24 February 2010


I'm still in shock over the dramatics of the last week of funding for The Global Citizen Project. Thank you again for being part of the three most inspiring months of my life. I have the makings of a post-play report running through my head, but still processing the past 90 days and how it will affect the next year plus (and inevitably, beyond) of my life. I slept in today (until 10 a.m.), filed my daily deadline, then started sorting out and packing backer rewards items. Of the 223 people who backed The Global Citizen Project, 139 people claimed rewards, so it will take a few days to gather mailing addresses, pack up items and get these on their merry way. Right now, it looks like the U.S.P.S. and Office Depot barfed in my dining room. I hope to have all reward items mailed out within the week. As soon as all of the administrative details are out of the way, I will move onto the meat of the project. In the meantime, please bear with me as I try to ease life back to a semi-civilized pace and take a step back from the full court social media press (at least for a few days). Tonight, I finally had the energy to raise a glass with my boyfriend, Morgan to the success of TGCP and to all of the people who collaborated, showed kindness and never stopped cheerleading for the cause. I thank you all with all of my heart. XO

22 February 2010

what's next?

TGCP officially ended at 4:15 p.m. PST today (in exactly 8 minutes). If I'm still standing, I'd like to raise a margarita (it's National Margarita Day) to celebrate the last 90 days (and Lisa McElroy's birthday), the next year of the project and all the people hwo helped get me here -- and then I'll probably collapse.

Tomorrow I will start the process of packing up backer rewards for the 200+ people who pledged. The thank yous that need to go out are too copious to count right now. I also have the task of applying for non-profit status. I've already alerted the organizations I committed to that we're good-to-go and I have two projects that need to be determined by the generous folks who each sponsored one month of TGCP. I want to have dates/definite projects confirmed ASAP, so I can post a schedule of where I will be, what I will be doing exactly and when, and flesh out the actual budget. The funding should go through in two weeks(ish).

The tour de force will start in June, so I have ample time to brush up on my Spanish, research the communities I'll be serving and make smart planning/travel decisions. I want to gather as much info about the places I'm going and the people I'll help before I go and make that information available on my blog, etc. (I'm a visual gal.)

In the meantime, I have many patient editors who've allowed me to put pitching/writing on the back burner for the past three months and I owe them some work/ideas. Also, I think my boyfriend probably would like to have a real "date night." And I need a few hours outdoor/physical activity/sunshine. This is all very do-able : )

That's the plan right now. Of course, I will keep everyone updated as things move along. May pull back on the tech for a day or two to recover/regroup/recharge, but I will never be too far and will always update any new developments.

As always, if anyone has any input or suggestions to help make TGCP a success, please holler. I'm all ears.

With love and gratitude,

wow. funded!

The Global Citizen Project is FUNDED! 223 people pledged $20,533 and I still have 7 hours to go. Major blog post coming...So many thanks to go out. This is truly unbelievable. Thank you to everyone who had a hand in TGCP's success -- too many people to ever count, I hope I've thanked you along the way. XO

giving thanks. 96% funded. 16 hours to go.

Whew. It’s been one heckuva whirlwind of a day. My apologies for keeping this brief, but I am in overdrive (and sleep deprived) trying to get the last bit of funding nailed down for The Global Citizen Project.

Here’s what you need to know: Thirty-four people pledged The Global Citizen Project today. TGCP is now 96% funded - $19,137 has been pledged toward the $20,000 goal. I have until 4:15 p.m. PST TODAY (Monday, February 22, 2010) to make this goal or I do not receive a cent.

Here are the 34 people who made my day with all kinds of last minute generosity. Eleven of these people are repeat pledgers and are indicated with a star. (I hope got all the stars right – please let me know if I accidentally skipped someone!)

Thank you to these wonderful people! So far, 213 people have pledged The Global Citizen Project. Thank you to each and every one of you. XO

Amanda Lipnack *
Annie Drury
Chelsea Lin
Christine Bottaro
Colleen Stephens *
Courtney Johnston
Cynthia J. Cecil
Daryl Darko Barnett
Dave Harrhy
David Volk
Denise Dube *
Dylan Lowe
Erica Yamauchi
Garren Katz *
Gena Oppenhein
Greg Johnson *
Janelle Nanos
Jen Amato *
Jennifer Everhart *
Jennifer Pham
Johnica Reed
Kirsten Graham *
Linares Plumbing *
Liz Lewis
Malin Lindelow
Michelle Kuhlman
Raquel Segura *
Rob Vogt *
Ryan Bello
Tim Leffel
Valentina Vitols
Viv Draward *
Wendy Hartley *

21 February 2010

media mention: perceptive travel

Holy cow! The Global Citizen Project is still getting edit love with 18 hours until its funding deadline. Wow. Thanks to Liz Lewis for the last minute coverage (what a nice surprise!) on Perceptive Travel and for her pledge. I'm really blown away by everyone's kindness, especially over the last 72 hours. Read Liz's column here.

new backer reward - 6 pack case of tudor wines pinot noir

California Central Coast winemaker Dan Tudor came to the last minute backer rescue with a generous donation of (4) six-pack cases of his award-winning Pinot Noir. Each 6 pack case is available with a $250 pledge to The Global Citizen Project.

Here's what you get (one bottle of each):
  • 05 Tudor Tondre' Vineyard Pinot Noir
  • 05 Tudor SLH Pinot Noir
  • 06 Tudor SLH Pinot Noir
  • 06 Tudor Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
  • 06 Tudor Sarmento Vineyard Pinot Noir
  • 06 Tudor Balo Vineyard Pinot Noir

All the 06's received 90 to 93 point ratings in Wine Spectator, while the 05's got top scores from various other wine publications.

In an increasingly mechanized world, there are still a few handcrafted products that stand out. Fine wine is one of them.

At Tudor Wines, we select fruit from family-owned vineyards and transform it into wine using traditional techniques. These include small fermentations mixed by hand and aging in French barrels. The resulting wine has a purity of expression that cannot be duplicated on a larger scale.

The 2000 Tudor Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir was the inaugural release from Tudor Wines. By working closely with our family growers and winemaking staff, we made sure that low yields combined with maximum grape maturity produced wine with optimal flavor profiles - a balance of ripeness, acidity, and tannins.

- Dan and Christian Tudor

 You read tasting notes and accolades for Dan's wines on his website.

how to increase your pledge

If anyone wishes to increase their pledge, I wrote out the play-by-play, since it's kind of confusing (and a lot of people have been asking - thank you!):
  1. Go to the Kickstarter page here.
  2. Click on My Projects, then “Projects I’m Backing”
  3. Click on “Manage Your Pledge” (in blue box on right hand side of the page)
  4. Enter your NEW pledge amount (change reward if applicable)
  5. Scroll down and click “Adjust Your Pledge”
  6. Click “Continue to Amazon”
  7. Sign into your Amazon account to complete transaction
  8. You will receive a “Congratulations” page with the updated pledge amount post on the right hand side of the page (and a thank you from me!)

20 February 2010

41 hours to go. 89% funded. please pledge asap.

Today has been all about numbers:
  • The Global Citizen Project had 20 pledges made today
  • 191 people have backed TGCP since its launch
  • The project is now 89% funded
  • There are only 41 hours left to fund TGCP
  • TGCP has raised $17,745.42 so far
  • TGCP has until 4:15 p.m. PST on Monday, February 22nd to reach $20,000 or I get ZERO 
Thank you to every single person who has helped this effort - help and kindness has come in more forms than you can imagine and I am grateful for every bit of it. The Monday/$20,000 goal is getting close and there's still a chance I can make it in time, but I need all the help I can get with less than two days to raise a little over $2,000. I've made it this far -  please help me on the final stretch.

Pledge here.

The list of thanks for today is long...

Kelly Timmerman
Sarah Van Auken
Jennifer Husbands
Brian Flanner
Julia Noland
Steven Whyte
Cheryl Jacobson
Heidi Kettenring
Suzanne Baugh
Maxine Sheppard
Joanne Bussiere
Jennifer Neff
Caitlin Fitzsimmons
Lori Carter
Jackie Roman
Cynthia Seymour
Donna Hunt

I promise to circle back with more details, website links, Twitter handles, etc. on these fab 20 backers ASAP. Thank you!

my horoscope today

Oh, I like this a lot!

Some wonderful news concerning money and career matters could come your way today, Taurus. Your natural kindness and sympathy for others has led you to make some good friends who are also valuable business contacts. This is definitely paying off. Your aesthetic sense is at an all-time high, so this is a great day to start any creative projects that you have in mind. Success is definitely coming your way!
(via Horoscope.com)

upping the reward ante

Hacienda Tres Rios Resort, Spa & Nature Park, Riviera Maya, México  has added (2) one hour massages to the already kick you-know-what two night, Endless Luxury, all-inclusive stay they donated. The value of the two night stay is $1440 without the two massages and it's available with a $695 pledge to The Global Citizen Project. Hello, deal! Here are the details about the stay - and yes, I've stayed here and can whole-heartedly recommend it.

Chef/owner Michael Jones of Cachagua General Store in Carmel Valley, CA has also thrown something pretty awesome into the reward mix. Michael has already pledged TGCP, rallied his entire family to pledge TGCP, rallied friends near and far to pledge TGCP and donated dinner for two at his restaurant. Tonight, he offered up dinner for two , including wine from Dan Lee of Morgan Winery fame for anyone who pledges $100 or more. If you can get to Carmel Valley, I cannot recommend Michael's restaurant enough. It's more than a meal - it's an experience, and if you're a foodie, one not to be missed. Here's everything you need to know about why the Store is my fave restaurant on the Monterey Peninsula - and well beyond the (831) area code.

Big huge thanks to Hacienda Tres Rios and Michael Jones for believing in my project and for sweetening some already sweets deals.

19 February 2010

give thanks. 65 hours left to fund the global citizen project

My apologies for keeping this post brief, but I'm on the final 65 hour stretch to get The Global Citizen Project funded by its Monday, February 22, 4:25 p.m. PST deadline. So far, 173 people have pledged $17,016 toward the $20,000 goal and TGCP is 85% funded. THANK YOU to every single person who has contributed time, money, outreach efforts and enthuiasm to this project. It is less than $3,000 away from being a success. If you haven't pledged yet, please help me reach the $20,000 goal. If I don't meet the goal, I won't receive a cent and it would make me really sad to have to give more than $17,000 back.

Today's thanks go out to:

Meg Myers
Rob Vogt
Nathan Kam
Roland Alonzi
Liz Gallagher
Brian Hoffman
Jeanette Renfro Azar
Chris Shelton
Lisa Chavis
Matthew Millea
Edward Readicker-Henderson

Thank you all for giving TGCP love today. I appreciate all of your kindness and efforts. XO

giving (lots of) thanks. three days to go. 74% funded/$14,831

It's been a five star day in fundraising land. So many people have stepped up to the pledge plate in the 11th hour (okay, maybe it's more like the 72nd hour, but still...). Thank you to all 163 people who have believed in The Global Citizen Project and pledged $14,831 - TGCP is now 74% funded!

I have oodles of thanks to give this Thursday:


Jess Shum, more love from Canada! Thanks, Jess.

Cristin Flannery, friend of my high school friend, Libby (Seiter) Nelson.

Lena Katz, the California/Hawaii/Mexico travel blogger for Orbitz, creator of the Playboy Scout (Playboy’s daily digital lifestyles news feed) and author of Travel Temptations, a travel guidebook series (SUN/SIP/SNOW) published on Globe Pequot Press

Andrew Hetzel & Heather White, thank you for increasing your pledge

Caitlin Fitzsimmons, a professional writer and editor based in San Francisco. She runs a freelance business, specializing in media, society and culture, travel and environmental issues. She runs a travel and food blog, Roaming Tales.

Alex Kralicek, thank you for increasing your pledge

Jennifer Thompson of Thompson & Co Public Relations, thank you for increasing your pledge

Sabrine Rodems, thank you for increasing your pledge

Shawn Kresel, friend from San Francisco, man of unbelievable wit and humor

Amanda Castleman, thank you for increasing your pledge

Joe Campbell, backer for one month of TGCP, I am excited to hear what project/cause/program he feels passionate about and how I can help. Thank you for your generous pledge, Joe. Will you please shoot me an email so I can properly thank you? (cpfeuffer@yahoo.com)

18 February 2010

three days to go. 65% funded. just passed $13k mark.


I would not ask for your help unless I really believed that I could help a whole lot of people with The Global Citizen Project, both via physical volunteer service and the pre/during/post power of the pen/keyboard. So far, 161 people have believed in my project and have pledged more than $13,000 toward the $20,000 goal. Countless people have shared the project via word-of-mouth, social networks and some of the kindest emails, phone calls, letters, and words I've ever received. I have 3 days left to raise the remaining funds or else I will have to give back the more than $13,000 raised so far and The Global Citizen Project will not happen and the past 87 days will have been for naught.

I am not good at asking for help, but I need it now. If you've already pledged TGCP, thank you. Please consider increasing your pledge (if you are able) and spreading the last minute word. If you haven't pledged, please go to my fundraising page on Kickstarter and make a pledge ASAP. Your credit card will not be charged unless the project is fully funded by 4:15 PST on Monday, February 22, but I need you to go to the site and pledge. I have hundreds of dollars in verbal promises, which won't help the cause unless they are processed via Kickstarter by 4:15 PST on Monday, February 22.

Pledge HERE.

Here's why you should pledge The Global Citizen Project.

Thank you for all that you've done to get me to this point and everything you will do to help The Global Citizen Project succeed. I have too much invested in this for it to fail and too many people counting on my help. Please help me make this happen and I promise, I will take you on one heckuva virtual/vicarious volunteering adventure for the year.

With love and thanks,

media mention: national geographic traveler intelligent blog

The Global Citizen Project and Kickstarter are featured today on National Geographic's Intelligent Travel blog. Thank you, Janelle Nanos for the coverage! Read it here.

17 February 2010

giving thanks. four days to go.

My apologies for keeping the commentary brief, but I have an intense four days ahead of me as I try to raise the remaining 41% necessary to fund The Global Citizen Project. I do want to take a quick "time out," though to thank the following people who believe in TGCP and backed the project over the past 24 hours:

Warren and Betsy Talbot of Married With Luggage, their blog on goal-setting, living well, managing your money, and simplifying your life. In a little over seven months, Warren and Betsy are taking off for round-the-world travel adventures. You can follow Warren on Twitter here, Betsy here and their Fremont home, which is up for sale here.

Patrick Mahaney, a dear friend of mine and dorm mate from my freshman year at University of Delaware, Los Angeles veterinarian and owner of California Pet Accupuncture & Wellness, Inc. Patrick educates pet lovers on pet issues through his LA Pet Care Examiner blog on Examiner.com. I can't wait for him, Phil and Cardiff to come to Seattle next month.

Marc Rand, constant source of love and friendship for the past (gasp) 20 years, one of the most thoughtful, creative and funny people I know. Husband to Scott Montgomery, another incredibly warm soul. Spending a few hours with these two has the restorative/relaxing effects of a full-blown vacation.


Barnaby Dorfman, CEO/Founder of Foodista.com, the cooking encyclopedia everyone can edit. You can follow Barnaby on Twitter here.

Helen Pitlick, digital media-ite, Foodista's Social Networking intern. You can follow Helen on Twitter here or read her blog here.

Sheila Beal, editor of the award winning travel blog Go Visit Hawaii. You can follow Sheila on Twitter here.

Matt Villano, dear friend who increased a previous pledge, freelancer writer covering travel, food, wine, gambling, science, business and technology. You can follow Matt on Twitter here.

Viv Draward, travel writer I met in Honduras and shared lovely conversation and company with over copious glasses of wine at The Lodge at Pico Bonito. She's also the PR and Communications Manager at Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Thank you to the 155 people who've pledged $11,866.42 to The Global Citizen Project. I still need a lot of help to reach my $20,000 goal or else I will not receive a penny and the project will not help. If you want to see TGCP come to life, please do what you can to spread the word. Thank you. XO

new backer reward - one night stay at hotel max (seattle)

A quintessentially comfortable, utterly hip experience awaits you at the Hotel Max.

In the heart of downtown Seattle, Washington, the Hotel Max offers an artistic setting for both business and pleasure. The Hotel Max provides the platform for both emerging and established Seattle artists and photographers. There are more than 350 original paintings and photographs found throughout our Seattle hotel in the lobby, guest rooms and corridors.

The fine print: This Gift Certificate entitles you to enjoy a One Night Stay inclusive of Valet Parking. Reservations will be made based on availability. Incidental charges are not included. Other restrictions may apply.
The value is $299, but can be yours with a $150 pledge to The Global Citizen Project.

Photo courtesy of MACSURAK

my horoscope today. interesting. very interesting.

You've worked hard to promote your business interests, Taurus, and today it might pay off. Money, or contracts promising it, could come your way, as well as new opportunities to pursue success, perhaps in writing, teaching, or publishing. Friends and family members should be as excited as you are, and perhaps you'll want to have a celebration of some sort. Relax for a while and enjoy your evening. You'll be back at your tasks soon enough. You can count on it! (via Horoscope.com)

16 February 2010

56% funded and five days to go!

Thank you to the 146 people who have pledged $11,176 towards The Global Citizen Project. I have FIVE DAYS LEFT to get this project funded or else it DOES NOT HAPPEN and I need your help. Thanks go out this Tuesday afternoon to TGCP's latest backers:

Monica Bhide, author of Modern Spice: Inspired Indian Flavors for the Contemporary Kitchen (Simon & Schuster, 2009 with a foreword by Mark Bittman). You can follow Monica on Twitter here.

Kelly Chamberlin, sassy San Francisco publicist behind my fave collection of boutique hotels, Personality Hotels. Kelly also comes up with the most creative hotel packages like Hello, "Spin, Whip & Sprinkle," "It's a Ruff Life," and "Love Him or Leave Him."

CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP STILL AVAILABLE! The Global Citizen needs at least two people, business, etc. to each sponsor one month of The Global Citizen Project (realistically to make my funding goal by FEB 22). You pick the project, I do the volunteer work. Everyone feels warm and fuzzy. I'm applying for 501(c)(3) status as soon as TGCP is funded, so if all goes as planned, it will be a retroactively, tax-deductible donation.

break it down

So, I got all mathematical and graphed the progress of The Global Citizen Project and learned some interesting stats:

Of the 144 people who've backed more than $11,000:
  • 33% are men
  • 67% are women
I know 67% of the people who've given to TGCP, but one-third of the project has been backed people I do not know.

It's pretty cool to think I moved nearly 50 perfect strangers to believe in my project and make a donation, don't you?

So my million dollar question (actually, $8,909 question) is: What will it take to get the people that I do know, yet who have not pledged to give? I'm counting on you, along with the kindness of strangers, to help make TGCP a success -- all over the next 6 days. No pressure (wink).

15 February 2010

good news! tgcp broke the $11k mark this morning. 7 days to go.

Good news! The Global Citizen Project just broke the $11k (or 55%) funded mark thanks to these fantastic new backers:

Sean and Corinne McLeary, dear friends in San Francisco and soon-to-be (awesome) parents. Corinne also hails from the East Coast.

Dyan Dolfi Olfutt, friend, fellow Pittsburgh Steelers fan and gal-in-the-hospitality-know with Bread & Butter Public Relations.

Big thanks to you all for making my Monday morning. Seven days to go! Let's do this!

Photo courtesy of Dru Bloomfield

14 February 2010

happy valentine's day

“Love grows by giving. The love we give away is the only love we keep. The only way to retain love is to give it away.” - Elbert Hubbard (American editor, publisher and writer, 1856-1915)

photo courtesy of SeeMidTN.com (aka Brent)

13 February 2010

$10,641. nine days to go. please don't let me fail.

Fundraising for The Global Citizen Project is at full-tilt frenzy as I try to make it to $20,000 by the 4:15 PST February 22nd deadline. I know I sound like a broken record at this point (my apologies), but I need to reiterate: If I do not make my funding goal, I do not receive a single cent and I have to give all money raised so far back. Please do not let TGCP fail or the past 80 days of working around-the-clock on this project will have been for naught. I don't know if there are enough Kleenex in the world to deal with that scenario.

Right now, 142 backers have pledged $10,641 towards the $20,000 goal with NINE DAYS TO GO. Thanks to the latest people who have believed in my project:

Jessica Prince

Sarah Siler of Murphy O'Brien Public Relations fame. We met while I was on a great press trip at Dakota Mountain Lodge in Park City, UT. (Sidenote: I really love and recommend this property.)

Georgene Troseth, friend of Allison Scott, the Director of Communications at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO.

Trisha Cole Walrath, Vice President of Wagstaff Worldwide, Inc., and hands down, my fave person to sip Bloody Marys with poolside at The Broadmoor. I wish our travel paths crossed more often, but when they do, oh, do they ever : )

Jen Amato, this woman is the reason why I love the power of social media -- you never know who you are going to cross paths with, and sometimes, it's one of the good people. Jen is one of the good people, tells it like it is (a quality this Philly gal finds oh so endearing), one helluva cheerleader, and a Tacoma area marketing rep for Patron, Absolut, Jameson, Malibu, Pearl, and Aha Toro (which automatically scores her extra credit points in my book). You can follow Jen on Twitter here or here. I'm glad our worlds intersected.

Anne Reynolds, I would need pages upon pages to tell you what this woman means to me. We've been friends since the days of Hillside Elementary, and although we haven't been in close touch they past several years, she and her family are close to my heart and I love them all dearly. Anne, also lost her mom at a young age to lung cancer, and it's an unfortunate (okay, downright shitty) bond that we share. The list of memories I have with Anne go on forever -- I wouldn't even know where to begin in sharing them, except for maybe our Friday night telephone calls to the local radio station for cheesy song requests and making tapes at the King of Prussia Mall's "recording studio."

Jennifer Buege, Senior Editor and Web Editor at North American Media Group in Minneapolis, MN. We met on a press trip to Parma, Italy (hello, ham and cheese!) and we had the pleasure of crossing paths again in Seattle several months ago over a yummy lunch at Matt's in the Market at Pike Place Market. Cool gal and devout foodie.

Also, thanks need to go out to this week's round of A-Team cheerleaders, who've gone above and beyond in promoting my TGCP:  Andrea Burnett, David Volk, Rob Vogt, Jen Amato, Alex Kralicek, Jeanette Renfro Azar, Peter West Carey, Kayt Sukel, Brooke Schoenman, Erin Petrie, Carolyn Barr, Sheila Beal, Gladys Chavez, Robin Locker, Raquel Segura, Hacienda Tres Rios, Allison Scott, Gwen Abbott, Jeremy Abbott and Garren Katz. If I have forgotten anyone, my apologies and XO's -- I'm going on three months of sleep deprivation and non-stop brainstorming. You know I love you and thank you ; )

12 February 2010

media mention: brooke vs. the world

Brooke Schoenman is a 20-something traveler from central Illinois on an extended journey to see the world. On her first trip overseas to Italy in 2000, she made a promise to herself to spend a large part of her life experiencing cultures other than her own, and she is doing just that. Brooke vs. the World is the round-the-world travel blog of a girl fulfilling her dream of traveling the world, one phase at a time.

Thanks Brooke for giving The Global Citizen Project "Virtual High Fives" in your blog today. I appreciate your pledge from Sydney, Australia and the plug for my project.

11 February 2010

seattle on sale. 24 hours only - starting at midnight tonight (PST)

It is my plan to swap my BlackBerry for a backpack to serve 12 different community causes in 12 countries over 12 months, with a project I conceived, The Global Citizen Project. TGCP has raised more than $10,000 so far, but only has TEN days remaining to reach its $20,000 funding goal or else the project will not happen and I will not receive a cent. Donations start at $1 and there are several tokens of gratitude being offered for different levels of pledges.

For 24 hours only, from midnight tonight until midnight tomorrow night (PST), you can support a great cause and save money of lots on several really cool Seattle items. Prices will be adjusted on Kickstarter at midnight tonight (PST), so if you see something you like, please pledge ASAP. Prices will be switched back to pre-sale amounts at midnight tomorrow night. Thanks in advance for checking out TGCP!

$8.50 value. NOW, a $5 pledge to TGCP.
(Valid in WA and OR only)

$80 value. NOW, a $40 pledge to TGCP.
Over 115 buy-one-get-one FREE Seattle travel deals for Seattle, San Juan Islands and Victoria BC. Save on flightseeing, adventure travel, whale watching, harbor cruises and hotels.

$165 value. NOW, a $82.50 pledge to TGCP.
Ace Seattle is a 28 room hotel located in the heart of Belltown. It’s near downtown, and within walking distance of many popular destinations, like the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and the Seattle Waterfront. Blackout Dates Apply.

$250 value. NOW, a $125 pledge to TGCP
This charming Kimpton hotel in the heart of downtown Seattle celebrates Washington's Wine Country by dedicating each room to a local winery and vineyard.. It was recently named to Travel + Leisure's "Best 500 Hotels in the World" list.
The gift certificate will be valid for one year from date of issue and some blackout dates may apply.

$200 value. NOW, a $100 pledge to TGCP.
The 370-room luxury hotel, next to the very popular Tulalip casino, includes a deluxe spa, restaurants, meeting rooms, a ballroom and a special area for weddings around a landscaped pool.
Good for: One night deluxe accommodation and a $25 food credit. Valid until: 2/28/2011 Disclaimer: No redeemable cash value; gratuities and alcohol not included; based on availability, certain blackout dates may apply and is not valid during New Year’s Eve or Valentine’s Day.

$550 value. NOW, a $250 pledge to TGCP.
The Woodmark Hotel, Yacht Club & Spa is the only hotel on the picturesque shores of Lake Washington. The Woodmark features 100 rooms, most with views of the lake, and all with luxury amenities, as well as a full-service spa, two exceptional restaurants, distinctive event spaces and an intimate, residential, waterside ambiance.

Photo courtesy of net efekt

10 February 2010

media mention: uptake

Thanks to writer Kayt Sukel for letting me swoon about my 35th birthday culinary extravaganza at El Bulli in Roses, Spain in her Uptake Restaurants article. She also gives love and props to The Global Citizen Project. Be sure to check it the pictures from my culinary adventure here.

11 days to go. more thanks.

More thanks to go around today...

Pamela Segger, screenwriter and friend of one of my fave Philly friends, Rich Lucas

Laurel Ruma, Gov 2.0/open government evangelist at O'Reilly Media, co-chair of Gov 2.0 Expo 2010, homebrewer, and foodie. You can follow Laurel on Twitter here.

Juliana Shallcross, my fab editor at HotelChatter.com and VegasChatter,com, fellow east coast/Tri-State gal. You can follow Juliana on Twitter here.

Candace Dempsey, award-winning Italian-American journalist and travel writer and author of MURDER IN ITALY: The Shocking Slaying of a British Student, the Accused American Girl, and an International Scandal. (Penguin: Berkley Publishing Group). The book will appear in May 2010 and is available for pre-order on Amazon.

Thanks to the 135 people who have pledged $10,276 to The Global Citizen Project. I have 11 days to go to reach the $20,000 goal or else the project will not happen. If you haven't already done so, please pledge now. The sooner I make my goal, the sooner I can start planning logistics of the important stuff -- like helping people in 12 places around the world.

media mention: road remedies

The people in my world are truly awesome. I've had moments in my life which have required major rallying, but I am blown away on a daily basis by the kindness of others and their support for The Global Citizen Project. Today is no exception.

Travel writer, Lowell Thomas award winner, fellow Seattleite and friend, Amanda Castleman wrote-up TGCP on her blog, Road Remedies. If you want to cut your teeth on travel writing or take what you know to the next level, Amanda teaches a ten-week, online course Travel Writing: From Press Trips to Punctured Tires about four times a year. Thank you, Amanda for this lovely post and for all the other behind-the-scenes stuff you've done to help promote the project.

blog to read: life on the edge

If you're planning on following the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, check out Life On The Edge, a blog chronicling the 20 years of skating observations by professional communicators, Allison and Allen Scott, who are also skating parents -- as in the skating parents of Colorado Springs' own United States Figure Skating Association TEAM USA Member Jeremy Abbott. You can follow him at the Olympics (woo hoo!) on Twitter at @pcfclub. Allison is a social media goddess, so expect regular updates on Life On The Edge, as well as on her Facebook and Twitter sites.

09 February 2010

if you get 25% of your funding on kickstarter, you have 90% chance of getting the rest

"If you get 25% of your funding on Kickstarter, you have 90% chance of getting the rest."
Kickstarter co-founder, Yancy Strickler

The Global Citizen Project is 51% funded with 12 days to go. Please don't let me fail. I need to raise about $9,700 or $800 per day. Please help me do this.

Right now, I want to thank the latest backers who believe in The Global Citizen Project and the impact I can have around the world:

Andrew Collins, About.com Guide to Gay & Lesbian Travel. We live one state apart, but our travel paths only seem to cross in places like Colorado Springs and Santa Barbara. (Not that I'm complaining.) You can follow Andrew on Twitter here.

Buzzy Gordon, another travel writer friend met in Antigua (on not such a great press trip), just completed writing the first Frommer's Jerusalem Day by Day Guide, to be published in 2010 by Wiley & Co.

Garren Katz and NW for Haiti. Garren is a kind-hearted new friend who also appreciates good food, wine and friends. (We'll get along just fine.) He managed to organize and execute the NW for Haiti event a few weekends ago at The Vineyard Table and raised more than $3,000 for YELE, Doctors Without Borders and The Global Citizen Project with the help of more than a few generous, wine-loving souls. You can follow Garren on Twitter here
Rich Lucas, talented screenwriter friend from Philly whom I've known for more than a decade (wow). I haven't seen Rich in ages, but love hearing about his travels and travails, and have my fingers crossed to see one of his scripts on the big screen someday.

Juliana (I think I know who this is, but need to confirm before I start outing backers.)

Isoul Harris, Atlanta's Managing Editor of  944 magazine, also known as Ver Sach, we met on one of the all-time best press trips to Costa Rica last year and I am itching to travel with our group, "V" again. When you find a travel writer dynamic that works, it's best to cross travel paths again. In the meantime, I enjoy the groups' company immensely via Facebook and Twitter. You can follow Isoul on Twitter here.

Mary A. Harris, Isoul's supermama. We haven't met, but if we did, I've give her a high five for raising such a classy kid with a heart of pure gold. I mean it.

08 February 2010

the "f" word

If The Global Citizen Project is not 100% funded by February 22nd, the project will fail and I have to give back every cent raised over the past 77 days (more than $10,000). Yes, I said it. I don't think everyone realizes that this is an all-or-nothing scenario and I haven't been eating, breathing and dreaming TGCP around the clock for nearly three months for it not to succeed. I have way too many people to help and counting on me for this not to succeed.

Surely, the impact I'll have on countless people is worth more than the few bucks you can pledge, right?  I have 13 days left to fund this project -- that's it, that's all. If you've been thinking about making a pledge -- PLEASE DO IT NOW. Thank you to the 128 people have believed in my volunteer project and to the many more (fingers crossed) who will join the effort. Thank you, all. XO

broke the $10k mark (whooah, we're halfway there!)

Sit down. Guess who just broke the $10k mark? The Global Citizen Project! Big thanks to Garren Katz for organizing the NW for Haiti event (in less than a week. you want to make something happen? you need this man on your team) and everyone who attended to support YELE, Doctors Without Borders and The Global Citizen Project. I'm officially over the half-way mark, but still need a lot of love over the next 13 days so I can help serve and bring awareness to 12 causes and communities around the world. Thank you to all 128 people who have believed in my project! I can do this, we can do this - let's do this! XO

new backer reward: one night stay at ace hotel seattle

Pledge $100 to The Global Citizen Project for a one night stay at Ace Seattle.

Ace Seattle is a 28 room hotel located in the heart of Belltown. It’s near downtown, and within walking distance of many popular destinations, like the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and the Seattle Waterfront.

Blackout Dates Apply.
($165 value)

new backer reward: free burrito at chipotle with $10 pledge

Live in Washington or Oregon? Pledge $10 to The Global Citizen Project and get ONE FREE Chipotle burrito, burrito bowl, salad or order of tacos. First 50 people, only. Thank you, Chipotle, for your donation, support of TGCP and for just being delicious.

Photo courtesy of Thomas Hawk.

show your support for jeremy abbott (and support two worthy causes)

Thank you Colorado personal trainer, pro athlete and fellow wanderluster Gwen Abbott for donating 20% of the proceeds of JerWear - the official clothing line of United States Figure Skating Association TEAM USA Member Jeremy Abbott - to The Global Citizen Project and Doctors Without Borders. Pre-order now; orders will start shipping February 20th!

05 February 2010

16 days to go. please help me help 12 causes/communities.

125 people have believed in The Global Citizen Project and pledged $9,620 towards the $20,000 goal. Thanks to each and every person who has recognized how I can contribute to multiple communities, help highlight their needs and inspire others to get involved. I can't do this without your help, and appreciate the overwhelming amounts of love, enthusiasm and support you've shown me. Thank you.

Sending huge hugs to the latest backers:

Colorado Springs' own United States Figure Skating Association TEAM USA Member Jeremy Abbott. You can follow him at the Olympics (woo hoo!) on Twitter or on his official website. GO JEREMY GO! I'm so incredibly proud of you.  

Rebecca Pang, Oahu PR executive who enjoys travel, shopping, dining, arts, nightlife and lots of naps in between. As far as Hawaii's various CVB's go, you won't find a more on-the-ball publicist than Rebecca. You can follow Rebecca on Twitter here.

Kelly Nix, thanks for increasing your pledge -- you are going to love your dinner at Cachagua Store.

media mention: on ur way travel emag (inaugural issue - yay!)

It's really pretty awesome to be included in On UR Way Travel's inaugural Emag issue -- thank you, Sasha. On UR Travel is a website dedicated to young first time and seasoned travellers with lots of practical information on travel planning, gap years, destinations and more. I've worked at newspapers, magazines, advertising agencies and even have a graphic design background (pre-journalism career) and must give this talented young woman major props for producing such a polished web product/e-magazine. And it isn't just pretty -- it's packed with all sorts of good reading. So check it out.

While you're reading all about The Global Citizen Project on pages 6-8 (wink wink), be sure to check out some of the other fab features on the Batu Caves of Kuala Lumpur, Jervis Bay in Australia, and Backpacking China with Dragon Bus. The next issue will be out April 2010, but in the meantime, you can follow Sasha on Twitter here.

new backer reward: two night all inclusive stay at hacienda tres rios resort, spa & nature park, riviera maya, méxico

ON SALE! Now $695. Hacienda Tres Rios has generously thrown in (2) one hour massages for the person who pledges this reward! I've stayed at HTR - this is one heckuva deal!

Pledge $750 to The Global Citizen Project for a two night, Endless Luxury all inclusive stay at Hacienda Tres Rios Resort, Spa & Nature Park, Riviera Maya, México ($1440 value)

Live the Endless Luxury experience in a unique eco-friendly resort with superb accommodations and exclusive access to Tres Ríos Nature Park in the Riviera Maya. Come enjoy tranquil beaches, natural rivers and cenotes, regional flora and fauna, ecological tours, bicycles, snorkeling, kayaks, and experiences unlike any other.

I have stayed at this property, highly recommend it and would be more than happy to share my experiences with you. In the meantime, please check out the pictures from my stay.

Good for: Two night, Endless Luxury all inclusive stay at Hacienda Tres Rios Resort, Spa & Nature Park, Riviera Maya, México
Disclaimer: No redeemable cash value; based on availability, certain blackout dates may apply.

All-Inclusive Plan Description:
•Unlimited meals and snacks in any of our bars & restaurants
•Premium, domestic and imported alcoholic beverages in our bars & restaurants
•Complimentary in-room wireless internet access
•Pillows menu
•Mini bar restocked daily
•24-hour room service
•Exit Lounge –private area to relax while waiting for airport pick up
•Video library
•Full-service concierge
•Evening entertainment
•Kid’s Club
•Access to our Caribbean Sea white sand beaches
•Access to our two swimming pools
•Access to our full-service gym and fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment
•Yoga classes
•Spinning classes
•Sauna, steam room and jacuzzi at the Spa
•Exclusive Access to our 150-acre Nature Park
•Tres Ríos Nature Park – daily activities for kids, teens and adults
•Swim & kayak in the rivers and cenotes (snorkel included)
•Bicycle Tours
•Sense Adventure tour
•Guided tours of the plant nursery
•Includes tips and taxes on all services

Exclusive Tours & Activities Included:
Coati Tour: Expedition toward Cenote Aguila. This basic excursion, specifically designed for beginners, includes a visit to our Botanical Garden & Nursery.
Tigrillo Tour: An exploratory excursion toward Cenote Aguila for participants at the intermediate level. The trip includes a visit to the Botanical Garden & Nursery, followed by a thrilling kayak journey through the Jaguar Tour: This exciting tour for visitors at an advanced level, starts with a visit to our Botanical Garden & Nursery, continues with a kayak cruise through the Jungle River and concludes with an amazing snorkeling experience in our spectacular Cenote Tortuga.
Aqua Relax: We invite you to enjoy a relaxing and refreshing day. Just bring your bathing suit...we will take care of the rest.
Cocktail Lessons: Learn the techniques of our skillful bartenders so you can prepare our exquisite and exotic drinks at home.
Towel Decoration: Watch in amazement as our amiable housekeeping team creates wonderful figures and incredible decorations with towels!
Cocina Natura: The surprises never end while watching our Chef as he uses natural resources and techniques to prepare delicious cuisine.
Sushi Lessons: Learn practical tips and valuable secrets of sushi preparation and discover its enticing flavors and unique essences.

123 backers can't be wrong. here are the five latest. (thank you.)

Here's the deal. I have 17 days left to make it to my $20,000 fundraising goal. for The Global Citizen Project. If I don't make my goal, the project doesn't happen, I don't receive a cent and I won't be able to serve and bring awareness to 12 causes/communities around the world. Believe me, I'm going to everything I can to make my goal, but I need your help. (Under normal circumstances, I suck at asking for help, but I am officially asking for your help.) Please join the 123 people who have believed in TGCP and pledged $9,535 so far. I thank each and every one of you for all that you've done and all that you'll continue to do to support TGCP, including the five latest backers:

Sabrine M. Rodems, sassy winemaker for Wrath Wines. I met this dynamo of a gal while living on the Monterey Peninsula and all I can say is that she was wearing a red bustier while giving a wine lecture the first time we met. Meow.

Erin Petrie, fantastic Seattle publicist for Green Rubino and fellow dog enthusiast. One of the sweetest gals you'll ever meet and total breath of fresh air/PR competency when I moved back to Seattle.

Liz Preston, business consultant at ADP VirtualEdge. Oh gawd, where to begin with this woman - our roots run long and deep, one of the funniest people you will ever meet.

Deborah Fortune Walton, one of the principals behind Fortune PR is a San Francisco Bay Area-based public relations firm, formed in 1986, specializing in media relations for the restaurant and specialty food product and beverage industries. Killer Bay Area client list.

Winnona Scott Gaviglio - Nice to meet you!

You all rock. Thanks for your pledge love. XO

04 February 2010

new backer reward - three night stay at the royal hawaiian, a luxury collection resort

Fronting Waikiki Beach, the iconic “Pink Palace of the Pacific” opened in 1927 and features exquisitely decorated guest rooms, dramatic architectural design and rich cultural history. The enclave of Hollywood stars, heads of state and international jet setters, the resort reopened last year after a $60 million renovation with a grand opening gala in March 2009. The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort is home to the famed Mai Tai Bar, the celebrated Monarch Room and award-winning Azure Restaurant.

The value of this stay is $1,770, but it can be yours with a $1000 pledge to The Global Citizen Project.

Disclaimer: No redeemable cash value. Subject to availability, blackout dates may apply.
Valid until: 2/28/2011

new backer reward - one night stay at tulalip resort casino + $25 food credit

From Seattle Times article, "Washington hotels that are a world away:"

"The 370-room luxury hotel, next to the very popular Tulalip casino, includes a deluxe spa, restaurants, meeting rooms, a ballroom and a special area for weddings around a landscaped pool. For high-rollers, there are supersized luxury suites, including the 2,000-square-foot Player's Suite with a pool table, arcade games and more. The hotel's main attraction is the adjoining Tulalip Casino, a gambling mecca with 227,000 square feet of slot machines, table games, poker room and more."

"This casino was by far the nicest, cleanest and upscale one in the state of Washington. But what makes it so good is that its close by the good outlet mall and inside it has the best buffet in the state of Washington." - KING J on Yelp

Good for: One night deluxe accommodation and a $25 food credit. ($200 value)
Valid until: 2/28/2011
Disclaimer: No redeemable cash value; gratuities and alcohol not included; based on availability, certain blackout dates may apply and is not valid during New Year’s Eve or Valentine’s Day.

Tulalip Resort Casino is located in Marysville, WA - about 30 miles north of Seattle.

03 February 2010

118 backers, $9,310 and 18 days to go. thank you.

It's getting down to the fundraising wire, but the pledge love keeps pouring in. Please keep the momentum going, even if you can only give a few bucks, because it all helps towards the bigger $20,000/February 22 deadline.

Thanks go out today to:

Lori Nudy, a dear childhood/family friend, we actually grew up right across the street from each other on Tory Hollow Rd. in Berwyn, PA.

Kelly Nix, A-Team journalist for the Carmel Pine Cone, all-around great guy, proud papa of one of the cutest baby girls you will ever see.

Karen Berliner, a woman I admire and adore, she handles life's adversities with enviable grace, plus she has a heart of gold. I'm grateful to have crossed paths with Karen in St. Kitts.

Brooke Schoenman, kind-hearted gal I crossed paths with today on Twitter. You can follow Brooke's adventures on her blog here or on Twitter here.

Annie Arroyo, Brand Director behind Hacienda Tres Rios, one of my fave all-inclusive boutique properties, located on the Mexican Riviera Maya. Before you scratch your head - yes! - HTR defies all stereotypes that boutique hotels and all-inclusive programs can successfully co-exist.

Raquel Segura a very cool woman I've enjoyed getting to know via Twitter, also owner of AiresLibre personal travel. You can follow Raquel on Twitter here.

Thank you all 118 backers who have pledged The Global Citizen Project -- I couldn't do this without you.

02 February 2010

big thanks tuesday. almost at $10k mark!

It's been a whirlwind of a Tuesday with all sorts of pledge love rolling in. Thanks to the 112 people who have believed in me and my project, The Global Citizen Project is now 45% funded with 19 days to go. Help me make this happen and pledge what you can -- even a few dollars helps the big picture effort. XO

Here are the nine wonderful reasons why I need to give thanks today:

Ondine Constable, friend of a friend of a friend via Asheville, N.C., Nia Fitness instructor and freelance writer.

Jeri Clausing, Senior Editor, Hotels and Hospitality at Travel Weekly, we met on a fun-filled press trip to Riviera Maya, Mexico all-inclusive, Hacienda Tres Rios. Thankfully, our paths have crossed since them -- on Jeri's hometurf, Denver.

Denise Dube, fellow foodie and freelance writer, we met on a lovely culinary-centric press trip that took us to all of Québec City's tastiest destinations.

Andrea Lynn, Senior Editor of Chile Pepper magazine, Elvis aficionado, personal chef, writer and foodie; I also met Andrea on the Québec City culinary tour de force.

Kathy Patton and Jeanette Baysa of Hilo Coffee Mill on Big Island, Hawaii. I met these lovely women while on assignment for Imbibe this past summer and ended up spending the better part of the day exploring their stunning plantation, talking hardware stores, chickens, office supplies, the Kindle and sampling all sorts of tasty caffeinated beverages. You can follow Hilo Coffee Mill on Twitter here or stop by next time you're on the Big Island -- Hilo Coffee Mill is located between the 12 & 13 mile markers at 17-995 Volcano Highway.

Kristen Vicente Mallitz, childhood friend and former fellow Betsy Daily dancer (I will never divulge the VHS evidence!)

Danielle Zarrella, Account Manager at Richmond Public Relations and one of my Seattleites to play happy hour with. This woman's got sass and spunk.

Ian Jeffries, Senior Account Supervisor at Edelman

media mention: fremont journal

Thanks go out to local writer, Katherine Luck, for "The Volunteer Tourist" article on The Global Citizen Project in today's Fremont Journal. One teeny tiny clarification: I suspect my 12-month experience may be somewhat like a sabbatical, but a far cry from a "vacation."

01 February 2010

corporate sponsorship opportunities available

Would you like to sponsor The Global Citizen Project for one month? Pledge $1,500 and your business/corporation can pick my one of my 12 volunteer projects. In exchange, I will bring attention and awareness to your company and its selected cause via my platform as a journalist, my social media networks (Facebook, Twitter and more than 2,500 fans/followers) and dedicated banner ads on my blog for the duration of the month.