In February, Ford Motor Company flew me to Spain to help with the global launch of the all new Ford Focus. It was a fun weekend racing cars on a private track, demoing the latest SYNC technology and collaborating with fellow creatives from around the world. In return for my time, Ford made a $10,000 donation to the non-profit of my choosing. I selected The Ecology Center, an educational center whose purpose is to engage families with hands-on activities that teach practical, environmental solutions at the household and community level. A few days after returning from Spain, the biggest tractor trailer I've ever seen pulled up in front of my tiny Brooklyn apartment and dropped off a brand new Ford Focus, along with a gas card, iPad, Flip Cam and a parking spot at the garage around the corner. For the next six weeks, I cruised all over NYC, from Il Passatore in Williamsburg to Toast in Harlem, I pushed this car to the limit and it totally delivered.
To wrap things up, I was asked to throw a party that brought together Ford Focus' tag-line, "Start more than a car." Naturally, I jumped on the chance to spend more of Ford's money on social good. And that's exactly what happened. We took over the outdoor garden at Roberta's and Evan Marks (Founder of The Ecology Center) led a Backyard Skills workshop on making terrariums. It was the jam and I had the pleasure of co-hosting the event with 1NiteStand.org, a new initiative that fosters collective action around a single event. Over 150 people showed up to get their hands dirty, drink beer, organic wine and natural soda and have one of the best Sunday afternoons in a long time. Here's the video of the event. Also a good reminder to surround yourself with people who love to do good while having fun.