Category Archives: Events and Premieres

Inspirational Mothers Day Contest

mothers day contest

Countdown to Mother’s Day!

Very seldom in life do we meet people with such amazing gifts that we are left stunned. Earnestine Robinson is one of those rare people. She is able to create music so intricate, many consider it impossible to do without a background in music. Despite no formal music training, with her faith and family, she rises from humble southern roots to become an unlikely composer of classical music that takes her all the way to Carnegie Hall and to a world premiere in Europe.

Earnestine does not  question her source. She trusts God to guide her and just continues to create extraordinary music that has taken her all the way to Carnegie Hall three times.
While some stories are interesting and others explore and push the reader to think, it is usually the inspirational stories that touch the soul. Her book “Driven by Faith” is a “must-read” for anyone who has struggled to answer the question, “Why am I here?”

Earnestine’s gift is more than just creating some of the most beautiful music you will ever hear. It’s also about family, faith and giving back. To this end, Earnestine and her family are holding a contest, one that could include you and your mother.

Join us for this very unique “Countdown to Mother’s Day!”

1. Submit in 500 words or less your special Mother’s Day story.It can be funny, sentimental, bold or all of these and more. Submit  HERE.


2. Each day, prior to Mother’s Day, come back and share special thoughts you have on the upcoming special day on Earnestine’s timeline on Facebook.

3. Share your thoughts with all your friends.

The first 100 people to actively post on Earnestine’s timeline will win the opportunity to participate in a special live, online Earnestine Robinson Master Class. She will discuss and take questions on how to find your purpose and the role of faith in reaching your destiny.

On Mother’s Day, three winners will be chosen and each receive a $100 gift card from Amazon and a copy of Earnestine’s book “Driven By Faith”. Each of the stories will be posted on Earnestine’s Facebook page.

Make this your best Mother’s Day ever!


Sea World to Host Forum to Answer Critics


SeaWorld is finally putting its mouth where its money is.

On June 5 at La Jolla’s Museum of Contemporary Art, a representative from SeaWorld will take on two prominent critics of the park to “talk through the issue” of keeping killer whales in captivity, according to Voice of San Diego, organizer of the unprecedented event.

“As far as we’ve seen, this will be the first time SeaWorld answers questions and offers its perspective directly to the public,” says VOSD’s website. In the past few years, SeaWorld has dispatched staff members to participate in panel discussions on captivity at a few marine mammal conferences, and company representatives have testified before Congress and a recent California Assembly Committee considering a bill to ban orca display in the state.

Now members of the general public will have an opportunity to grill a company rep as well as two captivity critics: Naomi Rose, marine mammal scientist at the Animal Welfare Institute, and Susan Gray Davis, a former UC San Diego professor who wrote the 1997 book Spectacular Nature: Corporate Culture and the Sea World Experience.

Read More  at  TAKE  PART


Al Gore and Cirque Du Soleil Founder Guy Laliberte October 9th

Guy Laliberté, Founder of Cirque du Soleil and President of the ONE DROP Foundation is proud to invite you to attend Moving Stars and Earth for Water, a unique event seeking to raise everyone’s awareness of water-related issues.




Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Dr. David Suzuki, Joss Stone, Matthew McConaughey, Peter Gabriel, Salma Hayek, Shakira, Tatuya Ishii, U2, Cirque du Soleil and many others will join voices to celebrate water.

Witness this 2 hour  unique event  ONLINE. Find your time zone…

AFRICA – Johannesburg
 2:00 AM
 11:00 AM
BRASIL – Rio de Janeiro
 9:00 PM
CANADA – Montréal
 8:00 PM
FRANCE – Paris
 2:00 AM
INDIA – Mumbai
 5:30 AM
JAPAN – Osaka
 10:00 AM
MEXICO – Mexico
 7:00 PM
MOROCCO – Marrakech
 00:00 AM
 1:00 AM
 8:00 PM
UNITED STATES – Santa Monica
 5:00 PM
 8:00 PM
RUSSIA – Moscow
 4:00 AM

Water for all, all for water


Gay Spiritual Travel…Gay Retreats with Spirit Journeys

SPIRIT JOURNEYS  began nearly 20 years ago. They wanted to offer opportunities for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender communities (and our friends) to travel together exploring the world or to gather together in retreat environments, with the intention of adventuring into the frontiers of self-awareness, personal growth, and spirituality.

Some people may ask, “why do gays need seperate vacations? ” – EVERYTHING in the world is geared towards heterosexual people. Thanks to many heterosexuals, gay people can feel guilt, depression, anxiety, stress, sadness…

Being gay or bisexual does not make you mentally or physically ill. However, a lifetime of feeling ‘different’ or being treated differently can not only affect your mental wellbeing it can also have an impact on your physical health with increased risk of stress related conditions such as ulcers. The discrimination gay and bisexual men face can be so difficult for some men that it can also lead to them physically harming themselves.

While stigma and discrimination against gay and bisexual men has significantly reduced over the years, it is still an ongoing issue for many people. Discrimination and harassment can come from neighbours, work colleagues, and/or family and can also occur from random people we do not know. Ongoing harassment whether it is verbal or physical can cause minor to severe anxiety and stress and in some cases physical injuries.

Gay vacations or gay travel with men and women, provides a wonderfully amplified experience of the places visited and the people encountered. “Our goal is to “dive below the surface” and really connect with the places and people we visit.”

Howie Holben is current  owner and caretaker of Spirit Journeys. Since early childhood, he has been drawn to indigenous peoples and their spiritual teachings, traditions and practices.  This attraction has taken him on many adventures, exploring the countless ways of “being in the world”. His personal journey through addiction and recovery has spawned in him a genuine interest in assisting others on their own spiritual path and he takes great pleasure in introducing people to practices, sacred ways and cultures to help them “step outside their box”. A Reiki/Karuna Ki Master and Quantum Touch Practioner, his desire is to help others uncover their potential and set their hearts and minds free. He currently lives in northern New Jersey with his husband, Chris Caramelli.

On typical gay vacations or gay travel, the goal is to “get away”. The retreats or pilgrimages planned by Howie are much more than just a get away. A pilgrimage involves conscious travel or movement to a specific place (often sacred in nature) and with a specific spiritual intention. Typically a pilgrimage includes making a conscious exchange or connection with the place visited either physically or energetically. Most participants leave with more than they came with, having gained some sort of personal gift by making contact with the mystic beauty and magic of these places.

“The opportunities we offer are frequently unavailable to the general public. For example, during our Egypt pilgrimage, just two of the things we arrange for are a private visit inside the Great Pyramid and a chance to stand between the paws of the Sphinx.  Both of these opportunities have been unavailable to tourists for many years. During our journeys to Peru, we engage local shamans to oversee and administer the use of plant spirit medicine. In Southeast Asia, we work with local tribes to build schools and sink water wells. All of our journeys become extraordinary due to the unique and very special opportunities we offer a Spirit Journeyer.”

  Hundreds of people have been on their tours over the years, aged 25-75. “We enjoy a diverse range of participants with regard to both age and background. Participants come from all over the United States and sometimes from abroad.  Some of our journeys are oriented for gay men, others for gay men and lesbian women, and some are open to everyone.”

“It was the most awe-inspiring thing I’ve ever done in my life. It took me deep inside myself to find the true “me” and the joy that can come from being that person without fear. ”
– Michael, Seattle, WA

“I would recommend this retreat. Especially for anyone seeking greater meaning in their life.”
– Jeff, San Jose, CA

“The retreat was just what I needed at the time that I needed it. It was a great opportunity to look at the past year of my life, and the next year of my life; and realign my perspective of the past and my outlook for the future.”
– Jerry, Minneapolis MN

Spirit Journeys has about a dozen events scheduled over the next year, and more in the works.  Stop by their site for more information. Explore the world….explore yourself!

For more information on gay mens health go to GPS & Gay Men

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KALANI Wellness Resort – on the Big Island of Hawaii

Kalani Honua Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

For more than 30 years, Kalani has been a soulful place of refuge and renewal for international guests. Kalani is an educational nonprofit organization.  Kalani is a retreat, part owned and operated by GBLT community, where you can experience Hawaii, nature, culture and wellness.

Kalani is located on Hawaii Island, commonly known as the Big Island, and is bordered by tropical jungle and the Pacific Ocean.

They  offer vacations and workshops that provide  guests with fun and transformative experiences, and the tools they need to promote their higher selves.

Kalani’s recipe for a transformative vacation:

  • Keep your spirit high
  • Awaken to new ways of living
  • Let yourself relax and rejuvenate
  • Attune with creative energy
  • Nurture your body and soul
  • Indulge in natural splendor

Kalani’s mission is to provide a fun, safe and educational retreat village which encourages ALOHA love for life in each person’s own deepest way through participation in abundant nature, culture and wellness experiences.

Thinking about moving?  Become part of a community of friendly, spirited, and hardworking individuals whose dedication and creativity make Kalani a special place to live. Kalani offers several opportunities for you to enjoy the magic and beauty of Hawaii on an extended basis. Kalani’s volunteer program offers the opportunity to experience life within a community, enjoy a variety of activities and experiences, and learn and grow while serving our guests and visitors.

There are about 70 volunteers here with a variety of interests, age, sexual orientation, and motivation.  Kalani is different then a regular vacation spot in that it is a family environment where volunteers can be here beginning from one two three months. It is also a good opportunity for gay and lesbians to be together in a unique fun way.

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Members Project from American Express – Deadline August 19th

About Members Project from American Express

Now through August 19, Cardmembers will be able to submit their own ideas for projects to make a positive impact in the world and discuss, nominate and decide upon their favorite projects. Whether a Cardmember or not, everyone is invited to participate by commenting on and nominating their favorite projects online.
Cardmembers can select one of the following categories that best fits their project submission: Arts & Culture, Community Development, Education, Environment & Wildlife and Health. Cardmembers can use photos, audio and video to enhance project submissions on the site and anyone can go online and share feedback and insights about specific projects for project submitters to consider.
This type of collaboration is greatly encouraged as submissions can be revised throughout the first four weeks of the program. In addition, there are new and easy tools to promote projects and spread the word, including online badges, widgets and banners to be posted on sites like Facebook and MySpace.

Once the submission phase closes on August 19, American Express will work with an Advisory Panel of experts to review the projects and announce the Top 25 submissions on September 9. It’s up to Cardmembers to ultimately choose which projects American Express will fund. Cardmembers can make a collective difference by casting their vote, showing their support for their favorite projects and narrowing down to the Top Five projects starting September 30. The winning projects will be those with the most Cardmember votes, announced October 14.

Because there was so much passion for the final projects last year, this year, American Express will award multiple projects with a total of $2.5 million in funding. The top project will receive $1.5 million, the second place project will receive $500,000, the third place project will receive $300,000 and the remaining two finalist projects in the Top Five will receive $100,000 in funding.

American Express and Good Citizenship

Giving back is a core value and being a “good citizen” is a hallmark of American Express. Often credited as the first company to launch a cause-related marketing campaign via a program benefiting the Statue of Liberty in 1983, American Express has continued to roll out successful initiatives around the world that enhance communities and bring support to important causes.

More and more people are seeking ways to give back, align with important social issues and do business with companies that are making a positive impact.

Members Project from American Express is a key way to bring to life the value of Membership for Cardmembers, empowering them to unite to make a positive impact in a meaningful way.

Thank you to one of our colleagues, Dr. Rima Bishara, The Doctor Blogger, for telling us about her “3G” project proposal and making us aware of the Members Project program.  

Participate in Members Project 2008 and help make a positive impact in the world today!

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Oprah’s $1 Million BIG GIVE Reality Show

What would you do if you were handed a bundle of cash—and told you have to give it all away?

Challengers on Oprah’s Big Give, a new series by Harpo Productions that will  begin airing on ABC Sunday, March 2nd, have to face that very difficult question.

10 People from across the country are given a wad of cash and challenged to help total strangers so that they can feel the high of giving.  Over eight weeks, we follow their every move, and in the end, the biggest giver wins! $1 million to the one who gives the best. Givers are judged on creativity, leadership and accomplishments. And someone will be sent home! “Give big – or go home!” say’s O.

Oprah will have designer pal Nate Berkus as co-host but also Jennifer Aniston, John Travolta, Jada Pinkett Smith, Donald Trump, and a few of Oprah’s other pals will be around to lend a hand.

The “pay-it-forward” themed  show will be a cross between The Amazing Race and Extreme Home Makeover. And get out a box of tissue! It’s said to be an emotional roller coaster ride!

“It’s always fun  for me to be able to give and watch people’s reactions. I love a great surprise. And I wanted other people to have that feeling of what it feels like to give back,” explained the TV queen.

“What I know for sure is that most American’s really are giving. We’re the most loving, caring people, concious of others and how they feel. I know that’s how people really feel. We wanted to show how one person can make a difference…and do it in an entertaining, fun way that people will watch.”  said  Oprah.


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Siegfried and Roy Officially Announce Their Comeback Show

We have talked about the reunion here before, but this weekend magicians Siegfried and Roy made it official!

The former Las Vegas fixtures, whose decade-long residency at the Mirage abruptly ceased four and a half years ago when Roy Horn was mauled by one of their famed white tigers, will return to the stage next year for a one-night engagement benefiting the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute’s Keep Memory Alive foundation.

Roy Horn (63) and Siegfried Fischbacher (68) announced their comeback Saturday at the institute’s 12th annual Alzheimer’s benefit at the MGM Grand Garden. This year, tickets to the charity dinner cost $1,500; the event raised more than $12 million. They will perform NEXT February at a location yet to be confirmed.

Siegfried & Roy’s publicist, Dave Kirvin, said the German-born pair are currently working out the details and he would be “very surprised if animals were not part of the performance.”

Horn lost a lot of blood and eventually underwent surgery to relieve pressure in his brain. It was touch and go for some time before he embarked on the long road to recovery—physical therapy is still on the daily agenda—and, as it turned out, retirement. 

“The stage is my life. It took some adjustment. I was really not ready for it,” Fischbacher told the Las Vegas Review Journal in December. 

But Horn’s recovery “cheers me up,” he said. “All the doctors say what he’s doing now is impossible. I’ve always said, ‘I am the magician and Roy is the magic.’ And Roy shows me every day the magic—the magic of life.”

Horn, who said that he still hangs out with Montecore, his “lifesaver,” would only offer a teaser when asked about the possibility of a return to live performing on a regular basis.

The Lou Ruvo Brain Institute, designed by architect Frank Gehry, is set to open in downtown Las Vegas next year.

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CALL TO ACTION – Tell Congress to Support the Original ENDA

                                                    Michelangelo Signorile Show predicted today that there will be a vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in the next ten days. There has been a debate as to whether community members should support a bill that does not include ‘gender identity.’ Regardless of where people stand on this issue, an bill passed by the House with ‘gender identity’ protections would be ideal.

Stonewall Democrats, the national LGBT organization for Democrats, has launched a community-wide campaign to keep ‘gender identity’ protection in the bill.

The campaign, Accept No Substitutes, a parody of Splenda, the artificial sweetener, asks visitors to sign a petition “to tell Congress to support the original ENDA and accept no substitutes!.”

Discrimination isn’t sweet. Congress has the chance to pass HR 2015, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would protect Americans from workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Now a substitute bill has been introduced as HR 3685, which would not stop discrimination based on gender identity. Removing gender identity from ENDA would leave an artificial aftertaste. Not only would the substitute bill leave some working Americans behind, it would also create divisions among Democrats and fair-minded advocates.

Let’s help Congress continue to build support for the original ENDA. The well-intended substitute just won’t do.

Sign the petition  to tell Congress to support the original ENDA and accept no substitutes!

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Big Dream Gathering

SOBCon conference we met about 10 blog publishers from there! One of our  new blogger friends from there is  Sandy Renshaw of Purple Wren. Her blog is all about tools and techniques for business communications. 

Recently, she was telling us about Big Dream Gathering, which actually took place in Iowa this past May. BDG was a huge free event inviting people to come share their dreams! You can visit the blog and see all kinds of great videos and stories.

“EVERYBODY has big dreams.  And… EVERYBODY comes up against obstacles… challenges and road blocks… in pursuit of their dreams.  So… why not bring everybody together to dream… connect… and see what happens?”

Stop by and see what they’re doing!