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How Duff Goldman, Pompeian Oil and I Teamed Up To Donate $5000 to the Foodbank

Alexandra Williams, MA
Tweet from Duff Goldman re: Bake4Better contest

The tweet Duff Wrote Just for Me!

The Santa Barbara Foodbank is $5000 richer, thanks to a contest I won that was sponsored by Pompeian Oil, and judged by celebrity chef Duff Goldman of Ace of Cakes fame.

I’m not a professional baker, and definitely not a pro photographer, so how did I beat out everyone else for the chance to donate $5000 to the foodbank of my choice?

1. I followed the rules. Really, that counts. I saw some of the other entries, and they didn’t follow the rules (Create and post an original photograph that features the Pompeian Grapeseed Oil Spray bottle using the #Bake4Better hashtag and tagging @Pompeian). There were other criteria, such as ownership of the photo, using other brands in the photo, inappropriate themes, and so on, but nothing difficult.

2. We were judged in three categories: Originality/Creativity, Use of the Pompeian Grapeseed Oil Spray in the photograph, and Quality of photograph. I am pretty certain I won based on the first two. What do you think – creative or no?

Alexandra's entry to the Pompeian Contest

The Winning Entry

3. Fewer than 50 people entered. I know. Sad, isn’t it? So few entries for such an amazing prize. And of those 50,  take a look and you’ll see how few actually had the oil in the picture (one of the rules).

Enough about me; let’s talk about the foodbank. I happen to be in Santa Barbara, which is one of the loveliest towns in the U.S. (and most expensive, I think). This means a lot of people might assume we are all rich. Hahahahahahahahahah. Okay, let me stop laughing while I go weep over my property tax bill. I actually think S.B. is like many towns in that hunger is invisible to many.

According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, food is a basic necessity; without it we cannot grow and develop. This is both metaphorical and literal, especially for children. I think we adults have a moral obligation to ensure that all children get a fair crack at growing and developing.

Purpose of Foodbanks

The mission of the Santa Barbara Foodbank is “to provide nourishment to those in need by acquiring and distributing safe nutritious foods via local agencies and providing education to solve hunger and nutrition problems in Santa Barbara County.” This is probably similar to the mission statement of your local foodbank.

picture of Santa Barbara Foodbank workers

Fresh Food for the Foodbank
Photo credit: S.B. Foodbank

When I saw the contest, I thought, “I probably won’t win because I’m not a good photographer, but I might as well try because I might get lucky.” Not only did I get lucky, it turns out the $5000 has some excellent math behind it. According to the letter I received from the foodbank’s development coordinator, “Every dollar we receive is leveraged into $17 worth of nutritious food to build strong, healthy kids and families in our community. So the $5,000 that Hunter Publication (Pompeian Oil) awarded the Foodbank translates into $85,000 worth of food. Just incredible!”

And incredible is how I feel. If I had donated from my own money, it would have been about $20. For spending about 20 minutes of my time taking pictures, making the collage, and submitting my entry, I got $85,000 worth of “good feeling.”

Giving Improves Your Health

The point of my tale? To encourage you to enter these types of contests. Whether you’re a blogger, baker, Instagrammer, photographer, or even Google+ lover, give it a go. Even if you don’t win, you’ll feel good inside. Altruism has so many benefits, with research indicating that for the donor, “giving help was more significantly associated with better mental health than was receiving help.”

As a friend of mine from church loves to say, “Give till it helps.”

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Boomer Time and Anytime – Double Time!

Alexandra Williams, MA and Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

Kymberly and Alexandra cowgirlsToday is DoubleMint “Double Your Pleasure; Double Your Fun” Twin Time as you get two double fresh, double good topics in one! First up, some quick and timely facts about Baby Boomers. Then a possible trip around the fitness world (with 7 seconds of your help).

Fun Fit Facts For and About Baby Boomers

  • What do you think is the life expectancy of baby boomers? Prepare to be surprised!  A death defying 87 years! Our goal here at Fun and Fit is to rouse you to make those 87 years active, engaged ones!
  • When you exercise hard enough to sweat you grow new cells — cells that are better and functionally younger.
  • People who burn off the most energy have healthier, younger brains compared with adults who do less.
  • Physical activity leads to 5% more gray matter.
  • Specific aspects of cognitive function such as task switching, selective attention, and working memory, all appear to benefit from aerobic exercise.
  • Mental test scores improve for those who take part in an aerobic exercise regimen compared to those who do just stretch and tone classes.
  • Even doing moderate leisure activities for 2.5 hours per week can extend your life by up to 4.5 years
  • Walking and physical activity may help prevent hip replacement especially for women.
  • Employees who exercise are an average of 15% more efficient than non-active workers.
  • Percentage of boomers who exercise frequently? 27%
  • Infrequently? 21% What about the remaining half?
  • Boomers who do not exercise at all??!!  52%!!! Aaaarrgghh!
  • 62 percent of baby boomers have at least 1 chronic condition as a result of obesity.
  • 87% of all baby boomers seek health info online. Such as the info you get from our blog!

 Anywhere There’s An Anytime

Winning Would Make us Gaga Too!

Winning Would Make us Gaga Too!

The Anytime Fitness photo contest is only a couple of days from ending, and we want to Win the grand prize of a trip to anywhere Anytime has a club (that includes Poland and Australia)! Kind of like Charlie Sheen and his famous tweet: “Born Ready. Winning.” Except he’s the bad boy of television, and we’re the good twins of fitness! And we aren’t warlocks like Charlie either, so the only way we can win the trip to the Anytime Fitness location of our choice (they are found in 12 countries) is if you vote for us. Creativity helps too, so we sure do hope our photo is Cre.A.Tive!

Get on the Ball and Vote For Us!

Get on the Ball and Vote For Us!

The voting deadline ends on 21 December, so please head over to Anytime Fitness and click on the link to give us your vote. We are the Running Twins on the Ball. We appreciate every vote! Did we mention that we want to win the trip?


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Photo credits: Us and Flickr