Citizen Generation

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Why Citizen Generation?

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14.3_Austin_Monthly_AdIt’s been a wild and wonderful few weeks for the city of Austin as thousands of young and seasoned professionals converged on our great city.  But all this SXSW hype got our team thinking not only about our city and how much we love it, but about the incredible growth and successes Austin has experienced in recent years, including the importance of the younger generation for the future. So we wanted to take a moment to share why we think our mission of creating the habit of giving in young professionals is so important to our city’s future.

By now you have heard of our successes as our programming has raised $1,000,000 through over 13,000 points of engagement. We have also volunteered thousands of hours and donated hundreds of in-kind items. And collaborated with 64 other nonprofit organizations, some more than once.

But did you know according to Grizzard Communications Group, research has found that if someone is a non-donor by the age of 44, they will always be a non-donor? As philanthropy efforts often overlook young donors, this is particularly concerning to Austin, TX, with a median age of 31 years old. Young Austinites will be the politicians leading our community, the business owners creating jobs and sustaining the Austin economy and the volunteers supporting local organizations.

Citizen Generation’s audience is made up mostly of 25 to 45 year olds. This audience is mostly composed of millennials. Although there is controversy about how to define the demographics of the Millennial generation, they are a huge group, somewhere between 80 and 90 million in the nation, compared to the only 76 million Baby Boomers that make up the nation’s population.

According to Time Magazine Business & Money, millennials are “more conservative, less trusting, and far more reliant on digital tools including social media to solve financial conundrums.” They are insistent on the internet being a big part of their financial life, which we believe includes philanthropy. They are also a group of people who are often overlooked by philanthropic efforts, as fundraising tends to cultivate individuals already providing large financial gifts. Yet, this age group has the resources to give, and will be inheriting large amounts of money, estimated to be $30 trillion over the next 30 years.

We believe it is Citizen Generation’s responsibility to introduce this generation to philanthropy and create a habit of giving through our innovative programing and marketing reach. The role that we play in the lives of this generation and those to come is critical to ensuring a successful future for our city. Millennials will be the driving force behind cultural change for a long time to come.

Since 2009, Citizen Generation has had a proven track record of support from the community and big successes. Support from YOU will enable Citizen Generation to continue to grow our valuable community work. To be part of a movement, you have to keep moving, and we need YOUR support. Donate today and help us create a sustainable future for Austin by creating the habit of giving in young professionals.

 

Green Is In

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Are you as ready for the weekend as we are? With so much happening this past week and even more to look forward to this weekend (SXSW finale, St. Patrick’s Day, beautiful weather, and the great outdoors), we thought we would get you pumped about all things GREEN for this week’s Friday Favorites.

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1.  What better way to kick off the last weekend of SXSW, than with a refreshing beverage from our partners at Deep Eddy’s Vodka. Check out this Deep Eddy’s Mint Brew, relax on your patio (or someone else’s) and listen to the music that is sure to be wafting down the street.

2.  An apple a day really does keep the doctor away, and after this week we made need a bushel!

3.  Today is the last day to enjoy the Spotify House and one of SXSW’s hot spots. Enjoy great tunes from local and international artist, all while lounging on the deck and crossing off those last minute Friday to-do list items with free wireless and plenty of outlets.

4.  We met so many cool people and fabulous non-profits this past week! One that stood out in our mind as one to watch was the Rain Forest Partnership. Their mission is to partner with people who live in and around tropical rain forests to develop environmentally sustainable economies to protect and regenerate their forests. Check them out and help them save such a important part of our world, and be sure to follow them @rainforestprtnr.

5.  2014′s hottest accessory has been nails so far this year. Don’t get caught without your green this weekend, and try out a few of these glitzy-green designs sure to impress even the most discerning of leprechauns.

6.  Had too much fun at SXSW this year? Head on over to JuiceLand and take the SWSW Cleanse. “Detox your liver, reset your healthy eating habits, and let your body focus on replenishing and healing from all that fun debauchery.”

7.  After a week and a half of free breakfast tacos, energy drinks, and whatever else they are handing out from one street corner to the next, it may be time to add those greens back into your diet. Local Austinite, blogger extrodinare, and health enthusiast Martha Lynn Kale has a few easy recipes to get you back on track. Oh, KALE YEAH!

8. Need some last minute SXSW inspiration with a touch of green? Head on over to one of our favorite local boutiques, Golden Bones Boutique, and snag the perfect outfit to celebrate the weekend. Pictured above: The Top: Crowned Bird (local designer, and seen on Style Star), Knit Water melon top by Rehab, Shorts by Mink Pink, Sunglasses: Quay from Australia, all sold at Golden Bones Boutique.

9.  Bring the green indoors and help your environment. Experts say that bringing plants indoors help clean the air and keep you breathing a little easier. Check out this list of 19 houseplants that clean the indoor air, and for a list of local shops to pick up your next green project hop on over to guest blogger Katie Taylor’s Spray Paint & Chardonnay for some local finds.

SXSW Eco: Green Is In

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Things are getting pretty wild here in Austin with close to 60,000 hotel rooms booked and over 75,000 guests from 74 countries converging on our great city for this year’s SXSW Festival that kicked off on Friday! And that was only the first section focusing on technologies and innovations (with of course non-stop parties). And the parties don’t stop, as soon music will fill the streets as thousands of entertaining acts from across the world will finish out this crazy time we call SXSW.

With the environment on our minds this month and all this strain on our city it made us wonder what steps the SXSW team are taking to leave Austin just as they found it, and to our delight the creators of SX feel the same way!

In 2013 an upcycling program launched called, SXSW Eco in conjunction with SpinFish Event Solutions. The upcycling program was so successful that they are expanding the initiative to the entire 2014 SXSW Trade Show. The way this program works is by providing exhibitors the opportunity to donate their leftover materials to local community members, serving two purposes; to give back to Austin and help SXSW reach their sustainability goals.

At last years SXSW Eco almost all exhibitors participated in the program and over 25 unique recipients claimed materials, including nonprofit organizations, artists, business owners and individual community members. More than 1,200 pounds of waste were diverted from the landfill – a 99% diversion rate!

All 350+ exhibitors will have the opportunity to participate, free of charge, with this year’s expansion to the 2014 SXSW Trade Show. Creators are anticipating over 10,000 pounds of waste will be diverted, and that thousands of local community members will benefit.

With all the strain put on our city we are glad to hear that the SX Team considers Austin and the environmental impact SX has on our city a priority. They have also contracted Green Mountain Energy Company to help reduce the event’s carbon footprint by offsetting the estimated greenhouse gas emissions created by all 3,200+ SXSW speakers’ travel and hotel stays.

As Austinites we are always proud to host such a great festival, but our heart swells when visitors care just as much about our city as we do. Thanks SXSW creators, planners, staff, and volunteers for helping to keep our city green and beautiful! We are excited to see what the rest of the week holds, and we hope to see you all the SXSW Social Good Hub.

 

SXSW the ‘Do Good’ Vibe

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It’s supposed to be sunny and in the 70’s today and it’s days like this when I’m reminded yet again how much I love living in Austin, and how lucky we all are to call this city home.monsters

I’m planning to close the computer early, pull on my favorite sundress and flops and take the pups for their first swim of 2014.

This Friday also kicks off another SXSW, and thousands of film aficionados, tech geniuses and music lovers will flood the city for one of the nations biggest parties. It’s always fun to show off the best of Austin – from the great food, to our one-of-a-kind culture.  I think what I love most about this city is the culture of giving that has been incubated here over the years, and not even one of the nations largest parties is immune to the ‘do good’ vibe.

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 3.11.28 PMThis year SXSW will present an entire track on social innovations and social change in the form of SXSW Social Good Hub. On Monday, March 10, attendees can network with fellow registrants interested in the greater good or attend one of the special events throughout the day focused on everything from social good and technology, to using influential power for social good, to creating the perfect messaging.

Will you join us in this track and help make a difference in our community and globally? Let us know if you attend, let’s meet up! And we would love to know what you learned and how we can work with you in spreading the good in our community and beyond. We hope to see you all there… look for us:

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Happy SXSW, we hope you LIVE, PLAY, WORK, and GIVE this SXSW festival season!

Young Philanthropist Spotlight: Vanessa Fuentes

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Meet Vanessa Fuentes, she is the Director of the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence where she focuses on criminal and juvenile justice policy in the state of Texas. Vanessa holds a B.S. in Public Relations and a minor in Business Foundations from The University of Texas at Austin. Her background includes experience in political campaigns, consulting, and fundraising. Previously, she served on the Board of Directors of the Young Women’s Alliance and is a graduate of the Leadership Austin Emerge Program. These days she currently serves as the Nominations Chair of the Austin Under 40 Awards gala, Outreach Chair for the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas, Austin Chapter, and Vice-President of the Austin Young Democrats. 

With such a busy schedule you can see why we were thrilled to have an opportunity to catch-up with Vanessa and learn more about what inspires her, and just how she does it all!

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 11.33.37 AMCitizen Generation: Can you give us quick re-cap of what Austin Under 40 (AU40) is and why it is so important for Austin’s young philanthropists to get involved. 

Vanessa Fuentes: Since 1998, Austin’s Young Women’s Alliance (YWA) and the Young Men’s Business League (YMBL) have partnered to host one of the city’s premier awards events, Austin Under 40 (AU40). During an evening of prestige and celebration, recognition is paid to emerging Austinites who both lead their respective industries and exhibit a solid commitment to serving their community.

The awards gala serves not only to commend individuals such as Dan Graham, Kendra Scott and Andy Roddick for their leadership and achievements, but more importantly, to raise money for two philanthropic beneficiaries: The Young Women’s Alliance Foundation and the Austin Sunshine Camps.

It’s important to spotlight the hard work and dedication of our peers to encourage the habit of the giving back to our community.

Au2013 with LP and SandraCG: You’ve been chairing this project for a few years, how did you get started and what makes you continue taking on such a big job?



VF: When I first joined the Young Women’s Alliance, I set out to acquire fund development skills so I became involved with the YWA Development Committee as Events Chair. Through the recommendation of the Vice President of Development Maren Curtis (Currently CG’s Social Media manager!), I joined the Au40 committee as Nominations Co-Chair.  I along with my Co-Chair, worked hard to garner the most nominations to date at that time. I continue to serve on the Au40 planning committee because of the opportunity to work alongside young, dedicated professionals to put on our biggest fundraiser of the year, raising over $65,000! It is especially rewarding to recognize emerging leaders and thank them for their continued dedication to improving our community.

CG:Describe your definition of philanthropy in three words.

VF: Activism for good

Charity Bash 2012 with MarthaCG: Can you think back and tell us about the first time you gave of your time, talent, or treasure?

VF: In high school, I participated in a program called PALs (Peer Assistance & Leadership). I mentored kids from Kindergarten to 8th grade by visiting with them weekly. I am grateful for the time I spent playing, chatting, and sometimes, just listening, to these kids and learning about their lives. They showed me just how much being a friend could make a difference in one’s life. Mentoring these kids are some of my most treasured memories of growing up.


CG: Citizen Generation’s Motto for 2014  is, LIVE, PLAY, WORK, GIVE. What does the phrase mean to you?

VF: LIVE, PLAY, WORK, GIVE describes to me the principles of life. To me, it’s important to enjoy what you do for a living and to make sure that your life is filled with those persons you adore and activities you love! It’s equally as important to take time to have fun. For many, including myself, that means traveling and creating new experiences. Above all, it’s paramount to GIVE. I love the old saying by Winston Churchill “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

 

Do you have a Question for Vanessa? Leave it here in the comment section and she will get back to you!

Weekend Wrap Up: To Austin with Love

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What a beautiful weekend in Austin made only better by all the exciting ways to give back and support this beautiful city.

kevin carol– Over at the Citizen Generation office we kicked the weekend off right with A Legacy of Giving’s Blue Sky Luncheon. We had the opportunity to celebrate the tremendous impact they have had on Austin by empowering children through philanthropy education and youth philanthropy programs, creating engaged youth committed to improving their communities and the world. I think you can see why we heart them! And we have to say we adored their keynote speaker Kevin Carroll, he is most certainly one to follow: @kckatalyst.

– Did you catch our Young Philanthropist spotlight on Friday with Camille Armstrong? Well her Fundraiser for Esther was fabulous, and we hope you checked it out. But if your Saturday was as booked as ours then don’t worry you can still help out and donate to support Esther’s fight.

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 10.06.21 AM– And with this beautiful weather we couldn’t miss BMW’s 2ND Street Soundcheck Music Showcase in support of Darrell K Royal Research Fund for Alzheimer’s Disease. Talk about a great kick off to March madness in Austin! So much to do and so little time. We sure hope you’ll include giving in all of that playing this month.

– With so many opportunities to PLAY be sure to check our calendar for ways to give back that are just as much fun. Speaking of good fun, SXSW is just around the corner and there are some pretty fabulous events happening for our local non-profits. Don’t miss GoBank;’s #PuppyHour benefiting APA! this Saturday, March 8 and Sunday, March 9 from 11AM – 5PM. 

dallasbuyersclub– And it wouldn’t be the Sunday after the Oscar’s without a little shout out to our local Austinite Matthew McConaughey for his win at the Oscar’s for Best Actor in Dallas Buyers Club, (did you see the Tower in all it’s burnt orange glory?)  and we have to share a little love with Jared Leto for his win and beautiful speech to promote AIDS awareness. There are many ways to promote AIDS awareness, research and education here in Austin, and quickly approaching is this year’s Hill Country Ride for AIDS.   

We hope you have been INSPIRED to get involved and give this month and we hope you will INSPIRE others.

Young Philanthropist Spotlight: Camille Armstrong

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Meet Camille Armstrong a relator at Turnquist Partners Realtors, recent CharityBash Masquerade Ball Committee Host, the lady who keeps you bronzed all year long, and one of Austin’s Young Philanthropists. We have had the great privilege of working with this week’s Young Philanthropist Spotlight over the past year, and we couldn’t help be inspired by what she is doing not only for the community as whole, but for one individual who needs a little extra support as she fights one of the biggest fights of her life.

Esther Benefit flyerCitizen Generation: You are doing some amazing work with the Esther LaVonne Benefit, can you give us a recap of what you have done, how others can get involved, and why you are so involved with this project?

Camille Armstong: This isn’t a “cause” this is a human being who I love and would do anything in my power to help. Just as she would do for me. This is not a cause, this a friend in need, much like all of us, we have a friend or family member who Cancer has affected in one way. I am just humbled to be able to use my platform to both help a loved one in need and further the message that there are countless others out there suffering, and we all need to be reminded that we CAN make a difference in another life.

Esther is a woman with a story. In 32 years she has accomplished more than most people could only dream of doing in 3 lifetimes, and she is not finished yet. One of her biggest goals is to open a girls home. She inspires everyone around her with her strength and determination. She isn’t afraid to be exactly who she wants to be. She is family. She is that girl who packed up her car and her dog and moved to LA to pursue her dreams. She has never had it easy and has worked hard for everything she has and she is always willing to lose it all if it means she is spending time pursuing her passions.

Esther has been struck with the recent tragic news of her diagnosis. She’s going to have to fight this head on with everything WE have. Her life and future depend upon the power of friends, family, and strangers all rallying behind her to make a difference. Our rally cry for Esther is #HeartAcheToHeartAcheWeStand

I’m asking for help not just in a monetary way, but in spreading awareness for her and the countless others struggling to fight this disease.

Together we can make a difference and I invite everyone to join us in this fight Saturday, March 1st at Lanai Rooftop Lounge from 4-10pm. We will have live music, DJs and silent auction.

To learn more about Esther’s story please visit http://estherlavonnecause.org

CB Live AuctionCG: Wow Camille, that is quite inspiring! Did you learn any skills from being a young philanthropist in the CharityBash Live Auction that you are using to help you with the Esther LaVonne Benefit?

CA: Absolutely! My experience with the auction helped me gain the discipline I need to stay on track and organized throughout this fight. It also enabled me to utilize the contacts I made through the Live Auction.

CG: Why do you think it is important for young people to get involved?

CA: I think it is very simple…there is power in numbers and there is power in awareness. The earlier on in life you see that you can make a difference the more time you have to make an impact!

CG: Who/What inspires you to give?

CA: I am inspired to give through the countless blessings I have been so fortunate to have in my life, and the examples I had taught to me early in life from my mother, my hero, Kathy Armstrong. She always instilled a strong message to “give back” and help those that need helping where you can. I have always felt that one person truly can make a difference, and it is because of my family and my mother especially that I am drawn to “do more.”

CG: Citizen Generation’s Motto for the New Year is, LIVE, PLAY, WORK, GIVE. What does the phrase mean to you?

CA: Alexis Neal NAILED this question! I second this statement. “LIVE, PLAY, WORK, GIVE are essentials of life that once perfectly balanced, they intertwine and compliment each other perfectly. It’s a transformation that becomes the basic nutrition of life to help create a fruitful, meaningful and influential lifestyle. Without the presence of the other, value is lost. How can one appreciate PLAY without WORK? In the same way, striving to make a difference and to give of your time and talents, heightens the fulfillment of life exponentially.”

And a brief message from Esther: #cancerwho #cancerwhat#cancerimgonnakickyourbutt #bangfeatherbang won’t stop

Esther Bang Feather Bang

Thank You! 4th Annual CharityBash Masquerade Ball a Success

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They say it takes a village and for Citizen Generation it really does take a tribe of young philanthropists working together to create the sold out event we call the Fourth Annual CharityBash Masquerade Ball. We have so much to be thankful for this Tuesday that we couldn’t wait for Thankful Thursday!

We wanted to take a minute to recognize and thank the organizations and individuals who helped promote and support this year’s ball and ultimately helped raise over $40,000 for Citizen Generation.

First up is our CharityBash Masquerade Ball Host Committee. They donated their time, talent and ties to help promote this year’s event. And we credit them with helping us sell out again this year!

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Host Committee:  A.J. Bingham, Alexis Neal, Alexis Simon Landa, Amir Mozafari, Camille Armstrong, Carla and Jon Armstrong, Christie Johnson and Matt Curtis, Christy Cook, Ellie Little, Elizabeth Hufnagel, Eric Cullen, Jenny Young, Jonny Rodgers, Katie Taylor, Kendall and, Jerry Jensen, Lacey and Clint Miller, Lauren Doering, Lauren Nicole Galea, Madeline Hollern, Maren Curtis, Michael Harrell, Sara Strother and Andy Brown, Stephanie Webb, Vanessa Fuentes

We also would not be able to do any of this without all of our wonderful partners:

Financial: Camille Armstrong & Turnquist Partners Realtors, Yellow Cab of Austin, and Spiceworks LLC

In-Kind: Bellissimo Bakery , Black Finn Pub , Butter Face Bake Shop , Spray Paint & Chardonnay, Chavez, Deep Eddy Vodka, DJ Johnny Bravvo, Dock & Roll Diner, Duchman Family Winery, ES Productions, Heineken USA, Ilios, Illusions Rental & Design, Jeff Loftin Photography, On the Spot Body Art, Tequila 512, Unexpected Elements, She-and He Photography, White Hat Rum

Media: Austin MD, Austin Monthly, CultureMap, Do512, Tribeza

Thank you! And we want to hear you stories about this year’s CharityBash Masquerade Ball. Let us know what you loved! And be sure to tag yourself in the pictures. We hope to see you at next year’s event.

This One’s for the Boys: Guest Blogger Katie Fore

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Katie Fore

Meet Katie Fore, guest blogger, stylist extraordinaire, and one of 2013 CharityBash Live Auction’s young philanthropists. Katie grew up in Austin and graduated from Westlake High School.  Since she graduated from Texas State University in 2007, she has worked as a professional clothier, sales trainer, and recruiter for the world’s largest custom clothing company, Tom James.  Katie enjoys staying active, which is a good thing since she also loves to eat!  Her favorite restaurants consist of Barley Swine, Corazon, and El Alma which she enjoys with her family and friends as much as she can.  Her other interests include traveling, cooking, and playing with her dog Winston and of course giving back. 
With a portfolio full of sophisticated and philanthropic clients, we thought who better than Katie to help all our young male philanthropists work the fundraising cat walk.
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Katie: In this day and age there seem to be more creative dress codes than we have clothing options for and it can get quite confusing trying to figure out what to wear!  Here is a simplified version of some of the main dress codes we see on invitations throughout the year.

Black Tie:  Da Vinci said “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Keep it simple. Tuxedo or dinner jacket.  White tux shirt.  Bow tie for a more traditional formal look or solid black neck tie for more modern elegance.  Black socks.  Patent shoes.  Every guy over the age of 25 should own a classically styled tuxedo.  Who wants to wear the same thing as that sweaty frat guy who wore it last week for his spring formal…and went commando? Dry Cleaned does not mean Sterilized.  Just saying….formal_final

Semi-Formal:  No need for a full blown tux, but a suit and tie is a must!  The darker the suit, the more formal the look.  Don’t be the guy caught underdressed at these occasions.  You can always take off your tie or jacket, but if you show up without one and everyone else has one on, well….

Festive/Cocktail:  Generally reserved for holidays or themed events and special occasions, this one can be a bit tricky.  In Austin, a nicely tailored solid sport coat or blazer goes a long way and not unlike the Semi-Formal suit, the darker the jacket the more formal the look.  In the winter, throw a tailored velvet or corduroy jacket over slacks or jeans and a button up shirt for a fun and festive flare.  In the warmer months, a solid light weight wool jacket will do nicely.

Austin Chic:  This one can be left up to a broad range of interpretations depending on the season, venue (indoors/outdoors) and occasion.  Use your better judgement…or a girl friend who can help direct you.  With that being said, here are a few looks spanning the different seasons for weather specific attire that looks pulled together without trying too hard.  Bolder patterned or uniquely styled shirts left untucked or tucked in depending on your preference, paired with chino’s, jeans or flat front shorts in the spring/summer.  During the cooler days, throwing a patterned or lighter colored sport coat on is not only season appropriate, nothing says “gentleman” more than a guy who offers a lady his jacket when the air turns colder.

chic_finalIn the end, if you are unsure of what to wear to an event or don’t feel you have the appropriate garb for the occasion, I am always happy to help!

And in true Citizen Generation style we couldn’t let Katie get away without a few questions about what philanthropy means to her; here is what she had to say:

GG: Can you think back and tell us about the first time you gave of your time, talent, or treasure?

Katie: Growing up in Austin my parents were always advocates of giving back to our community.  My mom was very involved with C.A.S.A. and Meals on Wheels along with several other organizations over the years.  One of my very first and most vivid memories of getting to actively participate in giving back was going with my family to help build a home for Habitat for Humanity.  The reason it was so impactful to me was because the person we were building a home for was a long time family friend of my mom’s.  It really showed me the enormous difference one organization and just a few volunteers can make in the life of someone in need.  It just really hit close to home.
CG: Who/What inspires you to give?
Katie: Working three jobs while attending college took my focus (and my finances) away from giving back.  I struggled w/ having both the time and the money to feel like I could make any kind of significant impact.  To me, that was really important.  Right after I graduated, I was approached by two former high school friends, Jonny Rodgers and Erik Smart, who were looking to start a young professionals organization in Austin.  They asked me if I wanted to be involved and I knew this was my opportunity to start giving back in a big way.  I jumped at the chance to get in on the ground floor of something I felt could help fill a void that existed in the community for young professionals in Austin.  A few months later, the Austin Young Chamber was born.  Through my time with AYC, I watched first hand how it connected the younger community and bridged a gap between them and some of the older more established organizations in town.  As time went on, I also became acutely aware of other newer non-profits making big entrances that were also targeting the young professional community and that is how I learned about and began my involvement with Citizen Generation.  I just love how giving has a way of connecting people like nothing else can.
CG: What does the phrase LIVE, PLAY, WORK, GIVE mean to you?
Katie: The phrase LIVE, PLAY, WORK, GIVE to me describes a way of life.  If you ask anyone in my office, they will tell you I am a huge proponent of work/life balance.  I do not work to live or live to work.  But I do want to know that at the end of each day I have allocated an appropriate amount of time and energy to work, in addition to making time for myself, my family, and my friends.  When all of these are accomplished, it allows me to give my time and my finances in ways I never thought possible.
We have to give a big thanks to Katie for laying down some hilarious but true facts and keeping our men looking good! And we know you gentlemen out there can appreciate a little advice as you make your way through the ever confusing dress code dilemma.  Do you have additional questions for Katie? Let her help you with your next fashion crisis. Leave a note here for her or feel free to contact her directly ([email protected]) for all your styling needs. 

Friday Favorites: CharityBash Masquerade Ball

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We can’t believe the 4th Annual CharityBash Masquerade Ball is only 1 week away! To help you get ready, we’re dedicating this week’s Friday Favorites to all things Masquerade.

matthew– What to wear? For the Ladies, take a cue from Taylor Swift’s gorgeous Grammy look and go metallic. This BCBG stunner is sure to turn heads. And for more inspiring looks, check out what last week’s guest fashion blogger, Madeline Hollern recommends.

– For the fellas, channel Golden Globe winner Matthew McCounaghey and wear some color! We are fans of handsome jewel tones. Still not sure? Stay tuned for Monday’s Blog, when men’s wear stylist Katie Fore, breaks it down for the boys.

– Masks are a must! We found the prettiest DIY Masquerade mask and best of all, you can personalize it to match your dress perfectly. Not the DIY type? Costume World and Lucy’s in Disguise never disappoint!

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– Top it all off with a perfect accessory. Gentlemen, February temps and that mysterious mask call for a dapper hat, why not go all out with a top hat? And Ladies, I think you will agree, the Masquerade Ball is begging for some fabulous nail art! We think this look would go great with several different looks!

– Remember, there’s only week left to plan your look, and probably only 1 day left to buy tickets! We are so excited to see you all there, and even more grateful for your continued support of Citizen Generation and our mission to create the habit of giving in young professionals.