|Chive on NKY presenting a check to The Steinford Toy Foundation. FTM file.|
Most people will have heard of The Chive: it’s that website of funny pictures and videos. A friend or a co-worker has probably forwarded you a link and it has almost certainly popped up in your Facebook timeline. With over 99 million views a month and over 2 million Facebook followers, it would be fair to say it’s well known.
What might be less well known is its charity offshoot, Chive Charities, and the fact that we have a thriving branch in Northern Kentucky.
NKY Chive was founded a little over a year ago and follows Chive Charities national ethos of “party with a purpose,” throwing fun social events to benefit local Northern Kentucky charities. Their latest event was held at The Olde Fort Pub in Fort Thomas and benefitted Vested Interest, a charity that provides canine bulletproof vests, to allow them to purchase one for the local police department. They’ve previously run toy drives for the Steinford Toy Foundation, which distributes toys to underprivileged children in Northern Kentucky.
Nationally, Chive Charities was founded by the Resig family who own the humor blog. Soon after it became clear that regular contributors and visitors wanted to make a similar difference in their local area, so Chive Nation was founded, a branch of the original site that focuses on overseeing individual local chapters and allowing them to use The Chive brand.
After having attended and being involved in events from the Cincinnati and Kentucky state chapters, regular “Chivers” came together to form a branch specifically to benefit local charities in Northern Kentucky.
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The driving force behind NKY Chive is the steering committee of Neil Jackson, Tonya Newman, Clarissa Veneman, Paul Iannello and Saundra Par-Due. They are assisted by other members and committees and presently they have 300 members on the Facebook group they use to co-ordinate their efforts. The members span a broad range of ages, contrary to the expectation that it’s mainly for young people. Paul says they try to distance themselves from “the impression that it’s a frat party. We raise money in a fun, clean way, that appeals to a broad age range.”
The event at the Pub was open to the general public as well as Chivers and consisted of giant Jenga and beer pong tournaments that could be entered for a fee, and a silent auction. Along with local crafts, swag from The Chive’s online store, photography sessions and gift cards, the star item was a hat embroidered with NKY Chive NKY’s logo.
The committee helped a chapter in Germany with some design work, in order to pay them back a member of their chapter, who was serving in the military, sent them a military hat he embroidered with their logo and the UK logo, all the way from Afghanistan. The committee were “blown away” with the hat and it created a lot of fierce bidding during the evening. The Olde Fort also kicked in with a donation at the end of the night.
Mike Arnzen, the co-owner of the Olde Fort, called the event “fantastic.”
|Chive On NKY rolled deep to the Olde Fort Pub this month. At this event, they raised money for Vested Interest, an organization that provides bulletproof vests for canine police officers. Provided.|
The local Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati, Kentucky and even Dayton chapters see a lot of intermingling of members and often turn out to support each other’s events.
The next big date in the diary is a Kentucky Chive event at the Southgate House Revival in Newport, on July 23rd. NKY Chive hope to run another event either over the Summer on in Fall. They plan to rotate local charities, while always “paying homage to Chive Charity nationally,” since that’s what pulled them together. The Steinford Toy Foundation is a particular favorite of the committee and the toy drive may well become an annual event. Between events they plan for the next one, attend events of other chapters and even volunteer for the local charities they are helping. After the toy drive members volunteered with the Steinford Toy Foundation to help distribute the toys they had collected.
While the committee started NKY Chive with low expectations, Paul says they aren’t totally surprised by its early success: “the Chivers in this area are pretty active in all the chapters and there’s a great community spirit in Northern Kentucky so we knew we would get support. After the success of our first fundraiser, we knew things were going to take off.” Neil says, “I stayed very positive about it, hoping that it would take off, but I was still a little skeptical.
We did much better than I thought we would.”
While the main reason for getting involved in NKY Chive is obviously the difference they are making to their local community, Paul says, “The social aspect is huge.” The Chivers regularly meet during the week, whether that’s to plan their own events, attend others or just to go for a drink or to a trivia night. “It’s an extended family.” Clarissa explains that NKY Chive gives them “a reason for our shenanigans.”
Neil believes that NKY Chive has “a great group. I am sure all of us feel the same when I say I hope that we are able to keep the momentum going.“ Arnzen agrees. “NKY Chive are such a thoughtful and giving organization and we were delighted to host them! Their whole goal is to make everyone's day just a little bit better!”
For more information on NKY Chive and to keep up to date with their latest events, find them on Twitter and instagram @NKYChive, or on Facebook at facebook.com/nkychive.
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