News Anchorwoman Gives A Bully A Piece of Her Mind

There’s nothing like the scorn of an angry woman.. especially when it is the result of a taunting & bullying message.

WKBT news anchor Jennifer Livingston enlightened viewers with a dose of reality after receiving an anonymous letter discussing her overweight appearance & how she is a bad example for the community. Not only did she show courageousness by publicly sharing the letter with her audience, but she has also inspired us all to learn a big lesson from this – words hurt people. It is our job as individuals (even more importantly as parents & caretakers) to set positive examples of human behavior, starting at childhood. However, I also believe that this doesn’t end there — as adults, we also understand the impact bullying has (whether or not from personal experience) and we must tell each other when we know something is wrong. We’ve all dealt with bullying at one point in our lives – it only continues to worsen if not addressed early on.

After her story went online, flocks of people (friends & strangers) expressed their disgust about this letter and support for the admirable person Livingston is (outside & in.) She’s set a great example for individuals that may be scared to speak up when being bullied by telling them it is unacceptable.

Actually, it’s quite simple. As the saying goes, “treat others as you would want to be treated”. While simple and succinct, this phrase nails the topic right on its head.

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Make The World of Only Make Believe A Reality!

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One of my favorite movies of all time (yes, I know this is a very bold statement) is Finding Neverland. Based on the story of Peter Pan, it’s message that speaks to the kid in all of us — you’re never too old to dream.

Dena Hammerstein, founder of Only Make Believe, created this non-profit organization after her late husband, James Hammerstein and for his passion & dedication towards theater. Since 1999, Dena & the Only Make Believe team have brought paid professional actors/theater performers to hospitals of chronically ill & disabled children. At these hospitals, the actors will put together an interactive performance where the children can also participate and perform.

Supported by celebrity actors such as Jude Law, Rachel Weisz & Mike Myers, what started as a one hospital event at NYU Langone Medical Center is now extensive performances in over 50 hospitals all over New York City and Washington DC!

Memorable moments like the ones with Only Make Believe prove that laughter can be the best medicine. These performances help give these children hope & happiness for a present & future filled with imagination!

If you’re feeling inspired & would like to get involved, find out how you can be a part of the world of imagination!

COTG Interview Series Presents.. scoreAscore!

[image via bsphotos.com]

I met scoreAscore founder Jordan Passman about a year ago in Los Angeles. Typically, I have my reservations when meeting individuals “in the business.” But, after getting to know Passman, you can understand why he goes against all of the stereotypes and has been able to grow such a respectable reputation. His passion to succeed, his knowledge of music, appreciation for artists and their creativity and sincere demeanor show every reason why he and his company was featured and won Business Week’s Best Young Entrepreneur in 2011. Plus, he only started the company in May 2010!

Putting his business endeavors aside, he successfully found a way to fuse his music passions and volunteering efforts by working with Camp Harmony, an organization that focuses on enriching lives of young inner city kids in Los Angeles with various leadership activities and programs. Passman has been involved with Camp Harmony since he was fifteen years old and now serves on the Leadership Committee and Advisory Board ten years later.

For these reasons, I asked him if we can arrange an interview. Because we are located on opposite coasts, he agreed to do an online interview, which can be seen in more detail below. Inside this interview, you will get an in-depth look to the inner workings of scoreAscore, the music business and how it’s changed, as well as goals for himself and his company by tapping into his savvy entrepreneurial skills and generosity for providing those less fortunate.

COTG: In one sentence, can you explain scoreAscore?

JP: scoreAscore connects professional musicians with incredible gigs and   placement opportunities.

COTG: Where did you come up with the unique name?

JP: As a “pun-man” I couldn’t resist using a pun in the title of my first business. My friend Jeremy and I came up with it over dinner in NYC.

COTG: What was the reason for creating an independent music licensing/consulting company?

JP: I noticed an overwhelming amount of “composer wanted” ads on Craigslist.org. To fill this void, I created an innovative platform to do just what my tag line says – connect music and media. With the Name-Your-Price system, scoreAscore.com gives you original music in an easy-to-use, safe and efficient environment. Each artist is a music professional who has been personally screened — our recent clients include Burger King, Disney, DirectTV, NBC, Crayola and Google.

COTG: What are a couple of your favorite projects you’ve worked on within the  past year?

JP: A few of my very favorites are:

Polio’s Last Percent for THE GATES FOUNDATION:

http://scoreascore.tumblr.com/post/10531574499/the-gates-foundation-via-good-scores-a-score-for

SKECHERS Brooke Burke Retail Commercial: 

http://scoreascore.tumblr.com/post/15041504170/skechers-uses-scoreascore-original-music-for-their

COTG: What do you see for the future of scoreAscore?

JP: When I think about the future, I get excited about how technology will continue to evolve, and what that means for my business. One goal I hope to accomplish is to be the number one original music provider for the do-it-yourself filmmakers on the rise.

COTG: What do you see as the future for independent artists and the music business?

JP: I see a future with more music than ever! People will continue to listen and broaden their musical tastes. The business will depend on how well technology and other industries accept, embrace and value music. I am optimistic that the music industry will grow, and that independent artists can capitalize on the new and out-of-the-box opportunities to come. Our current industry is unpredictable, though times of adversity are times of opportunity, and I’ve think I found one here.

COTG: Have you done any music projects with any charities and/or non-profits?

JP: Yes! We have donated music for several videos promoting Jewish Family Service, an LA based non-profit. These videos tell the stories of clients in need that have benefited from their tremendous resources. (http://www.jfsla.org/). We have also worked with the Gates Foundation and several other non-profits.

COTG: What is your personal involvement with charity work?

JP: Giving back is important, and I find hands on volunteering very fulfilling. I’m involved with Camp Harmony as well as City of Hope.

“United in Harmony’s mission is to provide homeless and impoverished children with hope and opportunities to develop positive self-esteem through interactions with teenage and adult role models. United in Harmony provides a variety of enriching programs to children ages 7-13 years old from over 12 shelters in Los Angeles County.” (http://unitedinharmony.org/)
City of Hope focuses on the fight against cancer.(http://www.cityofhope.org/)
COTG: What is your favorite memory of working with Camp Harmony?
JP: Seeing their faces glow. We pick up the children from shelters in downtown LA, and drive them to a magical Malibu summer camp site. The moment the 10 freeway turns into the Pacific Coast Highway, all of the kids will rush to the west side of the bus. Many of them have never even seen the ocean before and watching the kids discover new things with so much excitement brings me an overwhelming amount of joy.
COTG: What impact have these experiences had on you professionally and/or personally?
JP: I would not be who I am today without them. If I’m an internet browser, then Camp Harmony is my “refresh” button. It fills me with gratitude and appreciation for my health and fortitude.
 
COTG: Do you engage in any music activities with the campers?
 
JP: Song session is a huge part of our Camp Harmony experience. We sing songs all day and night. An alumni recently introduced an incredible music program — the kids created their own songs at camp just a few weeks ago!  Click here to hear their original songs – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyOoa9UWdxM
 
COTG: What was your first important memory of music?
JP: My favorite memory is playing the first two albums that I ever bought. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles and the soundtrack from Jurassic Park. Still love them today.
 
COTG: What is your favorite song?
JP: It’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite song, but one of the best songs in my opinion is “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. It has an incredible melody and touching lyrics. It has haunting vocals and orchestration. That song paints a beautiful picture in my head.
 
COTG: What musician stands out to you that has made a significant impact for children and social causes?
JP: Bono is pretty much the king of that, no? What a dude!
 
COTG: What would you say is the best advice you can give other young entrepreneurs to start their own business?
 
JP: Go for it!! Passion is contagious.

Krochet Kids International Provides Knitting Skills To Developing Countries (And More!)

 After seeing an article in the NY Times Magazine showcasing a unique business model created by Krochet Kids International co-founders Kohl Crecelius, Stewart Ramsey and Travis Hartanov, I knew that they were doing something significant. They are putting  power into hands of individuals in nations such as Uganda and Peru to raise monies for their impoverished nations by aiding in food, clothing and education.

The Krochet Kids International (KKI) mission teaches women to crochet handmade hats, sweatshirts and other merchandise that is personally signed by the woman who knits each item. KKI alps to export these items to the US and other countries where they can be sold. All monies made from purchasing each item is then sent back to the country it was made.

Betty is one of various women who have joined the movement. What is great about this system is that after you receive your handmade item, you can thank the woman personally!

This month will feature a new line of knitted hats as well as a line of bow ties and scarves!

Visit their website where you can learn more, purchase and/or donate money to this great cause.

Jessica Alba’s Honest.com Gets Funding!

Many of our favorite brands of diapers, soaps and other consumer products are unknowingly harboring bacteria, toxins and other dangerous materials that could harm a child’s health. Actress and mother or two, Jessica Alba, found a void for parents to purchase healthy baby products and wanted to give them a place to do so.

Honest.com, created by Alba and co-founder/CEO Christopher Gavigan, have received over $27MM in funding by investors who have also worked with launching major sites such as Twitter, Zynga and Netflix. The influx of start-up money will help the company create more products as well as launch an e-commerce site.

“Parents get a lot of advice about what to feed their children and how to baby-proof their home, but many are still completely unaware of the toxic risks posed by everyday basics, like diapers, home cleaners, body washes, and laundry soaps..” says Gavigan on their website about new parents and their lack of education about the products they are purchasing for their children.

Users will be able to subscribe to the site by choosing what types of items you want to purchase and will give you suggestions based on information you give them about your family!

Honest.com hopes to keep “honesty” by its users so that parents can trust the products they use to help grow healthy and happy children!

Article Sources – http://mashable.com/2012/03/24/jessica-albas-honest-company/

John Varvatos Teams Up With Chrysler and Stuart House

American designer John Varvatos is using his power to do good by teaming up with Chrysler and design a special edition Chrysler 300S. It is currently on the auction block and will be available to bid until Tuesday, March 20. As of last Thursday, bids were around $50,000!

Money from the auction will be donated to the ninth annual Stuart House charity benefit that helps sexually abused children. John Varvatos and his company have been associated with the Stuart House for over nine years.

“The Chrysler 300S includes custom 20-inch wheels in a satin carbon finish, seats and door panels with black woven leather details and satin chrome finishes in the cabin. Other touches include a black leather-wrapped instrument panel, console lid and door armrest and a black two-tone steering wheel.”*

*http://www.insideline.com/chrysler/300/2012/fashion-designer-john-varvatos-customizes-2012-chrysler-300s-for-charity-auction.html

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I urge everyone to watch this trailer and make your way to theaters on March 30 to see Bully. It’s no secret that bullying is one of the most prevalent forms of violence/abuse, especially for young children. But, this film sheds a big spotlight in exposing the dangers of bullying and the alarming disconnect between students, teachers and their parents when it comes to children’s behavior and how it affects their peers.

The Weinstein Company is facing challenges as the MPAA initially gave Bully an R-rating because of foul language. However, this will prevent its core demographic to see the film and see bullying first hand from several points-of-view. Please join me and sign the petition to get 300,000 names to help overturn the MPAA and give the film a PG-13 rating [those who should really be seeing this film.]

Give a voice to those with a soft voice and for those who no longer have a voice because of the tragic effects bullying had on them.