Monday, June 27, 2011

Bad Idea Jeans for Associations

"Bad Idea Jeans" - photo from
So much has been made of finding good ideas for associations lately. I like focusing on the positive and opening up to allow for recognition of ways to grow. However, with everything there should be a balance.

Years ago, there was a Saturday Night Live skit called "Bad Idea Jeans" that burned itself into my brain. To this day, whenever someone says something that hits me as a particularly unwise idea, I say "that's bad idea jeans" and most people then stare at me blankly and move on to the next thought. [Feel free to check out the skit and share in my reference for future conversations.]

Here is my list of "Bad Idea Jeans" for associations - what's on your list?

1. Creating new programs without proper preparation

This is like Real Housewife Michaele Salahi striking out with a singing career without taking singing lessons.  If your association has never offered programs like online education or hybrid meetings before, recognize that there is a learning curve and it is wise to have a plan before announcing to the world that you are revolutionizing the industry. Talk to people who have done what you are trying to do well and ask them what their process is to learn from the pros fast.

2. Creating a social media plan without considering customer service

Customer service is mission critical for every organization, especially associations. If you are already thinking about your social media presence, you can't forget how your current members are being treated when they go to your website or call your organization on the phone. We always remember when we've received poor customer service and now we have a way to vent about it to everyone we know online.

MacGyver Lego 
3. Not providing enough resources to help a new program to succeed

If your organization has made a decision to create a new program, you must back it up with an appropriate level of resources. Saying you want to create a new podcast for the association, but without providing any funding for equipment or time will not necessarily mean the podcast won't be successful, but it won't make success any easier.

Your staff may not be keen to play association MacGyvers in order to make a new project a hit. Furthermore, if those people assigned to an underfunded project manage to make it work in spite of lack of resources, it will look bad for management that no one provided them with what most people would view as necessary tools. You don't want martyrs in your staff.

Ultimately, ideas can be golden, but sometimes they are just "bad idea jeans"-- please share what your own organization's bad idea jeans have been and when and how you realized it!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Red4Joplin and Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity (You Can Still Donate!)

We just held a well-attended fundraiser (with the help of Events For Good), "Show Me" Support For Joplin: A Red Tie Affair" on June 13, 2011, which was fun for all involved. We even made it into The Washington Post!

While the event was great for awareness, we still haven't come close to reaching our goal of raising $50,000 for Joplin area support.

We are pursuing follow-up fundraisers and ancillary events, including an online e-recipe book of Ozark-area inspired dishes (with a gourmet flavor - see my earlier blog post about this), a 5k walk/run (Kylee will probably have a bigger role with this effort, since she can actually run a 5k), an online Second Life Rock Concert for Joplin, we are working with friends (like YAPstars!) who are planning to add a Red4Joplin element to their own events, and we will keep a donation spot with chipin so we can meet our goal.

We'd like to reach $20k for Habitat for Humanity in Joplin and $20k for Joplin Business Recovery. If we achieve that, we'd like to directly help families in the Joplin area who need specific items to move forward. We would like to visit the Joplin-area soon to see friends and family who have been affected by this disaster and we'll report live from there via blogs and video so you can travel with us.

This is a marathon - not a sprint - there is much to do in Joplin.

Thanks for your support!

Joplin in The Washington Post Style Section!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Spaghetti Red Recipe Challenge for Joplin

Iron Chef Joplin-Style...calling all foodies! Can you make a fanciful version of Joplin's "Spaghetti Red" recipe from Fred & Red's? Do you crave creating a vegan version of "Squirrel Pie?" Do ingredients like "sucker fish" excite you? Then maybe this fundraising/creative effort is for you!

We want to hear your healthy, gluten-free, super decadent, frou frou, versions...any and all takes on Joplin-area food favorites (that gave Tony Bourdain a glimpse of southwest Missouri he might not have been ready for)! Red4Joplin is putting together a cookbook with foodie versions of Ozarks mealtime favorites including food blogger and food lover recipes to sell to benefit the victims of Joplin's devastating tornado.

[You can post your recipes to this blog or email me at dckiki [at] gmail DOT com with your recipes. Please specify how you would like us to attribute your donated recipes in the book. Ozarks cooking includes an emphasis on canning, fresh vegetables, and wild game.]

Featured will be a special chapter on the delicious and carb-enhanced "Spaghetti Red" - a specialty of the Joplin area diner and landmark, Fred & Red's - the food blogging community can't let me down!

Want to practice? Here's the first challenge! [The recipe below is not the original Fred & Red's recipe, but an approximation made by a loyal customer and Joplinite.]
Joplin Spaghetti Red Recipe

Spaghetti Red is a Joplin favorite. It is spaghetti covered in a greasy chili, served with hamburger pickle slice, onion slices, crackers and sometimes mustard if you like. The following recipe is just like the chili served at Fred & Red's that loyal customers swear features the best Spaghetti Red they have ever had.

It is a challenge to make Spaghetti Red a fancy dish...perhaps using pickle foam might help?

  • 3 pounds of the highest fat content ground beef you can find
  • 1.5 packages of Williams Chili Seasoning (or approximately 1/2 cup)
  • 1.5 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1.5 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 tube (1/4 of a box) of crushed saltine crackers
You won't find this dish at Dean & Deluca!

Brown the hamburger meat and add the chili seasoning, garlic salt and cumin and simmer for 15 minutes. **DO NOT DRAIN OFF THE FAT**

Add the tube of crushed saltine crackers and one quart( I used 3 cups water) of water to the simmering meat and spices. Mix well together and simmer for 1 hour. Add extra salt if needed.

Simmering time is very important, so do not rush it!

Serve on top of cooked spaghetti noodles. what's your version? Help us help Joplin and thanks for your contributions.

[You can donate or order t-shirts here:

Countdown for Joplin Event (You Can Still Donate)!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Join Me for "Show Me" Support For Joplin: A Red Tie Affair on June 13!

Union Station Turns Red to Support Joplin, Missouri “Red Tie” event on June 13th

[Thanks to Ray van Hilst for writing up the press release for us!]


Union Station Turns Red to Support Joplin, Missouri “Red Tie” event on June 13th to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity and Joplin residents affected by the tornados

WASHINGTON, DC – June 6, 2011 – In a city where it seems everyone is from somewhere else, local residents and groups have banded together to raise funds and support the residents of Joplin, Missouri affected by the devastating tornados of May 22, 2011.

On June 13, 2011, DC area Joplin natives KiKi L’Italien and Kylee Coffman in partnership with Events for Good will host “Show Me” Support for Joplin: A Red Tie Affair – a Red Themed Fundraiser to support the Joplin area and its residents.

Starting at 6 PM at The Columbus Club in Washington DC’s Union Station, attendees will be treated to a “show down” of chefs taking on their rendition of a Joplin, Missouri favorite – "Spaghetti Red" from Fred and Red’s in Joplin. The event will also feature live music, raffle prizes and the personal stories of some Joplin residents affected by the tornados. Event proceeds will be donated to Habitat for Humanity International and their efforts to rebuild homes in Joplin, Missouri.

“Our red theme is inspired by a Joplin area institution and puts a twist on the standard black-tie affair of most fundraisers,” said organizer KiKi L’Italien. “We hope everyone will be ‘Dressed To The Reds’ and come out and lend their support.”

Attendees are encouraged to wear anything red – ranging from a completely red outfit to accessories such as ties, shoes, scarves and hats.

“Our hometown was hit hard by this disaster and our family back in Joplin has been helping friends and neighbors start to recover,” said organizer Kylee Coffman. “We couldn’t just sit by here in the DC area and not contribute. Thanks to the generous support of so many, we are honored to be able help out in our own way and pitch in to help those who lost everything in the storms.”

Event tickets are tax-deductible and available starting at $75. Tickets may be purchased online at Event Tee Shirts are also available starting at $20.

Donations are also tax-deductible may be made to Red4Joplin through Eventbrite.

Additional groups supporting the fundraiser include Design Cuisine, Encore Décor, Interactive Magic, Eventbrite and Nakeva Photography in addition to friends and colleagues of organizers KiKi L’Italien and Kylee Coffman.

About Red4Joplin

KiKi L'Italien and Kylee Coffman, DC Metro Region residents and former "Joplinites," partnered with Events For Good and friends and businesses throughout the United States to aid their hometown of Joplin, Missouri, in the wake of the historic EF-5 tornado that ripped through the Midwestern Ozarks city late Sunday, May 22, 2011.

The group’s mission is to financially aid families crippled by loss of employment and home and to relieve the suffering of Joplin tornado survivors.
For Additional Information:

Lindsey Rosenthal
Events for Good

KiKi L’Italien

Thursday, June 2, 2011

“Show Me” Support For Joplin: A Red Tie Affair #RED4JOPLIN

Date: Monday, June 13, 2011
Time: 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Place: Union Station
Dress: “Red Tie” (see explanation below)

What is the event going to look like?
Attendees will experience a great Southern experience, including a “Show Down” between chefs spicing up their own take on well-known Joplin restaurant Fred and Red's famous recipe, Spaghetti Red. A bar will feature beer, wine, and, for an additional $20, you can partake in a whiskey tasting featuring at least five unique whiskeys. Guests will be entertained by live music and a presentation featuring families living in Joplin after the devastation. T-shirts and raffle tickets will also be on sale. We expect several high-profile attendees.

What does “red tie” mean?
This "red tie" event features a focus on the color RED - so dress in your Sunday best, either business or cocktail is appropriate, and include red accessories. Red ties, shoes, or shirts for men, and red scarves, hats, shoes, or dresses for women.

Who will receive proceeds from the event?
Habitat For Humanity International

Who is helping already?
Design Cuisine (catering), Encore Décor (décor), Interactive Magic (entertainment), Eventbrite (registration)

What help is still needed?
Live band (Southern rock preferably), signage, furniture, alcohol (whiskey)

Contact Information:
Lindsey Rosenthal, Events For Good
Twitter: @eventsforgood