Wishes & More fulfills the wishes of youth up to age 19 who have a terminal or life-threatening illness to help bring joy into lives that have become burdened with fear and trauma. Wishes can range from items, such as nursery equipment or new cars, to once-in-a-lifetime experiences, including a trip to South Africa for the FIFA World Cup, a family ski vacation, and the chance to meet a personal hero, be it Garfield cartoonist Jim Davis or Jackie Chan. Wishes & More also provides $1,000 memorial-fund grants to the parents of children who did not live to experience their wish and $1,000 Scholarship of Hope grants to fund young people's transition to higher education following a terminal diagnosis and recovery.
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Though many students come to Mathnasium having fallen behind their classmates, a mathematically advanced child sparked the learning program’s creation. As founder Larry Martinek’s young son, Nic, developed an appetite for higher-level math concepts, Larry found himself developing an entirely new teaching language to explain them in an age-appropriate way. The kind of instincts he sought to build up couldn’t be nurtured by drills and rote memorization. Instead, they required a deeper understanding of the principles at the root of mathematical operations, delivered in a way that grade-school kids could apply throughout their academic careers.
In just a decade’s time, Larry and his team have established Mathnasium centers in most U.S. states and more than a dozen in other countries. At each, highly trained tutors develop custom learning plans for students in grades K–12 based on The Mathnasium Method. The system combines an education strategy of conceptual, tactile, and visual techniques with a curriculum structure that ensures kids can count, think proportionally, and break complex problems into smaller components to solve simply. Tutors allow some time during each session to help students with the concepts in their math homework, and the centers regularly check report cards and standardized tests as further measures of progress.
Named as an homage to one of the four historic theaters that once operated near what is now City Center, the New Century Theatre carries on the best of the stage. Whereas the original venue—which burned down in 1964—seated 2,000 and focused on vaudeville, the modern-day jewel creates an intimate space for theatrical performances with seating for 300. Since 2011, it has hosted local and touring performers as well as educational initiatives such as the Broadway Confidential series and an acting demonstration on how to cry your way out of a parking ticket.
Grumpy's Bar & Grill sates patrons with a menu of hearty burgers and sandwiches and quenches quaffers with 34 beers on tap. Friends, couples, or bitter, bitter rivals put bitter, bitter rivalries aside over two Fatty Melts—culinary colossi weighed down with a half-pound, black Angus burger peppered with sautéed onions and wedged between two grilled-cheese sandwiches. Both melts come with fries and a Surly Furious ale, a hoppy explosion with hints of citrus, pine, and caramel toffee.
At Fitness 1st, certified personal trainers inspire clients to make exercise a priority during fun, confidence-building workouts. Though the studio spans 6,500 square feet, personalized attention from the staff makes it feel as cozy as a fireplace clad in long underwear. Here, exercisers chase down their goals during one-on-one training sessions and tackle them with a group during boot-camp-style workouts and core-sculpting Pilates-yoga routines. To promote mind-body wellness and ease muscle soreness, clients can sample up to four types of massage therapy in a secluded kneading area. Swedish massages target stress with long, flowing strokes, and sports massages can enhance performance during athletic events and the breakdancing portion of Shakespearean plays.
Victory Links Golf Course occupies 400 acres of lush greenery about 25 minutes north of the Twin Cities, and holds the sovereign exclusivity of being the only PGA Tour–designed public golf course in Minnesota. Residing within the confines of the National Sports Center campus, Victory Links is operated by the nonprofit National Sports Center Foundation. Within the 18-hole, links-style course, golfers find tee boxes positioned between 2,834 yards and 7,092 yards from the green, accommodating a host of golfing abilities and systems of measurement based upon the stride of local monarchs.