As a nonprofit organization that organizes philanthropic events for other nonprofit organizations, the Pledge 5 Foundation conducts food, clothing, and public-service pledge drives for its numerous charity partners. In conjunction with each of these charity drives, it hosts community-centered promotional events—pub crawls, pet adoptions, and tailgating parties—that aim to inspire people to give back to their community. Pledge 5's staff, interns, student association, and service chamber all work to create positive change throughout the Gainesville community by stimulating local commerce and planting popsicle gardens.
World-renowned and highly regarded, The Princeton Review helps prepare students for getting into college, law school, and grad school through a fleet of exam-prep classes. During the informative sessions—which cover such tests as the SAT, ACT, LSAT, and GRE—handpicked, rigorously trained teachers coach students to relinquish anxiety over upcoming tests. They conduct math reviews, reading sessions, and writing exercises that pair pupils with weighted pens. In addition to leading group classes, the teachers offer in-person and online private-tutoring services, which are customized to each pupil's learning needs.
Now in their 86th season, the Harlem Globetrotters continue to entertain millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a trademark blend of athletic precision and razzle-dazzle showmanship. For the team's 2012 world tour, a rotating roster of Globetrotter favorites take to the hardwood each game, so spectators might spot Special K Daley sharing a behind-the-back pass with newcomer Jacob “Hops” Tucker, the 2011 NCAA slam-dunk champion whose 50-inch vertical leap cruelly dashed his dreams of working in a ceiling-fan store. The Trotters might also present a study in contrasts with five-foot-two Too Tall Hall and seven-foot-eight Paul "Tiny" Sturgess, the world's tallest pro basketball player.
Standing still in a cloud of free-flying butterflies, exploring the depths of a limestone cave, and gazing at the 14-foot bones of a 16,000-year-old Columbian mammoth skeleton—visitors can do all of this in just one afternoon at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Since starting in 1891 as a professor’s teaching collection of fossils, minerals, and human anatomy models, the museum has transformed into the home of more than nearly 40 million specimens, creating a library of life that features one of the world’s largest collections of butterflies and moths.
Reflecting the museum’s impressive collection of winged beauties, some of its exhibits focus on the butterflies and moths that, unlike humans, can survive long flights without eating a single package of peanuts. At the Butterfly Rainforest, more than 1,000 butterflies from 60 to 80 species take to the air among tropical trees, orchids, bromeliads, and waterfalls cascading into a pond that bustles with fish and turtles. Feeding stations with freshly cut fruit dot the 6,400-square-foot screened enclosure, letting guests get up close as the butterflies feast. Live butterfly releases daily at 2 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. let onlookers watch them fly into an outdoor butterfly rainforest, and among the indoor butterfly exhibits, curious audiences can peer into a rearing lab where staff unpack and sort newly arrived pupae.
Rounding out the museum’s focus on Floridian biosystems, the Northwest Florida: Waterways & Wildlife exhibit invites visitors to wander through a full-scale recreation of a hammock forest, and the South Florida exhibit takes guests down the peninsula with a mangrove boardwalk and a palm-thatched Calusa leader’s house. The museum's internationally acclaimed fossil collection includes highlights such as "shark jaw row," extinction dioramas, and full skeletal mounts and sculptures. Meanwhile, outside, petals unfurl in the wildflower and butterfly garden.
Humans and canines come together for the University Commons 5K-9, a morning event brimming with races and parades in support of pet charities throughout Gainesville. The day commences with an 8 a.m. onsite registration, followed by a breakfast feast supplied by Mi Apa Latin Café, then a 5K (3.1-mile) race at 9 a.m. Participants can accompany their own pooches or bask in the general air of flying fur for a one-mile pup run and dog parade at 10 a.m., promptly segueing into the 10:30 a.m. awards and pet superlatives ceremony. From 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., a pet expo coincides with the racing and parading festivities, assembling professionals who preside over veterinary clinics, dog daycare centers, pet spas, and canine finishing schools to teach dogs proper annunciation.
A steady wave of live music erupts from both floors of the establishment, whether it be DJ Robzilla mixing beats in the lounge or Mama Trish plucking acoustic melodies on the patio. Meanwhile, open-mic poetry nights give versatile versesmiths a respectful audience to recite sonnets about hygiene found on truck stop hand dryers.
The posse of chefs at Agave Blue piques curious palates with a menu of casual Mexican fusion fare. Step in from the eatery's parking lot to warm up masticators with an appetizer of taco cheese fries ($5.95) topped with taco meat, jalapeños, and shredded cheese. Mouths can move on to deep-fried chicken chimichangas ($9.95), a trio of steak tacos ($10.95) harmonizing with mexican slaw and chimichurri sauce, or the baja burger ($8.95), which hulas to tables with an entourage of grilled pineapple, pepper jack cheese, and sautéed onions. Diners can sip, slurp, and blow bubbles into traditional margaritas, sidling up to the bar to watch the game or hanging out at a table to watch the table.