With a mission to enable deaf-blind individuals to achieve their full potential, North Carolina Deaf-Blind Associates advocates for the rights and needs of its constituents through consumer advocacy and community-building events. John Washington and Sue Etheridge started the group as a consumer organization in 1983, but it expanded to offer annual conventions and retreats to help reduce the isolation that can result from living with communication obstacles. Conferences promote new technologies and advocate for individual rights, and the Camp Dogwood Deaf-Blind Weekend Retreat provides a much-needed space for deaf-blind adults to socialize, share stories, and participate in life-skills classes, sporting events and dances, and outings to local shopping centers or the lake.
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Since 1984, Champps Americana's kitchen has sizzled with made-from-scratch dishes, satiating sports fans and families with a comfortable atmosphere. Amid sunlit dining rooms, diners seated at wooden tabletops can root for their favorite pixels on flat-screen TVs broadcasting live sports. In the kitchen, chefs prepare pastas with grilled chicken and roasted artichokes, pile buns with barbecued pulled pork and spicy buffalo chicken, and fill soft taco shells with grilled steak. Behind the bar, bartenders whip up specialty cocktails and margaritas and fill goblets with wine and local craft beers on tap.
Amber Turner-Weeks has been dancing since the tender age of 3. A passion for movement led her to explore many facets of dance such as its history, improvisation skills, and child development. After graduating with a dance degree and a concentration in private studio teaching, Turner-Weeks traveled with the Meredith Dance Theatre and toured with the North Carolina Dance Festival. As the owner and artistic director of DanceArt, she now has the opportunity to transform her positive childhood memories into memorable dance experiences for students of all levels, ranging from toddlers to adults.As the mother of a young daughter, Turner-Weeks aims to create a noncompetitive environment where children feel safe and have room to explore their talents. She tells students, "Whatever experience and path you take in life, dream big and always make the most of what life has to offer you.” A team of caring instructors encourages parent interaction, teaching kids self-discipline and confidence in a variety of classes and at annual recitals and other events. The family-oriented facility boasts four spacious studio rooms with disco balls and shock-absorbing sprung floors, cheerful turquoise and purple couches, and a two-way-mirrored area where parents can observe youngsters in action without distracting them with proud victory dances.
Within Tag Ur It’s family-owned indoor play center, youngsters glide down slides, rock atop spring horses, and leap about in bounce houses. After emerging from the inflatable obstacle course, kids scamper off to the arcade to battle fictional opponents or challenge their less-pixilated playmates to rounds on the mini-golf course, bouts in the laser-tag arena, and bean-bag flinging at the corn-hole station. Along with open-play sessions, Tag Ur It accommodates guests with a trio of birthday-party packages where up 20 children can enjoy a two-hour party block.
Talented local artists teach students of all levels to let right brains roam free across canvases as they complete the painting lesson's work of art. During two-hour lessons, guests sip home-brought wine, soda, or bathtub lemonade while tracing shapes onto canvases with paintbrushes that drip with brightly colored acrylics. Friendships erupt like Mount Vesuvius filled with rainbows as aspiring artists work toward the completion of still-life compositions, landscapes, or portraits. All supplies are included, and at the lesson's end, painting protégés will have a completed masterpiece to take home. Wine and Design suggests wearing comfortable clothing that guests will not mind getting paint on, such as an old T-shirt or a wedding dress designed by Jackson Pollock.
For more than 70 years, Triangle Family Services (TFS) has helped families in need by working to eliminate family violence, improve financial stability, and promote emotional well-being. The non-profit coordinates diverse programs, including consumer credit counseling services, individual and family counseling, and medication management. Numerous volunteers and partner organizations help keep TFS running, along with the patronage of the general public during special events such as the family-centric Tea with Santa, taking place on November 29 at The Umstead Hotel and Spa from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., and an adults only evening gala located the same night from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.