Help us win $10,000 for our favorite charity! (Plus, a delicious sandwich recipe)

This month, Canyon Bakehouse (creators of delicious gluten free breads & other baked goods) has given us the incredible opportunity to win $10,000 to donate to our favorite charity: Gilda’s Club Detroit. We are blown away by their generosity and honored to be a part of something so special, but we need your help in order to win! We’ve created a delicious sandwich using their wide loaf Heritage Style gluten free bread, and if you vote for our sandwich, we’ll have a chance to donate all of that money to an incredibly worthy cause.

Here’s what we need you to do until August 31st:

  2. Vote 3 times per day for our “Let’s Taco ‘Bout It Sammie”
  3. Make & eat said sandwich (recipe here)

This sandwich is made with Canyon Gluten Free Wide Loaf Heritage Style Bread, homemade guacamole, corn fritters, mango black bean salsa and a spicy vegan aioli. Get the full recipe here!

And here’s why we want your help:

Cancer has touched our lives and the lives of far too many others. Gilda’s Club is community support organization for those living with cancer and their families. They ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action and sustained by community.

We first became familiar with Gilda’s Club Metro Detroit through our close family friends, Jessica and Scott Mazius. Jessica, a close friend of mine (Beth) since elementary school, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. A wife and mother of 4 beautiful children and godmother to my oldest son, she battled cancer for 5 years before passing in February of 2011.

Jess was a beautiful person – inside and out. Her door was always open and you were always greeted with the warmest of smiles, hugs, kisses, and the smell of delicious food! There was never a shortage of food in their home, and even if you just stopped by to say hello, you were always welcomed to stay for dinner (or at least fed cake and some coffee, or a glass of wine depending on the hour). This is how I will always remember my friendship with Jess….filled with love, warmth, laughter, conversation, and always good food!

The year my mother passed, Thanksgiving was a week and half later. It was a difficult year to entertain and Jess wasn’t able to attend the funeral, which made her sad. I ended up leaving the house to go see her, and we ended up talking for the longest time. It was such a peaceful and comforting moment, and I’ll never forget her opening up with me very honestly about cancer and her fears of leaving her family and friends. She was such a strong, loving and spirited person.

She and her family all benefited from Gilda’s Club and the services they provide for those living with cancer. Both she and her husband attended support groups, which helped them greatly, and their children went to Noogieland, a special children’s program at Gilda’s Detroit that is free of charge so parents can attend support groups and other activities.

A few years after Jessica passed away, we again became connected to Gilda’s Club through another of our close family friends. We met Donetta, Ted, Morgan, Meghan and Amanda Behen via a 300 mile bicycle ride across our home state of Michigan to raise money for the Make A Wish foundation. Our family has participated in the event for years, and despite the discomfort of sitting on a bike seat for 3 days straight, it’s families like the Behen’s that keep us going.

After battling cancer as a young child, Morgan Behen was the type of person you couldn’t help but admire for her incredible strength, kindness and generosity. Her mother, Donetta, is one of the most amazing people we’ve had the pleasure of knowing – she stops at nothing to create change and help others. When Donetta became President of the board at Gilda’s Club Detroit, she asked Todd (my husband and Lexi’s father) to join as Vice Chairman. I (Beth) eventually became involved by teaching healthy cooking classes to help improve their nutrition program.

Shortly after Todd became involved with Gilda’s, we got news that Morgan was battling cancer for the second time in seventeen years – this time, an incurable DIPG brain tumor. Amazingly, Morgan managed to finish a degree in Elementary Education before passing last October at the age of 22. Her spirit and strength, as well as the strength of her incredible family is an inspiration to all that know them.

Gilda’s Club was a source of unwavering support for Morgan during her final 18 months. Donetta, her mother, shared how important Gilda’s Club was to Morgan and their family:

“The love and support went beyond the big red door. When Morgan could not get to the club house, the young adults support group came up with the idea of emails. She became especially good friends with a young man named Tim, and they talked/wrote all of the time because they could understand what each other were going through. They passed away 3-4 weeks apart from each other. When Morgan could no longer go to Gilda’s for support, people came to see her.”

Being involved with Gilda’s Club has given us the opportunity to provide direct support to those that are severely in need. If you’d like to make a direct donation or get involved with your local chapter, you can do that here.

Here is a bit more info provided by the amazing team at Gilda’s Club Detroit:

Courage walks through the doors of Gilda’s Club Metro Detroit every day. With more than 140 monthly support and wellness options, Gilda’s Club is a bridge from diagnosis to wellness. Women, men and children facing cancer look to Gilda’s Club to understand the complexities of cancer and how to face the disease with confidence. Support and bereavement groups, art, music, yoga, healthy lifestyle workshops and lectures from top health care providers fill our days. For more than 20 years Gilda’s Club has set the gold standard when it comes to mending body and soul after a diagnosis turns families upside down. They provide free cancer support for the whole family, the whole time.

A young woman who faced a daunting diagnosis eloquently said that no matter her outcome, Gilda’s Club saved her life by placing her in a supportive, warm and loving environment. Gilda’s Club sees more than 1000 visits each month from families facing cancer, whether they are diagnosed or a caregiver, child or loved one of someone who has been diagnosed. Cancer is costly in every sense. Gilda’s Club removes any barriers to service by ensuring the program is no cost to anyone who walks through the signature red doors.

Gilda’s Club organized a flash mob for a young girl, Tessa, who was suffering from cancer in order to brighten her day.

When we win! Cancer, its treatments and side effects are brutal on our bodies. Wellness, healthy lifestyle and eating workshops and demos are an important, and growing part of Gilda’s Club programing. Winning this contest will allow Gilda’s to upgrade kitchen appliances, purchase an additional indoor garden for winter wellness and increase the number of programs offered to families facing cancer. “We would be thrilled and so honored to win this contest. It would allow us to boost our nutrition program at Gilda’s Club in wonderful ways – from kitchen appliances to new programming. When we bring in professionals to speak and teach about wellness, it supports healthy lifestyles for families facing cancer at a time they need it most.” – Laura Varon Brown, CEO, Gilda’s Club Metro Detroit

A huge thank you to the amazing staff of Gilda’s Club and everything they do to support those living with cancer!

If you or someone you know is suffering/has suffered from cancer, you know how important it is to provide or receive support in any way possible. Please help us provide that support through the generosity of Canyon Gluten Free Bakehouse so that we can provide Gilda’s Club Detroit with a donation of $10,000.

It’s as easy as voting for our “Let’s Taco ‘Bout It Sammie” HERE 3 times per day until the end of August, so tell all of your friends and family! Plus, if you’re extra lucky, you could even win a year supply of Canyon Gluten Free products! Thank you so much in advance for your support and for getting to know Gilda’s Club Detroit with us, and huge thank you to Canyon Gluten Free Bakehouse for the opportunity.

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