In one year, Without Regrets Foundation co-founders Tara Ballard and Ché Heinroth knew three adults who passed away and left behind young children. One of these parents, Scott, was diagnosed with cancer in October 2010 and died the following April. He wanted to take his son to Yankee Stadium before passing away, but was unable to make his dream come true. Because of this story and many others like it, Ballard and Heinroth decided to do all they could to give families an opportunity to create memories from one last experience.
Before starting Without Regrets, both cofounders worked with a variety of family charities including March of Dimes and The Leukemia Society. They meet with families who have at least one parent facing a terminal illness and help them pick a good experience for them to share with their children. With approval from the parent's physician, the group then funds the event or trip, leaving the kids with lifelong memories to cherish.
San Antonio’s bustling urban environs and picturesque natural surroundings both serve as the setting for Adventure Club San Antonio’s organized, jovial group outings for singles and married couples alike. Resident staffers heed suggestions from more than 300 members and 200 fortune cookies to devise a calendar of events that brims with an average of 60 activities every month, most of which are free of charge. After perusing the bevy of activities, participants congregate amid the verdant San Antonio–area wilderness for outdoor recreation such as hiking and canoeing, or within the lively city limits for dinners, sports matches, members-only shindigs, and frequent volunteer sessions for local charities.
Aside from the chance to mingle with new friends and explore the region, members receive discounts at dozens of local businesses, and can swiftly find a companion for unofficial events and shadow-puppet castings via a handy activity partners’ forum. Additionally, Adventure Club can connect members to a network of similar groups in Austin and Houston.
For more than 130 years, the YMCA has worked to facilitate growth for individuals as well as communities by providing social-enrichment programs that promote honesty, respect, and responsibility. YMCA of Greater San Antonio, which features locations throughout the metropolitan area, helps people improve their lives with healthy living programs that offer inclusive training classes as well as lifelong learning classes. Youth development initiatives and childcare services allow children as well as teens to develop positive behaviors while exploring their interests in a safe, supportive environment. The centers also encourage social responsibility by providing opportunities to support local communities through volunteerism and charitable giving.
For more than 55 years, the mission of non-profit Prevent Blindness Texas has been to prevent blindness, preserve sight, and improve vision for Texans. Through thousands of vision screenings each year, the staff helps clients of all ages, such as children at risk of lazy eyes or adults at risk for glaucoma. They also strive to educate the public through media campaigns, public service announcements, and special events.
Mitchell Lake Audubon Center encompasses a 1,200-acre natural area spanning the eponymous lake, wetlands, ponds, and upland habitat for hundreds of birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. Astute watchers can spy dozens of birds, ranging from majestic American white pelicans to water birds such as the northern pintail and green heron. Explorers may also overhear painted buntings and orchard orioles rehearsing the follow-up to last summer’s controversial hip-hop chart-topper from the porch of the restored 1910 home that houses the center. Inside, amateurs and pro birders can record the momentous sightings of yellow-bellied sapsuckers for all to see on the bird check lists.