After Dr. Angel Perez passed away due to kidney cancer, his wife and children discovered a way to honor his memory. Sonia Perez and her daughters were hosting a recreational picnic for his former patients, many of whom were affected by congenital heart defects (CHD) or childhood acquired heart disease, when they realized that these patients and their families needed somewhere they could gather and receive non-medical financial, emotional, and social support outside the hospital. The Perez family founded Angel's Pediatric Heart House to fill this need. The organization provides free programs and services to South Florida children living with CHD such as financial support during a child’s hospital stay; family fun day social events, which provide opportunities for cardiac kids and their families to come together; monthly hospital outreach to three area children’s hospitals and a free infant items donation program through a partnership with a national baby store retailer. Its programs also function as a tool for group healing. Mommy and Me groups provide opportunities to gain support, the Miles and Millas program delivers care packages to kids undergoing heart surgery, and a national CHD awareness campaign spreads encouragement to families and distributes Heart Shadow Buddies to kids in hospitals.
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In the last 40 years, Portrait Scene's photographers have helped to memorialize special moments in the lives of thousands of children, teens, and adults across the country. By constantly working with families, they have mastered the art of calming toddlers and keeping parents still enough to say or even pasteurize cheese. Outdoor shoots make use of natural tones, such as those of crystal-blue lake waters and green, leafy trees. In the spring months, photos brim with the pastel buds of tulips and the shine of bluebirds applying makeup for the first time all year.
Recently opened Poolhouse Grill regales guests with juicy burgers and ocean-fresh seafood amid an upbeat club-inspired atmosphere. Framed by multicolored beams of light and waving palms, the restaurant's façade draws visitors in to celebrate DJ-fueled dancefests on weekends, or rock 'n' roll–powered discussions about Robert M. Pirsig with bikers on Wednesdays. Sports fans belly up to the bar to watch their favorite sports legends on the arsenal of flat-screen TVs, and occasional beer-pong tournaments prepare amateurs for the rigors of professional ping-pong chucking.
A championship wrestler by the age of 10, Xcelerate Training owner Craig Marks developed a commitment to exercise early on, leading to a wrestling scholarship and national ranking as a college wrestler. Though a serious neck injury cut his wrestling career short, Craig has remained loyal to his fitness pursuits for more than 20 years, now helping others achieve their goals by designing personalized workouts based on his workout philosophy that combines muscular training, nervous-system training, cardio, and balanced nutrition.
This philosophy comes to life within Xcelerate Training's facility, where Craig and his staff of trainers steer fitness seekers to healthier bodies during both private and group training sessions. The Xcelerate team's creative style incorporates unique props and workouts that take place on an indoor stairway to help burn calories. A 24-foot rock-climbing wall adds a vertical dimension to workouts, as well as birthday parties and corporate mixers for mountain goats.
If Victor Frankenstein ever took a break from science to design a 5K race, the result would have probably looked something like a Hybrid Hell Run event. Each race in the Hybrid Hell Run series is similar to Frankenstein’s monster: races are gritty, spread out across misshapen terrain, and require every ounce of physical and mental strength to survive.
With each of its races cranking up the intensity level, the series selects locations that are naturally challenging, such as forests, hills, or M. C. Escher’s labyrinthine backyard. The HHR team then brews up a ruthless lineup of physical challenges, maintaining focus on three main categories—cardiovascular endurance, strength, and speed and agility. The finished course tests the athletic prowess of male, female, and youth divisions, with top performers receiving cash rewards.