A new zombie horde rises, hungry for the packs of humans that flee in a desperate fight to see another day. This isn't a vision of a postapocalyptic future—it happens every fall at the Zombie Run Challenge, an event in which participants dressed as zombies chase down human competitors in a race for both survival and top prizes. After registering, competitors separate into the two factions, each with separate goals. In the course of up to two hours, zombies attempt to turn humans by capturing the flags attached to their belts. The living, in turn, try to complete challenges at four–five checkpoints, taking momentary refuge or healing at outposts scattered throughout the woods. All the while, a group of volunteer mercenaries armed with foam darts hunts down the undead attackers. Before the race begins, the special-effects gurus at Gregory F/X will provide zombie makeup to participants in exchange for a donation—100% of which goes to charity and won't be used to buy the zombies fresh brains at the local deli.
Let someone else do your dirty work with today's Groupon: $30 for three hours of home cleaning from the meticulous staff at DiCi Services. No nook, cranny, or ceiling-fan blade is safe from their eagle eye (their left one), copious supply of elbow grease, and arsenal of professional-grade supplies (if you prefer they use your supplies, just let them know). Each clean sweep is customized, meaning a walk-through of the area to be cleaned is required prior to an appointment so that your expectations match the outcome. This Groupon expires at the end of March, so do your spring-cleaning before spring actually comes, or get your place ready for the holidays.Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
Owned and operated by dedicated educators, Charlotte Day Camp engages children through cultural immersion and physically active fun and games. Rebekah Goode of In Goode Company developed an interest in education and cultural enlightenment as a high-school student taking mission trips to Mexico, Venezuela, and Poland. She maintained this passion after returning to the United States, teaching English as a second language along with science, mathematics, and social studies at her tutoring center. Charlotte Day Camp, which organizes weeklong sessions around an international theme, is a natural extension of those activities, combining multiculturalism, practical education, and summer fun for kids who are home from school.
Personal chef, caterer, teacher?there's little Chef Barry Francois doesn't do when it comes to food. He helps clients save time or plan for special occasions with custom catering that ranges from elegant brunch dishes to casual comfort food to fine-dining-style plates. In between preparing savory meals, the chef transforms his kitchen into a classroom. Those who feel utterly lost can enroll in the beginners' class, where they'll learn basic knife skills, craft sauces and marinades, and receive a comprehensive review of fresh herbs, including which ones can flush evil spirits from their garbage disposal. More experienced students who are curious about niche cooking styles may find inspiration during the Grilling and Entertaining class, which features demos on light summer sides and grilled meats, veggies, and desserts.
Megan Dobrusin sees the world through a different filter than most. With an eye for color combinations and composition, Dobrusin can imagine striking yet legible design wherever she goes. She cultivates her natural creativity and training in the arts to design layouts and create branding logos and letterheads.
Pamela Howard recalls her wedding day with a hint of ruefulness. It was a humid, overcast August afternoon in Lake Wylie, and a sudden flood the night before knocked out the power. Guests were sweating. The cake was melting. And her event planner was panicking.
Now an event planner herself, Ms. Howard remembers this experience every time she sits down with clients to arrange everything from intimate catered dinners for two to extravagant weddings. “Things are going to happen,” she acknowledges. “But how you handle the unexpected as a professional—that’s what really makes the planner shine.”
For her part, Ms. Howard strives to ensure her events go off without a hitch by working closely with clients. She discusses their inspiration for their event face-to-face, and delves into their favorite foods, colors, flowers, and music. She’s gone to great lengths to make events successful, from tracking down a classical violinist at the last minute to recruiting a veritable army of servers to cater a celebrity’s 300-guest banquet. “Your job is to keep the client happy,” says Ms. Howard. “And you always have a plan B . . . even if that just means praying for a sunny day.”