Recently, I wrote about examples of two lodging properties’ impactful ways to give back. Colorado’s meeting and event industry associations also are champions of good causes, including the National Association of Catering and Events - Greater Denver Chapter’s first-ever Bunks to Backpacks on Aug. 8 at Four Mile Historic Park from 4 – 9 p.m.

Donations of nonperishable foods, school supplies, cash donations and backpacks are being collected at the door. Some suggested nonperishable food items include canned beef ravioli, canned spaghetti and meatballs, vanilla pudding snacks, unpopped microwavable popcorn, instant oatmeal, Slim Jim beef jerky, fruit and grain bars, granola bars, crispy rice bars, raisin mini boxes, reduced-sugar fruit snacks and crackers.

During the annual Meetings Industry Council of Colorado Educational Conference and Trade Show in March, the organization launched Serving Up Soap, an all-year-long community service project that involves collecting unopened hygiene products, including the miniature versions from hotels. The items will be donated to three nonprofit organizations within the Colorado region: Food Bank of the Rockies, Tennyson Center for Children and Volunteers of America, Colorado Branch.

There are three ways to assist MIC with Serving Up Soap.

1. Campaign to raise toiletries at your place of work with participating companies recognized at the MIC Conference on March 13 and 14, 2018, in order of the total weight donated.

2. MIC’s 13 organizations are accepting donations at monthly meetings and gatherings, and a winner will be recognized during the 2018 conference.

3. MIC can accept large-size donations of unused/unopened hygiene products for SUS.

The project is a partnership effort between MIC and Global Experience Specialists and complements MIC’s other annual charitable project, the Serving Up Hope luncheon scheduled for Nov. 7, 2017 at Denver Mart.

Never underestimate the power of helping good causes even on a small scale. Earlier this year, a friend and I hosted a puppy shower for a generous and community-minded friend. She welcomed an adorable golden retriever puppy, Gretel, into her life this spring after losing her six-year-old dog of the same breed to cancer, so we wanted to celebrate and help our local Paradise Animal Welfare Society as heavy snow this past winter damaged the organization’s facility in Crested Butte. Everyone brought a gift for Gretel or a donation to PAWS, with all donations matched by an anonymous donor. Posting photos of the event on Facebook and adding a tab to donate resulted in additional contributions, so a total of $400 was presented to PAWS and we had a lot of fun. Guests went home with small gift sacks of dog treats for their canine friends and human puppy chow, a delicious mix of Rice Chex coated with chocolate, peanut butter and powdered sugar.

Get out there and help a good cause!

You’ve seen that look before. A few hours after attendees have been in a meeting, their eyes start to glaze over, heads nod, arms stretch, and watches or phones get checked. Yes, it’s time for snacks and a mental break to freshen up the brain cells.

In truth, meeting breaks are a golden time for networking and catching up on everyday life with colleagues. So how do you make those precious 15-30 minutes tasty and memorable? We’ve gathered ideas about healthy, local and highly interesting treats so groups have something to look forward to when snack time rolls around.

 

Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International – Southern Colorado Chapter held its annual summer fundraiser on July 17 at Colorado Springs Marriott. A beach party theme kept things lively, and members were encouraged to “flamingle” and bring guests of all ages. Funds raised benefitted CASA of the Pikes Peak Region.

 

Members of the National Association of Catering & Events Greater Denver Chapter pulled out the gym gear and dusted off their Nikes to take the field. The Denver Broncos’ UCHealth Training Center, a professional-grade facility, served as the backdrop for all sorts of fun and games.