The Arthritis Foundation of Northeast Ohio‘s annual fundraiser in Akron, Red & White on Thursday Night, is easily my favorite event of the entire year! Heck, even having just given birth, I desperately wanted to still attend. So last Thursday, at just 5 days old, Remy, Chad and I ventured to Quaker Station at Quaker Square for just a short time!

Luckily, we are very close to where the event is located; so with a babysitter for Ari [thanks, Grammy!], we bundled Miss Remy Bea up, and arrived shortly before 6pm. This was the 19th annual event for the Arthritis Foundation, and I believe it was also our 4th or 5th time attending [mommy brain is real, yo].

The entrance to the event was located at a different part of the building this year, and some new computer software they were using for auction-bidding slowed down the entrance process to a practical halt. My single critique of the event is that they should have set up the credit card/auto-bid process for the auction when people were purchasing tickets presale. Because it wasn’t set up that way, everyone who had a ticket in their hands, still had to wait in a half hour line. And for those of us with willcall tickets, we had to wait in line for a half hour as well. It was crazypants. And people were super upset. I was just super uncomfortable because I was babywearing Remy Bea.

When we finally got in, we went straight for the VIP room to meet up Crystal from EatDrinkCLE. Both Crystal and I weren’t feeling 100% well, but we managed to make sure we didn’t miss the event — even if that meant having to leave a bit early! After saying our hellos, I went straight for the wine and food [recognizing I’m a nursing mother, and I was wearing a sleeping baby, I recognized my ‘window of opportunity’ to taste a couple of sips of wine had to happen at the very beginning of the evening].

The VIP wine selection was beautiful. I wish I could say that I took a ton of pictures, but I didn’t. Because, babywearing an infant [duh]. But, thanks to the VIP section, I did have the opportunity to taste two fantastic wines — a Malbec and a Cab. And that was, sadly, all the wine I had that night. Because, nursing.

[borrowed this photo from Jen at Why? CLE]
One of the awesome changes the organization did make this year was the introduction of a VIP Chef in the VIP lounge! Chef Dante Boccuzzi, of local Akron restaurant, dba, as well as Dante in Tremont, and Ginko in Tremont [as well as several other restaurants], was serving up tasty sushi!

We ate so much of this sushi. Seriously. I mean, I hadn’t really and truly had sushi in about 9 months, so I was pumped to not only have sushi, but really, really, great sushi!

After checking out the complimentary chair massages, courtesy of Massage Envy, and pastry and coffee bar, courtesy of Panera, we headed out to the general admission area. I’m not going to lie, I was super nervous to join the masses. I was afraid of judgment from other attendees for babywearing an infant at a 21 and over event!

To my surprise, people were just super excited to see a newborn baby! No judgment whatsoever. So we made the rounds! I knew I had a very strict food limit. Being postpartum and being sick means my appetite is close to nothing. So instead of hitting up every single place, I carefully planned my ‘attack.’ Ha!

Two places that were ‘musts’ were Nuevo Mod Mex [pictured above] and Melt Bar + Grilled. Nuevo had an awesome taco, but Melt disappointed me a bit. They had dessert cookie sandwiches. Bummer, cause I was totally looking forward to a tasty grilled cheese sample! Also, the cheesecake shooters [also pictured above] from West Side Bakery was awesome!

Chad hit up a few more restaurants while I chatted with Jen from Why? CLE and her husband, Matthew, as well as my longtime friends Cristin and Chris. [above picture also borrowed from Jen! Again, I didn’t have much access to my phone throughout the event.]

We ended up leaving around 7:30pm. I was just… tired. And I wanted to get Remy Bea home so I could feed her before bed. All in all, it was a great first night out and a great event, yet again!


Disclosure: I was asked by the Arthritis Foundation of Northeast Ohio to help promote Red & White on Thursday Night and run a ticket giveaway. In exchange, I received 2 complimentary VIP tickets. As always, all opinions are my own.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Dawn February 4, 2016 at 2:09 pm

How fun! Even if you had “modified participation.” And with your sweet little lady no less! =)


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: