In 1978, funds from Mr. A. Smith Gill’s trust, combined with resources from public and other private institutions, helped to create Gill Children's Services, Inc. The charitable corporation would serve low-income children who fell through the gaps of existing services. Its staff meets with each family individually to assess the child’s need, locate a service provider, and secure funds for the treatment or service that is required. This can range from wheelchair ramps and hearing aids to eyeglasses and root canals. Over the past three decades, the organization has served more than 44,000 children to date, refusing to turn away any child in need.
Waterways snake all over the planet's surface, many emptying into a great blue ocean. As many scuba divers have found, those depths comprise a whole other world to explore—and require a specific set of skills to conquer. At SCUBASTOP, certified instructors use their knowledge to open that aquatic world to just about anyone.
Students here first get their feet wet with Discover Scuba, a class that teaches the absolute basics of diving. Anyone inspired to delve further can enroll in a PADI certification course that starts in classrooms and heated pools before voyaging out to the open waters of Balmorhea State Park or The Blue Lagoon scuba park. Specialized advanced courses are also available for anyone interested in rescue diving, digital underwater photography, or joining an improv group run by clown fish.
A rotating roster of seasoned comedic pros and up-and-comers has graced the stages at Hyena's Comedy Nightclub's three locations. These featured jokesters typically perform weekend sets, leaving the space free for aspiring comics during weekly open-mic nights. The venue has also partnered with cyber-comedians for a defensive-driving course. Since not much in the rules-of-the-road canon is intentionally funny, Hyena's helps keep Texas drivers safely and legally behind the wheel with digital, state-approved, all-original tutorials written by comedians.
Thousands upon thousands of wild mustangs roam the public lands in America's West, living independent of humans and their delicious salt licks. However, when herds become overpopulated or threatened, the Bureau of Land Management steps in to save these horses. The untamed mustangs require extensive training and care before they can ride trails. That's where The Supreme Extreme Mustang Makeover's trainers come in. Each year, they adopt these wild horses, train them for only 120 days, and enter them into competitions across the country.
At each Supreme Extreme Mustang Makeover event, judges award hundreds of thousands of dollars to the best trainers and their horses as they ride their mustangs and perform spectacular feats. However, despite the money and the crowd's applause, the primary goal of these events remains mustang preservation; since its founding in 2007, The Supreme Extreme Mustang Makeover has facilitated the adoption of more than 3,300 American mustangs.
Gene Estes suspects that growing up in the 'dry' precinct of Abilene, Texas may have inspired his alcohol-based ingenuity; he crafted his first batch of wine from Concord grape juice when he was just 23. Years later, after holding various pharmaceutical jobs and putting to use his Masters in Microbiology, Estes' interest in wine re-emerged with a full and passionate force. Today, as the president and vintner of Lost Oak Winery, Gene works alongside resident winemaker Jim Evans to craft a host of award-winning wines. Among them is the 2012 Viognier, which scored a double gold in the renowned San Francisco Chronicle International Wine competition—meaning all five judges awarded the varietal with top scores before gilding the bottle twice in molten gold.
The winery itself offers both guided and self-guided tours, offering visitors a glimpse into the wine-making process complete with samples straight from oak barrels. Additionally, special events draw guests to the lush grounds for live music, wine club events, and the pre-Christmas holiday open house, where they can place preemptive wine orders with Santa.
The Pour House's menu, like the heart of the mastodon or the wingspan of the wind, is massive, consisting of familiar appetizers, salads, pastas, burgers, sandwiches, and house favorites. Bundle up with a BLT avocado wrap ($7.99) or boldly combine cuisines with the chipotle chicken linguini ($10.39). The Baja fish tacos ($8.99) engulf tortillas with layers of sautéed white fish, creamy Baja sauce, freshly shredded napa cabbage, jack cheese, and fresh pico de gallo, while the chicken fried steak ($9.59) shows up for the hunger hoedown with its friends, mashed potatoes and the vegetable of the day. Brunchwise, early-day eats include the jalapeno-cilantro-pesto'd green eggs and ham ($8.29), a breakfast-sized portion of chicken-fried steak and eggs ($8.99), and the hangover-hurdling huevos rancheros ($8.49), sizzling with spicy ranchero sauce.
As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.