An Important Look at Philanthropy and the Urban Child Institute

Our friends at The Memphis Flyer did a really interesting, important story on the meaning of philanthropy, focused most pointedly on the Urban Child Institute. It’s definitely worth a read.

“TUCI itself has the means to affect some of the changes it so specifically defines each year. The tiny Memphis nonprofit organization sits on a gold mine — more than $148 million in investment assets….”

And for reference, take a look at Memphis Magazine’s breakdown of giving and spending at a range of Memphis non-profits:


Celtic Crossing picks new head chef, adds Saturday brunch

Celtic Crossing Irish Pub and Restaurant has a new head chef.

He’s Will Renick, whose first initiative was the expansion of Celtic’s brunch to Saturdays. That kicked off Aug. 8 to coincide with the start of the English Premier League soccer season.

Renick joined the Celtic team in 2012 as sous chef.

Raw Girls food truck vacates Overton Square

(UPDATE – The truck’s location this weekend has been changed from Muddy’s Grind House to Eclectic Eye, 242 Cooper.)

Hannah and Amy Pickle, the owners of the Raw Girls food truck that had recently become a fixture at Overton Square, will be parked at Muddy’s Grind House in Cooper-Young this weekend.

The Raw Girls owners also have thanked the community for their support via a Facebook message that came in the wake of the truck being told to leave the square. In response to being told to relocate – a statement from Loeb read, in part, that the truck’s offerings represented a potential and unspecified conflict with those of existing square tenants – Amy wrote on Facebook that the community support “has been amazing.” The truck also, she said, has been offered parking “in some very premium lots around midtown and beyond. Memphis rocks!”

A Loeb representative told one news outlet this week that Raw Girls had been offered two alternative locations to relocate to.

From Amy’s Facebook response:

“We’ve appreciated our time in Overton Square. Everyone involved with operations treated us exceptionally well. However, we were unaware of a “3 month trial period” and were told we could be there every day as long as we liked. As for 2 alternative locations, we were told of 1 location that was in the works on Central and Cooper. It’s not ready for occupation. We were given 2 days to stop our operation completely. We wanted nothing more than to be able to service midtown, an area of the city that’s truly underserved by healthier options.”

It’s full steam ahead, meanwhile, for Raw Girls, which according to Hannah Pickle has been invited to park this weekend at Muddy’s Grind House at 585 S. Cooper., Friday and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Restaurateur Taylor Berger posted a short essay to his personal website in recent days about the episode.

“What happened? Did a restaurant within 300 feet of the trailer activate their rights under the city food truck ordinance?” he wrote. “Did somebody at Loeb Properties decide they didn’t like pastel colors on their parking lot? In the end it doesn’t matter. As we learned to phrase in law school, the Raw Girls didn’t have the right sticks in their bundle. They have to move, and they really have no recourse but to choose to do so with resentment or serenity.

“Amy and Hannah do a lot of yoga. Maybe that’s what helped them come to such an enlightened conclusion when their first real estate deal went south. “It’s a blessing. We had signed a contract over a month ago to finish our cookbook proposal and haven’t had a minute to write the first word. There’s pressure to get something on paper, so we are taking a week or so to focus on that before launching in a new spot.”

Wait, kudzu is NOT taking over the South?

From the Smithsonian magazine:

“[K]udzu is typically said to cover seven million to nine million acres across the United States. But scientists reassessing kudzu’s spread have found that it’s nothing like that. In the latest careful sampling, the U.S. Forest Service reports that kudzu occupies, to some degree, about 227,000 acres of forestland, an area about the size of a small county and about one-sixth the size of Atlanta. …. By way of comparison, the same report estimates that Asian privet had invaded some 3.2 million acres—14 times kudzu’s territory. Invasive roses had covered more than three times as much forestland as kudzu.”

Tigers Basketball Trading Madness For Appreciation

Although a date has not yet been set, the University of Memphis men’s basketball team will have a 2015-16 preseason Fan Appreciation Day instead of a Midnight Madness-style event.

Coach Josh Pastner confirmed the switch after the Wednesday, Aug. 19, press conference in which university officials announced the start of the public phase of a $40 million capital campaign for new football and men’s basketball practice facilities.

“It’s not that we’re not having Memphis Madness,” Pastner told reporters. “We’re not having a Memphis Madness as it has been in my past six years as a head coach. What we’re doing is having a Fan Appreciation Day, a fan fest.”

Pastner said the event would allow fans to have more interaction with players and a better chance to get autographs. Going away from the Midnight Madness-style event had been widely speculated in media due to a concern that turnout would be low after a disappointing 2014-15 season and the recent transfer of hometown recruit and leading scorer Austin Nichols to Virginia.

Asked if a potentially higher-profile event such as Memphis Madness was needed to stir enthusiasm, Pastner said: “I don’t think we need any rah-rah. What we need is to go get the job done on the floor. And that’s what Tiger Nation wants.”

– Don Wade