Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber Members Support Toys for Tots & Have A Lot to Be Thankful For

Roughly 60 toys were donated to the Pinky & Pepe’s Grape Escape fundraising & toy drive collection for Toys for Tots at the “Give Thanks” Cocktail Mixer at Pinky & Pepe’s Grape Escape on Thursday, November 16, 2017. (photo credit: Pinky & Pepe’s Grape Escape)

Roughly 60 toys were donated to the Pinky & Pepe’s Grape Escape fundraising & toy drive collection for Toys for Tots at the “Give Thanks” Cocktail Mixer at Pinky & Pepe’s Grape Escape on Thursday, November 16, 2017.
(photo credit: Pinky & Pepe’s Grape Escape)

Gaithersburg /Germantown, MD (November 21, 2017) – In the words of Gandhi: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” We give back because it teaches us find compassion within ourselves and to stay attached to values that are linked to the common good.

No matter how tough you think your life is there’s always someone who has to face challenges that are even tougher than yours. And it goes in many different directions. Not only basic things like making money, getting food, or having a place to rest at night, but also the possibility of taking part in some entrepreneurial projects or getting proper education. Giving back is where you give, and then nothing happens. No benefits for you, no recognition, nothing tangible gets sent your way. Your biggest and sole reward is the realization that you’ve made a significant change in someone’s life.

On the evening of Thursday, November 16th, the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce’s (GGCC) had the opportunity to bring some joy and hope to over fifty youngsters & give back this holiday as Chamber Members donated toys towards Pinky & Pepe’s Grape Escape Toys for Tots annual drive.

The GGCC held its Annual “Give Thanks” Cocktail Mixer at Pinky & Pepe’s Grape Escape. Thanksgiving gives us all an opportunity to think about everything we’re grateful for. At the GGCC we are grateful for our members, our ambassadors, our board of directors, our staff & our community partners. We are also very thankful to Pinky & Pepe’s Grape Escape who have hosted the Fall Cocktail Reception for eight years in a row. Their sponsorship and support of the Chamber is priceless.

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks, feast, and of course network. Nurturing your network during the holidays is important. Attendees were able to come and thank someone for a particular piece of advice that they found helpful or an action that they took that moved them. Members were telling each other why they mattered to one another and why they were thankful for each other.

And the evening was fun too. Tröegs Independent Brewing Regional Sales Manager Patrick Friedley was making Mad Elves for attendees & Il Porto Restaurant was serving delicious Italian classics like meatballs and cheesy, garlic bread.

The mixer was free to attend with a suggested donation of a “new / unwrapped” toy to support Toys for Tots. For the past few years, Pinky & Pepe’s goal is to brighten the holidays for many Montgomery County children. Pinky & Pepe Rodger’s son is a Marine, so this program holds a special place in their heart and that of their son too. The Toys for Tots program was started in 1948 by the United States Marine Corps and has been running steadily ever since. The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters. Roughly sixty gifts were collected due to the generosity of the Chamber Members.

It’s great to see our members give back”, said Marilyn Balcombe, GGCC President and CEO

Small Business Saturday is one of the biggest days of the year for local small businesses. At this mixer, the Chamber was also able to launch its Small Business Saturday awareness campaign. Attendees snapped photos with the shop small hearts and everyone received a treat bag with a small business Saturday button. It was just a simple reminder to encourage folks to support local small businesses when they are doing their holiday shopping. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. At the GGCC, we support shopping local, shopping small, shopping GGCC Members and we do our best to spread the #ShopSmallLove. We celebrate our community with the small businesses that make it special. The GGCC is proud to support Small Business Saturday and encourages the community to shop small & shop local on Saturday, November 25 & this holiday season.

Pinky & Pepe’s Grape Escape is a wine and lager bar offering a vast variety of fine wines & craft beers from around the world. They are the wine sponsor of our Annual Wine Tasting in May and they are a huge asset in planning and executing that event and going above & beyond. They were also the recipient of the chamber’s 2014 Small Business of the Year and they were a nominee for the 2015 Montgomery County Small Business of the Year.

Lastly, we had the opportunity to thank our Members who have been involved and supported the GGCC over the past year. We’re extremely excited at what the future has in store for us and we hope you are too.

The GGCC is active in providing business-to-business networking opportunities throughout the year: a collective voice in local, regional, and state legislative affairs, professional development opportunities and other services that enhance the business environment.

The GGCC is located at 910 Clopper Road, Suite 205N, Gaithersburg, MD. To learn more about the GGCC visit us at

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