CABOT, Vt., March 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Here's a super Saint Patrick's Day secret... You don't need the "luck of the Irish" to find good people. Our first round of winners, who used Reward Volunteers, the powerful new iPhone and computer widget created by Cabot Creamery Cooperative and Chalo, Inc., found out their time to volunteer and automatic posts to Facebook earned big rewards for themselves and the organizations they serve.
"We're off to a great start," says Cabot Director of Marketing/Integrated Services, Jen Neary who worked with Chalo, Inc., a Vermont-based startup, to create the Reward Volunteers iPhone and computer widget. "Nearly 300 volunteer organizations are already benefiting from Reward Volunteers, and that's in less than one month. With a little bit of luck and lots of hard volunteer work, we hope to see that number double or triple as word about Reward Volunteers grows."
Reward Volunteers uses Facebook Connect to enable participants to log their volunteer activity and share the volunteer experience with friends via Facebook, email, and the app itself. The more hours logged, the more 'likes' and 'comments' received, and emails opened, the more likely participants are to win prizes each month, now until July 7, 2012, the weekend the final grand prizes are awarded.
Since the February 14 launch date, hundreds of volunteers have used Reward Volunteers to track the service that improves their communities. They've logged time working at food banks, women's shelters, animal rescue centers and hundreds of other vital non-profits across the nation.
The top performers for the first month have been selected as February's Reward Volunteers Winners of the Month.
"I was proud to log my time for my non-profit organization and my community," said February's $3,000 Reward Volunteers winner, Wanda Denning of North Carolina. Denning's non-profit of choice is the North Carolina Family & Consumer Sciences Foundation which is committed to acquiring and managing resources that support family and consumer programs. "The Mobile App and computer widget are easy to use," Denning said. "They enable me to do good things for the NC Family and Consumer Sciences Foundation by increasing awareness of their cause. Best of all, the Foundation is now eligible to win one of five $3,000 cash prizes on July 7. That's very cool!"
Other first round winners include Reward Volunteers users from across the nation who've won Cabot Cheddar gift baskets, a special-edition "Cabot Plaid" Burton Snowboard, 20 copies of the book Authentic Patriotism that salutes volunteerism, and a vacation for four to Liberty Hill Farm in Rochester, Vermont.
February Reward Volunteers Winners
Wanda Denning, North Carolina
For NC Family & Consumer Sciences Foundation
Rita M., Florida - For Adriana's Attic
Trip for four To Liberty Hill Farm
Arianna C., Maryland - For Good Knight Empowerment Network
"Cabot Plaid" Burton Snow Board
Jen L, Pennsylvania - For Red Paw Emergency Relief Team for Animals
Megumi M., Virginia – For Doorways For Women With Families
Kristi F., South Carolina - For the Wellness Council For South Carolina
Cabot Gift Baskets
A complete list of the organizations benefiting from the Reward Volunteers can be accessed at: http://www.cabotcheese.coop/orgs.html
"Here's another secret about Saint Patrick's Day," says Cabot Lifestyle Commentator and Favorite Foodie, Candace Karu. "It's often said that everyone's Irish on Saint 'Patty's' Day. But you may be surprised to learn the proper spelling for the famously green holiday is "St. Paddy's Day – not St. Patty's Day – as is so often mistakenly printed on anything green on March 17th," she laughed. "But it's no secret that our farmers recognize how vital volunteering is to every community from firefighters to environmental groups to school board members and beyond. It truly takes a village!"
Just in time for St. Paddy's day, the farm family owners of Cabot have come up with a host of delicious appetizer recipes that you can serve to your favorite volunteers the next time they're busy doing good deeds.
"Some of my favorite snacks and appetizers are one's that are easiest to make," Karu says. "These two are easy to make, taste great and are the perfect way for you to show your appreciation for your favorite volunteers."
Lucky Green Spread
Makes about 40 appetizer servings
8 ounces Cabot Sharp Cheddar or Extra Sharp Cheddar, grated* (about 2 cups)
4 ounces smoked salmon, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons honey
1. Place all ingredients in large bowl and toss until combined.
2. Spoon mixture into glass pie plate or other microwave-safe dish. Cover loosely. Microwave on 1/2 power (Medium) for 3 minutes, stirring at intervals, or until cheese is melted.
3. Serve warm with crackers or toasts.
Calories 30, Total Fat 2g, Saturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 7mg, Sodium 49mg, Carbohydrates 1g, Dietary Fiber <1g, Protein 2g, Calcium 40mg
Irish Skins with Cabot Sharp Cheddar
Makes about 32 wedges
4 medium russet baking potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste
4 ounces Cabot Sharp Cheddar or Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated (about 1 cup)*
6 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
1 cup Cabot Regular Sour Cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives or scallions
1. Place rack in lower third of oven; preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise, then cut each half into about 4 lengthwise wedges. Transfer to baking sheet with sides. Drizzle with oil, then toss until potatoes are evenly coated. Arrange cut-side-down in single layer and sprinkle with salt.
3. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, turning over midway with spatula, or until potatoes are well browned on both sides.
4. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese. When cheese is melted, sprinkle with bacon. In small bowl, stir together sour cream and chives or scallions and serve with potatoes for dipping.
Calories 50, Total Fat 4g, Saturated Fat 2g, Cholesterol 9mg, Sodium 100mg, Carbohydrates 2g, Dietary Fiber <1g, Protein 3g, Calcium 40mg
APRIL IS NATIONAL VOLUNTEER MONTH – To learn how to better support the non-profit of your choice, go to: www.rewardvolunteers.coop, win prizes and cash for you and your non-profit.
ABOUT CABOT CREAMERY COOPERATIVE
Cabot Creamery Cooperative has been in continuous operation in Vermont since 1919, and makes a full line of cheeses, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese and butter. Widely known as makers of "The World's Best Cheddar," Cabot is owned by the 1250 dairy farm families of Agri-Mark, the Northeast's premier dairy cooperative, with farms located throughout New England and upstate New York. For more information on Cabot, visit: http://www.cabotcheese.coop
United Nations Declares 2012 "International Year of Cooperatives"
2012 recognized by the UN as the International Year of Cooperatives. As proud members of the Cooperative Community, Agri-Mark and its Cabot and McCadam brands support and promote the cooperative business model in recognition of the fact that cooperatives drive the economy, respond to social change, are resilient to global economic crisis and are serious, successful businesses creating jobs in all sectors. To learn more about the 2012 International Year of Cooperatives, go to: 2012 IYC
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SOURCE Cabot Creamery Cooperative