Friday, December 4, 2020

Movie Minute: FilmRise

 This December, the FilmRise staff has carefully assembled the most fantastical holiday content perfect for families gathering physically or virtually, or even watching alone and practicing much-needed self-care and escapism. 

We’ve transformed the FilmRise Family Channel on IMDb TV into the Family Holiday Magic Channel The channel shines a light on all things magical, fantastical and brimming with holiday spirit. For the first three weekends in December, join us on IMDb TV Holiday Magic Weekends marathons all weekend long. Content includes holiday highlights such as THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR featuring Henry Winkler and A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS featuring the voice of Matthew Rhys, as well as fantasy highlights like Sam Neill as MERLIN in the popular self-titled mini-series, Beau Bridges in mini-series VOYAGE OF THE UNICORN and Zooey Deschanel and Alan Cumming in THE WIZARD OF OZ reimagining TIN MAN. Marathons will also air on FilmRise Family on The Roku Channel, Redbox and other select platforms.

Additional highlights this month include a True Crime Holiday Marathon full of “Unsolved Mysteries” and “Forensic Files” cases that occurred during the holiday season; Christmas movies on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, including Roma Downey and Eric McCormack in BORROWED HEARTS and the classic tale A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES; and also a marathon of your favorite classic TV holiday episodes from “The Commish,” “21 Jump Street,” “Father Ted” and more!

Caring Causes: GolfNow and Youth on Course

 A new partnership announced today between GolfNow and Youth on Course takes a major step toward ensuring the vitality of golf as a recreational alternative for kids, as well as using technology to create more affordable and equal access to the sport for youth in all socio-economic circumstances.


Two of the more significant elements of the partnership include the development by GolfNow of a custom Youth on Course booking engine, allowing kids the ease and convenience of booking tee times online or via the Youth on Course mobile app; and a GolfNow “round-up” campaign, which will offer anyone booking tee times on the opportunity to round up the total cost of the reservation to an even-dollar figure. For example, if the cost of a tee time totals $34.65, the golfer can elect to round up the cost to $35, donating the additional $0.35 to Youth on Course.


“Growing the game of golf is part of the mission of both GolfNow and Youth on Course, so not only are we proud of this new collaboration that will help welcome more kids to our great sport but we’re also extremely excited to be lending our industry-leading technology to help Youth on Course advance their efforts exponentially,” said Jerramy Hainline, GolfNow SVP/GM.


GolfNow, part of the NBC Sports Group digital portfolio, operates the largest tee-time marketplace in golf and is the industry’s leading provider of golf course operations software and services to more than 9,000 courses worldwide. GolfNow will help Youth on Course with marketing, fund-raising and technology solutions, furthering the non-profit’s mission to ensure all young people have affordable access to play golf and can unlock the life-changing opportunities the game provides.


Additionally, each Youth on Course membership will now include access to hundreds of hours of high-quality golf instruction thanks to a complimentary video membership through GolfPass, NBC Sports’ digital golf membership that delivers exclusive content and comprehensive benefits tailored to the modern golfer’s lifestyle. GolfPass also will help develop welcome and training curriculum for Youth on Course members and affiliated golf courses, while Youth on Course will help GolfPass with content creation and distribution.


Youth on Course is dedicated to establishing more opportunities for the younger generation to access golf courses at an affordable price. It provides its 100,000 members with access to play more than 1,400 golf courses across the U.S. and Canada for $5 or less. Members also are offered career opportunities through the caddie and internship programs and have the chance to receive college scholarships.


“Looking back at the history of Youth on Course and the mission we set out to accomplish in 2006, joining forces with GolfNow is a valuable milestone for both organizations,” says Adam Heieck, Youth on Course CEO. “Placing access to golf content and technology in the hands of our members has been something we’ve dreamed about for a long time. Together we are in lockstep, working to grow the game through youth golfers while keeping accessibility and affordability top of mind.”


Fueling the golf industry, Youth on Course subsidizes rounds for members and puts money back into allied golf associations and individual courses. The organization’s structure helps golf courses fill typically unused tee times and garner additional revenue with more than 40% of members playing with paying adults. The amount reimbursed back to participating courses has almost doubled in the past year, reaching close to $2.8 million this year alone and totaling nearly $8 million dating back to 2005. 


Mutual elements of the partnership include cross-platform marketing and golf course relationship and recruitment opportunities, which will help bring Youth on Course to more regions across the country.


About GolfNow 

GolfNow is an innovative technology company that creates seamless ways for golfers and golf courses to better connect. GolfNow operates the largest online tee-time marketplace in the world, offering 3.5 million registered golfers a variety of ways to stay connected to their favorite courses and the ability to easily book tee times online and via mobile devices any time of day. GolfPass members receive special playing perks through GolfNow, including tee time credit and rewards. GolfNow, part of the NBC Sports Group with offices in Orlando, Fla., and Belfast, Northern Ireland, also provides technology, support and marketing services to more than 9,000 golf courses in 24 countries around the world.


About Youth on Course
Youth on Course helps young people grow and succeed both on and off the course by providing opportunities to play, learn, grow, and build relationships through affordable, inclusive access to play. More than 100,000 members play more than 1,000 courses for $5 or less, benefit from career opportunities through its caddie and internship programs and pursue higher education through college scholarships. Headquartered in Pebble Beach, Youth on Course is a 501(c)3 organization that began as the charitable arm of the Northern California Golf Association. Since 2006, more than 1 million rounds have been played by Youth on Course members and nearly $2 million has been awarded in college scholarships. Across North America, Youth on Course serves Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and parts of Canada, including Alberta and Ontario. 


About GolfPass

GolfPass is the only comprehensive digital golf membership that delivers exclusive content and comprehensive benefits tailored to the modern golfer’s lifestyle across five pillars – Play, Learn, Shop, Travel, Watch – which are the most frequent ways golfers engage with the sport. Developed in partnership between global golf superstar Rory McIlroy and NBC Sports Group, GolfPass is a first-of-its-kind, direct-to-consumer subscription program, which offers opportunities to play more golf, comprehensive tools to improve any golfer’s game, high-quality video content, and enhanced shopping and travel experiences. A GolfPass membership is available in North America at, in the U.K. and Republic of Ireland at, and in Australia at The GolfPass membership also is available via connected TV, iOS and Android apps.

Shopping Savings: Also Organics

 Also Organics, maker of alternative personal wellness products, is celebrating the holidays with a seasonal promotion for its popular and already-discounted CBD Starter Pack. From now until December 25, 2020, gift givers or those seeking organic and holistic alternatives to help relieve effects of anxiety and calm uneasy nerves during the holiday season and beyond can save an additional 25 percent off the purchase price of the brand’s CBD Starter Pack by using promo code HOLIDAY25. Orders placed by Wednesday, December 16, are guaranteed to arrive before Christmas.

“The holidays are often a stressful time for many, and with this year’s happenings bringing extra feelings of uncertainty and anxiety, our team wants to make natural options readily available for those seeking relief,” said Matthew ‘Chewy’ Smith, founder of Also Organics. “Whether using alternative products yourself or purchasing as a gift for loved ones, we hope our CBD products can help create a sense of calmness and wellbeing after a chaotic and unsettling year.”

Also Organics’ CBD Starter Pack makes it easy for those new to CBD and veteran users alike to try and enjoy a few best-selling products from the brand at a highly discounted price. The bundle includes:


1000 mg CBD Tincture: full-spectrum, whole-plant CBD tincture that delivers a calm sense of wellbeing. Specially formulated with organic MCT oil and phyto-rich hemp oil, one 33 mg dose helps relieves anxiety and stress, and promotes focus and healthy sleep cycles.

500 mg Skin Balm: provides powerful therapeutic agents like organic beeswax, CBD oil and eucalyptus oil to quickly soothe and protect dry and sensitive skin. The unique formula delivers unparalleled absorption and zero toxins that is safe for lips, face, hands, and the whole body.

10 mg CBD Gummies: mixed fruit CBD gummies are great for creating a calm sense of wellbeing, relieving anxiety and stress, and improving overall body function. are great for creating a calm sense of wellbeing, relieving anxiety and stress, and improving overall body function. A daily 10 mg organic hemp gummy infused with vitamins can help relieve the effects of ADD, ADHD & ASD.

Naturally occurring cannabinoids, like CBD and CBG (cannabigerol), work with the built-in endocannabinoid system (ECS) of humans to help regulate both central nervous and immune systems. The entire Also Organics portfolio, which includes tinctures, gummies, gel caps, balms, salves and lotions, is non-psychoactive and made with US-grown hemp and organic ingredients. Additionally, the products are vegan, kosher-certified, non-GMO and free of gluten, dyes, paraben and fragrances.

Also Organics is committed to educating its customers on the complex qualities and potential therapeutic benefits of the hemp plant by offering publicly available insights and helpful facts featured on its website and social media properties. More information and the Also Organics product line is available online and in select medical clinics, wellness boutiques and retailers.

# # #

Based in Nashville, Tenn., Also Organics creates personal wellness products with the finest, full-spectrum, whole plant CBD (and CBG) – all made from 100% American grown organic hemp. Also Organics offers a wide range of products including tinctures, gummies, gel caps, balms, salves, lotions and more. The Also Organics team believes there’s always more – to see, experience, and discover. The Also Organics portfolio is designed to unlock one’s potential and find balance in an increasingly chaotic world. For more information about Also Organics, visit Also Organics can be found on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Healthy Habits: Physical Activity and Camps

 New studies are providing startling insights into the effects the pandemic is having on our youth. A new study published in the journal Preventive Medicine reports that youth who participate in extracurricular activities and get less screen time, have better mental health. This research conducted by the University of British Columbia emphasizes the importance of keeping kids moving, and providing them with outlets beyond their phones, TV, and computers.

People like Alex Tegels, TGA (Teach Grow Achieve) Premier Sports, continue to provide youth sports in Hennepin County in safe and creative ways. TGA is a national after-school youth athletic programming company specializing in the individual sports of golf and tennis. Tegels will be holding winter break camps this December in both golf and tennis in conjunction with Hopkins Community Education.

During the COVID-19 pandemic the average child spends about 6.5 hours less per week on sports reports the Aspen Institute's Project Play 'State of Play 2020.' Exercising should be fun and the TGA programs in Hennepin County are helping develop healthy habits for families and our younger generations!

I had a chance to interview Alex to learn more. Here is what she said:

I began my career with TGA about 7 years ago in Southern California. At the time I worked for the PGA of America in player development initiatives, through a partnership with TGA we found a way to get more youth involved in golf. TGA of Central Hennepin County opened in January 2016 as I saw the opportunity and desire for programming in the beginner and recreational golf and tennis youth spaces in the Twin Cities metro area. Our programs are much more than just sport instruction, we use the sports as a basis for other educational concepts including STEM and character development themes such as honesty and sportsmanship.

Our goal is to ignite a passion for sports and game play while developing the foundation for an active and healthy lifestyle. We love to see the friendships and bonds created by our students when they participate in programming. Our programs align with the American Development Model (ADM) created by the US Olympic Committee focusing on long term athletic development. Physical activity helps with children’s problem solving, self control, awareness, memory and attention span, and provides an outlet for their youthful energy!

This past summer as we were able to resume programming, so many parents were excited for their children to get outside in a safe manner. I heard time and again that their child had been spending too much time on their screens for school, or simply because both mom and dad were working. The individualistic nature of golf and tennis helped to make the two sports wonderful options for social distancing even during play. Station based activities provide at least 6 feet of distance and when play was happening, even further apart across a tennis net or green on a golf course. We certainly missed our opportunities to high-five students but we had fun coming up with non-contact ways to say good job and congratulate them on a job well done. More than anything we love the opportunity to share some joy with our students, seeing them laughing and smiling with friends in a safe atmosphere.

Alex Tegels will be hosting a golf and tennis camp over winter break offering local parents an opportunity to keep their kids active! The camps will be taking place at Eisenhower Elementary School at the end of the month.

To review the full study by the University of British Columbia please click here
To review the Aspen Institute finds please click here.

Contest: IDW Publishing Coloring Contest

 IDW Publishing recently launched a nationwide coloring contest, inviting America to color a page from one of the soon-to-be-released coloring books for a prize! 


To enter, go to and download your coloring page!


To enter, participants will download and color one of the coloring pages offered below from Dinosaurs: A Smithsonian Coloring Book or Airplanes: A Smithsonian Coloring Book. Then, show IDW a picture of their artwork by tagging them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @IDWPublishing. 


Two winners will be announced, one for each coloring page, and will receive a copy of Dinosaurs: A Smithsonian Coloring Book and a copy of Airplanes: A Smithsonian Coloring Book, and will also be featured on IDW Publishing’s social media accounts!


The contest ends on December 15th, 2020. The winner will be contacted on December 16th. Open to US Residents only. Official rules and restrictions can be found here.



  1. To celebrate! IDW and the Smithsonian Institution - the world’s largest museum and educational and research institution - are releasing  two beautiful and informative coloring books, Airplanes: A Smithsonian Coloring Book (available now) and Dinosaurs: A Smithsonian Coloring Book (available to purchase on December 15th) and IDW wants to get the word out! 

  1. Let’s face it, this year has been tough and this Holiday season is no exception. IDW wants to provide Americans a fun, in-home activity to do over the holiday season and give 2 lucky winners some free coloring books! 


IDW is delighted to be hosting this competition! *NOTE* - The Smithsonian Institution is NOT hosting this contest. 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Book Nook: Smokey's Christmas Adventure

 As any cat and kitten owner who has had a Christmas tree knows, they love climbing them during the holidays! Smokey the kitten is no exception as readers will discover in the charming new children’s picture book “Smokey’s Christmas Adventure” by D. L. Young.


One Christmas Eve, a sweet and curious kitten named Smokey was curled up under the family Christmas tree while waiting for Santa Claus’ arrival when he noticed there was no stocking hung up for him. Worried Santa would forget about him, Smokey becomes determined to climb to the top of the tree so there will be no way he will forget about him! During his daring journey, Smokey meets an array of ornamental friends who provide sage advice to try to keep him safe. What will happen when Smokey reaches the top of the tree and will he make it in time for Santa to spot him? Readers of all ages will be excited to follow this adorably inquisitive kitten’s adventure to find out!


“I hope Smokey’s journey to meet Santa will put a smile on the face of every child who reads my book,” said Young. “I want children to believe they can achieve any goal they set for themselves, just like Smokey.”


“Smokey’s Christmas Adventure” is based on a dream Young had about her actual cat, also named Smokey who was a super curious kitten, climbing the Christmas tree and was encouraged to publish her story by family and friends. Smokey is now six years old and still as curious as ever and Young plans to continue his adventures with the next book about Smokey going to the beach.


“Smokey’s Christmas Adventure”

By D. L. Young

ISBN: 978-1-4808-9437-2 (sc); 978-1-4808-9436-5 (hc); 978-1-4808-9438-9 (e)

Available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Archway Publishing  


About the Author

Although this is her first book, D. L. Young’s passion for writing started in high school when she took a class on creative writing and has a writing portfolio as a correspondent for a small town newspaper covering council meetings for local boroughs. Young currently lives in the Philadelphia suburb of Quakertown, Pennsylvania and has two children and a grandson. She is very active in her church, American Legion Auxiliary and community and spends her free time hiking and crocheting. To learn more please visit,

Music Minute: Skinnamarink with Sharon & Randi and Friends, All the Holiday Fun You Can Sing! 12/19 3p Eastern


What do Sharon and Randi and their family and friends do when the holidays arrive during lockdown? They make music together, of course! Fans of all ages are invited to wear their favourite holiday sweaters and join Sharon and Randi and some very special guests for a LIVE virtual show, Skinnamarink with Sharon & Randi and Friends, All the Holiday Fun You Can Sing! on Saturday, December 19, at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time HERE.

Just as legendary musicians Sharon, Lois & Bram brought happiness to four generations of children and their grown-ups, Sharon Hampson and her daughter Randi are continuing to share the music of Sharon, Lois and Bram with yet another generation of families. Through this up-close-and-personal sing-along gathering, and like their first two virtual concerts, Live in your Living Room and Back by Popular Demand, this is a real family affair featuring Sharon and Randi, Randi's sons Ethan and Elijah, their girlfriends Clare and Sofia, and Randi's beau Jim. Sharon and Randi are also expecting some special friends to sing their favourite holiday tunes, including singer/songwriter Josh Lovelace, who will be joining in from Knoxville, TN, Jacy Dawn Valeras, who will be singing one of Lois's favourite holiday songs from Boston, and Roy George, who will “Zoom” in from Virginia.

At this Holiday Party, viewers will be able to see each other's festival holiday sweaters or favourite holiday dress-up outfits and sing along with each other and the performers. Conceived as a "by family, for family" experience, the show will include such holiday favourites as "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", "Jingle Bells", "I'm a Little Latka", and "Candles Long Ago" and such well-loved Sharon, Lois & Bram favourites as "Comin' Round the Mountain" and, of course, "Skinnamarink."

As an added bonus, Sharon and Randi will be sharing Lois's famous brownie recipe and Sharon's mother's recipe for potato pancakes.

About Sharon:
Since 1978, Sharon has been pre-eminent in all aspects of family entertainment across North America as a member of the trio Sharon, Lois & Bram. Together, the threesome produced 21 full-length albums, beginning with their iconic, triple platinum One Elephant, Deux Éléphants. They have appeared in every major concert hall in Canada and many of the most prominent venues in the United States, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, and the White House. They have received countless awards, including Gold and Platinum Records and JUNO awards for Best Children’s Album, and have sold millions of albums worldwide. For their years of work providing the best in participatory music for children and their families, Sharon & Bram, along with Lois, were inducted into The Order of Canada, their country's highest honor.

About Sharon and her daughter Randi:
Following Bram’s retirement, and with his encouragement, Sharon and her daughter Randi continue to share the music of Sharon, Lois & Bram with fans and friends, old and new. Randi’s song lyrics and voice can be heard on several tracks of the 2019 album she produced, Sharon & Bram and Friends. Sharon and Randi are excited to be singing the songs of Sharon, Lois & Bram (many introduced to the trio by Randi) with a new generation of musical friends.

Sharon, Randi & Bram have been engaged in other creative ventures, including the 2019 release of a JUNO-nominated album, Sharon & Bram and Friends, produced by Randi. Their picture book, Sharon, Lois & Bram's Skinnamarink, with additional lyrics written by Randi, was published by Penguin Random House in 2019 and has become a critically acclaimed best-seller

# # #

Sharon, Lois & Bram's
Skinnamarink with Sharon & Randi and Friends
All the Holiday Fun You Can Sing!

A LIVE, Interactive, Virtual Festive Singalong

WHEN: 3:00 p.m. ET, Saturday, December 19, 2020

WHERE: On the Skinnamarink with Sharon & Randi Home Routes page: HERE

TICKETS: CAD $15 plus tax.

TO PURCHASE TICKETS: Visit the Skinnamarink with Sharon & Randi Home Routes page: HERE.

# # #

Visit the Sharon, Lois & Bram website HERE.

Sharon, Lois & Bram on Facebook.

Sharon, Lois & Bram on Instagram.

Sharon, Lois & Bram on Twitter.

Sharon, Lois & Bram on YouTube.