The only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati
Authors Posts by Sara Sybert

Sara Sybert

Sara Sybert
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Editor & Director of Strategic Communications - Sara is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with a bachelor's degree in English literature. When she's not working she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. To contact Sara, send her an email at selliott@cincychic.com.

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After losing her mother to pancreatic cancer, this local lady created a fashionable way for donors to turn a $5 donation into designer shoes while supporting cancer research.

Andrea Turner, Founder of Your Mood, Your Shoes and d'Rea's Style Sense.
Andrea Turner, Founder of Your Mood, Your Shoes and d’Rea’s Style Sense.

Cincy Chic: What is Your Mood, Your Shoes?
Andrea Turner, Founder of Your Mood, Your Shoes: Your Mood, Your Shoes is a charitable campaign that I created through my personal styling company dRea’s Style Sense. It is a way to raise money and awareness for Pancreatic Cancer by giving women a chance to win designer shoes with a small $5 donation. It really is a way for me to help fight against the effects of this terrible disease through my passion for fashion and women’s styling.

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind the campaign?
Turner: My mother, Darlene Turner, passed away 5 years ago from complications of pancreatic cancer. She always had a flare for fashion and loved shoes, even sewing a lot of my older sister and mine’s clothing when we were growing up in Shady Grove, Louisiana. I decided to help my mother’s passion stay alive with dRea’s Style Sense and Your Mood, Your Shoes. It allows my clients and audience a chance to win shoes they may not be able to afford on their own while helping a great cause that is very close to me.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind Your Mood, Your Shoes?
Turner: Me! Andrea Turner, the owner of dRea’s Style Sense, which is a complete wardrobe and styling small business. I have clients all over the United States and have traveled to teach women how to dress for their body type. I believe that each woman is unique and has different needs in dressing to look and feel their very best. It is my passion and gift to style women.

Cincy Chic: When did you launch Your Mood, Your Shoes?
Turner: Your Mood Your Shoes launched at the beginning of 2016 and since it’s launch, we have been able to give away 2 pairs of designer shoes, one pair of Gucci Studded platforms and a pair of Jeffrey Campbell Shay lace-up flats. Our hope is to bring awareness to Pancreatic Cancer and teach women/men about this disease through fashion.

Cincy Chic: What makes the Your Mood, Your Shoes campaign unique?
Turner: Most women love shoes and men score big when they purchase shoes for their ladies. Most people, however, are not very aware of Pancreatic Cancer and it’s effect on thousands of people each year. Your Mood Your Shoes is a unique way to combine the two audiences and raise awareness for this terrible disease. During the month of May, we will be offering a chance to win a pair of men’s shoes as well so Your Mood Your Shoes is relatable to all audiences, not just women. This is the first effort of its’ kind, offering value to our audience while also donating to a worthy cause!

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for the organization?
Turner: We are constantly working on new ways to expand and get the message out to a wider audience. Right now we are working on offering designer purses and other giveaways as well. Our main goal is to make the public aware of pancreatic cancer with this fun new idea.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more about Your Mood, Your Shoes?
Turner: A new website of dRea’s Style Sense with all the information for Your Mood, Your Shoes and more about Pancreatic Cancer is under construction. For now you can find us on our Facebook company page.

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    We’re going green and getting healthy for this week’s Go Green issue! Read on as we chat with a local woman who launched a food and wellness consulting practice that helps women take control of their health through education and empowerment.

    Janelle JohnsonGrove, Founder of SageFire Wellness.
    Janelle JohnsonGrove, Founder of SageFire Wellness.

    When Janelle JohnsonGrove NTP, MSEd experienced first-hand the healing powers of healthy food, she was immediately inspired to help other women do the same. That soon sparked (pun intended) the launch of SageFire Wellness in January 2012.

    “SageFire Wellness is a food and wellness consulting practice,” says JohnsonGrove. “I work with women who want to take charge of their health practices so that they can regain their vitality – or find it for the first time.”

    Information is key, JohnsonGrove says. “I wanted to educate and empower others in their health journeys through teaching transformative health and food practices,” she adds.

    JohnsonGrove helps clients implement transformative food habits, explore new recipes and cooking techniques and build in gradual lifestyle changes. With every client she works with, JohnsonGrove brings her own passion for health and wellness to help them achieve optimal well-being.

    SageFire Wellness offers personal and customized one-on-one wellness coaching, Whole Foods tours, teleconference calls, guest speaking and education services.

    Through SageFire Wellness, JohnsonGrove says that her hope is to help others know how to take charge of their health so that they can feel confident in how to support their own well-being through the food they eat and the lifestyle habits they implement.

    “So many are lost in a sea of nutritional facts and cannot discern what it is that their body needs,” she says. “SageFire Wellness helps women tune in to their bodies, discern their unique health imbalances and get sold in what it is that they need to specifically address that need.”

    As an instructor with the Nutritional Therapy Association, JohnsonGrove says that she’s currently doing personal research and developing her skills as a nutritional educator. “This personal development infuses my practices by the education I offer the women I work with with the most up-to-date knowledge and information available,” she says.

    To learn more about SageFire Wellness, visit sagefirewellness.com or send JohnsonGrove an email. You can also like SageFire Wellness on Facebook.

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    Urban farming is a great way to cultivate sustainable practices in a city setting. Read on for more on OTR Homegrown, an urban farm that’s providing local access to healthy foods for the Tri-State.

    The team behind OTR Homegrown.
    The team behind OTR Homegrown.

    Cincy Chic: What is OTR Homegrown?
    Mark Stegman & Tevis Foreman, Co-Founders of OTR Homegrown: OTR Homegrown is an organic urban farm, which cultivates ecological stewardship and social welfare through sustainable practice. We work to provide local access to healthy, local foods for the Greater Cincinnati area.

    It is our mission to provide education on healthy, sustainable living through community involvement and investment, strengthen the community through partnership, and foster good citizenship and inter-group tolerance.

    Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind the organic urban farm?
    Stegman & Foreman: There was an idea that lived in all of the founding members: We believed that through urban gardens we could strengthen a community by growing the bonds and relationships of the people in a community while working to grow and cultivate our own food. The original iteration of OTR Homegrown was to see if an urban farm could be sustainable as a business model for people who are not farmers yet to make a living doing on an average size urban lot. After two years testing this we became a pure community garden growing organic (not certified but grown organic) food and allowing the community to come in and harvest what they want. We wanted to train and encourage local individuals on how to grow their own food with the intention of increasing the community’s access to good food, the community’s sustainability from owning seeds that grow every year, and the beautification of the community by continually cleaning our surrounding area.

    OTR Homegrown would like to work toward creating specified and secured locations for urban individuals to grow their own food around the city. The need for preservation of agricultural land in the City and the urban fringe is imperative for the long-term sustainability and viability of Cincinnati.  A healthy regional food system is essential to the health of our region’s social, ecological, and environmental systems.

    Cincy Chic: Who’s behind OTR Homegrown?
    Stegman & Foreman: OTR Homegrown was founded in 2009 by Sarah Saheb, Sheila North, Michelle Dillingham, Tevis Foreman, Quentin Koopman, Kelly Gillen, Chelsea Powell and myself. Joshua Jones is a strong component over the last several years and John Ford painted the mural of Mother Earth at the Pleasant Street garden.

    In 2009 the City of Cincinnati launched the Urban Agriculture Program (UAP) under the leadership of the late David Crowley, which currently still supports urban agriculture within the City. It was through the UAP that OTR Homegrown was formed. Our site was recently sold for development interests. Other contributing partnerships include the Civic Garden Center and Findlay Market. Additionally, local garden gurus Peter Huttinger and Charles Griffin provided on-going mentorship and resources (tools, seeds, soil amendments, etc.) as available.

    There have also been many engaged neighbors and volunteers who have contributed time and work to growing free vegetables for the community.

    Cincy Chic: Where is OTR Homegrown located?
    Stegman & Foreman: The first OTR Homegrown garden is under the new Barcade on Walnut Street in OTR. We moved to Pleasant Street between Liberty and Greene streets in 2011.

    Cincy Chic: What types of plants are you growing on the farm?
    Stegman & Foreman: Organic non-hybrid fruits and vegetables. Tomatoes, potatoes, squash, kale, lettuce, spinach, arugula, asparagus, peppers, okra and more. Non-hybrid varieties allow us to save the seed from our plants and replant them each year. Replanting acclimates the plants to our Cincinnati environment of heat, humidity, fungus and insects. We have lettuce seeds that are 6 seasons old now, I like to call it the OTR Homegrown Variety.

    Cincy Chic: What do you enjoy most about working with the urban farm?
    Stegman & Foreman: We enjoy engaging with the people that stop in all day. Showing kids where food comes from originally. We literally were asked “Where do Cheetos grow?” We also enjoy the calm energy of the garden amid the hustle and sounds of the city.

    Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for OTR Homegrown?
    Stegman & Foreman: This off season our Pleasant Street gardens have been sold. We are now looking for new locations and considering the next iteration of OTR Homegrown.

    Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more about OTR Homegrown or to get involved?
    Stegman & Foreman: Like us on Facebook for schedule and information or check out our blog articles that talk about gardening on Pleasant Street in OTR. We’ve also got an Urban Garden Google+ Community.

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      For our annual wedding issue, we chat with a local wedding concierge to learn about the biggest bridal trends, best local vendors and a big wedding expo coming up this week at Great American Ballpark, complete with a grooms workshop at the batting cages. Keep reading for all the big day details.

      A Bride's Mafia will be hosting its annual Afterhours Bridal Show this March 10 at Great American Ballpark.
      A Bride’s Mafia will be hosting its annual Afterhours Bridal Show this March 10 at Great American Ballpark.

      This year’s wedding season is upon us. If you’re planning a wedding, then you know that there’s a lot of work behind the words “wedding planning.” Whether you’re doing it on your own or with the help of a planner, you’ll quickly learn that there are different wedding trends every year.

      That’s where Nidhi Bedi, founder and owner of A Bride’s Mafia, a Cincinnati-based wedding concierge business, can help. She says with expansive visual resources like Pinterest, brides are following fewer trends and mass-produced concepts, and instead, finding inspirations that uniquely create their her own vision. “Brides aren’t going by what’s trends or the colors they saw at the last wedding,” she adds. “This year is about designing their vision and making it a reality.”

      Nidhi Bedi
      Nidhi Bedi

      For example, Bedi says, while metallic is very popular among brides, they’re bringing this style out in their own unique way. “Some brides to them to make their event over the top, some use a sparkle to make it whimsical and others use it to make it complete earth tones,” she says.

      Bedi says brides are taking Pinterest ideas and customizing them. “They will take lighting, chandeliers, linens and centerpieces, to name a few, and give it their own personality stamp,” she says. “They aren’t just using up-lighting, but brides are turning to gobos with monograms and customized designs.”

      When and where a bride is having her wedding also plays into the design, theme and colors she chooses. That’s why she recommends booking a venue as one of the very first steps in planning, as it sets the tone for many other wedding day decisions.

      The trends that Bedi says makes her most excited for this year’s wedding season is all the variation. “I just love the different weddings we’ve been seeing – from metallics, earth tones, bright color fusion and greenery,” she says. “There’s so much variation and I love them all because it makes each event so unique.”

      Bedi and A Bride’s Mafia are helping brides meet with the vendors of their dreams at the upcoming Afterhours Bridal Show at Great American Ballpark on March 10 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. “This show is absolutely my favorite of the year,” says Bedi. “It’s so fun! It’s at the ballpark and we have 90 amazing vendors in this show.”

      From table linens to photographers and videographers, florists and DJs, the Afterhours Bridal Show lets you meet with those vendors to let you see the latest trends up close and personal.

      Bedi says that A Bride’s Mafia took extra steps this year to help get the groom involved. “I think we’ve hit a home run there,” she says while discussing the new Grooms Workshop.

      The workshop, hosted by Hey! Mr. DJ, allows grooms to get pointers on how to make their day unique and how to be involved in the finer details of the planning process. Plus, after the workshop they get to go to the batting cages.

      Brides who attend the show can enter to win a $20,000 wedding. The winner of the grand prize will get married at the ballpark, and A Bride’s Mafia covers the rental, dress, tuxedo, DJ, photographer, videographer, hair, makeup, florist, limousine, cake and a coordinator. “It always makes my day to meet the winner and see how excited they are,” she says. “The team of vendors that do the giveaway are so amazing and incredible.”

      Bedi says A Bride’s Mafia also has some big things planning for this year. “We’ve got some things up our sleeves we are working on – we just can’t say it yet, so stay tuned,” she adds.

      To learn more about this season’s wedding trends, local vendors and how to hit the ground running with your wedding planning, visit www.abridesmafia.com. You can also get complimentary tickets to the Afterhours Bridal Show here.

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      A local designer and entrepreneur took inspiration from her father to create natural wedding decor, jewelry and wooden bow ties. Read on for all the details.

      Lindsey Estes of Lucca Laser Workshop creates natural products such as bowties for weddings.
      Lindsey Estes of Lucca Laser Workshop creates natural products such as bowties for weddings.

      Cincy Chic: What is Lucca Laser Workshop?
      Lindsey Estes, Owner of Lucca Laser Workshop: Since I was a very young girl, I always knew that I wanted to have a retail store. I wasn’t sure what it was going to be, but I knew I wanted to be an artist, and I knew I wanted to run my own show. Lucca is where that dream began. I went to college at the Columbu College of Art and Design for a year, but I quickly realized I wasn’t going to be able to afford to continue going there, and I already felt a yearning to be doing something else. I already felt I would be able to transform my trade into something useful.

      Growing up in my father’s machine shop, I was raised on the power of entrepreneurship. I was taught the trade of machinist and, most importantly, I was taught diligence, efficiency and perseverance. No idea was too small or too minuscule. Now all three daughters own their own businesses as well! So I quit school, moved back to Cincinnati and I bought my first laser machine. Working from the top floor of my home, I had a small studio where I would work on my off hours. After my first craft show at The City Flea, my business hit the ground running. I quit my day job, and I focused solely on designing, creating and developing new products. Once I created my first item, there was no stopping my creativity there.

      A bowtie created by Lucca Laser Workshop.
      A bowtie created by Lucca Laser Workshop.

      Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
      Estes: My main inspiration? My father. Hands down my father. Or should I say my family. My father raised me on the power of entrepreneurship, precision design and love for the constant search of knowledge and expansion. He taught me to never ignore my instinct or deny an idea or design no matter how simple or obscure or difficult. He also ingrained in my mind that sometimes you need to relax your brow, step away from what you’re doing, and grab an ice cream cone!

      My inspiration and drive also comes from my passions outside of my business. The importance of maintaining an active social environment outside of my work really allows me to approach each day with a new feeling of exuberance. Moving my studio to the heart of the city allows me to take daily walks to adore the architecture of the city, take my shop dog to the dog park or allow myself the relaxation of opening my large shop doors and sketching new designs on the couch. A weekly visit to the neighboring small shops allows me to explore what is on the market, converse with other educated business owners and observe how others find their passion and motivation!

      Cincy Chic: When did did you launch your business?
      Estes: I started Lucca Laser Workshop in 2013. After 2 years of working from my home, I realized I needed to get another machine and more studio space, so I found a space downtown and I opened my first retail store in June 2015.

      A hair piece created by Lucca Laser Workshop.
      A hair piece created by Lucca Laser Workshop.

      Cincy Chic: What makes Lucca Laser Workshop unique?
      Estes: My store features all of my natural gifts, supplies and decor created by natural wood and paper. I also feature a few other artists who create items from natural materials. My space is split between my studio and my retail space. So when you come in to shop, you can see me working as well, and you can hear the faint whir of the laser machines. Smells of all kinds of wonderful cut wood in there! Lucca began creating natural wedding decor, but I have since expanded immensely!! I really pride my business on focusing on natural and handmade products. People think laser design is all machine made, but it is far from that. I can spend up to 30-40 hours drawing and designing a product, then long hours and gritty hands are used to clean, sand, stain and package each and every item.

      Cincy Chic: Where can readers purchase your products?
      Estes: Right now I am not only selling on three online websites, including Etsy and on my website, but I sell wholesale all across the world! Lucca is currently in 30 states and 6 countries across the world.

      Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for your business?
      Estes: New on the horizon for my business? Expansion! I plan to eventually have 5-6 machines working all day. This summer I have a new assistant who will be working with me to help produce items faster, and help with daily work and tasks. Right now it is just me! My goal this year is to expand my wholesale product line and hire new employees. My 5 year goal is to get an 8′ laser machine where I will be creating furniture as well!

      Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more?
      Estes: Readers can visit my Etsy store or check out my website.

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        We chat with the founder of a new locally-based online resource that’s dedicated to encouraging, supporting and inspiring women. Read on for more about the writer, speaker and personal coach behind the movement that aims to shine up your sparkle.

        Cherylanne Skolnicki, Founder of The Shine Movement.
        Cherylanne Skolnicki, Founder of The Shine Movement.

        Everyone has their own sparkle, but it’s easy to let life’s difficulties dull the shine.

        Helping women shine is what Cherylanne Skolnicki is aiming to do with The Shine Movement, a membership site that’s dedicated to helping modern women, especially moms, redesign their everyday to create a space for them to shine.

        “Members are most often women who are searching for a way to balance their professional pursuits with their personal lives while trying to find a connection with a like-minded community,” explains Skolnicki, who is also a writer, speaker and personal coach.

        Skolnicki launched The Shine Movement when she herself was searching for a community she could identify with while balancing her personal and professional lives. “I was so hungry for this that I decided to build it myself,” she says.

        “We want this to feel like a ‘charging station’ for women who are committed to making choices that let them shine,” Skolnicki adds. “It’s a place to come get filled up before you go back out and give it your all.”

        The Shine Movement is built around four guiding principles: contribution, connection, playtime and downtime. Contribution is about serving others by using our gifts to make a difference while connection is about being real in our relationships. Playtime is when you make time to do the things that fill your heart and light you up and downtime is establishing a rhythm in your life to break the busy cycle.

        Alongside Skolnicki is a small team of women who are helping to create content and bring it to life. Darcy Crociata serves as the Content Manager and Growth Analyst, Anne Schmidt works as Creative Designer, Hilary Molina as Operations & Member Relations and Melissa Lower who helps The Shine Movement as an intern.

        With her team, Skolnicki and The Shine Movement is working to connect the community and empower women. “I really believe that we are all students and we are all teachers,” she says. “By connecting in this community we can get help in areas where we are struggling and share our secrets in area where we have it all together.”

        Skolnicki says that the entire community is encouraging while challenging one another to play a little bigger or to make an even bolder choice, and she loves it.

        To supplement the content she shares in The Shine Movement, Skolnicki interviews one woman who embodies the principles of the movement. “These are people like Susie Schnall who wrote The Balance Project, Tara Mohr who wrote Playing Big and Nicola Kraus who wrote The Nanny Diaries. They are sharing how they are balancing their professional pursuits with their family lives and telling fantastic stories that are so inspiring to our members,” she says.

        Through The Shine Movement, Skolnicki is hoping that she can help modern moms redesign their everyday to create space for them to shine. “I also want to surround them with a community of women so they know they are never ever alone,” she adds.

        You can learn more about The Shine Movement by clicking here or by visiting Skolnicki’s personal website.

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        A new store featuring unique, handmade, never mass produced furniture is hosting its Grand Opening event on March 4. Read on for all the details!

        022916SPOTLIGHT1

        Cincy Chic: What is Nadeau Cincinnati?
        Michelle Reith, Store Manager at Nadeau Cincinnati: Nadeau is “Furniture With A Soul.” We’re based out of California with 29 stores in the U.S. Cincinnati’s location is the 29th store to open.

        Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind Nadeau?
        Reith: Nadeau is a place where customers can purchase soulful furniture that is unique and handmade, never mass produced. We keep our costs down and conserve resources by shipping furniture directly to a store near you, without the need of distribution centers. Each of our stores is building community as part of the local neighborhood. We also offer irresistible prices all year around, all the time.

        Nadeau Cincinnati is located at
        Nadeau Cincinnati is located at 7400 Kenwood Road in Cincinnati near the Kenwood Towne Centre.

        Cincy Chic: Who’s behind Nadeau?
        Reith: Tom Nadeau launched the first store back in 1991 when he began importing beautiful furniture that he found in his travels around the world. Since then, he was focused on building strong relationships with loyal suppliers, growing Furniture With A Soul through word of mouth, from one generation to the next. After 16 years of selling to wholesale clients in warehouses across the country, he started selling directly to the public on occasional weekends. When people starting lining up in the wee hours of the morning to get first dibs, he knew he had a hit! Through the years that followed, Tom transitioned Nadeau to selling in retail storefronts, providing timeless pieces with unbeatable prices, handmade from real, solid wood. Tom and his wife Angel continue to scour the globe to curate Furniture With A Soul handcrafted, unique and affordable items that our customers are proud to include in their homes.

        In Cincinnati, I’m the Store Manager and I get help from Assistant Manager Sara Barnes and Neil Roesch, who does sales.

        Cincy Chic: What types of items do you sell?
        Reith: We sell unique, eclectic, wood pieces. The woods used include mahogany, mango, teak, acacia, sheesham, reclaimed wood and rosewood. At the store customers will find buffets, side boards, China cabinets, desks, dressers, dining tables, nightstands, end tables and more!

        Cincy Chic: Where is Nadeau Cincinnati located?
        Reith: We’re at 7400 Kenwood Road in Cincinnati.

        Cincy Chic: What makes Nadeau a unique store?
        Reith: Everything in the store is handmade. It’s unique and there’s no assembly required. Nothing is mass products and we offer wholesale pricing. Plus, our inventory is constantly changing.

        Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for Nadeau Cincinnati?
        Reith: We’ll be hosting our Grand Opening event on March 4 from 5-8 p.m.

        Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more?
        Reith: Readers can check out website or visit us on Facebook. For more information, call 513-376-9750.

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          A volunteer-based organization, High Hopes Auxiliary, is helping the Lindner Center of HOPE raise funds in unique and creative ways. See how you and friends can support this important cause, enjoy a fun night out, and maybe even score a designer handbag in the process!

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          A group of volunteers for the High Hopes Auxiliary

          Imagine a world without a stigma attached to mental health issues, and where people who are dealing with them have a place to go to seek treatment and find hope in the future. That’s what The Lindner Center of HOPE aims to achieve, with assistance from its fundraising organization High Hopes Auxiliary.

          Founded in 2008, High Hopes Auxiliary was established for be a voice that raises funds, awareness and provides support for The Lindner Center of HOPE, a local nonprofit, mental health center based in Mason. The Lindner Center offers the diagnosis and treatment of several mental health issues including mood disorders, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, OCD, addictive disorders and co-occurring psychiatric disorders. The center also provides residential services, hospitalization, office-based and outpatient services and research to children, adolescents, adults and seniors.

          A Tory Burch bag is one of the items available in the online auction supporting High Hopes Auxiliary and The Lindner Center of HOPE.
          A Tory Burch bag is one of the items available in the online auction supporting High Hopes Auxiliary and The Lindner Center of HOPE.

          The Lindner Center of HOPE is dedicated to working together to offer the best hope for people who are living with a mental illness. “The patient and family are the center of our treatment, education and research,” according to the center’s website.

          High Hopes Auxiliary President Ruthie Keefe says there are approximately 175 members of this volunteer-run organization that was started by Nancy Nyhart. “The inspiration for High Hopes Auxiliary was to provide financial support to various programs and needs at the Lindner Center of HOPE,” says Keefe.

          Currently, High Hopes Auxiliary is dedicating its efforts to raising funds for bipolar research. All of the funds the organization raises goes to the Lindner Center of HOPE, which is done through various events.

          For one, Keefe says High Hopes Auxiliary partnered with Second Story Auction for a unique fundraising opportunity. Second Story Auctions is an online auction company that helps individuals and organizations sell furniture, art, jewelry, collectibles and more.

          From March 15 through March 22, High Hopes Auxiliary is hosting an online auction through Second Story Auction to benefit the Lindner Center of HOPE. Anyone can donate to the auction and drop-off items — such as fine jewelry, antiques, designer purses (new or gently used), sterling silver, quilts, leather or wooden furniture or crystal — to Second Story Auction at 11277 Williamson Road in Cincinnati on February 26 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and February 27 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. To register to bid on items in the online auction, click here. Those who win items in the online bidding can pick up their item on Friday, March 25.

          A graphic of how you can donate items to the High Hopes Auxiliary online auction through Second Story Auctions.
          (click to enlarge)

          Sneak peeks of items that have been donated — such as designer handbags, original artwork, China and jewelry — are being posted frequently leading up to the online auction on the High Hopes Auxiliary Facebook page.

          Another event Keefe is looking forward to is the High Hopes Luncheon, which has historically been the biggest fundraising event for the Lindner Center of HOPE. “Last year, we raised over $100,000,” she says. “That event has been moved to the event and will take place on Thursday, April 14 at the Manor House.”

          Also coming up is A Night of High Hopes at Manor House in Mason, presented by CHEMED Foundation and TQL Foundation, which will feature a cocktail reception, silent auction, meet and greet with Mark A. Frye, MD, from Mayo Clinic (VIP sponsors) and a dinner and program featuring American journalist Pete Earley.

          You can learn more about High Hopes Auxiliary by clicking here or by following along on Facebook.

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          The Cincinnati Art Museum is showcasing an important process that typically only occurs behind-the-scenes. See how you can witness it now through the end of April!

          Serena Urry, Conservator
          Serena Urry, Chief Conservator and Paintings Conservator at the Cincinnati Art Museum with the Retablo of St. Peter

          ​Cincy Chic: What is the Retablo of St. Peter?
          Serena Urry, Chief Conservator and Paintings Conservator at the Cincinnati Art Museum: “Retablo” the Spanish word for altarpiece. So the Retablo of St. Peter is an altarpiece that was created for a church in Spain around 1400 by artist Lorenzo Zaragoza. It’s comprised of several parts, including 18 paintings, which show scenes from the life of St. Peter on a gilded background.

          Cincy Chic: How did this piece find its way to the Cincinnati Art Museum?
          Urry: The museum purchased it in 1960 from an art dealer who had offices in Barcelona and Zurich. And we found it at a time when the museum was looking to expand its collection of Spanish paintings.

          Cincy Chic: Who’s in charge of cleaning it?
          Urry: It’s just me cleaning the Retablo. I hold the dual role as Chief Conservator as well as the Paintings Conservator – so it covers both of my positions.

          Cincy Chic: How long will the Retablo be on display?
          Urry: Zaragoza’s Retablo of St. Peter will be an exhibition through April 24.

          Cincy Chic: How are you going about cleaning the artwork?
          Urry: I’m cleaning it using solvents as well as mechanical cleaning items such as little hand tools. I also have a little hot air gun to remove wax that’s been applied to the paintings over time.

          Cincy Chic: How long will it be at the Cincinnati Art Museum?
          Urry: It’s part of the collection, so the museum owns it. It will be back on view and staying in the collection when the treatment is completed, which will be in a few years.

          Cincy Chic: What do you hope museum visitors will take away from seeing the art?
          Urry: This is a behind-the-scenes thing that’s being brought out into the galleries. Visitors can either watch me clean it (if I’m in there), but if I’m not, there’s information and videos on the paintings. You can see the Retablo as well as what’s going on in the cleaning process. It’s the conservation of the piece itself that is on view, not necessarily me as the conservator. The museum has designed the exhibit so that it’s enjoyable to see the piece whether I am there or not. I must also remind readers who choose to visit the museum that if I am in there cleaning, it’s important not to ask me questions as it has the potential to scare me – I recently had that happen where I was using a scalpel to clean the paintings and someone came up to ask a question, which could have had a bad ending.

          There’s something to be said for coming back over the course of the exhibit. Progress will be made, you can come back and see when it wasn’t cleaned and now it is. There’s a time factor – it’s a changing exhibit because the cleaning is going to go forward.

          Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more?​
          Urry: Readers can click here for more information on the Retablo. It is formally an exhibition, so it’s part of the museum’s schedule, which means the viewing period for it will end in April.

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            The world’s largest gathering of belly dancers is taking place on May 14, with a local performance on Fountain Square. Read on for more on the fundraiser that helps shelter victims of abuse around the world by putting a little shimmy in their step.

            The Shimmy Mob celebrates World Belly Dance Day while raising funds for shelters helping abuse victims.
            The Shimmy Mob celebrates World Belly Dance Day while raising funds for shelters helping abuse victims.

            Whether you love supporting a good cause, or you just love shakin’ your groove thang, you’ll want to mark your calendars to catch The Shimmy Mob on Fountain Square May 14. The Shimmy Mob, a “flash mob” type event, celebrates World Belly Dance Day to raise awareness and funds for local shelters that offer assistance to victims of abuse.

            From 2:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., the dance, which is the largest of its kind by the number of geographical territory covered, will be aiming to give back to the community as proceeds generated from the event will be donated to shelters in Cincinnati and other participating communities.

            “United, we dance using the same song and the same choreography, wearing the same T-shirt, sharing the same goals, on the same day all over the world,” says Linda Sandidge, team captain of The Shimmy Mob’s Cincinnati team. “Year after year, we we aim to break the world record [for the world’s largest international belly dance event], and we do!”

            You don’t need any experience to participate in this social event. “We invite all dancers at all levels to participate,” says Sandidge. “It’s super fun and easy to learn, the choreography tutorials provide step-by-step breakdowns in the online videos.”

            The Shimmy Mob was first started by Sabeya, also known as Francesca Anastasi, who is an international dance instructor. She launched the Mob as a way to give back to the community with fundraising efforts, while simultaneously celebrating the success of those efforts with a global choreographed dance.

            This year, Sandidge will be serving as the team captain for Cincinnati, she says, because it’s a cause that she is extremely passionate about.

            “I personally know of many families that have experienced some form of domestic violence,” she says. “Stories are reported in the media on a daily basis. The stories are heart wrenching, and I wanted to make a difference by bringing awareness and supporting our local charity, the YWCA.”

            The Shimmy Mob will be on Fountain Square May 14 at 3:00 p.m.
            The Shimmy Mob will be on Fountain Square May 14 at 3:00 p.m.

            Each year a new choreographer is selected to do the The Shimmy Mob’s dance. This year’s choreographer is Cat Bruce from Florida. Bruce has served as The Shimmy Mob Orlando’s team leader for the last 5 years.

            If you can’t make it to Fountain Square at 3 p.m., Sandidge says that the Mob will be transported to the Tri County Mall to perform the dance again at 5 p.m.

            Both events are free to the public. In addition to the dance, there is going to be a fundraiser at The Redmoor on April 3. Located at 3187 Linwood Avenue in Cincinnati, tickets for the event are $20, which does not include a meal or drink, and the YWCA will serve as the guest speaker. The band Uncle Buck will also be performing. All proceeds from the events will go to the YWCA shelter.

            To learn more about Shimmy Mob 2016, visit www.shimmymob.com. You can also follow the official Shimmy Mob Facebook page.

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