View Comments(0) has always looked for ways to give back to the community, so we are proud to announce the " Cares" initiative, which will highlight great charities, both local and national. We kick it off today with a local charity walk that benefits the American Brain Tumor Association, a non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to brain tumor research and patient care.

A letter from the charity:

Life changes every day, but who could imagine the life change that we encountered on February 1, 2006. That was the day that Steve underwent neurosurgery and was diagnosed with glioblastoma....just a word at that point, but what we soon learned was horrifying:

  • malignant brain tumor
  • treatable but not curable
  • statistics that we don't even want to hear about

"Accept the diagnosis; Defy the prognosis." That is the mantra that our family immediately adopted!

Steve's strength, determination and courage have been an inspiration to everyone! He has pulled that strength from the love and support that he continues to get from friends, family and colleagues. That love and support has brought us to tears.

Steve refuses to let you all down in the fight of his life. We can't thank you enough for the love and caring that you have shared with us.

~ Jodi Kaplan, Walk Organizer and Steve's Wife


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While some people probably don’t even know this holiday exists, many Americans wait for this day all year! International Fanny Pack Day began a few years ago when Nick Yates received his first fanny pack and an experience that will stick with him for a lifetime.

Donate to Your Local Food Bank

Millions of people in the U.S. and around the world go hungry everyday. Please help in the fight against hunger; donate to your local food bank today and help us celebrate International Fanny Pack Day properly! Click the link below to find your nearest food bank:

Find a Food Bank in Your Area »

A few days before Christmas, Yates was en route to the bus station with a belt bag packed and strapped around his waist when he came across a homeless man. Yates, being the giving individual that he is, stopped in front of the man, only to hear him say “Nice fanny pack, chief.” He was unfazed by this rude comment and pulled out some food wrapped in tin foil, which he then handed to the man and continued walking. Yates was about a block away when he heard the man scream, “A freaking fruitcake?”

Although the homeless man’s attitude was rude and unthankful, it was because of this exchange that Yates put fanny packs and food charity in the same category. He began using his fanny pack for the purpose of bringing food to Portland, Oregon’s homeless and hungry, and later to Boise, Idaho’s homeless as well. Yates declared March 10, 2007, International Fanny Pack Day, and since then it has become an annual charity event for the Idaho Food Bank. Check it out, he even started a Facebook Page for it! We recommend that everyone donates to their local food bank to pay it forward! Find your nearest food bank HERE. You don’t have to wear a fanny pack while doing it, but we highly recommend that you do!

Bring Back the Pack-Enter to win a fully-loaded fanny pack

TicketNetwork SpellMasters compete in spelling bee

spelling bee image

On Friday, TicketNetwork fielded a team at the Achieve Hartford! Community Spelling Bee, where over 40 teams competed for glory and fame. The event was not your typical spelling bee. Instead of individuals spelling their own words, teams competed in rounds against five other teams at a time. The same word was given to the whole “swarm,” and whichever team outlasted the others was the champ for that round. Finally, the winners from each swarm were brought together in a final round to determine the ultimate champion.

Although we didn’t win (who knew there was an “i" in revirescent?), the event was a blast. Several local mascots were present to get the crowd cheering, and all of the teams were encouraged to pick a creative team name and dress up in awesome costumes. The TicketNetwork SpellMasters dressed up as wizards (get it? SPELL masters? Like, spelling and spellcasting…never mind) and came thisclose to winning the costume contest, falling to the Tough Cookies wearing Girl Scout cookie costumes.

Aside from competing, TicketNetwork also helped sponsor the event, which benefits Achieve Hartford!, an organization that supports education reform and community involvement in the Hartford Public School District.

In honor of the spelling bee, here are a few great videos from the National Spelling Bee.