Monday, April 22, 2019

Morgantown, West Virginia #MarriottHotell

The  25th Catholic Schools Dinner was held in Marriott Hotel in Morgantown, WV.   We've never really explore Morgantown but we do drive by there often times when we do our road trip.  It was our first time to see a little bit of Morgantown.
Marriott Hotel was located by the river so the back of the hotel is quite relaxing.  I can imagine how beautiful it is during the Fall.  It  still looks dead  during the event but still a breath of fresh air to  go out from the  hotel and enjoy mother nature.
As I have mentioned in my previous post at the other blog, we suck at socializing so we kind of avoided the crowd and hang out at the back and  took some pictures.
Our son is not digging the pictures though lol.  Oh well, he will regret not smiling for pictures (I warned you, giggles).
The table outside served as our camera holder for a family picture.  I should have brought our tripod but it's inconvenient carrying it around especially to an event like this.
The cherry blossoms were  beautiful out there.  It reminds me of the annual  Spring Flower Festival we used to go to in South Korea when we were still living there.  In  Japan, cherry blossom festival is called Sakura festival but in South Korea,  it is called beot-kkot.
I wish the  mountain isn't looking dull but the cherry blossoms kind of beautify  the view.
There was a greeter at the door of the hotel which I thought was nice.  I am not sure if he was part of the  event's organizer or an employee of the hotel.  I thought it was a nice touch to welcome the guests.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Elkins, West Virginia

After the event that we attended at Buckhannon Upshur High School last Saturday, we continued our road trip to the next city, Elkins. It is a city in and the county seat of Randolph County, West Virginia, . The community was incorporated in 1890 and named in honor of Stephen Benton Elkins, a U.S. Senator from West Virginia. The population in this city is a little bigger than Buckhannon, they have 7,094 as of 2010 census.
Elkins is a mountain oasis rich with history, outdoor fun and beautiful art. It is  located right on the edge of the Monongahela National Forest.  If we would have had more time, we would have explored the Monongahela Forest but we thought, we would do that next time.  
 Elkins is quaint city but I like the atmosphere in Buckhannon more.  
There's an Iron Horse statue  of Senator Henry Gassaway Davis, a.k.a. the Iron Horse Statue, that stands at the intersection of Sycamore St. and Randolph Ave.  It was one of the landmarks that caught our attention right away.  These drive by shots did not do justice to  how beautiful it was.
There's more to see in Elkins than Buckhannon.  
We parked by the fir house and walked around a little bit to  stretch out our legs.  
We checked out the Elkins city park , it was a fairly size park with a lot of things for kids to do but with time constraint and the  cold weather, we didn't  really do much on this park.  It must be nice to come here during summer time as you can do picnic or family party in this park.
We noticed the three big churches but the most memorable one for me was the Grace Episcopal church.  I fell in love with its door, I thought it was very charming and captivating.
We wanted to check out the Randolph County Community Arts Center but it was close: This community arts center is nonprofit organization located in a beautiful historic church.  It  highlights the Randolph County’s vibrant arts community. It would have been a nice  place to  explore since my daughter  is into arts.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Why a Golf Tournament is the Perfect Fundraiser

Fundraising is always a challenge for nonprofits and startups alike. Many organizations opt for gala dinners or charity concerts to bring in donations. These are all well and good, but for a more fun approach, why not hit the links? Here are a few reasons why Pensacola golf tournaments are a great way to raise cash.

Pensacola, Florida 2006

You’re Outside!

Rather than sit in a dim ballroom or crammed restaurant party room, you can be outside enjoying fresh air and sunshine. The benefits of spending more time outdoors are well known, and Pensacola golf tournaments are great ways to get exercise and a suntan, all while courting donors.


Great Small Group Networking Opportunities

Depending on how you set up the golf tournament, you can have the opportunity to have representatives from your organization partner up with potential donors in foursomes, to really talk and have a two-way conversation, instead of making a presentation and pitch where you ask for money from a podium on stage. Pensacola golf tournaments create a real opportunity to get to know the people who you’ve identified as potential investors or contributors. Perhaps more importantly, they’ll get to know you and be able to ask questions and learn about the organization.


The Best of Both Worlds: Activity and Food

The event won’t take place just on the golf course, will it? You don’t want to golf on an empty stomach, so you’ll be able to network in the clubhouse or restaurant before you start, and you can retire there for more food and drinks when the golfing is done. You’ve combined the benefits of feeding hungry donors with the health benefits and fun of golf!

It’s What Donors Want to Be Doing Anyway

In many cases, business owners, CEOs, and other affluent people may have plenty of money available, but they may be short on time. If part of their job’s expectation is to network, you can bet that they’re hitting plenty of auctions and dinners. They may not, however, have much time to enjoy golfing, fresh air, or any type of exercise. Some of them may not even get to see the sun during the week! By hosting a golf tournament fundraiser, you may be giving them a chance to do something they love while they’re on the clock.

Golfing and business have gone hand in hand for generations. The benefits are obvious and numerous. When you’re planning a fundraiser for your organization, think more about golf balls than ballrooms!

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Wheeling, WV: Small Town Community, Big City Opportunity

After the History Bowl's elimination rounds, everyone were given an  hour to have lunch at River City Ale Works.  The restaurant sponsored the meals for  participants and coaches.  We ate at a separate booth from the students so I couldn't take   pictures.  The place was beautiful but their  food wasn't that good but then again everyone has their own opinion. Some people might find their food  delicious and great but it wasn't the case for me.  It was big let down for me, even my son was complaining about the chicken he got which was soaked in ranch, they could have served it separately than dumping it on the chicken.  Anyway, we ate there since it was recommended by the host of the event.
Anyway, the restaurant was few blocks away from the Independence Hall Museum so it gave us the opportunity to do a little cardio  before and after lunch.  Wheeling is such a beautiful place, there are lots of old building structures to see.  I wish we had extra time to explore but maybe next time we could do that.
I am always drawn to  old but beautiful churches.  Statues that holds historic value is a great plus too.  
Did you know that Wheeling, West Virginia, was the former capital of the newly formed state from 1863 to 1870?  It was moved to Charleston but in 1875, the seat of the government was brought back to Wheeling and remained until 1885.  Then it was transferred again  to Charleston where it has since remained until the present day.  Does any state has a similar  event where the capital has been moved  to another city?  West Virginia definitely  had.
Our state is not very famous, in fact some American people  don't know  the difference between  the states of Virginia and West Virginia.  I remember when we were in South Korea and would tell people where we came from, they would often ask, where are you from Virginia when we clearly said West Virginia?  It gets frustrating to have to explain it every time but that's what happen most of the time.
West Virginia is  considered one of the more scenic states in the nation.  Aside from it's natural beauty, West Virginia is also known for its Civil War history,  resorts and architectural feats.  So if you are looking for a place to explore, try Almost Heaven, our beautiful state of WEST VIRGINIA.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Sugar-Free Doesn’t Have to Mean Free of Taste

According to a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report in July 2017, nearly one-third of Americans or 100 million people now suffer from diabetes or prediabetes, which was the number seven cause of death. What's even more staggering is the number of new cases of childhood diabetes.

Although it is not the only reason for the disease, most cases of diabetes can be avoided if people curb their use of sugar and carbohydrates. Some health experts estimate that more than half of the American population lives with chronic diseases brought on by overconsumption of refined sugar and carbohydrates.

Some studies even go so far as to call our overconsumption an addiction. If not, what would you call it? Many do not realize there's as much sugar and carbs in one chocolate chip cookie as in an entire bowl of oatmeal. When you reduce your carb and sugar intake, your body automatically starts burning your body's stored fat rather than those carbs. You will be more energetic and feel full longer.

Weening the Family Off Sugar & Carbs

Of course, it's not going to be easy. You are addicted after all, and there's no sense denying that fact. Just try going without sugar or carbs for a short time and see how long it takes before someone breaks into the cookie jar or snack bowl.

Jesica, from The Mommy Bunch, in her article, Mouth-Watering Sundae Upgrades for Even Better Ice Cream talks about how much we love ice cream, "In fact, the U.S. loves ice cream so much that a full 90% of households regularly indulge in the sweet, frozen treat." She discusses some excellent ideas about how to change how we eat ice cream, with ideas like edible bowls made of melted chocolate, toasted coconut toppings, etc.

Well, what if we take it one step further and leave out the ice cream and all that sugar? Now before you start going into withdrawals, hear me out. How about using frozen high-fat Greek yogurt mixed with sugar-free flavored syrup and small portions of diced fruits? They have several flavors you can use to make that yogurt taste marvelously delicious. My favorite is the French vanilla flavoring with sliced strawberries.

When choosing fruits, try to stay away from the bananas, mangos, and other high-sugar fruits. However, in small amounts, these are fine too. Instead, choose watermelon at only around seven grams of carbs per 100 grams. You could also try avocados, melons, and berries, especially strawberries, which are very sweet and low in carbs. Cutting up small chunks of avocado and sharp cheddar to mix into Greek yogurt and then topped with caramel flavor is very nice.

What Is Sugar-Free?

Manufacturers usually refer to sugar-free as free from added sugar. The World Health Organization recommends a diet which includes only 5 percent of processed or refined sugar. The problem is sugar hides in processed foods, and it's difficult to eliminate all processed foods, though we should keep it to a minimum. Processed foods are why more and more people are discovering their troubles with gluten.

Eliminating sugar from your diet does not mean you will be completely sugar-free. There are sugars in fruits and vegetables, which you will need in your diet. Plant photosynthesis creates sugar in fruits and vegetables, so it's nearly impossible to avoid. Lactose in dairy is a natural sugar. Maltose is found in cereals and beer, among other things, and very high in carbs, which should get minimized in a low-carb diet. However, what you want to avoid completely is refined sugar.

Sugar-free does not have to mean flavor free. There are lots of ways to flavor your food without adding table sugar or sucrose and fructose. Your body can break down most natural sugars, but only your liver can process fructose. Most natural sugars available in fruits and vegetables are necessary for the body's nutritional diet, so don't eliminate all sugars.

Likewise, turning to artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin, acesulfame potassium, and other sugar substitutes have proven to have unhealthy side-effects too. The best course of action is to consult your physician and develop a safe and effective way to maintain body mass and nutrition without excessive amounts of sugar or artificial sweeteners.

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