Mark and Amy Meyers bought their first donkey, Izzy, more than a decade ago. Though they only sought a pet, their close relationship with Izzy inspired them to take up a cause. Soon after buying Izzy, they noticed that other donkeys in the neighborhood were suffering from abuse and neglect. They took immediate action: Amy began adopting the donkeys, and Mark spent his evenings talking to the donkeys and tending to their ailments. After they adopted their 25th donkey, they decided to start their own rescue organization, Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue.
Peaceful Valley, which currently cares for more than 1,500 donkeys, rescues domestic donkeys that have been abused or neglected and wild burros that have been displaced from their natural habitat. The donkeys are often found injured and wandering in the wilderness or are surrendered by their owners. After being rescued, they live in one of the farm sanctuaries in Texas, Oregon, or other satellite locations. Peaceful Valley has worked with capture programs, private landowners, and numerous government agencies—including the National Park Service and Texas Parks and Wildlife—to ensure that all donkeys have a safe place to live. Toward that aim, Peacefully Valley also holds clinics, trains donkey owners to better care for their animals, and educates the public about the nature and history of donkeys to improve their plight.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
Multiplatinum-selling and multiple-Grammy-winning quartet Third Day’s stirring Southern rock thrills multitudes on its Make Your Move spring tour. One of the most popular Christian bands of the A.D. era, Third Day has moved millions of fans with hits such as “Cry Out to Jesus” and “Love Song,” as well as hundreds of tumbleweeds with its tour bus. With a sound that evokes Lynyrd Skynyrd in its Sunday best, the band tenderly testifies while rocking through a hook-laden marathon live show.
Portland Aquarium, a December 2012 addition to Milwaukie, introduces visitors to thousands of waterborne species. Guests can slide their hands along the smooth flesh of a stingray or the knobby arms of a starfish or engage in staring contests with a blacktip reef shark. Other planned exhibits include a jellyfish exhibit, a cold-water tank filled with fish native to Oregon's coast, and a rainforest-themed jungle gym for children. The tropical touch-tank woos visits with its displays of vibrant-color aquatic life while amphibious wonders, including poison dart frogs, thrill visitors. Those seeking bigger thrills may hoist various pythons species–including a15-foot reticulated or 9-foot albino burmese snake–upon their shoulders or get their picture taken with macaw parrot. Landing-loving iguanas and panter chameleons also lurch around in the mix.
In 2003, after years spent headlining Portland ballets such as Don Quixote and The Nutcracker, Keith Walls moved to New York City. He continued balletic journey by training under renowned teachers from the Kirov and the Bolshoi, Russia’s most renowned ballet companies besides the Funky Chicken Institute. Outside the studio, Keith flexed his dancing and acting muscles in musicals such as Grease and Once Upon a Mattress.
It’s this well of experience that Keith draws from throughout his recreational and intensive classes at Abernethy Performing Arts Academy. Starting with creative-movement classes for youngsters, Keith instructs his students in the fundamentals of ballet and prepares them for its advanced techniques. In other beginner-oriented dance classes, he teaches the basic steps to styles such as jazz, hip-hop, Irish, and tap. Like his ballet classes, musical-theater courses run from beginner to advanced levels. Both give students opportunities to perform in productions such as an annual Halloween show and classical ballets.
At Adorned Aesthetics, even the most familiar of skincare treatments, the facial, contains some surprises; the center's roster of nine different facials includes three services specifically designed for men as well as a Just Like Heaven exfoliation and massage treatment that lasts a full two hours. Two other services make use of some rare materials: the 24 kt. gold facial uses a gold serum and mask to reverse oxidation damage, and the Diamond Exfolight facial removes dead skin using the diamond-soled shoes that inspired Paul Simon to become a cobbler. When serums fall short, clients turn to the Bio-Roller, an FDA-approved micro-needle rolling system that treats wrinkles and acne without inflicting the downtime associated with surgery.
The spa can offer all of these treatments thanks to the expertise of Melanie Hamilton and Kathryn Hoffman, who are professionally certified and trained by Obagi Pharmaceutical Skin Care. This company also provides a few of the specialized products that they use during treatments on a variety of skin issues. Melanie and Kathryn, who are also trained in the formal modalities of the Valmont skincare line from Switzerland, stay sharp by attending classes, seminars, and conventions in the industry.
At Elite Sante Women's Fitness Club, women slim and tone their physiques in a nonintimidating environment outfitted with Nautilus fitness equipment, steam rooms, tanning beds, and more. A gym membership includes unlimited use of free weights as well as Nautilus strength-training and cardio equipment, such as treadmills, stationary bikes, stair steppers, and stationary roller skates (a $39.20 value/month). Members can also attend Wednesday evening core-conditioning classes or sweat away toxins in the steam room. The gym's metabolism test (a $40 value) determines resting metabolic rate and daily caloric needs to help with nutritional planning. One month of tanning (a $30 value) allows for body-bronzing under the warm glow of Soleil Systems' 28-bulb 20-minute beds. Those who opt to pair their membership with a T-shirt and exercise journal (a $30 value) can keep track of their daily activity, nutrition, and prom float ideas for approximately two months. The journal includes a target heart-rate chart and nutrition tips to help maintain personal fitness goals.