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Simply Living “Gift to be Simple 2019 — Making a Difference”

October 24, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

$60 – $100


This year Simply Living’s Gift to be Simple annual fundraiser’s theme is “Making a Difference.” Join us on Thursday evening, October 24.

Columbus is changing! We are growing in so many ways it can feel overwhelming. Our Simply Living community embraces change but we view it through the lens of sustainability. By acting mindfully in choosing the food we eat, the energy we use, where we spend and save our money, and in the countless decisions we make every day, we can each “make a difference” by doing our part in making the environment and our communities sustainable for future generations.

This year we honor some remarkable individuals whose innovation and entrepreneurial efforts are Making a Difference in Columbus.  Their work, each in their own way, is not only making our communities more sustainable, but more resilient, self sufficient,  healthier, and even wealthier.  You will meet these leaders and hear their stories using the new Pecha Kucha-style presentations (20 seconds per each of 20 slides). You will learn the inside story of the new Columbus Garden School, the model for DIY and sustainable living at Blue Rock Station, the local support services of the Economic and Community Development Institute, and the visionaries that created 400 Rich Street right here in Franklinton.

It was a challenge to select only 4 presentations but you will also learn about our business member sponsors whose work complements these pioneers. Join us for an unforgettable evening where you will be inspired to redouble your own efforts to Make a Difference!

TISA WATTS is a garden educator, designer, and public speaker with 20 years of experience, and has a degree in Horticulture and Landscape Design. Tisa moved to Columbus from the west coast with a dream to find an affordable property suitable for starting a school to teach gardening and related skills. She and her wife found the perfect location on E. Cooke Rd in North Linden and have spent the past 3 (?) years launching The Columbus Garden School. CGS offers year-round classes on gardening, homesteading, and crafting topics, covering the spectrum from starting seeds to making compost! Other topics include food preservation methods, native plants, raising chickens, organic pest control, and more.

INNA KINNEY is the Founder and CEO of Economic and Community Development Institute, Inc. (ECDI). Established in 2004, ECDI is one of the top U.S. SBA intermediary microlenders with a mission to invest in people to create measurable and enduring social and economic change. ECDI provides responsible, affordable lending and comprehensive small business development services to help underbanked people and communities across Ohio join the economic mainstream. Inna’s passion for economic development began in 1974 as she and her family became the first family resettled in Columbus from the former Soviet Union. Despite being new to the country and having limited English proficiency, Ms. Kinney’s family was able to achieve the American dream by starting a family business. She continues to teach these values through her work at ECDI and through her 3 children. Ms. Kinney serves the community as part of many local and national boards. Currently, she sits on the board of the Columbus Jewish Foundation and is a member of the Huntington National Community Advisory Council.

CHRISTOPHER “CHRIS” SHERMAN a Columbus native, grew up in the city’s Short North Arts district, comes from a family of artists who helped shape the creative landscape of the Short North during the 70s and 80s and looked for other opportunities in the Franklinton area. After moving to the neighborhood in 2004, Chris saw the potential for redevelopment through the creative and entrepreneurial spirit that the city has fostered for generations. “400WestRich” and related projects such as Strongwater Food & Spirits, and Chromedge studios have been a catalysts for the revitalization of this west side neighborhood. Having fantastic partnerships with the city of Columbus and local businesses, the area is continuing to grow and thrive beyond his expectations.

ANNIE and JAY WARMKE founded Blue Rock Station in 1993, a 40-acre sustainability center located in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains in southeastern Ohio. The center features the first earthship built east of the Mississippi River, and is a living laboratory to test and demonstrate sustainable living concepts and options. Annie’s projects include the development of a goat school at Blue Rock Station and editing a book about photovoltaic installation. She hopes to have completed a book about earth plastering and mosaic. Jay is an award winning speaker and writer. He has presented hundreds of lectures and workshops around the world in a humorous and enlightening way, providing challenging ideas and predictions based on current and historical data.

DETAILS ABOUT THE EVENT: The evening begins with a reception featuring a spectacular selection of appetizers created by Strongwater’s in-house catering. We’ll have desserts from Craving’s Cafe and others. There’ll be an open bar, and a raffle.

PARKING/HANDICAP ACCESS: Free parking is available in Strongwater’s parking lot located at the west side of the building, as is the entrance for those needing handicap access.

TICKET LEVELS: We’re featuring 3 ticket options this year: $60 Early Bird (from now to Wednesday, September 25); $75 General Admission; and $100 Premium Level that includes a one-year subscription to Yes! Magazine.