The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or cha-cha. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur fire walking.
The Global Down Syndrome Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to significantly improving the lives of people with Down syndrome through research, medical care, education, and advocacy. Despite being one of the most common chromosomal disorders in the country—occurring in 1 out of every 691 births—Down syndrome receives exceptionally low funding compared to other genetic conditions. The foundation helps to make up for the shortfall by hosting fundraisers and conferences, advocating for public policy that benefits those with Down syndrome, and providing programming that allows individuals living with the condition to develop their talents and abilities.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand to projects big and small at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
Art from Ashes (AfA) promotes artistic expression among youth in the care of human services and homeless shelters as well as those dealing with abuse and poverty. Working with local organizations, AfA sponsors poetry and theater workshops for youth aged 8–24, prompting them to tap into their imaginations and create art that reflects their inner strength and the issues they have overcome. The organization’s Phoenix Rising poetry-and-spoken-word program uses words to encourage inner development and help young people connect with their communities, and its Casting Shadows theater-and-play program helps youth express their feelings in a healthy way through dramatic performance. These programs are designed to provide ongoing tools for artistic expression and engage youth in the social sphere, encouraging them to facilitate change in their communities.
While running a veterinary practice in 1988, Dr. Bill Suro and his wife, Nanci, became aware of a problem: What happens to homeless animals in need of medical care? Because there was no publicly funded hospital to care for these animals, they were often sent to animal control to be euthanized. The Suros knew there had to be a better solution. Then one day, they got their answer. Dr. Suro was contacted about a homeless dog that had been hit by a car and had multiple injuries. The dog needed expensive orthopedic surgery but was facing euthanasia because of the cost. Dr. Suro's hospital claimed the dog, which his staff named Max, and raised more than enough money to cover his medical care. With leftover funds at their disposal, the Suros began helping other homeless animals in need, and MaxFund was born.
Since then, MaxFund Animal Adoption Center has saved the lives of more than 25,000 stray and injured cats and dogs. The no-kill shelter also spays or neuters homeless animals to prevent overpopulation and helps them find loving, permanent homes.
Agates, amethysts, and luminous glass beads come alive in the settings that The Colorado Bead Company’s jewelry instructors help students design— elegant yet whimsical loops of wire, antique-looking chains, earring hoops that recall delicate dreamcatchers. Classes bring out the jewelry artist in kids, adults, and even first-time crafters who get to experience the thrill of walking out clad in the necklaces they've just designed. The shop glistens with strands and packets of such exotic baubles as freshwater pearls, hypoallergenic beads, and Swarovski crystal beads, ready to be incorporated into a new project or used to make a pair of maracas sound classier. Shoppers browse in a bright, open space lined with huge windows, hardwood floors, and airy flower prints.
Though most people spend Halloween running from ghosts and monsters, this year a select group of folks will be running with the specters and ghouls—right up until they get to the finish line. At the Scream Scram 5K Run/Walk, participants of all ages get together to raise money for essential after-school programs for thousands of kids who rely on Boys & Girls Clubs, all while showing off their quirky costumes. The macabre trot takes place at Washington Park, where people can run competitively or just stroll for a good cause. The race itself will be bookended by a handful of festive events. Before the starting gun, people can walk the orange carpet to display their ensemble for the costume contest. After the race, everyone gathers at Trick or Treat Street to enjoy refreshments and watch as awards are given to both the top three male and female race finishers and the best costumes in a variety of categories.