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Local Lives ... Jennie Grimm

AnnapolisVIP combines good living and good deeds

Live the life you love for less is the slogan for Jennie Grimm’s Annapolis VIP card.
    The $30-per-year card gives you unlimited access to discounts at more than 50 merchants in Anne Arundel County. Food and drink are the biggest category, with others including kids, pets, health and fitness. Browse them all at VIP’s website:
    Food discounts vary from 10 percent off lunch and 15 off dinner (Lemongrass) one breakfast paid, one free (Metropolitan) to 10 percent off your treat bowl (Menchies).
    Grimm’s brainchild born of 15 years in marketing and fundraising, VIP is a win-win-win partnership.
    First, it brings you discounts.
    Second, it builds business for participants, turning customers, she says, “into loyal fans.” The merchants fund the program, offering discounts and paying by the month to join
    Third, it does good works.
    “Doing more for local non-profits, on a long-lasting basis,” Grimm says, is her passion. A fundraiser since college, Grimm now concentrates on the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and, since her first son’s diagnosis, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
    She created the VIP card, she says “to marry her profession and her passion.” In that combination, her program is, as far as she knows, unique.
    Charities benefit by selling the VIP card to their communities of interest. Grimm helps by structuring fundraisers to suit the organization. Schools might sell VIP cards rather than candy or gift wrap, sending flyers home in book bags or inviting Grimm to set up at school fundraising events. Other organizations might send out an appeal to their mailing list, as Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts is about to do. Maryland Hall uses VIP two ways, selling cards and offering deeply discounted membership to VIP cardholders.
    Nonprofits pay nothing to join the VIP network, and they earn half your $30 cost for each card they sell.
    “I love this community, and to be able to actively give back is a pretty great thing,” says Grimm.
    Grimm is giving back in another way February 11, when she takes over the second floor of Metropolitan on West Street for a fundraiser to help her keep her year-long commitment to raise $2,500 in a year for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. She’s one of Annapolis’ 40 Finest Under 40 in making that commitment. Join in for VanGogh Vodka and Select Confections pairing of Cupcakes & Cocktails, silent auction, and dancing for $30.
    Buy a VIP card at the party and half your price goes to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Metropolitan swells the donation, promising 10 percent of the night’s take to the Foundation.