have been stalked in their lifetime. With those numbers, I am sure almost all of us know someone who has been affected by the issue.  The programs WINGS offers helps give them back their lives and their courage.

What WINGS wants to do for Mother’s Day is to give everyone an opportunity to show support for the women and children we know in our lives that have had to deal with this. You can be a part by participating in the campaign, #WINGS2beBOLD. Simply upload a photo of yourself or one with your Mothers holding a poster or paper displaying the hashtag  #WINGS2beBOLD to Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram. It’s an easy way to offer some encouragement and possibly inspire strength in someone who desperately needs to know we are with them in spirit.

I’m sure you have heard me say that each of us should take any opportunity we have to be a voice for the voiceless. Fear, shame, and hopelessness rob so many of their own voices. Any support we can offer may just help someone to take the steps necessary to turn their lives around and in many cases, even save someone. While we are all enjoying Mother’s Day with our own loved ones, we can surely take a few moments to extend a virtual hug to someone who truly needs it.

If you want to take it a step further, you can also donate to WINGS and find out more about what they do. Their website is full of valuable information and you can donate here: WINGS Program.

VP JOE BIDEN AT GROUNDBREAKING OF WINGS METRO:

Friend Movements 2nd Annual Stardust Soiree

The time has come for the 2nd Annual Stardust Soiree from Friend Movement. I am so honored to have been in attendance at the very first last year and extremely thrilled to be a host this year. All the preparation is really paying off as you will see from the official press release below. There are some amazing sponsors, fun raffles, amazing performers, and lots of friends gathering for the event.

There’s still time to grab a ticket at any price point so you get to enjoy some part of the festivities. I would love to see you there since my time in LA can get quite busy these days. This is a perfect time to catch up for a great cause! Check out the details here:

2nd Annual STARDUST SOIREE – OCTOBER 24th, 2015

Friend Movement in collaboration with AFU Productions, KSP Systems, Bodvar, and Go Channel is proud to present our 2nd Annual STARDUST SOIREE – Black-Tie VIP Dinner & Concert Fundraiser

SCHEDULE
5-7 PM VIP Cocktail Reception / Purple Carpet Arrivals + Interviews
7-7:30 PM Seating (Dinner & General Admission)
7:30 – 10 PM Dinner & MAIN EVENT Concert
10PM – Midnight DANCE PARTY concert

MAIN EVENT concert PERFORMERS (8 PM – 10 PM)
♥ The Summit
♥ Frenchie Davis (AMERICAN IDOL / RENT/ DEAD 7 / WE ARE FAMILY)
♥ Ryan Boone

DANCE PARTY concert PERFORMERS (10 PM – MIDNIGHT)
♥ Aylin Bayramoglu (GLEE PROJECT / CHEERLEADER DEATH SQUAD)
♥ Abraham Lim (GLEE PROJECT / HELLO MY NAME IS DORIS)
♥ Lily Mae Harrington (GLEE PROJECT / SOME FREAKS LOSERVILLE / PEE – WEE’S BIG HOLIDAY)

SPICE AFFAIR
50 N La Cienega Blvd #120, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
5PM – Midnight

Proceeds benefit the work of:

Born To Act Players: a unique theater company comprised of professional performers with and without disabilities. The concept came about when two young men with Down syndrome became friends. Both young men lovedacting and they realized one’s mother was an actor and a drama coach and the other’s worked as a representative for professional talent with disabilities. In 1996, in a small studio space in North Hollywood, California, a handful of young people with Down syndrome began meeting weekly to memorize lines and play theater games.

Friend Movement’s heART Therapy workshops: a form of expressive therapy that uses the creative process of making art to improve a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The creative process involved in expressing one’s self artistically can help people to resolve issues as well as develop and manage their behaviors and feelings, reduce stress, and improve self-esteem and awareness.

$20 – DANCE PARTY (10PM – Midnight)
♥ Drink Specials
♥ Dance Party Concert
* Dance Party ticket holders are welcome to network & enjoy the wonderful drink specials at the main restaurant bar at any time before the DANCE PARTY portion.

$50 – GENERAL ADMISSION (7PM – MIdnight)
♥ Drink Specials
♥ MAIN EVENT Concert
♥ Dance Party Concert
* GENERAL ADMISSION ticket holders are welcome to network & enjoy the wonderful drink specials at the main restaurant bar at any time before the MAIN EVENT portion.

$100 – DINNER & GENERAL ADMISSION (7PM – Midnight)
♥ Dinner (Mushroom Cappuccino, Punjab Connection, Saffron Rice, Fresh Seasonal Vegetables & Dessert. Note: Vegan option available – please note a request during ticket purchase. Vegan option must be noted by Oct 16)
♥ Hosted Wine at dinner
♥ MAIN EVENT Concert
♥ Dance Party Concert
♥ Swag Bag

* DINNER & GENERAL ADMISSION ticket holders are welcome to network & enjoy the wonderful drink specials at the main restaurant bar at any time before the MAIN EVENT portion.

$150 – VIP RECEPTION & DINNER (5PM – Midnight)
♥ Hosted Wine & Apps Reception + Talent Meet & Greet
♥ Dinner (Mushroom Cappuccino, Punjab Connection, Saffron Rice, Fresh Seasonal Vegetables & Dessert. Note: Vegan option available – please note a request during ticket purchase. Vegan option must be noted by Oct 16)
♥ MAIN EVENT Concert (front rows)
♥ Dance Party Concert
♥ EXCLUSIVE VIP Swag Bag

Master of Ceremonies
♥ Ronnie Kroell
♥ Laughing Eddie Lobo
♥ Jeanie You

HOST COMMITTEE
♥ Tommy Geraci
♥ Louise Masin Sattler
♥ Henie Reisinger
♥ Ashlee Marie Preston
♥ Mary Rings
♥ Jerry Silverhardt
♥ Kyle Chan
♥ Monica Danielsen
♥ Roberto Quinn
♥ Karamo Brown
♥ Nina Boski
♥ Santwon McCray
♥ Dean Hale

SPONSORS
♥ AFUproductions
♥ Kettle Glazed Doughnuts
♥ Perfectly Afflicted
♥ DIABOLO Beverages

♥ VIVA GLAM MAGAZINE
♥ Bodvár of Sweden
♥ Blue Chair Bay Rum

SILENT AUCTION
♥ THE STUDIO | 1 day photo/film rental – Monday – Friday from 8am – 6pm ($2500 value)
♥ Francesco Scavullo | Liza Minnelli Limited Edition Print ($2500 value)
♥ KSP Systems IT Consultation ($750 value)
♥ A set lunch for “Goodnight Marilyn” April 2016. Meet the cast and crew. (Priceless)
♥ Walk-On Role in “Child of the 70′s” web-series. (Priceless)
♥ Garnet & Rose Quartz Necklace by Hector Camacho ($250 value)
♥ Canvas print Tulips and Fountains by Robin Magee 20″ x 16″
♥ One-HourProject Consultation & Strategy Session with Debra Eckerling, Guided Goals.
♥ Andrew Christian Gift Basket

RAFFLE
♥ $100 Cake & Art Gift Certificate
♥ Kyle Chan Design Bracelets (5)
♥ Organic Teeth Whitenening Treatment | Studio City Ortho ($99 value)
♥ $50 Kettle Glazed Gift Card (3)
♥ $50 Amoeba Music
♥ Perfectly Afflicted T-Shirts (10)
♥ Bella Dots Collection 2.0 | 12 Cup Coffee Maker ($50 value )

You’ll also have a chance to bid on some hot and trendy shoes like these from Guilhermina ShoesNA:

Be sure to get your tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2nd-annual-stardust-soiree-tickets-19003560160

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!