Start With Substance

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While the masses of Americans endured the freezing temperatures of DC to bear witness to history in the making, a bunch of Orlando bloggers and I camped out at the Izea offices to share in the experience of welcoming President Obama into office.

Quaker Oats sponsored my Inaugural Viewing event as part of their “Start with Substance” campaign and it was a great way kick off the day.

A huge spread of Quaker Oatmeal with all the toppings, eggs, bacon, fruit, coffee and juices were served up. We feasted until our bellies were full – and then some – as we waited for the man-of-the-hour to take center stage.

Whatever side of the political fence you sit on, there is no mistaking the fact that today was a day of great moments.

I was particularly inspired by this passage in President Obama's address:

“For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.”

The use of the words “non-believers” reminded me that Obama’s vision for America is all-inclusive.

While I may not have agreed with all of his points, I don’t have to. That’s one of the best parts about being a citizen of this great country 🙂

Yes, today I am extra-proud to be an American. Not in the flag-waving, Lee Greenwood, hyperbole kind of way… More of a personal-responsibility, stand together and do something that makes America rock once again, kind of way.

Special thanks to Ted Murphy for opening up the Izea offices for the event.

Here are two sets of photos to enjoy…

Missy Ward eating Quaker Oatmeal

Ted Murphy and Missy Ward with the Quaker Man

Many of my readers know that I’ve made it a personal mission of mine to help less fortunate families and do what I can to help eradicate the wicked that is breast cancer.

Over the last two years, I’ve helped raise nearly $150,000 for March of Dimes, Starlight Children’s Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Susan G. Komen For the Cure and the National Breast Cancer Foundation through my efforts with Affiliate Summit and

I’ve also gotten behind many other efforts that share the same beliefs as me. Today, I am delighted to announce that I am supporting Quaker Oatmeal’s “Start with Substance” effort – a campaign which encourages consumers to feed their families and “fuel it forward” to those less fortunate.

From January 12th through February 28th, consumers can visit and enter the UPC (barcode) from any variety of Quaker hot cereal and for every UPC entered, Quaker will donate a bowl of nutritious oatmeal to Share Our Strength – up to 1 million bowls of oatmeal! And that, my dear readers, is something I can embrace – especially given the fact that I’ve been a Quaker Oatmeal Maple and Brown Sugar girl since I was a kid 😉

I’ve also been chosen as one of fifteen bloggers around the country to host an Inauguration Day viewing party, in which Quaker Oats will provide a hot oatmeal bar with all the tasty toppings to my guests. It’s Quaker’s way of sharing the experience with families as they watch the ceremony and embark on a fresh start with the new First Family.

I will be hosting the party at Izea’s corporate office in downtown Orlando (150 N. Orange Avenue, Suite 412) beginning at 10:00am on Inauguration Day (1/20). I can’t thank Ted Murphy enough to allow me to use their office space as we take in this historical event. It’s sure to be an amazing experience.

I am also very grateful to Quaker Oatmeal as they will be donating two cases of oatmeal as part of their “Start with Substance” campaign, to Rock for Hunger, a local community effort that I've grown very fond of.

If you would like to attend the Inaugural Viewing please get in touch with me at or on Twitter at If you're on Facebook, you can also RSVP here:

I also encourage you all to visit to learn about Share Our Strength’s mission to end childhood hunger and share your own oatmeal tips and photos with the QuakerMan!