4 Los Angeles Vendors With Charitable Tie-Ins

By Alesandra Dubin March 17, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

Looking to add a feel-good factor to an event without incorporating a full-blown fund-raising component? Here are four vendors that support charities while serving an event's purpose.

1. The native plant restoration program is the Grand Del Mar resort's newest option for groups. It focuses on the neighboring Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, a coastal canyon filled with plants and animals, creeks, and waterfalls. As many as 100 participants set out for a guided hike or mountain bike trek into the nearby preserve, followed by an afternoon of planting native foliage. Working with resort staff as well as San Diego's park rangers, participants help preserve the natural habitat by planting multiple species of indigenous plants, such as sycamore and coastal live oak. The cost for the program, which includes the hike, plants, tools, water, backpack, and snacks is $159 per person, with a minimum of 20 participants.

2. TeamBuilding Unlimited, a division of Murder on the Menu, offers several activities with charitable tie-ins, including the Bears That Care workshop, in which teams compete in a series of children's games and challenges to earn points toward parts and accessories needed to assemble stuffed bears. Participants build teddy bears and other animals and design T-shirts that represent their teams and their company. Once the bears are completed, they are presented to local organizations such as shelters and hospitals. Another offering: Groups assemble care packages for U.S. troops.

3. Looking for a budget-friendly place to entertain this month? From March 27 through March 31, while Chaya Venice closes to undergo dining room and bar renovations, the restaurant will open a pop-up bar and lounge steps away. The Chaya Go space will serve all-you-can-eat sushi selections from executive chef Shigefumi Tachibe. The menu will include spicy tuna and shrimp, salmon sushi, veggie sushi rolls, and edamame, as well as beer, wine, and sake, for $20 per person. Proceeds from the five-day period will benefit the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program, which helps educate and train under-served high school students who want to pursue restaurant industry careers.

4. Ideal Eventworks, run by Ryan Kugler, who has produced the Say No to Drugs fund-raising race for the last 10 years, is expanding its program with plans to host charity races for any company, profit and nonprofit alike. Ideal Eventworks can put together race events—typically 5K or 10K run/walks, and soon, half marathons—which build brands while supporting affiliated charities. The idea works for fund-raisers, meetings, or teambuilding. Employees may participate, or Ideal can put together the participants.

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