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Elephant Insurance donating $61,500 to organizations serving underrepresented communities

The second round of Elephant employee-driven COVID-relief donations focused on nonprofits that positively impact diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and serve underrepresented parts of the community.

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Elephant Insurance announced late last week the second round of recipients for its Helping Herd initiative, where Elephant is donating $300,000 to organizations and programs that have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic or who are providing COVID-19 relief to their community.

The second round of Elephant employee-driven COVID-relief donations focused on nonprofits that positively impact diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and serve underrepresented parts of the community. The first round of recipients were announced in August and focused on mental health, with $64,500 being distributed among a number of different organizations.

“The Elephant team is so proud to offer this opportunity to organizations focused on diversity, equity and inclusion that have been impacted by the pandemic,” said Alberto Schiavon, Elephant CEO. “Elephant is grateful we can provide extra support to these organizations with the help of our parent company Admiral Group.”

Elephant team members were involved in the Helping Herd selection process, either by nominating deserving groups by survey or participating in the voting process to finalize the recipients. There will be four rounds of donations, with each round focusing on a specific area to include: mental health, diversity, equity, and inclusion, physical health, or community health. The physical health and community health funds will be distributed in the coming months.

For the second round of Helping Herd, the Better Housing Coalition and Boys and Girls Club received the most votes and received the largest donation amounts. The full list of second-round recipients and donations includes:

“COVID challenged every aspect of our programming, but also gave us an opportunity to engage with our members and families more deeply than ever,” said Todd McFarlane, President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond. “Funds that support our general operating expenses give us the flexibility to assist our families in unique and individualized ways. We are so grateful to be included in Elephant’s Helping Herd generosity.”

“We are grateful to have been selected as a recipient of a Helping Herd grant! These funds will be so impactful in providing joy to children across Richmond on their birthdays–we are fierce believers in the power of celebration,” said Julia Warren Mattingly, found and Executive Director of Celebrate RVA. “It’s an honor to work alongside Elephant to accomplish that mission.”

Through the Helping Herd, Elephant’s aim is to reach at least 50 organizations or programs with the funds, with gifts ranging in size from $2,000 to $20,000. A large portion of the funds are anticipated to be distributed in Virginia, where Elephant is headquartered, but Helping Herd funds will also go to organizations in other states where Elephant services are offered, including Texas.

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Trevor Dickerson is the co-founder and editor of RVAhub.com, lover of all things Richmond, and a master of karate and friendship for everyone.

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RVA RIMBY Festival

Right In My Back Yard wants to see everyone get outside and enjoy what our backyard has to offer.

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RVA RIMBY is a free festival highlighting unique things going on in Richmond and it includes food, drinks, games, prizes, a BBQ Competition and live music ALL day provided by East of Blueridge.
Proceeds provide outdoor adventure and environmental education opportunities to individuals with disabilities, at-risk youth, vets, and recovery programs as provided by Beyond Boundaries.
Check out the latest on sponsors, activities, and prizes on their Instagram.
It all goes down Saturday, October 9th, 11am to 5pm at Libbie Mill. 

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Business

Tazza Kitchen owners bringing new Mexican concept to Patterson and Libbie

Conejo (pronounced Koh-nay-ho) will feature a lunch and dinner menu of fresh drinks, a curated list of mezcals and tequilas, house-made masa, rotisserie meats, tacos, unique salads, and vegetarian options, and a variety of classic Mexican antojitos, the owners said in a press release.

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Big Kitchen Hospitality, the Richmond-based restaurant group which owns and operates Tazza Kitchen, has announced plans for a casual Mexican restaurant at the Westhampton Commons development at the corner of Patterson and Libbie Avenues.

Conejo (pronounced Koh-nay-ho) will feature a lunch and dinner menu of fresh drinks, a curated list of mezcals and tequilas, house-made masa, rotisserie meats, tacos, unique salads, and vegetarian options, and a variety of classic Mexican antojitos, the owners said in a press release.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Mexican Chef and cookbook author, Danny Mena, who has become an integral part of our menu and concept development,” said partner Susan Davenport. “He has a wealth of knowledge about Mexican cuisine and Mezcal – both from his upbringing in Mexico City and his work on his cookbook, Made in Mexico. He has owned and operated several Mexican restaurants in New York but was ready for a change and has moved his family to Richmond to join us on the project. As a Virginia Tech graduate, Virginia is familiar ground. The pieces just fell into place.”

“In addition to being Spanish for rabbit, Conejo is one of the varieties of Mexican heirloom corn we plan to use for our masa. And according to the Aztec myth of the 400 Conejos, divine rabbits are the gods of agave spirits. So, the word Conejo represents elements of this restaurant that are important to us. I am very excited to be here in Richmond and be a part of this team,” said Mena.

The 4,474 square foot full-service restaurant will seat 120 inside and 50 on the partially covered patio. A separate entrance will provide easy access for take-out orders.

The targeted opening date is around year-end. Big Kitchen Hospitality Partners include John Davenport, Susan Davenport, and Jeff Grant. The company has engaged 510 Architects as the architect and Whiting-Turner as the general contractor.

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West End

Henrico resident wins year worth of groceries from Kroger as part of vaccine incentive program

The prize is worth approximately $13,000.

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As part of Kroger’s #CommunityImmunity Giveaway, members of Kroger Mid-Atlantic and Kroger Health, the healthcare division of The Kroger Co., presented Stacey Blizzard of Henrico with free groceries for a year, a prize worth approximately $13,000.

The #CommunityImmunity Giveaway initially was announced by the grocer in June as a way to motivate more Americans to get the COVID-19 vaccine to better protect communities across America. The program provided customers and associates with the opportunity to win life-changing prizes, including a chance to win one of five $1 million-dollar checks or groceries for a year to 50 lucky winners. The program culminated in July.

“The #CommunityImmunity Giveaway is a great way for us to motivate people to get the vaccine, and it’s also been a fantastic way to reward our customers and associates,” said Lori Raya, president of Kroger Mid-Atlantic. “The health and safety of everyone we welcome in our stores is our top priority and we’re passionate about doing our part to protect our communities.”

Blizzard is the third Virginian to receive free groceries for a year as a part of the giveaway. Jesse Hamlette, a Kroger associate at Westover Dairy, in Lynchburg, Va. was the first recipient in June and Claire Clasen, a Kroger customer, from Yorktown, Va. received the second groceries for a year prize in July.

The award presentation took place at the Short Pump store at 11895 West Broad Street in Henrico.

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